Posted in Beauty/Health

Farmgirl’s Guide to Great Skin

Twenty Years Old

I was a very pretty child who came from a very pretty family. I had a rough go there during my tweens (yikes) but pulled out of it by my teens and landed my first modeling contract when I was eighteen. I had great skin, three years of braces, and my height and natural weight were just what agents were looking for.

Twenty-two Years Old

I modeled full time for six years before, at the ripe old age of twenty-four, I was “washed up.” When your entire occupation is based on your looks, it is hard to get older. (Yes, I thought 24 was old.) As a model, one’s entire identity and worth is wrapped up in beauty and age.

Twenty-Four Years Old

So I put on more and more makeup. Got a little older. Got a lot more stress in my life. And somewhere along my late twenties, I started getting the worst skin! Acne began to plague me. And I straight out panicked! I started reading about how to get great skin. How to be more beautiful and ran across a book on herbs. Well, y’all know how that turned out. It completely changed my life and I’ve been a clinical herbalist ever since.

Twenty-One Years Old (and 3 months pregnant with Shyanne!)

Along the way, my skin cleared up, my eyes got brighter, my skin refreshed. Oh, I still got wrinkles! I earned those suckers. I am happy every year I am here on this planet, and I will take the signs of aging with grace. But, I rarely wear makeup (if I do, it is just a touch of mascara and some tinted lip gloss), and the number one thing I get asked from people, is how do I have such great skin?

Forty-two Years Old

Your skin is a mirror of your insides. It speaks of toxicity, cancer cells, stress, poor diet, dehydration, and disease. It also speaks of health, joy, vibrancy, and energetic foods. Your skin can change day to day depending on how you feel or even what you ate yesterday!

Almost Forty-Three Years Old

I have learned a great deal about the skin from being an herbalist. Cancer cells that become prevalent or that are being detoxed through the skin from the sun (a good guy) can become cancer cells in a toxic environment. I have seen many cases of Psoriatic Arthritis, where sometimes there is a hole in the skin all the way to the bone. Severe eczema, psoriasis, acne, rashes, hives; all ailments of the skin show what is going on inside the body. Even sluggish, tired skin can tell of insomnia or a sluggish digestive system. So how do we fix it?

Last Saturday. Forty-Five Years Old.

Moisturize Inside and Out:

  1. Drink 1 teaspoon of good olive oil 4 times a day.
  2. Keep a glass by the sink and drink a cup of water every time you go in the kitchen.
  3. Get a water bottle you like and take it with you everywhere.
  4. It doesn’t have to be just water! Kombucha, tea, and fresh juices all count!
  5. Coconut oil protects against sun burn and keeps skin feeling soft.
  6. Try my lotion recipe for really soft skin! It also protects against sunburn but allows beneficial sun rays to reach us.
  7. Need even more moisture? Make my skin oil for super nourished skin.

Be Kind to Your Skin:

  1. Get at least 30 minutes of sun exposure daily.
  2. Sunscreen causes skin cancer. Research it.
  3. You do not need five layers of foundation. It settles in our wrinkles and makes us look ridiculous, then clogs pores, causes acne, and makes us look even more ridiculous! Ditch the makeup.
  4. Embrace flaws. Liver spots? Guess what? They aren’t from the sun. Or the liver. We white girls get freckles, then spots. Get over it. You look great.
  5. Most skin care lines are toxic. Try my recipes for body products. I use face wash (but not every day!) and lotion. That is it. Secret’s out!
  6. Life is too short for stress. Your skin will thank you.

Check Your Diet:

  1. Green smoothies and loads of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, and whole grains have antioxidants which improve skin and slow aging. Meat and dairy contain zero antioxidants. Any nutrition you get from animal products is from the plants they ate. Skip the middle man and skip the toxins that you end up with. Dairy is especially bad for the skin.
  2. Eat lots of great spices and herbal teas.
  3. Incorporate fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha into your diet for gut health.
  4. Wild greens are blood purifying. Your skin will tell you when you need your blood purified. They will also heal kidney problems and help rebuild bone. Dandelions, goosefoot, burdock, mallow, and even kale, chard, and spinach will make your skin look fabulous.
My oldest granddaughter, Maryjane Rose.

Now, as we get older we may care less and less about our looks (do these galoshes match my apron?), but we should always associate skin health with organ health and do our best to have vibrant, youthful skin. It is easy to do! And it is kind of fun when folks are shocked that you are a grandma.

Posted in Beauty/Health

Envision Your Future (Your Best Life, day 7 and recap)

A few years ago I organized a group of witchy, like-minded women. We post memes and prayer requests and encouragement and meet every few months over coffee or pottery or wine to catch up. Yesterday, my daughter, Shyanne hosted our second annual Vision Board event. Everyone came baring old magazines, scissors, markers, stickers, glue, and ideas for a good life.

This is my favorite event. We fall into the photos of magazines and laugh and yell out, “If you see a picture of _____, tell me!” We create words and promises and our future. We compare them to last year’s boards and talk about what all manifested (almost all of the ideas), and what has changed. How much a life can change in a year’s span.

Living in the present is important and breathing in memories of today will keep us focused and filled with gratitude. The past is bittersweet and the future is unknown and filled with equal parts fate and decision. The vision board is our decision part. It helps clarify where we are and where we want to be. Just like writing things down, the vision board takes ramblings of thought and places them into a road map for the year. And effective way to create one’s best life.

Today, create your own vision board. Or better yet, arrange a group of friends to come over and create as well. Riding lessons optional.

Recap:

  • Guard your mind.
  • Become your own doctor.
  • Adopt a plant based lifestyle.
  • Improve your relationships.
  • Change your perspective.
  • Honor your spirituality.
  • Envision your future.

It may seem like my series on How to Live Your Best Life is a bit extreme. Indeed, not everyone will be willing to follow all of these practices. I, myself, follow these practices and I can tell you that they work. Guarding my mind gives me peace of mind as I am not filling it with fear and negativity. Becoming my own doctor puts power back in my own hands because I know how to make medicine and how to treat many issues. Adopting a plant based diet has given me permission to love every animal I see without guilt, has greatly improved my health, and has eliminated depression. The phone calls I have been making have made me feel closer to those I love and have connected me to people beyond the screen. Changing my words has given me more gratitude for everything I have. Honoring my spirituality has connected me to the unseen world around me. And envisioning my future has secured my path towards an even better existence.

Thanks for following this week and I wish you an amazing 2020.

Posted in Beauty/Health

Honor Your Spirituality (Your Best Life, day 6)

There are similarities amongst the places in the world where the people have the most longevity. They move, walk, and are active most of the day. They eat little to no meat. They have large familial ties and close friends. They consume a little alcohol each day (usually with said friends and family). They have a purpose, and they have a spiritual path that they honor. Some are Buddhist, 7th Day Adventists, or Catholic- the religion does not matter, it is the spirituality that matters. All paths lead to the same place. We are all on a journey. Everyone is different, so everyone’s perceptions and connections will be different as well, and that is a beautiful thing.

However one connects with their Creator, feels comfort, and peace is the right spiritual journey. Throughout our lives and experiences, we will connect with God in different ways, have different views of something bigger than we are, will have places we are more comfortable with and people we connect with. They are all right.

So go to church, shul, or temple. Or go hiking, light candles, or meditate. Create an alter and place pictures of ancestors upon it. Or elements of nature. See the face of Creator in each person you meet, in each animal you see, in each leaf or blade of grass. Feel that immense love and power inside of yourself as well. Today, honor your beliefs, whatever they may be.

Posted in Beauty/Health

Change Your Perspective (Your Best Life, Day 5)

It does seem that our refrigerator always goes out shortly after we move into a new place. So, there we were at Lowe’s last night picking out a refrigerator. I was telling the sales associate that I will never move again! “You know how we always say that?” I laughed, and looked at him.

“No, ma’am, I have never had the privilege.”

The longer we were with him, the more it became apparent that this gentleman may very well be homeless. And there I was lamenting prices of refrigerators and going on about how hard it is to move! Poor me, huh?

It is all in our way of thinking. It’s all in your perspective. Change your perspective, change your life. You can notice all the things wrong with the place you live, or notice all the wonderful things. You can notice all the things you hate about your job, or you can appreciate the work. Two years ago when Doug struggled to find a job because he had been out of work for so long farming, we realized what a privilege it is to have work.

There is a story, that I believe was true, about a woman who became stuck in a walk-in freezer. She was found dead the next day, in a position where it was apparent that she had frozen. Except, the freezer wasn’t on.

Our minds are powerful in making us believe things. If you own illnesses, my cancer, my arthritis, my diabetes, then you have made up your mind that they are apart of you and will never be healed. I am healthy. I am getting stronger. I am thankful that my body gets me up each day! are much more powerful and life changing statements. (Not to mention you might start following day 2 and 3 of this series and heal them up!)

If you start looking around and thinking about all the things you despise about this neighborhood and this house and this job and these people, it will fester, and you will only be able to see more of the negative. It seems it is a natural response for humans to connect by means of sympathy. Notice how you speak. You will notice that most people (I catch myself as well.) will answer a question with a positive and then quickly add a negative. The drive was fine, but the traffic! Oy.

Change your perspective, change your life. This is a powerful way to live your best life.

Today, try and speak only positive words and statements. Gratitude changes everything.

Posted in Beauty/Health

Improving Your Relationships (Your Best Life, day 4)

I went around to each of my neighbors who border my land or live near and invited them all over for an impromptu dinner to get to know each other. I made a few different soups earlier in the afternoon and some biscuits, so when the neighbors arrived, I only had to pour a glass of wine and visit. Everyone fell into easy conversation and phone numbers were exchanged.

You know, we can’t really have 362 friends. We have begun to rely on social media to be our social director. When really, all those folks that we reconnected with probably don’t really care about what is going on. Meanwhile, we follow and like everything the people we really do care about post but we don’t really know what is going on because we all have forgotten how to use a telephone or make real live dates! It has become a lazy and half-hearted way to be friends. I have fallen into it myself. I did not know that my friend had a heart attack until six weeks later when it showed up on facebook. And all the while, many of us feel quite lonesome as we click on screens and watch television. And I know many young men who don’t even date because they are too busy playing video games.

In order to live our best life, we need people. We need relationships. Real ones. Who means the most to you? Who do you really love and care for? Do they also love and care for you? These are the people we must make time for. You remember that country song, “You Find Out Who Your Friends Are?” by Tracy Lawrence? That kind of sums it up.

We all have limited time in our lives and we simply cannot have a million relationships, but we can have a select few friends and family that we really focus our energy on. It is wonderful if we can have relationships with all of our children and our own parents, but sometimes that isn’t possible. Focus on who cares about you as much as you care about them and who add positivity and love to your life and make time for them.

Write down the phone numbers of those dear to you. With cell phones these days, I do not even know my children’s phone numbers but I remember my grandparents’ number from when I was little! Try to make a phone call every day or at least once a week.

Write a quick letter or send a card to someone out of state to let them know what is going on and ask how they are. Mail is still a joy to receive. Not an email, use actual paper and stamps!

Turn off the television. An hour that you would normally watch a useless show can be used to go for a walk with your loved one. It can be used to catch up on the phone with your son. It can be used to read a great book or play with the dog or talk to the neighbors. Instead of endlessly scrolling on your cell phone, start a conversation with someone in the room.

Relationships are important to living your best life. Today, make a phone call to someone you care about. Maybe play a game of scrabble with your partner instead of watching t.v. Just see how your life improves when you improve your relationships.

Posted in Beauty/Health

Plant Based (Your Best Life, day 3)

A fellow blogger and friend of mine used to write about butchering deer on her kitchen table. She was the quintessential farmer’s wife. She wrote often about her life with autoimmune issues. It practically paralyzed her. She was very ill. One day she got upset about something she read and set out to prove that veganism was not healthy, but the more she researched, the more she became intrigued. She went vegan. I would have never expected it! She lost forty pounds and all of her autoimmune and health issues went away. She now writes about healthy living and promotes a plant based diet. She also appreciated that she could look at her animals with a new compassion.

There are thousands of stories like Eileen’s. A plant based diet reverses and heals disease and illness. There are many athletes who prove that a vegan diet builds muscle and improves stamina. When one incorporates a plant based diet in their life, a lot changes. It changes one’s perception about the creatures we share this planet with. That maybe they are not all here for us to kill and consume. And maybe just because that is how it has always been, doesn’t mean it needs to be like that in the future.

Okay, so perhaps you are interested in ditching Diabetes, skin issues, heart problems, anxiety, autoimmune issues, cancer cells, and brain fog, but there are questions!

These are the top five questions I get from folks:

  1. Where do you get your protein? One slice of whole wheat bread contains 5 grams of protein! You will not be lacking in protein. Greens, grains, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, and many other foods contain protein.
  2. But aren’t grains bad? Only if you work for a marketing campaign trying to sell you gluten free stuff. It’s incredibly rare for folks to be Celiac. Grains are filled with fiber, protein, and anti-cancer antioxidants. Obviously pastries and Wonder bread aren’t filled with healthy stuff, so stick with whole grains and as unprocessed as you can.
  3. We have incisors, so we were meant to be carnivores, right? If you look at road kill on the side of the road and start salivating or can catch a rabbit and bite into it, sure. But no, our systems resemble herbivores biologically.
  4. But what about all the stuff being shipped in from all over the world? Vegans are very hard on the environment. Is anyone eating truly local? That orange juice and banana weren’t grown in Denver! Our goal as a species is to begin eating closer to home. Not only eating closer to home, but growing our food at our home! It has nothing to do with being vegan.
  5. But how will you get B12? That is only available in animal sources. False! Oh my, there is a lot of misleading information out there. There is B12 in kombucha, nutritional yeast, and traces on garden grown vegetables. And while we are at it, you get plenty of iron from greens and grains.
  6. Oh and a bonus question. But soy is bad for you, right? Organic soy (along with herbs that help balance estrogen, like Black Cohosh) do not disrupt estrogen production, they balance it. Soy is used to help osteoporosis and strengthens bones. GMO, field grown soy is a different thing altogether.

It is not that hard. Just plan ahead. You will feel so good eating all those beautiful plant foods and you will not be hungry. There has never been an easier time to be vegan. So, today, pick up a vegan cookbook or look at some Instagram pages for inspiration. Health and compassion are a big part of living your best life.

Posted in Beauty/Health

Be Your Own Pharmacist (Your Best Life, day 2)

“There’s an herb for that!” my students and I used to joke. There is, quite literally, an herb for every single ailment known to man. (Hint: it’s not marijuana.) When men wanted profit, they mimicked constituents in plants in a lab, changing their genetic form so that they could be patented. Along with greed though, there were side effects. Listen closely to commercials and read the fine print; cancer is one of the leading side effects, amongst so many other serious chronic illnesses. All to treat things that can be reversed by lifestyle.

True, it is easier to pop a pill, but the medical model as we know it is not what it should be. Modern medicine was developed for trauma care on the battlefields. Never were we intended to go to urgent care for the sniffles. A typical trip to the veterinarian will set you back hundreds and may or may not help the situation. Once you step on that wheel of medicine, it is hard to get off.

I could go on about how big AG and big Pharma are mega-forces that have brainwashed us and keep us under their thumbs out of fear, but I don’t want to get too negative here, so let’s turn it around. You can completely change your life (and quite possibly the ones around you as well) by learning how to treat thyself. By having a growing knowledge of what herbs treat what, how, and how to blend and make them into medicine, you can be your own pharmacist, nurse, and doctor to yourself, your loved ones, and your animals. Not only will one save thousands of dollars, but one can also completely turn one’s health around. And being healthy is one of the keys to living your best life.

There are so many ailments that can successfully be reversed, or at worst, managed. Most of our common ailments are from diet, lifestyle, and more prevalent, medications. Now, forget genetics. You are your environment.

I have worked full time for over a decade as a Master Herbalist, so I have seen what really good herbal medicine can do and how it changes people’s lives. Find an amazing herbalist (try my daughter, http://whitewolfherbs.com) (you will need to find someone that does more than essential oils; those are for aromatherapy), or better yet, learn yourself. Empower yourself. Being in control of your health is imperative to living your best life.

Today, pick up a book at the library or bookstore and start reading about basic herbalism. (Do not look on the internet, as most sites about herbs are going to be big pharma run.) I like Rosemary Gladstar, Tammi Hartung, and of course, I am rather partial to my own books on the matter. You can find them at http://AuthorKatieSanders.com. I even have a full text book to teach yourself how to be a full working herbalist and two recipe books to turn your kitchen into a pharmacy. You will have a lot of fun in the process.

Posted in Beauty/Health

Guard Your Mind (Your Best Life, day 1)

This subject was set to be written towards the end of the week, but after the nightmare I had last night, it jumped to today!

Guard Your Mind

When I was a teenager, it was exasperating for me and my friends that I was not allowed to watch anything over PG. Our television watching at home was limited to Disney and old movies. My mother would take any trashy book or tape away from me. She was strict. She was guarding my mind.

When you watch a movie or television show, or read a book or the news, it becomes a part of you. It winds itself into the fibers of your memory, your behavior, how you react to things. It can feed fear- even something you may have seen as a teenager. Or it can produce empathy and inspiration.

No News Is Good News

Since before the Civil War, the press has been playing the people. Ordinary news of regular folks and positive, uplifting news just doesn’t sell. Fear sells. Anger sells. Drama sells. It releases our cortisol, it stimulates our adrenals, we read it, hear it, and it becomes a part of us. Even if nearly all news is only half true or a perception of someone else. There is no reason to know the news. Trust me, you will know if we are invaded or if there is a fire nearby. Filling yourself with news, when you can do nothing about the situations therein, is a slow poison.

We watched “Murder on the Orient Express” last night. We watched the 1974 version because we enjoyed the new one. It was just enough to topple my peaceful sleep. Everything I had seen and read about murder came flushing forward in my dream. I watched as high schoolers murdered a young man. The child came to me and a few others to solve the crime and to stop them, but they turned on us and it was a scary dream filled with fear.

Granted, I am a highly sensitive person, and perhaps you don’t think the news, or scary movies, or dramatic books affect you. But they do find a way of accessing your dreams, opinions, and actions. What if you filled your mind with really great information? What if you ditched the news and used newspapers to fuel the wood stove? What if you chose to read inspirational books and great literature? What if you only watched positive and uplifting movies? What if we all filled our minds with poetry, animal sanctuaries, great art, nature, humor, and love? Our entire perception would change for the better. We wouldn’t live in fear and anxiety as much and we could contribute more inspiration and more light to the world around us.

Today, do what you need to do to guard your mind. It’s the first step to your best life.

Posted in Beauty/Health

7 Days, 7 Ways to Your Best Life (Intro)

Be the Change You Want to See in the World.

Gandhi

I have nothing to sell you. (Heck, I don’t even use ads on my blog.) I write to inspire. I write to help others who are even quasi interested in how we live, to use it to make their life better. In the next 7 days, I will cover 7 things that are guaranteed to add up exponentially to change your life for the better. To change it radically in some ways. To change how you live here on this earth. How you get the most from it and how it can change your family’s life and all those you encounter. How to get the most from life while contributing the most back. There are new skills and new ways of thinking to consider and old habits and society’s status quo to crush. There are dreams to follow and a really, really great life to live.

Photo from internet

And I guarantee that if you follow my seven ideas to their end, you will reverse your chronic health problems and be the healthiest and most vibrant you have ever been. You will help the environment and your own way of life, making the earth a better place. You will have more compassion and better relationships. You will ditch anxiety and depression and feel peace. Because every little change adds up. Every time we better ourselves, the better we make life for those around us and for future generations. It’s a big deal. You ready? I will see you in the morning.

Posted in Beauty/Health

The Disease of Busyness and the Detox Bath

It has been over ten years since I was this sick.  I am an herbalist.  I make the most effective medicine I know of.  I eat well and try to exercise.  I don’t get sick!  My body means business this time.  It wants me to sit down and listen, and hasn’t really given me much choice in the matter.  I have been having colorful dreams (maybe because of all the valerian), and the theme is pretty clear.  Hit them brakes, Sister.

lake

For as long as I can remember, I do as much as possible in a day.  It is my worth.  No one else is going to do it.  It is my job.  It is normal.  To-do lists and packed days of…the same housework, the same chores.  What, just what, would happen if a client came over and the kitchen floor was dirty?  Would they think poorly of me?  That my house wasn’t sanitary?  That I wouldn’t be able to do a Medical Intuitive Reading properly because I haven’t dusted?

journal

I do things with such intensity.  The same intensity that I put into gardening, pursuing a new venture, getting the housework done, is the same intensity that I put into having a cup of tea, or reading a letter.  Fast.  Get it done, check it off my list.  Why?  Because I can’t remember what it is like to just move at a slower pace.  Most everything I think has to be done is self imposed.

November was a very trying month.  Actually, autumn, was very trying.  A lot of death and loss.  I got weakened from stress.  If I wasn’t going to stop the insanity, my body would make me.  There are so many things I do to try to prove that I am a good mom, prove that I am good at my gifts and my work, prove that I am a good wife, prove that I am a good friend, prove that I got this.  I am every woman.

The past few nights Doug checks to see if I am still breathing as I sleep.

I have missed December.  I have had to cancel numerous consultations, a sleepover with my granddaughter, two weeks out of my new granddaughter’s four weeks of life, zoo lights, Santa Claus with my girls.  I feel beaten and bruised from coughing.

Something’s gotta give.  Listen, friends, we have to start listening!  We don’t have to do everything to keep everyone from being disappointed.  We don’t have to work so hard.  To drink our tea so fast.  This intensity, drive hundreds of a miles in a week, prove that I am worthy, to-do list madness must stop.  I don’t remember how.

Balance…elusive word.  Choose what I want to do and give plenty of space in between for tea and a bit of reading.  What can go?  What should stay?  “Every time you say yes to something, you say no to something else.”  I have been saying “no” to my peace of mind and my health as of late (or for decades).  I’m listening now.

The disease of busyness affects many of us.  I hope this will inspire some of you to put down the to-do list and re-evaluate.  We are worthy.  It’s time for us to settle down and smile now.

untitled

Feel Better and Out With the Old Detox Bath

While bath is filling with nice, hot water, pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of sea salt, a few drops of bubble bath or organic dish soap.  A few drops of rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, and orange essential oils (or your choice, go easy on the “hot” oils).  A great drizzle of olive oil.  Light a candle, play some nice music.  Don’t rush.  This blend is very alkalizing and soothing to muscles and detoxes tissues.