The May long weekend officially launched camping season for us. Other than the stillness, fresh air and nature, my favourite part of camping is making pine needle tea!
We found out about pine needle tea in a wilderness survival book. Being a tea lover, I decided to give it a try. Plus, it has some amazing health properties:
More than 4 – 5 times the vitamin C content of lemons
High in the fat-soluble antioxidant Vitamin A
Anticatarrhal (reduces mucous) and antiseptic properties
This site has a great top 10 list of benefits. Apparently, “Taoist priests drank pine needle tea as they believed it made them live longer.” I’ll have a second cup, please!!
Making the tea is as easy as boiling a generous handful of pine needles in some water for about 20 minutes. I let it sit and cool for a while with the needles still in, to keep drawing out all of the good stuff.
Some pine needles can be toxic so avoid the Ponderosa, Norfolk Island and Yew variety of needles. I use red pine.
Also, avoid pine needles that could have come in contact with pollution and waste materials. The further out in nature, the better!
I knew our minds played a role in our health and overcoming illness but I admit I didn’t pay much attention to it until my friend shared this video. This women beat stage 4 ovarian cancer using a combination of conventional and alternative therapies and she placed a large focus on improving her emotional state. Amazing! You can read more about her story here.
“Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing – no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body’s ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.”
Lately, I can’t say I’ve been taking good care of my emotional self. I’ve been burying myself in work and side projects, to the point where I’ve been feeling numb and completely void of healthy emotions. The video is a good reminder that this aspect of our health should not be ignored.
I’m still working on nailing down my morning routine, which was a New Year’s resolution of mine. I’ve been implementing a few rituals but now I’m definitely going to add some mind work! A good first step for me will be to re-implement a 10 minute yoga and meditation practice before starting the day.
Also, the Emotional Freedom Technique keeps popping up whenever I’m online or meeting new people and I’m starting to wonder if it’s a hint! Anyone tried it?
I’m finally going to make good on my New Year’s Resolution and will be starting a detox tomorrow: the HOL:FIT Essential 30 Cleanse. Can’t wait!
Since this is my first ever detox, I’m going easy on myself… This detox/cleanse places a greater emphasis on supplementation and is extended over a 30-day period. I figure it will be a good, gentle introduction to detoxing and I’m looking forward to moving towards more intense cleanses someday.
The supplements used for this detox are from doTERRA’s cleanse + restore kit, which includes a multi-vitamin, land+sea oils, probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc. I have already been using many of these supplements with amazing results! My energy levels, mood and ability to manage stress have never been so great. I’m super excited to try the rest of them.
It also includes a series of self-care rituals to help the detoxifying process. I’ll be making good use of my tongue scraper and dry-skin brush!
I’ll be posting about my progress along with any improvements I may be experiencing. The process hasn’t even started yet but, as part of the prep work, I discovered I likely have candida overgrowth. That could explain some annoying and lingering health concerns I can’t seem to shake off…
Even as an adult, I find brushing my teeth to be the most annoying part of my self-care routine. Plus, there are so many ways to care for our teeth that I often find it overwhelming. I do the basics daily (brush and floss) but integrate other activities as much as possible without driving myself crazy (tongue scraping and oil pulling).
I use a few different types of homemade DIY toothpaste recipes and most are just one ingredient with an added essential oil. There are no specific proportions to these one-ingredient toothpaste recipes… I usually just use enough to cover the bristles and add more if necessary.
Coconut oil + 1 drop of pure, therapeutic grade clove and/or tea tree essential oil
Baking soda + 1 drop of pure, therapeutic grade clove and/or tea tree essential oil
Activated charcoal (I gently brush enough powder to cover my teeth, leave on 1 – 2 minutes and brush off with water – careful, this gets messy!)
I also keep a jar of re-mineralizing toothpaste on-hand and follow this recipe minus the cinnamon and clove powder.
I recently bought myself a tongue scraper. An even cheaper option is to use a spoon but I thought I would do it more regularly if I got the actual tool for it. I really like the tongue scraper but, unfortunately, I still only use it randomly 🙂
My gums love it when I oil pull. I have super sensitive gums and they get irritated quite rapidly if I don’t oil pull for a while. My favourite is to oil pull with coconut oil and one drop of an essential oil.
I haven’t met many people familiar with buckwheat pancakes or “galette de sarrasin” as we called it when I was growing up. It’s definitely one of my favourite breakfast options. To some, it may be an acquired taste but I always loved its strong and unique flavour even as a kid. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered it also has impressive health benefits.
A few fun health facts about buckwheat:
It is not a grain but actually a seed.
It is gluten-free and non-allergenic.
It ranks low on the glycemic scale.
It has more protein than most grains.
The pancake is sweetened with blackstrap molasses, which has its own nutritional value. Unlike refined sugar, this sweetener is rich in vitamins and minerals. (Side note: I actually put way more molasses than pictured above!)
1 ¾ cups of water
1 cup of buckwheat flour
½ tsp of baking powder
Pinch of salt
Blackstrap molasses (to serve)
Butter (to serve)
Cast iron skillet
Pre-heat skillet on medium heat. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and start with a small pancake as a test. Sometimes, the first pancake sticks to the pan and doesn’t turn out but the next one will. Pancake is ready to flip when it bubbles and the edges start curling up. Spread some butter on top (optional) and pour blackstrap molasses. Makes about 8 thin pancakes.
For some reason, I always feel really good after eating “galette”. Never too full, but satiated for a long time. Must be the health benefits…
These past couple of years, I’ve definitely noticed my hormones going out of whack. The second half of my cycle is often a rollercoaster of uncomfortable physical symptoms and emotions.
A naturopath had recommended seed cycling a few years ago as a food-based way to support my hormones and I did it for a few months but quit because I didn’t feel like I needed it at the time. If only I knew then…
“… integrates different seeds into the diet at different times in the menstrual cycle to support optimal hormonal balance. The idea is that seeds carry certain oils, vitamins, and nutrients that can help support the body’s production, release, and metabolism of hormones. The seeds used in seed rotation are flax and pumpkin seeds, and sesame and sunflower seeds.”
So here’s the routine…
Day 1 to 14
1 tbsp freshly ground flax seeds
1 tbsp freshly ground pumpkin seeds
Day 15 to 28
1 tbsp freshly ground sunflower seeds
1 tbsp freshly ground sesame seeds
And so my smoothies will include two more ingredients as of tomorrow 🙂
I’m also going to keep supporting my hormones in other ways using clary sage essential oil and magnesium supplementation.