Health & Wellness

Publishing writing on mental health, herbal remedies, mindful parenting & food safety.

Journaling for Wellness: How & Why

When I look back to the points in my life when I felt the most alive — the most attuned to the world around me and the most perceptive about my relationships — I can see a clear commonality that united those years. It wasn’t how old I was, where I was living or who I was around. It was how much I was journaling. People may joke that talking to yourself is a sign you’re crazy; I’d argue the exact opposite. The world’s a confusing place. How are you going to get through without regular conversatio

Moving Towards the Whole: How Integrative Medicine Helps

By the time I was lying on the table, electrified needles inserted across the length of my body, I was truly at wit’s end. I was in my second decade of life with ulcerative colitis (UC), a point in the disease in which, according to my gastroenterologist, “things can change.” And things had changed for me in a decidedly negative way. Having run the gamut of standard medical treatment, it was time to branch out to alternative remedies, in this case, acupuncture. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inf

Compost Safety (Hint: Compost Can Cause Legionnaires' Disease)

Compost is called black gold for a reason. A mainstay of organic gardening, compost is considered a valuable soil conditioner, one that makes soil more hospitable to plants. Made of decomposed organic material, compost encourages healthy populations of earthworms and other beneficial insects. Compost increases moisture retention and reduces the incident of damping off in plants. Compost promotes the aeration of soil and makes it more friable, allowing plants to more productively take root. All t

When Will It Be Safe to Eat Salad Again?

When Will It Be Safe to Eat Salad Again? Posted in E. coli,Outbreaks & Recalls on May 4, 2018 It’s strange to think of salad as anything other than a healthy food choice, but at present, steering away from any meal that might contain romaine is in consumers’ best interests. The current E. coli outbreak caused by contaminated romaine lettuce now spans 25 states. The CDC is aware of 121 cases of infection in individuals ranging from 1-88 years of age. But more cases may be linked to the outbreak

Sown Seeds & Garden Dreams at Imbolc

No one loves Imbolc as much as me. Well, okay, that’s probably not true but this point on the wheel of the year is one of my favorites. As an avid gardener, I may in fact savor it even more than Ostara. By the time spring equinox rolls around, new life is everywhere--birds back from southern points, baby bunnies peeking out of shrubs, early spring flowers blooming. At Imbolc, it’s still at least part dream, and a beautiful dream at that! When we walk into the woods, the kids notice that in some

Outdoor Ideas & Eight Great Reads for Family Yule

When the holidays roll around, it can be difficult to hang on to spiritual meaning. I have no beef with Starbuck cups or shopping mall Santas. But I want my kids to stay in touch with what Yule is all about. For us, that’s solstice, the longest night and all that it brings with it. It’s easy to honor Brigid and the gift of growing light and warmth at Imbolc when there’s no mainstream commercial holiday to vying for kids’ attention. But trying to merge commercial Christmas with Yule makes for a m

How One Mom Makes Reading A Fun, Engaging Activity For Her Kids

When it comes to the ups and downs of motherhood, Ilana Wiles knows how you feel. As the creator behind the popular parenting blog "Mommy Shorts," Wiles is no stranger to sharing her current parenting challenges and triumphs — one of those challenges being to get her two daughters, 9-year-old Mazzy and 6-year-old Harlow, excited about reading. "I loved reading as a kid. My head was always buried in a book," Wiles tells Romper, while noting that her daughters haven't quite found the same excitem

What Can You Eat After an Organ Transplant?

What Can You Eat After an Organ Transplant? Having an organ transplant is a monumental event. For the recipient, receiving “the gift of life” inevitably involves making important life changes to optimize health post-transplant. Some of these adjustments involve lifestyle changes, such as avoiding crowded spaces unless wearing a safety mask, not swimming in rivers or lakes to avoid potential waterborne bacteria, and taking extra precautions in regards to sun exposure since some medication can in

New Tech is Just What We Need for Food Safety

New Tech is Just What We Need for Food Safety How far does your food travel to get to your plate? It’s a question consumers might not be in the habit of asking themselves as they shop but in the interest of making optimal food choices, they should. The CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) estimates that the average American meal travels about 1,500 miles from producer to market. The fruits and veggies we are accustomed to thinking of as “fresh” may have been making

Saving the Harvest Safely

Fall is almost here. It is about that time to start harvesting fruits and vegetables. Preserving the harvest is immensely satisfying work. When done correctly, in season fruits, veggies, and herbs can be made to last for seasons to come through canning, drying, or the creation of herbal oils or vinegars. With each of these techniques, there are some key safety rules to in keep in mind. Home canning is a time honored method of food preservation. With proper processing, home canning seals in the

My Aunt's Ghost —

The last time I saw my aunt alive, I made it a point not to speak to her. Years before, I had worked to distance myself from my mom’s younger sister, a woman of too many ex-husbands, too many vain obsessions. As her namesake, I always had a nagging worry that unless I was vigilant, I could follow down the same path—brains and creativity siphoned away to count calories and coo over men. I likely never would’ve given the trajectory of my aunt’s life another thought if the years had just marched o

7 Ways to Manage Your Kids' Anxiety From a Parent Who's Been There

We were reversing the car down the driveway, headed off to enjoy New Year’s Eve fireworks, when my then two-year-old asked from her car seat, “How many years do you think it will be before I die?” My husband and I looked at each other but didn’t answer. What kind of parent engages in a conversation about mortality with a toddler, a still-in-diapers kid whose mind ought to be on Elmo or the imminent pyrotechnics? It turns out I was exactly that kind of mom, though not by choice. It’s taken me

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