Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

April Essential Oil of the Month—Chamomile—The How?

 

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

We are all familiar with chamomile tea, having been read The Tale of Peter Rabbit,  written by Beatrix Potter in 1902, and hearing how chamomile tea was given to Peter after being chased by Mr McGregor.

But chamomile tea has been around since the Indian days, at least.

And it seemed like the Indians enjoyed their chamomile tea. The Tzeltal Mayan Indians in the highlands of southern Mexico brew chamomile tea with an orange and a lime leaf to “lift the mood.” Aleuts brewed chamomile tea to alleviate gas. Drinking the tea was a Cherokee trick for “regularity.”

 

Today chamomile tea remains one of the most popular varieties of tea in the market. In fact more than one million cups of chamomile tea are consumed per day.

But not only has chamomile used for nearly 5,000 years for chamomile tea. Throughout the centuries, there have been many other uses also, including…

 

Bath Soaks…Lavender Chamomile Bath Soak…Combine 1C Epsom Salt, the contents of 2 chamomile tea bags in a blender. Pulverize into a fine powder. Add 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil and 5 drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil.

Candles

  • Place soy wax chips in a heatproof glass measuring cup. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until completely melted.
  • Attach a wooden candle wick to its metal tab. Dip the tab in melted wax. Center at bottom of a glass jar.
  • Heat 1Tbsp cooking oil on a stovetop. Steep two chamomile tea bags and 10 drops lavender essential oil until the oil is scented.
  • Remove the tea-infused oil from the heat.
  • Combine tea-infused and oil and the melted wax together.
  • Slowly pour the mixture into your glass jar. Let the wax  cool and solidify. Trim the wood wick.

 Compresses..Steep a chamomile tea bag in boiling water, as if you were going to drink it. Pour tea into a bowl. Let tea cool completely. Add a few ice cubes. Soak a muslin cloth in the cool tea and squeeze out. Place on eyes or sore area and leave for at least ten minutes.

Hand Rinse…Chamomile has been used as a hand rinse for gamblers needing good luck, because of its supposed magical ability to attract money…Steep a chamomile teabag as if you were making yourself a cup of tea. Set aside 1/4C of the tea to cool. Combine ¼C liquid castile soap, ¾tsp olive oil, 8 drops chamomile essential oil, and several drops of Vitamin E oil. Add tea when completely cooled. Mix ingredients well. Pour into a labeled pump bottle.

 

Liqueur...Chamomile has also been used as a flavoring agent for liqueurs such as Benedictine and vermouth…so why not tequila?!

  • Measure out 1C reposado tequila. Add two chamomile tea bags. Let steep thirty minutes. Place this mixture in the fridge for later.
  • Combine 1/2C honey, 2tsp dried lavender, and 1/2C water in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm, stirring once or twice, until the honey melts to make a simple syrup.
  • Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice.
  • Shake 2oz of the tequila mixture, 3/4oz of the simple syrup, 3/4oz freshly squeezed lime juice, and a dash of bitters in a cocktail shaker.

Mouthwash…

  • Combine 1/4C witch hazel, 1/4C aloe vera juice, 1/8C distilled water. Add two drops of chamomile essential oil and two drops of mint essential oil. Shake well. After thirty minutes, set the mixture in the fridge.
  • To use, combine 2Tbsp mixture with 1/4C warm water. 

Perfume…Perfume has been made from the pulverized dry flowers.

  • Combine 6 drops lavender essential oil, 10 drops chamomile essential oil, 1Tbsp carrier oil, and 3Tbsp vodka. Shake well. Place in a dark bottle. Let mixture remain undisturbed for two days.
  • After two days, add 2C distilled water. Let mixture stand for at least three weeks in a cool, dark place.
  • After this time, filter the mixture. Store it in a glass bottle that has a stopper.
  • To use, dab on pulse points.

 

 

 

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Getting Healthy

Protein Bites

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

Getting adequate amounts of protein is important for all women, not only die-hard athletes.

Adequate protein is important for both appearance and long-term health, especially among active women….(okay, now find me one woman who is not active…usually we have more on our plate than one person could possibly handle, right)…

So why is protein so important…and why should we find ways to eat more protein at breakfast…and how…

  1. Protein can keep us, or help us get, skinny. Replacing calories consumed in carbs with calories containing protein contributes to a decrease in fat tissue.
  2. Protein can prevent damage to our cells caused by stress.
  3. Protein controls hunger all day. Eating a high-protein meal, such as Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, early in the day triggers a hormonal response that helps keep hunger at bay all day.
  4. Protein is good for your bones, especially important given the high risk of osteoperosis in women. Protein is vital to proper calcium absorption and bone growth.
  5. Protein is good for your hair. A well-balanced diet is important to keep your hair growing to its fullest. Protein deficiency can cause your hair to grow slowly or not at all.
  6. Protein is good for your muscles. Protein can help our bodies maintain and build muscle mass, important to women as we age. Drinking a protein shake or eating a high-protein snack after working out also helps promote muscle repair.
  7. Protein is good for your skin. Protein can help reduce aging and skin damage caused by the sun.
  8. Protein triggers thermogenesis, also known as a “faster metabolism,” and signals the body to burn more calories before, during, and after meals.
  9. Protein will keep you fuller longer. Eating foods high in protein makes you feel fuller sooner than foods classified as carbs or fat and helps controls appetite later on.

 

“Protein bites” are a great way to boost your energy levels and “recharge” your batteries throughout the day…plus they are super-easy to make…

 

(Simply combine the ingredients, chill for thirty minutes, and roll into 1″ balls, Store in airtight container in fridge, unless indicated otherwise…so this is why I’ve simply listed ingredients, instead of directions with each of the following “recipes.”)

 

 

 

 

1. Peanut Butter No-Bake Energy Bites

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

 

2.  Chocolate Protein Bite…(roll in cocoa after shaped)

  • 1 1/2C pitted dates
  • 1/2C rolled oats
  • 1/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4C flaxseed meal
  • 1/4C chocolate protein powder
  • 2Tbsp honey
  • 1Tbsp espresso powder

 

 

 

3. Coconut Peanut Butter Bites

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

 

 

4. Nutella Energy Bites

  • 1C old fashioned, rolled oats
  • ½C crispy rice cereal (or shredded coconut)
  • ½C Nutella
  • ¼C peanut butter
  • ½C ground flaxseed
  • ⅓C honey
  • 1Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • ½C chocolate chips

 

 

5. Pumpkin Energy Bites

  • 1C old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1/4C pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2C wheat germ
  • 1/3C honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate morsels

 

 

6. Raw Cookie Dough Bites

  • 2C blanched almond flour
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1/4C coconut oil (solid but soft)
  • 1Tbsp honey
  • 2Tbsp almond butter
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • mini dark chocolate chips
  • stevia to taste, if additional sweetener is needed
Getting Dressed

Vegan Face Wash Recipes

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Every woman, regardless of skin type should attempt to find the perfect facial cleanser—one that leaves her skin feeling clean and soft, combats the dirt and pollutants encountered during the day, does not cause skin irritation, gently cleanses skin without stripping it of beneficial oils, removes makeup, and prevents adult acne.

Not only that, vegan women must also find a face wash that is 100% animal-friendly and cruelty-free.

Fortunately there is a variety of options, including making your own cleanser or buying a cleanser from a known vegan  brand.

One option in ensuring that the products that you use are cruelty-free and contains high-quality ingredients is to start creating such natural vegan skin care products yourself.

Today let’s look at a few ingredients that can be used in vegan face wash washes, along with recipes for such vegan face washes.

1.  Activated Charcoal

  • 1C coconut oil
  • 6 activated charcoal capsules
  • 2Tbsp baking soda
  • Essential oils (5 drops lavender, 6 drops rosemary)

2.  Chamomile

  • 1/4C castile soap
  • 1/4C brewed chamomile tea
  • 3/4tsp olive oil
  • Essential oil (6 drops essential oil of choice)

3.  Coconut Oil

  • 1Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tsp honey
  • Essential oils (3 drops tea tree, 2 drops lavender)

4.  Lemon

  • 1Tbsp yogurt
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • Essential oil (lemon)

5.  Sugar

  • 1C brown sugar
  • 1C melted coconut oil
  • Essential oils of choice

6.  Tea Tree Oil

  • 1/4C castor oil
  • 1/2C grapeseed oil
  • 1/4C jojoba oil
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
Getting Healthy

A Baker’s Dozen of Recipes for Homemade Soap Just in Time to Give for Christmas This Year 

  
The best way to know what’s exactly in a given product is obviously to make that product from scratch…and here are a baker’s dozen of homemade natural soap recipes for those willing to take the dare…

Perfectly in time for Christmas gift-giving!!!

   
1.  Bacon Soap-This natural homemade bacon soap recipe is made using real bacon fat. Bacon fat gives this soap extra conditioning properties.

  

   
2.  Banana and Oatmeal Soap-This natural homemade oatmeal banana soap recipe is made using real bananas. Bananas are great for conditioning the skin.

  
3.  Blueberry and Carrot Soap-This natural homemade blueberry and carrot soap recipe is made using real carrot puree and blueberries. Both carrots and blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants and highly prized for their anti-aging properties.

   
4.  Chamomile and Neroli Beer Soap-This natural homemade beer soap recipe is made using beer…go figure?!

   
5.  Coffee Soap-This natural homemade coffee soap recipe is made using real brewed coffee. Coffee naturally helps neutralize tough odors and is believed to help with rosacea, skin redness, and other skin ailments.

   
6.  Egg Soap-This natural homemade egg soap recipe is made using egg yolks. Eggs have many skincare benefits…such as tightening skin, shrinking pores, and calming redness and breakouts. 

  

    7. Green Tea and Agave Soa-This natural homemade green tea and agave soap recipe is made using green tea and agave extract. Green tea and agave extract offer skin conditioning oils and anti-oxidant power.

      
    8.  Mango and Coconut Milk Soap-This natural homemade mango and coconut soap recipe is made using ripe mango and coconut milk.

        

      9.  Pear Soap-This natural homemade pear soap recipe is made using overripe pears.

          
      10.  Pumpkin Soap-This natural homemade pumpkin soap recipe is made using real organic pumpkin. Pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids which are shown to help smooth and brighten skin. Pumpkin also contains vitamins A and C which have been shown to help soften and soothe skin as well as boost collagen production which helps to prevent signs of aging.

             
      11.  Tomato Soap-This natural homemade tomato soap recipe is made using overripe tomatoes and basil essential oil. 

         

        12.  Wine Soap– This natural wine soap recipe is made using leftover wine.

          

          13.  Yogurt and Avocado Soap-This natural homemade yogurt and avocado soap recipe is made using a small, ripe avocado and real Greek yogurt. Ripe fruit and yogurt give homemade soaps extra skin conditioning properties.

            Satisfying the Sweet Tooth

            August Dessert of the Month—The Poke Cake

              
            Poke Cake is more of a process than an actual recipe…and there are as many different variations of Poke Cake as there are…

            (Different flavors of cake mix) x (Different flavors of Jello or instant pudding…

            Betty Crocker makes 27 different flavors of SuperMoist cake mix…Jello makes about thirty different flavors of pudding…that alone makes for 810 possibilities…
            So how do you make a Poke Cake…

            • 1.  Bake a normal cake, either from a mix or from scratch.
            • 2.  Poke holes in the top with some object, such as the base of a wooden spoon.
            • 3.  Pour sweetened condensed milk, pudding, or jello over the holes…(this allows the liquid to seep into the cake and makes it moist and flavorful).
            • 4.  Refrigerate the cake for a few hours so that the liquid has absorbs into the cake.
            • 5.  Top with Cool Whip and other optional toppings such as caramel syrup, nuts, candy bits,  and fruit.

            Making this cake actually doesn’t involve a recipe…it’s more like creating a ice cream sundae…but better…