Food Medicine, Health, Herbal Medicine, Personal Wisdom

A set of Colds and a Review of “Wellness Formula” by Source Naturale

A set of Colds and a Review of “Wellness Formula” by Source Naturale

It’s been 8 days since we returned from our honeymoon in Italy. Eight days of sleeping. Eight days of incapacitation.

I said I wanted to carry the lack of busy-ness back into our lives; the universe delivered. I thought about this a good deal, in the few moments a day my brain was organized enough to think, then I’d drift back into being; feeling my body, breathing, not thinking.

We got home from Italy at midnight, after being up for 24 hours. The next 2 days were spent coming back to terms with local time.  It was like an extension of our honeymoon, in a way, only without the tourist destinations. We had time to sleep, eat, and be together.

We started our Sunday routine, holding martial arts classes in the afternoon, and David leaving for work.  Between martial arts class and the evening, however, the small tickle which had been lurking for days at the back of my throat, emerged and took over. It stayed a tickle, but I was consumed by a general feeling horrible illness.

On the third day, I couldn’t rest because now my head had filled, internally, with mucus which was causing pain.  I woke feeling pain on outside my molars. I shifted and like a boat listing under the weight of tonnage, the mucus shifted in my head, causing the pain to shift to that side. Now one molar hurt more than the other! I finally took my temp and some pain/fever meds.

Not a bit of this showed; I had no drainage anywhere, just weight and pain.  I rallied on the 4thday, but n the 5thday, I was sneezing and snotting.  A new cold, maybe. The next day I started my face started itching. Itchy face is usually a sign of the end of the cold, so as much as I hate it, I often am glad for it. On the 7thday, it worsened again, with a biting sore throat, deeply seated at the bottom of my throat.  Now I was coughing. It was like three separate colds, one after another.

I spent a lot of time resting.  All the tasks I had dreamt of accomplishing were inaccessible.

On that day, I decided to up my fight back. I don’tknow why I waited so long, except that I didn’t think it would linger so!   I had started symptomatic care with the usual OTC meds on day 3, when I noticed the fever, only because I couldn’t rest due to the pain.  On day 7, I got out the herbal preparations.

My go to is “Wellness Formula” by Source Naturals. It is the only formula that I have found that seems to do ANYthing in the face of an already present cold!  It gave enough relief to fake not being totallyill, for about 3 hours at a time.

I advise the 3 huge tablets, so that you don’t have to take 6 large capsules every 3 hours.

To be honest, I had rarely taken it every 3 hours, only during the worst of an illness.  I had only used it to get rid of the worst of the symptoms when I absolutely have to go to work. That would be saying whenever I am ill, because I always have to go to work when I am sick. (It’s stupid, I know. But me cancelling means the loss of a full days’ income – not someone else’s small business, which is not looked on favorably!)  I had never used it, as labeled, to fight off an illness. Well, today I was going to try.

It worked. Not stupendously, but it did make me feel better, and helped my avoid declining into bronchitis. I took the supplement 4 or 5 times.  I added an anti-histamine for the puffy swollen face feeling, and to stop the itch.  I stayed awake, and over the day I got more clear headed. Enough to do a couple hours of writing.

I can’t say I bounced right back, but I felt a lot better during my recovery.  I was able to “do things.” That may be good or bad, but it was necessary.  Next time, I will follow the label instructions, and see how it goes.

Thanks for following!

Tama Cathers – stubborn resister to self-care, warrior of the garden, and currently promoter of Wellness Formula.

WEllness formulaWEllness formula


Weeding the Garden – Cultivating the Mind: Learning to Love what we do, Make use of Good Timing, and Quit when we need a Break – 2018

Weeding the Garden – Cultivating the Mind: Learning to Love what we do, Make use of Good Timing, and Quit when we need a Break –  2018

I was, again, weeding the garden.  This time I relished pulling up the crabgrass by the roots.  I was able to trace them, pulling more and more root out than ever before.  One root lead to another, and it became and exciting game.

I used the green tops to find and loosen the attached roots. I used the known roots to find other roots.  I also searched the loamy loose soil for other nearby roots.  I felt rather like some bad guys in a movie, matrix-like: using so the green tops to trace down rebel cells and eradicate them before they became a problem.

I noted that I was only able to do this work because of the previous work I had done on the garden. The years of pulling the tops, of mulching the soil, of loosening areas with a spade, and previously cultivating deeply and by hand; these were the work I had done that allowed me access to this deeper cultivation.

The mind is like that as well.  First, we have to know, really deeply know that the root needs to be removed. To do that, we have to give up the very satisfying (and unproductive) habit of just pulling out the tops.  This change is difficult.  We know that we need to get to the root of our problem, but the mind, like the hard earth in the summer, seems too dense, too packed, or too full of roots. We give up or “do what we can,” but it is a short lived success.  However, this success, and some learning may give us the patience to approach the issue again. Perhaps we wait until it is cooler and more moist, i.e. the conditions are better. Now we have learned something! Do the work when conditions are favorable.

Then we learn that not only do the outside conditions affect our success, but that our inside conditions do so as well. Later in the day, when I have weeded my fair share, or am tired, I still find myself taking the lazy way – I find myself pulling tops. I know that if I don’t have the patience and solidarity to do the real work, maybe I should take a break for the day.  Our inner work is just the same. Maybe we were doing great work half and hour ago, but suddenly we are done.  Let us let ourselves be done.

We also have to be educated on how to do the work. Perhaps we don’t know that we can trace the roots back, that a spade might loosen the soil or a technique might open the mind. Perhaps we still believe the roots are too thickly coiled to be removed, as we have not been taught/experienced the untangling that comes with determination, patience and diligent focus.  But – we can learn these things.

Once we have learned to look for the root, we have experienced the joy of removing huge lengths of roots, we have loosened the soil of our minds, we have and can use tools to help our work, we can come to love the work. We then are better able to see the times where our work is best done, due to internal and external situations.

Then perhaps, we can learn to love the work we came to do.

And have the insight to quit when we need a break.

by Tama Cathers

diet, Food, Health, Recipes

Garam Marsala Marinated Chicken

Garam Marsala Marinated Chicken


1 t lemon zest 3

T lemon juice

3 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon canned diced

1.5 t black pepper

½ t sea salt

1 c yogurt

3 T olive oil

1-2 T garam marsala

2 t salt

1-2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon canned diced

2 small oinions diced

¼ cup lime juice

1 t minced ginger/ginger paste

2-3 lbs chicken (thighs, mixed, breasts)



  1. Add all the ingredients into a gallon ziplock bag. Close and squish to combine. Alternatively, you can mix these in a bowl, but what fun is that?
  2. Add the chicken, and press the air out of the bag. Be sure there is enough marinade to cover the chicken. Squish to coat
  3. Place in the fridge to marinate 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Cook by your method of choice unntil internal temperature reaches 165 – 180 degrees. These can be cooked in a crock pot on low for 5-8 hr, or high for 2-4 hr, pan fried 4-6 min per side on med-hi, grilled, of baked 20-30 min at 375.

My choice in the summer is to put them in a crock pot, and put the crock pot outside in a dog safe location.  The meat is succulently tender, cooked this way.  It keeps the heat out of the house.  Also, I can come home to a cooked meal, without any hassle.

These were very tender, succulent, with a wonderful flavor.  They travelled well, and were highly kid approved.

Enjoy summer!

Tama Cathers


Weeding the Garden – Cultivating the Mind: Keep Moving Forward – Fall 2017

Weeding the Garden – Cultivating the Mind: Keep Moving Forward – Fall 2017

I was putting in a flower and herb bed at the front of the house.  As I patiently pulled the weeds – mostly crab grass, I noticed how this time when I weeded, I went after not just he green stemmy plant, but the roots that trailed along deep in the ground.  I felt so satisfied when I could chase down a long white root, pulling the whole thing out!

As my love says, weeding  is like the mind. You can pullout the green tops again and again, but unless you get the root, it keeps coming back.  In fact, you need both – you need to pull the green tops, and you need to trace the root and remove it, that is the way to clearing the samskara.  Samskara – the original impression that becomes an ingrained habits of thought and pain we develop.  This time, weeding the garden, I really got it! I GOT it!!!

It was so very satisfying! I loved removing the problem that could be seen, but equally of value, I lovingly removed the roots of the problems as well.

Today, I was tired when I weeded the garden. The ground was hard, the sun was hot.  Today, I ripped out the tops of the crab grass.  I knew I was leaving the roots – but I just couldn’t find the energy to trace and remove the underlayment.   I noticed this, and let myself keep weeding the surface of the garden.

I thought about the lessons in this.  How thankful I was that today, after knowing what NEEDED to be done, I could experience the lack of will energy etc, to make it happen.  Had this happened in the opposite order, I would have thought it pure ignorance. But no – it is not.

Sometimes, we have the energy and ability to address the samskara, the underlying issue. Other times, we only can take care of the surface needs.

Both however, contribute to reducing the weeds in the garden.  It is ‘better’ to get the roots and crowns.  But it is often enough to make some headway, just removing the tops.

The next day I weed, perhaps I will come back with enough resources to go after those roots. Maybe I won’t.  Still – I am making progress.  Still – I am having a productive garden experience.

So – if you know, theoretically, that you should look to the crowns and the roots, that alone is success. Know that some days you will only be able to pull the crowns other days, removing the roots will come readily. Let it be as it is.

Just keep moving forward.  As our favorite fish say “Just keep swimming!”

by Tama Cathers –

Gardening in the sun avoids misquitos,  Gardening in the shade provides serenity, and gardening in the rain is oh so strange and glorious.

diet, Food, Health, Self Image

Bright Line Diet, Week 8 – 12: Adjustment and Benefits

Bright Line Diet, Week 8 – 12: Adjustment and Benefits

My friend and I met, on Day 28, and agreed that we were quitting. We agreed that Bright Line Eating has some sense and some benefit, and that it had been incredibly hard, but now was not so hard.  But it was a pain in the ass.

Because everything is measured, making combined meals is almost impossible. It leaves us eating a plate of meat and vegetables, every night. Every meal. No stews, casseroles, soups, mixed dishes.

We were feeling hassled by thinking about food all the time!  While There are a ton of rules – all of them seemingly unbreakable. It’s tiring. However, we were getting our feet under us. It was no longer quite as hard. I think the main thing was that the ‘shine’ was definitely gone.  The battles at the beginning had taken us out of any honeymoon phase, and left us dubious about the future.  We were plain tired of it.

So we agreed to quit.


I went home and finished out the day, knowing tomorrow I was off the plan.

The problem was, I did not have another plan.

So…I kept going. I could do this now without much thinking.  I was happy that I had my cravings under control. I was happy that I was eating more vegetables and fruits. I was happy that I was not eating processed foods.  I can’t say I was happy to eat no flour or sugar, but I understood how limiting those immediately limited my snacking, and I appreciated that.  Can’t just grab a handful of crackers, or a granola bar, no any more.

As I kept going, I considered how things had changed. At the end of the second month, I realized that I really had not had GI issues – unless I ate something offending – like lettuce. (Gar!)  Wow! That is big news. After a year of GI distress, I was having much less distress, and I was eating more veggies than ever.  Having fewer GI upsets makes it helpful to sort out what items are offending.  It might end up being better than the elimination diet, which still left me guessing.

My scale is wildly inaccurate (having a 3-7 lb range), but it tends to hover 6 to 10 pounds lower than where it hovered 2 months ago. I’ll take that. It’s not wildly exciting, and if I have lost weight – it was the hardest / least joyful way I have ever done it, but I’ll take it.

I still struggle with the plain-ness of the meals. It’s really hard to get creative when you have to weigh out your portions of meat, vegetables, and grains. It does not easily lend itself to combination dishes. Without combination dishes, eating gets a little boring.

At this point, I am still willing to take boring, so that I have the benefits listed above.


by Tama Cathers – Learning all the time. Sometimes it hurts.


diet, Food, Health, Personal Wisdom

Bright Line Diet, Week 4 – 8: Falling – no, Diving – off the Wagon

Bright Line Diet, Week 4 – 8: Falling – no, Diving – off the Wagon

Day 15.  I did fall off the wagon in a big way.

After a very hard emotional day, I wanted to not interact with my family.  Friends came over, and I insisted that I really did want to drink a glass of red wine.  That, of course, lead to……dipping chocolate animal cookies into really old canned frosting.  These were the only sweet things my husband had not hidden in my best interest.  It was okay – because I scooped out the discolored and dry bits or frosting before I started dipping. (A Really Sane Moment!)

I stuffed myself, great conversations, and went to bed more than a little rich in sugar and alcohol.  Damn that red wine / cookies thing!

Day 19, I was sick of the whole diet.  Since I was in a non-hunger/craving phase, I couldn’t eat my whole dinner. It was disgusting. I couldn’t even consider that much vegetable matter.  I couldn’t stand the plainness of the food.

Day 21, I was ready to sign up for another week, just so as to get a whole month under my belt.  I

Day 26, I  had only 2 days left, and I wondered – what I was thinking!  I have never thought about food MORE in my life! If you weren’t OCD food compulsive or something obsessive before – you might be afterwards.  This whole thing sucks.

Okay – it doesn’t really suck.  I may or may not have lost any weight! If I did, it’s really an irrelevant amount.  I basically could have tortured myself infinitely less and come out ahead.

I guess the most difficult thing to admit is that I wanted more than what I said – to get off sugar and flour, to stop eating refined foods, to eat more veggies, and to have an eating plan.  I really wanted to lose 10-20-35 lbs! (Okay – at 35 I would be emaciated – I do have an large and excited imagination!)

However – I am off of sugar and flour. I am eating so that half or more of my diet is fruits and vegetables.  I am off of refined foods.  (I no longer would sell my soul for candy!)   Those are all things that I said I wanted.  Now to find a way of eating that is all those things a value, and doesn’t make me crazy….or unacceptable. That would be the ticket!

by Tama Cathers – Learning all the time. Sometimes it hurts.