Reflections on gratitude and wellness — it’s that time of year

Writer’s note: This is primarily a stream of consciousness piece. Please no expectations of eloquence, nor long-form exposition.

First, on gratitude . . .

I am deeply blessed to be part of this modest, yet intellectually rigorous and surprisingly empathic community at POM. I say surprisingly because it is comprised mainly of men (with a few regular female commenters), and I typically do not expect men to be so open and receptive with emotional content. I should never have assumed this; and as I said, it has pleasantly surprised me.

On numerous occasions, I have conveyed my gratitude to Mark for the opportunity to express myself unabatedly here at POM, with no censorship and no judgement. And as Mark recently expanded his graciousness to invite regular commenters to submit material, I hope some of you will oblige, even if it’s one short guest piece. Such contributions help to keep the blog running with fresh, engaging content.

Writing at POM has other benefits. For example, when I allow myself to be vulnerable here in my expression, it rewards me with closure, healing, purpose, and directed focus. Typing on a computer (even though hard-wired) for any length of time is an immense challenge for me. I struggle on a daily basis with what is often termed, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I also contend with EMF sensitivity. While I loathe labels, these make it simpler to get my point across.

Additionally, I am a novice at writing. It does not come easily to me. Even if I had extra time on my hands (my day-to-day plate is full raising a family), writing remains a constant hurdle. Words typically do not flow onto the laptop. Writer’s block is a very real phenomenon I experience. Further, I lack confidence when it comes to expressing my thoughts — especially in group settings. With that said, I have come a long way in the 18 months of part-time writing for POM.

As far as confessions go, I am particularly proud of the creative piece I wrote in April 2021, “Confessions of an Engineered Nanoparticle.” I recognized at the time of writing that it was a risky pursuit, given the unique presentation. Further, it involved some speculation (albeit high-octane and grounded in extensive research), which was the main reason for my “fictional” approach. For the record, I do my best to avoid speculation on any topic — particularly subjects about which I know very little or have compiled scant evidence (i.e., nuclear energy/weapons, outer space/moon landings, etc.). Considering the positive response, that piece paid off. As of this month, it has had more than 21,000 views. I say this not because I care to count the number of hits my essays receive; but rather, it signifies to me that my writing resonated with people. Moreover, what was speculation on my part at that time, has become less so. Subsequently, I feel comfortable speaking to the topic in a non-fictional format. 

I do not expect my writing at this tiny, seemingly inconsequential blog to make a difference in the world, or “wake people up.” This is folly. Nevertheless, sometimes my writing — which is honest, raw, and factual (and rarely sensational) — does resonate with others, and may help to reinforce what they already know or suspect, but need to hear as an affirming external voice to trust their inner tuning fork (h/t Matt of QofC). And let’s face it, as Mark has previously implied, it’s kind of fun to chew the fat here together, isn’t it? 

I profoundly appreciate this elevated community. It would be nearly impossible to find another online group with the caliber of mental acumen exhibited by POM readers, commenters, and writers. Kudos to us for sticking it out and supporting one another through this unprecedented psychological operation and totalitarian tyranny. 

Lastly, one of my pet peeves is making predictions, so I have no idea what is in store in the coming days, weeks, months, and years when it comes to schemes being devised by the central planners, their supercomputers, and the AI they worship. Their warship may still be on the prowl, which offers more fodder for my writing. Something tells me we have a ways to go to endure this current project, so best be on our toes. And in order to do this, I suggest we fortify ourselves not only mentally, but physically as well . . . 

Cue the wellness portion of this post . . . (Behind the scenes, this is where I change hats — donning my wellness practitioner hat!) 

For this section, I am compelled to offer a disclaimer: 

The information that follows is NOT intended to be a recommendation for medical treatment. If you were to engage in any of the same (or similar) treatments, then it is your responsibility to consult with your health care provider or licensed practitioner for any specific health care concerns before undertaking such treatment. While I have extensive experience (23 years) and certifications as a healing arts practitioner, I am NOT a physician or other licensed health care professional. The information I provide may potentially serve as a catalyst; however, I do NOT state or even imply that I can diagnose or treat illness, nor do I necessarily suggest others follow my lead. I am a huge believer in custom self-study, and I am of the mind that all healing is self-healing. Furthermore, I am not an affiliate or representative of any company that manufactures or sells healing products. I also avoid supporting multi-level marketing companies. While I do not take any prescribed medications, nor any over-the-counter medications, the information I offer should not be an indication to stop using prescribed medication, if any, prescribed by your physician. 

Okay, now that we got that out of the way . . . Before getting a glimpse into my wellness product collection, I should start in the kitchen with a couple of items mainly considered to be culinary. In this instance, I think these two items — garlic and ginger — are often overlooked in terms of their medicinal value. For healing purposes, I consume fresh organic garlic and fresh organic ginger in their raw state for maximum value (of course, I also cook with them for culinary purposes). Thus, if I am feeling on the edge, I finely chop a clove of garlic and roll it inside a slice of turkey, or I simply eat it on its own. In the case of raw ginger, I like to finely chop it, and mix with raw, organic wildflower honey or Manuka honey.

One brief story before delving in . . . More than thirty years ago I worked as a nanny for a family with a young child. The father was a chiropractor. While working for the family, I learned a multitude of things about natural health (one of which was to halt my use of non-stick cookware and bakeware, and another was to stop cooking in microwave ovens!). One aspect that stuck with me most, however, was how to rethink my medicine cabinet; for when I first opened their medicine cabinet, I did not find the standard over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications I was accustomed to seeing while growing up in a conventional household. Rather, I saw a plethora of homeopathic remedies and herbal cough syrups. It was so foreign to me. For goodness sakes, I was raised on NyQuil. Of course, I had no idea then that learning new ways of self-care would forever change the course of my life — leading me to eventually embark on a career in wellness, and resulting in a life-long passion for natural healing.

Moving onto the good part — where I reveal my favorite healing items for the winter. Admittedly, developing and sharing my healing regimen is one of my cherished activities. In fact, the idea to share this with readers was inspired by a very dear friend who suggested that I develop a winter healing aid kit — presumably to sell. I am in no position to do that at the moment, but I am more than happy to discuss what I am employing as wellness support. 

I make no claim that by instituting my natural healing regimen that I do not ever get sick. It is my strong belief that we actually benefit occasionally from experiencing mild “illness” (for lack of a better word). My main concern, however, is when the body seems to have trouble re-balancing, and illness persists, or is more intense, than anticipated. 

What I present (informally) herein is a snapshot of healing supplements that fill the shelves of my wellness cabinet during the winter months — when cold arrives in my neck of the woods. I consider this a winter wellness program. To repeat, I make no recommendations. I am simply providing this information to indicate what I am doing to keep myself and my loved ones healthy, as we approach 2022. Accordingly, this is not a comprehensive collection of my supplements. (As a passionate wellness warrior, I keep plenty of healing products in my apothecary, and it would be impractical and overwhelming to list, let alone review by readers.) It should be noted that these products were not purchased all at once, as many do not carry “expiration dates” (generally exhibited by conventional pharmaceuticals and OTC products), so they tend to last for years.

Please note that I try to avoid all synthetic versions of supplements, as well as products that have fillers and additives, including titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide, stearates, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols (i.e., xylitol, mannitol, erythritol, sorbitol). I also avoid stevia and monk fruit sweeteners, as they do not agree with my digestive system. I typically do not consume supplements on a preventative basis (primarily because the cost would be exorbitant), nor do I take the more commonly recommended vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, or Zinc, or even those in the B family. When I consume these elements, it is in their whole food form only (to the best of my knowledge and efforts). To clarify, when I say whole food, that also includes supplements (tablet, capsule, tincture, or powder) sourced from whole foods — not just eating a whole food, such as an orange, per sé. Moreover, I generally purchase healing products from small companies (preferably family-owned); and I make every effort to source directly from the producer. That said, if I am in a rush, I admit to purchasing from big box stores (that shall not be named). 

One important note ~ for the purpose of this post, I am not addressing the ongoing dispute between germ theory and terrain theory; nor am I attempting to assert or dispel any notion about the cause of COVID, or if it even exists as a physical condition. I hope, for the time being, we can place these critical debates on the sidelines, so that we can forge ahead. Further, my perspective on what is called the “immune system” is evolving day by day. So, while many of the offerings I list purport to strengthen the immune system (or may even assert to be “anti-viral”), I can only anecdotally claim that they help me to feel better

To put it succinctly, I am offering what I am currently doing to stay healthy amidst uncertain and undetermined circumstances that could potentially contribute to illness. Speaking for myself, it seems I am challenged more in the cold, winter months with uncomfortable symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion, and other respiratory ailments. Anecdotally speaking, these symptoms tend to dissipate quicker, or be less pernicious when instituting natural support mechanisms that serve mainly as substitutes for the more predominantly known “cold” and “flu” home treatments. 

Also, there are many ways to maintain wellness and heal from physical illness besides using supplements (including homeopathy). I am focusing on supplementation for this post, but this is only one framework I utilize to synergistically complement many other modalities (including flower essences, essential oils, Epsom salt detox baths, etc.). Furthermore, I typically lean away from the customary brands recognized and promoted by naturopaths and other “alternative” health professionals, as the nutraceutical industry may increasingly rival Big Pharma in its potentially predatory scope.

Following is a list of my winter support supplements (depicted in the photo above). Some of the products may seem obscure to readers. Generally speaking, my exploration and utilization of natural healing methods is off-the-beaten path, as that is one hallmark to my healing approach. Readers may not be surprised, as this is often echoed in my writing. As an independent-minded truth seeker, I tend to forge roads less traveled . . . Okay, enough of the chit-chat — now for that list:

Andrographis (Montana Farmacy) [See details here on Andrographis]

Lung Relief Antispasmodic (Herbalist & Alchemist)

Spagyric Elderberry Tincture (Nicole’s Apothecary)  

Spagyric Bronchial Blend Tincture (Nicole’s Apothecary)

Spagyric Usnea Tincture (Nicole’s Apothecary) [See details here on Usnea, AKA Lichen]

Immune Enhancement Liquescence (Professional Formulas)

Cinnabar Dandelion (Uriel Pharmacy)

Meteoric Iron Prunus (Uriel Pharmacy)

Fire Cider (Shire City Herbals)

Maty’s Organic Mucus Cough Syrup

Black Cumin Seed Oil (Amazing Herbs) [See details here on Black Cumin Seed]

Humic Mineral Caps (Vital Earth Minerals)

Takesumi Supreme (Supreme Nutrition Products)  

Camu Supreme (Supreme Nutrition Products) [See details here on Camu Camu]

Smilax Supreme (Supreme Nutrition Products)

Goat Milk Colostrum (Mt. Capra)

*Please note that several of the products above contain alcohol. If preferred, they can typically be found in a glycerin or vinegar base.

May you all have a blessed and HEALTHY Thanksgiving!! 

Catch you on the flip side (feel free to reach out in the comments if you have any questions, nagging health concerns, or personal anecdotes and pertinent suggestions) . . . 

13 thoughts on “Reflections on gratitude and wellness — it’s that time of year

  1. Stephers, so on top of having a family including animals and working in wellness (presumably), you suffer from ADD and EMF sensitivity and have trouble writing? I’m so embarrassed – I have none of those to contend with and achieve very, very little – just waste my time arguing with people online whatever side of the conspiracy fence they’re on. What you achieve is amazing.

    BTW, I sent your Halloween article to OffGuardian thinking they might like to republish it but … nothing. I’m kind of persona non grata with them so I think me pushing anyone’s articles is probably doing them a disservice. You could always submit yourself. It’s a shame because I think your Halloween article fits their profile perfectly – not that I care about such things really.

    Thank you for your recommendations – I doubt most of the products you mention are available in Australia at least not the brand but we do have versions of some. When I get sick I take an elderberry supplement, Sambucol, made by an originally-Australian company which has branched international, PharmaCare, which I’m pretty sure helps reduce sickness length and another product, Armaforce, by Bioceuticals which contains andrographis. I very much admire your “buy small” approach as it is becoming so painfully obvious how destructive large corporations are. I’m not very conscientious in that regard but I will make efforts to become moreso.

    What you say about non-whole source supplements rings very true right at the moment. I have a friend with Stage IV breast cancer who is taking a Hair and Nails supplement due to loss of hair due to cancer drugs and a recent blood test revealed a copper deficiency no doubt caused by the zinc in the Hair and Nails supplement. I keep urging her to consult a naturopath but she’s reluctant. The blood test was with a functional doctor but even the functional doctor I don’t think is quite as good as going to see a good naturopath. I made her some liver pate as liver is a good source of copper. She was anticipating she wouldn’t like it as she doesn’t like liver but I added everything but the kitchen sink to it – including some Drambuie no one touches – to mitigate the liver taste and she was very surprised to quite like it!

    Another thing to consider is stimulation of the lymphatic system. I have lymphoedema due to lymph-node removal due to breast cancer and I found these protocols which seem to work well – they’re originally from Dr Perry Nickelston who suffered a lymphatic issue a few years ago who sells an $80 video, Lymphatic Mojo (I keep meaning to buy it but haven’t yet), –, however, another practitioner, Dr David Wardy, has put up three basic protocols from the video.

    Trampolining is very good for the lymphatic system but I just started using an air-filled balance mat to achieve a similar effect – it’s not as if you need to bounce high, it’s more a pulsing effect and as shown in the first protocol above you can even just bounce on the balls of your feet.

    I’ve recently purchased an Oxy-Chi machine which seems to have a beneficial effect. The original Chi Machine (quite a bit more expensive) was developed by a Japanese man, Keiichi Ohashi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liver, copper and alcohol are all toxic. Isn’t chemo enough poison for her? The medical industry is killing her.


  2. Was out pressure washing my Mormon neighbors driveway today w my gasoline powered unit! I really couldn’t stand it anymore.

    And yes, my exact words:. “It’s an act of gratitude”! LOL

    Yes, I’m a BShitter! No such “gratitude” exists…again, I simply could not stand how nasty it was!?

    Happy Thanksgiving all you crazy fools!! US and abroad…we still love you!! :). (Some more than others LOL 🙂


  3. I think some people who “check out” from this place may be more sane than credit is given!

    Really!!! 🙂

    Literally…who hasn’t said at one time or another:. “I’ve just about had enough of the S@#t”!!

    Smiles 🙂


  4. Thanks, Stephers. I needed a little Thanksgiving pep talk this year. It’s interesting to me to have others to share ideas about health and wellness with. I’ve been trying to keep my usual good health going, but this full-knee replacement has taken its toll. Still recovering after 10 months, but will put on the skis and give another go early this December, God willing, and if the snow gods are kinder to us than last year. I’ve struggled with proper hydration, but leave water around the house and in the car now the same way I leave reading glasses everywhere nowadays. You have a special gift, and we are all most grateful for all that you share with us.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mark. Without you there would be no POM, no exchange of all those human qualities that we love, and love to not love. Here is where the paradox is embraced, discussed, cussed and observed from a variety of perspectives. Many thanks, POM readers,and contributors in the comments. I do hope more of you will consider adding a “guest piece” now and then. Who doesn’t like a lively discussion, especially in a world now almost devoid of debate? Bonne chance everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy TG, Steve, to you and yern. I’ve been a first hand witness to knee replacement, and know the adjustment takes a long, long time. I had arthroscopic knee surgery myself ten years ago, and the doctor ignorantly advised me that recovery would be three weeks. It was six months. As active as you are, it will be longer, but it is better to be active than dormant.

      I’ve got my hand surgery coming up (30th) and hope we get some of those guest posts. To anyone considering it, please understand that it is like public speaking, fear dissipates with repeated efforts. The first time can be crushing, but you’ll find supportive voices here aplenty.

      happy TG to all!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have one additional supplement suggestion – which, come to think of it, I learned about from Stephers when she generously consulted with me by email some months back. I was struggling with digestive issues, and she recommended Triphala powder. Mixed into hot water as a tea, taken in the morning and at night, this seems to be what got me back to relative normalcy, moreso than anything else I tried. Apparently it helps with a range of digestive issues, and improves gut health generally, so it’s not limited to use in acute conditions. I would never have even known it existed – as effective as it is, it seems to be fairly unknown in the West. So, thanks again Stephers ~

    Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all, congrats to Stephers; I echo Petra’s commentary, very impressive production from someone with so many time demands and limitations! It seems like you have been here at POM from the beginning. Also, nice info about the supplements. I have been a raw garlic guy for decades now. Some Brazilian co-workers in SF told me about a tea they make when feeling poorly, which works well. Chop a few (or more!) cloves of garlic and put into hot water. After it cools a bit, add honey or propolis and squeeze a lime or lemon into it. Enjoy! After drinking, eat the garlic. Like you, I sometimes cut up some raw and put it on toast. Of course, many are repelled by the “smell”, but often these are the same folks with a medicine chest full of corporate crap.

    A Happy Thanksgiving to all, especially Mark, for curating this island of serene sanity in a Sargasso Sea of suffocating sameness!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, an admirable assortment of appropriate alliteration.

      I am going to be a turd in the punch bowl here. Today is Thanksgiving, a festive occasion. I am strictly a low-barb eater, but when in company, eat anything and everything put in front of me. I do not like to diet in public.

      There are differing views on use of supplements when low-carbing. One one extreme we are said to need many, on the other, none. I am of the “none” variety, thinking that I get all the nutrients I need from my regular diet of meat, some of which has vegetables and bread crumbs in it. Even Gary Taubes, the low-carb guru, says we need to eat a salad every day to get our Vitamin K. It is said to promote blood clotting. This past couple of weeks I have endured two wounds that bled profusely, one on each arm. I thought it perfect opportunity to test my clotting. No problem.

      I am told that our bodies do not produce Vitamin C. I do not know about that, only that I am not deficient and take no supplements.

      Anyway, today I stuff the diet, and stuff myself. There will be rolls, wine, vegetables, dessert, two selections of meat, and stuffing that is not stuffed, all covered with delicious gravy. I am so looking forward to my day off. And, apple pie. I generally don’t care for pie, but today will indulge and enjoy along with ice cream.


      1. I am of the same opinion. This is what I do to stay healthy after 40 years of studying many holistic health approaches. I personally think the vitamin supplement industry is a hoax. Sorry, no offence to anyone, but this is my truth. Stephers especially, please do not take offence on my personal supplementless health healing approach. I am a huge fan of Stephers and Alison Mcdowell. Please forgive me. Tinctures and essential oils are ok with me, but never take these two things orally. As Stephers has mentioned, this excerpt rings true to me. “recognized and promoted by naturopaths and other “alternative” health professionals, as the nutraceutical industry may increasingly rival Big Pharma in its potentially predatory scope.” I stay away from all oral supplements, sticking to whole organic foods I can hold in my hands, including all categories of meats, fish, fruits and vegetables. I do use essential oils externally on skin and in baths. In addition I regularly do cold showers, skin brushing, yoga, two yoga pranayama’s, self administered coffee enemas every fours months, which helps flush out unavoidable envoiromental toxins from the colon, hard wired house hold computer connections, getting out in nature, swimming in cold river water, staying calm, music and dance when ever possible, which is not much these days. There are a few other things, but I will stop here. That is pretty much it. Sweet and simple and really really cheap!


        1. Gino,

          Thank you for your feedback. I am certainly not offended. Please, please speak your truth, regardless.

          On tinctures . . . I always keep them on hand. I rarely use them, and if so, for a very short period of time (2 days, 3 days max). I typically use less than is recommended on the bottle. I apply certain ones externally; but only if a first aid situation arises.

          On essential oils . . . I, too, only use them externally (even those which are stated to be safe for internal use).

          As I implied, I have no interest in keeping nutraceutical companies in business. So, while not supplementless, I come pretty close. As I explained (and to clarify), I do not use anything preventatively or long-term. I do not support the use of conventional “vitamins.” My use of “supplements” is very sparing – only in acute instances. One exception is my use of homeopathy. I have been using homeopathic remedies for 30+ years on a fairly regular basis to treat even mild symptoms that appear. I find by instituting this, I seldom have need for any additional healing support.

          I, too, focus on eating whole foods (all organic) – red meat, poultry, fish, fruits, and veggies. I seldom eat grains (if so, gluten-free and preferably sprouted).

          I greatly admire your self-care/exercise routine. It’s better than mine, I can tell you that! 🙂 Thank you for sharing. Perhaps others may follow suit (?).

          Yes, I concur – best to stay sweet and simple (with minimal financial output).


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