Enjoy the Benefits of Diffusing Essential Oils

How to enhance your air with essential oils

Essential oils have been used by traditional medicine around the world for millennia but they have been recently been picked up by mainstream culture. Let’s start with what essential oils are.

paleo air

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are naturally occurring aromatic chemicals produced by plants.

How diffusing essential oils supports your wellness.  

Plants release an array of chemical compounds into the air. They primarily release oxygen, a direct byproduct of photosynthesis. However they have also evolved to emit  other compounds that repel predators and attract pollinators, which include terpenes.

Terpenes are an aromatic class of molecules that compose essential oils. Each plant produces its own blend of volatile organic compounds, giving it a unique scent and effect on the body. We can capture these compounds and use them to support our natural body functions by inhalation where they are processed by our olfactory system. Some essential oils can be ingested or applied topically, where they then enter the bloodstream and our processed by our limbic system in the brain. 

smell the terpenes

Enjoy the benefits of breathing in air enhanced with essential oils by wearing an essential oil diffuser necklace.

Ideas to Create a Bedtime Ritual

Better Sleeping

Create a Bedtime Ritual for Better Sleep

Starting the day of right often involves getting restful sleep. Having a bedtime ritual can help you sleep better. Good sleep is imperative for good health. Current research shows a strong relationship between sleep and our brain’s functioning. Lack of quality sleep can lead to poor motor functioning as well as foggy thinking and lowered ability to overcome stress. There are studies that link insufficient sleep with increased rates of Alzheimers disease.

Here are some ways to help you create a bedtime ritual to sleep better and wake up feeling energized.

Turn down the lights

As the sun sets our body responds by increasing melatonin levels in the brain. Bright light at night can block our bodies production of melatonin making it harder for us to fall asleep.

Most of our devices, like phones, tablets and televisions emit blue light which mimics the effects of sunlight and suppresses our melatonin levels. Some devices have the option to switch to a night time mode that decreases the amount of blue light produced.

Start dimming your lights a few hours before you plan to go to sleep to boost your melatonin levels.

Take supplements

Some supplements can be hard on an empty stomach or having one more thing to do in the morning can feel overwhelming. After dinner is a great time to take any supplements to help your body rest and restore.

Take a mineral bath

Warm baths with a few drops of essential oils and a cup of sea salt can soothe sore muscles and nerves. Try adding magnesium flakes or epsom salt for sleep inducing minerals. I love soaking in a bath before bed with dried flowers and herbs to invite sweet dreams.

moisturize

Gentle massage with your favorite lotion or body oil can help you relax and is a good way to start quieting your mind. Try rubbing yourself down with a magnesium infused lotion to help your GABA production. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, is a neurotransmitter that inhibits synapses in the brain. Nourish your skin with rich creams and oils can slowing brain activity to prepare you for sleep while relieving tense muscles and moisturizing your skin.

Mentally prepare for sleep

Take a minute to reflect on your day and write down your thoughts. You can keep a journal or note pad next to your bed to make a list of all the things you want to follow up on the next day. I tend to worry at night so I like to write down the random thoughts that are on my mind to help me stay asleep.

Yoga

Stretching and meditating will clear your mind and prepare you for quality sleep. Doing a few poses to loosen tight muscles, especially from sitting, can relax your mind and body. I like to do a few dynamic movements like cat cow to increase my circulation and then follow up with deep belly breathing to slow down my heart rate and quiet my brain. Here are some other breathing techniques to help you relax into a restful slumber.

Consistency

Having a consistent bedtime and waking time helps your brain produce the right amount of sleeping and waking hormones. Your bedtime ritual doesn’t have to be a drawn out process but having a few consistent activities can help cue your body for restorative sleep.

Create a bedtime ritual that works for you and sets you up for success. Sometimes starting the day off right can help you get the quality sleep you need and deserve. Here are some ideas to create a morning routine for an energized morning.

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Is Your Sunscreen Safe for You and the Environment?

The sun provides the Earth with light and energy, it stimulates the production of vitamin D. However those powerful life giving rays can be harmful, so it’s important to cover up. But is your sunscreen safe? It might not be protecting your skin enough or leaching chemicals into your blood stream. Some chemicals in sunblocks are harmful to coral, is yours?

The Difference Between Ultraviolet A, UVA and Ultraviolet B, UVB

The sun produces a spectrum of rays. Some of it is visible light the comprises the rainbow of colors we can see. Some of it is invisible to our eyes like Ultraviolet and Infrared.  UVA has long waves that can penetrate deeper into our epidermis layer of skin, which can lead to skin aging. UVB has short waves which can burn the superficial layers of skin which can lead to skin cancer. The sun protection factor (SPF) rating on your sunscreen refers to the percentage of protection from UVB rays only.

The Safety of Mineral vs Chemical Sunblock

Mineral sunblocks are made with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA and UVB rays. Data shows that these minerals are unable to penetrate the skin and leach into your blood stream. However check the other inactive ingredients, for chemical preservatives of fillers that might leach. These minerals offer full spectrum sun protection and do not harm coral reefs.

Chemical sunblocks are made with a combination of chemicals that either scatter UVA or UVB. These types of sunblocks blend together chemicals to create a lotion that protects from both types of rays. Many of these chemicals are able to be absorbed through the skin. There is reason for concern. New lab studies have found that some of the chemicals used, like Oxybenzone, have been found to also be endocrine disruptors in animal tests.

This means that some animals, like coral larvae, are unable to develop properly, which has contributed to coral bleaching. Oxybenzone is able to penetrate the skin and reach soft tissue. The CDC has found it in breast milk and the blood stream. Unfortunately our current safety system allows for products to be available on the market until they are proven unsafe. There has been minimal testing for many of these chemicals on humans.

How to Choose a Safe and Effective Sunblock

With over 600 products available it can be hard to sift through the copious amounts of unintelligible lists of ingredients. The Environmental Working Group has create and annual list of sunblocks available in the US and chooses the safest and most effective products. Most major brands make both mineral and chemical products, so you have to check each one individually.  You can also check their pocket guide for a quick reference of ingredients to avoid.

Even if you don’t plan trips to the beach or intend on long exposure, I encourage everyone to choose a mineral sunblock with a short list of ingredients. This will reduce your risk of absorbing potentially harmful chemicals and keep our oceans healthy.  We are all connected and the production and distribution of chemicals is often the actual culprit of environmental disasters rather than individual use. Lets all stay safe.

Ideas to Create a Morning Routine

Ideas to Create a Morning Routine

Ideas to Create a Morning Routine

Having a morning routine can significantly improve the quality of your life. Here are a few things to incorporate into your morning routine to nourish your body and get you feeling great.

Drink Water

Activate your digestive system by drinking 8 ounces of warm water. Good hydration helps regulate hormones and flush toxins from your body.

Detox Your Mouth

At night our bodies are in cleanse mode and bacteria can build up in our saliva. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or try oil pulling to freshen your mouth.

Move

Take a few minutes to get your blood flowing. Doing some light stretches and excercises will help prevent injuries and improve thinking.

Eat Breakfast

Activate your digestion and supply your body with energy for the day. This is the best time to load up on carbohydrates. Ensure that your are getting enough protein, about 30 grams. Eat within one hour of waking up in the morning. Try sipping on some bone broth if you don’t have an appetite early in the morning.

Take Supplements

Breakfast is a great time to pop those pills to give you an extra boost for the day.

Mentally Prepare for the Day.

Take a few deep breathes and write down a list of tasks that you want to accomplish for the day, later on you can enjoy the satisfaction of checking things of the list. Try different breathing techniques to help you wake up.

Your morning routine can be short, even if its just a few minutes to do one or two things for yourself can improve your health. Part of creating a successful morning routine sometimes also involves having an evening routine. Have water by your bed or prep something for an easy breakfast.

Savory Bourbon Pate Recipe

Pate is a wonderful way to incorporate organ meats into your diet. Liver is full of vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin B 6 and 12. The bourbon in this recipe adds a subtle sweetness that complements the rich flavor of liver.

8 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound of chicken livers
1 sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped
Heavy whipping cream as needed
Sea salt to taste

In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt 4 pads of butter until it begins to foam. Add bourbon, shallots and garlic, until translucent. Add the livers and thyme to the pan until the outsides begin to brown but the inside stays soft pink, about 5 minutes.
Move livers into a blender or food processor with about 3 tablespoons of cream and blend until smooth, adding cream and salt as needed.
Transfer into a glass container and smooth the top, then cover tightly and allow to chill for 2 hours before serving.

Easy Lacto-fermented Ketchup

Ketchup is rich condiment that gives everything a little extra umami and sweetness, however most ketchups contain a shockingly high amount of sugar. Swap out conventional ketchup for this nutritious version with probiotics.

2, 6 ounce cans of tomato paste
1/4 cup sucanat or natural sweetener of choice
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
sea salt to taste

In a small saucepan dissolve sucanat in warm water.
Combine sugar water, tomato paste, vinegar, clove, cinnamon, mustard powder and salt in a quart jar and stir until well combined. Cover with a lid and allow to ferment in a warm spot for 2-5 days, then transfer to refrigerator.

Chocolate Avocado and Banana Cookies

Sometimes chocolate cookies are very necessary. Here’s a scrumptious gluten-free cookie recipe I will be making for my grandmother, who drastically reduced her arthritis by going gluten-free. 1 ripe avocado 1 banana 2 tablespoons raw honey 1 egg ½ cup cocoa powder Dark chocolate chips, to taste ½ teaspoon baking soda Preheat your oven to … Continue reading Chocolate Avocado and Banana Cookies

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Do You Need to Detox?

Bone-Appetit-2014-12-17-01

 

No, because your body is naturally detoxing daily. That’s what our kidneys and liver are for. We are constantly exposed to toxins and there are ways to support your body’s natural ability to cleanse itself but you don’t need to do a 24 hour juice cleanse or get a colonic to detox. The truth about the multi-billion dollar detox industry is, that its not worth it.

Lets start with some anatomy and physiology. When we eat food it goes into our stomach to broken down into a slurry which passes through our small intestine. Here is where nutrients and any potential toxins, like pesticides,  are absorbed and passed into our blood stream. Our blood then circulates through our body and is filtered in our kidneys and liver.

Our kidneys and livers are fantastic at being able to tell the difference between minerals we need and toxins we don’t need. However if you have a nutrient deficient diet, it is possible for your body to substitute certain compounds like lead for iron and calcium. If you want to “detox” your kidneys stay well hydrated and eat nutrient rich foods.

The liver also filters out alcohol by breaking it down into acetaldehyde, which damages the liver and is quickly converted into carbon dioxide and water. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can lead to a build up of acetaldehyde, which can lead to liver damage. The best way to “detox” your liver is to drink in moderation.

If you want detox your body eat lots of vegetables and drink lots of water.

Its All in the Hips, How Deadlifts Can Benefit your daily life.

Deadlifts can be intimidating because they require good form and technique to get the benefits and prevent injury, which make them a great part of functional fitness. They engage your entire posterior chain (all the muscles that run along your back side from below your neck to your ankles) and when performed correctly you can pick up dead weight from the floor without hurting your back. I apply the same form of a deadlift to my daily activities like picking up my daughter or packages on the front porch.

Square up to whatever your going to pick up, slightly bend your knees, stick your butt out like you are about to sit on a chair, roll your shoulders back, grab your item and then push your hips forward to stand up.

It’s a simple action but can feel a little awkward at first because in our culture we tend to have pronated shoulders and rely on our back to pick things up. Practicing having a flat back and letting our legs do the work can keep our bodies injury free. I love working on exercises that translate into functional fitness.

5 Tips to Living Processed Food Free

5 tips to living processed food free

5 Tips to live processed food free

1.Have a plan

Find time on the weekend to sit down and make a plan for the week. Knowing what your going to be eating in advanced helps you to avoid getting home tired at 6:30 to a hungry family, which often leads to less healthy choices. Write down meal ideas for the week and prepare a grocery shopping list to stock your kitchen with everything you’ll need for the week.

2.Double up recipes 

Making extra is always a good idea. Leftovers are excellent to pack for lunches or reheat the next day. It’s ok to eat the same thing multiple times a week.

3.Your freezer is your friend

Since you’re making double batches anyway, you might as well freeze some to heat up next week. This is also a great way prepare and ration snacks or foods to go like homemade waffles or muffins.

4.Slow cookers are useful

Take advantage of the time you won’t be in the kitchen. You can toss meat and veggies with some spices into the slow cooker for a ready to eat meal when you get home.

5.Get help

All members of a household can contribute to meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Kids can also be in charge of cooking, cleaning or packing lunches. And if you need more help, you can always try a grocery or meal delivery service.