Favorite Things

 

Here are the products, services, and other things that I use, recommend, and generally think are awesome. I don't have any financial relationship with any of them, I just want to spread the word.

 

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Phyllis Bala 

Doctor of Indigenous Medicine and owner of Sacred Ground (Occidental, CA)

Medical intuitive, seer, herbalist, health advocate, protector of ancestral knowledge. Phyllis Bala is a rare healer and has been my most important teacher in health & spirit since my husband and I met her by chance while visiting my aunt in Sonoma county. I recommend a phone consultation with her to all my nearest & dearest who are struggling with crises of body, mind, and/or spirit. If you are lucky enough to live in California, do visit Sacred Ground, Phyllis' community education and resource center in Occidental, and take one of her exceptional courses. Her Medicine Wheel Program for Women is very much in tune with the Five Element theory of East Asian medicine.


Germantown Kitchen Garden (Germantown, PA)

Amanda Staples, owner/farmer

East Asian medicine strongly encourages us to eat as seasonally and locally as possible. Joining a CSA farm and cooking for ourselves is one of the very best decisions we can make for our continued health. The Germantown/Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill area is blessed to have the Germantown Kitchen Garden, where Amanda Staples has turned a vacant lot into an urban oasis of organic produce, herbs, and native plants. The Saturday farm stand also features local products such as fresh-made sourdough from Michael’s Bread (get there early, the loaves go fast!) kombucha by Mother Superior, and teas from The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop. During the summer, the garden hosts monthly potluck concerts that feature local musicians.


Jade Organic Salon (Ambler, PA)

Cherise Morello-Pons, Owner

Traditional hair color is readily absorbed through the scalp and is one of the most toxic substances to our endocrine systems. Fortunately, we don't have to compromise our health for vanity. Cherise Morello-Pons offers 100% vegan, ammonia-free, paraben-free certified organic hair color, and her team is highly skilled in color mixing. Cherise herself is highly intuitive and strongly committed to holistic health practices, and thus her salon also offers wellness services, including an amethyst Biomat, Aromatherapy Raindrop therapy, reiki, and other treatments.


Safer Soaps/Solutions-4-You

Nontoxic, biodegradable, enzyme-based cleaning & household products.

This company makes a line of cleaning products called Ultra-Safe soaps that are phenomenal for how safe yet effective they are. (They make other nontoxic products related to healthy living, but I haven't tried them all). The soaps range in strength from household all the way up to medical grade (take note, my acupuncturist friends!), and the most concentrated formulas have been lab tested and confirmed to be bactericidal on all gram-negative bacteria. Yet, these cleansers are safe enough to use around individuals with allergy sensitivities.


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Angelika Anagnostou | SpiritoftheDove.org

Life Alignment practitioner, energy healer, and intuitive coach

Angelika is another dear friend and guide to whom I have referred many friends over the years. She's the one who helped my husband activate his powers of healing touch. Angelika is also an Ashtanga yogini and lives in Mysore, India most of the year, but she is easily accessible via Skype. 


Keys chemical-free skin care

Organic, vegan, chemical-free, non-GMO skin care (and products for pets, too)

The Keys line of skin care products was developed by a man who was searching for products that his then-girlfriend (now wife) could use safely after she'd survived melanoma. The chemicals in her prescriptions and skin care products gave her terrible reactions, and thus the pair researched and eventually developed their brand, which protects the skin's natural microbiome. They also have a line of "Alternative Naturals" that offer healthy alternatives to popular drugstore staples such as Vicks Vaporub and Bactine. My dry skin loves these products, and they're wonderfully affordable to boot.


The Random Tea & Curiosity Shop (Northern Liberties, Philadelphia)

A community hub, and the best chai masala tea anywhere

Ten years ago, Rebecca Goldschmidt wanted to open a business in Philadelphia that fostered both healthy beverages and a healthy community spirit. She met a tea master with whom she apprenticed, and subsequently opened The Random Tea & Curiosity Shop in the Northern Liberties section of the city. The shop's "tea monkeys" are all knowledgable about herbs and are ready to help you select something from their menu of organic teas, herbal infusions, and the best chai masala you've ever had, seriously. Just walk past the window and smell the aroma from the chai pot heating on the stove—they've even bottled it.  

This unique gem is much more than just a tea room, however; it is a true community space. Its walls feature a monthly rotation of artwork by local producers; it is a pickup location for Philly Food Works and a flower & herb CSA farm; it regularly hosts musicians, poets, and classes, either inside or in its artsy backyard space; and it has a treatment room where it offers wellness services by appointment (yes, mine included). Random is a truly unique space in the city, and well worth a visit.


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