Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Weed Walk of the Season

I spent the night at my parent's house. When I woke up this morning, I realized that not only is it a beautiful day, but that the lawn is filled with early spring greens. My dad is an organic gardener so I can browse the lawn at will.

We walked through the lawn together and he told me stories about my great grandmother. She came from Greece and would always eat the dandelion leaves. She made tea out of the flowers, at the leaves, and roasted the roots for dandelion coffee. The art skipped two generations before it got to me, it seems.

In the end, I picked enough greens to make a salad. I also picked some cleavers for my dad to dry and make a tea out of. Here are the greens that I included in my salad:
  • dandelion
  • chicory
  • mullein
  • yarrow
  • clover
  • cleavers
I seasoned it with a lemon vinaigrette and topped it with goat cheese. I had artichoke hearts and Greek Easter rolls on the side.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Herbal Hair Rinse for Natural Beauty

In order to keep my hair shiny and healthy, I like to make an herbal hair rinse. My basic recipe includes:
  • apple cider vinegar
  • herbal tea
I put essential oils, too - but that's optional.

The basic formula is 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and two cups of herbal tea or infusion. If I choose to put essential oil, I add 5 drops or so.

Why do I do this? It keeps my hair shiny, healthy, and strong. I also use it to problem solve. If my scalp is flaky I choose an herb like parsley. If I want to enhance my dark highlights, I use rosemary. If I want light highlights, I use chamomile.

I wrote an article at Ehow about this on How to Make Herbal Hair Rinses. Check it out for more detailed information.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Training for a Marathon - My Long Runs

The clock is ticking. The Vienna marathon is on April 27. Am I prepared? I think I'll be okay. But, I need to get in two more long runs before I start to taper. One run will be 14 miles, another will be 18 miles. And that's all I'm doing.

But when am I going to do them? I have to do my 14 mile run sometime this week. I looked at the weather and today is too windy. It's supposed to rain on the weekend except on Sunday. So, I guess I'll do it on Sunday.

Here's my workout schedule:

Wednesday (Today):6 mile run, bodyweight exercises

Thursday: 6 mile run, bodyweight exercises

Friday: walk, bodyweight exercises

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 14 mile run

Time is ticking. I need to get these runs in so I can taper my mileage before the marathon!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Daily Walk in the Woods

I've started this little tradition - I take a daily walk in the woods. I do it both for fitness, and to connect with nature. We live disconnected lives. I sit in front of the computer all day, do housework and run errands.

But it is so important to spend some time outdoors. It helps me stay in touch with the herbalist side. And, this is an exciting time. I go out every day to look for signs of life and that spring is coming. I want to see the plants push up out of the earth.

In about another month, I bet the leaves will start popping out and the spring plants will be in bloom. Some things are starting to come up, like daffodils. But I think spring may be late.

My walk is a 3-4 mile trek in some conservation lands by my house. If there's no one around, I stop halfway and do some calisthenics, too.