Subscribe


For November, this recipe is my ultimate go-to breakfast as the days become busier and my house starts to fill up with visitors and guests for the holidays. This savory autumn porridge with fresh garden rosemary and pears is incredibly easy, affordable and feeds a crowd all in one go! Food is on everyone's mind this month, and as the beginning of the holiday season sets in, your house may have been the designated gathering place for friends and family towards the end of the month. With people to entertain, feed and visit with, breakfast is usually the last thing on your mind when you're busy planning and preparing more complex meals. That's why I love this quick and easy savory porridge. Made with steel cut oats, fresh herbs and seasonal pears, this is a one-pot breakfast that can feed a crowd, simmer on the stove and stay warm as folks roll out of bed, and feels like pure morning comfort on these chilly autumn mornings. I love using these simple yet fancy bowls from Suite One Studio + I always keep this stunningly gorgeous galaxy blue platter on my table during the holidays with fresh fruits, nuts, nibbles and snacks. Get the recipe on the Suite One Studio Blog this month ---> 

This post is sponsored by my fiends at Mountain Rose Herbs

Dreams are half of our lives. Our most personal and private lives. Tucked away between the twilight hours of dusk and dawn, the possibilities of dreams are limitless and never confined to the self imposed restrictions of waking life. I sometimes feel like if I didn't have any biological needs to be awake, I would stay in dreams indefinitely. For as long as I can remember, my dreams have been remarkably vivid, adventurous, and deeply emotional. My first dream journal entry is dated October 12, 1995. I was nine years old, and that night I went on a mysterious swamp venture through dark and murky channels, heavy hanging Spanish moss all around. Everything was green and gray, and there were castle ruins sunk to the bottoms of the swamp with a maze of broken walls jutting out of the bottomless black water. I was looking for a friend that was lost in the swamp without a raft, likely holed up in the bigger castle ruins that seemed so far away I'd never make it. I kept making wrong turns, hitting dead ends and would erupt in these surges of anger and frustration that I couldn't do anything right...I'd never make it no matter how hard I tried. My little raft was falling apart in little pieces every time I got angry. I remember having the feeling that if I didn't keep it together, I'd get lost in that swamp forever too, and no one would come looking for me. When I woke up from that dream riddled with failure, I wrote it all down. I read over it now and it's all just as vivid as the night it first happened. At the end of the entry, I noted that all I wanted to do now was continue going back to keep trying. I couldn't just leave my friend in that dark, abysmal subconscious swamp. And who was that friend anyway? I fell asleep every night for months afterwards trying to have the same dream, but it didn't happen again until February of the following year. 

In between, I wrote down all of the my dreams. I dreamt of carnivals, a cancelled Christmas, endless seas of white sand dunes I had to keep climbing, having to take a math test for a class I'd never been to, sailing in a green sea with Prince Caspian, being killed in a huge battle, flying kites at the beach, planting a tree on my own planet (shortly after I read The Little Prince, I imagine), and making a river out of crunchy fallen leaves. There were dozens of others, and I have them all written down. Hundreds of hours of my childhood are all document and I would never remember it otherwise. My dream life then (and now) was way more adventurous than my waking life ever seemed, and it was all mine. I never had to tell anyone what I was up to. Every now and then, I'd have the most amazing lucid dream. In the middle of some weird part of my adventure, I'd realize I was dreaming and immediately try to fly and it worked every time. I hoped I could do that if I ever got back to the swamp.

My cousin taught me a trick during that span of time to recognize when I was dreaming. Everyday, at least 10 times a day, I should stop what I was doing, look at my hands and ask myself, "Am I dreaming? How did I get here". I'd get into the habit so much  in waking life that I would eventually do it while I was dreaming, and soon enough I could do that every night in my dreams. I repeated this hand practice all the time at school, as practice of course, but also to remind myself that life wasn't always this boring. Around January, I would go to sleep at night knowing I'd figure out I was dreaming and be able to do anything I like. Finally, one night in February, I ended up back in the swamp on the same raft in the same murky maze looking for the same person. I was in the dream a long time before I remembered the trick. I had lost my temper so many times before then that I barely had a raft left to float on. Once I realized I was dreaming, I just took off flying towards that larger castle ruins (made good time, too) and abandoned my emotionally frail raft. I made it to the ruins and started looking around, through all of the corridors and empty abandoned rooms...the place was silent except for the sound of bullfrogs that echoed everywhere like a song. I looked and looked. There was nothing. Empty. The feeling of having something or someone to find completely left, and I was overwhelmed with disappointment. All that for nothing. Just wake up. You failure

.... 

....... but I did make progress. 

My cedar chest is full of old dream journals. I've kept them since that first swamp trip. They're packed with every spectrum of emotion, all of the highs and lows. Failure. Anger. Lust. Love. Fear. Elation. Longing. Hope. Hopelessness. Despair. Excitement. Dread. They are all just as real as waking life. I've just paid attention to thousands more hours of them. They're my stories. My whole life. Now that I'm older, though, that hand trick doesn't always work for me anymore. I'll just forget, or be so consumed by a dream I won't even consider it an option. But I still want those lucid dreams sometimes...and I eventually (and accidentally) found a new trick with a lucid dreaming herb - Mugwort.  

For the past few years as I've gotten to intimately know herbs, I've been crafting a dreaming tea blend that I drink before bed to encourage lucid dreams (although it doesn't always do the trick). It's a combination of mugwort, chamomile, passionflower, spearmintoatstraw and orange peel. The chamomile and passionflower help to relax my mind, calm my body and slow me down from the fast pace of a busy day. The oatstraw replenishes my body with it's building nervine quality and gentle nutrients. The orange peel is a hint of zingy aromatic flavor and the spearmint just smells like a dream. And the star of this celestial blend is the mugwort itself. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) has a mystical history as one of the most magical herbs - used for protection mostly, and named for the Greek goddess Artemisia, the goddess of the hunt and the forest and the hills. I've found that mugwort sometimes helps me to slip into lucid dreaming more easily...perhaps because as an adult, I'm more far removed from my ethereal imagination than I was was a child. This autumnal dreaming blend is one of my favorites to create. I blend up a large batch and use it up for several weeks. The addition of the celestial tea strainer is particularly fitting. 

When I imbibe in this dreaming tea, it usually always takes me to the forest with a swift stream and large, towering trees. It's become one of my favorite dreamscapes to visit. It's calm and beautiful and always autumn. I like it most because when I'm here, the only emotions I feel are happy and safe and calm. There are no tasks or expectations or fear or uncertainty. It's just my magical place. With mugwort, each person has their own experience, and I'm always curious where this dream blend will take you, too. 

Autumnal Lucid Dreaming Tea

2 tsp mugwort
1/2 tsp chamomile
1/2 tsp passionflower
1/2 tsp orange peel
1/2 tsp spearmint
1/2 tsp oatstraw
Serves 1

Add dried herbs into a tea strainer in your favorite mug and cover with 2.5 cups hot water. Let steep for 10 minutes, covered. Strain and sip consciously 1 hour before bedtime in a quiet and calm space, letting the aroma fill your senses and ease your mind. 

 

This post is sponsored by my friends at Mountain Rose Herbs. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It is my goal to use and recommend only the highest quality herbal products from companies that I wholly trust and fully support. Industry standards including sustainable harvestingquality controlorganic / fair trade standards and responsible sourcing are all things I care deeply about when working with herbs and herbal companies. I have been using Mountain Rose Herbal products for almost a decade, and have always been so impressed with their commitment to environmental stewardship. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to make this blog possible. 

Photography by moon sister Renee Byrd


A few recents that have been brain splurges over the past several weeks...

Books

Small Wonder: Book of Essays - Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite writers and I love every single one of her novels. Her book of essays I came across in a used book store several months back and absolutely fell in love with her short stories and essays. Published shortly after 9/11, her thoughts on international politics, human behavior, genetic engineering and ultimately big world catastrophes are so eloquently paralleled in her enviable ability to appreciate the little things all around her. Like the bees in her vegetable garden. Her daily challenges of motherhood. Her obstacles a writer. Her interactions with the living world. When the trajectory of the world is looking so incredibly grim (still, now), she adds a thoughtfulness and shift in thinking that puts a smile on my face, every time I read her work. 

The Balance Within: The Science of Connecting Health and Emotions - This has been a fun read (taken me a while to get through, but awesome nonetheless). It's a research based dive into how our emotional body is intricately and forever connected to our physical body and how imbalance and disease are undoubtedly closely tied with our emotional health. It's one of those "duh" concepts, and for centuries we've known this (and intuitively, every single one of us knows this to be true), but proving things (especially medical things) takes a while to catch up to human intuition. Seeing as how 99% of the people I see clinically have a huge stress component to their health story, this has been a spot on reference and resource in how we can support our physical body with emotional and stress therapy. Highly recommend. 

Outlander (Dragonfly in Amber) - I know, I'm way behind on this series. I've been traveling so much in September and October that Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber have been so fun to read in the car for hours and hours and during downtime. I read Outlander probably 5 years ago and forgot everything about it other than I thought I liked it, so I read it again and totally loved it. Obviously, I mean - historical fiction, Scotland, herbal medicine, time travel, adventure. It's a total brain escape...and I like excessively long book series' I can binge on for a few months. 

Walden: Life in the Woods -  I read this book every year in the fall, cover to cover, and have since high school. It's my favorite drawing inward book, perfect for this season when I start to feel more hermit-ish and crave being out in the woods by myself for days at a time. I adore this book and all of the detailed descriptions of slower life. #goals. 

Podcasts

Becoming Wise - After my total obsession with the On Being podcast it's been no surprise that I've been loving Becoming Wise. It has a similar theme but dives a little deeper into questions and actions surrounding how we create more thoughtful and intentional lives. Embracing our many differences, recognizing how trauma affects our inner spirit, tapping into our innate curiosities, cultivating compassion...every single episode and interview makes me re-think how I've been thinking about emotions and interactions my whole life. Also awesome - Creating our Own Lives

She Explores : Women in the Outdoors - Oh my gosh this podcast is amazing. For someone who has constant travel lust this podcast is so inspirational and encouraging to get out there and go it alone (if you don't have a travel buddy, that's OK!). It interviews women who have traveled all over the world, hiked the long trails and grow their souls outside. They speak on their fears, their courage, their challenges, their emotions and their epiphanies. Total badassery. 

What are you reading this fall? Do you have a favorite genre for the season? This is by far my favorite time of year to curl up with a hot cup of tea, a cozy blanket and my pup at my feet and dive into a few good books! 

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

Subscribe

Subscribe for exclusive discounts & newsletters

The Book Bindery Building
2201 West Broad Street. Suite 107
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 977-2634

LINDSAY(at)GINGERTONICBOTANICALS.COM
 2014-2017© GINGER TONIC BOTANICALS  |  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WEBSITE DESIGN BY INDIE SHOPOGRAPHY