Katie

HOW TO STAY CALM AND COOL WITH LEMON BALM LEMONADE

Hey folks! I recently wrote a blog post for The Herbal Academy for a popular summer drink recipe. I added one of my favorite herbs- lemon balm for a calming and tasty twist. Read some of my post below and catch the rest and the recipe on the Herbal Academy blog! 

 

Are you ready for the summer heat? In this post, I’ll show you how to make lemon balm lemonade. Stay calm, cool, and hydrated all summer long with this herbal twist on an old favorite.

Summer Days

 

While summer is a time of lazy days and longer nights, it can also be busy and full of activity. Combining herbal infusions and superfoods like raw honey and detoxifying lemons will not only allow you to enjoy easy summertime living, but will also prepare your body for a lot of fun in the sun! Need a break from busy end of the school year activities with the kids? Are picnics, summer camp, and vacation planning making you feel frazzled? Are you looking for a perfect refreshing beverage to serve at a summer event? If so, you may find a soothing glass of lemon balm lemonade to be the perfect compliment.

 

Lemon Balm Benefits: Calming and Soothing

 

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is one of my favorite herbs. Although it is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), it has a natural lemony flavor and smells so light and uplifting!

 

Lemon balm is often used for anxiety, nervous conditions, mild depression (Chevallier, 2000), and to reduce stress (Kennedy et al., 2004). It also has an uplifting, heartwarming quality to it that makes you feel comforted, and it’s considered toning to the body as it repairs the nervous system (Hoffmann, 2003). In a 2004 double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized experiment, volunteers showed improved mood after receiving 600-mg dose of Melissa (Kennedy et al., 2004). If you are feeling down and stressed out, lemon balm can help bring calm and lightness back into your life.

 

Read the rest on The Herbal Academy Blog:
How to Stay Calm and Cool with Lemon Balm Lemonade

Katie

Herbs to Rock You from Spring Into Summer

I wrote this blog for my friend Taraleigh, for her blog and project- How to Rock Your Life! (She's got an amazing book out too with the same title, get it on Amazon now!) We are holding a live class on this very subject next Tuesday April 3 at 9:30AM PST/12:30PM EST. If you love what you read below and want to learn more about naturally supporting your body this spring; particularly preparing it to rock your summer travel schedule or live music festivals, sign up below! 

Live Event-Paypal Sign Up

Maybe it’s not feeling like Spring in your neck of the woods yet, but keep the faith because we have entered the Spring Equinox so that means the nice weather is coming! And so is...summer!

 

I would love to share with you some of my top tips for preparing yourself this spring so that you are READY for the fun that summer has in store! We know that rocking life takes a lot out of you and dancing your butt off at shows can be tiring- so here’s my top herbal tips for getting your body primed and ready to ROCK YOUR SUMMER! The festivals and live music await you!

 

Spring is considered a time of renewal and naturally we feel drawn to shake off any excess or sluggishness that we developed over the winter. That is why this time of year you may hear a lot about cleansing or detoxing. A lot of people are still looking to shed a few pounds they put on during the holidays or after cold weather hibernation. Some people do juice fasts, some people buy cleanse kits from their local health food stores, and others follow extreme regimens from their nutritionists or doctors. Many people jump on the latest fad diet. I do not like using the word “diet” as I believe it sounds so restrictive and makes you feel like you are limiting yourself. One thing I learned in my years of study of holistic health, herbalism, and nutrition is that limiting yourself always leads to over-indulging later. And makes you feel like you’re coming from a place of lack!  I think it’s best to determine what we can ADD to our diets to complement our health, rather than take away. Disclaimer: That being said-- I do believe that if you suffer from food allergies, intolerances, or serious health conditions/disease, there are definitely benefits to removing certain foods from our diet to watch for improvements. But that’s best discussed with your doctor or nutritionist.

 

Spring is the best time to increase our activity, eat lighter, fresher foods and gently detox and support our liver, kidneys & lymphatic systems (also think massage, dry brushing, etc), which get stagnant and have less flow in the winter season. You can also do this by incorporating dark leafy greens to your diet (kale, mustard, collards, chard) or gentle herbal liver cleansers that support and strengthen. Two of my favorites for detoxifying and strengthening the body are Dandelion and Nettles.

Dandelion Root

 8178-two-yellow-dandelions-pv

  • Work as a bitter to help to detoxify the liver
  • Also helps with digestion issues such as indigestion, heartburn, constipation
  • You can decoct the root (as tea) or tincture
  • Boil, bake and add to soup
  • Dandelion Leaves
  • High in sodium & potassium, the leaves act as a natural diuretic, helping shed water weight and retention
  • Eat fresh in salad, steam and add to stir-fry or soup, or make a tea

Nettles    

nettle-tea-2_copy 

  • Deeply nourishing AND good for spring allergies
  • Natural antihistamine to relieve allergy symptoms
  • Very accessible in the wild, but wear gloves while harvesting; they will sting!
  • Steam and eat as a veggie; or make tea!
  • Chock full of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins (magnesium, calcium, iron, and protein) for strong bones, nails, hair & teeth
  • Restorative after stress, adrenal burnout, and illness
  • Natural energy booster and a natural and reliable iron booster
  • Regular ingestion of nettle infusions can restore mineral reserves and relieve menstrual or leg cramps
  • Herbalist David Hoffman wisely recommends, “When in doubt, choose nettle.”
  • Now that we’ve done some cleansing and we’re feeling revived and nourished, let’s talk about other preparations we can take as we move past spring into summer and your favorite festival is right around the corner! I can hear the music now!

 

Join us on Tuesday April 3 at 9:30AM PST/12:30PM EST to learn more! Only $10! Live Event-PayPal Sign Up

Recording Available if you can't make it live! 

 

 


Katie

I was lucky enough to be a guest-blogger for the amazing sparkly unicorn, joy-promoting, rock-your-lifer Taraleigh Weathers.

 

On her blog (click the headline link!) I give my favorite tips for herbal and natural supplements to fuel your body and allow you to get into the groove pre/post and during a music festival or show!

What is your favorite natural way to prepare for a big concert or night on the town?

 

Also share your natural libations and how you recover after!

 

Can't wait to read your comments! 


Katie

Tea Time!

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I'm making a batch of my favorite "Peace" tea for the Waldorf Winter Faire this weekend! It is blend of several therapeutic herbs. It is great for stress, relaxation, and soothes the stomach after eating. It's also great for kids for fussiness, colic, or again- upset stomach. Read on to find out some tidbits about some of my favorite herbs!  

 

Lemon Balm: Oh how I love thee! This is one of my first and favorite plant allies. Lemon balm is actually in the mint family, but also a sweet lemony flavor. It is wonderful as a tea and I also love to extract it in vegetable glycerin to make a tincture/glycerite for kids! Lemon Balm is a nervous system relaxant and also soothes digestive upset, and is an antiviral making it great for fighting colds and a secret weapon against cold sores. One of the reasons I love Lemon Balm is that it not only helps me fight stress, but it lifts my mood at the same. Happy herb! 

 

Chamomile: This herb friend you are probably already familiar with. She is a tried and true before-bed relaxer, with a sweet soothing flavor. And chamomile is a powerful stress zapper, calms the body suffering from allergic reactions, and is another digestive system supporter! 

 

Catnip: But... you may be thinking, I'm not a feline?? Believe me, catnip is confusing. But it actually has the opposite effect on us as humans as it does on our furry friends. It calms us! And helps us surrender. And is magically soothing for our bellies too. Another great friend for colicky babies and for fighting fevers.

 

Rosehips: One of my favorites to add to tea blends, rosehips are the super fruit of one of the most beautiful flowers in nature; the Rose. These guys are tart yet sweet and chock full of vitamin c! Making them awesome for the immune system and adding a flavor that I just love. Has anyone heard of rosehip oil? It's an amazing healing and nutritive oil for the skin; more on that later. 

 
I just love this tea hot with honey, or in the summer iced with honey and a couple drops of stevia and lemon. The blend is magical and comforting and will relax your mind, body and help you set intentions for a wonderful night's sleep or take the edge off a busy day. That's why I dubbed it, Peace tea. :)

 

There is so much more I can say about these wonderful healing plants, but I'll leave you with this quick description today.

 

Hope you're having a wonderful day friends. If you are in San Diego come visit me Saturday at the Waldorf School of San Diego's Winter Faire, (12-6pm) and try some Peace tea. 

 

Waldorf Winter Faire

 

Peace & Love,
Katie

 

 

 


Katie

Hi friends! 
Learn how to make your own natural products perfect for holiday gift giving!
diy


Come learn about herbs, aromatherapy and natural health at our Old Town Local and Peace.Love.Nourish event. Enjoy herbal tea samples to help you relax and unwind while you create gifts for yourself or your loved ones- free of chemicals, additives and junk, made from the heart. 

This is an all day event with a lunch break so come ready to make and take away natural healing. We’re looking forward to sharing with you!

Session One: Aromatherapy 10-12pm
~Learn about benefits and uses of essential oils.
~Make you own bath salts, aromatherapy sprays and essential oil inhalers. 
~We will have dried flowers, tiny crystals and a DIY label making station.

*lunch break* 12-1pm

Session Two: Herbal Remedies 1-2pm
~Learn medicinal and culinary uses of common kitchen herbs.
~Learn how to make your own culinary herbal infused oils and vinegars at home. 
~These make wonderful gifts and great home medicine.
~Enjoy herbal tea while you learn! 

We will also have samples and testers of many of our hand-crafted herbal and aromatherapy products, including immune-boosting syrups and tonics. Peace.Love.Nourish also offers many other gift items for purchase, such as crystals, jewelry and other spiritual gifts. 

Our sessions take place in the beautiful new shopping center Old Town Local located in Old Town San Diego. Old Town Local has seven artisan shops, a cafe/live music venue and cigar lounge with our herbal kiosk, Peace.Love.Nourish. Please check out our other shops while you're here for plenty of unique and hand-crafted gifts for the whole family. 

Located next to Java Joe's coffee shop, we will have coffee, tea, panini's, organic frittatas, and gelato for purchase. There will be a lunch break if you are staying for the whole day: perfect for a bite and to peruse our market place.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Cost is $25 for the early-bird rate until December 1st.

After this, the rate is $33, including and up to the day of the event. 

Contact Katie O'Connor at katie@peacelovenourish.com to reserve your space as spots are limited. 

Feel free to ask any questions, inquire about splitting sessions, group rates, or bringing your kiddos! 

RSVP on Facebook!



Tickets can also be purchased directly via Paypal:

Sign up now! 

 

Location: Peace.Love.Nourish is located to the back of Old Town

Local next to Java Joe’s Coffee Shop and in front of Maduros Cigar

Lounge at 2609 Congress St in Old Town, San Diego.

See you December 9th, 2017!


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Katie

HEALING MY GUT-Part 1: FODMAPS?


What is a FODMAP? I have been gluten and dairy-free on and off for many years now in a effort to heal my gut. Turns out I’m doing it all wrong…sort of. I remember there was a time when I avoided certain foods, like onions, garlic, cabbage, etc. But then when I was studying nutrition I learned so much about the healing benefits of foods; particularly vegetables, that I wanted to eat them ALL. And all the time. I for one, know how beneficial garlic can be to the immune system and boosting health in general, so how can I give that up? Well apparently onion, garlic and other delicious foods can be categorized under this umbrella of foods called FODMAPS. Which brings me back to my question- what the heck is a FODMAP?? All bad and evil, apparently. At least to someone with a sensitive stomach. 

FODMAPS stand for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) which a lot of people can have trouble digesting. They are found in so many foods that we eat on a daily basis, and research has proved that people suffering from IBS (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain etc) can benefit from a diet that restricts these carbs. 

So I decided to try it. I am going to post some pictures and lists of high and low FODMAP foods so you know what I’m up against. But honestly it’s been three days (yes, only three) and I feel better already. Yes, it’s been hard. And yes, I want GARLIC. But man, I really think I’m feeling better. So I’ll keep on keeping on. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Fun with FODMAPS! 


Peace & Love,

Katie


Katie

Getting Off Gluten- It's Not As Easy As You Think DATE: 01/12/2012


OLD POST# 2 (See my previous post about why I'm bringing these back)

Ok, friends. This is hard. I posted about my intention to go gluten-free two weeks ago, and so far I have made it about one, maybe two days total. As I said before this stuff is everywhere!! I can't hide! I will tell you that being at home and having a fully stocked refrigerator and cabinets full of healthy gluten-free alternatives helps immensely. But as we know, this is not always possible...especially around the holidays and when the Patriots are in the playoffs. So here I am starting over at Day 1.

I will also admit my weaknesses and own up to all of the wheat/gluten containing items I have indulged in, namely beer, pizza, pasta. Ugh. I feel bloated just thinking about it. And I was when I was consuming it also, trust me. And my asthma flared up, I was sneezing, sneezing, wheezing, wheezing. And I can't believe how much energy I was lacking...no matter how much I slept, I still feel like I could sleep forever and day more. I must put an end to this!

So since I am clearly lacking willpower, despite knowing how gluten makes me feel, I started reading Wheat Belly, by William Davis, MD and found some interesting tidbits I want to share with you as I *really* start my gluten-free adventure. Like for real this time.

Dr. Davis is a cardiologist in Milwaukee, and sees lots of patients. And they are overweight. And it's not just because of the potato chips, soda, high-fat snacks they are consuming. Wheat products play a huge role also. He has personally lived through this- noticing how he felt sluggish all day after consuming a bagel, toast, waffles, etc for breakfast as opposed to eggs or some other wheat-free products. How did he combat this sluggishness? Coffee. Tons and tons of it. But that is not the answer; caffeine really just depletes the body of it's nutrition and natural healing systems.

But the USDA says we should all eat more whole grains, right? I think this is wrong. Sure, eliminating trans-fats will lower your cholesterol and is obviously good for you, but the increase of these "whole grains" in the average American diet, has certainly caused some other real issues.

Dr. Davis found that whole wheat bread increases blood sugar as much or more than table sugar. So he had his overweight, diabetic patients eliminate the foods that cause their blood sugar to rise the most; foods containing wheat.  And what happened? Their blood sugar dropped from the diabetic range to normal. The weight fell off, some losing up to even forty pounds. BUT the best part, is that by eliminating wheat they also noticed many other changes. Patients reported that their symptoms of acid reflux, alternating diarrhea and constipation, cramping, asthma symptoms, and even pain and inflammation from arthritis were basically improved or completely resolved.

And what happened when they "slipped up" and ate something containing wheat? Yup, back to feeling like garbage. The stomach pain, constant bathroom trips, joint swelling, and wheezing is back.

To me, that type of night and day difference is amazing. And makes going on this difficult journey so very worth it. That's all I can say right now. I can't wait to read more and to see how I feel in the next few weeks. Wish me luck!


Katie

Getting Off Gluten-DATE: 12/29/2011

Hi everyone! I'm updating my website and found some great old blog posts from my old site that I wanted to share. I am in the midst of working through some new dietary challenges and have been primarily gluten-free for many years now. I always feel better when I don't consume gluten and realize there is a reason. Keep reading... I know how difficult this lifestyle change can be, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on my initial journey going gluten-free 5 years ago. There are two posts, please enjoy! I've learned so much more since then so please keep an eye out for more posts on food and healing your gut coming soon! 

OLD POST #1:

I had a beer last night and low and behold, I suddenly found myself with a stuffy nose. Not too cute when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone.

Had a second beer, and let the bloating begin.

Came home and ate oyster crackers. They’re small right? So they won’t hurt me? Wrong? I felt like garbage when I woke up.

I am writing this blog because I am about to embark on the scariest, toughest adventure I have faced yet; completely ridding my body of all and any products containing the evil protein, gluten. Why, you may ask? Because there is more and more proof (documented and from personal experiences) that most, if not ALL Americans these days are intolerant to gluten. It’s in absolutely everything!! And we all wonder why we feel like crap.

Personally it makes a huge difference to my body when I remove gluten from my diet. I no longer get unexpected headaches, brain fog, stomach bloating, aching, and all around I feel lighter. I have friends for which going gluten-free has changed their lives completely, riding them of symptoms of serious intestinal disease. This is why I’ve decided it’s time for me to finally say goodbye to bread, pasta, beer, marinades, baked goods....etc, and get off the sauce.

But what will I eat??! Don’t worry, follow my blog on my new adventure in gluten-free eating and you’ll see that there are plenty of foods that you can still enjoy without suffering. And of course, I may slip up from time to time (gluten is sneaky and hides in everything), so find out what happens when I eat something gluteny (yes, I made that word up) and pay the price.

I also started reading Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by Dr. William Davis, so look forward to many facts and statistics about how gluten sensitivity plays a major part in so many ailments that modern Americans suffer from. I can’t wait to to share this all with you!

Dr. Mark Hyman, pioneer of Functional Medicine recently wrote an article about gluten with an oh-so-scary title and similar oh-so-scary content. Read his take on how gluten is hurting us all:

http://drhyman.com/gluten-what-you-dont-know-might-kill-you-11/.