December 31, 2009

Coming Back...

It happens to me every year. I get a little carried away with the Christmas cookies. If it was just making them, that would be one thing, but it's eating them. And this goes way beyond the sampling to make sure that they turned out ok from the oven.
This year I've got some help. I've started to incorporate a Balance Complete shake into my daily meal regimen. I use it for either breakfast or lunch and since I just can't stomach the idea of doing a full 5 Day Cleanse, this will help me jump start getting back to normal post Christmas. It tastes good too!

December 30, 2009

Lotions and Potions

I can't believe it's been 6 weeks (at least) since I've shared my latest discoveries. All those 5am wake ups caught up with me and of course Christmas was always looming in the near future. On top of it all throw in 2 sick kids and a sick husband right after Thanksgiving and that's been my life. The upside is that I've been playing with oil blends looking for ways to manage the winter weather. After some successful trials and some blends that just weren't meant to be, I've found a few things I thought were worth sharing.
First- Winter Skin. For the past few years I've suffered from the skin on my hands peeling and ultimately bleeding from being so dry. Whether it's the cold outside or the heat inside, they take a beating making it uncomfortable for knitting. Being that I have my priorities in order and would consider the inability to knit a major problem, I needed a solution. The result is a blend that after 3 days made a significant difference in my hands even after hand washing. I combined 5 drops of Frankincense with 5 drops of Copaiba (my new favorite oil) and added them to about 3oz. of regular Aveeno lotion. While it has done wonders for my hands, the health and immune supporting properties of Frankincense have done even more than that. The last cold that hit our family got everyone but me and my youngest. I've been using this lotion on him for his Eczema and we both remained healthy. In fact, the little guy hasn't had more than a runny nose so far this winter and considering the amount of wrestling between my two boys he really should have experienced more than he has.
Second- The Cough. You know what I'm talking about. The one your kids have lingering during the day and always seems to get worse at night. You start to wonder if the medicine in your cabinet has expired or was recalled. You envision a really cold trip to the 24 hour pharmacy in the middle of the night and then just hope and pray for the best. As the mother of a child with asthma, I've been on a mission to manage and build lung function in any way I can that doesn't involve the regular use of inhaled steroids. After some experimentation I found a combination that I use on both my son's chest and feet at the first sign of a cold or cough. I cannot say that he doesn't cough at all (there is a need to get all that junk out) but when the doctor has listened to his chest during a cold with a lingering cough, it's been clear. So- here is one of my favorite blends for both kids and adults: 10 drops of Raven, 10 drops of Balsam Fir, and 10 drops of Copaiba mixed together in either a roller bottle or a small 3oz. bottle with a pump. Add to it enough Avocado oil to fill almost to the top and roll the bottle around sideways to blend the oils. The smell of these 3 oils together is amazing and the blend helps to keep the chest clear and the cough productive. If you are making this yourself, it's important to use the avocado oil as it neutralizes the heat of the Raven oil on the skin and makes it more comfortable for the kids. Once this blend is on the chest, I'll also add a little Lavender directly to the skin to help calm the coughing an the muscles in the chest.
Third- Cabin Fever. This one I'm still experimenting with and while it's early in the season, I feel I may have more to do here, but my start is definitely worth sharing. As a child, my mom used to make these little spice balls comprised of tangerines or clementines completely covered in whole cloves, rolled in cinnamon, and topped with a little bow. They would sit on a platter in our dining room and smelled great. I've tried the cloves in the oranges and while they do smell great, the pain on the fingers to push in all those cloves is more than I can deal with right now. My solution: A blend of Citrus Fresh and Clove in the diffuser. These two oils together smell wonderful and make a great air freshener. If you don't have a diffuser, a few drops of each in a cup of hot water or added to a small spray bottle filled with water will work just as well. It's an uplifting combination that doesn't smell like winter. By the time March rolls around, I may need a different combination but for now, I feel as if I'm off to a good start on this one.