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Oct 18, 2019

2019 July Organtics


Oct 18, 2019

Remineralizing Toothpaste

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

I have horrible teeth - at least, I did. That all changed when I started going

natural and began learning about remineralizing toothpaste. I got this recipe

from thepaleomama.com, and after using it for three months I went to the dentist

for the first time in several years (college days!) and walked out with a perfectly

healthy mouth- a completely unprecedented event.

1/3  Cup bentonite clay

1/4  Cup boiling water

  1 Tbsp of coconut oil

1/4  tsp of Redmond Salt (this company also has a great toothpaste line now)

1/2  tsp of REAL stevia - just the ground leaf, unprocessed

*15   drops of DoTerra OnGuard essential oil (or Immune by Purify Skin Therapy)

*10   drops of DoTerra Peppermint essential oil (or Peppermint by Purify Skin Therapy)

*Sub Tooth & Gum Blend by Purify Skin Therapy for OnGuard and Peppermint 

Put the bentonite clay in a bowl and set aside. Boil the water and add the coconut oil to the water until melted. Use a hand mixer to blend the water/coconut into the bentonite clay. Add the salt, stevia, and essential oils and blend until mixed. Keep in a covered jar.


Oct 18, 2019

2019 Summer Garden Guide

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Your garden is growing, your flowers are blooming, and life is good, so what is left to do?  A lot of your yard may be on autopilot during the summer months, but it still needs your help to thrive.

Monitor your watering – Watch for stunted growth on any plants from underwatering, or fungus on leaves from overwatering.  Keep an eye on sprinkler units that may in hot weather, causing pooling instead of sending the water to your plants.

Stay on top of weeding to keep unwanted plants from growing large enough to distribute more seeds.  When pulling weeds, be sure to pinch at the base of the plant to pull up as many roots as possible to keep them from growing back.  Better yet, purchase a hand tool for weeding that you can stick down into the ground and leverage the roots up and out of the earth.  If you have stubborn weeds use this pet-safe weed killer recipe in a spray bottle: ½ cup vinegar, 1 cup Epsom salt, and 1/8 cup dish soap.

Got aphids?  There are multiple ways to get rid of them without using harmful pesticides.  Many people suggest bringing in ladybugs, but they will leave your garden if they're not a native species to your area. If you have a somewhat large species of aphids on your plants, try donning a pair of garden gloves and pinching them off the plants by hand. There are all natural, premixed insecticide soaps available, or you can dilute a few tablespoons of dish soap in a small bucket of lukewarm water and use a sponge or spray bottle to apply the mixture to plants where aphids have taken hold.


Oct 18, 2019

Make Ice Cream From Juicing

by Chris, Director of Sales

Want delicious, vegan, guilt-free sorbet without having to go out or fuss with an ice cream maker? Try your single-gear, masticating juicer or blender! With your juicer’s blank plate or homogenizing function, you can combine fruit like bananas, strawberries, and mango and immediately enjoy a no-sugar-added, soft serve ice cream that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients!

Fit your masticating juicer with its blank plate or select the homogenizing function. Place your ice cream bowl under the juicer spout and turn on the machine. Adding a couple of pieces at a time, slowly feed through frozen fruit. Watch with amazement as the vibrant soft serve comes out! When finished, enjoy your treat as is, or get decadent with your favorite toppings like chopped nuts, granola, or honey!

Don’t have the right juicer or part? If you have a Vitamix or comparable high-powered blender, you can achieve the same effect by using the tamper while blending on high for 10-30 seconds.

Word to the wise: small batches turn out better when using the Vitamix, so don’t load it up to the top!

Here are some particularly tasty combinations:

  1. Banana and berries
  2. strawberries and mango
  3. peaches, raspberries, and coconut
  4. banana, strawberry, and chocolate sauce
  5. Just plain Mango!
  6. Coconut and strawberry
  7. Blueberries, cherries, and coconut

     

Oct 18, 2019

The Artist Behind the Images - an Interview with Carel

by Matt, Herbal Head Honcho

Over the years as the Almanac has grown in popularity, people have asked us who is responsible for our unique cover art, so this year we sat down with the artist, Carel P. Brest van Kempen, to get an insight into his life and artwork. Enjoy our Q&A!

Q.     Carel, you have been an award-winning painter of wildlife for a long time. What first sparked your interest in art and nature?

"Both things have been with me from the very start. Right after I turned four, my family moved to Emigration Canyon, which was the drainage that Brigham Young and the Mormon Pioneers followed into the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It was a wonderful place for a boy to grow up, and living there was a really important factor in shaping me. I took full advantage and spent as much time as I could exploring the backcountry. I used to carry a sketch pad around as a boy, and imagined myself as a 20th-Century Audubon, with grand plans to put together a big illustrated book depicting the animals and plants of the Wasatch Mountains. Since boyhood, I've always studied the natural world obsessively and enjoyed drawing and painting."

Q.     What aspects of your art do you find the most difficult or the most interesting?

"I think the hardest thing about painting is that the artist knows exactly what it is he's trying to communicate, and I find it's impossible to look at my own work from the point of view that the rest of the world sees it from. That makes it impossible to know whether a painting works or not. The most enjoyable part of painting a piece by far is working out the composition, which I do before I do any actual painting. This is where the creativity is."

Q.     You lead a unique lifestyle, somewhat removed from what other people might consider essential conveniences. Why?

"I don't feel the need for a car or a cell phone. As somebody who loves the natural world, I try to limit my consumption as much as I can. I love to ride a bicycle and find that a bike can meet 98% of my transportation needs. I find that a landline and a home desktop do all the cell phone tasks that I need. I only use a cell phone for travel."

Q.     What are the traits that you find most predictive of success for an artist?

"Developing the skills of drawing and painting are like any other field. You have to put in the work. Talent doesn't have all that much to do with it. Going beyond that point and creating important work, that's where talent makes a difference. You can't really teach a person to have a good aesthetic judgment or to have something interesting to say with their paintings."

Q.     What most drove the development of your talent?

"My theory is that I'm always learning lots of little things, then eventually I'm able to tie those bits together. It was during one of those jumps in my late 20s that I decided to try to be a professional artist. That was a very exciting time. I was completely focused on that goal, and throughout my 30s, pretty much all I did was paint. I put my belongings in storage and lived rent-free for three and a half years to make it easier to concentrate just on art. Another big growth moment for me was when I met Carl Brenders, an amazing Belgian artist. I met him when he was the featured artist at an expo in 1993. There's a marked difference in my paintings before and after that. He's continued to be a very good and generous friend as well as an inspiration."

Q.     What have some of the highlights of your career been?

"Studying nature in the field is crucial, and my favorite experiences have been in nature. Watching the courtship of Wreathed Hornbills in Indonesia, birds of paradise in New Guinea, tracking Drills (a large and very rare baboon) in Cameroon, mountain gorillas in Uganda...I have so many wonderful memories of the field. I've also been lucky to have had my work in a lot of really exciting places. One of the most memorable was at the National Museum in Taipei in 2000. I got to be featured in another similar show in Qingdao, China, in 2017. I just participated in a very exciting project that was unveiled in August 2018, “Silent Skies.” Artists For Conservation, a Canada-based organization, commissioned a 100-foot-long mural made up of 678 different 8-inch-square paintings depicting the Earth's endangered bird species."

Q.     Where can people find your work?

"Over the next year, my solo show will visit the Shafer Gallery in Great Bend, KS, the Chicago Academy of Sciences Notebaert Museum, and the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences. You can see exhibit specifics and lots of examples of my work at cpbrestvankempen.com."


Oct 18, 2019

June 2019 Window to Wanderlust

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Oct 15, 2019

Sunburn Relief

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

There are plenty of ways to shield your skin from damaging UV rays these days, but we can still find ourselves with a nasty sunburn.  Maybe your initial coat of SPF wore off while you were at the lake, you forgot to apply any before a round of yard work, or you went for a hike and forgot to pack the sunblock.  Here are some effective measures you can take after you begin to feel the burn:

Internal relief - while sunburns are a painful surface problem, try relief from within by taking PhysiQOL from Ridgecrest Herbals.  With ingredients like Turmeric, Boswellia extract, Teasel root, and Indian Tinospora (all supportive of the body’s ability to maintain a healthy anti-inflammatory response), this is a great place to start, or as a supplement to other topical remedies.

Salt - Salt has amazing chemical properties when it comes to burns.  Whenever my mother would get burned in the kitchen, I remember watching her immediately wet the area, apply a generous helping of table salt to the burn, then wrap it in a wet paper towel.  She'd wear it for a couple of hours, and the burn would be diminished.  For mild to intermediate sunburns, try an Epsom salt bath.  Start with a warm enough bath to dissolve at least 2 to 4 cups of Epsom salt, then let the water sit to cool, or add ice cubes to bring the temperature to a more comfortable range once the salt has dissolved.  Soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes to feel  relief.  If you don't have access to a bathtub, you can dissolve 2 to 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt into a spray bottle and spray the affected areas.  

Apple Cider Vinegar - Some people swear that apple cider vinegar is the key to sunburn relief, simply by applying it to a rag or paper towel, and blotting the affected skin with it.  While this smell may be too strong for some people, it is a viable option for relief.

Essential Oil Sunburn Spray - If you find salt too drying for your skin type, give this spray a try:  Mix 15 drops of peppermint oil, 15 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of frankincense oil in a 2 ounce spray bottle, and top off the remaining space with equal parts of witch hazel and a natural aloe vera.  Shake, and spray directly to the burn.  The peppermint and lavender will help to cool and calm the skin, while the frankincense, witch hazel, and aloe vera will help to balance pH and help your skin repair itself.


 


Oct 15, 2019

The Doctrine of Signatures

by Will, Ginger-Beard of Power

Hey, look at this! Chop a carrot and look at its inside.  Looks a lot like a human eye, doesn’t it? Try it. Better yet, find an heirloom carrot, or maybe some of the mixed color carrots, and you will see an even more familiar “sight,” wink!

There are quite a few foods in nature that look suspiciously close to the human organ they benefit. This association was not lost on the ancients and has been explored through the ages by the great minds of their times. Hippocrates said the now-famous phrase “Let food be thy medicine.” Paracelsus claimed that “Nature marks each growth...according to its curative benefit.” Jakob Bӧhme (16th century) claimed that God marked plants with a “signature,” to help us identify its benefits. William Coles felt the same, and even Foucault argued the merit of the concept. Some plants were so well known to benefit the human body that their names developed directly from the benefits they give, such as toothwort or eyebright. These names are just an indication of how old this concept is. 

While there are many plants and foods that follow these interesting patterns, there are also deadly or toxic plants that do as well - how fortunate that we live in an age where the collected wisdom of humanity can be searched at a glance so that we don’t have to make a deadly mistake when exploring the doctrine of signatures!

Here are just a few foods that have been scientifically proven to provide benefits to the organs they resemble: 

Ginger: Ginger resembles the stomach and is one of the best ways you can naturally cure nausea and motion sickness. it also aids digestion and nutrient absorption. 

Pomegranates: Pomegranates look like little blood cells, and a study out of Israel showed that pomegranates help blood flow and blood health in several ways.

Walnuts: Walnuts look like the brain, with their folds and wrinkles. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, the building block of the more than 100 billion cells in the brain. Omega-3’s aid the function of neurotransmitter receptors. 

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are red and have chambers just like the human heart.  

Mushrooms: A sliced mushroom looks like the human ear. They contain Vitamins C, D, and E, all which help guard against cellular damage in the ears and blood vessels. 

Grapes: Grapes look like the alveoli of the lungs, and are full of antioxidants and resveratrol, which supports free movement in the cells of the nasal passages and lungs. 

Carrots: The most well-known signature, carrots contain beta-carotene, a vitamin that protects eye health, especially in older people. 

Celery: Celery looks like your bones, with that same good crunch! This alkalizing veggie is full of Vitamin K, which is necessary on a cellular level for bone health. It also has calcium, folate, manganese (for the synthesis of connective tissue in the bone), and magnesium.

Kidney beans: Kidney beans are self-explanatory, aren’t they? They are rich in magnesium and potassium, which help keep the kidneys free from buildup.

Sweet Potato: This yummy french fry option closely resembles the pancreas. That makes sense, as it is a low glycemic carb that helps support even blood sugar, making the pancreas's job easier. 

Figs: This one is a bit of low-hanging fruit, but have you ever noticed that figs hang in twos and are full of seeds contained in a sac? Their appearance may be why they have long been a symbol of male fertility. Now science has revealed that figs actually can increase sperm motility and quantity. It’s nuts!

 If you are like me, you spend a lot of time thinking about what is the truth, our purpose, and what we have a responsibility to do for the coming generations and how we respect life, time, and the body we have been gifted. Enjoy digging through the rich history and building your own thoughts around the Doctrine of Signatures. I did!





 


Oct 15, 2019

June 2019 Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Oct 15, 2019

Best Herbs for Pest Control

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

Gardening can be a rewarding endeavor, but keeping your plants alive sometimes means doing a little crowd control! Conventional poisons can harm soil, children, and pets, so here are some natural solutions I found:

 

 

Earwig Sauce Trap:

2 tbsp soy sauce 

½ c cooking oil

Shallow bowl/container

Mix together, leave overnight. This catches earwigs, centipedes, ants, and cockroaches. Keep away from pets. 

Ant & Spider Spray:

Water bottle

Water

5-10 drops peppermint or cinnamon essential oil

Mix and spray. I found that ants avoided places sprayed.

Ant Syrup:

½ c powdered sugar

3 tbsp borax

Enough water to make a thick syrup

Mix together, drop near ants. This killed some ants and the colony moved away. Keep away from pets & children.

Boozy Slug Trap:

Beer of choice

Shallow bowl or container 

Leave bowl out overnight. Dispose of caught slugs/snails.

Plants/Herbs for pest control: 

Marigolds - Mosquitoes, aphids

Nasturtiums - Aphids, beetles, squash bugs

Basil & Lavender - House flies, mosquitoes

Lemongrass, lemon balm, mint, rosemary - mosquitoes

Thyme - whiteflies, cabbage loopers & maggots, corn earworms, hornworms

Dill - aphids, squash bugs, spider mites, hornworms

Fennel - slugs, aphids, snails

Allium Family (chives/onions/leeks)- Slugs, aphids

Borage - Hornworms, cabbage moths

 

 


Oct 15, 2019

My Fasting Journey

by Shae, Customer Service and Social Media Goddess

Ever since I was in the third grade, I have struggled with my weight. I have been made fun of and called terrible names. It's been a long-standing scar in my life. So naturally, like so many of us, I am always searching for ways to be healthy. I have explored counting calories, keto, paleo, veganism, vegetarianism, juicing, and the HCG diet, with varied results from each. 

I was browsing social media one day, and someone touted the Snake Diet for weight loss and health benefits. I had never heard of it, so I began to research. The Snake Diet is prolonged fasting with a homemade electrolyte drink. When I first heard about prolonged fasting it seemed so extreme I couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I kept researching and found that intermittent & prolonged fasting has many health benefits, and weight loss is just a perk!

Despite the concept of fasting being new to me, it has been practiced for centuries and plays a central role in many cultures and religions around the world. We would not have survived as a species had our bodies not been designed to fast. My generation has been told our whole lives we need to eat 3-6 meals every day, making the idea of fasting for longer than a few hours scary to consider, not to mention the sugar addiction that keeps us going back to foods that aren't good for us. 

Scientific studies have found that intermittent and prolonged fasting can support and promote blood sugar control, heart health, good blood pressure, a healthy immune system, brain function, and metabolism.  Fasting has also shown to help with healthy skin, weight, longevity, natural detoxification within the body, and much more. 

One of the best benefits of fasting is that it promotes autophagy. Autophagy is a metabolic process in the body that helps to recycle old, damaged and diseased cells. How amazing are our bodies?

I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, infertility, amenorrhea, anovulation, eczema, dandruff, skin allergies, hirsutism, depression, and anxiety along with my weight problems. I have been on a journey of health for most of my adult life and am always trying to find ways to help myself after doctors have failed to help me. Perhaps fasting was the answer I had been looking for!

The Snake Diet protocol calls to start off with a 48 hr fast to break the fear of fasting. I pulled all my bravery and willpower together and committed to a 24hr fast first. Once I reached the 24hr mark, I felt amazing, so I pushed to the 48 hr fast. To my surprise I lost 2.5lbs in the first round, I had energy, my brain fog cleared, and I felt happy. I couldn’t believe it! I kept pushing with short fasts of 24hr & 48hrs for a few weeks before I made it to the 72hr mark, the longest I have gone so far. I have noticed that I am not as down or anxious, my co-workers have seen how bright my skin glows, and I have lost a total of 20 pounds in two months. My husband, who is doing this experiment with me, has lost 50! 

I have found a new sense of empowerment. I have this great feeling of being in control of my body and my health. I have become acutely aware of what my body needs, what is my sugar addiction talking, the difference between want & need, that hunger is mostly dehydration or sugar/food addiction, and that I eat to find comfort when feeling emotional stress. Fasting has become yoga for my digestive system and eating habits. Less has become more,  and I have a greater appreciation for food. I notice how various foods affect my body, for example, grass-fed beef helps me feel more energized and I can fast longer afterward, whereas chicken makes me hungry sooner and I notice more brain fog.

I plan to continue on my healing journey of fasting and hope that one day my biggest dream of becoming a mother will come true. 

I urge you to do some research on fasting, especially if you have health or weight issues. Who knows, fasting could be the answer you have been looking for! 


 

              




 


Oct 15, 2019

Bee-Friendly Plants that are Bee-Loved

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

Bees are in trouble! The threats of pesticides, herbicides, and other environmental

man-made hazards are drastically reducing their population. Without bees - we

have a food crisis. Here are some plants you can add to your yard that can give

them a much needed helping hand:

Lavender

White Clover

Dandelion

Echinacea

New England Aster

Blackberries

Raspberries

Catmint

Bee Balm

Chives

Thyme

Mint

Oregano

Sage

Rosemary

Lemon Balm

Basil

Hostas

Hyacinths

Snapdragons

Cosmos

Marigolds

Pansies

Geraniums

Other ways to help: use natural weed/pest controls (pouring boiling water on weeds is great!), create a water bath to keep bees hydrated, build homes for native bees, create awareness, educate local families and friends, or adopt a hive!  Our friends over at Host Defense have done some amazing research with bee life expectancy and medicinal mushrooms.  Search “Paul Stamets Save the Bees” for more information.


Oct 15, 2019

2019 Almanac Frequently Asked Questions

by Brit, Herbal Gaia

We regularly get calls from people asking excellent questions about our products. So we thought we would compile a list of the most common questions we are asked, so you both have the answers yourself and know the kind of great questions you should be asking any company about their products. Enjoy!

Will any of our products cause high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a serious condition and should be discussed with your health care provider. We have never received complaints of this side effect with any of our products, but sometimes people are concerned because several of our formulas include Chinese licorice. While European licorice has been shown to raise blood pressure in dosages over 400mg, much larger doses than our 36.2 mg of Chinese licorice are not known to have the same effect, and Chinese licorice is not used for that purpose in herbal medicine. 

Are our products safe to take while pregnant?

Because we are not medical physicians we legally cannot advise you on this issue, and you should discuss with your doctor about any supplements you are considering while pregnant. We have had customers and staff take our products while pregnant without issue. 

Are our products safe to take while breastfeeding?

In general, herbs are believed to be safe for breastfeeding mothers, and several are commonly used to help lactation supply. Again, we legally have to refer you to your medical advisor regarding this concern. 

Do our products contain tree nuts?

No, our products contain no tree nuts, GMO’s, soy, or corn, and all but Hair Revive are vegan. 

Can all of our products be taken long term?

Every individual is unique, and while some may find long-term use useful, others may see their results are better served by taking our products short term. Long-term use should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner (notice a pattern?). Breaks of 1-7 days can sometimes help increase effectiveness during extended use. 

What is Prop 65?

Proposition 65 is a California-only law so strict even the highest quality products on the market often require the warning. Even a carrot grown organically on a small rural farm often contains too much lead absorbed from the soil to successfully meet Prop65 standards, so legally it is safer for us to include the warning. However, our products don't contain any harmful chemicals or components that would put you at risk and exceed the safety standards set by the federal government. Our products are texted for heavy metals and other toxins at least three times before being released, and we have never had a complaint or adverse event related to Prop65. You can find a more thorough explanation of this law on our website.

Are our products manufactured in the same facility as allergens (such as crustaceans)? 

All our products save one are vegan and free from corn, dairy, gluten, GMO, soy, wheat, and yeast. The exception is Hair Revive, which contains N-Acetyl-l-cysteine derived from feathers (a by-product of poultry production). Our manufacturers rarely produce any products with common allergens and are required by law to thoroughly clean and sanitize their machines between batches of products to ensure no cross-contamination.  We personally audit our manufacturers to make sure they adhere to all regulations as well as our own, higher standards.  

Can the products be combined?

All of our products are safe to use, and it is common for people to take more than one at once. If you have concerns, we recommend you discuss your individual needs with your healthcare provider. You probably only want to start one new product at a time so you can judge the effectiveness and any reactions (though unlikely) you may have, and if you have a sensitive stomach be sure to take the products at separate times of the day with food. 

Can the capsules be opened and take another way?

Sometimes people struggle taking pills. The capsules can be opened and the contents can be added to smoothies, yogurt, applesauce, etc. There may be an herbal or vitamin taste. 

Do we offer coupons?

Currently, we do not offer coupons. All of our products are Buy 3 get 1 Free when purchased from us directly. Each month we have one or two items 25% off.  New customers get 20% off. The new customer and buy 3 get 1 free offer can not be combined. 

Will the products go bad if left in the heat?

This would depend on how hot they got, if the capsules melted or became otherwise compromised, and the humidity in your area. There is always a chance that exposure to heat and moisture could create a potential risk of microbes, and the potency of the product could become affected. Definitely throw it out if it develops an unpleasant or unusual smell. Feel free to contact us with questions if you are unsure.

What is the difference between ClearLungs & Airway Clear? 

The difference lies in the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). ClearLungs is considered a "hot" or "warm" formula. This simply means that it helps direct circulation to the lungs. When you increase circulation to the lungs, you increase oxygen and nutrient delivery and allow the body to naturally and gently cleanse. AirwayClear is considered a "cool" or "cold" formula. This means that it helps to cool the nervous system down - thus supporting open airways. Customers are encouraged to experiment with both to see what works best for them. Alternate doses if combining. 

Are all expiration dates set to 4 years out?

Our products that contain vitamins have a 2-year shelf life because vitamins are known to break down faster than herbs. Most herbs survive longer than our 4-year shelf life but we currently only have tested to prove shelf-stability for that time frame. 

Are your products Certified Organic? 

No. Most herbs are grown without chemicals or GMO’s, but pesticides from nearby farms can travel. We require documentation that no chemicals were used on the ingredients we purchase for our blends. We are always striving to ensure quality and transparency. 


 


Oct 15, 2019

A Living Roof

by Will, Ginger-Beard of Power

A living roof is a roof covered with vegetation. It provides many advantages, including improved air quality in urban centers, aesthetics, insulation, and vegetation/habitat for small animals. In 2017, I installed a living roof over my potting shed. This is how I did it:

I Built rafters at a 12-inch spacing on ¾ inch MDF, strong to handle snow load. I built a frame around the roof, for a 3.5-inch soil depth. I used pond liner to prevent leaking. The edge of the roof space was lined with shingles. We ran vinyl deer fencing long ways between layers of soil, and we were ready to fill and plant. I made my own mix of soil to keep it light and well-draining - a mixture of coconut peat, vermiculite, perlite, and utilite. The plants took off! They still have a long way to cover the entire roof space but it was clear they loved the space. The birds and bugs quickly started to use the space. Plants cool themselves much as we do. During hot summer days, you can feel the inside of the roof is far cooler than the outside temperature.


Oct 11, 2019

2018 RidgeCrest Herbal's Pumpkin Baking Contest Winner

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Ridgecrest loves pumpkin, so in October we had a contest to see who could make the most delicious pumpkin-based treat! Here’s the winner:

 

Scott’s Pumpkin Pastry

Ingredients

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 cup butter

• 1⁄2 cup water

• 3 large eggs

• 3⁄4 cup sugar

• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

• 1⁄2 tsp salt

• 1 egg beaten

• 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger

• 1⁄4 tsp ground cloves

• 1 15oz can of 100% pumpkin puree

• 4 oz evaporated milk 

Directions

1. In a large bowl, cut room temperature butter into flour until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Make a well in the center, add cold water. Mix until it forms a ball. Do not over-mix. Chill dough in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

3. While dough is chilling, blend pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Slowly stir in evaporated milk.

4. Divide dough into 4 parts and roll into 15-inch strips. Place filling along the center of each long strip of dough. Roll up and pinch the ends to seal. Place strips 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Brush with a beaten egg (the 3rd egg), and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

 


Oct 11, 2019

October 2019 Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Oct 11, 2019

The Detrimental Effects of Sugar

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

Let me preface this by saying that I am both a sugar-addict and an emotional eater. So don’t think I don’t understand how hard giving up sugar is. But after gaining 70 pounds in two years from stress eating and pregnancy, I was starting to face a future wrought with weight-related health problems. I have always been blessedly healthy and looking into that future scared me pretty badly. I had to give it up. And you know what? IT IS POSSIBLE!

Giving up an addiction is not easy. There are both physical cravings and psychological baggage that have to be considered and addressed. One thing that helps me keep on track is reminding myself about all the ways sugar is terrible for me. When you get that bug in your ear telling you, “this is going to increase my chances of getting sick with the cold going around,” or “if I eat this, it is going to be more painful to get out of bed tomorrow or climb the stairs to my apartment,” it can be easier to say no and stay on track, because it stops feeling worth it. So here are some not-so-fun facts about sugar to help motivate you to drop it from your lifestyle! 

  1. Sugar is classified as a hepatotoxin - “a toxic chemical substance that damages the liver.” OMG! 

  2. When sugar hits your system, it is quickly turned into fat.

  3. When you consume sugar, it enters your bloodstream and your body produces insulin to bring your blood sugar levels back down. When you consume excess amounts of sugar, your body starts to struggle with this, and you get insulin-resistance. This is what leads to diabetes.

  4. The sugar-high is followed by a crash, making you crave more sugar a few hours after consuming. So giving into one sugar craving is opening the path for cravings throughout the day. 

  5. Cancer cells thrive on sugar and use it as food to replicate and grow. 

  6. Sugar messes with your body’s production of leptin, the hormone that tells you when you are full. So eating sugar can lead to overeating other foods - and not feeling full.

  7. Sugar has many names - high fructose corn syrup, and anything ending in “-ose” on an ingredient label, i.e., fructose, sucrose, etc. So you have to read your labels!

  8. Sugar is found in almost every processed food in the grocery store, including yogurts, pasta sauces, bread, ketchup, etc. Even options that look healthy could be contributing to your sugar addiction - and making it harder to feel full!

  9. Your brain gets its fuel from two sources - glucose and fat. It functions better on fat, and excessive sugar consumption has been linked to anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, and dementia. Some parents with autistic children have found success in improving their child’s mental function by eliminating sugar and processed foods and moving to a high-fat diet. People with Traumatic Brain Injuries are encouraged to eat snacks high in healthy fat every few hours to improve brain function. 

  10. Excessive sugar consumption may be as bad for your liver as excessive alcohol. 

  11. Sugar increases your uric acid levels, which are factors in kidney and heart disease.

  12. Sugar is inflammatory and may contribute to feelings of soreness, difficulty moving, and other health problems associated with inflammation, such as IBD and Crohn’s, arthritis, and asthma.

  13. Refined carbs, such as processed bread, pasta, and cereal, are immediately converted to fructose in your body, so metabolically they are basically the same as eating sugar.

  14. When your body stores sugar as fat, it likes to store it in the belly region, leading to fatty liver disease and other serious health problems.

  15. Sugar, obviously, contributes to obesity and the health issues associated with being overweight.

  16. Detrimental health effects have also been associated with artificial sweeteners. 

It is crazy to me that, even knowing all the health risks associated with sugar consumption, I can still go binge-crazy on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (Chubby Hubby, if you were wondering). For me, it has to be all-or-nothing. I can’t have just a *little* sugar in a day. I can’t have just a *piece* of chocolate. If I sneak one Oreo from the office kitchen in the morning, by the end of the day there will be a cup full of peanut butter M&M’s at my desk, dinner will be followed by S’mores made on my stove, and a bag of Sour Patch Kids by my bed as I fall asleep. And I am likely to start the next day with pastries or sugary coffee. So I know that it isn’t easy to give up. No one knows it better than me. But if I can make it through the first week or two (or three, or six) staying in control and just saying no until the cravings go away, I feel better, I look better, and food just tastes better. It is hard, but believe me - if I can do it, anyone can!


Oct 10, 2019

Join the Blue Teal Project

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

When my son turned 2, I was faced with a dilemma. We are a whole-food, non-processed, low-plastic household, and I think it is important to spend an extra dollar or two to get organic food free from additives and preservatives for my kid. But when it came to his birthday cake, I needed to get enough to feed approximately 40 people. To get a cake that upheld our usual standards, it would mean spending around $60 on a cake from a specialty store, when I could get a huge sheet cake with plenty for all from Costco for under $20. Was it worth spending that much, especially when most people eating it wouldn’t care? 

Fortunately, the decision was made for me. One of my son’s weekly babysitters, who watched him for free, had a gluten allergy. I thought about just getting her a cupcake, but I didn’t want her to be singled out, so I went ahead and ordered the crazy gluten-free cake from a great (but expensive) local vegan bakery. 

It turned out I made a very good choice. Not only was my babysitter gluten-free, but her daughter was, as well, which I had not known. When her six-year-old daughter realized that she was going to be able to have a slice of REAL birthday cake, she went through the roof. In all the birthday parties she had attended, she had always been given a gluten-free cupcake. She had never had her own, real, honest-to-goodness slice of birthday cake. The excitement she had for getting to experience something so incredibly normal brought joy to my heart and made the cost worth it. It turned out another kid there had an egg allergy, so the fact it was vegan allowed another kid to experience the special joy of a slice of birthday cake. 

There is an organization out there called the Teal Pumpkin Project. It allows you to add your home to a map so kids with allergies in your area will know your house has something just for them. So be sure to get some stickers, trinkets, slap bracelets, Pogs, whatever is in right now - and put it in a separate plastic pumpkin for the kids in your neighborhood. I sign up my house every year. We don’t deal with allergies, but something doesn’t have to affect you for you to be part of the solution.


Oct 10, 2019

Shaes Fall Traditions

by Shae, Customer Service and Social Media Goddess

I grew up in a home without many traditions, except for celebrating Christmas, which as I grew up found was very much commercialized and it took the magic out of it for me. My partner also grew up without many traditions so when we married, we didn’t have any traditions. We even skipped the Christmas tree because I couldn’t bare the thought of killing a tree just to have it for three weeks and I was worried about the ecological impact plastic trees would have. 

As time has gone on, I have found a desire to bring more tradition into my life. Fall is my favorite season. I absolutely love anything that has to do with fall. I have been trying to cement in fall traditions, which include fall hikes, making soup and anything pumpkin. I have been putting together fall dinners and bonfires with friends and family. I am trying to make my own that are special to me and the people in my life. 

I have never done anything by the book so to speak, I draw outside the lines and make my own trail. So for those of you who don’t have traditions or are tired of the ones you do have, make your own! 


Oct 10, 2019

2019 October Window to Wanderlust

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

Mesa Verde National Park, New Mexico


Oct 10, 2019

Spider Identification - Friend or Foe

by Shae, Customer Service and Social Media Goddess

One of my fondest memories growing up was when my grandma would read to me. My favorite book was Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham. It was a story about a helpful little spider named Helen at a zoo. My dad would always catch & release spiders, instead of killing them. These influences sparked my lifelong love of these creepy little arachnids. As I got older, I began researching spiders’ roles as spirit guides/totems. Grandmother Spider is the weaver of creativity, the keeper of destiny & knowledge and the guardian of ancient languages & alphabets. She connects us to the energies of the spirit worlds and is a lunar symbol for death and rebirth, who teaches us that through polarity and balance creativity can be stimulated. 

Most spiders are really just misunderstood, friends!  Here are some facts about some of the most common spiders: 

Black Widows:

Location: The United States. They are usually found in dark, dry areas such as rock/woodpiles, basements, and garages.

Identification: These guys are shiny black or brown with a red hourglass on their abdomen

Bite: While a bite can cause severe pain, their bites are seldom deadly. Young children and the elderly are at the most risk of having severe reactions. Symptoms include nausea, sweating, cramps, fever, and dizziness, and you should seek medical attention if bitten.

Behavior:  These ones are nocturnal, build webs, and typically stay in one spot unless disturbed. They are shy and rarely bite unless provoked. 

Friend or Foe: Friend unless provoked, and they eat harmful insects.

Brown Recluse:  

Location: Found in warmer states between the Rockies and Appalachians. They like dark corners. 

Identification: Small brown, approximately the size of a quarter, with a violin pattern on their backs. They have six eyes instead of eight.

Bite: While their bites can lead to necrotic skin lesions, only around 10% of bites require medical attention and are not fatal. One of the most misdiagnosed bites, they typically look like small pimples or mosquito bites. The fangs are too small and short to bite through clothing. Biting is usually a response to being crushed or provoked.

Behavior: These fellas are not aggressive and run for cover when disturbed. They are nocturnal and shy away from daylight.          

Friend or Foe: Friend unless provoked, and they eat harmful insects.

Cellar Spider:

Location: Everywhere except Antarctica. They like dark, damp areas, as well as basements/sheds.

Identification: There are over 1,500 species of cellar spider, and are usually up to ¾ inch length, and skinny & fragile with long legs. Pale, yellow, light brown, or gray.

Bite: These guys are not aggressive; they have short fangs and don’t bite humans.

Behavior: This species is at least 400 million years old. They groom themselves and vibrate rapidly in response to predators!

Friend or Foe: Friend to us, but they eat other insects, including spiders!

Grass Spider:

Location: United States & Russia. You will find them in grassy areas.

Identification: Brown or gray with two parallel dark lines running lengthwise, with prominent spinnerets.

Bite: Lucky for us, grass spiders are not aggressive; they don’t bite humans.

Behavior: They build non-sticky funnel webs, and are often mistaken for wolf spiders.

Friend or Foe: Friend, of course! They provide excellent pest control.

Hobo:

Location: Pacific Northwest States. You will spot hobos scuttling in dark areas, flower beds, rock/woodpiles, and basements.

Identification: Brown with a zigzag pattern on the back, smooth even-colored legs, and the hobo males have two large palps between their front legs.

Bite: These friends are not aggressive, but will bite if threatened or pressed against the skin. Only about half of their bites are venomous, and none are strong enough to be life-threatening. Get bitten by these, and you might see redness, pain, headache, nausea, weakness, and fatigue. Seek medical attention with these ones.

Behavior: Hobos have poor vision and can only see a few feet away so they may run when spooked, sometimes towards people. They are funnel-web weavers and don’t have sticky webs. They are nocturnal and are poor climbers.

Friend or Foe: Friend unless provoked, and they eat insects.

Jumping Spider:

Location: These guys live everywhere except Antarctica & the Arctic and you will find them in a variety of habitats.

Identification: Black, brown, tan, gray, or white with pale markings. Fuzzy, they can be ⅛”-¾” long. 

Bite: Not aggressive or capable of biting humans.

Behavior: Jumping spiders are active during the day, these fellas like sunshine, plus they have fantastic eyesight except at night. As you can infer, they are great at jumping! These are the most prominent family of spiders in the word and account for 13% of all spiders.

Friend or Foe: Friend, naturally. They eat flies, gnats, and other spiders.

Orb Weavers:

Location: The United States & Canada. They like gardens and vegetation.

Identification: With over 4,000 species, orb weavers are typically brightly colored with patterns and ¼”-1”, long, spiny legs. They can usually be identified by their intricate, wheel-shaped webs. Catface spiders are in this family.

Bite: These are not aggressive and will only bite in self-defense. Their bite is not venomous and produces localized pain no more significant than a wasp's sting.

Behavior: Because of their poor eyesight, they rely on vibrations to tell them what is around them.

Friend or Foe: Friend, they provide natural pest control.

Wolf Spider:

Location: Everywhere except Antarctica. They prefer grassy areas, woold/rock piles, and basements.

Identification: These guys are up to 1”, brown with black markings, and hairy.

Bite: These ones are not aggressive unless provoked, but their bite is painful like a bee sting and can cause red bumps, swelling, and itchiness. Allergic reactions can include nausea and dizziness. Seek medical attention if you run afoul of these ones.

Behavior: They are fast-moving hunters who don’t spin webs, with excellent eyesight. They are nocturnal and carry their babies on their backs.

Friend or Foe: Friend unless provoked, and they eat harmful insects.

While you might find these little guys creepy or scary, most spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them! They eat other insects, they are a crucial part of the ecosystem, and they saved Wilbur! 


 


Oct 3, 2019

2019 February Window to Wanderlust

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Oct 1, 2019

Becoming an Effective Political Advocate

by Matt, Herbal Head Honcho

Politics are like the weather—people like to complain a lot, but they hardly ever do anything about it! Luckily, politics is slightly easier to change, though it definitely takes longer to see those changes (Here in Utah, we say that if you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes!). Sometimes the pace of political change can seem glacial, but when enough people get behind an important idea, change can come with remarkable speed. Here are a few principles to help jumpstart your political activism:

  1. Your government representatives work for YOU. So when you speak, they want to listen! Your support and vote are important to them. Don’t be shy about approaching them with issues that are important to you.

  2. You are not alone in trying to get your representative’s ear. Each Congressperson currently represents about 711,000 people and each US Senator represents from 563,626 to 37,253,956 people. They can’t personally meet with everyone, but luckily, not everyone is trying to meet with them. Just by making an effort you improve your chances!

  3. Your representatives have staff. Use them! Representative track lots of issues and delegate them to employees for day-to-day monitoring. In many cases, the subordinates may know the problems you are dealing with better than their boss, and they have the boss’ ear, even after you go back to work. Staff members can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so treat them right.

  4. Your representatives are BUSY, so be respectful of their time. Get straight to the point and tell them what you would like them to help with, and how.

  5. Understand the process and be informed. It won’t help your credibility if what you are asking for is impossible, or was soundly defeated three weeks ago. If you understand the lawmaking process, you can better contribute to the discussion.

  6. Every bill is assigned to a committee for initial screening. Work with members on the appropriate committees to make sure your bill gets early traction.

  7. Get bi-partisan support. If your bill or issue appeals only to one party, then its chances of success are minimal. Influential members of both parties will help your issue get serious consideration.

  8. Representatives have differing priorities and objectives. Not every representative may be aware of your issue, and they may be fighting other battles so they may not want to lead out on your topic. Still, if you can find an ally elsewhere to carry the ball, you can at least get your representative to vote in favor of your pet project when it comes up.

  9. Some representatives may just see things differently from you. That’s okay. You don’t have to win all of the votes to your side— only the majority. Treat other views with respect, even if they disagree, because you may yet need their vote on another issue. This is a good rule for life in general, even though it runs counter to the current polarized style of national discourse.

  10. You are not the only person interested in your issue. Organize with others to multiply your voice and make it heard! The more you educate people, the better your chances of success!

  11. Representatives can do more than just make laws. Sometimes a Congressional press conference, letter, subpoena, or hearing can be all that is needed to change the course of public policy. Be creative!

  12. Be persistent. Few legislative successes come easily or quickly. Keep after it until you succeed.

Although these principles are written with an eye toward Washington DC, they also apply to state and local issues right up to the United Nations. Remember the old adage—all politics is local. Representatives listen most to the people they represent, so local connections are always the key to getting things done. Getting your neighbors involved with you on a cause you believe in can be both fun and rewarding and can help make your world a better place.

Finally, don’t limit yourself to thinking locally. Involve friends you meet from other places too! They can work on their representatives, whether they live across town or around the world. 

Armed with these simple ideas, you can do a lot! Whether you want to help bring about world peace or save Franklin’s bumblebee (or both!), you stand a much better chance if you work smart! I hope this helps, and I hope to see you on the Hill - you will find me there advocating in just these ways for the supplement industry!


Oct 1, 2019

2019 April Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Oct 1, 2019

Keeping a Clean Home for Health

by Melissa, Office Manager

Keeping a clean house benefits your body and soul. A clean house is healthier; it reduces allergens and bacteria. It lowers the risk of injury, wards off pests, and reduces mold. Studies show that the "visual noise" of a cluttered home can increase stress levels, impact sleep, and affect long-term health. Cleaning lowers stress levels, so there is no downside!

Having a cleaning schedule helps me to make sure everything gets done. Here what I do, try creating one for yourself:

Daily Cleaning - Making the bed, dishes, wiping counters, etc. These things take two minutes or less - not a big deal, but will save you time in the future. 

Weekly Cleaning: Bathrooms, dusting, and vacuuming. If you don’t have the time to do them all in one day during the week, do one task a day on rotation.

Monthly/Seasonal: Cleaning the fridge, dusting your blinds, and decluttering are jobs that need to be done frequently, but not every week.

Yearly Tasks: I like to tackle one big cleaning project a month. Washing the windows, cleaning out all of your cupboards, cleaning your gutters, etc. 

Create a schedule and follow it yourself to see if you notice the mental benefits!


Sep 30, 2019

Joining the Herbalist Guild

by Brit, Herbal Gaia

Joining the American Herbalist Guild (AGH) by Brittini, MH, Herbal Gaia I have been an herbalist now for over 15 years, during which time I have had some incredible experiences that have led me to believe that I am certainly in the industry that I belong. I chose a career path I would never grow tired of, one that provides endless opportunities for learning and growth. Being an herbalist offers me the luxury of combining my career with some of my favorite hobbies: herbs, natural medicine, nature, interesting people, meditation, spirituality, and so many more. As an herbalist, new opportunities present themselves all of the time and I try to take advantage of as many as I can! In 2018, RidgeCrest Herbals encouraged me to join the American Herbalist Guild, founded by some of the most influential herbalists in the US today. The American Herbalist Guild is an association of Herbal Practitioners that provides many services and educational resources to both herbalists and non-herbalists. Some of these resources include: JAHG (Journal of the American Herbalist Guild) available free to members and an annual fee of $15 for non-members. This Journal “promotes, reports and educates on all aspects of therapeutic herbalism, especially those that emphasize the clinical, historical, and professional application of botanical medicine. The Journal is relevant to practitioners, students, and teachers of herbalism, and those who manufacture, market and dispense botanical medicines.” Directory of Herbal Education that provides a list of herbal schools across the US and includes a search option to find schools near you and a guide to getting an education in herbal medicine. Directory of Herbalists across the US and a search option to find an herbalist near you. Free live webinars that are open to the public. A mentorship program that creates opportunities for working one on one with another established and experienced herbalist. Job listings in the herbal industry. An herbal events calendar that includes all types of wellness events, including herbal events, wellness certifications, aromatherapy, movement clinics, retreats, TCM courses, overseas Ayurvedic studies, and more. Herbal medicine and legal/regulatory FAQs. And more! Naturally, being a member of the AHG feels like a perfect fit for me. My membership fees have been paid, and my name and contact information can now be found under the “Find an Herbalist” tab on the AGH website! I am looking forward to attending the AGH Symposium (yet another exciting benefit) for 5 days in October. The Symposium will take place at the Unicoi State Park and Lodge in Helen, Northeast Georgia (A virtual option for attending is also available!) The theme for this year is “Bio-regional Herbalism.” Some of the classes include topics such as “Celtic Herbal Medicine,” “Journeying into Traditional Ayurveda,” and “Medical Mushrooms of the Southern Appalachia.” These are only a few, so the topics and classes will be challenging for me to narrow down! In addition to the many courses offered, there are other events such as mixers, firesides, dance receptions, movie nights, community lunches, and an herb crawl (I have no idea what that is, yet) which further allow individuals to bond within the herbalist community. This will be my first AGH Symposium. A follow-up article will be in order for next year’s Almanac, but for now, all I can say is I am over the moon to be a new member of the AGH and to be attending this extraordinary event! To access the resources listed above or for more information about the American Herbalist Guild and/or donations or sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.americanherbalistsguild.com.


Sep 26, 2019

2019 September Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Sep 26, 2019

Anyone Can Grow Succulents!

by Corina, Customer Service

I was born the quintessential city kid, so when I say growing anything is a struggle, believe me. Succulents are a new passion of mine. They work in the office or at home.

I recently started 3 different terrariums with both succulents and plants. The plant ones have died! I'm a plant killer! Yet I still can't seem to kill the succulents, so if you are wondering if you can grow and keep alive a succulent, take it from this black thumb, you can! Propagating succulents is very easy as well. You are going to need a lot of patience because it takes months to see new growth, but it is worth the time and effort to see new babies grow.

All you need to make new baby succulents is time and space. Pick off a well-watered thick leaf from the mother and place it somewhere safe. In a few weeks, you should notice a small little plant growing from the leaf. Don't jump the gun though, wait for a bit longer and roots will start to grow. The leaf that you picked off will start to wither at this point. Leave the leaf until it looks like it is a dried crisp. The leaf is where your new plant is getting all of its water and nutrients. Once you have some roots and a baby plant it is time to remove your leaf. Gently pull the leaf off while supporting the roots and the baby plant. It should come off without much fuss. Your new succulent is ready for a home in the soil. A good rule of thumb is however big of a pot you give it is how big it will grow.

I hope you try and enjoy growing and maintaining succulents as much as I have in the last few months!  


Sep 20, 2019

Coffee Smoothie

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

I wouldn’t say I am a coffee addict - lazy weekend mornings I often can’t find the motivation to make my cup o’ joe - but it is definitely one of life’s pleasures. So imagine the stars in my eyes when I realized there was such a thing as Coffee Smoothies! Especially since I am on a strict no sugar, no dairy diet, I was thrilled to find these recipes that create a sense of decadence without the unhealthy ingredients that usually go along with your favorite indulgence. They even have healthy fats to boost your metabolism! Here are just a few I have tried: 

Coconut Cashew Coffee Smoothie: ¾ cup brewed coffee ¼ cup coconut milk ¼ cup cashews 2 tbsp shredded coconut 1 small frozen banana Sea salt 1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds 

Espresso Peanut Butter: 1/4 cup peanut butter ½ cup coffee ¼ cup almond or coconut milk 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

Caramel Mocha: ½ cup coffee ½ cup almond or coconut milk 1 tbsp cocoa powder 1 banana 3 dates (pitted and warmed in hot water for 15 minutes) 1 cup ice


Aug 30, 2019

September 2019 Window to Wanderlust

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess


Aug 29, 2019

Beeswax Wraps

by RidgeCrest Herbals

DIY Beeswax Natural Food Wraps

Beeswax wraps are great alternatives to using plastic and for cutting down on waste. They are eco-friendly, reusable, affordable, and customizable. You can use them to cover bowls like you would plastic wrap and you can sew them into snack bags. 

Wash them with cold water (hot water may melt the wax) and mild soap for easy cleaning. They are not recommended for meat or items that have a lot of moisture like jello.

Materials:

¼ cup beeswax pellets

2 tbsp pine resin (this is optional but helps the cloth to cling better)

1 tbsp jojoba oil

4-12’’ square of 100% cotton fabric or tight woven muslin (the tighter the weave, the smoother the end product will be and this will help keep the wax from flaking later on.)

Equipment:

Parchment Paper

Baking sheet

1” wide paintbrush (can only be used for this)

Clothes drying rack

Scissors

Directions:

Cut fabric to desired shape and size. Melt the pine resin using a double boiler over medium heat. It may take a while for this to melt completely. Once melted, add the beeswax. Stir using a wooden stick until the resin and beeswax are melted completely. Slowly drizzle in the jojoba oil. Turn the heat to low to keep it melted.

Preheat oven to 225 and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one square of fabric/muslin on the parchment paper and paintbrush on the mixture, which will cool quickly. Place the baking sheet in the oven until the mixture is fully melted again. Only a few minutes. Take it out of the oven and spread the beeswax around again with the paintbrush to coat evenly.

Take another piece of fabric and lay it on top of the first square to blot up the extra melted wax, flip fabric over to make sure the blotting piece is now on the bottom. Return to the oven to melt again. Remove from the oven and hang the first piece to dry on a drying rack. Then repeat for remaining pieces.


Aug 29, 2019

Fulfilling This Dream Helped Build My Body Confidence

by Shae, Customer Service and Social Media Goddess

I grew up in a very rural small town, I am talking small as in the town just got its first stoplight fifteen or so years ago and still only has one. I had big dreams to move to the big city and when I lived there I was going to do so many things. One of those things being, take a belly dance class. I have lived in the “big city” now for ten years and I just barely started a belly dance class. I saw an ad that said we welcome all body types and skill levels and that was the invitation I needed. I enrolled and started taking classes. 

I didn’t realize how hard it would be, not physically, but emotionally. See dance classrooms have mirrors all around, you can’t escape them and I can’t look at myself in the mirror, hardly ever, because I don’t want to look at my body. The first class was so hard. I was full of anxiety, the full-on sweat anxiety and I could hardly pay attention because I was trying to avoid looking at myself.
Well, it's near impossible not to look at yourself in the mirror and learn to dance. You have to look at your form and must present a dancers pose, with your head up, you know like you have confidence? I didn’t have it. I cried on the way home. I was terrified of going back.

The second, third, fourth class I took Anxiety Free (shameless plug because it’s my favorite product and not because I work for RidgeCrest) to even make it to class. But then something happened, the better I got at the dance the moves the easier it was to look at myself in the mirror and not just to see my form but to see me and my body moving. Though I still don’t love what I see, every time, I am learning to. 

I don’t need Anxiety Free to go to class anymore and I am getting more confident at moving, at looking at myself in the mirror, at performing in front of others, though my stomach does flips when the instructor puts me on the spot. I have so much to learn still, but the confidence and empowerment I am learning from this class was quite unexpected and the experience has been very eye-opening. It has shown me not only dance, but it's helping me get over the fear of my body, of mirrors. It's pushing me to stop comparing my body to others, it’s helping me love myself even more.


Aug 29, 2019

Wild Mushroom Identification

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

First thing’s first before you start out on your journey to find wild edible mushrooms: purchase a mushroom identification guidebook. Mushrooms can look very similar and mistaking a mushroom for its poisonous counterpart could prove deadly. Please remember to never eat any mushroom if you’re not entirely sure what it is. All that said, these next five mushrooms should prove relatively easy to identify, primarily because most of them don’t have regular gills. 

Oyster Mushrooms: This is one of the ones that have gills - decurrent white gills to be precise. Decurrent means the gills are attached to and run directly down the stem. These almost always grow on dead wood such as trees, stumps, and logs. If they are not growing on wood - do not trust them. The cap is an oyster or fan shape that grows in a shelf-like formation with overlapping clusters. It is smooth with no warts or scales and has a delicate, anise-like aroma to it. Sometimes it has a stem. It comes in multiple colors but is mostly white to light brown with firm white flesh. They generally like cooler weather, and are very tasty! You’ll find them typically in the spring or fall growing on hardwoods and the occasional conifer. 

Morel Mushrooms: The two most important features to examine when trying to identify a morel mushroom are the cap shape and whether the interior is hollow. Morels have a pitted and deeply ridged, honeycomb-like cap. Most morels will be attached to the stem, they aren’t free as with other mushrooms. They like to hang around trees, particularly ash, elm, and apple trees. They are spring mushrooms and do need to be cooked before eating. Beware of the look-alike false morel: it is not hollow on the inside. 

King Bolete Mushrooms: Also known as Porcini mushrooms, there are several tasty varieties. They typically show up in the summer or fall around oak trees. They do not like acidic soil. Boletes do not have gills under their cap but have a yellow or brownish spongy surface of pores. The cap looks like a slightly greasy bun, with the color ranging from yellow-brown to reddish-brown. The stem is usually quite thick, club-shaped, solid, and white. When cut, the flesh should remain white. There are only a few toxic varieties of this mushroom, which turn blue when cut or bruised. These poisonous varieties also have a spongy surface of pores that are red in color. Careful: worms and maggots like to take up residence in these mushrooms. Make sure to give them a good inspection before throwing them into the skillet. 

Lobster Mushrooms: These aren’t actually a mushroom, though they are often mistaken for one! They are a fungus that grows on certain species of mushrooms, engulfing its host, called Sac fungi. Lobster Mushrooms have a hard red-to-orange exterior and a white interior, like (surprise) a lobster. They are typically found in old growth forests from late summer to fall. The best part? There are no poisonous look-alikes of this variety!

Chanterelle Mushrooms: Being able to recognize false gills is the most critical skill for chanterelle identification. False gills appear as forked folds or interlaced wrinkles on the underside of the mushroom, are not easily removed, and look as though they may have “melted.” True gills can be picked off and separated. The cap is either convex or vase-shaped with a yellow to orange color. The stems are solid, about the same color as the cap, and the flesh is white. Chanterelles have a fruity aroma similar to apricots. These are typically found from mid-summer to early fall on the ground in a variety of hardwood forests after the first rainfall. The toxic look-alikes of this variety are easy to distinguish because they have true gills rather than blunt ridges.

Resources & References: www.mushroom-appreciation.com, www.mushroom.world, urbanmushrooms.com   


 


Aug 29, 2019

Cutting the End Off the Ham - Rethinking the Obvious in Your Life

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

Growing up I always heard the story of a conversation between a newly married couple. The new husband asked his wife, “Why do you cut the ends off of a ham when you cook it?” She said she didn’t know, it was just how her mother had always done it. So at the next family gathering, the new son-in-law asked his wife’s mother, “Why do you cut the ends off of the ham when you cook it?” The mother-in-law said she didn’t know, it was just how her mother had always done it. So the man finally asked the grandmother, “Why do you cut the ends off of the ham when you cook it?” and the grandmother gave the long-sought logical answer: “Because that is the only way it would fit into my pan.”

Sometimes our lives take shape in unexpected ways, and we end up just going along for the ride. Recently divorced, I was going through the motions of owning a business and managing a full-time job, the stress and the hard work and it suddenly struck me - “Why am I doing this? Because I want to? Or because I feel like I have no choice? What if my life were different? What if I took control back and shaped a new life for myself?” For the first time in years, I started thinking outside of the box of the life I had been swept into and began reimagining. What IF I didn’t have this burden? What would my life look like? How would it be different? Would it be better? I realized that there was nothing stopping me from reshaping my life into something that worked better for myself and my son. 

When this idea first struck me, it was so revolutionary that I literally had to sit down. I had been so caught up in how things were, so used to doing what needed to be done without room to think about what I wanted, that I had forgotten that I had choices. That I had an actual say in my own life. I’m taking things slowly, but I feel like finally I am headed in a healthier, less stressful direction that will allow me to live a life on my own terms that will, thanks to RidgeCrest’s amazing support, be absolutely ideal for raising a child alone. 

Is there anything in your life like that? Anything that, like a Magic Eye, if you looked hard at would suddenly shift and morph into something else? Why are you cutting the ends off the ham? 


Aug 27, 2019

August 2019 Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Aug 27, 2019

August 2019 Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Aug 27, 2019

Drying Herbs to Make Tea

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Drying herbs to make tea is one of the simplest, most relaxing ways to begin a homesteading life. Teas are nutritious, healing, and comforting, and bring a sense of peace and grounding to your day. Start with leaves and stems of delicious, locally grown plants free from pesticides, like mint, lavender, chamomile, comfrey, or lemon balm. I prefer the bundling and hanging method of drying herbs, it is fast and the bundles look and smell beautiful. Harvest the stems (with leaves and flowers) early to mid-afternoon when they are dry. Lay them on paper towels to air so that when you bundle them there will not be any moisture inside the bundle - a couple of hours is sufficient.  Gather the dried sprigs evenly with stems at one end and tie them into a bundle 2-3 inches from the bottom of the stems. Hang the bundles upside down to dry in a well-ventilated area. They should hang in a clean, dry area of your home without direct sunlight or complete darkness, away from chemicals. Dry until the stems break easily and the leaves and flowers crumble. Put them in a blender and pulse a few times to grind down into tea-sized bits. Store in a cool, dry area for up to six months.


Aug 25, 2019

August 2019 Window to Wanderlust

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington 


Aug 25, 2019

Remineralizing Toothpaste

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

I have horrible teeth - at least, I did. That all changed when I started going

natural and began learning about remineralizing toothpaste. I got this recipe

from thepaleomama.com, and after using it for three months I went to the dentist

for the first time in several years (college days!) and walked out with a perfectly

healthy mouth- a completely unprecedented event.

1/3  Cup bentonite clay

1/4  Cup boiling water

  1 Tbsp of coconut oil

1/4  tsp of Redmond Salt (this company also has a great toothpaste line now)

1/2  tsp of REAL stevia - just the ground leaf, unprocessed

*15   drops of DoTerra OnGuard essential oil (or Immune by Purify Skin Therapy)

*10   drops of DoTerra Peppermint essential oil (or Peppermint by Purify Skin Therapy)

*Sub Tooth & Gum Blend by Purify Skin Therapy for OnGuard and Peppermint 

Put the bentonite clay in a bowl and set aside. Boil the water and add the coconut oil to the water until melted. Use a hand mixer to blend the water/coconut into the bentonite clay. Add the salt, stevia, and essential oils and blend until mixed. Keep in a covered jar.


Aug 25, 2019

The History of Fermentation

by Will, Ginger-Beard of Power


Aug 25, 2019

Summer Garden Guide 2019

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

Your garden is growing, your flowers are blooming, and life is good, so what is left to do?  A lot of your yard may be on autopilot during the summer months, but it still needs your help to thrive.

Monitor your watering – Watch for stunted growth on any plants from underwatering, or fungus on leaves from overwatering.  Keep an eye on sprinkler units that may in hot weather, causing pooling instead of sending the water to your plants.

Stay on top of weeding to keep unwanted plants from growing large enough to distribute more seeds.  When pulling weeds, be sure to pinch at the base of the plant to pull up as many roots as possible to keep them from growing back.  Better yet, purchase a hand tool for weeding that you can stick down into the ground and leverage the roots up and out of the earth.  If you have stubborn weeds use this pet-safe weed killer recipe in a spray bottle: ½ cup vinegar, 1 cup Epsom salt, and 1/8 cup dish soap.

Got aphids?  There are multiple ways to get rid of them without using harmful pesticides.  Many people suggest bringing in ladybugs, but they will leave your garden if they're not a native species to your area. If you have a somewhat large species of aphids on your plants, try donning a pair of garden gloves and pinching them off the plants by hand. There are all natural, premixed insecticide soaps available, or you can dilute a few tablespoons of dish soap in a small bucket of lukewarm water and use a sponge or spray bottle to apply the mixture to plants where aphids have taken hold.




 


Aug 17, 2019

ClearLungs Liquid Wins its First Award!

by RidgeCrest Herbals

The awards keep coming in for RidgeCrest Herbals! This time it is their ClearLungs Liquid that has won the 2019 Taste For Life Back-to-School Essentials Award for Immune Support. 

The ClearLungs formula is Ridgecrest Herbals’ premier product and holds a special place in their heart as the one that started it all back in the ’90s. For years it has been the #1 natural product in the country for lung health. The basis of this formula dates back 2,000 years! In TCM, the lungs are considered the “Upper Source of Water” and Qi flows downward from the lungs. If the lungs fall out of balance, symptoms of stuffy chest, cough, or signs of water stagnation (phlegm, urinary problems, edema, etc.) occur. To support the lungs, bitter herbs are used to encourage a downward flow, and warming herbs increase circulation to the lungs to increase heat. This formula can be taken with their AirwayClear for additional support. Their liquid option provides the same benefits as the Original formula with a pleasant, natural orange flavor for those who don’t like or struggle with taking pills.

Dong Quai Root: Studies show it may help the body to dilate bronchioles to support open airways and encourage circulation to the lungs and respiratory system.

Gardenia Fruit: Commonly used to relieve nasal pressure, to calm the body, and relax muscles.

Chinese Skullcap Root: Contains compounds that support the body’s natural state free from excess inflammation and helps support natural immune function.

Poria Fungal Body: Contains multiple vitamins and other nutrients essential to healthy cardiac function and blood circulation and helps balance electrolytes and revitalizes the spleen for immune support. 

Zhejiang Fritillary bulb: Traditionally used to help reduce mucus, decrease system stagnation, improve the lymphatic system and support overall cardiovascular function.

This is the first award for ClearLungs Liquid, but it the fifth industry award for the ClearLungs family of products, and the 16th award for RidgeCrest Herbals.  


 


 


Jul 16, 2019

Low-Carb Mini Fruit Tarts

by Shae, Customer Service and Social Media Goddess

The page content is not found

Jul 16, 2019

Make Ice Cream From Juicing

by Chris, Director of Sales

Want delicious, vegan, guilt-free sorbet without having to go out or fuss with an ice cream maker? Try your single-gear, masticating juicer or blender! With your juicer’s blank plate or homogenizing function, you can combine fruit like bananas, strawberries, and mango and immediately enjoy a no-sugar-added, soft serve ice cream that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients!

Fit your masticating juicer with its blank plate or select the homogenizing function. Place your ice cream bowl under the juicer spout and turn on the machine. Adding a couple of pieces at a time, slowly feed through frozen fruit. Watch with amazement as the vibrant soft serve comes out! When finished, enjoy your treat as is, or get decadent with your favorite toppings like chopped nuts, granola, or honey!

Don’t have the right juicer or part? If you have a Vitamix or comparable high-powered blender, you can achieve the same effect by using the tamper while blending on high for 10-30 seconds.

Word to the wise: small batches turn out better when using the Vitamix, so don’t load it up to the top!

 

Here are some particularly tasty combinations:

 

  1. Banana and berries
  2. strawberries and mango
  3. peaches, raspberries, and coconut
  4. banana, strawberry, and chocolate sauce
  5. Just plain Mango!
  6. Coconut and strawberry
  7. Blueberries, cherries, and coconut

     


Jul 16, 2019

The Artist Behind the Images - an Interview with Carel

by Matt, Herbal Head Honcho

Over the years as the Almanac has grown in popularity, people have asked us who is responsible for our unique cover art, so this year we sat down with the artist, Carel P. Brest van Kempen, to get an insight into his life and artwork. Enjoy our Q&A!

Q.     Carel, you have been an award-winning painter of wildlife for a long time. What first sparked your interest in art and nature?

"Both things have been with me from the very start. Right after I turned four, my family moved to Emigration Canyon, which was the drainage that Brigham Young and the Mormon Pioneers followed into the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It was a wonderful place for a boy to grow up, and living there was a really important factor in shaping me. I took full advantage and spent as much time as I could exploring the backcountry. I used to carry a sketch pad around as a boy, and imagined myself as a 20th-Century Audubon, with grand plans to put together a big illustrated book depicting the animals and plants of the Wasatch Mountains. Since boyhood, I've always studied the natural world obsessively and enjoyed drawing and painting."

Q.     What aspects of your art do you find the most difficult or the most interesting?

"I think the hardest thing about painting is that the artist knows exactly what it is he's trying to communicate, and I find it's impossible to look at my own work from the point of view that the rest of the world sees it from. That makes it impossible to know whether a painting works or not. The most enjoyable part of painting a piece by far is working out the composition, which I do before I do any actual painting. This is where the creativity is."

Q.     You lead a unique lifestyle, somewhat removed from what other people might consider essential conveniences. Why?

"I don't feel the need for a car or a cell phone. As somebody who loves the natural world, I try to limit my consumption as much as I can. I love to ride a bicycle and find that a bike can meet 98% of my transportation needs. I find that a landline and a home desktop do all the cell phone tasks that I need. I only use a cell phone for travel."

Q.     What are the traits that you find most predictive of success for an artist?

"Developing the skills of drawing and painting are like any other field. You have to put in the work. Talent doesn't have all that much to do with it. Going beyond that point and creating important work, that's where talent makes a difference. You can't really teach a person to have a good aesthetic judgment or to have something interesting to say with their paintings."

Q.     What most drove the development of your talent?

"My theory is that I'm always learning lots of little things, then eventually I'm able to tie those bits together. It was during one of those jumps in my late 20s that I decided to try to be a professional artist. That was a very exciting time. I was completely focused on that goal, and throughout my 30s, pretty much all I did was paint. I put my belongings in storage and lived rent-free for three and a half years to make it easier to concentrate just on art. Another big growth moment for me was when I met Carl Brenders, an amazing Belgian artist. I met him when he was the featured artist at an expo in 1993. There's a marked difference in my paintings before and after that. He's continued to be a very good and generous friend as well as an inspiration."

Q.     What have some of the highlights of your career been?

"Studying nature in the field is crucial, and my favorite experiences have been in nature. Watching the courtship of Wreathed Hornbills in Indonesia, birds of paradise in New Guinea, tracking Drills (a large and very rare baboon) in Cameroon, mountain gorillas in Uganda...I have so many wonderful memories of the field. I've also been lucky to have had my work in a lot of really exciting places. One of the most memorable was at the National Museum in Taipei in 2000. I got to be featured in another similar show in Qingdao, China, in 2017. I just participated in a very exciting project that was unveiled in August 2018, “Silent Skies.” Artists For Conservation, a Canada-based organization, commissioned a 100-foot-long mural made up of 678 different 8-inch-square paintings depicting the Earth's endangered bird species."

Q.     Where can people find your work?

"Over the next year, my solo show will visit the Shafer Gallery in Great Bend, KS, the Chicago Academy of Sciences Notebaert Museum, and the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences. You can see exhibit specifics and lots of examples of my work at cpbrestvankempen.com."


Jun 6, 2019

Tips for Rocking it as a Single Mom

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

Recently on my social media, a soon-to-be first-time mom who was a lawyer asked a Mom group I belong to how to juggle working full time with an infant at home. I ended up giving her lots of advice, so apparently, I had a lot to say about that topic. Here is how I, personally, manage juggling a heavy workload at the office (in my case I have RidgeCrest, I own a boutique, and I do freelance work on the side), and managing life with a child at home.

1. Create routines and habits so that things feel automatic and require less thought.

2. If you can afford to outsource, absolutely do it. Pay someone to do the yard work or to deep clean the bathrooms, or fix that light switch that doesn’t work. For some women raised traditionally this feels like a cop-out, but I’d rather take the generational guilt with a side of clean house than go to bed underneath a mountain of dirty laundry.

3. Caffeine is your friend and there is much less evidence than people think about it being bad for babies; I would not have made it through the first three months of my baby home without a giant coffee to sip on through the day.

4. Prioritize healthy eating, it gives you more energy for dealing with everything else.

5. Embrace minimalism and get rid of all the clutter you can so that things don't build up in your house, and buy with intention - for me that means that my daily objects are mini-stress relievers because things like my two coffee mugs or my Ello water bottle make me happy every time I see them throughout my day.

5. I read a bunch of stuff online about how to keep things tidy and clean and the One Touch Rule has transformed my life, literally.

6. Make lists. I have lists in my kitchen for every type of event that takes me out of the house and what I need for each one so I don't forget an extra change of shoes or sunscreen. I LOVE that I can tell Alexa to add something to my shopping list or words my son knows without having to stop what I am doing.

7. Let go of guilt. I will never measure up to the genetically thin stay-at-home moms with their expensive joggers and handsome, wealthy husbands, and sure, my mom may have told me as I was getting divorced that she “couldn’t imagine working and missing those moments with her child” like I am somehow magically supposed to have money without working, but it’s all good. My situation is mine, my story is mine, and it has given me strength and experience that is unique to me. I can use my challenges to help show empathy and uplift others who go through similar things - and I will know not to say “your problem is portion control.”

8. Buy a Roomba!

9. On the nights you can, give yourself ten minutes to meditate. And don't feel bad about missing a day.

10. Multitask by listening to music or a book on tape while you are doing other things so you feel like you are getting more personal time for yourself by including something you enjoy in your day.

FINAL NOTE: #1 for me was stop caring what other people think of you. At work, this means challenging the status quo and demanding flexibility. Fortunately, RidgeCrest is extremely supportive and flexible with their expectations, making it the perfect place to be as a single mom. But for some moms, there is still a battle to be fought on office grounds. So DON’T let anyone make you feel guilty if your competing priorities of home and work means you have to juggle. It is not your place or role to make it seem like your children don't exist for your employers. It is their place to make the changes in the office environment to support you in your needs. We need moms in the office normalizing motherhood, not hiding it. It may be a shift for your company, but it is their shift to make, and it should have happened a long time ago. They are lucky to have you and by bringing the struggles of parenthood into your office you can not only fight the status quo for other mothers, but for fathers who should have been allowed and expected to have to manage their home responsibilities the way women do while at work to begin with.

What are your tips? Believe me, I could use them!


Jun 6, 2019

The Doctrine of Signatures

by Will, Ginger-Beard of Power

Hey, look at this! Chop a carrot and look at its inside.  Looks a lot like a human eye, doesn’t it? Try it. Better yet, find an heirloom carrot, or maybe some of the mixed color carrots, and you will see an even more familiar “sight,” wink!

There are quite a few foods in nature that look suspiciously close to the human organ they benefit. This association was not lost on the ancients and has been explored through the ages by the great minds of their times. Hippocrates said the now-famous phrase “Let food be thy medicine.” Paracelsus claimed that “Nature marks each growth...according to its curative benefit.” Jakob Bӧhme (16th century) claimed that God marked plants with a “signature,” to help us identify its benefits. William Coles felt the same, and even Foucault argued the merit of the concept. Some plants were so well known to benefit the human body that their names developed directly from the benefits they give, such as toothwort or eyebright. These names are just an indication of how old this concept is.

While there are many plants and foods that follow these interesting patterns, there are also deadly or toxic plants that do as well - how fortunate that we live in an age where the collected wisdom of humanity can be searched at a glance so that we don’t have to make a deadly mistake when exploring the doctrine of signatures!

Here are just a few foods that have been scientifically proven to provide benefits to the organs they resemble:

Ginger: Ginger resembles the stomach and is one of the best ways you can naturally cure nausea and motion sickness. it also aids digestion and nutrient absorption.

Pomegranates: Pomegranates look like little blood cells, and a study out of Israel showed that pomegranates help blood flow and blood health in several ways.

Walnuts: Walnuts look like the brain, with their folds and wrinkles. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, the building block of the more than 100 billion cells in the brain. Omega-3’s aid the function of neurotransmitter receptors.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are red and have chambers just like the human heart. 

Mushrooms: A sliced mushroom looks like the human ear. They contain Vitamins C, D, and E, all which help guard against cellular damage in the ears and blood vessels.

Grapes: Grapes look like the alveoli of the lungs, and are full of antioxidants and resveratrol, which supports free movement in the cells of the nasal passages and lungs.

Carrots: The most well-known signature, carrots contain beta-carotene, a vitamin that protects eye health, especially in older people.

Celery: Celery looks like your bones, with that same good crunch! This alkalizing veggie is full of Vitamin K, which is necessary on a cellular level for bone health. It also has calcium, folate, manganese (for the synthesis of connective tissue in the bone), and magnesium.

Kidney beans: Kidney beans are self-explanatory, aren’t they? They are rich in magnesium and potassium, which help keep the kidneys free from buildup.

Sweet Potato: This yummy french fry option closely resembles the pancreas. That makes sense, as it is a low glycemic carb that helps support even blood sugar, making the pancreas's job easier.

Figs: This one is a bit of low-hanging fruit, but have you ever noticed that figs hang in twos and are full of seeds contained in a sac? Their appearance may be why they have long been a symbol of male fertility. Now science has revealed that figs actually can increase sperm motility and quantity. It’s nuts!

 If you are like me, you spend a lot of time thinking about what is the truth, our purpose, and what we have a responsibility to do for the coming generations and how we respect life, time, and the body we have been gifted. Enjoy digging through the rich history and building your own thoughts around the Doctrine of Signatures. I did!


Jun 6, 2019

The Power of Positive Self-Talk

by Meagan, Customer Service Mermaid

“Your thoughts are powerful! It is possible to create a happier, more confident self and bring what you desire into your life!”

If you’re like anyone else who has picked up a self-help book, you’ve read similar statements - so have I. For years I heard this, and as much as I wanted to follow through on this advice, I never took that time to invest in myself. But at the start of 2018, I became very ill for close to 4 months.

I had been diagnosed with Clostridium difficile colitis after taking an antibiotic. I was put on a stronger antibiotic once diagnosed, but even after being cleared from the C-diff I was still experiencing stomach problems. I was put on many different medications and put through many tests to find a diagnosis, and they all came back clean. I became depressed, anxious, and struggled with an obsessive-compulsive order, becoming obsessed with germs and re-infection. Not knowing what was wrong or when I would be better was torturous. I had no idea how long this illness could last, and my quality of life was awful.

After so many negative tests, my doctor talked about the possibility of it being psychosomatic. This only increased my anxiety. I couldn’t fathom how my mind could be causing this, or why I would do this to myself. Therapy was suggested about a month and a half into the illness. I went to a Hypnotherapist my mom recommended.

I was familiar with therapy as I had gone years before, but this therapy was different. At each session, I was taught new coping skills, things like how to breathe diaphragmatically and how to stimulate the Vagus nerve to calm down. This was very important since I found myself having anxiety attacks and breakdowns at least once a day. At the end of each session, I was given homework. The first session I was given 2 CD’s to listen to on alternating nights. I did this for two months.

My second appointment I was asked about my fears and desires, and we created personalized affirmations. I would say these affirmations four times out loud - in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I was also writing them. This was done repetitively.

I was fully invested, and once I began doing the work I could feel positive energy around me. I started researching the power of positive thoughts and self-thought, and how they impact the brain. I was learning new things about myself and began feeling less anxious and depressed. I started to feel slight improvements. One powerful affirmation for my situation was: “All of my cells know what to do to heal. Every single one of my cells is filled with wellness, health, and vitality. I am the picture of positive energy and wellbeing. I am healed, healthy, and whole.” I also added visualizations, imagining watching my cells fill with everything they needed.

By doing this, I was affirming that my body was strong and that I was improving, even if only a small amount each day. I was my own cheerleader. These Affirmations were helping me re-wire my brain to think positively. After some time, I was finally in a better place psychologically - though I was still physically sick. It took a bit more time to discover my illness was due to black mold in my apartment. With that knowledge, I moved and never looked back. It still took time to heal, but within a month I was no longer stuck in bed with nausea and shaking. Armed with a more positive attitude and making the physical changes I needed for my health, I was on my way to a more positive existence.

Today I still use my affirmations. I change them up a bit for what I need in my life at various times, discovering new ways to grow. I make it a point to say them at least once every day, holding on to the positive energy it fills me with. I wonder where I would be without that work; I am happier and more confident than I’ve ever been. I took control of my thoughts, emotions, and behavior and it has only made me better. You can too!


Jun 6, 2019

Natural Sunburn Relief

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

There are plenty of ways to shield your skin from damaging UV rays these days, but we can still find ourselves with a nasty sunburn.  Maybe your initial coat of SPF wore off while you were at the lake, you forgot to apply any before a round of yard work that went longer than expected, or you went for a hike and forgot to pack the sunblock.  Luckily, here are some effective measures you can take after you begin to feel the burn:

Internal relief - while sunburns are a painful surface problem, try relief from within by taking PhysiQOL from Ridgecrest Herbals.  With ingredients like Turmeric, Boswellia extract, Teasel root, and Indian Tinospora (all supportive of the body’s ability to maintain a healthy anti-inflammatory response), this is a great place to start, or as a supplement to other topical remedies.

Salt - Salt has amazing chemical properties when it comes to burns.  Whenever my mother would get a burn on something in the kitchen, I remember watching her immediately wet the area, apply a generous helping of table salt to the burn, then wrap it in a wet paper towel.  She'd wear it for a couple of hours, and the burn would be diminished. For mild to intermediate sunburns, try an Epsom salt bath. Start with a warm enough bath to dissolve at least 2 to 4 cups of Epsom salt, then let the water sit to cool, or add ice cubes to bring the temperature to a more comfortable range once the salt has dissolved.  Soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes to feel some great relief! If you don't have access to a bathtub, you can dissolve 2 to 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt into a spray bottle and spray the affected areas.

Keep an Aloe Vera plant in your home - If you sustain a burn from the oven or your coffee, race to your aloe plant, cut a bit off, and squeeze onto the affected area. Immediate relief, without the chemicals from store-bought aloe vera!

Apple Cider Vinegar - Some people swear that apple cider vinegar is the key to sunburn relief, simply by applying it to a rag or paper towel, and blotting the affected skin with it.  While this smell may be too strong for some people, it is a viable option for relief.

Essential Oil Sunburn Spray - If you find salt too drying for your skin type, give this spray a try:  Mix 15 drops of peppermint oil, 15 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of frankincense oil in a 2 ounce spray bottle, and top off the remaining space with equal parts of witch hazel and a natural aloe vera.  Shake, and spray directly to the burn. The peppermint and lavender will help to cool and calm the skin, while the frankincense, witch hazel, and aloe vera will help to balance pH and help your skin repair itself.


Jun 6, 2019

June 2019 Window to Wanderlust

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

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Jun 4, 2019

My Fasting Journey

by Shae, Customer Service and Social Media Goddess

Ever since I was in the third grade, I have struggled with my weight. I have been made fun of and called terrible names. It's been a long-standing scar in my life. So naturally, like so many of us, I am always searching for ways to be healthy. I have explored counting calories, keto, paleo, veganism, vegetarianism, juicing, and the HCG diet, with varied results from each.

I was browsing social media one day, and someone touted the Snake Diet for weight loss and health benefits. I had never heard of it, so I began to research. The Snake Diet is prolonged fasting with a homemade electrolyte drink. When I first heard about prolonged fasting it seemed so extreme I couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I kept researching and found that intermittent & prolonged fasting has many health benefits, and weight loss is just a perk!

Despite the concept of fasting being new to me, it has been practiced for centuries and plays a central role in many cultures and religions around the world. We would not have survived as a species had our bodies not been designed to fast. My generation has been told our whole lives we need to eat 3-6 meals every day, making the idea of fasting for longer than a few hours scary to consider, not to mention the sugar addiction that keeps us going back to foods that aren't good for us.

Scientific studies have found that intermittent and prolonged fasting can support and promote blood sugar control, heart health, good blood pressure, a healthy immune system, brain function, and metabolism.  Fasting has also shown to help with healthy skin, weight, longevity, natural detoxification within the body, and much more.

One of the best benefits of fasting is that it promotes autophagy. Autophagy is a metabolic process in the body that helps to recycle old, damaged and diseased cells. How amazing are our bodies?

I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, infertility, amenorrhea, anovulation, eczema, dandruff, skin allergies, hirsutism, depression, and anxiety along with my weight problems. I have been on a journey of health for most of my adult life and am always trying to find ways to help myself after doctors have failed to help me. Perhaps fasting was the answer I had been looking for!

The Snake Diet protocol calls to start off with a 48 hr fast to break the fear of fasting. I pulled all my bravery and willpower together and committed to a 24hr fast first. Once I reached the 24hr mark, I felt amazing, so I pushed to the 48 hr fast. To my surprise I lost 2.5lbs in the first round, I had energy, my brain fog cleared, and I felt happy. I couldn’t believe it! I kept pushing with short fasts of 24hr & 48hrs for a few weeks before I made it to the 72hr mark, the longest I have gone so far. I have noticed that I am not as down or anxious, my co-workers have seen how bright my skin glows, and I have lost a total of 20 pounds in two months. My husband, who is doing this experiment with me, has lost 50!

I have found a new sense of empowerment. I have this great feeling of being in control of my body and my health. I have become acutely aware of what my body needs, what is my sugar addiction talking, the difference between want & need, that hunger is mostly dehydration or sugar/food addiction, and that I eat to find comfort when feeling emotional stress. Fasting has become yoga for my digestive system and eating habits. Less has become more,  and I have a greater appreciation for food. I notice how various foods affect my body, for example, grass-fed beef helps me feel more energized and I can fast longer afterward, whereas chicken makes me hungry sooner and I notice more brain fog.

I plan to continue on my healing journey of fasting and hope that one day my biggest dream of becoming a mother will come true.

I urge you to do some research on fasting, especially if you have health or weight issues. Who knows, fasting could be the answer you have been looking for!

             


Jun 4, 2019

Best Herbs for Pest Control

by RidgeCrest Herbals

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Jun 4, 2019

2019 June Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals

The page content is not found

May 22, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

by Brit, Herbal Gaia

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here at RidgeCrest Herbals, we are always happy to answer your questions. Some of the most common ones are answered here. If you don't find the answer to your question, please call us at 800-242-4649, or email it to us at info@ridgecrestherbals.com.

Herbs are the second safest form of medicine known to man. (The very safest is homeopathy.)

People sometimes think that herbs are safe because they are "natural", but that is NOT TRUE. Hemlock (Conium maculatum), Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna), and the Death Cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) are all 100% natural but are also very deadly poisons.

Herbal medicines are safe not because they are natural, but because they have been used for thousands of years, with millions of people, and their beneficial properties and potential side effects are generally very well known. Thousands of years of experience are not to be lightly dismissed, especially when compared to a handful of supposedly "scientific" studies.

Keeping herbal medicine safe requires good formula design and specification, proper growing, harvesting, drying, and processing, and proper manufacturing and packaging. Failure at any of these steps can affect the safety of the finished product. So it is very important to know the sources of your herbs and know that the people who supply them are taking the same precautions that you would take in sourcing them for yourself.

At RidgeCrest Herbals, we take our own products every day, and we give them to our own families. We take every precaution to assure that they are both safe and effective and that they are always of the same consistently high quality that we would expect as customers.

Every medicine we take has at least one effect that we desire, which is why we take it. But that effect can vary greatly from one individual or condition to another, and a medicine that works well for one person, may not work so well for another.

Each medicine or ingredient may also have unwanted side effects, which can also vary from one person to another—so one person may get great benefits with few side effects, while another gets only side effects but no real benefit, even though they took the same product at the same dosage.

A good over-the-counter medicine is one that works pretty well for most people and hopefully has few serious side effects. This one-medicine-fits-all, or “silver bullet” approach, has been the basis of Western medicine for the last hundred years or more.

Complex formulas are different, and though they are common in Oriental medicine, they are less familiar here. Complex formulas use small doses of many ingredients, rather than large doses of one or two. Although people still react differently to each ingredient, complex formulas are more effective for more people—people who don’t respond much to one ingredient are likely to respond better to others. And because the dose of each ingredient is smaller, there is less chance of serious adverse reactions, side effects, and drug interactions.

Well-designed complex formulas, like a complex diet, simply work better than large doses of one or two ingredients. RidgeCrest Herbals products are complex—our simplest formulas have four or five ingredients, and some have over forty. Complex formulas are more expensive to create and manufacture than simple ones since we have to test dozens of ingredients, not just one or two. But the results are worth the extra effort.

No herbal tradition has all the answers. Because they developed in different parts of the world with different climates and plants available, each ancient culture developed unique solutions for various concerns. Some of these disciplines, like TCM and Eclectic medicine, overlap in many ways, and round each other out. Others, like homeopathy and herbs or nutrition, reinforce each other, making for real synergy—where a combination is more than the sum of its parts.

Our multi-disciplinary approach develops this potential synergy and pulls the most effective treatments from each culture to benefit our formulas.

Many health conditions are caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Our modern western diet is not varied enough to provide good nutrition for most people.

In fact, the US Department of Agriculture reports that the nutritional value of many fruits and vegetables is less than half what it was in 1948, when they started keeping records, because of mass production techniques and soil depletion. Vitamins, trace minerals, and other nutritional supplements can contribute greatly to good health, especially when tailored to individual conditions and needs. Our products combine both herbs and vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to provide a well-rounded solution to the needs of our customers.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (or “TCM”) is probably the most comprehensive system of natural medicine in use today. TCM is one of the oldest medical systems, with literature dated as early as 2500 BC. TCM is also the most widely practiced natural medicine, used regularly by over two billion people worldwide. TCM is well documented, with many good reference books, even in English. TCM is also eclectic, borrowing useful ingredients and methods from many other cultures. In fact, TCM has studied and classified over 10,000 natural medicines from all over the world—much more than any other discipline.

TCM ingredients have been combined in many ways over a long period of time, so their characteristics when combined are very well known. In fact, most TCM medicines are complex formulas, not single herbs, and many such formulas have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. RidgeCrest products often begin with TCM herbal formulas, though we often modify them for modern over-the-counter use.

By using only the best quality ingredients, with extensive testing both before and after manufacturing, our TCM-based formulas are among the safest and most effective botanical formulas available anywhere.

Some people, when referring to TCM, are speaking specifically of a streamlined version of Classical Chinese Medicine that was developed during the time of Chairman Mao. While this is the most accurate use of the term, most people conflate Classical Chinese Medicine (pre-Mao) and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and we use the terms interchangeably as well.

America has always been a crossroads for many different influences. Native Americans had many herbal solutions. European settlers brought their own solutions with them as they came to the Americas.

By the early 1800s, American herbalists were also studying herbal solutions brought by natives of Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and even Australia. As they adopted herbal solutions from many different sources, these herbalists began calling themselves Eclectic—a term that means “choosing what is best from various sources or systems.” For over a hundred years the Eclectics were the recognized leaders of medical science until herbal medicines were mostly replaced by pharmaceutical drugs in the 1920s and 1930s.

RidgeCrest Herbals remains strongly influenced by the Eclectic approach. Our botanical formulas are drawn not only from all branches of herbalism, but also from modern nutritional science. We continue to search the world for the most effective natural methods and ingredients, and new ways to use them together.

While European licorice has been shown to raise low blood pressure in large doses, Chinese licorice has not been shown to have the same effects and is not used for that purpose in herbal medicine. Our ClearLungs® Classic formula contains 36.2 mg of Chinese licorice, while it takes over 400 mg of European licorice to effectively raise blood pressure. You should always consult with your physician before making changes to any blood pressure regimen.

 


May 22, 2019

Almanac 2019 Frequently Asked Questions

by Brit, Herbal Gaia

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May 22, 2019

Bee-Friendly Plants that are Bee-Loved

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

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May 22, 2019

May 2019 Window to Wanderlust

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

Fern Canyon, California


May 22, 2019

Shaes Spring Shortbread Cookies

by Shae, Customer Service and Social Media Goddess

1 C butter- room temperature

½ C Sugar

2 C Flour

1 tsp extract of choice- vanilla, almond, orange, etc.

Pinch of salt

Edible flowers (I got mine at Harmons in the fresh herb section, you could also collect your own)

Spices- cinnamon, chai, rosemary, honey

 Preheat oven to 350, line sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt and extract.

Slowly add in the flour and mix until it just comes together, it looked dry to me so I added about 1 tbsp extra butter.

Fold dough together until it forms a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Take dough out and either roll sheets out to be ¾ inch thick and use a cookie cutter to cut into rounds or get a heaping tablespoon full, roll in a ball and press into circles, about ¾ thick.

Gently press flowers or herbs into top of cookies. Sprinkle herbs on top.

Bake 16-18 minutes until golden, mine were a bit too thick so I had to cook a bit longer. 
Allow to cool slightly before transferring to cooling rack. Once cool dust with powdered sugar.

Store in airtight container up to 3 days. 

10 Attachments


May 15, 2019

Easy Peasy Veggie Stromboli

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

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May 15, 2019

Alternative Milk Types

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

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May 15, 2019

May 2019 Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


May 15, 2019

Building a Living Roof

by Will, Ginger-Beard of Power

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May 15, 2019

DreamOn Zen Wins Industry Award

by RidgeCrest Herbals

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Apr 22, 2019

Chocolate Crispy Rice Nests

by Meagan, Customer Service Mermaid

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Apr 18, 2019

Finding a Work Life Balance

by Melissa, Office Manager

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Apr 18, 2019

Flower Herbs and Syrups

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Apr 18, 2019

2019 April Window to Wanderlust

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

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Apr 18, 2019

2019 Spring Garden Guide

by RidgeCrest Herbals

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Apr 3, 2019

Keeping a Clean House For Health

by Melissa, Office Manager

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Apr 3, 2019

Natural House Cleaning Methods That Actually Work

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

I grew up in a time when housewives everywhere were saying, “better living through chemistry!” The ‘80s and ‘90s were a golden age of chemicals in our food and household cleaning products, and we all thought that was a great idea... until it started giving us all respiratory problems, skin allergies, and cancer. Now there is a massive movement toward less harsh alternatives, but that presents a new problem – what products can we use that have less harmful chemicals, but still ACTUALLY get the house clean? I've been trying to answer this question in my own home, and these have been the most successful methods I have found: 

Steam: I invested in a good home steam cleaner with a bunch of different hand attachments last year, and it has been one of the best home purchases I've ever made. Steam cleaners take distilled water, and superheat it into a powerful jet of steam that kills bacteria on contact, loosens grime, and blasts hard water, while excess water wipes away easily with a cloth. Because of all of the different attachments that came with my cleaner, I can mop my floors, squeegee my windows, pull stains out of my carpets, sofas, mattresses, and blast stuff out of my shower door and window tracks that used to be impossible to get at. I even squeegee my windows and wash my walls with this thing. 

Vinegar: I swapped out my bathroom cleaning products for good old cleaning-grade vinegar and haven't looked back. I buy gallons of it at the grocery store on the cleaning aisle. I keep some in a spray bottle undiluted for things like cleaning my stainless steel fridge faucets and fixtures, I scrub down my showers and toilets with it, I use it in my laundry to deal with smelly towels, and for tough messes on my stovetop. There are a million articles on ways to use vinegar for cleaning, so this one is definitely worth a google search to give you lots of ideas. 

Isopropyl alcohol: That's right, like the kind you keep in a first aid kit to sterilize things. While the CDC no longer considers alcohols to be “high-level” disinfectants because they cannot inactivate hydrophilic viruses (i.e., poliovirus, coxsackievirus), isopropyl alcohol still kills all of the other harmful bacterias and germs, so I always keep it on hand. Instead of spraying my counters down with a cleaner with 50 unpronounceable chemicals in it, I just wipe them down with a hot, wet sponge and then go over them with a spray of alcohol and a rag. Did you know that 91% isopropyl alcohol and a cloth will pull pine tree sap off of your car without damaging your paint or windows? It's also great at cutting through baked on grease on stoves. Awesome! 

Melamine sponges: You've seen them marketed as “magic erasers.” These white sponges are actually a high-density foam made up of formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. The word formaldehyde usually does strike humans as toxic, but when you mix different chemicals the resulting compound is more than just a sum of its parts, and the new chemical has different properties than its components. These are my go-to if steam, vinegar, or bleach won't get rid of my stain or problem spot. These sponges work like mini sandpaper at scrubbing off everything from grease on barbecues and stoves, to crayon on walls, to the permanent marker on countertops. They're also GREAT at taking hard water deposits off shower doors and for cleaning the plastic components and leather seats in your car. While there is the bummer of adding bulk to landfills when you throw them away, it's an option for when all else fails.   

These are just a few methods that you can start trying in your own home to get away from harmful chemicals in your daily life, and there are many more solutions online. I wish you luck in your quest to clean....cleaner! 


Apr 3, 2019

Accepting the Dark to Find the Light

by Shae, Service and Social Media Goddess

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Mar 12, 2019

Minimalism and Tidiness

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

Hello, Dear Readers!

Last time you will hear from me in a row, with everyone at Expo West and my vacation coming up, scheduling got in the way of variety. Ah, well! 

Today my mind is on the topic of Minimalism and tidiness. It took me a long time to realize that my mother, bless her heart, is a giant airhead. Just as an example of how she floats through life, she has literally hundreds of pairs of reading glasses. If she loses a pair, she just buys another pair. She can't keep track of her phone, and when her office got too cluttered she simply got a new desk and started a new office in another room rather than going back and finishing the multiple projects she had started. Needless to say, her house is a disaster of clutter. It took me a long time to realize that I had picked up a lot of that disorganized penchant for clutter and that it was adding major stress to my life. 

I only really began making major efforts to change my habits when I realized that I was going to be a single mother with a full-time job and a business to run. I realized that my time was finite and that I needed to operate more efficiently if I was going to be able to give my son the quality time he deserved, rather than constantly spend my time trying to manage everything. I began researching minimalism and tricks to keep things tidier. Here is what has made the biggest difference for me:

  • Marie Kondo - y'all know this. Go through your house and if you don't have a use for something or it doesn't bring you joy, get rid of it. I couldn't believe even in my bedroom at my brother's condo that I share with my son, I managed to get rid of about 15 garbage bags worth of stuff that I wasn't using. Now I have more space for the things I do use, and I can have the second tip:
  • Have a designated home for everything: If there is no specific place to put your items, you eat up energy later when you need them again and have to search to find them. This is especially important for me in the morning when I am trying to get all of my food and my son's food, along with all the things we will need for the day (cell phone, headphones, diapers, shoes, etc.) The one that really gets me is lids for food containers. I insist we pair them together as soon as they come out of the dishwasher. It takes up more space in the cupboard, but nothing is more stressful than trying to find a tupperware lid when you are running late! 
  • Follow the 1-touch rule: The 1-touch rule means that when you are done using something, you are only allowed to touch it once to get it back where it belongs. For example, if you come home and take your jacket off, you can either drop it on the couch or a chair, which creates a second chore for you later, or you can put it away immediately, only touching it once, with and not have to think about it again. This was a game changer for me. I started realizing that I would, say, change my clothes and leave them on the floor, creating more work for myself when the laundry hamper was literally five feet further. I felt so stupid realizing my own inefficiency and started wandering the house, muttering "1-touch" like a crazy person.
  • Create routines: The most recent routine I have put in place that I am actually quite enjoying is with the dishes. I cook a ton, and my kitchen is the one place where I truly need a lot of equipment to enjoy what is both my hobby and one of the most important things I can do for my child, which is set an example of a healthy lifestyle and relationship with food. But it does mean a LOT of mess, and I was finding it difficult to keep my toddler out of the dishwasher long enough to load the knives. So the past few weeks as I have cleaned up the kitchen after my flurry of daily morning meal-prep, I have been turning on My Little Pony, giving him a bowl of snacks and some milk, and plopping him down in front of it. This is the only screen time I have ever allowed, and the 20 minutes it takes me to unload and reload the dishwasher is well within the AMA's recommendation for screen time for his age, and it is the only screen time he is allowed. He enjoys it, I enjoy it (is there an adult equivalent of Bronies for females?) and I leave my kitchen clean and reset for when I get home after work, which reduces my stress levels.

And in the end, for me, that is what Minimalism is all about. It reduces my stress and helps me feel more in control of my life. What helps you feel less stressed?


Mar 12, 2019

March Window to Wanderlust 2019

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

Sedona, Arizona


Mar 7, 2019

Dealing With Different Personalities in Your Family

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

Hi, everyone! Sorry, you have to hear from me again, everyone else is off in sunny California for Expo West! I hope you got to go and run into our team, they are great people!

Today my thoughts are on dealing with conflicting personalities. See, I am taking my first vacation in five years with my family. I am an over-preparer in general, mostly because I am a nervous person. So it doesn't surprise me that when my family (Boomer parents, my 2 brothers, my sister and her nuclear family with 5 kids) decided to go on a cruise, somehow I ended up being the one that researched, picked, and booked the cruise. I handled all of the finances, ensured everyone knew what travel documents to bring, combed through port activities, and set up my mom's birthday surprise.

 Stereotypically the youngest isn't the responsible one, but honestly, I think everyone is pretty happy to not have to deal with the details, and I feel more comfortable knowing what is going on and that everything is taken care of. Because I am terrified of ending up on a ship and realizing I forgot, say, extra binky's (disastrous), and because I am actually pretty scatterbrained, I start planning early. I watch video blogs, I've pretty much read the entire ncl.com website, and I keep a packing list going daily so that when my brain flits across a detail, I don't forget it later. I figure over a three week period my brain will probably cover everything, but if I leave it to the last minute, something will slip my mind. 

So this morning I called my sister with one of these fleeting thoughts (snorkeling equipment for my niece). She had said that she thought they had snorkeling gear, but she wasn't sure and had needed to check. So I was following up so I would have plenty of time to order it online if necessary. I about got my head ripped off! I guess I had been pestering my laid-back sister a little too much with my over-planning. She snapped that she wasn't even going to think about the cruise until two days beforehand when she was going to get all the laundry done and then start to think about packing. 

This is something that I absolutely cannot fathom. Only two days of planning for a family of seven? OMG! What if she doesn't have something they absolutely need readily on hand? How would she even find anything in her house so jam-packed with junk (another personality difference - I stick to minimalism)? What if it took her much longer than expected to find some necessity, leaving her stressed and crunched for time later? DO THEY EVEN HAVE LUGGAGE TAGS???

Considering how different our styles are, I'm honestly surprised it has taken this long for me to get on her nerves. But when it comes to family, the only way to survive it is to accept other people as they are, and not as you would want them to be. I think my sister and I are both pretty good at that, and about recognizing that while we are extremely different, that doesn't mean that one of us has the higher moral ground or the right to look down on the other. We just are the way we are. Not right, not wrong, just different. I can't fathom the chaos of five children (1 with autism) and I can't stand the noise of her house for very long. But she can't fathom raising a kid as a single parent working 50 hours a week. 

So bottom line, being a family is more important than what makes us different. We (at least I do) recognize the merits of different personalities, and don't get stuck in a trap of thinking one way is necessarily better than another. And when it comes to family, sometimes that is the only way to not kill each other!


Mar 7, 2019

Water Wisdom - Making the Most of Your Yard's Irrigation

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

We all know how much water is wasted by spray sprinkler systems across America, but did you know that your old sprinkler system can be converted to drip irrigation? When my husband and I moved into our current house, it came with a PVC sprinkler system that was installed sometime in the 1980s and ran underneath every inch of the yard. It was frustrating because I thought we were limited with what we could change or modify, but it turns out that the world of irrigation has advanced a lot since Back to the Future was in theaters.

If you have a PVC spray system like we do/did, keep reading to find out how to make some cheap and practical changes to your yard and your water bill. Drip irrigation is a much smarter way to water because it keeps the water on the ground and close to the root systems of the plants you are keeping alive, which leaves much less room for evaporation and waste.

The biggest hurdle in drip conversion is water pressure. While spray sprinklers take lots of pressure, drip doesn't need much, and if you just start running drip hose off your spray pipes without any kind of pressure adjustment, POP! You'll blow the drip hoses or fixtures right off. There are different ways and places where you can adjust your water pressure to accommodate a drip system. The best way would be to replace your current sprinkler valve with one designed for drip irrigation. A handyman or sprinkler professional can take care of this for you, or there are many Youtube tutorials dedicated to this topic. This will take care of your pressure right at the source, and everything you modify on that line afterward will be pressurized and ready to go. Our yard had five different valves wired into cramped spaces in our yard, so this wasn't really an option for us. If you're in the same pickle, fear not! There are other options.

We opted for pressure regulators on the individual heads of our system. This way, we can run drip hose right out of the existing pipes in our yard, and the pressure regulators are working on each line. We used octopus style heads for our garden boxes since we wanted to deliver an individual nozzle to each plant in that area. However, our flower beds needed more of a blanket approach. For the flower beds, we chose to run half-inch tubing that had drip holes every 18 inches, to ensure an excellent soak to the entire bed. Now we don't have barren spots where the old sprayers couldn't reach, and our water bill has gone down substantially! Drip irrigation doesn't have to be left on as long to penetrate the soil, and because we run them in the middle of the night, the water is allowed to penetrate deep into the roots before the heat of the day comes on and tries to evaporate it. We still have rotor spray heads on the lawn portion of our yard, but it has been great to be able to run spray on that area, and drip for the rest of the beds simultaneously.

A staff member at your local hardware or irrigation store can help you tailor a modification to your current system, and YouTube is a wealth of knowledge to help you on your way to wiser water use!


Mar 7, 2019

HugelKultur

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

Hugelkultur (hoo-gul-culture), or “mound culture,” is a gardening technique where a mound is constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable plant materials and planted as a raised bed. The term coined in 1962 by Herrman Andra, who was inspired by the diversity and success of plants growing in debris. It’s popular now as it is sustainable and effective in desert climates. Because they retain water, there is no need for irrigation. They provide a constant source of nutrients for plants - no fertilization needed. A large bed might provide 20 years of nutrients, and the composting materials generate heat, extending your season.

To start, you need wooden logs and branches to fill the bottom of your raised bed. Avoid trees like Black Walnut or Cedar, because they naturally produce pesticides, herbicides, and other counterproductive elements. Then add pine needles, grass clippings, leaves, straw, cardboard, and other compostables to your mix. Spread it over the logs and branches as a filler.  Top with compost and then plant. Add some nitrogen to the soil if you plan on using the boxes right away, or plant crops that add nitrogen to the soil. The non-decomposing wood will use the nitrogen in the earth to begin the decomposition process, then become self-sustainable.  Good luck!


Mar 7, 2019

March 2019 Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Feb 20, 2019

What Makes You Happy?

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

What Makes Me Happy

My life has been a real challenge for a long time now. I have been faced with challenges more difficult than anyone in my family ever has dealt with, and it is all kind of coming to a head this week as my divorce is finalized. Because things can feel so dark and endless right now, I want to talk about what makes me happy. Do you know what makes me happy?

- Vegan recipes from pickuplimes.com

- Seth Meyers

- Clean Sheets

- Cosleeping with my baby and having him snuggle up to me at night

- My job at RidgeCrest Herbals and the feeling of family and support here

- Putting away the laundry

- Grocery Shopping

- Designing the images for the newsletter

- Yoga

- My bestie from high school, John, and his partner Cole, who started going to the gym with me on Sunday mornings when they found out I was going through a tough time

- My brother Bryce, who picks up my son from daycare almost every day and watches him for several hours to help me save money 

- My sister Dee, a nurse with five kids who set up her phone so that my number rings through even when she silences it at night so I can call her if I am worried about something going on with my son

- Cooking healthy food from scratch

- HOT baths - like lobster-red hot

- Going to the farmer's market. I cried when it ended last fall.

- Coffee. God, I love coffee.  

- Hate-watching The View (Sunny is the only one whose opinion is worth a damn!)

- A clean house on a Sunday night so you feel ready for the week ahead

What makes you grateful? Even in the worst of times, a spirit of gratitude for the things that you DO have can help you power through the rest and find the light at the end of the tunnel. Start your own list, even if it is just something silly like drinking cold water out of the tap (I love that). You will start to find a longer list than you expected.


Feb 20, 2019

February 2019 organtics

Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, Oregon - Photography by Abbie Warnock-Matthews


Feb 5, 2019

Mental Health Manifestations

by Connie, AP/AR Rocker

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feelings, or mood. Such conditions may affect someone's ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even with the same diagnosis. 

Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school, and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process. 

A mental health condition isn't the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment, and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime, physical abuse, mental abuse, etc. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too. 

One in five adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in seventeen lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person's directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends, and communities are also affected. 

Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery. 

There are many forms of mental health problems including: 

ADHD 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a developmental disorder where there are significant problems with attention, hyperactivity or acting impulsively. 

ANXIETY DISORDERS 

Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes, but when it becomes overwhelming and repeatedly impacts a person's life, it may be an anxiety disorder. Severe anxiety can interfere with your daily activities such as: going to work, leaving your house, being around other people, etc. Many people try to hide these feelings from others, if it gets this severe, you do need to contact someone to help you understand what you are going through and why! For some, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Others, it is traumatic events they have gone through. This should not go untreated, the sooner it is detected, the easier it is to take control of the situation. 

AUTISM 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that makes it difficult to socialize and communicate with others. 

BIPOLAR DISORDER 

Bipolar Disorder causes dramatic highs and lows in a person's mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. 

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER 

Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by severe, unstable mood swings, impulsivity, and instability, poor self-image, and stormy relationships. 

DEPRESSION 

This is a mental health condition that requires understanding and treatment. The sufferer may experience loss of hope, overwhelming sadness, and difficulty functioning. It is a very serious epidemic in this day and age. It is even affecting young children, so pay attention for signs of social withdrawal. I have suffered from depression and anxiety all of my life, and it took me until I was 45 to address the issue. Sometimes It is something you don't want other people to know about you because it makes you feel like an idiot for not being able to control your emotions and feelings. I can't even imagine a child (who do not deserve to be experiencing these kinds of feelings) having to deal with this condition. There are so many suicides these days because children do not know how to deal with this type of disorder. We must stay involved with our children and be aware of their behavioral patterns, talk to them, help them understand these symptoms, and make sure they know that you are there for them. 

DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS 

Dissociative Disorders are a spectrum of disorders that affect a person's memory and self-perception. 

EARLY PSYCHOSIS AND PSYCHOSIS 

Psychosis is characterized as disruptions to a person's thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn't. 

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER 

OCD causes repetitive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and irrational, excessive urges to do certain actions (compulsions). 

POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER 

PTSD is the result of traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, an accident or a natural disaster. It can cause anxiety, flashbacks, dissociative episodes, rage, and more. 

DELUSION DISORDER 

Delusion Disorder is characterized by strong beliefs that are often within the realm of possibility (such as a cheating spouse) but do not correlate with reality. When presented with the truth, the person is unable to recognize it over their previously fixed ideas. The person may otherwise be able to function normally, so it can be difficult to diagnose.  

SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER 

Schizoaffective Disorder is characterized primarily by symptoms of Schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as depressive or manic episodes. 

SCHIZOPHRENIA 

Schizophrenia causes people to lose touch with reality, often in the form of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior. 

NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER 

This disorder is characterized by long-term patterns of self-obsession and an overinflated sense of self-worth. Narcissists can exhibit anti-social behavior such as selfishness and lack of empathy. They are often obsessed with achieving power and status or their physical appearance. In relationships, they commonly gravitate toward overly empathetic people who will accept their controlling/abusive behavior.  

ATTACHMENT DISORDER 

Children who experience abuse or neglect at a young age, do not have consistent, responsive caregivers, or who are separated from their caregivers for long periods of time are shown to have difficulty with personal relationships and attachments later in life. They are more likely to struggle with emotional dysregulation, substance abuse, and tumultuous personal relationships as adults.  

   


Feb 5, 2019

The Five Love Languages

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

Do you ever feel you and your partner are talking past each other? Dissatisfaction with your relationship can have serious consequences for your well-being and health. When it comes to how you express love and affection, you both may be doing an excellent job - just not in a way the other person recognizes. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman breaks down the way many couples express affection so you can better show your love:

Words of Affirmation: Some people need praise, kind remarks, and “I Love You’s.” They need to be verbally recognized for their efforts.

Receiving Gifts: Whether it is a Tesla Model X or their favorite chocolate bar from the grocery store, receiving gifts makes them feel remembered, known, and appreciated.

Acts of Service: Pick up the kids or unload the dishwasher, these little things do not go unnoticed.

Quality Time: A simple evening stroll or running errands together is divine if this is your Love Language.

Physical Touch: From holding hands in public to sex, nothing can replace physical affection for these people. A simple squeeze of the shoulder as you pass them on the couch will help them feel appreciated and safe.


Feb 5, 2019

Being There for Your Friends in Tough Times

by Meagan, Customer Service Mermaid

Note from the Herbal Authoress: I asked Meagan to write a piece on how to be there when a friend is going through a tough time, because I have repeatedly seen her step up and provide emotional support, run errands, grab coffee, and even make snacks for her long-time friends in the office who have been dealing with the illness and loss of their parents. I am constantly impressed by her generosity and kindness, and I thought that she could lend some wonderful insight into how to be a good friend. These are her ideas:

Listen: Most people will need to vent, let them talk. No need to pry but let them openly vent their story.  Many of us are eager to share our own feelings or thoughts on the situation at hand, but that may be taking away from their time to emotionally process their own story, so give them your full attention. I’ll never forget being depressed after my Dad passed away, only to have a “friend” compare how awful their life was compared to mine. Don’t offer advice or make comparisons unless asked.

Validation: Focus on what they’re feeling, don’t invalidate what they may be feeling by dismissing or making light of the situation. Get on their level emotionally, empathize with them.

Service: A lot of the time those going through difficult situations will turn down help, not wanting to burden those who have their own life to live. When asking “Is there anything I can do for you?” change it to be more specific “I’d like to help you by doing ____.” Doing something without them having to ask can often relieve some stress of daily life. Providing a meal, basic groceries, taking the kids for a few hours, and helping with the house are good ways to help out. Normal day-to-day tasks can seem overwhelming when in a difficult situation.

Be patient: There is no standard time for grieving or a standard emotional timeline. Give them the time they need. If you are truly concerned with how long the sadness has lasted recommend they see a doctor or therapist.  


Jan 23, 2019

Window to Wanderlust January 2019

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess


Jan 23, 2019

Homemade Cough Lozenges

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Jan 22, 2019

Honesty is a Gift

by Shae - Service and Social Media Goddess

Honesty is a gift.

I first heard about honest communication and expression in the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenburg PHd. Honesty in communication is such an important gift to give others, and is so crucial for amazing relationships. Every time I think about this gift I remember a situation that happened with me and my best friend. We wanted to spend some time together, so I suggest we go grab some Pho for dinner. She agreed and we picked out a time and place to meet. When we got there, the place was closed. She mentioned not being in the mood for Pho anyway, I told her I hadn’t been either and we both laughed while questioning why we would both agree to doing something we didn’t want to do. So we agreed to always be honest with each other no matter how big or small.

I know that my friend will give me this gift of honesty. I know she will never do anything she doesn’t want to do at the expense of hurting, inconveniencing or upsetting me, and there is so much power in that. In that honesty, I know that we are both safe expressing our wants, needs and desires. I have taken this lesson and spread it out to the rest of my life. I would never want anyone else to withhold something from me for fear of hurting or upsetting me and I would never want someone else to do that for me. We should not suffer in silence because we are afraid of hurting, upsetting or inconveniencing others.


Jan 22, 2019

Winter Garden Guide 2019

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Gardening may not be on your mind when it's snowing, but in winter you can take some proactive measures to ensure a great spring.
 

Hopefully, you already added a layer of mulch on your garden beds in the fall, so monitor them in the following months as the initial layers break down; you may need to add more.  Mulch creates heat when it decomposes, which helps insulate your beds and provides them with nutrients.

Watch where you salt! If you need to de-ice your driveways and sidewalks, be careful while you sprinkle. Salinity in the soil surrounding your garden beds can negatively affect your plants. If you're anxious about this, you can use salt-free ice melters like magnesium chloride or calcium chloride.

If you're bringing in potted plants to winter in your home, spray them with an organic insecticidal solution to keep any outdoor hitchhikers from coming in. Place your pots away from air vents and drafts to maintain a consistent temperature, and lower your watering schedule - houseplants don't grow as aggressively during winter months.

Some bulbs grow early in the season, in the middle of the last snowstorms of winter. Don't worry! These plants are designed to survive cold temperatures. If you are afraid of an impending snowstorm weighing down your tulips, you can cover them with a fabric sheet.

Speaking of covers, many people cover their delicate plants in late winter/early spring to protect them from lingering frosts. While this is a good idea, covering must be done correctly, or it can end up doing more harm than good. Use cloth or burlap instead of plastic. Plastic can trap excessive moisture around your plant, causing damage. If you have to use plastic, keep it from coming into contact with any of the stems, branches, or leaves.


Jan 15, 2019

Dealing With the Short End of the Stick

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

Sometimes life throws you more than one curveball, consecutively, or worse, all at once. 2018 was that year for me. Full of turmoil, trauma, and hit after hit, I felt KO’d by the end of it. It has gone down in my life history book as the worst year yet. My house might as well have gone up in flames, my cars somehow managed to both fail at the same time (multiple times), medical bills just kept piling, my husband lost his job, and I experienced the loss of my Dad. The short end of the stick turned into a pointy, stabbing end very quickly. Thankfully, it’s 2019 and I am here to reflect on all of it.

How did I make it? How in the hell did I survive the stress? Well, truth be told, I didn’t. I struggled - and I mean it when I say that. I emotionally disappeared. I found a hole to hide in when I could. The new habits I’d successfully developed and maintained in 2017 quickly became obsolete. I was at the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I didn’t feel safe. I was in fight or flight mode from March through December. Stress was a suffocating blanket I seemed to stay wrapped in. Yet, here I sit in 2019, and I can see the sunrise.

There’s nothing quite like a year as awful as 2018 to put life in perspective. Through all the trial and tribulation I somehow survived and I came out of it a different person. And I write all this, not for a pity party - I’ve had enough of those - but because I know that there are those of you on the other end of this that are experiencing hard trials. And I want you to know that it is but a moment in the vast space of time - a very important moment. All of this, whatever that may be for you, will help you grow, should you allow it. You will find this is about learning and uncovering who you are underneath that exterior.  

Please, seize the moments you can to take care of yourself. If you need to hide, hide. If you need to disappear from the world for a moment, do so. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to hurt, be depressed, have anxiety, or cry. It’s okay to let things go, such as chores or prior obligations. Take things moment by moment, second by second, if you have to. Live in the now and accept everything that comes with it, even if it is painful. It’s going to be hard. As hard as it can be, ask for help when you can. Really. Ask for help. People will surprise you.

There’s a poem by the Greek author Christianopoulos that says “What didn’t you do to bury me, but you forgot that I was a seed.” After the storm, you’ll see the sunshine. And that’s when you will realize that you have grown, despite the weather, and you’ll be better because of it. You’ll find you know more about yourself than you did before, even though you thought you had you all figured out. Certain things will matter less and others will matter more.

But most of all, know that it will be okay. Grow, seed, grow.


 


Jan 15, 2019

Organtics January 2019


Jan 3, 2019

Creating a Zero-Waste Household

by Meagan, Customer Service Mermaid

The amount of garbage the average American throws out is often something that doesn't get much of a second thought. But when we look at the health of the planet, I think most can agree that we need a change. The average American produces 4.3lbs of trash a day - that’s 1600 lbs of waste a year. But it doesn't take much effort to significantly reduce the amount of waste we produce, through the common saying: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Here are some ideas:

  • Shop bulk with your own containers, reuse plastic produce bags

  • Carry a stainless steel water bottle

  • Buy grocery totes and keep them in your car

  • Buy the reusable version of items you already use,  like wool dryer balls, menstrual cups, handkerchiefs, mesh coffee filters, tea balls, silicone cupcake cups, beeswax or silicone sandwich bags, etc.

  • Reuse things you already have, like plastic takeout containers, ripped clothes.

  • Choose paper products made from bamboo or hemp instead of trees (i.e., tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.)

  • Put a brick in your toilet tank to save water

By making these small changes, we can remove ourselves from the cycle of waste and have a significant environmental impact.


Jan 3, 2019

2018 - The Year of the Great RidgeCrest Weight Loss Challenge

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress


In 2018, four of RidgeCrest’s employees took our health into our own hands. Starting in May, each month we weighed and measured ourselves and kept track of our progress on a whiteboard in the shipping department. The fun part was that each of us took a different approach, and had different results. Our final weigh-in was October 10th, 2018. So by the time you read this, we could have lost even more!

Shae, our Service and Social Media Goddess, followed a fasting program called The Snake Juice Diet. The foundation of this diet is that throughout history food scarcity has been more common than food surplus, so our bodies are used to operating on much less food than what is regularly consumed. With a balancing electrolyte drink, lengthy periods of fasting are designed to allow your body to access and burn its fat stores.

RESULTS: Shae says, “I averaged 1-2 lbs per day of weight loss on a 24-48 hr fasting routine. I took a small break for summer activities and didn’t push myself as much as I could have. Started in May at 196.4lbs, as of October 10th I am at 176.6lbs, for a total loss of 19.8lbs. Other benefits include decreased depression, anxiety and mood swings, clearer skin, more muscle tone, more regular cycles, and gained insight into food sensitivities.”

Brittini, our Herbal Gaia, tried intermittent fasting. With a similar theory, followers of this style can choose to reduce calories two days a week, eat daily during set times and fast for 16 hours overnight, or fast for 24 hours twice a week.

RESULTS: For seven weeks Brittani was very consistent, and was able to lose 15 pounds. Then RidgeCrest had an FDA audit, so she got a little busy over the summer! She started up again in September and as of the final weigh-in had lost a total of 14 pounds between the two sessions.

Scott, our Lord of Logistics, did intermittent fasting earlier in the year but in the summer switched to Paleo. The Paleo lifestyle is based on the theory that, evolutionarily, our bodies developed over hundreds and thousands of years to use certain foods, so if you look to the way humans ate during the Paleolithic era, you will have a strong blueprint for what our bodies are well-adapted to eat. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, fish, and healthy oils. It discourages eating grains, beans, dairy, sugar, salt, potatoes, and processed foods.

RESULTS: Most of Scott’s success came when he switched to a mostly Paleo diet. He reported a loss of 26 pounds!

Aspen, our Herbal Authoress, took a stab at a program called The Whole30. This protocol is considered a 30-day reset (they are adamant it is “not a weight loss diet;” that is a common side effect, but shouldn’t be the main goal) that removes all processed foods and any potential allergens, then suggests a slow reintroduction of foods so you are better able to understand if your body reacts poorly to them. This will help you find a better balance for future success with “Food Freedom.” Similar to the paleo, it bans grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and processed foods, but allows potatoes. Unlike paleo, it does not allow you to use compliant ingredients to make non-compliant treats (ie vegan cheesecake, banana pancakes, etc.), claiming instead that you need to rid yourself of the “sugar dragon,” so part of the program is actively working to reset your psychological relationship with food.

RESULTS: With two full 30-day rounds under her belt and making healthier food choices when off round, Aspen decided to find “Food Freedom” in a modified Vegan diet with strict rules, as she found she did better with her food choices with rules in place. She started at 251 pounds and as of 10/10, weighed in exactly at her pre-pregnancy weight of 214, having lost a total of 37 pounds!

In the end, everyone won! Between the four participants, RidgeCrest was able to take almost 100 pounds off of our collective bodies. Not bad for seven months!



 


Dec 28, 2018

Heathers Christmas Salad

by Heather, Admin

Ingredients 
• 1 Head of Red Lettuce
• 1 Head of Green Leaf Lettuce
• 2 Large Grapefruits 
• 1 Large Pomegranate
• 1 Large Avocado 
• 1 Large Pear

Dressing 
• 1 Cup of Sugar
• 2 t. Dry Mustard 
• 2/3 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
• 2 Cups of Olive Oil
• 1 T. Poppy Seeds
• 1 t. Salt

Directions 
Blend dressing in a food processor. Refrigerate until ready to use. Tear lettuce into small pieces and set aside. Peel grapefruits and cut into sections and set aside. Seed pomegranate and set aside. To assemble salads on individual salads, place lettuce on plate, arrange grapefruit sections and pomegranate seeds on top. Slice avocado and pear, put pieces onto each plate, then drizzle dressing over each salad and serve.


Dec 28, 2018

Window to Wanderlust December 2018

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

Lake Martin, Louisiana


Dec 28, 2018

As Luck Would Have it

by Sherm, The Man With The Numbers


Dec 28, 2018

Finding a Work-Life Balance

by Melissa, Office Manager

Work-Life Balance is as hard to define as it is to achieve. For each person, it depends on individual circumstances and what you define as important. Often times when people talk about work-life balance they are referring to not letting their career take over their personal life, but it can be the other way around. Sometimes you may find that it is time to really focus on your career. It is a highly personal, individual question, and there is not a single way to achieve that balance. In my life, I find I benefit from certain steps to ensure my goals and priorities are clear:

The first step I use is to define for myself what things mean the most. We are often so busy with the whirlwind of life that it takes a conscious effort to self-reflect on what is most important. Years ago, I attended a training seminar where they had us imagine our own funeral and the things that people would say about us. The point of the exercise was to recognize what was most important to you. For me, I wanted to be thought of as a world traveler. From that point on I made travel one of my priorities. Instead of wishing it would happen, I made it happen. Now things have changed and travel may not be as high on my priority list, but I still think of that exercise when I make decisions on what to prioritize and how I want to be remembered.

The second step is to be transparent about what you need. Recently I was working at a job that was fairly demanding with long hours. Despite my passion for my work role, I knew I needed to make a change. Just like any big decision, I talked to my key stakeholders (my husband and my boss) to decide what my options were. I found out my husband would be supportive of me making a change. I next had a frank and open discussion with my boss about what a workable solution looked like. Ideally, my boss would have accepted the things that I needed and I would have been able to stay in a job I loved, but in the end that didn’t happen. I didn’t try to use leaving as a negotiation tactic or to manipulate her in any way, but I was open, and in the end, I let her know that what she could offer wouldn’t fit my needs. I kindly let her know that I would be looking for another job. I don’t think to quit your job is the way to go in most situations, but in that moment I knew it was the right thing for me to do to find work-life balance.

On the other hand, I also have used transparency with people I know to help me be able to work more. For instance, I am part of a neighborhood carpool. It isn’t practical for me to deliver and pick up my kids at school every day, so I rely on other moms to help shoulder the burden. I like to think of it as outsourcing. If there is a task that isn’t critical to my roles, then I look to see if there is a way to outsource it. I have friends that outsource cleaning their houses. If you can afford it there is nothing that says you have to be the one to clean the bathroom.

My last step for finding work-life balance is to try and leave the stress where it belongs. I try to leave work-stress in the office and life-stress at home. It isn’t always possible, but it helps to have a way to decompress. My husband likes to listen to music or an audiobook on the commute home. I enjoying working in the yard, and spending 10-15 minutes checking on all of my flowers and herbs helps me focus back on home life and let go of work stress. Taking a few minutes to meditate or do something you enjoy as you transition is a great way to keep your life compartmentalized.

To summarize, for me finding a healthy work-life balance means identifying what matters most and prioritizing, practicing transparency with the people around me to make sure my needs are being met, outsourcing when needed, and leaving stress where it belongs. Good luck in finding your own balance.





 


Dec 28, 2018

ClearLungs Immune Wins Another Award!

by RidgeCrest Herbals

The awards keep coming in for RidgeCrest Herbals! This time it is their ClearLungs® Immune that has won the Taste for Life 2018 Immunity Essentials award!

ClearLungs® Immune takes the original ClearLungs® Formula and boosts its immune support for when lung imbalances are connected to immune function. It contains the traditional ClearLungs® Formula of 13 traditional Chinese herbs, with the addition of Vitamins C and A, Zinc, and Copper to nutritionally support immune function. An additional complex including Ayurvedic and adaptogenic herbs round out the formula, which is capped off with their patented Availablend, designed to increase the bioavailability of other herbs.

This is the third award for ClearLungs® Immune, which also received the 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Sinus & Respiratory Support Category, and the 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award, Breathe Easy Category. It is the thirteenth award for the company and joins RidgeCrests’ other award-winning products, including:

  • AnxietyFree™ - VITY Award, 2014 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements

  • AnxietyFree™ - VITY Award, 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements

  • ClearLungs Immune® 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Sinus & Respiratory Support Category

  • PhysiQOL™ - 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Pain Relief Category

  • ClearLungs® Immune, 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award, Breathe Easy Category

  • Essential Eyes™ - 2017 New Hope Network’s NEXTY Award for Best Condition-Specific Supplement

  • PhysiQOL™ - 2017 Better Nutrition Magazine Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements, Pain Relief Category

  • PhysiQOL™ - 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award Winner, Pain Management

  • ThyroidThrive™ - 2017 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement

  • Essential Eyes™ - 2018 Taste For Life Essential Supplements Award, Eye Health

  • Hair Revive™ - 2018 Taste for Life Women’s Essential Awards, Winner, Hair Restoration

  • Anxiety Free™ - 2018 Remedies Magazine Stress Relief Award, Winner, Nutritional Supplement Category


 


Dec 7, 2018

Be Selfish This Season of Giving

by RidgeCrest Herbals

In this season of giving, it’s easy to forget about your own needs and wants (especially us women and mothers!). While being selfless and giving are very important and admirable qualities, you can’t give all of yourself away. Don’t forget about the most important person, YOU! You can’t pour from an empty cup, and self-care isn’t selfish - it’s a priority and a necessity. So give yourself the gift of self-care during the holidays!

  • Don’t force yourself to go or to do things that compromise your personal boundaries
  • Don’t force yourself to be around toxic people, even family members
  • Take time out to attend to your needs
  • Do not put yourself in debt to give others presents, to decorate, or to keep up with the latest and greatest tech or toys
  • Keep activities to a minimum, only do what your time and schedule will allow and DON’T feel bad about it!
  • Don’t let stress get in the way of joy, if it’s too stressful don’t do it!
  • Don’t be afraid of disappointing others, sometimes this is going to happen when it comes to taking care of you, and that’s ok
  • Don’t let guilt or shame bring you down
  • Remember it’s ok to say no
  • Take time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate
  • Simplify your family traditions to a manageable level where you get to enjoy the holidays, too!


Dec 7, 2018

Got Any Weeds?

by Will, Ginger Beard of Power

Think back to when a child you know was a toddler, innocently exploring a lawn in summer.  What tiny hands have not plucked the bright yellow flowers of a dandelion and proudly presented them to their adult? Throughout the generations they are shown how to make a wish and blow on a white globe of seeds. These simple pleasures would not have been possible had our forebears not carried dandelion (which is not native to the American continent) used these seeds, roots, and flowers as medicine. Most people today see them as a pest, but in fact, they have amazing health properties.

What is the real definition of a weed? “A wild plant growing where it is not wanted.”  So if you struggle with weeds in your lawn or garden, there is an easy fix for any land owner or gardener - just decide that you wanted them there! Then give yourself credit for how well you have grown the plant. And you may learn that plant that you were originally told was a weed has some great benefits for you, your family, or your outdoor space.

Most people are fighting a constant battle of keeping your outdoor space sterile and free from contaminants, but they are often doing themselves a disservice, both in terms of time management and their ecosystem. When you change the paradigm of weeds vs non-weeds, you can make your space work for you rather than against you. Here are a few ideas to help you turn your land into a beneficial space a natural ecosystem.

First, identify your volunteer plant by  looking for a local or state websites. Here in Utah, we have many, but one example is The Utah Native Plant Society. With this information you can check if the plant is safe, can grow without extra watering, and find out if it is a noxious weed that may be threatening the health of other plants in your area. But for the most part, if it is a native plant, it is safe to let it grow.

Second, be aware of your soil needs. Sometimes we may live in an area that was once farmed or changed by industrialization that drained the soil’s natural balance.  For the most part, a local nursery or even an old-timer in your area can give you the scoop. If you want to be a real steward of your land, send a sample out for testing. This should cost you less than $80 and will give you a panel of soil data to look at when you choose what weeds/natives you will let grow and the ones you will thin out.  Plants compete for space, water, and light. So once you have a list of the ones to let grow and the ones to discourage, you can start to groom your space for the better of the environment rather than arbitrary ideas of horticultural beauty.

Third, start a notebook and share what you know. When you look up a plant and identify it, you want to write down what you learn. Does it flower? Is it a powerful oxygen giver/air cleaner? Is it edible? Is it helping acidify your soil or bring about other nutrients as it goes through its life cycle? When your garden is naturally cultivated, move on to cultivate a community of like-minded people and share your knowledge. This can be a very social, rewarding step. Being a steward of the earth is not a fad, it is now a way of life. Our earth needs people to learn and share knowledge with friends and through their neighborhood. Start a seed-sharing program or community gardening group. You will find many friends this way.

Last on the list is to permanently change your way of thinking. The idea is not to let your lawn become wild and untamed, turning it into an urban jungle. This is a time to rethink your space, your use of chemicals, and what plants you allow to flourish. It is a time to groom your yard around native plants, and you may find they are a great gift to your family and the Earth. They can become beautiful as you search to understand what they offer.  In the long run, you will save money by letting that empty corner of your yard be filled by these zero-cost plant contributors, rather than spend the money to eradicate them. 


Dec 6, 2018

DIY Tincture

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Dec 6, 2018

December 2018 Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals


Nov 27, 2018

Anxiety Free Wins Its 3rd Award!

by RidgeCrest Herbals

The awards keep coming in for RidgeCrest Herbals! Their Anxiety Free product has won its third award, making a total of thirteen awards for the company in the past four years. This time, Anxiety Free earned the 2018 Remedies Magazine Stress Relief Award, Winner, Nutritional Supplement Category.

Exposure to prolonged levels of stress can have long-term health effects, which is why RidgeCrest Herbals offers Anxiety Free™. It combines vitamins, amino acids, and calming Ayurvedic herbs to help support the body's natural ability to create feelings of inner peace and deep calm. You may notice that the ingredients are similar to their Adrenal Fatigue formula. Both are designed to address stress, but approach it from different angles to meet the needs of the individual’s stress-response. A good rule of thumb is to consider how you respond to stress. Do you get angry? Do you cry? Both? If stress frequently reduces you to tears, the adaptogens in Anxiety Free promotes the body’s overall capacity to handle non-specific forms of stress.

Anxiety Free, which also received the 2014 and 2017 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements VITY Awards, joins RidgeCrests’ other award-winning products, including:

ClearLungs Immune®

    • 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Sinus & Respiratory Support Category
    • 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award, Breathe Easy Category

Essential Eyes™

    • 2017 New Hope Network’s NEXTY Award for Best Condition-Specific Supplement
    • 2018 Taste For Life Essential Supplements Award, Eye Health

Hair Revive™

    • 2018 Taste for Life Women’s Essential Awards, Winner, Hair Restoration

PhysiQOL™

    • 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Pain Relief Category
    • 2017 Better Nutrition Magazine Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements, Pain Relief Category
    • 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award Winner, Pain Management

ThyroidThrive™

    • 2017 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement

For more information, visit rcherbals.com.



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