Monthly Archives: January 2016

herbs: withania somnifera for stress and insomnia

You may find this interesting

Here’s my general thoughts on using herbs.

I was friends with the wife of and with Jim McDonald (quoted in article). I didn’t get into using herbs very much and have never had a real consultation with an herbalist. But, that’s only circumstantial (busy lady as I am) and I have other health problems that I have to solve for myself. I certainly still consider herbalism for some things and may end up there, yet. And, "Chinese Medicine" could fit this too, it’s just that the herbs that the Chinese medicine doctor will give you have a different name, are most likely native to China, etc. American herbalism deals more with herbs that grow natively here. The knowledge is being sought from the Native Americans as well as explored anew by enthusiasts like Jim McDonald and his lot.

If you are going to take herbs, I think that they should be treated as medicine and you should have a consultation with an herbalist. Pay them as you would pay a doctor and you should find they are thorough and begin to understand your constitution and you may walk away with several herbs you should take all together to fit your whole picture.

The herbs should be of good quality and proper preparation. Herbs often work as nutritional support. The plants should be grown with love or properly harvested in the wild at the correct time for the plan to be harvested. There are some good brands you can buy off the shelf such as HerbPharm and Eclectic Institutes and some others.

If it’s in capsules and you bought the cheapest ones, while it came from a living plant and may be 2 years old by the time you got it, how can you know if it could have been effective if you had good, potent herbs?

We are often looking for one single miracle pill, but with an herbalist consultation, you may be able to look at yourself wholistically and take stock of some things in your life that can help you solve your health problem.

Herbalism is a paradigm of supporting vitality and continued learning.

If you are drawn to the description of what the herb is good for in the article link above, maybe it’s for you.

supplement against farts

An unique article about beans or how farts are made:

I like this note at the end, for the lazy version.

"A note for those who positively cannot stand eating beans: I do have some clients that just can’t seem to choke them down. Psyllium husk powder is soluble fiber. You can substitute two teaspoons of psyllium husk powder for one-half cup of beans and it is just as effective. Remember it is the frequency of consumption that is important."

Groundhog Day is coming!

Do you have any traditions on Groundhog Day?

I started a new tradition for my family for Feb 2.  For a couple of years now I make fudge with the kids. Why?  Because my Grandpa made

I am not busy.

I am not busy.

Or, at least I am thinking hard about how not to be busy. And, I have to say, I am starting to get there.

“Isn’t ‘Lazy’ a negative connotation? Do you want your blog to be associated with ‘lazy’?”

Well, I think most of us are either workaholics or driven extrinsically to do too much. But, I’ll just speak for myself here. I’m both. So, when trying to be as Lazy as possible, it all works out in the end. I’m still doing stuff. I hardly ever get to eat bon bons. I rarely watch television of any kind.

That’s fine. What I’m shooting for is a lot more:

  • sleep
  • reading
  • sitting (alone or near someone I like cuddling with)
  • gentle exercises I learn in physical therapy
  • walking outdoors

Get inspired by this quick blog post from the Marriage Geek family therapist:

Make your game a winnable game. Set the bar “lower.”

P.S. Do I wonder what would happen if everyone became so low-key, lazy, and less “productive”? Yep. But, let’s not argue about whether this is for everyone. This is for parents and caretakers, especially the person most responsible for taking care of children and elderly. Because if you are, then you are already doing [one of] the most important jobs in the world. I’m not going to worry about whether the world will come to an end if I sit down. I think I’ll notice it before it gets that bad. For now, I’m calming the world down one person at a time, starting with myself, and osmotically, the other 3 people I live with.

It’s fast casual Mediterranean!

Like Chipotle restaurants?

Try Naf Naf Grill.

It’s awesome. Check for locations near you.

Downtown Minneapolis. Eden Prairie. Also coming soon to Maple Grove and Mall of America.

Rachel needs YOUR opinion on a calendar!


Do you have a (paper) calendar system that works well?

Please describe tools and processes you use to manage family appointments. Please describe how you remind yourself for appointments.

I’ve kept the Google calendar app on Android phone. But I have been missing appointments or inputting them onto the wrong date in that app (didn’t used to happen, but the new interface lends itself to this user error). I rely on my phone too heavily. I need to have a better place to record the appointment. And I’d like a way of reminding myself. If I have multiple appointments per day, or for really any other reason I can get momentarily distracted and totally forget an appointment.

I didn’t used to be this spacey. I need a system that helps me pay attention as well as be reminded when my attention gets diverted.


Estrogen balancing

Here’s a quick and dirty take on some of the reading that I’ve been squeezing in on why I may/probably experience PMS (the true definition is the classic mood symptoms a couple of days before the onset of menstruation, but doesn’t include the physical symptoms like cramps), as well as a bit of PMS type symptoms at the first drop in estrogen just after ovulation in the day 14-16 range. I also get small clots in my period and fatigue slowly growing over the past few years. I tend toward cravings and also allergies (food sensitivities, hives in the past before I started understanding and making changes). Magnesium deficiency. There are many symptoms, so do some reading at the end of this post and educate yourself on this common problem of too much estrogen in your body.

So, the story goes like this: the symptoms (and many others) are likely due to "estrogen dominance." And, while progesterone naturally helps to balance out estrogen, there’s not a lot to be done when the estrogen is very high due to sources coming from the diet and environment. There’s just not a good way for the body to be able to balance the onslaught of xenoestrogens or phytoestrogens (from plants). We can try to detox the liver, but that is more difficult if you just keep putting in the estrogens–it is difficult to keep up.

So, while my focus on trying to eat more Paleo-style (although by no means letting this become stressful, just working more at it), I have a little to-do list.

Maintain my reverse osmosis system for all water we drink.

exercise, lower stress and stay fit.

I decided not to do the seed regimen anymore.

I will try to do the lemon water in the morning.

Continue raw saurkraut* (Bubbie’s brand)

Also, I haven’t been good about avocados, but I will try to add more of those, and more broccoli and cauliflower.

I’ll stay on psyllium capsules.

And, I started B complex this past month and I think I’m doing well with that.

Stay on the Bone Up multi-mineral containing zinc and copper. (Learn more about copper relationship to PMS and how my supplements/diet may be affecting PMS)

Stay on my magnesium (as if I need encouragement to do that. It’s critical!)

Again, I think adding Vitamin E is next on my list. That is supposed to help with making progesterone, and for years I’ve noticed that it is often recommended as a basic supplement for various reasons.

I like to eat out but I may be more careful now. I’m not even sure what to eat at restaurants! But not soy. And, not breaded/fried foods.

Steer clear of caffeine. I already know I am sensitive to coffee, but according to the articles, all of us should steer clear of caffeine. I have seen many opinions back and forth on coffee always citing different reasons for and against. But, when I look at estrogen dominance, I now think of it as one of my primary "lenses" through which I look to make lifestyle decisions. I am thinking of what my children eat also and will educate them over the years about this. Neither boys nor girls will do well with extra estrogens.

If your interest in piqued, try these articles:


Feeding your soul

It’s good to know, or be learning, what kind of body you have. If you are female, you might be an Emotions Based Organism. ¹
From my experience, as an EBO, I have learned to avoid things that work like bad drugs for my operating system. Stuff like sappy/sad/negative music lyrics. Violent movies. Movies with themes too far out of reality in the romance field. It’s tricky, because everyone has their own shempa². But it is best to keep things out of your life that stuck too much.

Do you seek simplicity? Do you apply that to the things that feed emotions? Are you honest with yourself? Can you harness the energies of the best choices for you?

¹Alison Armstrong
²Pema Chodron

Tri-Core Pillow for Sleeping Spine Alignment

Tri-Core pillowPillow for supporting the spinal alignment

I just ordered this pillow and can’t wait to try it!  I did order mine on Amazon and it was a better price, but the information on the manufacturer’s website is much more detailed so I will link directly there. Core Products International Pillows are made in U.S.A.  There are competitive products made by Body Sport and others on Amazon (look in the Related Products when viewing this product).

There is something called the Proper Pillow, but it seems like a rip off, both in that it is one-size fits all, probably developed to get in on the market, but Core Products looks like a company that is more dedicated to providing a lot of different products to fit different people and a variety of problems. I want to work with Core Products because if my pillow doesn’t exactly work I think they will be able to help me get into the right product for me. Plus, their products are half the price of the Proper Pillow.



What’s your best bedtime?

Just enter in your wake-up time, and the calculator will give you a bedtime that ensures you wake up between REM sleep cycles.

Also, the first 4 hours of sleep need to start before 10:00 pm so that you don’t stimulate the liver to dump glycogen. If it does that then the next day you will be tired and crave carbs. Terrible for fat loss and endocrine health. Feel free to ping me as often as possible this year while I try to make myself go to bed before 10 p.m. every night. I feel like it’s the #1 thing we stumble on that could really improve our health. For sure I’m guilty.