Walking Mindfully

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“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” —John Muir

IMG_0679Today I was reminded of how important it is for me to do walking meditation.

There are many ways one can train and focus the mind, but walking meditation is by far my favorite, and I think it’s also an important part of feeling more connected with the natural world. Continue reading

Upcoming Class & the February Newsletter

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day weekend.  We had a very snowy Valentine’s Day, but we made the best of it with pancakes, a warm fire, and lots of good family time.

In case you missed it, we sent out the February newsletter for Light Footsteps last Thursday.  You can read it HERE.  Also, consider subscribing so that you’re always in the know with what’s happening at the Light Footsteps Farm!

In the newsletter this month, I talked a little about turmeric and how to use this awesome anti-inflammatory herb in eggs. Yum!

I also mentioned that I’ll be leading an upcoming class where we’ll discuss preventative health and home remedies that are available in most everyone’s kitchen.  It’s called Kitchen Cabinet Remedies and it is happening at Balance & Thrive on Monday, February 23 from 6:30 – 7:30.

We’ll talk more about turmeric and a variety of other herbs and common foods that you’re likely to already have at home.   View this flyer to learn a little more or sign up HERE.

I hope to see you there!

A dose of sunshine

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We recently returned from visiting family in California for a week.  We had a wonderful time sharing in each others company, and it was fun for Baby LF to play outdoors in a different climate.

Here in Ohio, we still try to get outdoors every day even if it’s snowy and cold, but she really enjoyed this new type of outdoor play.  When temperatures were last warm here, she wasn’t quite old enough to enjoy sitting with a shovel and bucket.

She especially took to the ocean water and it had me wondering if she might be part mermaid.

Maybe some of you who are also in the thick of snow will enjoy seeing the sunlight and warmth.  (Which, funny enough, we often heard was “cold” to them – in the 60s at times – ha ha!).

IMG_0295 Continue reading

Steer Clear of Toxins to Improve Health and Fertility

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Today I have a guest post from Nita Ewald of Nurture with Nita.  We are both members of a local women’s group of holistic health providers and educators.  I’m pleased to share with you this piece about the importance of avoiding toxins to improve your overall health and in particular, your fertility.

Steer Clear of Toxins to Improve Health and Fertility

Nita Ewald

A bucket of domestic cleaning products

Couples thinking about starting a family in 2015 should begin by taking a closer look at the products they use. They might want to switch deodorant and throw out the waffle iron. Continue reading

Vote for Me! Plus a New Year Coupon Code.

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My post about calming and cleansing bath herbs for baby has been nominated for a People’s Choice Award through the Wildcrafting Wednesday Blog Hop.

Wildcrafting Wednesday is a weekly Blog Hop where natural-minded bloggers go to share posts about DIY projects, homesteading, recipes, and more.

Apparently, the Baby Bath Herbs post was a hit and was one of the most-viewed blogs this year.  It’s now up for a People’s Choice Award.

Vote for People’s Choice Nominee

Please head on over to vote for my post on one (or ALL) of the four sites that host the Wildcrafting Wednesday Hop.  Voting is through January 7th.  Maybe you’ll find a new favorite blogger, too!

Mind Body & Sole Online

The Woodwife’s Journal

The Entwife’s Journal

Herban Momma

As a special Thank You, please use code GREEN15 for 15% off anything in my Etsy shop!

Thank you!!

The Solstice Within & Without

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“The winter solstice happens in nature around us.  But it also happens inside of us, in our souls. […]   In the dark place of our soul, we carry secret wishes, pains, frustrations, loneliness, fears, regrets, worries.  Darkness is not something to be afraid of.  Sometimes we go to the dark place of our soul, where we can find safety and comfort.  In the the dark place in our soul we can find rest and rejuvenation.  In the dark place of our soul we can find balance.  And when we have rested, and been comforted, and restored, we can return from the dark place in our soul to the world of light and new possibilities.”  – John Halstead
FullSizeRender-25I finished my holiday gift gathering last week.

This week, I rested.  Continue reading

Catnip Cloths for Teething

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Catnip: it’s not just for driving your kitty a little crazy.

Although its use as a cat crazy-maker is probably the first thing that comes to mind for many, catnip (Nepeta cataria) is actually a useful medicinal plant.  Historically, it has been used for a variety of childhood ailments including cough, asthma, and colic. Indeed, research has found its chemical constituents to have spasmolytic and bronchodilatory properties which provide support for this traditional use (see resources below).  There’s also evidence for its use as a mosquito repellant which is why I include it in my homemade Bug-a-Bye.

Traditionally, catnip is also chosen to gently lower a fever, settle a tummy, and for its nervine (calming) properties that can help ease little teethers (and their mothers).  Catnip, along with chamomile, is an excellent choice to help get through the moodiness that comes along with teething.  Baby LF’s molars are coming in right now and she is certainly letting me know!

I’ve been making Baby LF these really easy catnip teethers by dipping washcloths in catnip tea and freezing them.  She loves gnawing on them!  Plus, they’re really easy to make. Continue reading

Prevent Colds & Flu with DIY Elderberry Syrup

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There are so many great ways to support your winter health with herbs.  Starting with simple dietary additions (like garlic!) and ending with soothing choices to make your cold or flu more tolerable and shorter, herbs are my go-to for prevention and treatment.

One of the tastiest herbal allies, however, is the elderberry.

This shrubby perennial plant has been used as medicine for centuries to support health and well-being.  I often see it growing naturally in moist soils, but it has also historically been planted at the edge of gardens as the protector of the garden.  Even its name, Elder, speaks to its wise and respected role in our collective medicine chest.

Elder’s lacy, delicate flowers, and bright purplish-black berries can both be used for their medicinal properties.  The flowers are diaphoretic meaning that they help to lower fevers by inducing sweating.  It is a common ingredient in many cold-care tea formulas.

The berries are rich in vitamins C & A, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, beta-carotene, iron, potassium, and phytosterols.  They are often used in prevention and treatment of colds because of their ability to boost the immune system.  As an antiviral, they are helpful in treating upper respiratory viruses including colds and flu, but have also been used in treatments for other viruses such as herpes and shingles.  Elderberry’s effectiveness is not just an “herban” legend, but its ability to reduce the duration of the flu and to fight viruses has been published in a number of scientific articles (links to abstracts in the resources below).

As a food, elderberry can be consumed as a jam, wine, or in pies, but it’s easiest to use as preventative medicine or for treating cold and flu when made into a tasty syrup.  Luckily, it’s really pretty easy to do, too!  I even made a handy graphic . . .

Elderberry syrup Continue reading