Micro Dose Journal: Chapters 1-2

Hello! And welcome back. It’s me, Desiree’ Celeste!

I am writing these journal entries in hopes that they can help others to better understand the journey of micro dosing magic mushrooms. While I am writing these in real time, I will be waiting until my proposed 10 week cycle ends before publishing, in order to further protect myself. This journal entry is in no way meant to encourage others to micro dose magic mushrooms or partake in any illegal activity. I urge you to research the local and federal laws pertaining to psychedelic use of your area.

If you have not already read the EPILOGUE, please do so here:

CHAPTER ONE

My first dose was nerve wracking, I had ordered a scale, but it hadn’t arrived yet. I had to eyeball about 1/10 of the bag, assuming that one bag equaled one trip. I had been doing nothing but researching micro dosing for the previous week and still could not feel secure in what I was doing. I crumbled what I felt was the appropriate amount of stems and caps into my pot of filtered water, and set it on the stove. Fifteen minutes of boiling, and I poured the water and crumbled pieces into my adorable teal tea pot, along with some flavored tea. I sipped my tea, allowed the herbs and shrooms to cool, and then mashed them to the screen, trying to extract any medicinal properties it all may have had. I drank my delicious tea, which was raspberry black tea, and then looked out the window a while. The only thing that struck me was the depth and complexity of the colors of the grass, the sky, the trees. It was all so mesmerizing and beautiful.

I laid on the floor with meditate, windows wide open, feeling the cool breeze on my shoulders, listening to children play, cars pass. I felt tuned in, I felt I was part of the children playing and the grass they played upon. I felt inside my body and all around my body. But it was subtle. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or lost, I felt completely at ease and completely found. It wasn’t until I went for a drink of water that I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and realized that I felt any different. Despite feeling so different from normal, I hadn’t even recognized the change. When I looked in the mirror, I saw my reflection as someone else may see me. I appreciated myself as a stranger may, I longed for myself as a lover might, and I found strong familiarity in my features, as though I was my own family. I felt like it was my first time recognizing my own face.

I began settling into my own feelings and turned on some hilarious television to exercise my laughter.

CHAPTER TWO

My second dose was much easier for me. Though my scale arrived and I had ordered the wrong one! So, once again, I eye balled my shrooms into a pot of filtered water and boiled for 15 min. This time, I poured the shrooms into a muslin bag meant for loose leaf tea, and steeped in my cup alongside a tea bag until cool enough to handle, at which point I squeezed out the excess liquid from the shrooms and drank my cup. It was already a stressful day, with a lot of hurry up and wait. My anxiety kicked in and, instead of loving the colors and feeling connected to life around me, I only felt connected to my frustration within.

I was incredibly productive, though! I cleaned, cooked, did laundry, and painted a nice set of tea canisters to become both table art and vitamin containers. I felt creative and submerged in my feelings, all at once. I didn’t feel like my frustration and anger pulled my away from exerting creative energy and I didn’t feel like my frustration and anger put a damper on my creation. They walked side by side and I felt alive. And sweaty! By the time social time started, I had done more around the house in a few hours than I generally had done in a week!

I quickly centered myself once in my social situation and rather enjoyed my quiet, quality time with someone I care for. I was proud to show off how much I’d done and my fun projects that were conceived and completed in one day.

It was after this dose that I began to see how this experiment was changing my days in between dosing. I work a high stress, thankless job where my clients tend to be rude to me. I have felt how this work situation has made me more angry and people avoidant at work, and it’s made 40 hours of my week a burden. It was after this dose that I began singing at work again and speaking kindly to people who were not so kind to me. People I work with started asking me why I seemed so different, and I have been honest about this all from the beginning, in hopes that it will help others. I was astounded to see a change in my demeanor so quickly!

In Micro Dosing Journal: Chapters 3-4, I make quite the social break through and see how big of a difference this method has made.

Simple, Sustainable Immune Boosters

Hello! And welcome back. It’s me, Desiree’ Celeste!

It’s that time of year. You know, leaves start changing, weather cools, kids go back to school, you get that itch in the back of throat? Yeah, cold and flu season. It sucks. A few years ago, I was sick for three months straight. First, with a cold, then bronchitis, then a respiratory infection. Since that year, I have tried every immune booster I could get my hands on and found that some work better than others. Many are just straight up food and can be obtained from a grocery store for less than a buck.

Sleep

Sleep is the best immune booster and happens to be free. It is, however, not open to everyone. I understand that some people can’t sleep based off of responsibilities or insomnia, but those who can, should. So many of us stay up late watching tv, reading, or partying, but we really need to start prioritizing sleep. Daily stress, poor diet, and blue light disrupt our circadian rhythm, making it hard to get a full night’s rest. Sleep is when our bodies heal, and a lack of sleep will weak the immune system, making it easy for illness to creep in. Try to go to bed a little earlier, turn off blue light and dim lamps the hour before bed, and build that immune system.

Garlic

Garlic is classic and my favorite ‘cure all.’ I roast entire heads of garlic for snacks during the fall and winter (and spring and summer, it’s just good). When garlic’s cell walls are cracked and allowed to oxidize, it creates something called Alicin, which is a super strong immune booster that also helps to reduce bad gut bacteria. Much of your immune system is in your gut, so a healthy gut is a healthy body. The way to consume garlic to get the biggest alicin benefit is to chop a garlic clove (or 3 or 4) and allow it to sit, exposed to air, for about 10 min, then swallow the garlic like you would pills. This method also works great for stomach issue. You may smell like alfredo sauce, but at least you’ll be actively fighting off all sorts of cold weather sickies.

Fire Cider

Fire Cider scares me. Truly scares me. Every year, I see a thousand posts online about the joys of making fire cider and allowing it to mature for about a month before fall, but that combo makes my stomach churn just thinking of it. If you are a fire cider fan, please let me know how to consume it to avoid immediately vomiting after. The feedback about fire cider is great, though. People swear by it and it seems easy enough to source the ingredients and make yourself. I also love that it’s straight up food and that you can feel like a true witch when you hand craft your own medicine in your own kitchen. This also makes great gifts for the winter holidays. Just imagine, cute bottles of fire cider for those you love, giving the gift of health.

 Check out the Paleo Hacks recipes here to make your own!

Or you can buy a great brand here!

Elderberry Syrup/Tea

Elderberry is naturally anti viral and possibly the tastiest immune booster on this list. You can buy premade elderberry products, such as teas or syrups, or you can make your own from dried elderberries. It’s hard to source waste free or bulk options for dried elderberries, but if you can find it, get it! I enjoy elderberry syrups packed in glass bottles and use them in teas.

My favorite brand, Honey Garden, this one is mixed with honey and apple cider vinegar.

And the Honey Garden brand pure elderberry syrup.

Bone Broth

Here we are again, talking about gut health with the immune system. Bone broth helps to heal the gut lining, strengthening the immune system. Bone broth also is high in complex amino acids, protein, and minerals, making it a nutrient rich option. In my home, I cook with store bought bone broth concentrate, bone broth powder, and homemade bone broth.

Ancient Nutrition Savory Herbs Bone Broth Powder

Jarrow Bone Broth Powder

Layering your immune boosters is a beneficial way to go. I definitely get my sleep in, cook with a lot of garlic and bone broth, and take elderberry when I start feeling sick. If you follow my Instagram this time of year, you’ll find a ton of recipes on Paleo Comfort Foods that are rich in garlic and bone broth. Check out my Instagram here.

What are you favorite sustainable immune boosters?

 

5 Alternatives to Commercial Deodorant

Hello! And welcome back. It’s me, Desiree’ Celeste!

I quit wearing main stream deodorants about 5 years ago, when a friend of mine had breast cancer and she made mention that her doctor told her to stop using deodorants with aluminum in them. We happened to be working in a natural foods store at the time and had all of the aluminum free options we could think of! But, after a few months of trying out options, I found that none worked for me for more than a week or so, which is when I began playing with non commercial methods. Below are some of the things I have tried, and some friends have tried, that have actually proven useful! The best part is that you don’t have to follow any recipes and all are only 1 ingredient, unless you choose to add essential oils. These are readily available and cheap.

5. Coconut Oil

I know, coconut oil can’t be the cure for everything, can it? Nope, sure can’t, but because it is naturally anti bacterial, and it’s the bacteria that creates the smell, it can help to dissuade smelly bacteria growth. Simply slather a thin layer on your pits directly after cleaning and you’re set. Be careful, though, as too much oil will definitely stain your clothes.

4. Clear Booze

This was my favorite method for quite a long time! I bought high percentage vodka and filed a small spray bottle with it, then added a few drops of the essential oil of my choice, generally lemongrass. Of course, spraying on clean skin is a must, and reapplication after time spent active or in the heat was useful, but even after 1 application I noticed a difference.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is great for killing off germs, so much so that many people use vinegar for general cleansers in their homes. I actually wash my hair exclusively with vinegar! Test full strength vinegar on your skin in a small spot to see if it will irritate you, then dilute as necessary to ensure it’ll be safe on your skin. Use a spray bottle, add essential oils as desired, and spray onto freshly cleaned skin. Reapply when you’ve been active, stressed, or hot (which is probably all the time, ya hottie).

2. Lemon or Lime Juice

Ok, stay with me here. Lemons and limes are both so acidic that they inhibit bacteria growth, which makes them an excellent option for your pits. I have used both freshly cut and store bought juice, both work fine. Ideally, fresh is best because it still has the active enzymes in it. If you remove hair from your pits, this will buuuuuuurn! The upside is that if you can make it past the burning, it can help to decrease ingrown hairs, maybe even halt them altogether.

1. Scrub Your Pits

This is my current method. I skip everything and just scrub my pits. I don’t use soap on my body, nor have I for ages, so instead I either dry brush or scrub my body with a micro fiber cloth, natural loofah, or wash cloth in the shower. It was a growth process, but my body odor never really got out of control during this time. I made sure to start this method in the winter, when I could layer up and mask the smell. I also did (and still do) bentonite clay masks on my pits when I start smelling weird. Body chemistry, stress, and even eating or drinking something your body doesn’t like, will make the stink flare up. I have forgone applying anything to my armpits for about a year now and it still works for me, I love how simple this method is and how it’s worked through all seasons, hormone cycles, and moods.

What are your favorite stink stoppers? How do you keep your pits in check?

Micro Dose Journal: Prologue

Hello! And welcome back. It’s me, Desiree’ Celeste!

I am writing these journal entries in hopes that they can help others to better understand the journey of micro dosing magic mushrooms. While I am writing these in real time, I will be waiting until my proposed 10 week cycle ends before publishing, in order to further protect myself. This journal entry is in no way meant to encourage others to micro dose magic mushrooms or partake in any illegal activity. I urge you to research the local and federal laws pertaining to psychedelic use of your area.

Check Out The Accompanying YouTube Video

Micro dosing magic mushrooms has inspired me to restart this blog in order to help others, which means that I have no episodes 1-4! Until now, I have lived with multiple forms of mental illness, including borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and depression. The amount of times I have contemplated my own suicide, the number of panicked phone calls to my therapist, and the depth of negative self talk have been immeasurable. I have always seen myself as a shattered piece of glass which, no matter how much therapy, how many self help books, and how many experimental practices I pick up, I will still not be complete again. I have worked hard in therapy to come to the realization that every human is complicated and hurt, that there is nothing wronger with me than anyone else, and that I am not a mass of shards. HOWEVER, borderline personality disorder is a vast and complex diagnosis that, initially, felt like a death sentence, wherein my own brain slowly kills any shred of self esteem I may have. I refer to my brain as the mainland, and through dialectical behavior therapy have learned when I am crossing the bridge to BPD island. Sometimes I can bring myself back before the negative self talk starts echoing, sometimes I can’t. Sometimes, the bulk of my pain stems from my crippling social anxiety and my self isolation, which makes it nearly impossible to reintroduce myself to social situations when I feel lonely and want to see people again. This is hard to write. But I feel that this is the backstory that I need to tell.

Now, I have been hearing for years about magic mushrooms helping to rewire the brain and potentially untie the knots of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and many more, even dementia! But it took me until my mid twenties before even trying marijuana, so it’s fairly obvious that this would be years of internal debate in order to come to my first dose. I had the opportunity presented to me to buy shrooms, after many failed attempts, and I thought to myself, “Now’s the chance!” But I still couldn’t bring myself to try them.

Then, Paul Stamets! He came to host a lecture at a nearby college and, while his topics were diverse, he did speak briefly about his current research on how the combination of niacin, lion’s mane, and micro doses of magic mushrooms could help people with neurological disorders and mental illness. I trust in his words, I trust in his science, and when Paul Stamets urged the audience to take a photo of the slide showing dosing for this trifecta, I knew this is what I had to do. Three days later, I secured my first baggie, another three days later, I prepared my first micro dose. In those six days since making up my mind, many people stepped up to help me. People wanted to be there to babysit me on my first trip, wanted to trip alongside me, wanted to prepare my first tea, wanted to… wanted to… but all I heard was pressure. My anxiety kicked in! People wanting to support me sounded so much like people wanting to take this sacred experience from me. For me, this feels like sacred medicine. It feels like a life line. And that’s when I decided I needed to experience it alone.

I am still not sure how interested I am in doing a full trip. I have been very happy with my micro dosing and have committed to 10 weeks, following an every Thursday and Sunday schedule. I generally dose alone, in my living room, by making a tea, then lay on my floor and meditate for as long as I can. I also try to sit outside, I try to plan for social things later in the day so that I don’t lose my day to introspect. I am using micro dosing to help navigate daily life in a healthier way, so I figure I have to expose myself to things that generally make me anxious. I just bought a singing bowl, so I look forward to playing it as part of my micro dose meditation.

Next Micro Dose Journal entry, I tell all about my first two micro dose experiences, including preparation and outcome.

Cast Iron Care

I find that everyone seems to have a preferred way to care for their cast iron, and I am yet to find a way that will utterly ruin it. There are many misconceptions about what methods to use and what methods to avoid like the plague. When I first got my cast iron I was overwhelmed with all of the methods out there, and the conflicting information as to what works. The concept of having to cut a potato in order clean my pan blew my damn mind. Now that I have used many ways to clean my cast iron, and my pans are still intact, I would like to review some ways and maybe clear up some myths. Rather watch? Click here.

Method One: SOAP AND WATER

First of all, I read all of the time how soap will absolutely ruin cast iron and on and on and blah blah blah. However, if the piece in question has a good, hard season an occasional soap down will do absolutely no harm. I actually recommend a soap down on a new piece, especially one that’s second hand. You never know what that cast iron had been exposed to and, if you’re like me with food allergies, a soaping is the only way to make sure your pan won’t cause you hives, stomach upset, or worse. If the pan has an uneven or gooey season, using soap can help to remove the weak seasoning and then you can go on to correct it.

Method Two: SOAKING

People absolutely lose their minds over the concept of soaking cast iron. It’s like the zombie apocalypse if it’s even mentioned. I, too, was once put off by soaking, also under the impression that even a quick soak would leave my cast iron susceptible to rust, but then I had allowed something to burn in the pan and felt I had no other choice. It was experiment time! I left the pan to soak overnight. And guess what? In the morning I was able to easily wipe the last little stuck on crumbs out and there was no rust. Since then, I commonly soak my cast iron and have no rust from it.

Method Three: KOSHER SALT RUB WITH OR WITHOUT POTATO

Were you confused when I mentioned the potato in the intro? Well, now we get to clear that up! The most popular method I have seen is to scrub the dry pan with kosher salt, either with the cut end of a potato or with a paper towel. The salt scrubs the excess oils and food away, and you are left with a clean pan that is untouched by water. I have tried this with a dish towel, but no potato, and found that it was too complicated for as often as I use my cast iron, which is up to 4 times a day. It definitely works, though I would still rinse it clean afterwards instead of wiping it again and again to remove the salt.

Method Four: STEEL WOOL OR CHAIN MAIL

This is a method I have not used, but they sound awesome and I will most likely end up getting a chain mail scrubbie soon. I didn’t even know these methods existed or were so controversial until I started researching for this topic! I have read about people using steel wool or chain mail both with and without water, and the concern people seem to have about it is the thought that the intense scrubbing will remove or damage the seasoning. While I have not used these, I consulted with a friend who has and she says that she uses her steel wool for daily cleaning and has caused her seasoning no harm. So, not too educated on this one.

Method Five: LOOFAH AND WATER

This is my preferred method. I rinse with water, sometimes soak, and then use a round cut from a natural loofah to wipe away the mess. It makes it very easy to upkeep and the only thing I need is a natural loofah that is compostable.

In short, there seems like no wrong method to clean cast iron. If you were expecting me to speak about using the self cleaning oven method, campfire method, or any other deeper cleaning method, that will be reserved for another post. I intend to include in this series a post dedicated to cast iron rehab, so that I can give proper attention to that subject. How do you clean your cast iron? What did I miss?

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