Do you remember starting back to school each fall and writing the first essay about "What I did on Summer Vacation"? Here's what I did/am doing/want to keep doing more and more forever and ever:
Read books- So far I have read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Nature Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic Medicine, by Friedhelm Kirchfeld, and Wade Boyle, Wash and Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and Women's Health, by Susan E. Cayleff, and Sherman Alexie's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. I am very excited to start my friend Andrew Sean Greer's new book Less which was just released yesterday!
Restorative Self Care Practices- For me just being in Montana is so wonderful. Have you ever seen the structure of the inside of your bones? They are very porous like a sponge. When I'm in Montana I feel that the very landscape is slowly filling up the spongy part of my bones. It is part of who I am. My very structure that keeps me upright.
Other practices I have been engaging with: yoga, blogilates, (thanks for that one Halley Lopez!), hiking. I think the most restorative thing I have done is to sit and stare into the woods/grass/water/sky and empty my mind. That is nature cure.
Water cure- I LOVE water. In almost any form. Well maybe not a flood. And it would be great if the garbage disposal on the sink would work so that the gross water goes DOWN the drain. But generally if I can be near/in water I am a happy person. So far I have been in the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers, Rattlesnake and Kootenai creeks, Lac Facile (at our rental house-after getting out of the Far Infra Red sauna that Yes, indeed I did bring with me on vacation! I mean, it's portable!). Check out this video of me in my happy place.
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Deliciousness-You might be wondering what I've been eating this summer? Well just before vacation I bought a new cookbook. I rarely buy cookbooks anymore, but this one has been blowing me away. It's called Six Seasons; A New Way With Vegetables, by Joshua McFadden. Every single thing I have made so far has been stunningly delicious and healthy! Organized by what vegetables are in season it is a perfect companion to farmer's market cooking!
In July it's pretty easy to eat what is seasonal, delicious, and feels good in my body! And here's the bounty that the earth offered up the other day!
Let's also not underestimate the joy of eating with good friends- new and old!
Atmospheric Therapy- in the Nature Doctors book I learned about Arnold Rikli who wrote, Basic Doctrines of Nature Cure including The Atmospheric Cure where he advocates the air bath, the light bath, and the sun bath (also known as heliotherapy). He writes, " Man (sic) is not born in clothes but is destined to live like a walking plant in light and air. Indeed, he is the noblest light-air creature on earth... Light and air, the finer fluids of life, will tremendously enhance the development of body and mind (Rikli 1896-p 62)". Adolph Just says, "Going naked temporarily... in the open air, in the woods, proves of wonderful benefit and efficacy and is more strengthening than any other means(Just 1903).
Watching- most of the time you will find me watching the woodpecker, the chipmunks, the hummingbirds, the butterflies, bunnies, deer. The occasional fox will trot by, or a family of wild turkeys. My friend saw a mountain lion! But because of all the outside dining with the ever growing table of guests, I was reminded of an old favorite movie- Antonia's Line. And every now and again I will watch Lin Manuel Miranda's video (Hamilton Mixtape) Immigrants. Every time I hear/watch it I catch something new.
Drinking- I am loving hanging out at Lake Missoula Tea House, for their wide selection of delicious teas, and also have been brewing up batches at home. My latest delight was a white tea chai that I made really strong, then added ice and sparkling water. Amazing!
Another favorite beverage for these hot summer days is thanks to my friend Lisa Levine at Audacious Health and Wellness- in your quart mason jar, add a generous splash of apple cider vinegar, a couple drops of your favorite (safe for internal use) essential oil, a few drops of liquid stevia, and fill the rest of the jar with your favorite sparkling water. Tangy and sweet at the same time! It feels super hydrating and very refreshing!
Essential Oils-What oils do I find myself turning to these days? Lots of lime oil- in sparkling drinks, in ceviche, in guacamole, even in iced coffee sodas (yum!), Terra-shield both at night and during the day to keep the flies and other bugs at bay. Often I will add Cedarwood and Lemongrass to make the anti-bug effect even stronger! After a day of heliotherapy (sun) I will add a few drops of Lavender, Frankincense, and Peppermint to my unscented lotion and it soothes and heals the effects of the sun. And of course I use Past Tense, Peppermint, Deep Blue for any aches and pains after a long hike or yoga practice! If you would like to learn more about what essential oils I use, and how I incorporate them into my daily routine, shoot me an inquiry at email@example.com and we can set up a time to talk!
Retreat/Restore/Release- Practicing and teaching TRE while I'm here has been delightful. I truly believe that if we pay attention to the basics: Eat close to nature, release stress, rest and restore, surround yourself with nature and loved ones... wellness and health are the natural state! One of the primary foundations of Naturopathic Medicine is Vis Medicatrix Naturae or "the healing power of nature." Our job as doctors is to stimulate and awaken the Vis in each patient, so the healing can occur.