Category Archives: Health

Rosemary: easy-care evergreen cooking/tea/medicinal herb

Rosemary plantRosemary is an easy-care edible evergreen herb for your yard/garden/patio.  It smells great, and can be used in cooking fresh or dried – especially with meats and roasts.  I keep dried rosemary in a jar next to the stove and take out about a teaspoon, crush it, and add to turkey burgers or other meats.  I also prune off a fresh sprig, rinse it with cold water, then let it steep it in cup of hot water for a refreshing and revitalizing tea.  I’ve heard you can use it as a hair rinse to keep brown hair shiny, and in bathwater to revive achy muscles or droopy Continue reading

‘Pets’ with a work ethic: Put a worm bin in your fireplace

worm bin in fireplaceWe live in a 1920’s bungalow.  It has a fireplace that doesn’t work very well, so instead of using it for fires, I use it to store our Worm Factory worm bin year round.  We hide the worm bin behind a large silk scarf draped over a tension curtain rod near the front.  It doesn’t smell, so no one knows it’s there but us (and now you).

worm bin lidThe worm factory is easy to use since the instructions are printed on the black plastic lid.  I like the spigot near the bottom where you can siphon out ‘worm tea’ to feed plants indoors and out.  Not only is this a great way to recycle kitchen veggie scraps, but also to recycle paper from the shredder, lint from the Continue reading

How to get out of an abusive marriage

Mary StuartMary Stuart – she’s got a wide perky smile and a huge heart.  She’s a mother of three grown children and a grandma of two. She has an MA in History and undergraduate degrees in foreign languages and linguistics. She balances her life between her two passions: helping other women leave stressed and dangerous relationships and developing her cooking and entertaining skills.

Mary Stuart is writing two e-books scheduled for release mid-February, with all proceeds from one book dedicated to abuse recovery groups.  Mary writes an advice blog on how to identify various types of abuse, with articles Continue reading

Your own sound track: music tempo matches your run speed

runnersEver wished you had a soundtrack?  Music that would speed up or slow down depending on your movements or actions? The new Cruise Control app changes a songs’ tempo to match your cadence.  Created at Canada’s Simon Fraser University, the device is iOS compatible, and was designed for runners and for other health pursuits including medical needs.  You can choose between four modes:

Cadence mode will choose songs from your library and adjust their tempo to play at the cadence you’ve chosen. Basically, you set the pace you want to run Continue reading

Fresh evergreen huckleberries from your backyard this winter

Evergreen Huckleberry

If you who want a year ’round garden, Evergreen Huckleberries are a must.  They’re the best fruiting plant for shade.  In fact, they grow up to 6 feet tall in the (moist) shade, and only about 3 feet tall in the sunshine, so the shade is the best place to put an evergreen huckleberry if you want a lot of fruit.

I took this photo today, January 11th 2013, and as you can see the plant STILL has ripe fruit on it!  I picked quarts and quarts of ripe berries in  Continue reading

A living sewage treatment plant

Here’s a really cool technique for treating wastewater that treats up to 52,000 gallons of human waste a day, and produces clean water, fertilizer for food, and solar energy in the process.  Makes me want to go on a retreat to the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies just to try it out (well, and take a rest, do yoga, get massages, learn stuff – basically my ideal retreat).  This is yet another creative example of cradle-to-cradle technology, where one being’s waste is another’s food.  This is a larger scale and power supplying version of my previous articles on home-use composting toilets and home use herb garden/worm bin/fish tank.  This is also a practical solution to update our current faulty national sanitation system.  Thanks to Yes! magazine for the link.

Taking a nap: an answer to many problems (and it just feels nice)

NapsSometimes you just need a nap.  Or a good book and then a nap.  Or being with a good friend on a sunny day outside with a good book then a nap. Naps are relaxing.  You know you feel comfortable with a friend when you can take a nap together.

Also, when the rest of the world seems to be going crazy is a good time for a nap.  Sometimes a person can get so tired/frustrated that they aren’t able to think straight or make good decisions – a nap would be appropriate during these times as well.  Adults need naps.  College students need naps.  Why are naps only seen as a necessity for young children? (Maybe the kids should stay up and play and the parent(s) should take the nap?)

Tapping into better health: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

I recently discovered a simple, free, do-it-yourself way to help relieve stress.  It’s called Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT and I learned about it in a book and then searched for more information online.  EFT is a powerful self-help method based on research showing that emotional trauma contributes greatly to disease. Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories, fear, and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, the body can often rebalance itself, and accelerate physical healing. EFT uses elements of Cognitive Therapy and Exposure Therapy, and combines them with Acupressure, in the form of fingertip tapping on acupuncture points. Over 20 clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical and psychology journals have demonstrated that EFT is effective for phobias, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and Continue reading

Trying for the fun of it

Toby Run

Toby loves thinking – he’s a computer nerd and problem solving type of guy.  As his parents, we’ve been trying to gently persuade him to try a variety of activities while he’s young, because you just never know what you might find interesting once you try it.  But we also realize he needs to be the person to make the final choice in his activities, especially now that he’s a teenager.

During Toby’s sophomore year of high school, he stepped outside his comfort box and went out for Continue reading

Don’t be slapped around by frantic email demands

My email has stealthily accumulated myriad subscriptions to political, commercial, and hobby interests. I’d open it and be bombarded with frantic pitches to donate money, sign petitions and buy now! These were all organizations I believe in that I at one time signed a petition, or purchased something I liked/ needed, or asked to receive their newsletters/coupons.

So this past week I unsubscribed.  As I received emails, I thought over each one.  If I need their product or service in the future, I can easily Continue reading

Composting toilet as a sustainable option for the cabin, boat, or basement

I’m intrigued by the whole idea of cradle-to-cradle technology. From what I’ve read, it wasn’t that long ago when some cultures requested you to give a return on their food/hospitality investment before you left (ie you leave your waste product for use as fertilizer for their crops).   I’ve always thought it odd to put waste into our fresh drinking water, and then use chemicals and processing to take it back out again.  However, in our culture, composting is thought to be inconvenient, smelly, and beneath our sensibilities.

Well, with new technology, modern composting toilets are easily available online – and I even saw a composting toilet in a local plumbing showroom!  Some Continue reading

Sorrel: year ‘round lemony spicy greens

SorrelAs a frugal and lazy gardener, I’m always on the lookout for edible plants that look nice, are easy to care for, and dependably give me food (even if they suffer a bit of neglect in the watering/weeding department).  An all-season veggie/herb in our mild Oregon climate that fits all three criteria is a plant family called sorrel.

Common sorrel or garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa) is a perennial herb or Continue reading

Book: Second Sight by Judith Orloff, M.D.

Second SightThis book reads more like a novel than a self-help book.  Judith Orloff is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, has a private practice, is a New York Times bestselling author… and is an empathic intuitive.  Not a ‘put-on-a-turban-roll-your-eyes-into-your-head-entertainer’, but an authentic healer and seer.  She was part of the team awhile back that intuited and uncovered buried sea treasure.  I remember reading about that in the news and thinking “cool – to be able to find buried treasure with your thoughts!”

Second Sight starts out with Judith’s childhood fear of ‘knowing’ when her grandpa died, and why she could tell which of her parents friends were going to Continue reading

Hand powered spice grinder keeps one healthy in two ways

Spice Grinder

Ground up Chia and Flax seeds. These have been recommended by my health professional.  I’m thinking ‘but the seeds are already so small – how/why grind them up more?’  The why is to get all the nutrition out of them.  The how is through a spice grinder (many people use their coffee grinders for this purpose).  I figured since 1. I only need to grind up a little at a time,  2. I want to go cheap, and 3. I want to save electricity; I’d look for a manual spice grinder.

This is a photo of the Tulip Spice Grinder, which I picked up at Continue reading

Chiropractor to Olympians inventing new healing modality

Dean at clinic 3-2011He’s the Chiropractor to Olympians, rock stars, weekend athletes, kids, pregnant moms, and your grandma.  Dean Clark is always looking for new and better ways to alleviate pain and bring about better health. His expertise and great bedside manner have given him the privilege to be the Olympic Chiropractor to world-class athletes at THREE different Olympics (2000, 2008, 2012).  His rock star healer status has also caught the attention of actual rock stars who’ve flown him to their homes and/or on the road to treat them.  You’d think this kind of access would go to a guys’ head…but not Dr. Clark.  He’s the kindest, most down-to-earth Continue reading

Can our corporate grief help heal the world?

I’ve not read the actual news report.  I’ve not seen the pictures.  I don’t need to.  I feel what has happened through friends and family face book posts, have seen it today in the heavy footsteps and sad eyes of people on my walk to the post office box.  There is a corporate grief that transcends nations, language, religion, and political views. We all agree that innocent children should be safe.  We all agree our own children, the children in another state or another country – ALL children – should be safe, held, and loved. Continue reading

Sweet tradition: cookie day!

Cookie DayLooking for a holiday tradition that doesn’t involve drinking to excess, shopping into poverty, or watching TV until your eyes fall out?  Here’s all-age, interactive fun involving friends and/or family…and it ends with good times and sweet gifts for all.  My friend Sue Warner-Bean – who the tradition belongs to – tells the story in her own words:

Hi! Oh gosh yes — happy to have you share it with others. It has become a Really Big Deal for all of us, including the kids. Cookie Day started about Continue reading

Pet of the month club: animal fostering is fun!

Porcellino PigThis is a picture of Guinea Pig Porcellino (little pig in Italian) and her babies that we fostered for the Humane Society. She was pregnant when we first brought her home, and we fostered her through her pregnancy, birth, and 2 weeks afterwards so she could wean her babies.  What a lot of fun!

Some people choose to foster all animals, others choose just dogs, cats, or in our case just small rodents (rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs).  When you decide you want to foster, Continue reading

Book: The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon:  “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized.  “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.”  So she decided to do something about it – to research and apply happiness to her life.

With humor and insight, she chronicled her adventures during the 12 months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.  Since Rubin is a mom and loves her city, she didn’t uproot herself;  instead, she focused on improving her life as it was.

Her conclusions:  money CAN buy happiness when spent wisely, novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness, over ‘treating’ yourself can make you feel worse, and Continue reading

Cook a turkey in a solar oven

Who would have thought you could cook a turkey in a solar oven?  My how solar ovens have improved.  It wasn’t that long ago when the only solar ovens were the ones you made at home with a pizza box and tin foil.  Then, websites became available to donate solar ovens to people in countries with not much firewood, or who had trouble affording gas/oil/etc. for cooking.  Now, people in first world as well as third world countries can purchase and use solar ovens to bake, boil, and steam food, enhancing taste and benefitting Continue reading