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Spring Forward with Grace & Ease

Posted by earthygirl81 on March 20, 2019 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome First Day of Spring!!


Spring is the time for growth, movement, and coming back out into the world. We unfreeze from the stillness of the Winter Season- Kidney Organ & Water Element ready to Spring forward. For this blog entry I hope to provide some helpful suggestions for the Seasons start and how to bring balance into it this year.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, they look at the rhythms of nature and its cycles on how we should live, eat, and move through our lives. This observation of nature applied to daily living is True/Pure Wisdom of how the Divine/God/Universe intended for us to function.


As today is the first day of Spring lets take a look at the Liver & Gallbladder Organs and the Element of Wood as these rule the Spring season. The Liver is the Organ in the body that is in charge of the movement of Qi/Prana, which is the life force energy in the body. When this flow of energy gets disrupted imbalances can occur such as: feeling stuck, irritability, stiff neck and shoulders, PMS, alternating bowels (IBS like symptoms), gas, bloating, hormone issues, depression, anger, and so on.


A pathogenic influence to be mindful of as we enter into Spring is Wind, which is ruled by the Wood element, think of trees getting knocked over by storms/Wind. The Liver dislikes the Windy Climate and this is often increased in the season of Spring in most areas. Wind can create issues for many of us & manifest as colds, seasonal allergies, headaches, stiffness in neck, feeling dizzy, vertigo, off balance/bummping into things, itchy skin conditions, and tics (you know those pesky eye & muscle twitches, yep thats wind).  In Ayurvedic healing traditions this would be excess Vata Dosha that needs to be pacified/decreased. If these are affecting you consult a Certified Herbalist or Holistic Health Practitioner for guidance on getting back into balance.

See my services here for Kids & Teens~ https://www.phoenixrisingwellness.net/rising-stars

Here for Women~ https://www.phoenixrisingwellness.net/rising-women


Our dietary needs are shifting during this time as well as we start to transition from our winter diets of root veggies, warming foods, and soups to the lighter foods of Spring. Below are suggesting on foods to eat this season to support your Liver.


Suggestions for Mind, Body, Spirit for this Springs Season and bringing it in with Grace & Ease:


Body:

  • Eat these Yums~ Greens of all kinds- dandelion, collard, kale, mustard, turnips, beets, lemons, lemon, asparagus, squash, artichokes, parsnips, black beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, black beans, aduki beans, eggplant, papayas, apples, seaweed, bitter melon, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, banana, oranges, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar as dressing and flavoring, lettuce, bok choy, hummus, celery, burdock root, whole grains- millet, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, legumes & lentils.

  • Local honey for allergies (remember to get the one harvested during the Spring season)


  • If your prone to Liver Imbalance symptoms then limit the following foods: spicy foods, large amounts of raw foods and smoothies, fried and fatty foods/fast food, nuts and nut butters (large amounts can stagnant liver), too many avocados, cheese, dairy, coffee, sugar, cokes/sodas (these are full of sugar), caffeinated foods and drinks, iced drinks and cold foods, sugar, soy products, lamb, beef, fried foods, turkey, drugs and stimulates.


  • Teas~ Peppermint, Rose Petals, Chamomile

  • Essential Oils~ Peppermint, Rose, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Rosemary, Camphor. Lemon


  • Movement 30-60 minutes daily is ideal. yoga, walks in nature, gardening, dance, kayaking/canoeing, biking, tai chi, or whatever you enjoy


  • Get a massage or do a self-massage with warm Sesame Oil (your feet would love some attention)


Mind:

  • More green time and less screen time ~ The color of the Wood Element is Green, can you see why? IF not, get outside and look around


  • Play, Create, & Express~ The Liver needs expression and creativity to have a nice smooth flow of Qi. These are great outlets for anger, depression, and feelings of depression.



  • Acupuncture


  • Take a Vacation


  • Journal


  • Focus on Goals & new projects- Now is the time for action and movement


Spirit:

  • Start a Gratitude daily practice


  • Practice Meditation, prayer, & other spiritual practices daily


  • Reiki/Energy Healing


  • Journal


  • Let go of past hurts & anger

  • Use appropriate crystals to help bring in balance and healing


As Spring is the season of the seedlings to burst through the ground so must we.



With Gratitude,

Amber



Welcome this Winter Season with Grace & Ease

Posted by earthygirl81 on December 21, 2018 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome Winter! Today is your day.


Its the first day of Winter and Solstice. The days are dark and cold outside. This can take a toll on many of us, especially mentally. Todays blog is meant to help you understand the underlying reason why many of us suffer from increased depression, anxiety, and fear during the winter months and how to support yourself during this time.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, we are now entering the season of the Element Water and the Organs of the Kidneys and the Bladder. The connection between Water and Kidneys makes sense even in the Western thought of the Organs. Here the Kidneys are all about maintaining the body's fluid balance, water. Looking through the lens of TCM we see the organs as more energetic and connected to nature and the seasons.


In simple terms, our Kidneys hold our ancestral energy/jing/lifeforce passed down from our parents. This is the element and Organs in charge of the persons Will/Zhi, the sexual energy, and vitality in the body. Our Will is our personal motivation, that energy that helps us get shit done! The Element of Water has the ability to flow through and around all obstacles that it encounters. When are Water Element is out of balance or deficient we have a lack of will or ability to overcome obstacles in our lives.


Other aspects of the Water Element are its flavor of salt- which we know is also involved in fluid balance in the body, color black-think how we have darkest days of the year during this season, cold, direction of north, sound of groaning- like when we are extremely tired and have no vitaily, smell is putrid, body parts and orifices of the bones, bone marrow, ears, urethra, anus, & genitals. It manifest in the hair on the head, and it connected to the emotion fear as your adrenals sit on top of the Kidneys and release the hormones associated with fight, flight, & freight.


Thinking about water from a psychological, Freudian/Jungian perspective, I can see the connection between it and the subconscious. As the depths of the water pulls us down into ourselves into our most deepest and darkest fears- our subconscious. This is the same thought that TCM has regarding the Winter season and Water Element. It is the time for reflection, introspection, & hybration into oneself. The Water freezes and we become (or should) less active, slow down, and retreat to gather and preserve our strength the harshness of winter.


I have been taking about fear on my blog lately and how it feels like it is in the air. Because it is! Winter is here, you can keep running and fight nature or slow down and accept it and your truth. Its scary for us, even me, to slow down and take time for self-reflection and to get intune with our own selves. We typically hurry through our days running and hiding from pain and discomfort until the body manifest something and we can no longer able to escape ourselves. Fearful thoughts and emotions may come to the surface during this time, below are some nutritional and natural suggestions for embracing this winter season with grace & ease.


Nutrition & Supplement Support: Eat all cooked foods! Soups are wonderfully healthy and great all winter long. Foods to include in your diet: Parsnips, Squash, pumpkin, kale, mustard greens, butternut squash, beets, chards, winter squash, carrots, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, bell peppers, green beans, onions, leeks, green onions, fermented kimchi/sauerkraut/vegetable, beets, turkey, chicken, eggs, trout, lamb, duck, wild salmon,tilapia, kidney beans, black beans, legumes, adzuki beans, some beef , shrimp, goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, fig, peach, grapes, dates, cherries, coconut meat, raisins, lemons and lemon water, oats, brown rice, quinoa, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, goats milk and cheese, and coconut milk.


Think black foods and Kidney shaped foods associated with the Water Element.


Limit: raw cold foods or drinks (its cold lets keep you warm), sugar, and coffee.


Make sure and get enough B vitamins and D3 in your supplements.


Herbs & Spices: basil, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme,cumin, anise, dill, garlic, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, parsley, turmeric. These are available in tea, tincture, and capsules form at your local Natural foods store: Valerian Root, Kava Kava Root, Chai Tea, Eleuthero, Turmeric, Maca Root, specific herbs/formulas if needed.


Essential Oils: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cedarwood, sweet orange, lavender, & chamomile.


Lifestyle: Allow time to slow down and reflect, practice gratitude, journal, protect and keep your lower back warm- extra layers of clothes around this area or a haramaki are available as well, therapy, yoga, Tai Chi, spiritual practices, reiki, mediation, going for a walk, spending time in nature, acupuncture, exercise appreciate for your body, and get plenty of rest.


*Always consult a Herbalist and your Physician before taking any herbs and/or supplements.

Warming Winter Butternut Squash Recipe

Posted by earthygirl81 on December 11, 2018 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This recipe is great to warm the body up in the cooler seasons of Autumn and Winter.

Simple & Easy!

Ingredients & Equipment:

Butternut squash

Glass casserole dish with lid or aluminum foil to cover top

1/8-1/4 cup of water

Season with the Savory or Sweet & Warm ideas below.

Savory: Rosemary, thyme, sage, & marjoram

Sweet and warming: Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, & nutmeg

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Wash, cut squash in half, & scraping out seeds

3. Add squash & water into a glass casserole dish

4. Add Seasoning

5. Cover & bake for 40-45 minutes

6. Serve and Enjoy!



Autumn & the Effects of Nutrition on Our Moods

Posted by earthygirl81 on October 19, 2018 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Autumn & the Effects of Nutrition on Our Moods

Autumn is ruled by the Lungs/ Large Intestines Organs and the Element Metal in TCM. This is the time to release and let go of what no longer services us. The Metal Element also rules dryness in our bodies and the weather, direction of the West, color of white, flavor of spicy, rotten smell of decay, the nose/skin/ body hair, and the emotion of grief. Autumn can present to be challenging to many who struggle with letting go and releasing the old and by those sensitive to cooler and less sunny months of the year. Both of these Organs are connected to releasing in the outside world. The view on this release is beautiful as the Lungs are our connection to the outside world, we breathe in what we need and breath out what is old and no longer needed. The Large Intestines release substances that are useless after the nutrients has been absorbed by other organs in the body. In Western thought, we view Spring as time to release with Spring Cleaning. However, if we look to nature it is doing its releasing in the Fall with the leaves falling and the last Harvest before many plants die. Showing us how to send back to the earth what is dead to be transmuted into fresh life in the Spring, Pure Alchemy.


I often see many who struggle to release the old and get stuck and/or fight the feelings of grief. This can manifest in many ways such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, excessive crying/grieving, and holding on. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.”


As an Expressive Arts Holistic Health Counselor I look at the whole person I am working with and alternative ways to treat. This includes considering the changes of season and the effects it has on the mind and body. This helps me make suggestions for my kid and teen clients, and their parents regarding foods, herbs, and lifestyles changes.


As a Herbalist, I take the view that food is the people's medicine and its the first place I start with clients in my office. Here are some suggestions I use for creating a smoother transition into the Fall months ahead. Eat root vegetables (onions, carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes, beets, potatoes, yams, beets, sweet potatoes–if it grows underground, it is an Autumn food), whole grains, lentils and legumes, winter squash (Hubbards, pumpkins, spaghetti, acorn, butternut), meats (roast, bake or stew the meat and make up broths), autumn fruits(peaches, pears, nectarines, grapes and apples), and use herbs and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, thyme, sage, and garlic.


Remember its important to reduce stress and excessive worry, get out in nature, breath, and to exercise-build strength and muscle to protect you during the cold months ahead. Let go of what no longer is for your highest good with grace. Nurture yourself and get supportive services such as: therapy, acupuncture, reiki, massages, and whatever else works for you as soon as you notice any symptoms of depression start. Follow my blog and check my website for upcoming workshops to learn more nutrition and herbal tips.




Spring- Wood Element & Energy

Posted by earthygirl81 on March 21, 2018 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome Spring!

We have all missed you and have been awaiting your promise of new seedlings and sprouts of growth. With the spring equinox yesterday, March 20th, I was surprised to see inches of snow piled up on my car and on the grass this morning. No worries, we are well on our way to greener days. Speaking of greener days, did you know that green is the color of the Wood Element as we start to see green come alive all around us during Spring.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, we look to nature to guide our rhythms, diet, and lifestyle. As we are transiting from winter, the Water Element which is connected to our Kidneys, we step in the powerful energy of the Wood Element corresponding to the Liver and the Gallbladder Organs. This is the element that springs forth the energy for seedlings to burst through the ground after winters hibernation. The seeds were long planted like us during winter, as we went inside to nourish, recharge, and restore ourselves. I know I could feel myself ready to reconnect and come out this past week in a desire for spring energy in my life.


Transitioning from one season to another often causes imbalances for many of us. Especially moving into Spring which can flare up allergies for many people, the eyes are connected to the Liver Organ. Taking care of your body during this time and adjusting to the seasons rhythm can help.


First, let's talk briefly about how the Wood Element Energy feels and shows up for us. Wood energy needs to grow and move, our Liver and Gallbladder Organs are all about movement and the flow of our Qi in our bodies. Qi, in simple terms, is the vital life force, prana, and energy in each of us. The Liver makes sure this energy is moving smoothly in our bodies. When the Wood Element is in balance we are motivated and able to plan and move towards our goals. When out of balance or stagnated one can may feel stuck, depressed, angry, or frustrated.


Now, how do you bring balance to your life this Spring:


• Get Creative!!- Making art and music are wonderful outlets for healing and spring is the perfect time to do so. Wood energy loves movement (remember the Liver control the flow of Qi) so creating is a perfect healing tool. Try a painting or pottery class, learn to play an instrument, sing, or make Earth Art to help your Qi flow! Journaling is a great outlet and way to connect with yourself. Spice up your journal and create an Art Journal.

• Move Your Body- Exercise and movement are a great way to break through the ground of Winter Energy and Spring forward. Getting outside for a walk, hike, or to kayak so you can also connect you with nature. Yoga, dance, riding a bike, cleaning, tai chi, or joining a gym are also great ways to move your body. Movement will also help lower the increasing frustration levels with this Wood Energy.

• Eat Fresh- As its getting warmer outside we can start to add in fresh greens such as dandelion and chickweeds. Sour is the flavor of Wood so adding lemon to your morning water will help you detox your Liver. Olive oil & Vinegar dressing, pickles, fermented foods, and all greens are wonderful additions this Spring.

• Sleep- Get to bed by 11pm every night. The times of the Liver and Gallbladder Organs in TCM are 11pm-3am and is an important time to detox your body.

• Be Flexible- Just like the trees bend and sway with the wind, be flexible in your home and work lives. This can help lower stress and anxiety levels. Remember if a tree doesn't bend it breaks. Wood Element rules the muscles and ligaments of the body as many of us hold tense in our muscles, do yoga to increase flexibility. This flexibility is both mental and physical so practicing it on and off your mat is vital.

• Spiritual Practice- Try mediation, prayer, connecting with nature, or your personal religious practice. Even just 5-10 minutes a day of mediating and focusing on your breath can help you slow down, focus, and be more mindful.

• Herbal Support- Help the movement of Qi along with herbal & supplement support. You can find these herbs in tincture, tea, or capsule forms.


  • Rose Petals- Warming, PMS and Depression.


  • Albizzia- Neutral, anxiety, depression, and anger. We call this the happiness bark.


  • St. Johns Wort- Depression with anger, sciatica/nerve pain, and irritability


  • Peppermint- Cooling, Moves Qi, and helps with colds and flus.

 

  • Chrysanthemums- Cooling, great for dry/ red/ irritated eyes, anger, and irritability.


  • Lemon Balm- Cooling, colds/flus, depression, anxiety, colic, teething, irritable.


  • Orange Peel - Warming, indigestion, gas, loose stool, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite.


  • Liver supportive/detoxing herbs- dandelion root, milk thistle, and burdock root.


  • Magnesium powder is wonderful for insomnia, stress, and muscle aches.


Always consult with a Herbalist or Health Care Professional before starting any herbal medications or supplements.


Burst through the ground strong this Spring!

Amber




Welcome Winter with Grace & Ease

Posted by earthygirl81 on Comments comments (0)

Welcome Winter! Today is your day.


Its the first day of Winter and Solstice. The days get shorter, colder, and darker outside. This can take a toll on many of us, especially mentally. Todays blog is meant to help you understand the underlying reason why many of us suffer from increased depression, anxiety, and fear during the winter months and how to support yourself during this time.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, we are now entering the season of the Element Water and the Organs of the Kidneys and the Bladder. The connection between Water and Kidneys makes sense even in the Western thought of the Organs. Here the Kidneys are all about maintaining the body's fluid balance, water. Looking through the lens of TCM we see the organs as more energetic and connected to nature and the seasons.


In simple terms, our Kidneys hold our ancestral energy/jing/lifeforce passed down from our parents. This is the element and Organs in charge of the persons Will/Zhi, the sexual energy, and vitality in the body. Our Will is our personal motivation, that energy that helps us get shit done! The Element of Water has the ability to flow through and around all obstacles that it encounters. When are Water Element is out of balance or deficient we have a lack of will or ability to overcome obstacles in our lives.


Other aspects of the Water Element are its flavor of salt- which we know is also involved in fluid balance in the body, color black-think how we have darkest days of the year during this season, cold, direction of north, sound of groaning- like when we are extremely tired and have no vitaily, smell is putrid, body parts and orifices of the bones, bone marrow, ears, urethra, anus, & genitals. It manifest in the hair on the head, and it connected to the emotion fear as your adrenals sit on top of the Kidneys and release the hormones associated with fight, flight, & freight.


Thinking about water from a psychological, Freudian/Jungian perspective, I can see the connection between it and the subconscious. As the depths of the water pulls us down into ourselves into our most deepest and darkest fears- our subconscious. This is the same thought that TCM has regarding the Winter season and Water Element. It is the time for reflection, introspection, & hybration into oneself. The Water freezes and we become (or should) less active, slow down, and retreat to gather and preserve our strength the harshness of winter.


I have been taking about fear on my blog lately and how it feels like it is in the air. Because it is! Winter is here, you can keep running and fight nature or slow down and accept it and your truth. Its scary for us, even me, to slow down and take time for self-reflection and to get intune with our own selves. We typically hurry through our days running and hiding from pain and discomfort until the body manifest something and we can no longer able to escape ourselves. Fearful thoughts and emotions may come to the surface during this time, below are some nutritional and natural suggestions for embracing this winter season with grace & ease.


Nutrition & Supplement Support: Eat all cooked foods! Soups are wonderfully healthy and great all winter long. Foods to include in your diet: Parsnips, Squash, pumpkin, kale, mustard greens, butternut squash, beets, chards, winter squash, carrots, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, bell peppers, green beans, onions, leeks, green onions, fermented kimchi/sauerkraut/vegetable, beets, turkey, chicken, eggs, trout, lamb, duck, wild salmon,tilapia, kidney beans, black beans, legumes, adzuki beans, some beef , shrimp, goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, fig, peach, grapes, dates, cherries, coconut meat, raisins, lemons and lemon water, oats, brown rice, quinoa, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, goats milk and cheese, and coconut milk.

Think black foods and Kidney shaped foods associated with the Water Element.

Limit: raw cold foods or drinks (its cold lets keep you warm), sugar, and coffee.


Make sure and get enough B vitamins and D3 in your supplements.


Herbs & Spices: basil, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme,cumin, anise, dill, garlic, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, parsley, turmeric. These are available in tea, tincture, and capsules form at your local Natural foods store: Valerian Root, Kava Kava Root, Chai Tea, Eleuthero, Turmeric, Maca Root, specific herbs/formulas if needed.


Essential Oils: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cedarwood, sweet orange, lavender, & chamomile.

Lifestyle: Allow time to slow down and reflect, practice gratitude, journal, protect and keep your lower back warm- extra layers of clothes around this area or a haramaki are available as well, therapy, yoga, Tai Chi, spiritual practices, reiki, mediation, going for a walk, spending time in nature, acupuncture, exercise appreciate for your body, and get plenty of rest.


*Always consult a Herbalist and your Physician before taking any herbs and/or supplements.