Monday, October 21, 2019

Golden Milk – a healthy way to start your day

September 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking, Miscellaneous

What’s the FIRST thing you ingest in the morning?
Is it healthy?

My morning “Go To” drink is Golden Milk and my Health & Hiking Poles Retreaters love it!
I purchase the custom blend of spices from Oaktown Spice Shop. They have tested their turmeric to ensure high potency of curcumin in the turmeric they use.  I took a class there and have refined the recipe.

The custom blend of spices includes:

  • 6 TB ground high quality turmeric
  • 1 TB each ground cinnamon (I add more) and ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely ground pepper (critical for absorption)
  • 1 tsp cardamom (I add more)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • I add vanilla, ground cloves and experiment with all sorts of other things

Gently heat 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut oil (or ghee)
Add spices (since I order the blend, I use 1/3 to 1/2 cup) to bloom

Meanwhile, heat to boiling about 1 cup water. Add to blooming spices and whisk/stir until quite thick (up to 10 minutes)
Cool for about 5 minutes then add honey (1/4 to 1/2 cup to taste).  Use local honey!  Honey is a preservative as well as a flavor enhancement. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge.
Each morning I heat a cup of about 1/3 Calafia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk with 2/3 cup water. I spoon a generous tsp of the golden milk paste into the heated “water.”
You can also use this paste as a topping for sweet potatoes, oatmeal, squash soup. I use it in my ricotta whip dessert (that’s another post). I’ve not yet tried Golden Milk Cheesecake, but I bet it will be wonderful (and colorful).

Question that’s come in already – how long does this last in the fridge? I go thru it way before it ever begins to age. I’ve made 1 cup spice to proportionately more water and oil and it lasts. The honey is the preservative.

Also, depending on your ratios, stirring and other factors, you may end up with a paste or a more liquidy blend that you’ll have to stir. Have FUN with this and know that you’re starting your day off in a healthy way.

p.s.  Be careful as turmeric is YELLOW and can stain.

 

 

 

Gourmet Health & Hiking Poles Weekend Retreat at Point Reyes

The Point Reyes website is limited in space so I’m posting info here for anyone who is interested in this weekend event, which is only offered once per year.

Location:  Clem Miller Environmental Education Center – we are SO lucky to have access to this amazing facility.  If you read the description of our location, you know we are OFF the grid at CMEE.  There is ZERO cell reception.  There is no electricity in the cabins.  There are 5 cabins on the property and one large bathhouse.  Each cabin sleeps about 20 and we will be 3 to 5 per cabin, depending on your selection.  Point Reyes provides 2 excellent/experienced facilitators for our weekend and s/he can assist with cabin selection.

Retreat Description:  Are you getting older? We hope so. But how to age as gracefully as possible?  You love the outdoors!

If you’ve ever considered consulting with a fitness coach or personal trainer, this is an excellent way to get started in understanding how to weave fitness into your life so that you can continue to enjoy your outdoor activities.  This retreat is designed so that each participant can connect with nature, rejuvenate and experience a variety of classes and activities specifically designed to help you maintain your ability to enjoy the outdoors.

Together we’ll enjoy Point Reyes and learn transformative skills focused on improving and maintaining your skeletal structure and quality of life.

The weekend will include structured classes, group movement and exercise sessions as well as a variety of health and wellness discussions. Participants may enjoy all or some of the activities.
Learn and practice skills and progressive routines to enhance your health as well as optimize, personalize and PROGRAM your fitness.

Expert instruction will help you improve your ability to hike efficiently and comfortably using poles. A variety of top quality poles will be provided – learn which model fits you best and will enable you to achieve your hiking goals.

Weekend rate includes two nights’ accommodations and most (healthy and delicious) meals.

Hikes: Saturday’s short hike is part of the hiking poles training. Sunday’s hikes: 2 levels will be offered (easy/gentle and stronger/exercise) so you can practice skills and experience the magic of Point Reyes.

From prior participants:
“I went from never having used poles to feeling confident. The food was amazing as were so many other aspects of the weekend.” Jaime
“Activities from day one that provide guidance on how to get the most out of the weekend. Jayah puts a lot of thought into her teaching methods to achieve individualized goals.” Julie
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your 1000% effort to teach us, care for us and inspire us to be fitter and healthier. I know you made each of our lives better in so many ways.” Clarice
“Exceptional training in a natural environment.” Carol

10:30 a.m. Friday, August 23, 2019 to about 4 pm on Sunday, August 25, 2019

Most retreats at Point Reyes run well over $400 and do not include the food.  This one is $315 (members) or $345 (non-members) and includes most of the food – see note at end of this post to see how you can experience a truly magical culinary experience as well as the training and camaraderie of this retreat.

Schedule:

Activities and times are approximate and subject to change due to weather or whim.

Friday:
• 10:30 to 11 Arrive at the Clem Miller Educational Center at Point Reyes National Seashore
• 11 to 12:30 Unload car, sign in with facilitator, get parking pass and repark car in nearby lot. Select cabin, arrange bedding. Settle in, lunch on your own.
• 1:00 Fitness for the Trail class
Six key elements determine your ability to maintain physical fitness. This interactive session progressively helps you create a more structurally-solid foundation. Individualized movements focus on improving joint health, balance, posture, endurance, flexibility and strength.
This is a combination lecture and participation which will give us a common language for the weekend and give you tools for establishing a healthy exercise routine. Participants will be able to assess their level in each category and learn movements and exercises in each that will help facilitate optimal physical health. Extremely easy, low to medium level of exertion.
• 4:45 Dinner Prep
• 5:30 Dinner (Discussion: individuals’ intros, issues, interests and goals)
• 7:00 Hiking Poles lecture, anatomy discussion and pole fitting (gearing up – variety of quality poles provided). Learn which poles fit you best and will help you achieve your goals.
• 8:15 Qi Gong guided meditation for organ health and relaxation with Master May Chen

Saturday:
• 7 to 8:30 Morning movements, Tai Chi & Breakfast (discussion: outline of the day)
• 8:45 Hiking pole training session and short hike (< 2 miles): Beginner to experienced hikers learn techniques which help improve performance on the trail. Optimal use of poles on uphill will improve your power, endurance and spine function; on the downhill, you’ll develop skills for improving confidence and saving your knees.
• 12:30 Lunch (Discussions: personal care tips, metabolism)
• 2:00 Strength & Balance session with bands (provided)
• 4:30 Dinner Prep
• 5:30 Dinner (Discussions: Gear, Trail Tips, what’s in your pack?)
• 7:00 “My Feet!” Session on feet including blister prevention followed by Qi Gong Meditation with Master May

Sunday:
• 7 to 8:30 Morning movements, Tai Chi & Breakfast
• 8:30 Practice Pole Hikes: Weather Permitting – Enjoy nature and experience the magic of Point Reyes. Two levels offered (Easy, gentle, nature hike or more energetic exercise training hike).
• 11:45 Stretches, Recovery strategies, including Foam Roller session
• 12:45 Lunch (Discussions: nutrition, wellness, fitting it all in)
• 2:15 Pack & Clean up
• 3:30 Farewell & Feedback gathering

Facility: – See description on the Point Reyes website   Scroll down to read about the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center.  There are 5 separate cabins, each of which sleeps over 20 and our retreat will be under 20 people total, so it’s 3 to 4 people per cabin.  We have LOTS of space!

Food

Our system is UNIQUE (and, if I do say so myself, brilliant) at Point Reyes, but it requires a little up-front coordination which, in the long run, will save you a BUNCH of time and trouble.

Meals are coordinated ahead of time via a website that makes the food for the weekend easy, creative and fun. Rather than having to prepare all your meals for the whole weekend, you will be able to bring 2 to 3 items plus a few staples. This easy and well-organized website will enable us to see what everyone is bringing as our culinary experience unfolds.

Our focus is on healthy, nutritious, yummy meals that connect us as we share stories and enjoy health-related discussions. You will be able to contribute in a way that you’re comfortable, whether it’s a main dish, side dishes, snacks or staples (which will be listed so all you have to do is sign up for that item).

A full-service, commercial kitchen is provided.

Participants will need to advise the instructor of any food allergies or limitations.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS: Instructor will want to reach out to you 2-3 weeks before the class so you can get the custom and updated list of what to bring as well as prepare your food contributions. WHEN YOU REGISTER, you will want to ask the field seminar office for the instructor’s email so that you can reach out and receive the info you will need in order to participate in this retreat. The sooner you reach out to the instructor, the easier it will be for you to prepare.

What to Bring:

Point Reyes Health & Hiking Poles Weekend Retreat  Instructor’s Custom List of What to Bring

This is significantly more comprehensive than the “standard” what to bring on the Point Reyes site.  I suggest you START A PILE.  In the past, participants were “sure it was there,” and left home without something really basic.  If you are lacking anything, let instructor know as Jayah has extra of almost everything. When in doubt, pack extra.

  • Variable, layered clothing:
  • Your food contributions (via the sign-up genius website)
  • Your own cloth napkins (no paper please)
  • Toiletries (including soap)
  • Ear plugs (in case of snorers)
  • Hat and sun protection.
  • Good quality hiking shoes (with tread).
  • Your favorite face and body lotion (for one of our health discussions)
  • WARM sleeping bag or linens & pillows (linens not provided for bunkbeds, basic foam mattress only)
  • Any other linens, air mattress, foam mattress pad, etc. for your comfort (this is “glamping”). Instructor is seriously “princess and the pea” and has multilayer air mattress, foam pads, comfy sheets, tons of pillows and a teddy bear
  • Towels
  • Shower shoes
  • Flashlight, headlamp, lantern
  • Your favorite mug for Golden Milk (morning drink which will be provided), tea & coffee
  • Yoga mat
  • Extra pad(s) for under the mat (something to protect your knees)
  • A rag to wipe off your poles if they get dirty or wet
  • Rain gear, if necessary.
  • Fanny Pack OR Day pack with chest strap (or add bandana or something to TIE straps); water bottle(s) – note there is excellent filtered water at Clem Miller Environmental Education Center.

Optional Items:

  • Your favorite small piece of exercise equipment. Be creative, as we’ll be sharing our success stories.
  • Yoga strap (or terrycloth bathrobe belt)

Instructor has extra and you may request one especially if you’re an early responder:

  • Chair for outdoor seating (lawn or camp chair)
  • Foam roller
  • Fingerless bike gloves

** Hiking poles?  I have lots.  Bring your own or let me know if you’d like to borrow a pair/be fitted.  When you email me about this, please include your height.

To Register, click here

 

 

Pace Matters

August 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Click to read a Great article

Finding time in a full work schedule to get exercise is really tough.  This article is a reminder to me about how important pace is.

Happy Hiking!

 

New Book on California Plants

May 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Matt Ritter, professor of botany, wrote a new book and it’s fantastic.  If you enjoy the outdoors, especially CA, you will enjoy this book:

 

The cover is the only thing about this book that’s boring. It’s really well done and will make a lovely gift for your favorite outdoor enthusiast 🙂

Forest Bathing

January 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Enhance your enjoyment of nature:

Shinrin Yoku (pronounced shin rin yo koo) is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.  It’s not just for health, it’s for our relationships with nature, the type of relationships that support sustainable living.

There is space in the silence and it’s not just about us.  Others are out in nature to enjoy the stillness, the sounds, the magic.  Think Muir Woods in the morning.   Our group walks thru silently demonstrating respect for the majesty and for others (who are there for their wonder, not to be blasted with multiple, competing conversations – sounds carry).  In Shinrin Yoku, we revel in the sounds of water, birds, groaning trees in the wind, even our footfalls.

and

Komorebi (木漏れ日) (pronounced komo ray bee)  is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “sunlight shining through the leaves of trees.”  Enjoy this poem.

California: Car and Driver are reunited

January 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous, Uncommon Sense

California is a desert. Every now and then we get WEATHER.

Yesterday, we went down the coast to attend a memorial service for a dear cousin. I tell you this so you know that only a truly important event would have gotten us out of the house on a stormy day – the likes of which we have not seen in a long time.  The memorial service was deeply moving and connected us as a community of friends and relatives.

When we went to leave, Half Moon Bay frogs were SINGING. We got in our car and went NOWHERE. We were STUCK. While we were inside enjoying food, song and conversation, my car was sinking. 3 men tried to push, 3 manly-men admitted defeat. With all the weather-related events happening, AAA was over 90 minutes away but then they went to a similar street name in San Mateo instead of Half Moon Bay. So we waited, made comfortable and welcome by dear cousins.

Finally, help arrived. AAA had to get creative to get my deeply-stuck-in-the-mud front tires free – this was not a straight forward release. Then Bob painstakingly rinsed the mud from the brakes. We left behind a huge hole – sorry cousins!  Finally, we were on our way home – around 11, not 8. All this time, the weather cooperated with only light sprinkles from time to time.

Home stretch: Coming into Pacifica, we encountered a police action. The road was closed due to a mudslide. I got out of the car and politely approached one of the many policeman (some of whom were waving flashlights around seemingly randomly, getting all the drivers confused). The officer I approached  was not helpful.  Isn’t part of a policeman’s job to be polite to regular folk, to answer reasonable questions in something other than unhelpful monosyllables?  As I returned from the policeman, many people in cars scattered all over were waiting and asking ME what was happening. I could have relayed good information; I could have been a bearer of NEWS as well as good will and a collective understanding that stuff happens.

At that point, we had a choice. Go all the way back to Half Moon Bay and around – at least an hour of driving with no knowledge of what we’d encounter (the AAA driver had already told us they were pulling a car out of a ditch on the main road) OR WALK.

We parked, got our headlamps (yes, I carry one in my car – thank goodness), an umbrella and started walking. The heavens picked THAT moment (the very moment we started walking) to dump BUCKETS of water on us. We sloshed for 45 minutes in a deluge of rain, running water, puddles and debris all over the roads and sidewalks.  We had a powerful tailwind.  Pacifica frogs were SINGING.  We got home safe and sound and soaked.

The next morning, I woke up realizing all my gear (for my morning class) was in my car. Plus all the yummy food from last night’s gathering.  Highway One was still closed, but they were running one-way controls, causing big delays in the morning commute.  Bob and I braved it.  We arrived at the tail end of traffic in both directions.  Instead of over an hour of waiting, we retrieved my car in 10 minutes. It was a breeze, almost as if nature was apologizing for the night before.

Travel Safe!

Update:  Good news – no one is hurt.  Bad news – AAA tow truck driver damaged my car when he tried the first 2 times to pull it out.  Toyota says it’s irreparable, structural damage and egregious incompetence of a tow truck driver.  Sigh.

Hindsight lesson for my readers:  A simple tow out of the mud should not result in severe damage to your car.  Never again shall I ASSume that the professional tow truck driver knows what’s best without monitoring closely.

Chant for 2017

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous, Uncommon Sense

I love this chant!

I learned it from my good friend Renee

written by: Ravyn Stanfield

Holiday Gift Guide Top Pick

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Gear, Miscellaneous, Uncommon Sense

Our Top Outdoor Gift Idea is a HEADLAMP.  See link at bottom of this post which will take you directly to our favorite source.  Why a headlamp?   Because we care….PLUS:620621_torc_spot_headlamp_web

For those of us who use poles, it’s a no-brainer.  Put in your pack even if you know  you’ll be done before dark.  Stuff happens OTT (on the trail). Explore caves, tunnels, enjoy!  Why this model?  Black Diamond Spot is lightweight, waterproof and has great features.   The red light is used at night so we don’t blind our buddies or lose our night vision.  It comes in great colors – get a bright one for yourself and your favorite hiking buddy.
But also use for:

  • Travel ~ If you’re in a hotel room and want to continue reading while your partner wants the light out – BINGO! The aim-hinge helps your neck and posture.   (So does putting your book on a pillow)
  • Safety ~ for those of us in earthquake land, we know to keep a pair of sturdy shoes under our bed, at the ready. A pair of socks goes in one and the headlamp (when not in the hiking pack) goes in   the other.  That way we have our hands available.
  • Neck Health!  Reading with a headlamp is SO much better for your neck, eyes and shoulders (for so many reasons).

As we get older (beats the alternative), we need ways to stay safe.  Once you get accustomed to using a headlamp, you’ll never go back.  But – please – use it.

Note:  when in your pack – LOCK IT  so you don’t end up with a dead battery/useless headlamp.  So read the instructions and use in health!

Custom Directions:

I find the directions a little murky, so here’s a recap:  Open with the little lever on the side &  install batteries (included).   Then give yourself a tutorial:

  • One press for strong spot. One press for off
  • 2 quick presses for double (reading) light
  • 3 quick presses for flashing lights
  • Press and hold (about 2 seconds) for red (night) light

Keep pressing (4 to 6 seconds) to lock – again – VERY IMPORTANT to keep light from accidentally going on and draining the battery – blue lock light will come on.  Press and hold (4 to 6 seconds) to unlock.

Notice battery monitor – cool huh?

Once on, if you press and hold, all lights will dim.

Power tap on side will alternate between custom dimmed setting and full strength.

This really is the coolest headlamp – now practice, have fun and please USE IT.   Aim it vs. straining your neck.  If reluctant, try reading with it and we hope you think it’s the best reading lamp ever!

Holiday Gift Guide 2016 #2

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Staying fit and healthy as we age involves 6 vital areas:  Function, Balance, Posture, Endurance, Flexibility & Strength.  Below is a link to a great place to shop for your loved ones.  They have deeply discounted pricing on Yoga mats, mat carriers, foam rollers, adventure gear – so many presents to show your loved ones that you care about their continued, healthy presence on this planet.


Several posts on this blog discuss exercises that involve getting onto the floor.  It’s important to be able to get up and down from the floor – once you lose this, it’s REALLY hard to get it back.  A Yoga mat is great for exercising on the floor.   Sierra Trading Post has Yoga mats + a wonderful return policy.

Another very special holiday gift idea that gives all year long – and this one makes our cut every year – is a gift subscription to Bay Nature Magazine.   Bay Nature is full of natural wonders – parks, trails, creeks, wildlife of the Bay Area as well as the people protecting them.

  • BNv15n2_CoverTrackedCoverLines-317x410v13n1.Cover.RGB.30030% savings on gift subscription
  • 1 subscription $21.95 (regular price $25.95)
  • 2 or more only $19 each!

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide #3

Take care of your feet!  These massage balls saved mine and keep me hiking.  (5 part series on Plantar Fasciitis on this blog)

I keep at least one ball  in my car ALL the time – it lives under the passenger seat. After a hike (IF I’m a passenger of course), I can soothe/fix my feet by just using the relaxed weight of my leg and gently holding or slowly rolling the bottom of my feet. It’s SO healing.  I also use in the morning to relieve the plantar flexion that occurs in bed and tightens my feet.  If you get all 4, keep 2 and gift 2 buddies 🙂

Another tip for keep feet in neutral at night – I put a pillow at the foot of the bed to make a little “tent” space so the blanket does not weigh down on my feet all night long.

If you have not discovered Amazon Prime – it’s AMAZING.  The free shipping pays for the fee pretty fast and I love  the convenience and time-saving of finding almost anything and getting it fast.  It’s truly a gift (like Bay Nature Magazine) that gives all year long.

In case you have someone who has trouble getting out of your car (aging parents?), here’s a handy tool – I keep one in my car.

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