We have arrived to November, a true in-between time. The colorful leaves have fallen, the garden has been put to rest, and we are awaiting the first snowfall to make the landscape beautiful once again. It's the start of the holiday season, and we find more time to spend with family and friends, indulging in lovingly-prepared meals, and cozying up to the warm fires of the season.
It is a dark and sometimes dreary month, but November teaches us about finding simplicity, gratitude, and joy in ourselves, our loved ones, and our homes.
Here are some of the things we have been enjoying:
1. The Little Book of Hygge : This book has been a fireside favorite as we transition to these dark winter months and the start of the holiday season. We hope it inspires you to embrace this time of year as cozy, heartfelt, and joyful.
Hygge, a Danish word, means a sense of comfort, the feeling of togetherness, an atmosphere, or experience. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe. As the author explains it, "Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on the sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day." The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life.
Run a hot bath and add a few pieces to the water as the tub is filling. Soak and enjoy this gift from the sea. It is important to mention that seaweed should always be sourced sustainably.
Our favorite source, Ironbound Island Seaweed is dedicated to the sustainable harvesting of wild seaweed from the cold, clean waters of the Schoodic Peninsula and surrounding islands of eastern Maine. While we have been enjoying their kelp in our baths, we also often use seaweed in soup stocks, cooking grains, and simple broths.
To encourage a healthy thriving body , start by increasing your intake of leafy greens. Staples in our kitchens include kale, spinach, chard, collards, parsley, dandelion greens, beet greens, and arugula, and there are endless ways to use them; sautéed as is, soups, salads, smoothies, and juices. During this dark, blustery and cold month greens are incredibly nourishing and one of the only plants we still have in our garden, so eat up!
4. Healthy Liver Bitters: Our liver is our superstar. One of the largest organs in our bodies, the liver's primary function is to detoxify and support healthy metabolism. It is the gatekeeper, tirelessly defending our body from all the chemicals, toxins, and anything else we cross during our lives: hormones, synthetics, alcohol, unnatural substances. The filtered waste is turned into bile and stored in your gallbladder. During the digestive processes, the bile is released into the digestive tract as we eat and metabolize food. This formula was designed with specific herbs that encourage and support the movement and production of bile and supports the liver's natural detoxification process.* A must have on hand for the seasons of indulgence- aka, the holidays.
5. Simmer Down Tonic®: The perfect adaptogen tonic to start before the holiday season comes on full force. Simmer Down Tonic is a deeply nourishing formula that helps support you in busy times of stress, and occasional anxiety. The herbs, including some lovely adaptogens such as ashwagandha and tulsi, promote a calm, relaxed state of mind and help to increase our resistance to stress, tension, and irritability. * Take Simmer Down before you start a busy day, on the way to a meeting or a family gathering, or while relaxing before bed. Take 1 teaspoon (5mL) 1 or two times per day straight or in a bit of water.
6. Garden Smudge Bundles: Every year as the gardens starts to quiet down, we take the last of the herbs and turn them into smudge bundles. The ritual of burning them throughout the dark months of winter reminds us of the sun-drenched days of summer and the rich abundance of the garden. This one is white sage, tulsi, and lavender. Another favorite combination is cedar, mugwort, and rosemary. It’s these seasonal traditions that makes the change of a new season enjoyable.
7. Black tea lattes with Tulsi, or Simmer Down Tonic : Hailing from the English tradition of tea time, a creamy black tea latte has become one of our favorite things to sip around 4 pm. We've been dressing ours up a bit, and of course, adding herbs where we can. Since we make our tea with loose leaf black tea, we've gotten into the ritual of adding dried tulsi to the mix. This cuts the caffeine a bit and adds an herbal twist. Tulsi's sweet, and spicy vanilla notes and adaptogenic qualities pair perfectly with a little back tea, a spoonful of honey, and some oat milk. Traditional Medicinals has a lovely Tulsi with Ginger tea that we often drink with black tea. If you don't have any dried tulsi on hand or loose leaf black tea, use a black tea bag and a dose of our Simmer Down Tonic- which features Tulsi and Ashwagandha.
8. Insights at the Edge podcast : Winter, especially November is a great time to do some deep self-work, reflection, pondering, and investigation. One of the very reasons we have come to love this slow time of year. This podcast has been a great way to get us back into this mindset and welcome this type of work. A collection of interviews with spiritual teachers, visionary writers, and living luminaries about their newest work and current challenges—the growing edge of their inner inquiry and outer contribution to the world.