The Ziz Files Vol. 1


February 2020

Pure joy from the depths of the archives, floating on a cloud, a picture heard.

These are a few of my favorite things.

The Ziz Files is a monthly series featuring snippets of delight from the visual landscape of everyday life, the kitchen, lectures from the greats, a plant of the month, and some of the globes finest tunes.

Sharing a slice of what inspires me, from my kitchen to late night YouTube'n.



sophie calle, gotham handbook, contemporary art, artist, zizia botanicals blog, the ace of botanicals

From Sophie Calle’s ”Gotham Handbook”, a collaboration between her and Paul Auster. When she decorated a public phone booth and observed all the smiles and conversations exchanged daily for a week. Decorating it with flowers, sweets, and a notepad--handing out food and cigs to those who passed by in an effort to improve life in New York City. 


Richard Feynman: Fun to Imagine

"Richard Feynman (1918-88) was one of the most remarkable and gifted theoretical physicists of any generation. He was also known as the 'Great Explainer' because of his passion for helping non-scientists to imagine something of the beauty and order of the universe as he saw it."


Lars von Trier, Breaking the Waves (1996)

w/ an impeccable soundtrack.


jia tolentino, trick mirror, random house publications, cultural critique

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino



Manolo: the Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (2017)


yarrow, achillea millefolium, zizia botanicals, herbalist los angeles, medicinal plants, home remedies, herbal medicine, adaptogens, nervines, los angeles, natural skincare

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae)

One of my favorite medicinal herbs for colds and flus, inflammation, and digestion. Sweat it out. Break a fever by drawing a hot bath, add a cup of Epsom salts, and brew up a cup of strong Yarrow/Elderflower tea to sip as you soak. Take Yarrow as a tea, tincture, capsule, or powder. For tummy aches from weak digestion. For fevers and chills from a viral infection.


This is one of my favorite lentil soup recipes I discovered back in my early 20's when I decided to move back home to rural Missouri after art school and run a farm and art residency called the Pequignot Palace.  I got really into cooking while I was there, it's also where I got really into herbal medicine, and was the time in my life when I pretty much tried to ferment every single recipe from Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation. Some with great success like tempeh, kraut, cream cheese, sweet potato fly, farmer's cheese and some with great failure like miso, beer, and other boozy bevs. I had chickens, ducks, goats, and a big mostly weedy but high yielding enough veggie and herb garden. 

Red Lentil & Lime Soup from Lucinda 

Serves 4-6 (great leftovers)

1.5 cups of red lentils, picked over and rinsed well under running water

1 tablespoon of turmeric

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 teaspoons of sea salt

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 teaspoons of mustard seeds

1 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (or use parsley)

Juice of 3 limes

1 cup of cooked rice (leftover from another meal - omit if you can’t be bothered)

1 bag of baby spinach leaves (or a bunch, well washed and chopped)

Plain yoghurt to serve

Put the lentils into a soup pot with 2 litres of water, add the turmeric, olive oil and salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir well, and cover, cooking for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft and cooked through. Puree if you can be bothered (though it is an extra step, this is well worth doing if you are serving more people than just you and your loved one).

While the soup cooks, heat the butter in a frying pan over a gentle heat and add the onion, cumin and mustard seeds and, stirring occasionally, cook for about 15 minutes, by which time the soup should be ready. Add the coriander or parsley and cook for 1 minute longer. Add to the soup along with the lime juice and stir well. Add the rice if you are using it and stir again.

Just before serving heat a non-stick frying and chuck in the spinach with 1 teaspoon or so of water. Turn with tongs until it wilts then take the pan of the heat, pour the soup into bowls, and drop in some spinach and top with a dollop of yoghurt.


"Ska, rocksteady, funky reggae, roots, dub mixes, disco mixes, they're all here from the queens of the Jamaican music scene - Studio One Women features a wide mix of classics and obscurities from the finest female voices in reggae." ~Soul Jazz Records


Lala sharing the medicinal uses of Papaya in the jungle of Costa Rica at the Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design & Botanical Studies

I visited Punta Mona a few years ago with my herb teacher and friend 7Song. He taught a 5-day herbal intensive to a group of students here on herbal first-aid. We then took our group skills to the Envision Festival, an EDM fest in the middle of the jungle. We offered free herbal/conventional first-aid and medical services to the festival goers for about a week. If you want to learn more about herbal medicine and/or permaculture, Lala & Sarah Wu who both run/work at Punta Mona offer outstanding classes.

Learn more about the HMVDB here, one of my side life projects I've been slowly recording and editing over the last five years.


The Reishi Astragalus Immune Powder is a favorite formula for this time of year for building immunity, stamina, energy, and supporting the mood and easing stress. It's also a good one to explore taking now if you experience seasonal allergies, some have found taking the herbs in this formula to be beneficial. To prepare and use this formula, add 1 tsp. of powder to 8oz of hot water with a splash of milk. Stir and sip. Bonus! The farm I source the mushrooms from uses an extra steam process to break down the cell walls of the mushrooms making the beta-glucans more bioavailable in the human body. Learn more and shop the Reishi Astragalus Powder here.