Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 2013 Favorites List

That time of year again. January. I must admit I get a little introspective this time of year. I think it is because the world is a bit more quiet than during the holidays and there are less distractions so I look at my life a bit closer. But when I do feel a bit down, I embrace it. Extra time in the bathtub or time with friends usually help. I create new recipes, and meditate an extra 10 minutes each day. I sleep in a bit more on Sundays when I can...
Here where I live, winter is just getting going and we start the rainy season in earnest.
Holidays behind us (just when my pandora classic christmas station was perfectly honed!) I am starting the year with a new favorites list. Would love to hear your favorites too. xo

1. Manuka Honey. I have replaced all of my first aid salves and creams with this honey. I threw my antibacterial ointment in the trash. I usually use rescue remedy cream anyway, but even that is being replaced by my new friend; honey. I buy this New Zealand honey and use it now exclusively. It can help wounds heal up to 36% faster than traditional wound care and it is effective against superbug bacteria like MRSA. Great for kids because it will prevent a bandaid from sticking to their wounds. My jar was about $22 for 8.75 ounces which is a total price deal compared to triple antibiotic ointments that are also petroleum based. I also buy the 250+ Manuka Honey which has been tested and is certified to contain at least 400mg/kg of dietary methylglyoxal. I have been using it for M's cracked lips, canker sores, cuts, blemishes, stomach aches..the list goes on and on.

2. Call The Midwife on PBS...

It could be my inner wish-I-had-become-a-doctor syndrome, but all my girlfriends love this show too. Call The Midwife is based on the memoir of Jennifer Worth and her stories of being a midwife in East London during the 1950's. I think I have cried every episode. Well acted, funny and stories that warm the heart.  Chummy, a character on the show is my new favorite all-star. Because it is on PBS, all the shows are available online to watch for free!

3. Revive Kombucha.

I have said goodbye to GT's kombucha and hello to this brand. It tastes like tea, has a bit of carbonation (just enough to make it completely refreshing but not too much) and is sold in half-gallon sizes at my co-op. There is a deposit for the bottle, but it is reimbursed when you return it to the store. A bunch of cool cats in Northern California brew this up. LOVE!

4. A recent article in the New York Times about Forgiveness playing a role in criminal justice


 A fascinating article based on the principles of Restorative Justice. I was first introduced to restorative justice when I was on the board of directors of my local cultural center. A group of kids broke into a storage shed at the center and stole alcohol. They were caught and the executive director of the center (who had been a principal at a local alternative school) asked if the board would consider restorative justice for the children as an action for the issue. It meant that the kids took full responsibility for their actions and were an active part of their "punishment" which was really them constructing a way to repair what they had done under the supervision of the director who believed in using the experience as a positive and learning one rather than a shaming one.

5. Pay By Phone
my new favorite app

 My sister turned me on to this app for parking in San Francisco. All the parking meters in San Francisco  can now be paid on my smartphone with this app. You enter in your credit card information which they keep on file. When you park you enter the meter number and the amount of minutes you want to pay for. You can pay remotely for your parking meter if you want more time and it even sends you a text message when your meter time is getting low. No more rushing to put money in the meter!

6. tiny beautiful things by Cheryl Strayed


 An advice column originally on that was made into a book. My dear friend Jilan gave this to me for my birthday. It reads a bit like a modern day Dear Abby. Each chapter or section starts with a letter to Dear Sugar which is then answered. The stories go deep. Abuse, infidelity, transgender issues, death. Every story I have cried. Every single one. Life just never stops, and I love her words to keep going. Always keep going. Always. An incredible way to start off the year. I could not put the book down. Cheryl's acidic wit and bluntness had me cheering alone in my room. She just cuts to the chase. But with love. Always with love.

7.  The Biolite Stove


For $129 you can buy a portable stove that runs on twigs and charges your smart phone.
A M A Z I N G.

8. Elderberry Syrup

When WebMD has a write-up on Elderberry Syrup for treating the flu, I guess it is finally made it big. I have been using this syrup every winter for 5 years now. I did get the dreaded Influenza about 4 years ago. And, with elderberry syrup and homeopathy, it was only 3 days of hell instead of 6. I love that it is safe for children. It is about $15 per bottle where I live, which is such a small investment if you get the flu and when you are ready to pay any price to get better. Just this last week news about what a severe flu season this has been popping up. You must start taking this as soon as you start feeling it come on, so get a bottle now to have on hand.

9. Flora Vegetarian DHA

A while ago I switched to this form of Omega 3 Fatty Acid. I take DHA, which is the most bio-available form of Omega 3 fatty acid. I used to take fish oil, but like this one without the fish burps. After all, fish eat algae to make DHA in their tissues and over fishing is happening more and more. It just seemed like a natural evolution for me. This Time Magazine article is an interesting look at the fish oil industry impacting world wide fish populations. Why take DHA? It heals the gut, helps feed vital neurotransmitters, is anti-inflammatory, helps balance the steroid hormone cascade, boosts immunity and provides support for healthy blood lipids.


Molly Fisk said...

Great list, Jessica! I loved that book too, and have planted six elderberry bushes in my yard in hopes of harvesting some of them for tinctures and syrups in a few years.. Happy January. xox

Jessica said...

Molly..were you cheering during parts of that book too? I am excited to see the elderberry bushes project unfold!

tehya said...

i love you.

thank you for this fun list and for your witty and insightful writing. it never ceases to make me pause and take a moment to appreciate who you are.

LOVE my manuka honey, and swear by it. thanks especially for the tips on revive kombucha and call the midwife... excited to check those out! xxx

Becky said...

Jess, you left me hanging for number 10!! I love your lists, I wish they could go on and on and on and on. Ha ha. I'll have to look into that book.

Thanks, as always!

Jessica said...

Tehya and Becky..gotta love the manuka honey here in the cough and strep season! I am pulling mine out this morning for M...Becky you are right..I should add a number 10!! xxoo

rae said...

there's a reason you are always my go-to person for the straight-shooting take on things-- you always have the best advice! thanks for the recommendations, i can't wait to investigate...

Nancy said...

Great list, Jessica! I read about tiny beautiful things on Brainpickings recently and then forgot about it - must check it out. And putting Manuka honey on my sounds like a great alternative to polysporin for those little cuts and scrapes.

Outside Inn said...

Fun list... I was turned on to that fabulous honey when we lived in New Zealand, can't go wrong there.


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