Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ortho Evra

Now there are Ortho Evra lawsuits pending.

Have you been negatively affected by this drug? Call your pharmacist, the company, your doctor, or do some research to see what the side effects are.

Financial Health

Do you invest? Do you check the silver prices regularly? Invest in stocks? Have a Roth IRA?

This is a new year and it is time to make health goals- and that includes looking at the health of your finances.

What are your goals for this coming new year?


Christmas has come and gone. So, what did you get? Gold jewelry? Satellite radio? You know, the holiday isn't about that.

I love that scene in Charlie Brown Christmas where Linus tells everyone what Christmas truly is about. I love that. I memorized the Bible verse because of that show.

Late Holiday Gifts

I know, the holidays are nearly over. Are there people you've forgotten to buy things for? You need ideas... and fast. Only problem? You don't have a lot of money... Here are some ideas:

  • cheap flowers
  • chocolates
  • homemade baked goods in a pretty container (containers are probably half off by now!)
  • look for sales on jewelry, etc...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Is it time to invest?

It's a new year. Do you have investment goals? Here are some tips:

- Have a few months of expenses readily available.
- Consider mutual funds
- Invest in a Roth IRA
- Consider investing in precious metals
- Constantly evaluate your finances to make sure you stay on track.

Prescription Drugs

How many of you take prescription drugs? How many of you know the potential risks involved with taking prescription drugs? My advice is to get informed.

Prempro is amongst those drugs who are currently dealing with legal action. Do you know anyone who is filing a prempro lawsuit?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Your Health Care

How have your doctors been? Great? Disasterous?

I know people who have hired malpractice lawyers for their situations. You need a GOOD lawyer.

I think of all those drugs, and all those doctors that do more harm then good. That makes me angry!

Car Insurance

I don't care what you think, you need car insurance. Driving is just too dangerous!

From a health standpoint (as is the theme of this blog), you are endangering your life if you don't wear a seatbelt. So wear one and get car insurance... driving is just too dangerous to take risks like that!

Job Search

Here is a list of great jobs:

- Nurses
- Medical Techs
- Risk Management Jobs
- Technology
- Freelance (Always a good option if you need flexible hours)

Back to School

Do you wish you could go back to school but don't have the time? I bet there is an online program out there that can fit your needs.

I earned my Diploma of Herbal Studies at a distance learning school (Australasian College of Health Sciences). I loved how I could set my own pace.

Here are some study tips for you, specifically tailored to distance learning:

- Don't wait until the last minute. This is so easy to do, but you just end up getting stressed. Schedule in a certain number of hours a week until you accomplish your goal.

- Don't waste your time doing anything that isn't necessary. You don't need to read your class manual multiple times to memorize it. Skim it, read it, and then review the key points.

- Network with other students. This is invaluable. You can really benefit from their experiences.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


What a nightmare vioxx is. The vioxx lawyers must be pretty busy. Keep in mind that there are some who will help you fight for your rights if you were harmed by vioxx in any way!

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Merck has been held liable by a Texas jury in the first lawsuit involving its former blockbuster drug Vioxx, in a case that could have a profound effect on thousands of other cases filed against the company.

That article snippet was taken from CNN.

Wish list

What's on your Christmas wish list this year? Books? Jewelry? Perhaps some yellow diamond rings? Here are some items from my own wish list:

1. makeup from companies who don't test on animals
2. standing mixer
3. books (I haven't decided on the titles)
4. new clothes!

Job Searching

What kind of jobs are you looking for? Financial Jobs? Something creative? Whatever it is, here are some tips to help you relax during your search. Let's face it, it can be stressful- especially if you need the money or have been unemployed for a while.
  1. Drink chamomile tea.
  2. Get plenty of rest.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Some other herbs that help me relax: skullcap, catnip, valerian.

Note- please research any herbs you decide to try, or ask your physician or other health care provider.

Pet Care

We have a cat. Here are some things we do to make sure he is well cared for.

  1. Give him food and water.
  2. Help him get plenty of exercise
  3. Pet ID Tags just in case he gets outside.
  4. Give him catnip (he loves that stuff!)
  5. Give him the occasional treat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chamomile Tea

I love chamomile tea. It is my favorite drink to have after a meal because it has a slight bitter taste and helps my digestion.

I also love it on my skin. I have Rosacea and when my face is red and blotchy, I dip a cotton ball in some warm chamomile tea and apply it all over my face.

But I have yet to cook with chamomile. I wonder how chamomile cake, or candied chamomile flowers taste? Chamomile scones, anyone? I love taking an herb and finding creative ways to use it. If any of you have chamomile flower recipes, drop me a line!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Holiday Weight Control

Thanksgiving will be here soon. Then there are the endless parties throughout December right up until New Year's. All those pastries... Ugh. Your waistline groans just thinking about it.

It doesn't have to be that way. You can control your weight during the holidays. It just takes some self control and a little planning. But, that doesn't mean you have to miss out.

1. Cocktails are high calorie. But, you don't want to skip out on alcohol during the festivities. Why not try a wine spritzer? You get some health benefits with the wine but the addition of sparkling water cuts out some calories.

2. Load up on veggies. Visit the crudites platter. When piling your plate at a buffet, a good rule of thumb is to let half your plate be devoted to fruits and veggies. You can still have that lasagna, just balance it out with loads of veggies.

3. Save room for dessert, but keep the portion small. And why not eat dessert? A small portion won't hurt. Just leave room for it, and balance that rich cake out with a portion of fruit.

4. Drink plenty of water. It will help control your weight and make your skin glow, not to mention the fact that it can prevent hangovers if you've had one glass of wine too many.

Do you have any favorite holiday weight control tips? Email me at k_huether77@yahoo.com. I will post them in my e-zine.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Woman's Power

I found this passage in an article in Today's Christian Woman and thought I'd share:

While the issue of religious persecution can seem too big to tackle, Jane is quick to point out women in the U.S. wield more power and influence today than women have enjoyed at any other time in history. "The key question is, what are we doing with that power?" she asks.

The full article can be found here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2005/006/3.46.html

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Marathon is over

The marathon is over, and I still haven't started running again. I would like to, but I think I am going to wait.

In the meantime, I have been walking a lot and hitting the weight room. My ultimate goal is to decrease my body fat and build muscle tone. Though I love running, I don't think I did enough strength work while I was training for the marathon.

What are your fitness, diet, or exercise goals?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ever wonder?

Ever wonder....
  • how to draw
  • how to leap like a ballerina
  • where our Christmas traditions came from
  • the best way to invest
  • how to arrange your flowers perfectly
  • your ideal job
  • the current gold prices
  • where the legend of Santa Claus really came from
  • what it feels like to climb a really tall mountain?


How many of you have gone through the mortgage refinancing process?

We've been looking into it but are not sure it makes sense since we aren't staying in this house for long. Has anyone been in a similar situation?

A poem

I haven't engaged in creative writing for a while, so here's a poem

Emerald diamond rings

Vibrant crescents
like glass and stars in the sky
sparkle their prisms
against the seat
high altitude
in the air
as the light flecks
illuminate the cabin.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Drug interactions

There is yet another drug that is in trouble for its side effects.

The bextra lawsuit is in place to try and help the victims.

Just when you think you are safe...

So what can you do to protect youself? Always do your homework. Which drugs are you taking? You should research all the information that is out there so you can make informed health decisions.

Budget tips

Mortgage rates have increased. Gas prices have gone up. Things in the grocery store are now a little more expensive, a direct result of the higher fuel costs. Time to budget!
  • Purchase staple items. Packaged and pre-cooked foods are expensive. Example- packaged rice mixes can cost $1.50 or more. Instead, make your own. Buy a huge bag of rice and cook with either a bullion cube or two or homemade chicken stock.
  • Homemade Chicken Stock. An excellent money saver. This hardly costs any money to put together. Buy a large chicken to roast. (You can stretch it to 2-3 meals). When there is hardly any meat left, simmer the bones in a giant soup pot in the crockpot for a few hours. Add a splash of vinegar to get more flavor out of the bones. The resulting stock is rich in flavor and high in nutritional value. Freeze it in ice cube trays for easy use.
  • Buy seasonal produce. Seasonal produce is usually grown locally so it costs less.

Christmas is Coming

Christmas is coming and I am happy. What a lovely time of year for many reasons! So, are you looking for something special to get your significant other? Here are some ideas:

  • Gift certificates to your favorite restaurants
  • a romantic getaway weekend
  • diamond men's watches
  • homemade keepsake gifts

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

European Slim

When we moved back to the US from Germany, I weighed 115 pounds. Since living in the states, I've gained ten pounds. I am going to slim down again. Here is what I did then, and my current plan to fix it.
  • walked everywhere
  • ate lots of wild plant foods
  • drank lots of herbal, green, and rooibus tea
  • jogged 3 miles, 3 times a week
  • strength trained twice a week
  • ate lots of fruits and vegetables, yogurt, small amounts of cheese, nuts, and good protein sources

My current plan is same as above, but I need to change around the exercise portion because I need to train for something. More on that later.

  • walk 3 miles a day
  • jog 5 miles, 3 x a week (in case I decide to run another marathon)
  • strength train 4 times a week, two days upper body, two days lower body, each day core. (I need to train to climb a mountain and the first step of that is to build more muscle mass)
  • Until I recover from the marathon, though, I won't be jogging so for now I will hop on the exercise bike each time I go to the gym.
  • eat a little more protein than is my usual to assist in muscle formation

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My Favorite Teas

Here are my favorite teas for the moment:
  • Alfalfa
  • Cinnamon Apple
  • Oatstraw with honey
  • Rosehips
  • Chamomile

There is nothing like a hot cup of tea on a cold day!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Infusing Sunshine

The weather has been quite bleak here. I find myself feeling tired and bla, when what I want is to be alert and productive. Luckily, I have a plan- one that includes lots of tea. Here is what I will try over the course of the day.
  • a blend with rosehips
  • green tea
  • a spiced rooibus

If that doesn't work? Perhaps I will try walking outside and brave the weather. I'll take my umbrella and it will remind me of Europe.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Wish List

I do have a wish list. Some of these things are easily obtainable. Others are more like dreams...

  1. Lush cosmetics Tricomania solid shampoo.
  2. Mega doses of ibuprofin to get rid of post marathon pain.
  3. A gps system like the ones in a rental we had in Europe.
  4. A second home in the Fuenfseenland in Germany.
  5. One of those ovens with a vent hood.

Marathon success!

I find that keeping a maintaining a blog is a wonderful thing. I loved sharing with you all my progress as I was training for the marathon.

Well, yesterday, on October 9, 2005- I completed it!

And you know what? I want to do it again! This time, I will focus on running the ENTIRE thing. I joined a pace group that alternated running and walking... next time I want to run all of it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Garden List for Next Spring

Well the summer is over and my garden didn't quite turn out like I expected. Here is a short list of plants I want to add to my garden next year:
  • Culinary herbs like basil, spearmint, and oregano
  • Tomatoes (this year, I will remember to stake them!)
  • English cucumbers
  • Mache
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Fire and Ice Roses

Monday, September 26, 2005

I am a writer

I am a writer. So, occasionally you may see me post some of my short creative writing pieces. Today is one of those days. Part of "living naturally" is embracing your creative and spiritual side.


It wasn't a perfect morning. She sat huddled over her morning paper, cup of coffee in one hand, dry toast in the other. It hurt too much to do anything else.

She felt an itching underneath her bandages. She wanted so badly to scratch, but she didn't want the wounds to reopen.

Her car was totaled and the bastard didn't even have car insurance.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Health Articles I've Written

Here are some links to health-related articles I've written:

Home Remedies for Colds and Flu, Dollar Stretcher


Exercise and the Writer, Absolute Write



Apples are in season now. This is the only time of year that I can eat apples. Whenever they come from elsewhere, they don't seem to taste good. Here are some things I like to do with them:
  • homemade apple sauce
  • apple pie!
  • apple crisp
  • sliced and spread with almond or peanut butter
  • sliced and sprinkled with wheat germ
  • sliced and baked with goat cheese

What do you like to do with your apples?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

American Cancer Society

As my husband and I worked our way through our marathon training programs, we realized that we want to train and work for a bigger cause. So, we decided to register with the Charity Runner Program through the American Cancer Society. Our goal is to raise $750 dollars.

If you are interested in helping out, you can make a donation through the personal charity page at http://www.charityrunner.org/site/TR?px=1113245&pg=personal&fr_id=1040

Thank you all so much for your support!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Fall Issue of Ezine Now Up!

I just wanted to announce that the fall issue of my ezine was just sent out. This issue features an article on "Home Remedies for Colds and Flu" and my Healthy Banana Bread Recipe.

If you aren't a subscriber yet but would like to be, just click on the link to the right of this post to send a blank email to subscribe.

Another gorgous fall day. I have a five mile run planned. How about all of you? How are you guys celebrating the coming season?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fall is Here

Labor day weekend has come and gone. We traveled to Acadia National Park up near Bar Harbor, ME and were met with some gorgeous weather. On the way back I saw a young maple tree with vibrant, red leaves. Fall is here!

I can't wait to begin baking. Apples, cranberries, squash- these are my favorite harvest treats to cook with. I anticipate my first cranberry pecan loaf, or my first apple pie of the season. This year I resolve to pick my own apples. Mmm. Apple pie baked fresh from the tree. I can't wait to test recipes and perfect and hone my pie-making technique.

Stay tuned. This has been a busy, hot summer. Now that the days are shorter and the nights are cooler there will be plenty of time to write and bake.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust recipe

I am making whole wheat pizza for dinner. I had a leftover bolognese sauce to get rid of. Even though I purchased the pizza dough this time (I actually found whole wheat at whole foods), I do have a recipe that I love. Here it is:

1 package instant dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1.5 c. all purpose flour
1.5- 2 C. whole wheat flour
pinch salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Dissolve yeast in water. Add oil and salt. With a whisk, slowly beat in the all purpose flour. Knead in the whole wheat flour until proper bread consistency is reached (not too sticky, has a good snap to it when pinched). Form into a ball and cover with a damp cloth. Let stand in a warm place until double. Punch down after it rose. Divide dough into two halves. Dough recipe makes 2 medium size pizzas.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ouch- I fell

Yesterday, I took a spill.

I went for a 3 mile run yesterday. It was hot and humid. My sinuses were bothering me. At around the 2.3 mile point, my ankle overturned and I simply lost my balance. To shield the fall, I landed on my left knee and both my hands.

I was near the house so I went promptly home. I needed five bandaids and developed an enormous bruise on my hip.

Today, I am not sure I want to run my 6 miles on the street. There are hazards!

I don't think anyone saw me. I hope no one saw me! How embarassing. I can picture someone pointing to their kids and saying see- that is why it's important to listen to your parents when they tell you it's too hot to run outside.

I am not sure what went wrong. I had water. Should I have been drinking gatorade? I didn't even feel out of it and tired. Perhaps it really was the sinuses. My ankle didn't even turn over bad enough to sprain or anything. I should have maintained my sense of balance.

So today I would really like to run on the treadmill. I am taking no chances.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Marathon Progress

Just thought I'd give you an update on my marathon progress.

Yes, I'm still training. The longest I've run so far is 10 miles. The weather here has been hot and humid, which makes some of the runs tough. Sometimes, I feel tired and a bit out of it during the runs. But afterwards, I am so happy I completed that day's training!

Yesterday I ran 7 miles. Today is a rest day and boy do I need it!

I've been thinking a lot about nutrition. My calorie needs at this point are pretty high. I have to make sure I am eating enough because I bet that will make a big difference in the way I run.

Today, I am going to do some strength training for my abs and upper body.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cayenne Pepper

I've been doing a lot of cooking with cayenne pepper lately. It's been hot out and even though cayenne makes you feel hot sometimes, it actually helps you sweat, thus making you cooler.

I like to use this seasoning when I have a cold. I feel it opens my sinuses and helps loosen any excess phlegm and mucous.

Cayenne Cold Syrup

2 T honey
1 T lemon juice
dash cayenne pepper
one garlic clove, chopped

Mix all ingredients together in a small dish. Let stand about 1/2 hour so the flavors can meld together. Take one tsp. 3 times a day until systems subside.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Shaklee Products

Check out this link: www.shaklee.net/spiro.

I've used the Shaklee protein powder and multivitamin before. I loved the taste and absorbability of the protein powder, and the vitamin didn't give me heartburn or nausea, two problems I usually have.

So, when my Uncle Spiro started selling the products, I decided I would give him a plug. :)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Honey for Endurance Atheletes

The marathon training is going strong! Today I ran 10 miles in the intense heat. For the second time, I tried eating those nutrition gels.

Overall, it was not a good run. The gel I liked the taste of the best is the "Gu" brand. But, all the gels I've come across except for the Cliff Brand have caffeine, and I don't react well to caffeine.

So I did some digging, and I found out that honey is great for endurance. I LOVE honey. It is a carbohydrate/ simple sugar that has always agreed with me. I remember going to the apple orchard and buying honey sticks. I don't gag on the honey sticks and they don't have caffeine.

Bring it on!

Great Resource for Herbal Medicine

There is one website I frequently go to when I want information on medicinal plants:


It is the online version of Mrs. Maude Grieve's A Modern Herbal.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Getting used to running

Now that I've been training for a few weeks, I am not plagued by weird pains. I have a recurring muscle soreness problem in my hip, and ever since I started running on the treadmill- that hasn't been bothering me.

I think the key is to take it slowly and not push yourself more than you feel is comfortable. Overtraining is not a good thing!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Salad Greens from the Garden

We just got back from a one week trip. I am amazed as to how big the salad greens have gotten. Some of my plants died. It's been really hot and humid. But the plants in the back, sort of in the shade, are flourishing.

Last night, I made a large salad. Most of the greens were from the garden. Some of them I started from seed.

It makes the meal so satisfying when you see the fruits of your labor!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Backyard Wildlife Conservation

I love gardening, wildlife, and conservation.

I found a program that is the perfect merging of all these things. I believe that one individual can make a difference. I also believe that a lot of individuals can help even more.

I think that what the National Wildlife Federation is organizing is wonderful, and I want to be a part of it. This summer, I will be busy planting native plants in my garden and logging all the beautiful birds and butterflies it attracts.

The first step: taking an inventory of all the plants in my yard and labeling either "Exotic, invasive, or native."

Want to join in on the fun? Click on this link for more information:


Monday, June 06, 2005

Strength Training for Runners

I am still training for that Marathon. Yesterday was my longest run- about four miles. I ran on the treadmill. It is very humid out and I have a recurring injury in my hip. I thought that the treadmill would help. My stamina still isn't built up and I find that I have to walk sometimes- more than I like. Maybe I am trying to run too fast (which would explain that injury).

Anyway, I put together a strength training routine that will help make me a stronger runner. This is a three week program. After the four weeks, I am changing the exercises to keep my muscles challenged. I will do this routine twice a week. One will be on an off running day, another will be on a Thursday.

Because you don't want to add bulk, I've been advised to lift 50% of what I am capable of lifting. This will help develop enough strength, without adding bulk.

Warm up for about five minutes. I like the rower because it works the whole body. Stretch afterwards.
  • Bench Press- 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Push ups- 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Rowing- 2 sets of 12 reps. Grip one dumbbell in each hand. Sit on end of bench. Keep back straight. Extend arms down and lift at an angle to bra line. Face palms toward body.
  • French Press- 2 sets of 12 reps. Do it as usual, but angle the elbows out more. Do standing
  • Bicep Curl- 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Crunches- 3 Sets of 15
  • Oblique crunches- 3 sets of 15
  • Lunge- 2 sets of 15. Just use bodyweight.
  • Swim move- 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Calf raises- 2 sets of 15. Just use bodyweight.
  • Squat- 2 sets of 15. Just use bodyweight.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

First Issue of Ezine!

I just sent the first issue of the "Living Naturally" Ezine.

It isn't too late to sign up! Just send a blank email to this address- Natural_life_zine-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Thursday, June 02, 2005


I've been planting all week. I had quite the backlog of plants that needed to go in the ground. My shoulders are sore. This is a good thing- I feel that all the digging and weeding I've been doing has replaced at least one strength workout.

Here is a short list of things I've planted:
  • tomatoes
  • brussel sprouts
  • borage
  • anise
  • allysum
  • broccoli
  • red romaine
  • regular romaine
  • lavender
  • echinacea
  • snapdragon
  • dianthus
  • lilies
  • violets
  • radishes
  • sage

One more day of heavy planting and that's it- I'm done for a while! I imagine caring for them is going to take some work, too. My garden is all organic.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Summer Floral Tea Blend Recipe

It is summer, and the flowers are blooming- or about to bloom. Here is a recipe for my favorite floral-inspired tea blend.

I use the simpler's method, where I define everything in "parts". If you are unfamiliar with this method, a "part" can be anything you want. A cup, a teaspoon, a handful, a half-teaspoon, etc...

2 parts dried chamomile flowers
1 part dried rose petals
1 part dried lavender flowers

Gently mix in a glass bowl. Store in a brown paper bag or an amber glass jar in a cool place. You can use a clear jar as well, as long as it is stored in a dark place.

Walking Workout- Week One, Day One

Hi Everyone. I am doing a six week walking plan in addition to the marathon training. Sounds nuts, but I have a reason.

Up until last Septemnber, we lived in Germany. I used to walk everywhere- the post office, the market, the train station. I must have walked at least three miles a day- more in the summer.

I miss it. So I am doing this walking plan.

Week One- Walk one mile per day, with one day of rest.

I walked my mile today. Who wants to join me on this six week program? Email me or leave a comment. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Cross Training

Today is a cross training day.

I just did an ab routine. Three sets each of an exercise for lower abs, regular crunches, an exercise for the obliques, and an exercise for the lower back. For reps- for the ab work I did 15-20 and for the lower back I did 12-15.

Next, I will go for a walk. It is a gorgeous day and with all the rain we've had it is nice to get outside.

After the walk- total body toning.

My routine:
  • Push-ups- 3 sets of 30 (against wall)
  • Tricep Dips- 3 sets of 15
  • Bicep Curls- 3 sets 20 reps (light weights)
  • Shoulder Press- 3 sets 15 reps (light weights)
  • Rowing move- sitting, with bands
  • Plies- 2 sets of 15
  • Wall sits- 3 "sets", 30 seconds each
  • Calf raises- 3 sets 15
  • squats- 2 sets 10

I will finish it off with A LOT of stretching.

Dinner tonight is fish chowder (low fat). I have no idea how I'm going to make it yet. All I need is a pot and some imagination! lol. I'll let you know how it turns out. I raided the freezer and found some shrimp, white fish, and smoked salmon.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Much Needed Rest

Well I did it. I completed my first three days of training for the Marathon.

I am NOT used to jogging three days in a row, with no rest in between. My legs are sore and I was getting tired of running in the rain and wind.

Today is a much needed day of rest. But still, I want to exercise. When we lived in Europe, we walked everywhere and I never even considered that part of my workout.

Perhaps I will go for a walk today, and then spend some time stretching. I think it will be good for my muscle soreness to get a little movement.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ezine Launch- First Issue

Hi Everyone!

This is just a quick announcement. The first issue of my healthy living ezine will be sent out on June 2, 2005.

That is one week from today.

So, sign up soon so you don't miss anything!

Click on the link on the left to sign up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Training Journal

Today I am working on creating a training journal.

I am going to keep:

  1. a food journal
  2. track my new shoes' mileage
  3. track weight/body fat
  4. overall information (distance/course/conditions) of each of my runs
  5. Cross training workout tracker- So I can keep track of all my other workouts.

The ultimate goal is to finish the Chicago Marathon. Yesterday I ran one mile- hey, it's a start!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Acne Treatment Products

Here is my current acne treatment skin care regimen:

  • Cetaphil cleanser- This is a very gentle product. When I have a flare-up my skin gets really sensitive.
  • witch hazel toner- This calms my skin. Sometimes I mix it with some lavender essential oil which is also good for treating acne.
  • SPF 15 Moisturizer- For day.
  • Moisturizer with salicylic acid- For night.

Adult Acne

I have a form of adult acne. It is pretty much under control, but I occasionally get flare-ups. Right now, I have a little flare up which I attribute to the changing seasons. The air has been more humid.

To fight my acne condition I am going to:

1. Drink plenty of water. I believe that water helps keep my skin clear.

2. Drink Chamomile tea. This is one of my favorite teas. It is relaxing and I use some of the leftover tea as a toner.

3. Use a product with salicylic acid. I like Neutrogena products for this. Alpha hydroxy acids dry out my skin and make the problem worse.

4. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet helps keep my acne problem under control. The healthier my diet, the better my skin looks.

Now that I have a strict workout schedule that will cause me to sweat a lot, I need to pay extra special attention to my skin. Exercise helps skin circulation, but I have to make sure to wash my skin well after.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

It's official

Today, I registered for the Chicago Marathon. My official training begins in a few weeks. I came across an 18 week training program for absolute beginners. (That's me!) My goal is to finish the marathon in four hours.

I keep imagaining what it will be like crossing the finish line... I bet it is an incredible experience. I can't wait!

There is a lot of research to do. What should I eat? How many calories a day? Can I still weight train and do other sports?

I'm looking forward to finding these answers. It's all part of the fun of the journey!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

I had two ripe bananas that needed to be used. I have a copy of that old, orange Betty Crocker cookbook. It has a recipe for banana nut bread, but it was loaded with sugar. I modified it, using a small amount of whole wheat flour, less sugar, and no nuts for a lower calorie bread. I was so pleased with the results, I can honestly say this is the best tasting and best textured banana bread I've ever eaten. The fact that there is less sugar really accentuates the taste of the banana.

2 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/2 c. whole wheat flour1 1/2 c. flour (I used unbleached)
1/2 c. sugar
3 T oil (I used half the amount in safflower and half the amount in coldf pressed olive oil)
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 egg
1 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients all at once. Mix with a giant wooden spoon until well blended (about ten turns). Pour into a greased and floured 9 X 5X 13 bread pan. If you have the smaller size, divide the batter between the two pans. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until top is golden and toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Chicago Marathon

My husband and I decided last night to run the Chicago Marathon on Columbus day weekend! My husband got me into running last year and it changed me. I got in shape rather quickly and the physical and mental benefits are vast.

Last summer, we did a challenging hike in Norway and I didn't feel like an asthmatic. This was huge because I had been having trouble with hills. I thought I had exercise induced asthma- turns out, I was just out of shape.

Training should start as soon as possible. I just need to settle on a schedule. Does anyone have any advice?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Exercise Goals May 15

I am going to be a little more relaxed with my exercise goals this week. My one requirement is to get one hour total of exercise per day, six days this week.

I went to the gym for a half hour today. Then, I am going to do an ab routine that I found in the June 05 issue of Fitness Magazine. That should take 20 minutes. I will probably also go for a walk.

Breakfast this morning was a granola bar before the gym (low fat) and then after the gym I had an omelette with peppers, onions, feta, and two eggs. I'm stuffed!

Lunch will be a tuna sandwich with chopped pepper and onions and fresh herbs with one cup tomato soup. I will use a small amount of mayo in the tuna.

What are your goals?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Laundry- Part 2

I am slowly chipping away at my disorganized system and making it organized. Right now, I have a load in the washer. I folded some of the clothes, but now there are still more. They are on my bed.

The main problem is the laundry room. It became a dumping ground for empty boxes and other items. I have to walk through a maze to wash the clothes. Not a very inspiring place.

So, once the laundry itself is under control, I really need to get that room under control!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Going out for Clams

Two days ago, I didn't eat enough vegetables through the day. I told myself I would have a huge salad at dinner. It was a gorgeous day and we decided to go out.

We wound up at an old New England clamshack, established in 1916 or something like that. I ended up with steamers and fries. The only thing that resembled a vegetable on the menu was coleslaw, and I do not like coleslaw. All that mayonnaise... ick.

I was lucky to find the steamers. At these traditional places, everything is usually fried.

The day after, I woke up feeling stuffed. The french fries sat in my stomach in a lump. I had a very good vegetable/fruit day yesterday and I woke up today feeling normal.

I can't imagine eating fried food all the time. How do people do it?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Keeping Track of the Laundry

Do any of you have a problem keeping up with your laundry?

Right now, I have laundry everywhere. On the floor. In the basket. By the washing machine. On the kitchen table. In the dryer.

They are in various stages of completion. Some need to be folded. Some need to be washed. I thought I had the situation under control, but we've since created more dirty items and I STILL haven't folded the laundry from the last few loads.

My goal is to finally get myself in a situation where I keep up with the laundry!

I want to make it wonderful and beautiful. I made that laundry powder I described in another post. The castile soap I grated smelled like almond. Yum. Now to find a pretty glass jar and decorate it. That's a start.

What do you guys do to help you keep up with the laundry? Tell me and I will put it in my ezine.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Allergy Season

It is allergy season so it's time to start taking precautions. In general, I like to consume more vitamin c and quercetin. But, since I don't really like taking a lot of vitamins (I do take a multi), I like to get it from food and herbs. Both C and Quercetin work together as an antihistimene. Basically I use my knowledge of herbal medicine and healing herbs to get me through!

Rosehips- this is my favorite herb for vitamin C. Look for a tea blend with rosehips or make a tea out of it plain.

Green Tea- One of my favorite herbs. Rich in quercetins which work well with vitamin C to help my allergies.

Stinging Nettle- I honestly forget why this herb works so well for allergies. I notice a difference in my allergies when I drink the strong infusion. (I described how to make an infusion here http://livingnaturally.blogspot.com/2005/05/stinging-nettle-brief-introduction.html).

Monday, May 09, 2005

Exercise Goals May 9

I miss walking. When we lived in Germany, I used to walk a lot. The village was set up to encourage walking. I walked to the market, train station, post office... Sometimes my husband and I would go for long walks to the nearest monastary. (www.andechs.de) Or to the lake. Or to a nearby town.

So in honor of that, I am adding one mile of walking every day. Even in the rain. I already went for my walk today.

In addition I will do:

A minimum of three cardio sessions.
A minimum of two strength sessions.

I didn't finish my workouts last week- I fell short by one cardio and one gym session. Not good. So, I am going to meet my goals this week!

Rose Hand Lotion

I made this recipe on Saturday night to give for Mother's Day. I don't know the exact proportions.

Cold pressed olive oil
Dried rose petals

Infuse rose petals in oil over a double burner for one hour. Strain into another dish and place over double burner. Add:

Coconut oil
Beeswax, grated
Cocoa butter, grated

When melted, pour into containers and label.

The amount of beeswax you use will depend on how solid you like the cream to be. Add more if you want a balm instead of a lotion.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Orange Rose Soap

Well, I went to check the soap and all the herbs settled to the bottom. I had to melt it down and try again!

I melted it in the microwave this time. I then added orange essential oil.

I strained out the herbs as I poured it into the mold and added some rose petals (very slightly crushed).

I am much happier with the soap.

When I was at the craft store, I saw melt n' pour soap that was supposed to keep the herbs in suspension. I chose to purchase another brand because it was cheaper. That is okay- I can adapt!

Rose Calendula Soap Recipe

I found a great deal on melt and pour soap. So, I am making soap for mother's day! Here is the recipe. It is rough because I had to guess on the amount of soap to use.


Melt soap over double burner. (enough to pour into four rectangular soap molds)
Add crushed rose petals and calendula flowers. (I only added about 1.5 t. )
Add desired essential oils (Optional. I added ten drops each vanilla and orange).
Pour into molds and let cool.

That's it!


The soap is beautiful as is so I will just tie a pink ribbon around it. I think I may bake something somewhat healthy to go with it.

Stinging Nettle- Brief Introduction

My Favorite herb is stinging nettle.

I make a strong infusion and let it steep overnight in a quart-size jar. Just add one ounce of the dried herb and pour boiling water to the top. Cover and let stand.

This is very good over ice, warmed with a dash of honey, or as a vegetable soup broth.

I notice a difference in my energy and skin especially. It is filled with minerals and I love drinking it after a run. I feel that it really aids recovery.

News Tidbit- Keep taking calcium

A recent study in the Journal of Women's Health (March 2005) urges osteoperosis patients to continue taking calcium even while on medication.

Many patients discontinue taking calcium and vitamin D supplements when they begin treatment.

Full recap of the study can be found at http://www.prevention.com/article/0,5778,s1-1-93-166-5093-1,00.html

Cnn.com "Mammoth Menus"- Food challenges

I just read this article from cnn.com

I've always been disguisted with the notion of "all you can eat" contests. I mean, it is pretty clear that Americans (and a lot of people throughout the world) have a hard time managing their weight. These contests glorify overeating!


Natural Laundry Powder Recipe

I am going to make this recipe today. I am using the simplers method. Just pick a measurement (one cup, one tablespoon, etc) and use that measurement to equal "1 part". In this case, the recipe calls for equal parts of all the ingredients. So, if one cup is your measurememnt you would use one cup of each of the ingredients.

Equal Parts:

Powdered castile soap (I use a block grader to powder one bar),
Baking Soda,

10-20 drops your favorite essential oil. Lavender works really well. So does grapefruit. I've been doing a combination of 10 drops rosemary and 10 drops sweet orange. The two fragrances work well together.

Use two heaping tablespoons for a medium wash and three for a large wash. I usually add extra borax if they load is really soiled. I am very pleased with the recipe. It is good for the environment, too.

Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

I am going to make the following smoothie for breakfast:

3/4 cup frozen berries,
one medium banana,
one cup rice milk (you can use any kind of milk you want),
one scoop protien powder,

Mix together in a blender until smooth.

I am going to put the leftover bits that don't fit in my glass in popsicle molds. It is getting warmer out!

Friday, May 06, 2005

10 minute calisthenics routine

I am one 10 minute routine away from meeting my exercise goal. I still need to do one long strength session and two cardio sessions with only two days left. I can definately do it, no excuses!

I am about to go do this 10 minute strength routine. I intended to do more today but ended up taking a nap and getting immersed in my work. I can still meet my goals for the week.

1 minute- squats
30 seconds- crunches
1 minute- plies
30 seconds- oblique crunch, one side
1 minute- push-ups
30 seconds- oblique crunch, other side
1 minute- calf raises
30 seconds- exercise for lower back
1 minute- tricep dips
1 minute- plyometric squat/jump
1 minute- bicep curl with exercise bands
1 minute- plyometric plie/jump

Thursday, May 05, 2005

My New Ezine

Hi everyone!

I finally decided to start an ezine.

I am so excited to share with you healthy lifestyle tips, herbal medicine, fitness information, recipes, etc.

I will also ask for reader tips. This week I am looking for a success story of no more than 200 words. Did you just recently lose weight or make some healthy lifestyle changes? What was the secret to your success?

Send a blank email to:


My Exercise Goals, set on May 2

I plan my workouts at the beginning of the week.

This week my goals are to complete:

2 Ten minute strength sessions
1 Ten minute ab session
1 Long gym strength session
3 Cardio Sessions

So far I've completed:

Tuesday- 1 Ten minute Strength
Wednesday- 1 Cardio, 1 Ten minute Ab
Thursday- 1 Cardio (Went for a jog)

Care to share your goals?

Email me!

* * * * *

Join me for recipes, gardening tidbits, and healthy living!Send a blank email to subscribe: Natural_life_zine-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Cinnamon Spice

I was just thinking about cinnamon. I read a fact once about how 1/4 tsp cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar in diabetics.

I don't have diabetes, but I sure love the taste!

Here are some of my favorite things to do with cinnamon:

Stirred into hot milk
Sprinkled on oatmeal
A great compliment to fresh, in season apples
Wonderful compliment to hot chocolate
Cinnamon truffles!
Folded into chocolate cake frosting
As a seasoning to tomato rice pilaf
Seasoning for poultry- great in Morrocan style chicken
Cinnamon Toast (thanks to a friend from Susun Weed's forum! I forgot this one)
Couscous seasoned with tomato paste and cinnamon and topped with parmesan
In muffins, tea breads, pancakes

I would love some feedback. What are your favorite things to do with cinnamon? Email me and I will put the tips in my ezine. Natural_life_zine-owner@yahoogroups.com

* * * * *

Join me for recipes, gardening tidbits, and healthy living!
Send a blank email to subscribe: Natural_life_zine-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Dandelion Flower Fritter Recipe

The dandelions are starting to bloom. I love frittering them! Here is the recipe:

12 dandelion blossoms
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ c. whole wheat flour
¼ c. milk
pinch baking powder
2 pinches seasoned salt (I used trocomare)
¼ t. each onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, celery salt
pepper to taste

Coat blooms with batter. Coat nonstick skillet with olive oil. Fry on both sides until fritters are browned and crispy. Note: This is not a deep-fry recipe. I rarely deep fry anything because of all the oil. But, if you try deep frying this, let me know how it is!

My First Garden

Spring is FINALLY here! It seemed like such a long winter. We lived in Germany for two years, and the season changes a lot sooner then.

But, this is our first house, and, I've been planting!

As soon as they appeared in the gardening stores, I picked up some pansies. There are now 24 plants around my mailbox.

I've also planted eight everbearing strawberry plants in a planter that is on the deck. They get full sun there. I can't wait to taste fresh strawberries. I had fresh-picked strawberries once. There are "pick your own" places in Germany. They had an unmatched candy-sweetness. I hope these can compare.

Also planted:

Feldsalat (corn salad or mache)
Geranium (reminds me of our balcony in Germany!)
New Guinea Nasturtium

If you can find the New Guinea Nasturtium, it is worth it. The foliage is a dark green and they come in a few different colors. I picked up a deep, jewel red. But, there were a few more colors at the store, including a deep, brilliant orange.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I feel spring

I know Spring is coming. Part of me doesn't want to admit it, but it is. I didn't seem to get enough of the winter. We had plans to go snow mobiling and sledding. So far, we haven't done either.

The other part, the gardener/runner/herbalist, has absolutely no problem admitting the change of season. Running in the freezing cold isn't as fun. In fact, my favorite time of year to run is in March and April, when the sun shines but the air is still cool. Running in the dead heat of the summer is almost as bad as running in the frigid temperatures. Almost.

I am starting to make plans for my first spring herb walk. We've moved from last year, and I am eager to discover the native flora. We are in Utah at the moment and I was delighted to see that the chickweed was thriving and in flower. I would love to pick some for a salad, but I have no idea if the lawn has been treated with chemicals or not.

I can't wait to start my seeds. I have some oregano and cilantro just pushing up from the soil. This is the first time I am able to start a garden and I can't wait.

So, in this journal I will chronicle all things healthy, herbal, and culinary. I will share recipes and their outcomes, tea blends, exercise, and my gardening adventures.

Oh, one more thing. I signed up for the Self Challenge today. (www.self.com). I did the challenge last year, and I lost almost 15 pounds. I am maintaining at the moment, but am always looking to better my health. If you are looking for a complete program to help you get healthy, I highly reccomend it. Plus, you get a chance to win some neat prizes. If you are one of the first 2000 people or so to sign up, you get body wash! I wonder if I made it....

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