The Herbalist, Uncategorized

Sunburn Blisters: How to Beat Them Naturally.

I had actually never had sun burn blisters in my life. I had never really had any problems with my skin from the sun except the occasional burn and despite being fair skinned and blonde I do tan quite well and usually any burn I get turns brown so this was all a first for me…

For those of you who do not know what they are; they are little sweat filed bumps all over the skin, which can’t escape because the pores are clogged, for me it seemed to be a layer of dead/sunburnt skin preventing the sweat from exiting my body as it should. Very common in very humid climates.

I did some reading online to find natural remedies, not just natural, but remedies I could find on the tiny island of Caye Caulker were I currently reside.

The first thing I tried was potato which I already had at home, cut into thin slices and simply placed on the areas with the blisters. This I found helped the skin peel quickly, which obviously needed to happen.  I used this the first few days, but the rash kept popping up in new areas so I wanted to try something new.

Vinegar which I read has a similar Ph to our skin makes a great toner, so I started rubbing this all over the areas with cotton balls and pouring it on and rubbing it in before i’d jumped in the shower for the day, but always letting it air dry first, I didn’t see too much of a change from doing this. (Try a small patch of skin and dilute in distilled water if necessary).

Next I tried baking soda, before bed I simply rubbed the dry stuff all over where the blisters were popping up, this seemed to help.

Next I took it one level further and mixed the baking soda with the vinegar to create a paste, I applied the paste anywhere the blisters were appearing, let it dry and then kept it on for a few hours before I jumped in the shower. Messy; Yes! But this worked wonders!! The rash didn’t come back after 1-2 applications.

I did avoid the sun between 10-2 while this was going on and would only ride my bike into town after 2 pm each day.

I did find a natural sugar scrub made by a local with beliziean sugar which I have been using every other day since the rash has gone away to stay exfoliated, I also purchased a green tea/aloe natural lotion from the same “Lisas Soap Delights” here in Caye Caulker.

At home I am a fan of Simple Sugars to keep my body exfoliated, which I clearly wasn’t doing enough before coming to the Island.

Let me know how these work for you and comment below!

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Travel

Belize Itinerary Part 2: Inland

Our first stop off the ferry back to Belize City was Rental One to get our vehicle for the remainder of the trip. They do pick you up at the airport which I did not know at the time, most rental places will. I do recommend them, we had no issues and they supplied us with a phone and cooler at no extra charge.

For our first night inland, we drove to Belmopan the capital, other than a cute little market there wasn’t much to be seen in town. We stayed at a hostel we found on Airbnb for the night with private bed/bathrooms. Our host was Marta.

We made a visit to St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park the day we arrived, there is a cool little walk through some caves as well as the swimming hole itself.

The next day we did a kayaking trip through the jungle and caves with Belize Inland Tours. Our guide was an awesome local named Vito, he provided us homemade burritos and the best part was we were the only two on the trip. We met our guide at blue hole in the morning. To get to the kayaking location we were in a Toyota truck off-roading through the jungle for I want to say an hour which was a cool little bonus. Once in the water you go through 3 different caves, at one point we had to lay flat back on our kayaks and use our hands to slide us through a cave that brushed our belly’s as we went under!!

 

After this trip we headed to out next destination San Ignacio, which is a beautiful lush green town right on the river, with an awesome farmers market. There is a walkable down town area with shops and restaurants. Here we stayed in Nelida’s home which we booked on Airbnb. It was a room in a house shared with her students and other travelers. Nelida enjoyed spending the evening in her hammock drinking beers with you listening to stories of your adventures and looking at your photos.

Our first trip here was the ATM tour with Carlos the Caveman, who I highly recommend, and I do every day I am here on the islands. He picked us up at Nelida’s along with Adam who we met on Caye Caulker. He took the time to explain the flora and fauna on our way into the cave which you have to cross the river 3 times to get to to ensure that once we reached the peak of the tour we would be the only ones’ present. Once you enter there is no sunlight for 2.5 hours. I conquered a lot of fears that day. 1) Being in the pitch dark. 2) Stepping and putting my hands into water where you couldn’t see what you were stepping into or touching. 3) Very confined spaces. The hike through the cave is one thing, but when you reach the end… I don’t want to give it all away, but the cathedral is something else and the Mayan artifacts look as though they were placed there yesterday, everything is so well preserved. Unfortunately there is no cameras allowed because some dumb ass dropped his and broke a skull, yes, a skull, but you can see pictures that national geographic collected online. I would ABSOLUTELY not miss this!

Our next adventure took us to Xunantunich the large Mayan ruins close to the border of Guatemala. You have to cross a river to get there, which we did in our car there is a larger hand cranked wooden ferry contraption that takes up to four vehicles and people across at a time. Once there you can choose to hire a guide for $20 BZ, or you can go at it alone, we went at it alone. The entire site is breathtaking. The site offers little shade and it gets pretty busy. Oh, and there are totally howler monkeys, which make truly terrifying sounds.

In the town of San Ignacio there is another set of ruins Cahal Pech, I think I liked these more solely because there wasn’t anyone around and they were smaller and more intimate, there was an actual home with beds on this site, again breathtaking.

Honestly the only honorable mention as far as food goes during this part of our trip was a guy that sold chicken on the side of the road in technically I believe it was Santa Elena adjacent to San Ignacio, with home made hot sauce and tortillas.

After spending two nights in San Ignacio we were off to Hopkins a tiny inland coastal town where we stayed with our Airbnb host Tony at the Comfort in, which were private bath/bedrooms with a shared outdoor kitchen and yard. Tony also enjoyed hanging out and drinking beers with his guests. The beaches here are pristine! We did unfortunately get eaten alive by sand fleas here and the only defense: baby oil so they cannot latch on.

On our last night we did the Bioluminescence here, which I can’t say enough about. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you the name of the company that took us though, because we might have been a little buzzed and we might have just jumped into the van with a German couple we had met who had the tour planned hoping they had enough space for us… Which they did! The van picked us up at the Comfort In and took us to the river where we boarded the boat, we were each provided a flash light as we slowly road down river and searched for alligators, whose eyes glow orange. We were able to see a few and get up pretty close. The second part of the tour we reach an opening in the water; I’ve never seen so many stars in my life I felt like I was in a dome like in the hunger games. Here the water glows blue with movement, it’s absolutely magical. Without even thinking we jumped into the hot water and began swimming around. It is to this day one of the best things I have experienced, watching the water sparkle blue as you move and looking into the sky at the congestion of stars.

We also couldn’t pass up making a stop at the Marie Sharps factory on our way back to Belize city.

There is it, I think we had the perfect balance of activities and chill time, I highly recommend each guide and tour we participated in!

* I am currently residing in Caye Cualker, Belize. These pictures were taken March of 2017 as part of an 18 day trip around the country, not part of my current stay.

 

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April 26, 2017
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April 4, 2017
Uncategorized

My Face Cleaning Regiman

So I do not wear makeup on a daily basis, I dread having to clean my face before hitting the sack and more importantly I suffered from acne through high school and it came back multiple times as an adult so I fear putting anything on my skin. All natural!

I will, however, put on mascara and fill in my eye brows if I have a hot date or a night out on the town, but it’s very rare.

Step 1: Wash my face using Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face wash using my Clarisonic brush.

I swear by the Clarisonic brush, my skin feels incredibly smooth after each use and I haven’t seen my pores in years.

Step 2: Tone with Origins United States Balancing tonic.

This is a tonic that specifically balances your skin out, I have an oily t-zone and it does wonders for me.

Step 3: I use this every other wash, I exfoliate using Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 1% BHA gel.

This exfoliates skin and minimizes pores without harsh scrubbing.

Step 4: Last but not least, LOTION. Or should I say gel, I moisturize my entire face and neck with Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

Gel, I am all about the gel. I do not sweat through this gel like I do lotions. I lather this stuff on in layers, I also believe in moisturizing to prevent wrinkles which I believe I have very few of for being 32!

DISCLOSURE: I only wash my face about 4 times a week on average.

I also try to spend as much time outside as possible and I know I am going to get some backlash for this one, but I do still go traditional tanning, in a tanning bed. I believe the suns benefits for the skin and body outweigh the cons. Any time I have a zit, or feel one coming on I always get out into the sun and they dry right up and if they do progress then my Clarisonic cleans the pores right out.

Well there it is, it takes me a little bit longer than it probably does most, but for me it’s totally worth it for healthy, wrinkle free, clear skin!

Oh and drink lots of water to hydrate your skin from the inside out!

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Travel

Belize Itinerary Part 1: Island Life

So you are going to Belize, now what? Where do you go and what do you do?

Well I think I killed the itinerary on our 18 day trip so let me tell you what we did, where we stayed and my favorite places to eat…

The taxi ride from the airport was an experience in itself, we had a very tight connection. We landed a little late at 4:45 pm, had to wait for our bags, of course grab some booze duty-free and needed to make it to the last water taxi of the day at 5:30 pm. It’s apparently a 30 minute trip from the airport to the water taxi… Our driver was crazy and going 70 mph hour in a 30, but he got us there on time!

For the first seven days of our trip we were in San Pedro, the larger island. I used airbnb to book all of our accommodations. On San Pedro we stayed at Matts house in the private room, which was downstairs with a private entrance and our own bath. We did share a kitchen and outdoor space with Matt and other guests. The outdoor space/hammocks were a great set up, we cooked breakfast every morning and sat outside on the patio enjoying Belikins most evenings. Matt also provided us with two bikes to use for the entirety of our trip and he also had a two person kayak which we took out into the ocean around the south portion of the island. The only downfall with being on the south side of the island was the planes, they were crazy loud between the hours of 7 am – 6 pm.

The first place we wandered to on our first night and ate late night was Crazy Canucks, which has by far the best wings I have ever had in my life. My favourite were the spicy mango and the pineapple habanero. We spent many nights drinking Belikin and eating wings at this bar, which is right on the beach. Another bar we frequented was AJ’s.

We did two tours on San Pedro. I found out the hard way it is actually quite difficult to get on a tour on a day/time you want with only two people. My advice is to take the time to meet people when you are out and about that might be interested in the same activities as you are and book trips with them. In our case we found that walking down the beach and stopping at each tour shop was the easiest way for us to get on tours, we would just ask if they had any confirmed trips and we jumped on it when they did.

The first trip was to Hol Chan Reef/Shark Ray Alley, we were on a boat with 10 others. The cost was $45 US each plus snorkel gear which I believe was $6 US each. They split us up into two groups of six with our own guides and we first took a slow snorkel along side the reef and our guide informed us about all the different fishes and coral we were looking at. Next they took us to swim with the sharks! At first I was nervous, but once I got there and saw the sharks swarm the boat I just got anxious because I couldn’t get in the water fast enough. Super cool experience and we saw a lot of amazing wild life, but warning it is a very busy spot and you are constantly running into other groups.

The second trip we took was a half day fishing trip we booked through Scuba Steve, who we also wandered upon on the beach the day before. It was $200 US for just the two of us on a private boat, we caught our own sardines for bait and then we fished for grouper, red snapper and then trolled for barracuda. Our guide also took us to the coral garden area and let us snorkel on our own which was awesome. We caught a lot, but what we took home at the end of the day was about 12 barracuda and 1 red snapper. We made fresh ceviche out of all of the fish and it was so unbelievably good!

 

My other two favourite places to eat on the island were Mangos, for their unique ceviches and the Pupuseria which we went back to a total of four times, I just couldn’t get enough of the the shrimp papusas (the conche burrito was also bomb).

Not too many bugs in San Pedro, some ants, a cockroach or two in our room, little tiny lizards also in our room, but we left relatively bug bite free. It was incredibly warm with highs of 81-85 while we were there without much of a break from the sun.

Next we went to Caye Caulker the smaller island for five nights. It is a much calmer and slower island. We stayed at the Bay Breeze apartments and our host was Hilda. These were my favourite accommodations because we had our own kitchen, bedroom and private bathroom, and the shared outdoor space and roof top with hammocks was awesome. We were also provided two bikes to use for the entirety of our trip here.

In Caye Caulker we truly learned that you could buy beer at the tiny grocery stores for far less than in restaurants and you could drink anywhere and everywhere, so that was what we did! We hung out at the beach every day, meeting locals who one night cooked us coco rice and fresh red snapper on the beach. We met a young man named Adam who was traveling by himself and lives only 45 minutes from us in Vail, Colorado who joined us for a few of our excursions from that point forward. Small world! We also spent quite a few nights at the Sports Bar, which seems to be the hoping spot at night time.

We checked out the Tarpon fish and fed them, I screamed like a little girl and let go everytime they jumped up to get the sardines out of my hand. We checked out the seahorse reserve and saw quite a few, I had never seen a seahorse before. We never swam in the split because a girl we met one night showed us a picture she had taken of a 12 ft.  crocodile she had seen in the split the day before.

It was very difficult to get on a tour in Caye Caulker. We really wanted to do the sunset sail with free rum punch, but with only three of us we unfortunately missed out on that opportunity, we just couldn’t fill a boat of 8 – 10.

My favourite place to eat was Auntie’s Take Out Food the stew chicken with rice and beans was sooo good and only $3.50 US!! We ate a lot of rice and beans on Caye Caulker and drank a lot of fresh juice, juice stands are located all over the island and you can make whatever combination your heart desires, my favourite juice was the watermelon.

It got really windy here, to the point of being uncomfortable and it was slightly over cast during a lot of our stay, and would rain over night, but the temperature remained in the low 80’s. The sunsets on the backside of the island were phenomenal. Didn’t have many interactions with bugs here at all, didn’t have any in our room. Did I mention the island dogs?? They are everywhere and so cute and friendly!!

WARNING: Don’t drink the water!! Don’t even brush your teeth or open your mouth in the running water on the islands. Only purchase and use the bottled water. I unfortunately had some stomach problems through the entirety of my time on the islands, Jonny also had problems for a portion of the time and the water was the only possible culprit.

Overall the islands are both amazing and have their own personalities. If I had to go back I would probably stay on Caye Caulker longer, but would absolutely visit San Pedro for a couple nights and get down on the far greater selection of food.

To be continued… Part two; inland Belize coming soon!

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Belize Itinerary Part 2: Inland
May 20, 2018
What to pack on your trip to Belize
April 4, 2017
The Herbalist

Butterbur

Butterbur is a great, yet tricky herb! All parts of it are used, however, some preparations can contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can cause damage to the liver and other serious harm.

WARNING: Please double check all butterbur supplements to ensure they are PA-free.

Here is one by Swanson.

Butterbur has actually been compared to antihistamines such as; Singulair, Zyrtec and allegra, because the herb appears to block some of the chemicals that trigger swelling in the nasal passages caused by common allergins such as pet dander and pollen.

Another benefit of Butterbur for allergies is that it does not have the same sleepy and drowsy effects as most over the counter allergy medication.

Other reasons to use Butterbur:

General pain, upset  stomach, stomach ulcers, migraine and other headaches, ongoing cough, chills, anxiety, fever, insomnia, asthma, and for irritable bladder and urinary tract spasms. Butterbur can also be used to stimulate the appetite.

Like with any supplement, here are some possible side effects:

Belching, headache, itchy eyes, diarrhea, asthma, upset stomach, and fatigue.

If you need to be driving/operating heavy machinery and traditional allergy medication makes you drowsy, Butterbur is more than worth a try. People also swear by it for migraines!

Let me know your experiences by commenting below.

 

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Style, Travel

What to pack on your trip to Belize

Here’s the break down of what I brought for an 18 day trip to travel all over the country of Belize. There are only a few things I didn’t use and I carried it all in my backpack which came in weighing 32 lbs on the way there (39 on the way back, because I stocked up on that amazing Marie Sharps hot sauce, yum!)

We spent time in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belmopan, San Ignacio and Hopkins, so both inland and on the islands.

  • 6 tank tops (two of them where the Free People long beach ribbed tank, found here at Macy’s.)
  • 1 crop top also by free people. (I brought a white one and I am not going to lie it was hard to keep it and everything white I brought clean, yet oddly I wore white the most often. Luckily I could hand wash them at each stop.)
  • 1 long sleeve top by Free Fly the Bamboo Long Sleeve available here.
  • 1 super thin, long sleeve hippie top I have from Animas back home in Flagstaff.
  • 3 bathing suits; one sporty bikini, one one-piece the Trillium Lace Up Cross Back from Zumiez and one simple sexy black bikini.
  • 2 pairs of flip flops; Birkenstocks and chaco’s. Both which in my opinion are must haves in your wardrobe, I own both in black available here at Nordstrom and here at Chaco.
  • A rain jacket, the Alpine Houdini by Patagonia – I didn’t use it, we had a couple days where is rained over night, but never during the day. I’m sure it would have been useful during their rainy season (No harm though this baby packs up into the size of your hand and is super light.)
  • I also brought a pair of hiking boots which I wore on my first day and my last day because there was a white out blizzard in the mountains when we were driving down to get to the airport in Denver. After all it is winter where I live and I didn’t want to be wearing flip-flops in the snow, but I did not use them in Belize.
  • I brought one pair of black leggings by Beyond Yoga and I did wear them for sun and bug protection at different times throughout the trip.
  • A lightweight oversized cardigan, which I did use on very windy evenings.
  • My favourite hat which I purchased at the Dillon, CO farmers market last summer and I wore constantly. It is mesh on the top so breathable and not too sweaty.
  • A pair of lightweight hippie/harem pants in black with elephant prints.
  • Two pairs of shorts both denim; one in a pea green colour the Jenna by Empire from Zumiez and the other just a dark denim which are super old from Guess.
  • A pair of water proof black shorts with lining, great for when you know youll be getting wet because they are quick dry.
  • 1 pair of sunglasses which are polarized which is a must down there, these are the Erika by Ray-Ban and I purchased them from Macy’s.

My favourite outfit was probably my harem pants with my white crop top, it was lightweight, but still offered sun protection (the top has cap sleeves) and also bug protection. For 18 days I obviously wore the same things over and over, but was able to mix and match so it felt like a new outfit everyday. I will tell you I did bring a pair of underwear for each day and a few extra.

Stay tuned for my next post which will be about our itinerary and accommodations!

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Belize Itinerary Part 2: Inland
May 20, 2018
Belize Itinerary Part 1: Island Life
April 26, 2017
Another Warm Fall Day
November 15, 2016
Style

Baby Shower

It feels good to be back! Life got pretty crazy there for a minute, I no longer live in Denver and am in Keystone full time, I have a new job, my best friend got knocked up… and honestly that is the reason for this post, this is the first time since moving that I haven’t looked homeless.

I love the mountain life and I love my hoodies and long johns, but it felt really good to be out at a bar wearing actual clothes.

Let me start by saying; what a great idea for a baby shower, it was coed and held at a brewery up in Fort Collins where they live. “The baby boy brew”

I am wearing my current favourite booties by Lucky, I got them at Nordstrom, but could no longer find them there. The “Gwenore” by Lucky has a similar look without the heel available here.

My leggings are thicker and what I call my riding leggings, they are by Vince Camuto the “Seamed back legging” from Nordstrom.

My shirt is by Tibi NewYork, its no longer available but here is a similar one called the “Jersey Knit Camisole” but the same company at Nordstrom.

I love this cardigan and once the weather warms up here in the rockies I won’t be able to take it off. It is the “Long Linen Blend Cardigan” in Tan Cobblestone at Nordstrom available in 8 colours.

My favorite everyday go to bag is this Marc Jacobs cross body/over the shoulder bag, unfortunately I purchased it some time ago and I couldn’t find it available anywhere. Purchased from Neiman Marcus.

Till next time, stay warm!

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December 26, 2016
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Style, Uncategorized

Yellow to White – Toning my locks step by step

So I started toning my own hair shortly after I got my first balayage when I realized I would have to pay $40 every 4 weeks to keep the colour!! Ain’t no body got time for that!

Supplies:

  • Weleda T18 – lightest ash blonde
  • Weleda Color charm 20 developer
  • Small plastic hair colour bowl
  • Plastic hair colour brush
  • Gloves
  • Optional – Hair colouring cape

I wash my hair first, so I actually jump in the shower and give it a good scrub and rinse.

Once I get out I put on a robe and my colouring cape, which isn’t necessary and a plastic bag would probably suffice, but I try to keep it as mess free as posible.

I mix one part toner with two parts developer by emptying the bottle of colour into the bowl first and filling the color bottle with developer twice. Mix.

I start applying the mixture right away, even though the mixture is still white. I do the roots first painting one side flipping the hair then painting the other side.

I then move on to the hair by taking small sections and again painting both sides, I then rub it in with my fingers (wear those gloves) and twist the hair so I know which pieces are done.

Which is when I took this little gem of a photo, nice and purple by now!

I wait the full 30 minutes so I get almost a lavender white colour, remember you hair has to be very light already for this to work.

I jump back in the shower, rinse and condition heavily. I don’t use my purple conditioner until my next wash.

Style and dry as usual! Happy colouring!!

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Style

Gym Time

It felt good to be back in the gym and it felt even better to spend a Friday night in after the craziness of the holidays.

I like to stick to the treadmill and walk at an incline, I also do yoga and I am a huge fan of strength training. My favourite at home videos are Chalean Extreme and 21 day fix by Beachbody. I just skip the cardio work outs. I have hypothyroidism which prevents me from doing any vigorous exercise, no cardio or plyo for me!!

I am wearing my brand new “Made Wild” tee by The Parks Apparel. They have a great line of clothing for people who love the outdoors. They have the cutest mug that says “I love you to the mountains and back”.

My leggings are by Beyond Yoga, I LOVE their pants, they are sooooo soft!!! These are the “Take me higher long legging” they are available in 6 colours. I am wearing a small for reference.

My shoes are the Nike “Flex Trainer 6”, they are available in 10 colours and I bought mine here at Kohls. Super comfy and light weight.

I know you can’t see it, but I am wearing a sports bra by Victorias Secret “The Ultimate” it comes in 6 colours.

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The Herbalist

Ginger

Ginger!

I buy ginger tea in bulk, it is a go to of mine anytime I have indigestion or feel bloated.

Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea. It has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, but it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness

Here is a list of all the reasons ginger is commonly used:

1. Stroke and Heart Disease

2. Indigestion and Nausea

3. Malabsorption

4. Compromised Immunity and Respiratory Function

5. Bacterial Infections

6. Fungal Infections

7. Ulcers and GERD

8. Pain

9. Cancer

10.  Diabetes

Ways to take ginger…

Raw  — You can use raw ginger in smoothies.

Essential Oil — This is the most potent form of ginger because it contains the highest levels of gingerol. This is the No. 1 way ginger can be used as medicine. It can be taken internally to treat health conditions or rubbed topically with a carrier oil on an area of pain. Two to three drops of oil is a typical dose.

Tea — This liquid form of ginger is commonly used to relieve nausea, settle the stomach and relax the body. Have one cup two to three times daily to reduce inflammation.

Powder — Using ground ginger powder for cooking is an excellent way to take advantage of this super spice.

Capsule – It can be taken in supplement form as a capsule with the recommended dose of 1,000 milligrams daily.

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