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Seeking Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Certain senses will have more of an impact on your body and mind than others when in sensory seeking endeavors. For me it’s all about smell and food.  Naturally.

Smell it

My sense of smell is insane. When something is pleasant, it’s amazing. If it smell bad, it’s everything I have not to vomit.  Smell is powerful.  I’m ever grateful my children are potty trained.

Make use of the oil popularity.  A couple of days ago I was walking in a store and noticed a section dedicated to essential oils.  It’s not for parties anymore.  What you buy is important and needs to be a pure form.  However, the more readily available essential oils make scent seeking easier.  Rarely is an essential oil on it’s own safe.  For safety sake, mix oils and blends (more than one oil) in a carrier oil.  Grapeseed oil is my favorite choice but fractioned coconut, almond, jojoba oils all work too.  Putting these oils in a diffuser or a few drops in running water for a bath are excellent ways to disperse the scent quickly.  In a bath it will absorb in your skin for more potent results.  A few oils I blend with oil in a dark glass roller bottle.  A 10 mL bottle 80-85 % filled with carrier oil and few drops of each essential oil will do.  When needed, I roll the blend on the palms of my hands then rub hands together.  Then I cup my hands over my mouth and nose then breathe.  From hand to brain, it does the job.  Take this quick guide to a few essential oil options and make the most of your smell sense.

essential oils and benefits

Before we leave the sense of smell there are a few incredibly simple ways to find the warm fuzzies.  It’s as simple as a memory.  Find your comforting scents from the fall arena to floral,  woodsy, coffee, or clean.  Whatever it is that promotes a positive moment past or now, have it on hand.

From Mouth to Brain

Food! Yay!   There is so much my mouth can do other than a sarcastic or off color comment.  From taste bud to texture to temperature, our oral senses can be an amazing way to find those fuzzies.

Like your sense of smell, your taste buds have memories too.  Feeling down or any similar emotion, comfort foods are not called comfort foods for nothing.  It’s okay to indulge in indulging every once and awhile.  Bring those memories to the plate, bowl, or cup to trigger happy moments.  I would encourage you to create new moments and invited friends and family in those culinary endeavors.  Your taste buds will associate with that gathering time for a powerful multi-sensory punch you can draw upon later.  Don’t let those comfort foods sabotage you.  If your comfort food involves high fats, over processed, too much sodium, and not enough nutrition- eating it more than a day within a week or two  it will back fire.  They impact your brain and emotions along with nervous system in dreadful ways.  Then your comfort food becomes your enemy.

When feeling heavy emotionally go for lighter meals.  Less or barely cooked.  Reduce your fats.  Your fats should primarily focus on monosaturated fat, polysaturated fat, and omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis.  In food forms this is coconut oil, avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, nut butters to name a few.  These fats help you but take in just what you need.  Cool foods and drinks help wake up the brain.  So does caffeine, but too much can over work the nerves.  Careful, please.  Bitter and spicy tastes aid in uplifting and stimulating your nervous system and brain as well as crunchy foods.  An nut has great brain fats, crunchy plus with a spicy seasoning, it will be an alarm system to your senses.  A warm fuzzy of the jolting variety.

When finding it difficult to calm, anxiety, or an unsettling condition go the opposite direction.  Padded in a couple extra servings of the good fats.  Avocado, egg, and a high protein cheese is my breakfast.  I have difficulty waking up but quickly switch to jitter mode.  I need my nourishment to help out.  Warm foods and drinks soothe and give literal warm fuzzies.  Sweet in its appropriate forms lend a hand too.

Days and moments are vary so should finding those warm fuzzies when using your senses.  Mix it up.

Namaste in your sensory seeking endeavors.

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Health Foodie: For your Heart

A lot comes through my media and email with shockers like “number one killer” or ” this could kill you.” Yes death is a reality and even a fear.  Matter of the heart are serious and, seriously, when your heart is cared for, it does much to amplify the quality of your life.  What if we shift our focus to finding habits to enhance our heart health?

A lot of the following suggestions of physical habits are general preventative measures or maintenance.  Everyone is different and a sit down with your doctor, nutritionist, health coach, etc for individual guidance is important.  Especially if you are seeking treatment for heart or blood conditions.  According to American Heart Association, the best heart diet is one full of fruit, veggies, whole grains (think ancient), lean meat, low fat dairy, and nuts.  Across the board, for most this is a great guideline for any one.  What any heart and food relationship needs restraints in are limited: saturated fat, red meat, sodium, sweets, and sugar sweetened beverages.  Kick trans fat to the curb. Period.  Why these guidelines? Fiber and Omegas found in many veggies, whole grains, and lean meats are important for gut thus heart function.  Too much processed foods, sugar, fats can damage your gut, build up in blood vessels, then affect your heart.  Your food relationship is your daily healer.  Physical activity is important and looks different for everyone.  The important thing is to find something you enjoy.  There are lighter ends like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yin/Restorative Yoga to walking, Hatha Yoga, Pilates, biking, zumba, Refit, and more.  If you want to run, run.  If you want to box, box.  If you like the gym and it holds you accountable, then make time for it. Take a class.  Find an app or youtube at home.  Find what you like and take limitations into account.   I am rarely in the mood for the gym.  Yoga in its many forms is my thing and other than an relished and occasional class due to time constraints, my practice is at home.

What you do for your physical health impacts your mental well being.  Your mental care habits affect your body and heart.  It’s a never ending circle to represent the whole you.   There isn’t solid study evidence to date on the link of mental to heart health. Yet.  However, many professionals support this link as found on heart.org.  Prolonged stress effects many things from gut to brain to your heart.  Since stress is a natural part of life and many times can’t be avoided, you need stress busters.

Ways to bust

  • hobby
  • journaling
  • physical activity (two for one!)
  • time with loved ones
  • coloring/ creative activity
  • play dough (its for adults too)
  • prayer/meditation
  • water feature or sounds
  • Essential oils: peppermint and lavender
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Practice or journal gratitude
  • Breathing apps
  • Self care: baths, massage, reiki, spa day, nails
  • Find your limitations and stick with them.  Yes is potent. No is potent. Listen to yourself to know when to use what and when.
  • Community service

This isn’t a pick one and done list.  And you have the freedom to rotate, pick a few, or pick many.  Your inner voice and preferences are powerful.  Listen to them and begin building those stress busting habits.  Your food relationship, activity level, and mental care are essential for your heart health.

Your heart matters

Namaste

I am not affiliated with above link to the American Heart Association.  Their website is wonderful, check it out at Heart.org

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Health Foodie on Those Pains in the Neck.

It’s my birthday!! 🎂 At one time I thought 35 was really, really old. But here I am. Old. Ish. 🤣😉. It’s not so bad and most days are great. I have more wisdom and proud battle scars. Plus a deep appreciation for fuzzy blankets, time with loved ones, warm tea, and sleep. There are some realities of adding another year. Horrible knees since my teens, iron deficiency that impacts my muscles, and my spine is a degenerate. It creates some literal pains in the neck. Ouch. My lifestyle of wellness is to prevent as much as possible, to heal as much as possible, and to manage as much as possible.   For those pains in the neck, literal or not, we do have tools  in nature to cope, manage, and heal.  It is important to note as we continue that seeking a medical professional may be necessary.  In the case of my spinal degeneration, I sought a diagnosis and treatment plan.  My doctors works with my desire for a natural path and diminishing needs to for prescriptions.  With a tweaked food relationship, active lifestyle, and continuous at home therapy- I am slowly finding my groove again.

Food. It’s always been food.

Painless eating requires a dedication in intention and deliciousness.  Antioxidants, lowering inflammation, good fats are among the goals in your food relationships.  Whole veggies and fruits are the potent antioxidant providers.  Get lots of them and mix it up.  They all play a role in providing  your body is missing and reduce inflammation. Green tea is amazing in your daily routine for LOTS of reasons.  For the sake of this topic- its another antioxidant in the battle. Omega rich foods help increase best body function all around. Cod, Tuna, Salmon, Olive Oil, Flax seed, and Chia seeds are all the right Omegas you need in your food life.   The spicy in your food relationship is rather easy and it takes two.  Cayenne and Ginger.  Cayenne added to recipes is a powerful anti inflammatory especially to joints.  Ginger tea and in food is a stomach soother, muscle and joint relaxer, and head massage.  Drink and eat for ache healing.

It’s Essentially In Your Hands

Essential oils are an excellent way to utilize your largest and most absorbent organ for pain reduction.  There are companies that offer ready made oils for pain. However, you may want to customize with these basics.  One of my favorite essential oil blends right now for cramps and tight muscles is Vetiver and Eucalyptus with carrier oil in a roller bottle.  About 3 drops each does the trick.  Eucalyptus is potent and should be taken with caution if you have high blood pressure.  Other excellent options for tight muscles or cramps or painful joints are lemon grass, ginger, peppermint, and cayenne.  Cayenne is a fantastic for joints in food and oil. But it brings some heat, take caution.  Sore muscles and headaches/migraines benefit from similar essential oils as those for pain.   Some times a migraine/headache cause sensitivities to scents.  Test them one at a time to be sure one scent doesn’t irritate you.

Get Active. Sort of.

If your able, activity is beneficial to aches.  A light walk at any time, any length that you can handle is an excellent way to boost blood flow for reducing inflammation and working out kinks.  This increases oxygen, increases cell growth, and removes waste.  Adding a warming pad can have a similar benefit if you are not able to move.   It’s important to note that inflammation needs cooling like an ice pack (no more than twenty minutes).  Under medical care, get a consultation on what is best for you.  Light stretching is an gentle way to pull oxygen into your muscles.   Yoga is my favorite way to do this. Largely because yoga is so versatile and can be individualized with no equipment or lots of accessories. It’s up to you. A studio offering yin yoga or restorative yoga would be of benefit.  Yin yoga is the slowest – less poses being held longer with props to support your body.  Restorative is my constant to heal and build muscle that isn’t strenuous.   Yet, getting to a studio may be difficult.  There are plenty of yin videos on YouTube and the Down Dog app has a restorative option.  I am not linked to either of these companies;  however these are easy at home options.

My hope and prayer is that you find healing in these simple daily changes for a healing lifestyle.  Certainly throwing in a massage or acupuncture further the benefits.   Lots of love in your journey to healing and growing wisdom.

Please share. It would be a great gift!🙃

Namaste 💕🧘🏼‍♀️

Essentials to Fighting Misbehaving Skin

Essentials to Fighting Misbehaving Skin

I am in my mid thirties and until recently, breaking out like an awkward teenager. Only more awkward because I am thirty something. It isn’t those little things either, I have had deep cystic acne for decades. I have literally tried everything on the market: stores or online, plus doctors poking and prescribing everything. Don’t sell me anything. Seriously, I have tried it all. More than once. Only one prescription worked in my early twenties. It peeled chunks off my face for months. So that looked gross. However, I had the best skin for like two years. Every two years I do not want to look like a molting animal. It was expensive to boot. No win there. Then these SOB wrinkles start showing up in the midst of all the acne mess.

This has to stop.

pexels-photo-904941.jpeg

If you spend anytime with anyone in the skin care profession you get the “talk.” About what you eat. While the debate is out exactly on what that is, there are a few common threads. Too much fat, grease, sugar, and stress will cause break outs. I know stress isn’t a food, but prolonged stress releases a toxin like skin hating food. Reduce your stress with walk, talk with a friend, hot bath, or enjoyable activity. Stress isn’t necessarily something you can control but how you cope and handle it is under your control. Managing stress goes a long way for your body and skin with mental health and soul benefits too. If you want to leverage food for the good of your skin- eat for your gut and kidneys. Start with water. Not enough water directly impacts your skin by either making it dry and/or giving wrinkles a fighting chance. Being hydrated helps both your gut and detoxes your body- great for fighting breakouts from the inside out.

When you eat think rainbow and “clean,” as in minimal to no process, as close to the natural products as you can get. Inflammation reducing foods are helpful too and many clean foods tick this box: low sugar, appropriate carbs (not eliminate, you need them!), natural/organic, low fat- lots of veggies and fruits! Maybe reducing gluten and dairy too as those can cause an inflamed gut. There are foods you may want to be more intentional with concerning your skin. Foods rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients fight and protect from free radicals which alters cells such as skin cells thus skin problems. Foods like apples, carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens, berries, grapes, sweet potatoes, and watermelon are abundant in these types of nutrients. These foods also add in vitamins C and E which promote skin health as well. Eating a variety of low to no processed foods in important to addressing skin problems and maintaining skin health.

Put in a couple of servings herbal teas in your daily routine to add in more nutrients, reduce inflammation, and cleanse. Two cups a day of green or herbal teas will do. I do one green tea and one oolong tea most days, some times chai. Add ground cinnamon, turmeric, and raw honey. These spices and natural sweetener provide additional cleansing along with reducing inflammation plus natural antibiotics. Less inflammation is better skin no matter your issue. Bonus, I find it pulls excess water weight. Plan bathroom breaks accordingly. At night I have a new addiction, golden milk. Simply a plant based milk warmed with ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and raw honey. Just a teaspoon of each spice and natural sweetener in a cup of plant milk. Again, it all reduces inflammation plus adds natural antibiotics in turmeric and raw honey. Those antibiotics help your gut and boost skin health.

Now the inside is done, let’s talk the outside issues. In my maddening search to change my skin care routine I came to the conclusion I had to make my own stuff. Part for curiosity on how natural products work and part for customization for my face. Along the way I discovered skin recipes that would benefit a more normal to dry skin. Not for me. I have crazy oily skin that infects itself. Awesome. I have also created recipes that work well with my greasy face. I found turmeric to be my new best friend. It kills bacteria and reduces inflamed skin. Coffee reinvigorates and renews skin. Tea tree is incredible for acne and cold sores. Cypress will show wrinkles the door and regulate oily skin. There are a variety of essential oils that address whatever your skin throws at you. There is a common base across the board oily, aging, or dry: grape seed oil (carrier oil). Grape seed oil is rich in vitamin E which every skin type could benefit from. Raw, unrefined or fractionated (carrier) coconut oil is a non greasy, effective moisturizer that can be skin friendly. It is a great base for normal to dry skin. I am also an advocate for removing alcohol from any care product: natural or not. It destroys your skin and hair. I hope you find one or many of these useful to boost your skin confidence. Each of these formulas I still use or have tried (some better for less oily skin). It’s effective but for the most part, not harsh on my skin. They are also cost effective in the long run. I love nature.

Namaste from the inside out

Acne roller

Grape seed oil
Tea tree- 5 drops
fennel- 5 drops
lemon grass- 5 drops
orange- 5 drops (optional, softens skin)
1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils

Face Toner

Alcohol free witch hazel

Cypress – 6 t drops (leave out if you have super dry skin)

Helicrysum- 5 drops (if you have scars or oily skin)

Ylang Ylang- 6 drops (up 2 more drops is you have dry skin)

Juniperberry- 5 drops

1. Pour witch hazel in a small container (3-4 oz) 3/4 full

2. Add essential oils

Face scrub- normal/ dry skin
Raw, unrefined coconut oil- 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons baking soda
Fennel- 4 drops
Geranium- 4 drops
1. In a small container put coconut oil in. It may need to be warmed to soften
2. Add baking soda
3. Add essential oils

Face scrub- oily, acne prone *

Turmeric- 2 teaspoons *

Baking soda – 1/4 cup

Ground plain coffee – 1/8 cups

1. In a blender add all ingredients and blend until smooth

2. Store in a dry container

3. To use- separate a quarter size amount and add enough water to make a paste. Scrub all over the face and/or leave for a few minutes. Rinse repeatedly.

d* WARNING: This stuff is strong but my face needs aggression be cautious. Turmeric is used as a dye. it can stain and may temporarily stain your face. Rinse well and/or follow with toner. The toner will help restore some of the aggressive cleansing while keeping the deep clean effects.

Face Scar roller
Grape seed oil
Helichrysum – 5 drops
Cypress- 5 drops
Frankincense- 4 drops
Juniperberry (optional but helpful) – 4 drops
1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils

Lost baggage (under eye roller)

Rose- 4 drops

Jasmine- 4 drops

Chamomile- 4 drops

Clary sage- 4 drops

1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils

Age reverse/Dry skin Roller

Frankincense- 4 drops
Geranium- 5 drops
Cypress- 4 drops
Ylang Ylang- 5 drops
1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils