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Until I was about 27, I really wasn't that into blogs. I never sat, curled up with mug in hand and pup at my side, drooling over endless food porn photo streams and dreamy travel blogs feeling absolutely transported. Everyone seemed to have a blog about something, and that just wasn't part of my often already computer filled day. Eventually, friends of mine started blogs and I began to check out theirs, and then sort of naively stumbled down the vast rabbit hole that is natural health blogs, food blogs, travel blogs, sustainability blogs, camping blogs....oh my god the list just goes on. I started getting really inspired, and felt like a whole new world was opening up (hello, www. It's like we never met before then?) When I had this weird (and kind of unnatural, for me) urge to start a blog of my own, I fought the temptation for a while, until one day, I just didn't anymore. I think it's because of so many other folks who shared their gifts of knowledge that somehow matriculated into my home and my brain, settling in for frequent one sided chats about their creative projects, foods, and philosophies. It's amazing how connected we can seemingly feel even when we're so far away. The cyber community can be intricately tight - like it's own extended community. And that's kind of beautiful. 

Over the past 3 years, there have been a few blogs that have just blown my mind. Website that I constantly frequent, and often refer other folks to check out for recipes, products, style or just straight up solidly good information. Creatives with products that I love to support (and just get so giddy with happiness to see them successful), or philosophies I really resonate with, or with insanely good recipes (that are crazy allergen friendly) that are now part of my sweet and slow Saturday morning cyber visiting routine. Below is a brief list, filled with some amazing people I've come to really admire that I just wanted to leave right here, for you to peruse too, and get swallowed up by their beauty...

For the Foods:

Will Frolic For Food - Drooling over Renee's food AND her photos on a weekly basis. 

My New Roots - Revolutionary Pancakes are almost a weekly staple. 

Local Milk 

Nutrition Stripped - Blissed out black bean burgers are on my table at least once a month. Also, beautifully articulated nutrition info!

Vidya Living - juices, smoothies and SOUPS. 

My Darling Lemon Thyme

Marte Marie Forsberg - for her cottage kitchen recipes and her absolutely gorgeous visual storytelling

The Forest Feast

101 Cookbooks -Her new cookbook, Near & Far, is probably the most beautiful cook book I've ever owned

Herbal Goodness and Goddesses:

Wooden Spoon Herbs - Herbal product beauty

Gaia Herbs - Amazingly top notch herbal products (and herb farm!)

Avena Botanicals - Herb sourcing, sustainable grown herbal medicine and beautiful herb farm. 

Urban Moonshine - Bitters for the people!

Zack Woods Herb Farm - top notch herb farm and supplier for herbalists <3

Camille Freeman - my nutrition professor and sweet friend (video tutorials for the nerdy physiology for hippie folks too!)

Bevin Clare - my herbal medicine professor and sweet friend (with a clinical herb blog that is just spot on). 

Natural Beauty:

Marble & Milkweed

RMS Beauty

Badger

Evan Healy

Juniper Ridge

Sustainability & Holistic Living/Style:

An Unhurried Life 

Pure Green Magazine

Reading My Tea Leaves

Ashley Neese

Free + Native

Elizabeth Suzann - those textiles....

Prana - (recycled) wool sweaters all winter long. 

The Reformation 

Nisolo - their Harper Chukka & Oliver oxford are my wardrobe staples, any season. 

Beautifully Crafted Things:

Suite One Studio

St. Signora

Peg & Awl - keeping my work place a little rustically whimsical....also, beautifully made, sturdy work bags come with me every day. 

With Lavender & Lace

What blogs and makers do you really love? I'd love to hear your recommendations!


In Mid-August, we enter into one of my favorite times of year. It's that hot and sweltering time here in the south when the air is heavy and stagnant, the humidity is high, and the botanical abundance is so ripe. It's a time of harvesting, sharing and storing as we slowly approach the impending fall. I like to refer to this as a season in itself - Late Summer, the 5th season. Just a few weeks, from mid August to early September, is all that this season requires, and during this time it feels like a huge reflection of my entire year. I get to see the the enormous growth of a garden that I cultivated from tiny seeds full grown veggies. I get to consciously harvest this space teeming with nutrients, transform those foods into a delicious meal, and share it with my family. Everything that was so mindfully cultivated months ago is now, physically, part of my body. And that circle of transformation is truly magical. 

I've been thinking a lot over the past year about things that positively influence our health that we are not necessarily able to quantifiably measure. It's so easy to get bogged down in reviewing lab work, hormone panels, nutrient profiles and measurable data, that we often neglect the more subtle things that profoundly influence the body. I call these "Sensory Nutrients", and over the past 3 years of working with clients I've noticed big shifts once we start to pay attention to things like this and implement them into daily routines. I'm talking about the subtle things that fill up our senses and make us feel blissed out. Things like cuddling with your dog, or kissing the top of your babe's head, or walking barefoot in the garden or forest bathing. Sure, we can probably notice dopamine spikes, a calming of the central nervous system and even decreased blood pressure with all of these things - but they also influence the psyche, and this is an area often overlooked by most people - and it's such an integral part of our health to nurture. 

Nutrition and health is more than just the nutrients and calories that we take in. It's everything that the body experiences - even the smells and sensory emotions that are soaked in from the cultivation process. My absolute favorite part of late summer (or any season, honestly) is the sensory experience of "Petrichor" - the smell of earth after rain. That delicious, grounding and nurturing smell of life from the forest, or from the garden, or even from the hot sticky sidewalks. The rain that cools off the heaviness of the summer air and that makes the soil soft and warm and teeming with little worms and microbes is such a relief. When I take moments to deeply inhale this part of late summer, it feels akin to eating a nourishing bowl of veggies or kitchari. Our brain is wired for bliss, and the moment of that inhale nourishes my body much the same as any nutrient. Connecting to the source is so important, because if we're disconnected from the earth that nourishes us, we certainly won't last long. 

After the rain this past weekend, I waded out into my late summer garden and tore much it apart. The squashes and peppers and greens and cukes and beets have passed their prime and it was time for a clearing. It's a cathartic feeling but a grieving one too. I'll miss seeing my backyard garden flooded with greens and bright green plants. I'll miss the harvesting process and the absolutely wild messiness that happens when I don't bother weeding. But I'll have that sensory emotion of Petrichor throughout every season, and it helps me remember those late summer moments, and look forward to it all over again next year. Go outside during the next rain and take it all in. It's delicious, and one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.  What are some of your favorite sensory nutrients? 

Some days - I hardly make it outside for more than 10 minutes. It's atrocious, I know. When some days are spent entirely in the office, or at conferences, or in front of the computer screen, or prepping orders, or basically subject to a cerebrally confined space, my brain feels it. We can all relate to the feeling of taking a deep breath of fresh, crisp mountain air, or feeling the expansive awakening of the ocean breeze, or the calm still of a forest meditation. Our brain is wired for bliss, and it's those moments of pure, magical connection when our brain gets a complete rejuvenation, an awakening like none other. When we go long periods without this awakening and stillness, it's noticeable and kind of numbingly painful. Creative thinking fades to the recesses of our brain. Motivation becomes dampened and fleeting. The soft eyes through which we should view the world become a little harder and more judgmental. All, in part, because the brain is just foggy, stuck, and confined. 

Short of quitting the day job for more adventurous time spent outside (although, definitely encouraged if you can), there is an herbal ally that I depend on for days like these to support my brain, nourish my nerves and provide that precious cerebral creativity that recedes when it goes unused. Milky Oat Tops (Avena sativa) provide just that. This simple plant offers so much both medicinally and nutritionally. The spikelets are the flowering bodies in the process of growing the mature seed. Just before they get to the mature seed, they grow through a "milky stage", often in the spring (and if you want to tincture oats, this is the stage you want to do it). Just after this stage, the oat straw remains and is a fantastic source of minerals for making tea. The rolled starchy endosperm (oatmeal) is the mature seed and what can be eaten as food. Rich in beta glucans (soluble fiber), Avena also contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, zinc, Vitamins A, C, E & K, as well as amino acids and B-complex vitamins. The milky oat tops have a sweet flavor, with a moistening and neutral energetic suitable for almost every constitution. It really shines as a nervine tonic that's moderately stimulating and as a neurotrophorestorative (brain tonic) and meant to be used long term - at least 4-6 weeks to replenish energy and effect the body. 


I find milky oats to be ideal for the deeply exhausted individual. One who's been disconnected from their creative source for too long a time, stuck indoors or pushed beyond their mental capabilities for too long. I often see this pattern with young entrepreneurs, new parents, or generally the vata individual who take on more pitta roles that they are not physically or emotionally equipped to handle. This may also show up as weakened, debilitated nervous exhaustion with low libido, slow recall, forgetfulness, tiredness that gets worse as the day progresses, weepiness at the end of the day, dull headaches, and that "blah" mental malaise feeling. All of these patterns need time and intention to build back up - these are not quick fix issues. That's why milky oat tops need to be taken tonically for several weeks - to build up your system and nourish the body from a deeply core level. 



Here is my formula for Magical Milky Oat Brain Tonic Tea, designed to support and enhance brain activity, nourish your nervous system, fill the body with nutrients and increase peripheral blood flow. This can be taken daily, multiple times per day and can be consumed indefinitely! There are two methods of prep depending on the season: a hot infusion or an overnight steep and sipped chilled or room temperature the next day (for those hotter summer days). 

Magical Milky Oat Brain Tonic Tea (hot infusion)

2 grams Milky oat tops (well ground)

 1 gram Nettle leaf

 0.5 gram Red Clover tops

 0.5 gram Rosemary

Combine all ingredients in a tea strainer and cover with 2 cups hot water. Let steep, covered, for 12 minutes. Strain and sip consciously. 

 

Magical Milky Oat Brain Tonic Tea (overnight infusion)

4 gram Milky oat tops (well ground)

 2 gram Nettle leaf

 1 gram Red Clover tops

 1 gram Rosemary

Place all ingredients in the bottom of a quart mason jar and cover with 4 cups room temperature, filtered water. Place a loose lid on top, and let sit overnight (at least 6 hours). Strain in the morning, and sip consciously throughout the day

 

HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

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