Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beating sore throats with oregano oil

Sore throats that burn when you swallow and make you squeak when you talk. Not a fun thing.

But days after battling this, my coworker gave up and made me this sign this week:

And it wasn't for a lack of trying. The last several nights, I was clocking in 10 hours of sleep nightly. I was taking throat drops. Drinking fluids.

I caved and called my doctor. No luck getting in. I even tried our employee health program, too. No such service there.

Frustrated, I searched for sore throat on There, I found a suggested protocol of a few drops' oregano oil and a few drops' lemon oil, mixed in water. Gargle and repeat hourly. Unfortunately I was out of lemon oil, but I tried a mix of oregano oil, doTerra OnGuard essential oil blend and water. Needless to say, oregano oil isn't just "hot" as some describe it - it felt like it burned. But the good news is it helped resolve my sore throat! Within a matter of hours I was feeling like myself again.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My essential oil adventure

Essential oils: I always thought the people who used them were of one of two camps: those using for aromatherapy for stress and those who were, well, just plain experimental.

Fragrance has long been a part of our sensory experience. We love perfumes and wear it on our bodies, in our shampoo and hair sprays, in our cleaning products, in our candles, you name it. But far too often they're composed of chemically produced combinations, and not necessarily the best products to put on us.

The last year or so, I've flirted more and more with the use of aromatherapy as stress relief. I've bought products from esty and products from commercial chains, all with varying success. And then I finally dived into essential oils. Wow, what a difference it made.

Using essential oils meant using small amounts - a drop or two - as opposed to liberally spraying a room with a product. Using essential oils meant versatility: I can use one product for personal use, for cleaning, for disinfecting... instead of buying six different cleaning products alone.

I've been blessed that personal use of essential oils has helped my family battle a nagging cough that had lasted a year, pain from stitches and overall stress.

In the coming months, I'll be sharing some of the lessons learned in my use of essential oils. Feel free to post any questions you may have, and I'll address them too in future posts!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Go Green Get Fit: Overcoming a major hurdle

I may not been thinner. I may not be faster. But I think I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time.

And it can be wrapped up in two words: stress management.

While watching your stress levels and how they play out may not be the sexiest of topics to write about, getting a handle on this chronic problem has been one of the biggest benefits I’ve seen of my journey the last 12 weeks.

Professionally, I went through a grueling project that eroded my workout time and should have amped up my stress levels and my blood pressure. Personally, I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of a little guy’s pain management from a needed dental procedure and an ER visit, the family change of schedules due to school starting and a change in daycare settings, and the little bumps along the road of life.

Before, any of these things could have tipped me over the edge: tension rising. Feeling the rise of blood pressure in my arms. Grumpiness abounding. Munching unceasing.

But this summer, I learned a few ways to reduce my stress levels and recall the phrase that there is only so much I can control. I can control my breathing. I can take breaks and walk around the building. I can invest in aromatherapy and the one minute to use it to help with tension headaches and help with relaxation. I don’t have to go for that brownie in the break room. Heck, I can even use some of that PTO I’ve accrued the last decade and (gasp!) actually take a few hours off!

I can say no. I can say enough. And I can say “This is what I can or can’t control.”

It’s a big step for me.

Overcoming stress is a first major milestone on my journey to better health. By bypassing this hurdle, I’m on the road for a bigger journey.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Go Green Get Fit Challenge Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

I wish I knew about  Earth Mama Angel Baby seven years ago.
Diaper rash, upset tummies, teething,allergies...and that was just baby #1. I can't tell you how many over the counter products I've tried.
I'm glad new moms have an alternative these days and can find herbal and natural products to care for their little ones easily.
I recently had the chance to review the Earth Mama Angel Baby's first aid bundle for the Go Green Get Fit Challenge. At first, I thought, isn't it a little late? But after reading reviews and realizing that bottle of lanolin cream I'd bought when I was nursing still works great on my dry heels, I was open to see the possibilities for not-so-new mommas, too.

Mama’s Herbal First Aid Bundle comes all packed up in a handy Organic Cotton Tote and includes:

I'll admit - I blessed my neighbor, due any day, with several of these products. The Happy Mama Spray was a mild relaxation spray, a more moderate alternative to my doTerra oils that can seem a bit intense for some when I'm in the office. And the tea was great when I battled a stomach bug. The Nipple Butter? Worked great on my heels, and not as greasy feeling as the lanolin cream.

If there are any surprises in my or my friends' futures, I'll be sure to send them here!

Earth Mama Angel Baby is also on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and even Pinterest.
Note: I was sent these products to review and give my honest opinions. I was not paid one cent to try these, review them or publish this post.  I simply love reviewing local organic products from amazing companies.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Peach "Whipped Cream" Smoothie

A smoothie that tastes liked whipped cream with none of the badness? I'm all for it! I was surprised when my daughter said this smoothie tasted like whipped cream the other morning, but she was right.

Peach "Whipped Cream" Smoothie
2 peaches, pits removed
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup ice.

Blend all ingredients but ice, add ice and blend until desired consistency.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tiny Fitness Partners: My Go Green Get Fit Update

You won't see a time posted for my first 5k in five years. In fact, I never even showed up at the start line.

Instead, due to worries about Isaac, I clocked my miles with not one but two training buddies on Saturday. My first was an early-morning hike with my four-year-old. Later in the day, post-rain drops, we logged another mile and a half with my daughter.

Working out with your little ones may not always get you in that target heart rate, but it puts your heart in the right place. It's always amazing what they come up with.

Sharing my exercise journey with my children has been one of my biggest joys of this challenge. While initially I was frustrated with my little guy waking up and wanting to "run" the minute I was about to leave for a jog, I've grown to love our conversations when it happens. And I'm loving the one-on-one time afforded by alternate soccer practice times, leaving me with the other child on the sidelines to kick a spare ball around and just chat.

Have I made great strides in this journey? Perhaps not. My scale has stubbornly stayed at the same place - but I take that with a bit of a smile, as it dovetailed with a horrendous project at work that otherwise might have meant a five or 10-pound jump on the scale from too much chair time and not enough taking care of me.

But I'm glad to have made this journey, simply because of those who joined me.