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No flu shot for me!

It is that time of year when the “FLU SHOTS HERE!!!” signs greet you everywhere.

We have not gotten flu shots in years. Honestly, there is not no need to debate with me, I come from a country where you only give those compromised a preventative flu shot, not the entire population.

I do, however, prepare myself and my family for the season of flying flu germs.

My biggest ally is Elderberry syrup. It is so simple to make, makes the house smell divine,

Fresh ginger trick
It is easy to peel fresh ginger! Just rub the skin with the back of a spoon

and you can use it as syrup on your ice-cream or pancakes too!


I order my dry ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs, and am sharing their simple recipe with you straight from their website. 

You can get creative and add things. I always add cloves to mine. I tried garlic, but that ended up overtaking the syrup and tasted pretty bad.

Classic Elderberry Syrup

4 cups cold water

2 cups organic dried Elderberries

1 organic cinnamon stick

1 tsp fresh grated organic ginger root or organic dried ginger root

raw local honey (or organic agave syrup for a vegan recipe)


Smash those berries!!
Smashing the berries before you strain releases lots of healthy goodness!

To make the syrup, combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil! Bottle in sterilized glass.



Enjoy and happy brewing!!


Revival of the Warrior Princess

I have never had to diet. I have always been healthy & allergen free, so I have never had to restrict what I ate. I had the metabolism of a hummingbird, and HAD to eat all the time, spaghetti at 2 am was a norm for me. My body, over the years, has taken any abuse, mishandling, or  neglect with grace, and carried me proudly and without illness. Until now…

Being over 40 kicked my ass.

I have had some issues stemming from my accident and nerve trauma, and over two years I have been trying to deal with traditional medicine. That did not work at all. Mainly though, I am looking at the state of my muscles, that used t be lean and strong. I did say  USED to be. I often get “but you are older”, but really,  I have seen/met some ass kicking 7o year olds that would put me to SHAME…age is no excuse! My body is getting weaker, and I think it is more the “lazy ass & wrong fuel syndrome” than age. With lazy I don’t mean just exercising, as I a move a lot without dedicating it exercise…I also mean the habitual nourishing: the comfort food, fast food, BAKED goods (I am a sucker for anything baked), wheat.

My gut intuition is telling me that now is the time to make a change, before things get even worse. Putting the medical healing aside, I think this will aid my digestion, my concentration, and raise my sluggish energy level. I also want to prepare my body for the Tough Mudder, my ultimate goal :). Will post some measurements below for good measure (no pun intended).

I have devised the “30 day Revival of the Warrior Princess” plan to get eased into a different way of nourishment & movement.  I wrote it down, as I am not a very consistent human being…It takes 30 days to start a new habit….

1. Modified Primal plan…

Buckwheat & Peaches, with butter

I don’t do well with extremes & restrictions, and don’t believe extreme diets are good for me. I am not a diet, even though 5-10lbs are totally expendable. :)….Since I want to build lean muscle and eat more protein, the Primal or Paleo plans (though both are different) have given me a base, and I am adding in my Weston Price (Nourishing Traditions) knowledge. I am also a type O, if you know about the blood type diet, I should hunt my food and eat it on the fly….aieeeeeeee……..Artemis is my Goddess… you see a thread here? My food priorities will go: lean meat or fish, veggies (mostly green), fruits, nuts. I will also eat some ancient grains, and bread, though both minimally and only baked by me. No wheat, only spelt, buckwheat, quinoa. Only fermented dairy: joghurt, kefir. And again, minimally. No sugar. Not sure how I am going to handle ice-cream….

2. 6-8 glasses of water.  Gosh, I stink at drinking enough. I can go a whole day and end up asking “Did I drink anything but coffee today?”. It runs in my family, and I seriously believe I am constantly dehydrated. So, to remind myself, I am devising a ring/band thing to keep me on track. More to come on that. Part of my water consume will be my Spirit Cleanser or Health tea to help cleanse the blood & body, and nettle infusion.  I don’t do vitamins, so this will give my body extra minerals.

3. Go to bed before 12am. I will try.

4. Daily 20 (squats, toe crunches (this is for my ankle/foot injury), ankle rolls), and 15 min of heart raiser (this is intense heart rate upping…not just my dh driving me up the wall).

5. Daily 15 minutes to reflect on Heike….journal, draw, read, snooze…this is MY time behind closed doors. Period.

I won’t bore you with my medical history, and it really only fascinates myself and my mother :)….but I will give you the jist, in case something similar inflicts you.

I have had burning nerve pain for over 4 years, and it stems from nerve trauma from an accident I had when I was 21. I also have muscle atrophy in one leg, the leg that suffered the most trauma. Together, this leads to pain, sleepless nights, weakness & stiffness in the leg, muscle atrophy (the strong leg carries the weak one), misalignment, etc. I have been through acupuncture, medicine, etc. “I” believe I can cure this with healing food & herbs, and that is what I am journaling and proving now.

Here are measurements of my two calves, with I hope to balance within six months of healing food & training:

Left leg: 14 inches
Right leg: 12. 25 inches.

Quit a bit of mass missing.

Even though I mentioned I am NOT dieting, and I am grabbing this belly fat by the britches and kicking it out:

Waist: 33 inches  (maybe it will wander to my chest :)….a girl can hope).
Weight: 143lbs (this will likely not fluctuate too much, may even go up as I gain muscle vs. fat)


I will start doing some very consistent “use your body as a gym” training outside, rather than continue to go to the gym, but that is another post.

There you go, Beautifuls! Want to join me?

Much love,

Self Help

When I had “the” car accident in 1990, my life changed drastically. Over several years, I healed. Not back to my original, pre-accident state, but to a fairly healthy state. I was walking, riding my bike, swimming, dancing. I was not horseback riding, skiing, bungy jumping :)….all this with a broken back.

The last few years have taken it’s toll on my body, much of it is because I do not exercise enough. Getting in and out of a car is not the same as walking up and down 5 flights of stairs several times, eh?

Unfortunately, the last years have also been an odyssey of unsatisfactory diagnosis when I DO go see a doctor. Pain is always blamed on the after effects of my accident. I only go because the pain is so strong that I am ready to jump off a cliff. To this day, nothing has helped. I even tried acupuncture, which was heavenly while I was in the office, but as soon as the needles came out, the pain was back. I was contemplating permanent little needles, I wonder if anyone makes these?? 🙂 I became so desperate that I began taking hard-core nerve numbing medication. It was great for about 3 days. I took it right before going to sleep, and I finally slept for more than 2 hours because I had no pain. I did feel like I partied all night the next morning, but hey, it could be worse.

10 days later my body filtered through that medication and did what it always does, it rejects. It becomes immune, which is precisely why I never need medication :)…

I have spent two hellish weeks of no sleep and constant, burning/stinging pain. Now I am going back to what I was meant to do: Find a way to heal myself. I want to share with you what I find, what works, and what doesn’t. As life goes, once I decided to embark on this journey of research, things come to me that I did not know about.

1. Mullein ROOT tincture = You will find the “leaf” and “flower” tinctures often, but not the ROOT. If you google “Mullein Root”, you will find wonderful explanations by Michael Moore and Jim MacDonald on the uses of Mullein Root for back pain and more…I suggest you find your own mullein, or grow some as I will, since the root tincture is pretty hard to find :). It is a wonderful healing plant.

2. Ashwandangha 🙂 = Never heard of it, and one day it just popped up on my screen. Well, this little herb has been used for hundreds of years by Indians and in Africa for many things, one of them being inflammation (how perfect for ME!!!). Also for insomnia, mental alertness, stress..and more. I think it popped up just for me..and it has joined my circle of friends.

I am also researching foods that cause nerve inflammation. The possibilities are endless.

I am also drinking infusions of the nerve building tonic of nettle, horsetail, and oatstraw.

I am going to be one ZEN woman very soon :).

To be continued…..

If you stay real quiet, you can hear the Spirits whisper….

There are a few places on this earth where you will be “healed” just by breathing in the beauty of it. During my recent little sabbatical, I snatched my kids, the Luxury Van, and we joined a few friends for a few days of camping at Indian Grinding Rock State Park.

As we drove up to the entrance of the camp ground, a deer was sitting off to the side, watching us. He was cool and collected, and did not seem to care about us at all. The kids were hooked, and could not wait to jump out of the van and explore. I was instantly relaxed by the calm aura of this place….

My kids and their friends had a blast, and were exploring from early in the morning till late at night. A few of my friends joined us for the day who I have not seen for a while and missed :). We went on hikes, and just sat around to eat smores and drink wine around the fire.

I went and hugged the beautiful, 600 year old Mother Tree. Call me crazy, but this tree spoke to me, I could feel the strength through the bark. I sat down on her roots, leaned against her strong trunk, prayed that I would not get bitten in the ass by a snake, and just took in the energy she gave me. This place is magic. It is still used for many Native Indian ceremonies, and you can feel the spirits. There is also sad history, as the Indians were driven out by the gold seekers….but it seems that the spirits there have forgiven, or they knew that I needed to be there for strength.

Here are some pictures to share. I have many more of the children running wild across the meadow, making bows and arrows, exploring the woods alone in little packs (with their walkies strapped to their butts :)..), running in and out of the reconstructed Indian Village….but we must respect that not everyone wants their kids plastered on my blog :).

So, enjoy.

(pic on top of page: View from my van, where I sit with the door open, in my jammies, with my coffee, and breathe..)

Wolf Pup Pack 🙂
My Mother Tree in the morning…all by myself!!! 🙂
Indian Grinding Rocks…makes you appreciate modern flour. This is where the women sat to grind, sing, and talk.
Entrance to park
We were swarmed by yellow jackets. Kimberly to the rescue with her home-made bee traps!!
The luxury suite :).