A Few of my Favorite Things

Happy Thanksgiving!

Once again, I am inspired to write a Thanksgiving post, since this is my favorite holiday. As I’ve said before, connecting to gratitude in our lives is an incredibly healing force that impacts all aspects of our bodies and minds.

You may have noticed that the title of this post is “A Few of my Favorite Things.” I wish to clarify this. Like the majority of people, my VERY MOST favorite things are not things at all, but instead are…

…people: my husband, my family, my 4-legged furry babies, my friends, people that inspire me for various reasons;

…places: the paradise that is Florida in November, or the mountains of New Mexico in the summer; the smell in the Autumn air of Minnesota and Ohio in October, as the sugar maple leaves glow in golden brilliance, seeming to return the sun’s summer rays before surrendering to Winter.

…beauty: the beauty in life that shows itself in various forms, including people with ideas, actions and words that are based in love for others and for future generations, even amidst all the political and social confusion and conflict surrounding us lately; like the proverbial lotus flower arising from the mucky waters to blossom in glorious color.

Lily pads and lotus flower

No Mud, No Lotus

While I am grateful for all of these non-things, this post is about actual THINGS I have discovered this year which have provided me with assistance or enjoyment. Things that you may find useful yourself, or that you might put on your Holiday shopping list.

By the way, I do not get any compensation for my endorsement of these things.

1. Mountain Rose Teas – if you enjoy loose leaf teas, like I do, you will appreciate the selection of amazing organic teas at Mountain Rose. Unlike more commercial loose leaf teas, such as Teavana & David’s Tea, Mountain Rose teas are more affordable, all organic, and don’t have any added mystery flavors, such as “natural and/or artificial flavors.” They contain only organic herbs, spices, tea leaves and extracts. So far, my favorites include Hibiscus High Tea and Turmeric Chai.

2. Podcasts –  I’ve actually been listening to podcasts for several years, as I find them a wonderful source of free entertainment and education. This year I have been enjoying a new one that I wish to recommend. It is A Healthy Curiosity, hosted by my friend, classmate & colleague, Brodie Welch. In it, Brodie and guests discuss various topics related to natural health, Chinese medicine and self-care strategies. I feel that Brodie is supremely talented at taking foreign concepts that can be difficult to understand and making them accessible for everyone. I find each of her episodes to be valuable and insightful. You can find her podcast on iTunes, Google Play, iheartradio and Stitcher.

3. The Dirt Tooth Powder – I’ve been brushing with this stuff all year, and feel that it is superior to any toothpaste I’ve tried, including “natural” pastes, which usually leave me with a thick, sticky coating. While it takes some getting used to brushing with a powder that doesn’t foam up, and spitting something that looks like mud, it is actually great at gently whitening teeth, and getting my mouth squeaky clean. I also find that the naturally-antibacterial cinnamon, nutmeg and clove make my gums feel good.

4. Austin Air Healthmate Plus Air Purifier – many of you know we did some major remodeling to our home this year. Part of the remodel was replacing our old laminate flooring in the common areas with the new “luxury vinyl tile” (LVT) that is supposed to be water-resistant and durable while looking like actual wood or tile. We bought a brand that was supposedly free of VOC’s and formaldehyde, and was to be adhered with a low-VOC glue.

Well, the Friday evening after the installation, I was completely overwhelmed by the smell. Even after opening all the windows and running all the fans, I still woke up the next morning with a severe sore throat, loss of voice, cough, and puffy face. I was obviously reacting to something the new floor was emitting. I stayed with friends for the weekend (Thank you Diana & Bob!)

We aired out the house for 3 full days, but it didn’t help. Finally we had the installers remove the new floor. Unfortunately, the glue, which was still tacky, was impossible to remove. We had to wait for it to completely dry, continuing to emit its own fumes, before we could install ceramic tile. The fumes were so noxious that I could not live in my house. So, I researched and found the Austin Air Healthmate Plus which filters air for particles and for chemical fumes. Within 24 hours of turning it on, my house was livable again!

5. Foobot air quality monitor -concurrent to the flooring debacle described above, I also researched air quality monitors. I settled on the Foobot, and I have been very happy with its performance. It indicates the levels of particulate matter in the air, as well as VOC levels. Incidentally, for floor glue that was supposed to be low-VOC, the Foobot measured VOC’s in the 9000 units, which is 30 times higher than the recommended limit! After the Austin Air Healthmate Plus had been running for 24 hours, that number came down to 200!

6. Sonos music system – my old EOS music system at the clinic finally needed to be replaced. I loved that it had allowed me to play the same music throughout all the clinic rooms without having to install speakers and wiring into the walls and ceiling. But I didn’t love that the Bluetooth speakers would get crackly and fuzzy sounding, and the volume nobs would stop working. I already had replaced 2 of the 4 speakers. So, when I was faced with replacing 2 more, I looked at other options.

I decided on the Sonos system, and it is awesome! The speakers are well made with sound quality far exceeding that of my old system. It uses an app that you download to your wi-fi enabled device; through which you can stream any music service you wish, including iTunes, Apple music, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM, Google Play music, Amazon music and others. It has made playing music at the clinic much simpler and more enjoyable!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Dawn

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