What’s In My Cup? Tea to Kick That Cold

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

Elderberry syrup is one of my most favorite things, I’ve loved it since I worked at Medithrive in San Francisco. We carried an amazing medicated elderberry syrup that fought colds and got rid of body aches almost completely. Since then I’ve been so interested in the other ways that elderberries can be used. This cup of tea is adapted from the Wellness Mama‘s recipe for immune boosting tea using my own favorite blend of herbs.  I personally felt a cold coming on yesterday and this blend is just what I needed to warm up my immune system and kick it into gear before Cowbae’s mom’s epic party coming up this weekend.

Simply Mix Together:

2 TB dried elderberries

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp dried ginger root

2 tsp dried echinacea

pinch of black pepper

1 tsp local honey

Combine 16 ounces of water, elderberries, turmeric and ginger root into a medium sized saucepan and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the saucepan off of the heat and stir the echinacea leaves and black pepper into the pot. Let steep/cool for 10 minutes. Strain into 2 mugs and quickly stir in honey, 1/2-1 tsp depending on our preference. Draw the aromas of your cup into your senses and imagine yourself building a strong white light of energy around yourself. Use whatever healing light that you prefer, I like to imagine it sparkling and white. Drink your brew and emanate your protective, healing light and focus on the mantra: Healing is a power within me. 


Reflections On An Evening Spent Foraging

Going Green, Lifestyle

I’ve been really excited living this close to a national forest though I haven’t known where Joint.jpgto start the exploring. I’ve been a suburbanite and a city girl. The country really isn’t my comfort zone but it’s certainly a place I’ve been dying to become one with. So when Cowboyfriend suggested we take our visiting friends out to forage for lobster mushrooms I was absolutely ecstatic for the adventure.

As we scaled the side of a small mountain we each found our own little paths through the fallen foliage and pine needles, attempting balance of taking in the wondrous nature while also intent on finding some bright orange ‘shrooms. It was a bit frustrating at first because I didn’t know what to look for and no one had found an example yet to show me. But then, aha! a brilliant idea struck, light up the magical cannabis joint and the healing plant will lead us to some mushies. About 2 puffs in Danfriend was admiring a the beauty of a wildflower and happened upon a little conglomerate of bright orange lobster mushrooms! The excitement washed over all of our faces as we began burrowing into the moist earth with our bare hands to pull out the delicate and deliciously weird looking mushroom. To find something so treasured right in our own backyard creates a feeling of pride and excitement that can’t be matched by many other things. We all continued on with our little bags and intent eyes, hoping to happen upon more bounty.


Josh Lobster.jpg

The sun began to set and we all worked more focused towards the base of the mountain in time for the sunset. As we came out of the trees into the pasture I felt that cool, sweet air that before this year I had only read about in books. That type of air that only says one thing, “say your goodbyes to today’s sun”. We stumbled out past the tree line and each step revealed another small view into the glorious skyline that evening had presented us with. And it all hit me, that excitement is everywhere. We can intently staring into the ground, searching for what our knowledge has taught us. Or we can walk into the space where our instincts guide us and stumble upon absolute greatness. But you know what, like everything else in this big gorgeous world, we should balance between the two. Because goals are important but we can’t remain so focused that we forget to notice nature’s gifts and surprises. Cannabis helps me with both. It helps me focus and stay on task while also holding onto my childhood wonderment.

Thanks magical joint for helping us find some mushies, and thanks friends for coming hunting with us. I think we found what we were looking for.


Rolling Papers a Cannabis Movie Review

Cannabis, Movie Reviews

Rolling PapersI go through real phases in my Netflix binging habits but I haven’t been much in the mood for documentaries for a couple of years now, until I saw Rolling Papers on my feed. As a cannabis writer I think it’d be dumb if I didn’t at least give it a chance, and I’m glad that I did but for mixed reasons. The film, directed by Mitch Dickman and team, follow Richard Baca who was historically appointed as the world’s first cannabis newspaper director for the Denver Post in 2014. The Cannabisis now one of the leading sources on every aspect of cannabis that exists in the nation and this story shows the very beginning stages.

This monumental change in cannabis legislation created an entirely new aspect of journalism: pot journalism. So many aspects to reporting on this plant that weren’t kosher enough to mention in mainstream media are now not only free to report on but avidly read. The Cannabis drastically raised the readership of The Denver Post while other major papers were being shut down. They report on policy news, parenting, recipes, strain reviews and pretty much anything else that has to do with cannabis. All of the manufacturing, processing, edibles, grow etc. information that they show and give is nothing new to Californians and Arizonians, the art of cannabis remains the same despite legalization.

See, I haven’t been to Colorado yet. I know, blasphemous, a out and proud stoner hasn’t visited any recreational states. But hey guys, I want a lot of kids someday but I have to buy a house first. So I rarely go anywhere except into my imagination because $. But anyways, back to the  point, It was refreshing to know that there wasn’t some magical secret to the industry in CO, that the difference was simply a freedom in the law. A minor freedom that is. The documentary touches on the utter confusion in the government as they attempt to create proper regulating laws with absolutely no data to rest them on. It also visits CPS multiple times in reference to their assault on legal cannabis users that are being persecuted. These issues need to be talked about because people are getting their kids taken away as lawmakers struggle to keep up. Kudos to shining a spotlight on these injustices.

RollingPapers 2

IMG SOURCE: villagevoice.com

I did have some issues with the film though, and maybe I’m being a big old butthead because I consider this plant medicinal and I consider myself a writer. First of all, why is their reviewer Jake smoking out of a pipe to review strains? That’s not real right? That is possibly the worst way to review a clean high and the actual taste that I have ever seen. Secondly, Colorado needs to stop calling it marijuana all the time. But I think I’m alone in this. I just so avidly believe that this is a medical plant and it’s hard for me to see it reduced to such a party drug. Recreational makes me so pleased because I’m no longer scared of cops for having my medicine but it also makes me sad because it’s somewhat overshadowing how healing cannabis can be. Cannabis not marijuana is close to my heart because marijuana is a word attached to a heavy stigma after many years of slander. So I guess I must accept recreational terminology etc. because with it comes freedom… sort of. And that’s where I’ll stop. This movie is worth a watch for anyone with interest in cannabis and/or cannabis journalism and I’d give it 3 out of 5 doobies for content. Watch the trailer below.



The Bravery of Being Uncomfortable

Existentialism, how to

I feel like I’ve been uncomfortable for years now, since leaving Southern California. I’m just not really good at being in Arizona, it doesn’t suit me. But in the title when I say uncomfortable I don’t just mean in this sense, but to go deeper into uncomfortable. I’m almost talking about instigating the awkwardness. Not in a malicious way but in a way that keeps one true to themselves. In the wake of some serious tragedies in the African American community, Native American community and LGBTQIA this year it’s important that we understand the gravity of what it means to make people uncomfortable in hopes for social change.

When those horrible murders of black men in America happened one after the other after the other I began to feel like I needed to be doing something. Obviously I can’t go and change the world alone, but I can do my part to change my sphere of influence in hopes of that change going viral one day. It isn’t the responsibility of people of color to teach us white people about how to understand them, it’s the responsibility of awake white people to teach each other. Which is where being uncomfortable comes in, because most white people don’t believe that they’re being racist when calling Native Americans “Indians” or rooting for the Washington Redskins. They don’t understand that responding to a black man being murdered in cold blood by a police officer with a video about “How to Properly Deal With Police Officers” is racist. The only way for them to learn is if us awake folk rise up and say something.

I want you to know that I’m not brave enough to speak up most times, but I’m writing this in hopes that I will be eventually. The reason that I don’t want to mention anything when I hear a phrase that just makes me cringe to my bones is because I don’t want to be uncomfortable by their uncomfortableness. Perhaps that’s my white privilege, because I’m pretty sure we deserve to be uncomfortable until social change is made. So go out there awkward tribe, and stir up the racist stew until we begin to teach each other. I think that it’s the only way.


I’m Pretty Sure I Suck At Relationships

Existentialism, Lifestyle, Relationships

Seriously don’t “awww” it’s true. I think I can actually be kind of an asshole. I mean, obviously I’ve ‘failed’ at some romantic relationships before I met Josh. But even friendships I’m kind of the worst. I think about people all the time and cherish them in my heart but for some reason I’ve always kept myself at a distance from people by not keeping contact regularly or making the time for them that was well deserved. For this reason I find myself really dissecting what makes a Cara in a friendship and a romantic partner so that I can be sure to give good Cara when at all possible for the people that I love. It’s been a prevalent topic on my mind for many moons now but until today I didn’t have the vehicle with which to talk about it. Before I dive right into the story I’ll tell you, I’m a nester, I love my house and being in it and feeling the energy of my space. It’s my most favorite.

However, I also love to travel and go out into the world and leave my beautiful home. Before I do I generally clean the dishes in the sink and change the sheets because what is better you guys, than coming home from foreign spaces and nestling into a crisp bed with no worries about all the dishes that you have to do? It is divine. So when I left for 9 days knowing that cowboyfriend would be coming home 7 days before me I tried to instill in him the importance of coming home to a clean house with some *wink wink* obvious nudging. Instead of the easy wash the dishes, change the sheets, this little nugget attempted something much more grandiose. He forfeited his office to me and put all of my favorite art and gemstones and instruments into the room. When I walked into my home after 9 days of missing my kittens and all of the warm energy of the house and everything was different, I didn’t react exactly how he had thought I would. All I could see was that every ounce of me was removed from the bedroom and Josh’s things had taken over. I was devastated and blinded from the surprise of it all and unfortunately the blindness also covered up the nice thing that this amazing man had done for me.

Luckily after the initial reveal he had to go feed the horses and I was left in the house staring, thinking, laying with my head under the bed. I began to get unnecessarily upset about this spontaneous redecorating that I had no say in and then I had a big realization. Josh loves me. He would never try to do something that would make me upset, his intention was to give me a gift. And I basically stomped all over it right along with his enormous and squishy heart. So I stopped for a beat and took some deep, meaningful breaths. It’s easy if you are also a big squishy heart haver to now think that you should roll over and accept things as they are, this is as big of a mistake as the aggressive hatred that I expressed at first glance. So instead of needing to be either/or I sat down with my beloved cowboyfriend and told him that I loved his intention of creating a space for me to work, I made sure that he knew he was appreciated. But to keep my stake feeling worthwhile to the partnership I also asked him if we could change small decorative things so that I felt our home reflected us both.


He agreed and we both sat in silence with our egos trying to figure out if we did or did not like the way that they just took that little blow.

I suppose the super obvious meaning of this ridiculous and somewhat silly blow up is that we compromised and in the end the compromise is the only fair option between two parties with valid arguments. But at a deeper level I feel like I accessed a new level of truly being a partner, I was able to objectively look at our situation while taking into account what I can assume as his subjective view. All three aspects are necessary in a relationship because the childish ego sometimes calls to us to make a big deal when in reality we’re missing the bigger picture. When accepting another human being as your partner you’re accepting that your souls have become a ven diagram, some of you and some of them will be squished together in your coupleness. It is up to you as you lay the foundations of your relationship which parts of you remain yours alone and which you’d like to share, as you learn your ego will naturally pick up and go right along with you. But do expect little blow ups along the way as the ego decides exactly where it fits in your relationship. Happy loving, may it be shiny and glorious.


Dissecting Body Shaming Inside and Out

Body Image

This whole Dani Mathers thing really has me thinking, a Playboy bunny who has grown her very being within an institution that regards the “perfect body” as skinny with huge fake breasts shaming another woman in the gym bathroom. If you are a blessed person who isn’t hip to the trending world, she went to a gym and took a photo of an innocent unassuming woman completely nude and showering with hurtful negative comments about her body weight. It is so, so wrong and disgusting and the worst part is this dang lady who was being good to her body and staying active despite the growing American sedentary lifestyle has to come across her own naked body online. The way that that feels I can only imagine. I could go into what was wrong with Mathers behavior in taking the photo itself but I think that every person in the world knows how wrong that was and why. I think the deeper issue is what this shows about Mathers ability to love her own body despite fitting into the body dysmorphic imagery that American men have prescribed as a what a perfect woman looks like.

I have a lot to say about body image and I just couldn’t get the right words to come out. For awhile I didn’t feel like I had space to say anything because I have an athletic build and am not plus sized. But I did hate myself and my body for a really really long time until looking quite introspectively at why. I worked out somewhat excessively at times, starved myself and constantly criticized myself in the mirror whenever I had the chance. Although I could fit into the “right” sized jeans I couldn’t wrap my mind around loving myself. And because of that I constantly compared myself to every woman that I saw not realizing that this was taking away BOTH of our power. Now that I am on a journey to self love, perhaps at the very beginning of the road, I have begun to stop comparing and instead avidly try to encourage other women to love their bodies too.

My point is that Mathers has shown her insecurities through this body shaming Snapchat debacle. It seems that perhaps her own self loathing has turned her to push that upon others. So I write this with her and every other woman out there that is still waiting for that perfect body before they can go do things in their life. And equally writing this for the bullies in the world that refuse to truly sit with themselves and figure out why they feel the need to hurt people. You’re all perfect the way you are, and until you believe that you’ll never be happy with the way you look in the mirror. Lift each other up, we’re all perfect in our bodies because we all have things we do quite well with them. Be good to yourselves. Be good to yourself Dani Mathers. I hope that for you so that the hate emanating from your heart space no longer throws up on other people.

Herb Spotlight: Devil’s Claw

Herb Spotlight, Lifestyle

WARNING: If you have any issues with gastric or duodenal ulcers please consult a physician before using. Large doses of Devil’s Claw can produce obstruction of the bile ducts or intestines along with producing colic in cases of gallstones.

When I was suffering with severe acne I heard that Devil’s Claw would be a nice way to cleanse my toxins and clear my skin. Later in life when I was researching the best ways to fight arthritic pain naturally I learned that it is valuable for those suffering with chronic arthritis. Turns out these effects are all due to the inflammation relief provided by Devil’s Claw. Also, shout out to another one of those super metal herb names, makes me feel like a real witch using names like Devil’s Claw and Mugwort. The herbs gets it’s name from the hook shaped tubers that attach to the fur of animals and eventually spread the seeds. Cool, huh? Nature really trips me out sometimes.

Scientific Name: Harpagophytum procumbens [aka: arthritis tea, grapple plant, hook plant]

Magickal Stats: Elementally water, ruled by Saturn

Parts Used: roots, tubers

Improves Function Of:devils claw

  • Metabolism
  • Digestive System
  • Lymphatic & Blood detoxification

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Arthritis, tendonitis, lower back pain
  • Acne, psoriasis and skin maladies
  • Slow metabolism & Poor appetite
  • Insufficient production of bile & digestive issue

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Relieve pain and support health
  • Confuse and Confound an enemy
  • Remove negativity

How Does It Work? Studies have been inconclusive on the exact properties that make Devil’s Claw a healing herb, but it has been used for generations in Europe. It provides anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects but it also has some adverse effects. If you are hypoglycemic I would avoid this remedy because it can lower blood sugar levels and work against you. Similarly it can produce excess bile and upset ulcers and should be avoided for this reason as well.

What Do I Do With It? Devil’s Claw is both applied topically and taken internally. Take internally to fight inflammation and create more bile to help digestive issues. Apply topically to fight acne and other skin ailments.

Top 8 Best Foods For Proper Pooping


I am totally obsessed with being regular. It’s annoying to some, disgusting to others and downright intriguing from the crowd I keep around. But in all seriousness digestion is imperative, there is a reason that the brilliant Ancient Greeks thought that the cognitive mind rested in the belly. The guts definitely have something to say, and if you listen you might just find yourself healthier.

Many common ailments like bad skin or chronic lethargy can stem from an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the belly solved by some crucial changes to the diet. We all know what’s unhealthy so let’s just stick to the positive. Try to switch one of these foods out in your diet this week, see what changes may arise. These are my top 8 when I’m feeling, well, backed up.


8. Seeds

Seeds are important because they stay pretty rigid as they’re being digested. It sort of scrapes the sides of your intestines to remove any unwanted gunk that is stopping you from absorbing valuable vitamins and nutrients. With healthy intestinal walls healthy bacteria can grow up and all of this action will keep the guts operating well. Chia seeds are specifically mentioned in multiple articles on healthy pooping but I’d say the addition of any seeds (unsalted) are great for most diets.

7. Peppermint Tea


Whenever I have a belly ache or a head ache I turn to mint tea. Peppermint is the best but spearmint also does the trick. If you’re feeling super herby add some calamus in for ultimate gut relief. Experience bright, stimulating flavor while the mint slowly and comfortably moved any obstructions from the intestinal tract. Beware before bed, peppermint has a stimulating effect in the mind as well but I’ve found it only effects severe insomniacs.

6. Red Beets

I’ve met quite a few people that aren’t huge fans of beets but it makes no sense because they’re so sweet and earthy, there’s nothing like it. Roast em, fry em, even eat them like an apple (I’ve never done this but Dwight from the Office and my ginger friend Andrew can attest). Beets also detoxify the liver and blood and are rich in both vitamins and minerals. The last thing I’ll mention is that you can measure the length of time it takes you to digest if you keep an eye on your excrement. It should take 12-24 hours to move a meal through your body, since beets turn the stuff bright red you can measure your digestive process and determine whether or not you’re constipated.

5. Berries


This one kind of plays along with the seed concept, have you ever noticed how seedy berries are? Those seeds stay intact in the digestive tract to help scrape the intestinal walls. Berries are also valuable for women’s memory stability as well as jam packed with antioxidants. They will help your body to create a defense from free radicals out in the world.

4. Kombucha

Kombucha Jar

If you read my previous post on kombucha you know I’ve been brewing my own these past months. Since having at least 6 ounces of kombucha daily I’ve been eliminating like a champion and if I have a bit when I’ve eaten a bit too much and feel bloated, it fixes the problem almost immediately. Just know that it takes at least 7 days in a row for the most bogged down system to feel effects from daily kombucha.


3. Apples


An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Did you ever wonder why people never stop saying that? This magic is due to the nutrient dense qualities of the fruit and it actually regulates the bowels entirely by creating the right consistency for waste to move through the digestive tract. That’s right, it can both stop diarrhea and get things moving when you’re constipated which makes everyone happy always. Just be sure to only buy organic, apples have just made the EPA list of most pesticide ridden fruits and vegetables in the country.

2. Hot Lemon Water


I asked a naturopath once how I could start getting my digestive system running and she told me that before I ate anything in the morning to have a  cup of hot water with a lemon slice. It seemed too easy, but it is too easy not to do. Literally moments after drinking lemon water I will go expel everything that’s been bogging down my bowels efficiently. After I tell people this they always say, “That’s what coffee does!”. Hey, you guys, I drink SO much coffee. So trust me, this is even better.

  1. Kale


My first step if I’m ever feeling sick or not myself is to saute a whole bushel of kale and some garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil. It helps me beat a cold before it starts and most definitely pulls a zamboni on my digestive tract. If you’re feeling constipated immediately grab some leafy greens and get munching. Protein will only make it worse.


What’s In My Cup? Kombucha Home Brew!

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

I’m on about my fifth home-brewed batch of kombucha and I’m really starting to get it down now. We’re in a real fermenting phase around these parts, I think the next stop is kimchi. But until then let’s spend some time focusing on kombucha. It costs around $5 for a generic bottle of store bought kombucha, and that’s a great price for a one time specialty beverage. But unfortunately the benefits of kombucha don’t really begin to take hold until after about 3 or 4 days in a row of drinking a glass or so. That’s not very cost effective, but don’t fret because a SCOBY mushroom costs about $10 and will constantly grow and make more live culture SCOBYs out of itself. The company that I bought mine from also sent a .pdf that told me exactly how to handle my weird little blog once it arrived in the mail. I write all this so that you won’t be intimidated, it’s so worthwhile to start brewing some ‘booch now.

I’m going to breakdown the basics of making a batch of kombucha to demystify the process for everyone. Because I’m a believer that everyone needs to start making their own ‘booch. For your first batch you will need:

  • 1 gallon glass jar with bottom spigot
  • 1 SCOBY mushroom culture
  • 1 gallon freshly brewed tea
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • coffee filters or loose dishtowel
  • rubber band



First of all be sure not to get a cheap spigot on the glass jar, these will brew multiple ‘booch batches so go for quality of cost effective with this item. As far as the SCOBY I linked you to my preferred company above. The tea can be anything, starting off with black or green tea will help to get the fermentation started. I started mine with hibiscus and it was a little too tangy but I’ve switched over to green tea brews and I have some real bubbles happening now. When the tea is hot mix in the sugar and then bring the whole mixture down to room temperature. A SCOBY will die at high heat. Pour the cooled tea over the kombucha mushroom in the glass jar and cover with the coffee filter or towel, the item just can’t be loose enough to let bugs through. Fasten the rubber band around your ‘booch and let the little guy fly. After about 7 days the brew should be ready to consume. Once the tea gets down to about 20% brew more tea and repeat the process.

Secrets for Delicousness

After a couple of kind of gross brews I finally dialed it in. The goal is to do a second ferment. Stay with me now. After 5 days in the main batch, pour juice into the bottom of containers filling about 20%. Then pour the kombucha in and bottle, leave at room temperature to let it get fizzy for about 2 days. This will re-ferment the tea kombucha with the fruit juice. I make the fruit juice out of soaked fruit or peels and water so it’s not adding sugar to the brew. If this doesn’t sound ideal I do recommend bottling the brew and letting it sit at room temp, the fizziness really does make it more delicious.

I hope that I have helped you feel more empowered to ‘booch it up. I will truly never look back and now I’m sad it took me so long to start fermenting my tea!


How To Charge Your Home With Positive Energy

how to, Lifestyle

I’ve been feeling bogged down lately. You see, I tend to get into my own head and it makes the atmosphere around me feel like a storm cloud to which I’m the eye. Empathic people are atmosphere sponges when they aren’t properly channeling their energies. This means that whoever is throwing their negativity around might smack you right in the aura with it. Of all of the places in your life, your home should be a safe space. After clearing out my home and getting the energy right I thought it’d be a good thing to share, so here are some tips for keeping your space positive and safe even for the most empathic person.

  • Smudging & Incense

Generation after generation of indigenous peoples all around the globe have used smudging to draw in positive energy and cast out the negative. There are many different types of herbs and woods that can be used for this. I’m only going to list three types of smudging that I do in my home but there are other kinds of bundles that might be ideal for you.


Sage: Sage leaves are rid and wrapped together stems and all into a bundle. Light the end of the sage bundle until it is smoldering but not on fire, you will see the smoke billowing from the edge of your smudge bundle. Start at your front door and begin pushing the smoke towards the wall as you walk clockwise through every room in your home. This smoke opens the doors to the spirit realm in order to help any energy trapped in your house to leave. For this reason keep all of the windows open, but also be aware that sage doesn’t specifically remove bad energy but instead simply opens the door. The words you choose as you smudge and the strength with which you say them will remove bad spirits.

Palo Santo: Sometimes the smoke of sage is a little bit too intense for people, if this is the case I always recommend palo santo. This wood is picked off of the ground when it has come to it’s full circle of life. Dark resin is seen throughout the wood, this is the good stuff. You’ll need to light this a bit longer but it is stronger in expelling negative energies and spirits than sage is. I keep both on hand and just choose what I feel is right.

Incense: The best beginner option, incense is found everywhere. Even at your local gas station. Use what feels right, this is a totally person by person thing. Dragon’s Blood works well for anyone looking to feel at home and rooted.

  • Crystal Healing

Crystals are beautiful little stones that show us the beauty that we sometimes cannot see within ourselves. Many believe that crystals have healing powers and for this reason they can be a powerful tool for the empath. To create a positive space in which to grow I’d recommend starting with malachite, tiger eye and rose quartz. The first way to promote this positive aura around yourself is to wear a small pouch with crystals around your neck or put them in your pocket.

What I did recently that I’ve never done before is create little crystal pockets all around my house where specific energies needed to be cleared. This can help to make a matrix of healing around the home to guide the bad out and emanate all of the good. If you don’t know where to start just go to a crystal shop, stare into all of the rocks and choose the one that calls to you.


  • Be Excellent To Yourself

Lastly be sure to cut toxic people out of your life. Seriously, it’s easier than it feels right now. If there is someone in your life that is sucking all of the positivity from your life force, cut them right out. You’re worth it. If this person is a necessity in your life or there is no possible way to remove this person then take action. Speak calmly and directly to each other and let them know how their actions may effect you. It may lead to awkward conversations but it will help more than crawling into your shell and hiding. Be brave, you deserve it.