Month: December 2011

Stay Well

Hi! How has your week been so far? Relaxing I hope. We just got back from New York where we had a great time with friends and family. I have to say that NY felt a lot colder than DC. Speaking of cold, it seems as though I caught one at the end of our trip, but I’m happy to say that I’m getting better very quickly. I wanted to share some of my favorite tips that I like to utilize when I’m feeling run down. I very rarely get sick so hopefully these tips will help you like they help me!

1.  Avoid processed  sugar – I do this on a daily basis, but I REALLY do this when I feel a cold coming on since sugar weakens the immune system.

2.  Soak your feet – Another thing I pretty much do daily. It’s such a relaxing and detoxifying habit. I add some of my herb soak salts to very warm water and let my feet soak for about 10 minutes.

3.  Moisturize your feet – After a foot bath is the perfect time to put a therapeutic balm on your feet and some nice comfy socks.  Some of my favorite balms to use include Buddha Nose’s  I Booster Salve and Waxelene (“The Petroleum Jelly Alternative” with SO many uses). I notice I always sleep especially well when I do this before bed.

4.  Sleep well  – There’s nothing like high quality sleep to help you overcome a battle with a bug. I think the advise of 7-9 hours seems about right, but everyone is different.

5.  Consume lots of hot liquids – Green tea, plain hot water with fresh lemon juice and homemade chicken soup are my favorites.

6.  Eat garlic – I always love to eat garlic, but I definitely up the ante if I’m not feeling well. Garlic is nature’s antibiotic.

7.  Have some honey – Another superb natural germ fighter. Add a teaspoon to tea for a sore throat or a tablespoon to the juice of one lemon for a natural cough remedy (see previous post).

8.  Oil your nostrils – It sounds weird, but it’s an excellent way to keep germs out of your nose. To prevent your nasal passages from getting dry just put a little olive oil or sesame oil on a Q-tip/clean finger and coat the inside of your nostrils. This is an especially good practice before traveling on a plane.

9.  Keep the heat down – I am very big on not putting the heat too high during the winter because I hate how it makes my sinuses feel dry/stuffy.  I prefer putting on another layer of clothing before cranking the heat up to anything above the low 70s.

 I really hope these recommendations help you during cold season and throughout the year. Be well! :) ~Annie

 

Gift Ideas from Pacifica

I love to use Pacifica products because of their high quality natural ingredients and incredible fragrances. I also love to give Pacifica products for these same reasons plus their colorful and eye-catching packaging just make them perfect for gifting.

These are some of my latest favorites from the line:

Island Vanilla Take Me There Set ($18.00 ($26.00 value)) – contains a 2.5 oz Body Butter, .33oz Perfume Roll-on & their new Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint. You can currently find this set at Sephora.

Crème de Menthe Soy Candle 3 OZ ($6.00) – tiny and cute, but it a packs a strong scent of chocolatey peppermint goodness. Burns cleans for up to 30 hours.

Satsuma Pillar 3 X 3 ($16.00)- a spicy citrus scent that is sure to lift your spirits. Burns up to 50 hours.

 

Free shipping on orders over $50 right now!

Quick Apple Walnut Bran Mufins

Ingredients:

  • Bran Muffin Mix — I like Hodgson Mills – good quality ingredients and very cheap (around $1.35/box)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small apple chopped
  • 15-20 walnuts chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Line or grease 6 muffin cups
  3. Combine muffin mix and oil
  4. Add milk and egg
  5. Add apple, walnuts and cinnamon
  6. Mix well until moist
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes
  8. Spoon batter into muffin cups
  9. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top each muffin
  10. Bake for 14 minutes
  11. Enjoy!

 

Cold Feet? Natural Remedy Failure

As the weather is getting chillier, I was excited to try this interesting and easy natural remedy — If your feet tend to be on the cold side, try sprinkling some cayenne pepper inside your socks. Supposedly this should help your feet warm up because it encourages increased blood flow.

So this morning I finally remembered to put a little cayenne pepper in my socks because of course, I had to see if it actually worked and how messy it was (it’s SO messy), etc before I recommended it to you. Well, I would definitely NOT recommend this. My feet are not even feeling a little bit warmer 1.5 hours after spicing up my socks, BUT the sole of my right foot is currently on fire.  And not in a warm, pleasant way. It feels like my foot just ate a way too spicy hot pepper.

{via}

Bottom line: I would keep the cayenne pepper out of your socks, but I would put it in your next stir fry or soup because it will help to get the circulation going and warm you up internally.

Ok, I gotta go, my right foot needs a glass of milk. This is bad news. Have a great weekend!

 

20 Natural Pain Cures

I just came across this awesome list of 20 Pain Cures You Can Find in Your Kitchen and I just had to share it.

The list includes natural remedies like:

  1. Ginger for muscle pain
  2. Cloves for a toothache
  3. Apple cider vinegar for heartburn (such a great one!)
  4. Garlic for earaches
  5. Cherries for joint pain and headaches
  6. Fish for stomach troubles
  7. Yogurt for PMS
  8. Turmeric for chronic pain
  9. Tomato juice for leg cramps

I can attest to trying most of these natural remedies and they really do work!

Quick Tip – Label Reading

How carefully do you read labels? Hopefully pretty carefully. If not, it’s time to start!

Some ingredients that are 100% on the NOT GOOD FOR YOU AT ALL list include artificial preservatives (like BHT & BHA), artificial colors (FD&C Red No. 40 or anything that looks similar to that) and artificial sweeteners (like acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose). These are all considered foreign invaders by the body and the liver in particular gets taxed the most when any of these artificial ingredients are consumed. Since the liver is typically busy doing normal detoxification of your system, which includes processing hormones and fat and more, you really don’t want to be giving this key organ any distracting and unnecessary work.

If you don’t already avoid these artificial offenders then getting them out of your diet is a fast and extremely beneficial change you can make today!

 

Love Lavender?

If you’re a big fan of lavender then you will love this Lavender Aromatherapy Stick by Aura Cacia.  It is made with 100% pure lavender essential oil so it smells just like the real stuff.  I’ve been using it as my everyday perfume lately and I’m really loving it.

Some pluses (aside from the wonderful scent itself) — it’s under $10, it’s easy to carry with you, it promotes relaxation, and it never gives me headaches (like many conventional perfumes). The stick also comes in Tea Tree (great for bug bites & blemishes), Eucalyptus (helps with cold symptoms) and Peppermint (excellent for headache relief).

 

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!