“List”en To Me… Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold

That’s right, after traveling for a week to the beautiful state of Colorado to spend time with my amazing family, celebrate my grandfather’s 92nd birthday and take in the majestic Rockies we have come home and caught the common cold…boo hiss!

BUT we will not let that get us down because we are always armed in our house with ways to prevent and treat ailments especially when it comes to cold and flu season.

I know it’s easy to go to the drug store and pick up over the counter medicine with the idea that you’ll feel better the next day.  Have you ever looked at the active and inactive ingredients list on the back of that cold and flu medicine bottle?  Or those gel caps and nasal sprays?  What exactly are you taking to FEEL BETTER?  Below are the ingredients to Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu Liquid – Alcohol, Synthetic Colors & Dyes (Green/Yellow), Polyethylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol…WHAT?!?!?!?!  AND that’s not even the ACTIVE ingredients!  You can read about why these ingredients are bad news HERE.

Vicks NyQuil Cold Flu Ingredients

Taken from Vicks.com Website

That said, I urge you to check out my Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold and consider trying an alternative option, it may take a day longer to feel better but your body will be thanking you 🙂

Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold

1. Black Elderberry Syrup – Ditch that bottle of liquid medicine and let’s not only HEAL the body but PREVENT it from getting the cold or flu in the first place.

  • Black elderberries have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, especially for flu symptoms.   There have been studies done to prove its effectiveness.  Also known to decrease inflammation.
  • Not only are black elderberries healthy, containing antioxidants and vitamins, they also taste delicious.
  • In our house we take black elderberry syrup daily as soon as the cold and flu season begins, usually beginning in October.  It can be taken by adults and children.
  • There are several brands to choose from, we use GaiaKids so that we have exact dosage needed for our toddler.  The dosage for adults is listed on the box as well.  Additionally, if you search the internet you can MAKE YOUR OWN black elderberry syrup, which can be very cost effective!

GaiaKids Black Elderberry Syrup

GaiaKidsBlackElderberrySyrupBack

2. Bone Broth – Did you think I was going to suggest Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup?!?!?  Just to be clear why I wouldn’t,  you can check out the ingredient list below…monosodium glutamate, soy protein isolate…PLUS all the allergens!  NO thank you, we are trying to heal our bodies, not pollute them!!!

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

Taken from Campbell’s Soup website

Now, back to the DELICIOUS, healing, and nutrient filled bone broth.

  • My crunchy mamas out there would tell you the best bone broth is HOMEMADE!  Which I would absolutely agree, since you can choose your type of bones (chicken, turkey, etc…), add vegetables, vinegar, garlic, or spices.
  • One of my favorite recipes by Diane Sanfilippo can be found HERE.  I recommend making a double batch and freezing it to use during the entire cold and flu season.
  • In a pinch when you don’t have time to make your own, a good option is Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth which comes in two different flavors – Chicken or Turkey.   To combat our colds this week I picked up a box of the Organic Turkey Bone Broth at Whole Foods and although not at as tasty as the homemade version it did help with the healing process.

Pacific Foods Organic Turkey Bone Broth

PF Turkey BB Ingredients

3. Young Living Thieves Oil – The absolute BEST essential oil blend for the cold and flu season.  I have raved about this essential oil blend before which you can read about HERE.  However, for times sake, here are the facts:

  • This blend dates back to the 15th century.  Thieves, who would rob the bodies of the dead, would cover themselves in oils to avoid getting the plaque.  In 1997, researchers studied the effects of these oils and found them to be a killing force against microorganisms.
  • Young Living Thieves Oil is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata (safe for children) and Rosemary.  It is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • During cold and flu season we use this oil a few ways:
    • For my husband and I, we apply one drop of Thieves oil neat (no carrier oil) to the bottom of our feet.  This can be at night before bed or throughout the day for best results.
    • For our toddler, we mix three drops of Thieves oil with one ounce of coconut oil then apply a dab to the bottom of each foot.  We keep the remaining to use for future applications.
    • Lastly we diffuse eight drops of Theives oil in about one cup of water in our electronic diffuser. Cleans the air as well as assists in the healing process.

YLThievesOilFront

YLThievesOilBack

YL Thieves

If you’d like more information on Young Living and/or how to become a Distributor (discounted oils and shipping) click HERE.

4. Badger Aromatic Chest Rub – First, let’s go back in time…when we were kids and that cold and flu bug hit the house.  Who didn’t get the rub down with the Vicks Vapor Rub?  It was the go to for my mom.  Obviously as a child I had no concern about the ingredients, I mean it was being sold in stores and everyone was using it.  I admit years later I still trusted that brand and kept a jar in my medicine cabinet, clueless to its contents.  How many of you have done the same?!?!  STOP…please take a look at not only the active ingredients but watch out for the INACTIVE ingredients as listed below…petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil…again, NO thank you!

Vicks Vapor Rub Ingredients

Taken from Vicks.com Website

Ok, back to Badger Aromatic Chest Rub…SAFE and EFFECTIVE, I swear!!!  Made with organic ingredients as seen in the photo below.

BadgerBalmFront

BadgerBalmBack

  • Eucalyptus – Helps with any cough and nasal drainage, promotes normal breathing and gives this balm that energizing aroma.
  • Lavender – Antiseptic and antifungal properties, to rid the germs that have invaded the body and allow the healing process to begin.
  • Peppermint – Not only helps with respiratory issues, but also nausea and headaches which can occur when a cold or flu strikes.  Helps to reduce inflammation and has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Keeps skin moisturized and super soft!!

5. NeilMed Sinus Rinse/Neti-Pot – You have to try it only ONCE to realize how much you love it!  I’ll admit years ago when I first got my NeilMed Sinus Rinse I looked at the box and thought you’ve got to be kidding me, I will NEVER use this.  It looked complicated and when feeling sick the last thing I needed was to deal with was rinsing my sinuses.  Fast forward to present day and this product has worked amazingly!!  So, ditch those nasal sprays that are filled with nasty chemicals!!

NeilMed Sinus Rinse

  • Not only works for colds and flus BUT also ALLERGIES!!!  In addition to my essential oil allergy trio (which you can read about HERE) that I apply behind my ears and base of neck, this has also saved me during the spring when the pollen arrives.
  • Now how to use it…Add premixed packets of sodium chloride (salt) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with purified water and deliver streams of the solution through the nasal passages.  Sound messy?  Yes, a bit.  However, the relief that is felt after is worth that little bit of mess.  I recommend definitely reading and following the instructions to make the whole process easier!
  • When sickness or allergies strike, using this twice a day can be very effective.  You can purchase at large retail stores or drugstores.
  • As stated on the NeilMed website – Preservative, Drug, Iodine, BPA, Gluten and Latex Free

The toxic burden that we are putting our bodies through on a daily basis and especially when we are sick can be changed.  You CAN choose safer and effective products that are HEALTHY for you!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

xoxo, Shane

Which alternative option are you ready to try?  What other natural ways do you beat the common cold and flu?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on my life experience, facts and research.  This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any illness or disease you may have contracted.  As I am not a doctor, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above if you are concerned.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!

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DIY Surprise… Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Thankful for this new week, nothing like a clean slate to get those creative juices flowing!!  Well, instead of my Top 5 lists of awesomeness, I’m going to branch out and share a great do-it-yourself project this week.  I’ll be putting this one under “Health & Beauty” since a good, solid, no kids waking you up, spouse snoring, dreaming away sleep is not only healthy but also makes you feel beautiful!  Plus your feet will be soft and smooth, always flip-flop ready!  You guys out there will want to check this out too.  Of course this project does involve my Young Living Essential Oils, love, love, love!  So, let’s get to it!

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Items Needed:

  • Organic Coconut Oil – 1 cup
  • Organic Shea Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Young Living Essential Oils – 10 Drops Each Oil
  • Glass Pyrex Bowl
  • Double Boiler (Small Pot w/Glass Bowl)
  • Fridge/Freezer
  • Small Glass Containers – 1 oz Each
  • Labels & Printer – Avery Address Labels – 8160

How It’s Made:

1.  Measure out the 1 cup Organic Coconut Oil & 1/2 cup Organic Shea Butter in the Glass Pyrex Bowl, both will most likely be in solid form.  I use Whole Foods 365 Brand Organic Coconut Oil.  I use REFINED because it has less of a coconut smell and is being applied topically.  If I was going to ingest the coconut oil I would choose unrefined as this is in its purest form.

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

2.  In a Small Pot boil about 1 inch of water.  Once boiling, change temperature to lowest setting or simmer.  Place Glass Pyrex Bowl filled with Organic Coconut Oil & Organic Shea Butter on top of the Small Pot and melt down both substances to a liquid form.  This could take between 5-10 minutes.  I found that it takes longer for the shea butter to melt.

3.  Once both substances have melted, take the Glass Pyrex Bowl off the top of the Small Pot and set it aside to cool for about 20 minutes.   After it has cooled, add the Young Living Essential Oils.  I chose Lavender, Sacred Frankincense and Peace & Calming, which all promote relaxation, healing and rest.

Young Living Essential Oils Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

Young Living Essential Oils
Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

4.  After adding Young Living Essential Oils, stir to mix everything together then place the Glass Pyrex Bowl into the Freezer for 5 minutes or Fridge for 15 minutes.  After allotted time, the liquid should be getting hard on the edges as if to form back into a solid again, but the center should be more like the consistency of a raw egg.

5.  At this point take a fork and whisk the liquid, removing the harder pieces on the edges.  A paste will be formed since the mixture is still cold.  As it starts to warm up, it will take on a gel consistency.  It is now ready to be put into the 1 oz. Glass Jars.  I purchased these at The Container Store, my favorite organization store!!!  You can also find them online to purchase in bulk.

1 oz. Glass Jars  www.containerstore.com

1 oz. Glass Jars
www.containerstore.com

6.  To fill the 1 oz. Glass Jars I use a fork, as the mixture is easy to manipulate because it is more solid from just whisking.  Make sure when filling the jars that all air bubbles are released, this will allow for more mixture to be used.  Once filled, take a damp cloth and wipe excess off the rim and seal with lid.

7.  Now it’s time to make these filled 1 oz. Glass Jars look pretty!  The labels that I chose are the Avery Address Labels – 8160 which were purchased at Staples.  The name, ingredients and directions for use have been typed onto the label.  Before applying the labels make sure the outside of the jars are clean and dry, free of any oily residue.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

8.  Since I was giving these Sweet Dreams Foot Salves as gifts to some very special people in my life I added an extra touch, a verse card that tied around the lid.  There are several other ways to decorate these from labels on the lid to ribbon around the jar.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Hopefully this DIY Surprise project will inspire you to make your own version!  It was both easy and fun!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

What are some do-it-yourself health & beauty projects that have been successful for you?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

“List”en To Me… Top 5 Everyday Conditions & Oily Recipes

Over the last three weeks it’s been OILS, OILS, and OILS!  My hope is that you have gained insight on how amazing they are and learned the basics for incorporating them into your daily routine.  This week we are going to look at specific everyday conditions and the Young Living essential oils recommended as well the oil “recipes” that can be used.

Top 5 Everyday Conditions & Oily Recipes

1. Allergies – ahhhhh choooo!  Yes, who can relate to the sneezing, watery eyes, itchy skin, trouble breathing and constant brain fog?!?!  I know this personally since moving to the South and dealing with the pollen in the spring.  Now, normally you might be running for the Zyrtec or Claritin, however, I’m going to say STOP!  What if I told you that you could breath easy and never pop a pill????  Believe me when I tell you that Young Living Lavender, Peppermint and Lemon essential oils really work, not only do I use this combo in coconut oil but you can also try the following options as well!

ALLERGIES

 

2.  Insomnia – Do you miss those sweet dreams?  Are you tossing and turning at night?  Is your mind on full speed ahead, too many thoughts, so little time?  Insomnia is such a common problem for young and old, it has been said that there is quite a decrease in the production of melatonin after the age of forty.  It can be caused from dysfunction from areas of the body, such as the liver, heart, thyroid, hormones or conditions such as depression.  If you suffer from insomnia I ask you to consider the following essential oils, my picks would be Lavender and Peace & Calming, as when they are inhaled or diffused aromatically the fragrance can stimulate the limbic system and bring about a sense of calm over the mind which can help you finally get a good night sleep.

INSOMNIA

 

3.  Eczema – Being a new mom, I have talked to several moms whose children have had an issue with eczema.  To be honest, I was surprised as I had only known adults with this condition.  Fact is, it is the most common skin condition from baby to elderly.  It is inflammation of the skin and can be caused from several factors, such as diet, allergies, toxic product usage, etc…  To look at eczema there is red, flaky, itchy, dry skin which if you ask anyone whose had it they will tell you is VERY uncomfortable.   The following Young Living essential oils, my picks would be Lavender & Geranium, when applied topically to skin (neat or with a carrier oil) can be cleansing, soothing, regenerate skin tissue and reduce inflammation.

ECZEMA

 

4.  Headache – Does your world stop when you feel that pounding and pressure?  As I’m prone to tension headaches, I know all to well how they can just turn a day from good to bad very quickly.  Of course there are several types of headaches that can strike at any time, such as migraine, cluster and sinus.  If you are one to get any of these types of headaches think back to the last one you had, how did you feel?  Would you have done anything for it to just go away?  Conventional medications, whether over the counter or prescription, are usually a first line of defense, however, those can take hours to work and usually cause side effects such as drowsiness and upset stomach. Who wants to wait and deal with all that??  The everyday schedule of life must keep going. Since I started using Young Living essential oils PanAway, Valor and Peppermint in a blend of coconut oil keep me armed and ready for when those tension headaches happen.

HEADACHES

 

5.  Inflammation – Sore, tired, fatigued muscles?  I’m sure most of you can relate to this.  Whether its in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, or legs to pin point what is causing it can be tough as inflammation can be due to several issues such as diet, hormones, injury and infections.  The goal in using Young Living essential oils for this condition is to reduce the inflammation.  In my opinion, this is one of many ways to reduce inflammation and suggest that you also look at your diet – types of food your eating, side effects of medications you may be taking, toxic products you may be using on yourself or in the home.  The Young Living essential oil recommended for this condition is German Chamomile.  Additionally, I have personally used Copaiba and Lemongrass with great success!

INFLAMMATION

 

Are you ready to take the leap now?  Hopefully my list has shown you how they can have an amazing, healthy impact on your life.  If you’d like more information on Young Living and/or how to become a Distributor (discounted oils and shipping) click HERE.

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

Do you suffer from any of these conditions??  After reading this post, would you consider using Young Living essential oils??  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

Reference: Essential Oils Pocket Reference, Fifth Edition – May 2011 – Life Science Publishing

Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on life experience, facts and research.  As I am not a doctor, nor play one on TV, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above as it is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any sickness or disease.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!

“List”en To Me…Top 5 Essential Oils – Singles

Another great week is upon us and our focus is going to be essential oils.  In my previous post HERE and on my Young Living page HERE, I talked about how they are our first line of defense before conventional medicine and how we have used them in our family.  I have made over my family’s medicine cabinet because I.LOVE.THEM!  We are officially an oily family and it’s my mission to equip the rest of my family, friends and readers of this great blog with the knowledge and information to make that change as well!

Let’s Get Back To Basics

– Essential oils are concentrated oils taken from plants, flowers, trees, leaves, bark, nuts, seeds, etc that are put through a distillation process and bottled.  These oils are a very thin liquid and do not feel oily at all. Essential oils can be paired with a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, grapeseed, jojoba, etc.

– Four grades of essential oils are produced today:

  • Therapeutic – 100% pure, medicinal, steam distillation
  • Food Grade – may contain synthetics, pesticides, carrier oils
  • Perfume – may contain synthetics, solvents
  • Synthetic – laboratory created

– These oils are powerful and effective with a variety of uses:

  • Aromatically – inhaled through a diffuser or from bottle
  • Topically – applied on the skin, soles of feet, hands, ears, spine, etc – click HERE for Vita-Flex Chart
  • Dietary – ingestible

My Top 5 Essential Oils

1. Frankincense – Dates back to biblical times, remember the birth of Christ when the wise men brought this lovely oil?  Considered the “holy anointing oil” and “liquid gold”, it is known for it’s healing power.  It is an immune booster, decreases inflammation, depression, as a treatment for cancer, respiratory infections plus more!  Our family uses it for glowing skin by adding a few drops in face moisturizer and also applied neat to remove brown aging/sun spots and scars.  We also us it in body cream, for back pain and on temples to relieve stress.  Click HERE for more info.

2. Lavender –  Just imagine those beautiful fields of purple flowers, the sweet aroma from those flowers, so relaxing, right?  Well surprisingly, this is one of the most versatile essential oils!  Discovered by a french scientist due to its ability to promote tissue growth and heal wounds quickly.  It has been known to treat skin conditions, high blood pressure, PMS, insomnia, hair loss and respiratory infections plus more!  Our family uses it to promote sleep/relaxation, allergies, skin care, PMS, wounds/cuts, colds/coughs, body cream and in grown nails.  Click HERE for more info.

3. Lemon – An oil from a lemon?  That’s right, it’s taken from the rind. There are 45 lemons used to fill just one 15ml bottle of oil.  Now this oil does pack quite a punch with several uses.  It is an immune booster, improves memory, improves circulation, assists in weight loss, varicose veins, anxiety, digestive issues plus more!  Our family uses it in our morning water which is ingested and boosts energy.  Also for allergies, dry skin, heartburn, cooking and cleaning supplies. Click HERE for more info.

4. Peppermint – Makes me think of candy canes, what about you?  Another very familiar scent that will surprise you with all it can do.  It is known to decrease inflammation, anti-bacterial, pain reliever, digestive stimulant, suppresses appetite/assists in weight loss, respiratory infections plus more!  Our family uses it for allergies, pain cream, headaches, upset stomach, nausea and colds/coughs and cooking.  Click HERE for more info.

5. Helichrysum (Italicum) – That is exactly what you ask?  We are talking about a flowering plant from the daisy family, found in several countries along the Mediterranean coast.  This oil known as an anticoagulant to treat blood clots, improve circulation, treat skin conditions such as eczema, hypertension, and liver issues plus more!  This oil is used solely by me in the family to treat a blood condition.  I use it to promote circulation which in turn helps me avoid blood clots.  I am very thankful that I can use this oil versus taking conventional medications with side effects.  Click HERE for more info.

After researching essential oils for over a year, Young Living stood out as the right choice for my family.  I chose them because I truly believe in their quality, 100% pure using the Seed to Seal process.  I believe you get what you pay for in life and knowing that I use these for health related purposes, as you can see from above, I only wanted to use the best.  Additionally, since being part of the Young Living family it goes much deeper than that.  I have met some amazing and inspiring women, helped family and friends treat problems and conditions and I’ve heard testimonies on everything from weight loss, ADHD/ADD, autism, parkinsons, cancer and PTSD.  Remarkable stories.  In future posts we’ll talk more about specific conditions, disorders and diseases.

If these oils listed above are something you want to try, I highly recommend becoming a Young Living Distributor.  Not only do you get 24% off the price listed on the website, you also can earn points towards more oils and get discounted shipping.  On top of that four out of five of these come in the Premium Kit which is where you get the most bang for your buck as there are ten oils offered in this kit!  Click HERE to start the process!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

Do you have a favorite essential oil?  If so, what do you use it for?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

Reference: Essential Oils Pocket Reference, Fifth Edition – May 2011 – Life Science Publishing

Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on life experience, facts and research.  As I am not a doctor, nor play one on TV, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above as it is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any sickness or disease.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!