Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

essential oils

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin– the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both share a real passion for nutrition and natural remedies, I wanted to introduce you to her wealth of knowledge about essential oils.  I am using them and really loving all the benefits — so here is a little about ERIN!

How a Pharmacist Got Started With Essential Oils

Well, hello!  Allow me to introduce myself.  I am a classically trained, Western medicine pharmacist AND a natural wellness enthusiast.  “How can this be?” you may ask.  Aren’t Western medicine practitioners and natural wellness practitioners supposed to be diametrically opposed to each other?  I used to think that too.  I admit, I am a “natural” skeptic {pun intended}.  My training has taught me that if there is not a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to back up a claim, it is merely unsubstantiated mumbo-jumbo.  So what changed my mind?  Perhaps it was the subtle (and not so subtle) ways my body started telling me I’m not as young as I used to be.  Or, perhaps, it was the desire to keep my family healthy without the use of synthetic chemicals.  Becoming a parent certainly increased my desire to find the best and most natural ways to do things.  Whatever the reason, I developed a desire to find a better way to achieve and maintain health and wellness.  So, I went back to my old standbys: research and experience.

 

Western vs. Natural Medicine Approaches

Over the years, what I have learned, both through research and personal experience, is that while Western medicine is great at using a variety of medical and surgical interventions to keep you alive, it is not so great at keeping you from needing those interventions in the first place.  Western medicine shines in treatment more so than in prevention.  If you think of your wellness like a horizontal line, with health and vitality above the line and sickness and disease below the line, in Western medicine we wait until you have fallen way below the wellness line before we do anything.  By that point you are in trouble.  You have a disease, so we prescribe a medication or surgical intervention that helps to manage that disease.  The problem is most medications that are prescribed for chronic conditions do not provide a cure, but are used to mitigating the symptoms.  They do not get to the underlying cause, and they do not bring you back above the wellness line.  Not to mention, most medications come with a variety of toxic and adverse effects that then also have to be managed.  Does that mean that I think we should never use Western medicine approaches?  Absolutely not!  Western medicine has its place, and offers us many tools in our wellness tool belt to utilize.  However, I think we can all agree, it would be ideal if we could utilize these tools less.

 

What if there were tools to help us stay above the wellness line?  This is where natural medicine shines.  By supporting your body to do what it was made to do in the first place, natural medicine approaches prevent much of the need for Western interventions.  Our bodies are amazing creations that were made to be healthy.  Given the right environment and the right building blocks, most of the time our bodies will be healthy.  The problem is that in today’s world we are surrounded by things that tear down our bodies instead of support them.  We eat junk, we breathe in junk, we apply junk to our skin, we don’t get enough sleep or exercise, and we are constantly STRESSED OUT!  It’s no wonder all sorts of disease rates are climbing.

 

A Better Way

What if there was a better way?  What if we gave our bodies an environment in which they could thrive and the building blocks with which to heal?  What would that look like?

  • We would put nourishing foods into our body. Not overly processed, chemical laden junk, but REAL food.  Hippocrates knew what he was talking about when he said “let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”.
  • We would stop breathing in toxins. True, you cannot always help the air quality where you live, but you can stop making it worse.  Quit smoking and get rid of the toxins in your air.  Did you know formaldehyde is just one of a number of chemicals commonly used in scented candles and air fresheners?!?  So stop “freshening” your air with toxins.
  • We would clean up our skin care products. Check out your product labels.  Do some research into the dangers of ingredients like parabens, phthalates, triclosan, artificial dyes, and many others.  Don’t be fooled, anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body!
  • We would start moving more, resting well, and stressing less!

 

I know that seems like a pretty tall order, and no one is going to be perfect 100% of the time, but every step you take in the right direction is a step toward wellness, and that is a worthy goal!

 

Essential Oils as a Tool for Wellness

So where do essential oils come in?  For me, adding in essential oils was another step in my path toward natural wellness.  When I was first presented with the idea of using essential oils for wellness, guess what, I was skeptical of that too.  My pharmacist brain kicked into gear and wanted to dismiss the idea.  After months of pondering, I finally gave in and got my Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  And then it sat on my counter…for weeks.  Finally, my old friends, research and experience won.  I opened up those little bottles and started using them.  The more I used them, the better I felt, so I would research more, and then use them more, and then feel better, and then research, and then use them, and then…well, you get the idea.  My biggest “Ah Ha!” moment in using essential oils was when I finally realized essential oils are NOT like medicine, they are like FOOD!  The properties and constituents in essential oils that make them so amazing do their job by supporting your body to do what it was intended to do.  Just like food, they give your body the building blocks to heal and stay above the wellness line.  Just like I would not go a day without eating or drinking, there is now not a single day that goes by when I am not using my essential oils.  Yes, there are specific oils that work better for specific purposes, but so long as you have high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils, such as those provided by Young Living, just use them!  Once you understand a few common sense safety issues (like don’t put them in your eyes or ears- duh!), unlike medications that can cause serious problems if used at the wrong time in the wrong way, using Young Living Essential oils is always going to support your body in a positive way.

 

How do I Use My Young Living Essential Oils

We have been using our Young Living Essential Oils EVERY DAY for well over 2 years now!  They can be inhaled, applied topically, and most can even be ingested.  Here are just a few examples…

  • Peace and Calming, Lavender, or Cedarwood for a restful night’s sleep
  • DiGize or peppermint for digestion
  • Thieves to support our immune systems
  • Peppermint, Copaiba, or PanAway for muscles, joints, and ligaments
  • Stress Away when life gets too crazy (or just because it smells AMAZING!)
  • Lavender and Frankincense in our skin care
  • Progessence Plus, Clary Sage, or Idaho Blue Spruce for hormone balance
  • Grapefruit to support metabolism
  • Purification and Lemon in our household cleaning

If you go down our previous list about what a “better way” would look like for improving your health, literally every item on that list has been touched by Young Living Essential Oils in our home.

 

Why I Love Young Living Essential Oils

I could write another post about why, after much research, I chose Young Living for my family and why it is the only brand I recommend if you are looking for actual wellness benefits and not just pretty smells from essential oils.  I will save those many details for another post.  For now, please believe me when I say there is a HUGE difference between Young Living’s therapeutic grade essential oils and almost any other oil on the market, so, Buyer Beware!  If you would like to do a little of your own research, you can start by learning more about Young Living’s commitment to purity and quality through their unique Seed to Seal® process.  For more information and videos describing this process check it out at www.seedtoseal.com.

 

Ready to Stay Above the Wellness Line?

If any of this peaks your interest, I would love to tell you more.  Come check out more information or message me through www.facebook.com/EssentiallyErin or email me directly at erinruth@sbcglobal.net.  I’ll be waiting for you!

To get your own Premium Starter Kit, go to http://tinyurl.com/ErinArkins1.  The Premium Start Kit is by far the best deal to get you started on your oily journey, and by signing up through my link you will have access to member only essential oil education and FREE reference material as a gift from me.  Getting my kit was the best decision I made for my family’s health and wellness!  I am excited to help you on your journey as well!

 

Blessings and wellness to you and yours,

Erin

Posted on by Angela in Body, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Supplements 3 Comments

Oil Pulling–What the Heck????

I stumbled upon a great pinterest find on making your own coconut oil pulling squares infused with essential oils.  So  a quick stop to Michaels to get a silicone candy mold and some grabbing my coconut oil and my thieves essential oil and I’m in business for my DIY—It was so easy — basically, I mixed 5 drops of thieves in coconut oil—pour in to the silicone mold and then pop in the freezer.

 

 

When I first read about this I thought the idea was nuts.  My good friend Dr. Christopher Nagy told me a little about it (visit his SITE here).  It sounded a little quirky but I quickly did some investigation.

What is oil pulling?

The roots trace back thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to oil gargling.  The concept is to purify the taste buds and organ systems (Deepak Chopra /Perfect Health).  Life science explains that the tongue is mapped by organs and locations similar to the hands, head, and feet (reflexology).  It also stimulates cranial nerve 10–The VAGUS nerve.  This in turn strengthens the senses, heart rate, digestion and facial muscles.

It was introduced in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach when he examined organisms swimming under a microscope after gargling with oil.  He then moved on to investigate detoxification effects.

The Concept: 

Basically, you swish coconut, olive ,or sunflower oil in your mouth for about 10-15 minutes daily and then spit it out.  The oil pulls mucous, bacteria, and toxins from the mucosal tissue.  Swishing the oil with the saliva activates the enzymes that draw the toxins from the blood.  The oil should be thin and white by the time you are done.

It’s similar to the oil in your car engine.  The oils picks up the grime and leaves the engine clean.

The Benefits:

Oil pulling has been known to help many key diseases including allergies, digestion, headaches, memory issues etc.  It has a powerful detoxifying effect and can rid the body of the waste of many common bacteria we harbor including Candida and Streptococcus.

Does it work?

At this point, I don’t know.  I haven’t done it as consistently as I would like but I do notice that my mouth feels fresher, my teeth are whiter and my digestion is more efficient.  It certainly isn’t hurting me in any way and doesn’t take time from my day as I do it in the shower in the am.

Worth a try?  Why not?

 

This book is a good resource for more information if you are interested!!!

So what ways of detoxifying have you heard of lately—Post them in the comments so we can all learn!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

Getting Started with Essential Oils

Todays post is a special gift from a new-found friend!  Donna McGee from Donnatrition Wellness!  This amazing woman was able to heal herself from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome using nutrition!!  Please check out her story/ amazing recipes/ and essential oil info HERE.  You can also click the link on the side of my page to connect with her!!!

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What Are Essential Oils?
If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a flower, you have experienced the aromatic properties of essential oils. These aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, and flowers of plants. Essential oils provide plants with protection against environmental threats and play a role in plant pollination. Essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

The use of essential oils is not new, there are records of their use thousands of years ago. But they have gained more popularity in recent years as people move away from artificial, chemical laden products in the homes and lives.

When I first started using essential oils I had no idea of what I was doing or where to even start. There were so many different essential oils and essential oil companies it was mind-boggling. So I started out on a journey to learn as much as I could. My search turned up these basic principles:

Everyone Has To Start Somewhere.
Most of us have not grown up using essential oils and that’s okay. You are not alone on your journey of understanding. I will help guide you through the terminology, jargon, recipes and the excitement of using essential oils.

Not All Essential Oils Are Created Equal.
It takes a lot, and I mean a lot, of raw material to make a small amount of essential oil. Therefore, if you find a cheap oil it is probably not a high quality one. Possibly even containing synthetic chemicals. You want to get an oil that is always 100 percent pure therapeutic grade, especially if you are going to use them internally. (More on that later.) You can find the ones I personally use here.

Start With A Few Oils.
The world of essential oils is vast and it is easy to get overwhelmed. Start with a few fragrances that you are familiar with, such as lavender or one of several citrus oils. There are also beginner kits that contain several essential oils along with suggestions for use. The kit I would recommend to start with is this collection of ten nurturing essential oils, including six single oils and four blends. It gives you a good variety of commonly used oils.

History of Essential Oils.
People have been using Essential Oils for over 5,000 years, and scientist, researchers and physicians are just now discovering their potential power. Records show they were use in Egypt, China, Rome, Greece, and other regions in their religious ceremonies, cosmetics. and for medicinal purposes.

In 1922, archeologist Howard Carter and his team discovered the tomb of King Tut. As he surveyed the contents to the tomb, he found 35 alabaster jars had contained scented oils and unguents that had been stolen during a robbery of the tomb.

Essential oils are the natural oils found in many plants, trees and seeds. They come from the many different parts including flowers, leaves, bark, roots, sap and peels. You know the smell of a rose when you passed by? You are smelling the essential oil in the flower. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination.

Essential oils are both small in molecular size and contain a chemical called sesquiterpenes. These chemicals are known to be able pass through the blood-brain barrier. This allows the essential oils to interact with the brain cells, unlike most pharmaceutical drugs.

How Use Essential Oils.
Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends in one of three methods:

Inhalation

Certain essential oils, when diffused, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Diffusing essential oils can also cleanse and purify the air of unwanted odors. Some ways to inhale essential oils are:

Diffusing for an entire room or home. (Ideally for oils that are energizing, antimicrobial, promoting memory and focus, relaxing. Example: lemon, lavender, rosemary.)

Direct inhalation for personal benefits. This can be done with an inhaler or by directly smelling from the bottle. You can also put a drop or two in the palm of your hands and rub them together and then place your cupped hands over your nose and breathe in. I personally use this method for my headaches, sinuses, and when I’m fatigued. (Ideally for personal benefit such as clear breathing, focus, anxiety, headaches, and stress relief. Example: eucalyptus, bergamot, peppermint.)

Steam inhalation, also considered direct inhalation, involves using a bowl of steaming water with a few drops of essential oils in it that you hold your head over with a towel draped over your head forming a tent. (Ideally for clearing the nasal passages and respiratory system. Great for clogged sinuses. Example: eucalyptus, lemon, Melaleuca.)

Sprays have benefits of both inhalation and, in the case of antimicrobial oils, surface cleaning benefits. Combine essential oils, alcohol or witch hazel and distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well before using and spritz on surfaces, in the air, on clothes or linens as desired. (Ideally for air freshening, cleaning, antimicrobial purposes, and body sprays, and even topical anti-inflammatory benefits and healing. Example: Melaleuca, lemon, thyme. )

Topical

Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin, hair, and nails and can be safely applied topically. (Some oils should not be applied to the skin without first diluting them with a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, or Olive Oil.) Some ways to use essential oils topically are:

Direct oils are applied directly on the area of concern. Because the oils are so potent, more is not necessarily better. Usually 1 to 3 drops of oil are adequate. For larger areas mix with a carrier oil.

Massage for stimulation of muscles, skin and connective tissue using a variety of techniques to help promote healing, balance and connections. Massage can be invigorating, relaxing, stimulating or soothing and using essential oils can enhance these benefits.

Reflexology/Reflex Therapy is a simple method of applying essential oils to contact points (or nerve endings, reflex points) in the hands or feet. The oils either help remove blockages along the pathways or travel the pathways to benefit the particular organ in question.

Auricular Therapy oils are applied to the various point on the rim of the ears to effect changes on internal body parts. Small amounts of oil are applied and then stimulated with the fingers or with a glass rod.

Compresses fill a basin with hot or cold water and add the desired essential oils. Stir the water vigorously and then lay a towel on top of the water. The oils will float on top of the water and so the towel will soak them up with the water. Once the towel is saturated, wring out the excess water and place the towel over the area needing the compress. For a hot compress, cover with a dry towel and a hot water bottle. For a cold compress cover with a piece of plastic wrap and an ice pack.

Additionally, after a massage, you can apply the hot wet towel and then a dry towel on top of the massaged area. The moist heat will force the oils deeper into the tissues of the body.

Baths essential oils can be added to the bath water in a tub, in Bath and Shower Gel, Bath Salts, on a washcloth or as a body spray.

Internal

Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements for targeted wellness. Only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils should be used for internal consumption. Other oils on the market could be diluted or processed using harmful chemicals not intended for internal use. Some ways to use essential oils internally are:

Sublingual one of the most effective way to take essential oils internally. Place a drop or two of essential oil under the tongue where blood capillaries are close to the surface. Many oil constituents are able to pass directly into the bloodstream, where they can quickly travel to the different areas of the body where they are needed. This enables rapid absorptions and bypasses the digestive system and the first-pass metabolism in the lives.

Capsules essential oils can be placed inside an empty capsule and then swallowing it. It is common to dilute the pure essential oil by filling the remainder of the capsule with olive oil before closing and swallowing. This is an effective way of taking oils that have a less than desirable taste.

Beverages offer an easy way to take essential oils internally. Place 1 drop of essential oil in 1 to 4 cups of almond milk, coconut milk or water before drinking. I personally put essential oils in my smoothies before blending.

Cooking essential oils can be easily incorporated into your cooking. But remember they are VERY concentrated and usually you only want to add 1 drop or less. Use a toothpick to help control the addition of smaller amounts of oil by dipping the toothpick into the oil and then stirring it into the food.

Bottom Line.
Essential oils are both exciting and promising when it comes to taking care of your own and your family’s health. Whether you’re applying essential oils topically, enjoying the aromatic benefits through diffusing, or taking essential oils internally, the positive effects of essential oils are boundless.

That’s why you’ll want to ensure that the essential oils you are using are capable of delivering on their promise. You’ll want to make sure that you are choosing essential oils for their potency and their purity.

And remember never stop learning, the more we learn the better we can use essential oils to their fullest benefit.

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Pregnant or lactating women and persons with known medical conditions should consult a physician prior to the use of any of these products.

Thanks so much to Donna for sharing this wealth of knowledge with us and check her out!!!  Share below in the comments any experiences you have had using essential oils along with any more info or topics you would like to know more about!

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Posted on by Angela in Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition Leave a comment

Natural Insect Repellents

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Well summer is finally here and we are forced to deal with those pesky mosquitos!  My six-year-old gets extreme swelling and pain when she is bitten so I’ve been doing my homework on how to protect her without using chemicals.  Here are a few little pearls that I have stumbled upon–

Lavender and geranium oil—use a small spray bottle with distilled water and add 30 drops of either oil

Lemon eucalyptus oil—again use a small spray bottle filled with distilled water and add 30 drops

Here is a tricky little thing:

Brew a strong pot of either parsley, basil or lemon balm tea and then once it is cooled —rub it on your skin

You can also use essential oils in the tea as well

Posted on by Angela in Body Leave a comment

Essential Oils

 

Ever wonder why you immediately feel calm and relaxed when you walk into a spa for that much-anticipated massage after a long week?  The aroma of the spa is invigorating and uplifting.  Spas often use essential oils that have positive effects on the hypothalamus and limbic system in our brains.  Thus, they immediately relax us and detoxify our thoughts.  Our noses know exactly how to harness the healing power of plants which is why oils can be so effective in the healing process.  Essential oils have been used for centuries in traditional cultures for purification and medicinal purposes.  Essential oils can be inhaled as well as applied topically to penetrate cell membranes thus enhancing cellular function.

Beware–when buying essential oils, quality is key.  Synthetic oils found in most health food stores can be toxic.  They are created with solvents and high heat that damages the plants.  The companies that make them also often use chemicals to extend their shelf life.  You must get therapeutic grade oils that use steam distillation as a water extraction process and not chemicals

For more info on essential oils visit:

http://www.essentialthree.com

 http://www.youngliving.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Mind, Nutrition, Spirit Leave a comment