Using Essential Oils for Health

by Jen on October 19, 2017

Find out how essential oils can help boost your health in a natural and safe way!

Learn the Health Benefits of Essential Oils and why I use them in my home.

I have to start out this post being really honest with you.

When I first heard of essential oils, I thought they were for those “hippy” types. You know, the people who live off the earth, wear long, flowing tops, never wash their hair, and smell like patchouli all the time.

I was NOT one of those people.

However, I had heard of some of the benefits of them and I thought, heck, why not give them a try.

So, I ordered my first essential oils pack which included oils such as frankincense, tea tree, peppermint, lemon, etc.

And guess what? These oils sat in my cupboard for two years. I pulled them out occasionally, but for the most part, they collected dust! However, after I lost 90 pounds and I started to change my health for the better, I realized that nature often provides what we need, which includes healing.

Slowly but surely, I switched all of our cleaning supplies, soaps, beauty care to non-toxic ingredients, which included making a lot of my own products at home with my essential oils.

For over 5,000 years, many different cultures have used these healing plant oils for a variety of health conditions. They are often used for relaxation, beauty care, home cleaning and most often used as natural medicine.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree, and just one drop can have powerful health benefits.

They are typically created through the process of distillation, which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming.

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. By concentrating the oils of these plants, you are literally separating the most powerful healing compounds of a plant into a single oil. Which is why when using essential oils, more isn’t always better. Essential oils are extremely potent and it is important to use as little as needed, not as much as possible.

The therapeutic oils in plants protect the plant from insects, shield the plant from a harsh environment and help them adapt to their surroundings. By taking essential oils, you are harnessing the protective and healing powers of a plant.

Essential oils are composed of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some compounds in essential oils can even cross the blood-brain barrier.

Quality Matters

The quality of essential oils on the market varies greatly. Essential oils can be quite expensive, but a high quality essential oil takes a large amount of plant material to produce and is highly concentrated. Many inexpensive essential oils are available commercially, but are altered with other oils or do not pass third party testing because of their inferior quality.

High quality oils should be produced without chemicals and come from plants that grow in their natural environment and growing region.

Up to 85% of oils are synthetic, fake, and adulterated based on lab testing of oils worldwide. Fake chemicals are created in a lab and are not the chemicals created from the plant. There is a difference! Adulterated means that they have added different chemicals or smells to the “oils” to make them smell more real or pass more tests.  Synthetics and fragrances don’t combine well with autoimmunity and mutated genes for methylation (detoxification.)

doTERRA oils are beyond organic. What does that mean? It means that their oils are harvested in indigenous countries where they grow in their natural habitat. Wildcrafted is always better than organic. One thing organic standards don’t do is test the final product. doTERRA tests each finished product before it goes onto the market.

The E.coli break out a few years ago originated from organic spinach. I always buy organic produce, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t mean it’s not contaminated, that’s why testing the finished product when it comes to something I am consuming for my health is my first priority when it comes to essential oils.

The oils I purchase are available HERE.

Essential Oil Applications

Here are the four most common ways these healing oils are used today:

Aromatically:

Essential oils can also be diffused into the air. This process is known as aromatherapy and provides the benefits of the oils as they are inhaled. There is evidence that the oils are absorbed into the blood stream when inhaled.

Using a diffuser can help you experience the benefits of essential oils. You can diffuse lavender to reduce stress, melaleuca to cleanse the air, wild orange to improve mood, frankincense for spiritual enlightenment and peppermint to improve focus and energy.

I start each morning by turning on my diffuser and inhaling some essential oils (Balance, Citrus Bliss, and OnGuard are my current favourite blends.)

My morning routine

Topically:

Essential oils contain tiny molecules that are much more easily absorbed into the body than other types of oils, so when an oil is used on the skin, the body rapidly obtains the benefit of the oil. This is why it is also important to follow safe usage guidelines, even for topical use.

I like to combine my essential oils with fractionated coconut oil before I put them on my skin, especially when applying them to my children.

Internally:

Essential oils can be used as a powerful form of medicine but it should be remembered that again, essential oils are powerful. Most essential oils are safe for internal use but a little bit goes a long way. Usually 1-3 drops is plenty mixed with water.

Oils like peppermint, lemon and frankincense have great internal benefits and can be taken with water. Other essential oils like clove and oregano need to be diluted and shouldn’t be taken internally for more than 1 week.

Because these oils are very potent, I like to add a drop to an empty gel cap and then swallow it with water.

My preferred method for taking essential oils internally

My Favourite Essential Oils

  • Peppermint– We use it on feet for nausea, fever, or headaches, in homemade soaps, and in the diffuser. For congestion, I add a few drops of Peppermint and other oils to a pot of steaming water and breathe in the steam to help open the sinuses.
  • Lavender– I use it in skin care recipes and as a calming oil when needed. It is naturally antibacterial and I often add it to homemade cleaners. I also rub some on the bottoms of my feet and the back of my neck before bed for a wonderful relaxing effect.
  • Lemon– Citrus essential oils are astringent and antiseptic and are thought to stimulate the immune system. They are uplifting and considered cleansing. In some studies they are shown to have antimicrobial properties. I add lemon to ALL of my cleaning products. It also works great to remove any glue or sticky stuff from bottles.
  • Frankincense– The KING of all oils! I add this to my homemade skin toner recipe and will often take a drop under my tongue in the morning to promote cellular health.
  • Geranium– I add a drop to my hair glaze to increase hair growth, improve scalp health, and add shine to my hair.
  • Tea Tree/Melaleuca – I add this to natural cleaning products as it is naturally antibacterial and smells great when mixed with a citrus oil or lavender.

Best Carrier Oils

Essential oils are extremely small so they can pass through the skin and into the body quickly. But if you want to keep the oils on your skin and dilute them to create more gentleness on the skin you can combine them with carrier oils.

These larger oils that come from the fatty part of the plant can increase the length of time the essential oils stay on your skin and also prolong the aromatherapy effects.

Some people mistakenly think using carrier oils reduces the effectiveness of the oil but really it can be the opposite. Dilution increases the surface area of absorption and with certain oils can prevent sensitivities.

Common carrier oils include:

  • Almond oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil (fractionated)
  • Jojoba oil
  • Olive oil

Save Money Using Essential Oils

One benefit of essential oil usage is that you can save money in other areas of the budget, such as using them in DIY beauty products and homemade cleaning products that no longer have to be purchased at retail from the store.

Here are some ways I use essential oils in our home:

  • We make our own natural cleaning products with essential oils and inexpensive ingredients like baking soda and white vinegar to save money on cleaning products
  • We use essential oils in place of candles and air fresheners
  • We use essential oils to make laundry smell nice
  • We use essential oils and other natural ingredients to make our own toothpaste, lotion, and deodorant which frees up the budget for those items

Do you use essential oils? What is your favourite blend of oil and how do you use it?

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Low Carb Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

by Jen on October 16, 2017

You can eat low carb and enjoy Thanksgiving! I’ve collected a few of my favourite low carb Thanksgiving recipes that you can enjoy this Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Low Carb Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

The holidays…A time to celebrate. A time to give thanks. A time to EAT!

Yes, the holidays are typically a time when we get together with family and celebrate the harvest with food. While this can be a fun occasion for some, for others, it can be a time of great stress. If you are new to low carb eating, Thanksgiving can seem like a nightmare. The dinner table is usually loaded with carb-filled goodies that temp you at every turn.

But guess what? You can eat low carb AND enjoy Thanksgiving dinner! There are so many delicious and wonderful low carb Thanksgiving and holiday recipes out there, you just have to find them. That’s why I’ve put together a list of menu ideas for your next holiday dinner. Now you’ll have all the recipes in one place.

Let’s get started, shall we?!

Appetizers

Low Carb Thanksgiving Appetizers

Turkey Bacon Ranch Pinwheels from Joy Filled Eats

Keto “Popcorn” from Healthful Pursuit

No Bake Keto BLT Dip from Healthful Pursuit (pictured above)

Oven Baked Zucchini Chips from The Fit Housewife (pictured above)

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus from The Fit Housewife (pictured above)

Bacon Feta Stuffed Mushrooms from I Breathe I’m Hungry (pictured above)

Easy Cheesy Pizza Dip from Spend With Pennies

Zucchini Tots from The Fit Housewife

Stuffed Baby Peppers from Ditch The Carbs

Vegetable Salad Rolls from The Fit Housewife (pictured above)

Main Dishes

Low Carb Thanksgiving Main Dishes

The Complete Guide To Cooking a Turkey from Nosh On It

Dry Brined Turkey from The Skinny Chick Can Bake

The Best Roast Turkey From Bakeaholic Mama (pictured above)

Mushroom and Sage Rolled Turkey Breast from All Day I Dream About Food

Easy Roasted Turkey With Sage Butter from I Breathe I’m Hungry (pictured above)

Citrus and Herb Butter Roasted Turkey from The Suburban Soap Box (pictured above)

Rosemary and Mustard Crusted Baked Ham from I Breathe I’m Hungry (pictured above)

Baked Ham with Low Carb Maple Bourbon Glaze from Food Network 

Breads & Stuffings

Low Carb Thanksgiving Breads and Stuffing

Low Carb Cheddar Biscuits from The Fit Housewife (pictured above)

Cranberry Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins from All Day I Dream About Food (pictured above)

Spicy Sausage and Cheddar Stuffing from All Day I Dream About Food (pictured above)

Grain Free Cheesy Corn Bread from Sugar Free Mom (pictured above)

Keto Thanksgiving Stuffing from The Nourished Caveman (pictured above)

 

Vegetable Side Dishes

Low Carb Vegetable Side Dishes

Broccoli Gratin from The Fit Housewife

Oven Fried Garlic Parmesan Green Beans from Sugar Free Mom

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts With Bacon from Older Mommy Still Yummy (pictured above)

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms from Love Fodies

Low Carb Cheesy Green Bean Casserole from The Fit Housewife (pictured above)

Lemon Asparagus with Bacon from Paleo Magazine

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes from Sugar Free Mom

Low Carb Candied Yams from Keto Diet App (pictured above)

Roasted Green Beans from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Fresh Green Beans with Bacon and Mushrooms from Cookin’ Canuck (pictured above)

Loaded Cauliflower Mash from The Fit Housewife (pictured above)

Desserts

Low Carb Thanksgiving Desserts

Low Carb Pumpkin Pie from The Fit Housewife (pictured above)

Grain Free Apple Crisp from Living Well Mom (pictured above)

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse from Sugar Free Mom (pictured above)

Low Carb Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake from I Breathe I’m Hungry

Low Carb Pumpkin Loaf With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting from Peace Love and Low Carb

Almond Milk Pumpkin Pie from Low Carb Yum

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars from Paleo Running Mama

Low Carb French Silk Pie from Maria Mind Body Health (pictured above)

 

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