prevent the flu naturally

8 Tried and True Methods to Prevent the Flu Naturally

Many are skeptical to getting the flu shot (rightfully so) and would rather avoid the flu, or at least lessen the symptoms and longevity of the flu, by boosting their immune system. There are numerous natural ways to do this, but we are going to focus on 8 tried and true methods that you can easily implement into your lives to prevent the flu naturally.

Some of these suggestions might seem like no-brainers, but many of us need to be reminded of what our mothers always said (I know I do). I submit that following these tried and true methods will not only help us prevent the flu naturally, but will build a foundation for overall good health.

  1. Wash your hands regularly
    Hopefully we all do this after using “the facilities”, but how many of us put our hands to our face throughout the day without thinking about it. At the very least, wash your hands before you eat, and for at least 15 seconds. Boring to count seconds? Sing the Alphabet song (preferably in your head) and by the time you get to “…next time won’t you sing with me”, you’ll be done.
  2. Vitamin D
    Not just for bones anymore, Vitamin D has been shown to impact the immune system. I advocate getting this as safe sun exposure when possible, but with today’s indoor lifestyle, especially in the winter season, taking a quality Vitamin D supplement is a must.
  3. Exercise
    I know. I know. It seems like exercise is a component of every healthy to-do list out there, but it’s not without reason. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your health and keep healthy throughout the flu season. If exercise isn’t something you do regularly, start small. Taking a walk in the great outdoors will do wonders for your body and your mood. And you can catch a few Vitamin D rays at the same time!
  4. Sleep
    Surviving on little sleep and trying to catch up with a Sunday nap won’t cut it. You need good quality sleep every night to keep your immune system strong. Have a hard time winding down after a long day? Avoid screen time on the TV, computer, and smartphone a couple of hours before bedtime. The light emitted from these screens prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
  5. Relax
    How often have we gotten sick right around the time of that big presentation, meeting, or (dare I say it) the holidays? These can all be stressful situations, and stress is a major contributor to our health issues. What is your “chill pill” – taking a hot bath, yoga, reading a good book, knitting, shooting some hoops, lunch with the girls? What ever gives you peace and joy, prioritize it and even mark it in your calendar. Don’t try and “fit” it in your schedule because chances are you will find other things to do.
  6. Eat Food
    And by food, I mean the real stuff, as nature intended (or at least a close resemblance). I strive to eat organic whenever I can and always keep an eye out for special deals (yes, eating right can cost more). Look for foods that are minimally processed and that don’t contain a long list of unpronounceable words. And remember, just because it is advertized with healthy buzz- words, doesn’t necessarily make it is healthy choice, so read those labels.
  7. Avoid sugar
    I know this is a tough one for a lot of people. We love anything sweet. Even our mother’s milk is on the sweet side. But sugar is a culprit in many of our health issues and it also weakens our immune system. Unfortunately, our food is laden with sugars, especially refined white sugar and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. Try and avoid these sugars at all costs and opt for natural choices (not artificial sugars) like fresh fruit, stevia, raw honey, and even then, in moderation.
  8. Whole food supplements
    It is very difficult to get everything we need from our food. This was the basis for the vitamin revolution. But not all multivitamins are created equal. Some contain synthetics, unrecognizable as food to our bodies and are virtually indigestible.These are often the cheap, over the counter types. Many “super vitamins”, even natural ones, contain too much of a good thing. We don’t necessarily need 200% of a certain nutrient, especially if that nutrient is stored in our organs and not flushed out of our systems. This can actually make us ill. Getting a good whole food supplement that gives you what you need, in the right proportions, that our bodies recognize as food, will not only boost your immune system, but is foundational for your overall health and wellbeing.

Following these 8 methods for boosting our immune system will go a long way in preventing the flu naturally this cold and flu season, but even more than that, it has the added benefit of building a foundation to ward off serious health issues that could creep up in your future.

There are also immune boosting elements in nature that can kick us on the right direction. For instance, check out these two articles:

When to buy organic

How to Decide When to Buy Organic Produce

Do you see the difference between these two strawberry offers at a grocery store in Colorado? If you said one is organic, then you would be spot on!

For years I have indulged in this delectable berry and so it has become a permanent part of what I associate with summer. In fact, I have my very own strawberry patch at home in Utah that I often feed on for breakfast, either straight off the plant or in the form of natural strawberry jam.

However, the day of this photo found me in Colorado. It was early spring, the sun was shining, and I had a hankering for strawberries. Now, I hate to buy fruit and veg from the grocery story when I have them in my garden, especially when organic produce usually costs more. If you are like me, you live on a budget. Many people struggle with the choice of price-over-quality or quality-over-price (by quality I mean organic). In this case, I got the best of both. Score!

Price-Over-Quality or Quality-Over-Price

But, if the price would not be the same, how do I choose when to buy organic? Would it be quality or price? Well, that depends. For strawberries, I would choose organic. In the US, strawberries grown by conventional means are loaded with pesticides. Growers even use poisonous gases (banned by the Geneva Conventions, by the way) to kill insects and weeds before planting the fields. The residue of these chemicals remain even after several washings. This is not only true for strawberries, but include several fruits and veg. Apples, are among the worst when it comes to pesticide levels, followed by produce such as peaches, nectarines, grapes, spinach, cherries, tomatoes, and bell peppers. And it often doesn’t help to peel them as many chemicals soak through the vulnerable skin. Strawberries are definitely be on my “A” list for buying organic. On the other hand, there are produce that are not as bad and can go on my “B” list or even no-list. These include avocado, sweet corn, cabbage, and pineapple. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of “Dirty 12” and “Clean 15” produce for tips.

when buy organic dirty 12 clean 15

Where to buy organic

Try your best to buy the worst of chemical laden fruits and veg, organic. And by all means shop around. Farmer’s markets are often great places for local, organic fare. There are also grocers that specialize in healthy alternatives that have great offers from time to time. I have found great organic frozen produce at Costco. And don’t forget your local grocery store, like where these strawberries came from. Of course, you can always try and grow some of your own favorites. I can vouch for the strawberries!

Photo credit – “Dirty 12 Clean 15” ewg.org

Lime Essential Oil for immune system and natural lifestyle

How LIME essential oil can boost your immune system and take out bubble gum

Do you wish you had more energy and a brighter attitude? How about a natural way to boost your immune system or a non-toxic cleaner? These are just a few of the awesome uses of Lime Essential Oil.

Lime Essential Oil has an energizing aroma and refreshing taste. Although lime is mostly known as a cooking ingredient, Lime Essential Oil has far more amazing properties than people are aware of.

Uses of Lime Essential Oil*

A great pick-me-up and stress reducer
Add 3-4 drops lime oil to your diffuser. Sit back and inhale deeply. You can also inhale by breathing from cupped hands with a few drops of Essential Oil, or just straight from the bottle. This will also promote balance and overall wellness at the same time help reduce stress and anxiousness and promote a feelings of calm.

Give your immune system a boost
Diffuse Lime Essential Oil in a diffuser or ingest a few drops in water. This is especially important after an illness.
Try adding some drops to your bath water as well. Mix with a carrier oil like coconut oil first for best results.

Help fight against respiratory issues, sore throat, or sinus discomfort
Diffuse or drink as mentioned above. Also, dilute a couple of drops in a carrier oil and rub it on your chest and neck for relief.

lime eterisk olje for stress og immunforsvar

For flavoring and internal support/detox
Put 1-2 drops into each glass of water you drink for a gentle cleanse. Use in food to create that tangy flavor. Great flavor booster in smoothies and ice cream.

For skin challenges like acne
Dilute one drop Lime Essential Oil with 7 drops of fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to your skin. It will not only cleanse and gently exfoliate, but also assist your body in repairing cells.

A great cleaning agent
Remove tough grease, residue from stickers, or even gum. Just apply a few drops of Lime Essential Oil to a cloth or cotton ball and rub off. Repeat as needed. Or you can use the recipe below

Recipe for a great, natural, multi surface cleaner.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 drops of Lime Essential Oil
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups water
  • a glass spray bottle

Directions

  1. Add essential oil, rubbing alcohol and water to a glass spray bottle
  2. Shake before use. Do not use on plastic surfaces.

 

*Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. Citrus oils may cause photosensitive reactions on the skin. Avoid sunlight or UV rays for at least 12 hours after applying. Always consult your healthcare professional if you are pregnant, nursing, or under a health practitioner’s care.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH LIME ESSENTIAL OIL?

Add a comment below !!

 

New to Essential Oils?

Learn more about Essential Oils here or

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health benefits of lemongrass essential oil

The Surprising Health Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil

Often used in Asia to flavor culinary dishes and teas, lemongrass offers a number of health benefits. Chinese medicine used lemongrass to relieve physical discomfort and stimulate circulation, particularly when it came to joint and muscle issues. The oil also possesses natural digestive properties that help protect against the odd stomach upset.

The oil supports skin, particularly when it comes to purifying and toning. Additionally, lemongrass increases awareness and reduces negative feelings. The oil’s natural ability to repel insects, make it one powerful agent to have on hand when you’re venturing outdoors. Check out this homemade bug spray with Lemongrass

Application: 1:4 dilution. Topically, Inhaled, Diffused, Dietary Supplement.

Safety Precautions*: For sensitive skin, dilute heavily. Do not use on children 18 months or younger.

Blends well with: Basil, Cardamom, or Spearmint.

health benefits of lemongrass essential oil

Here are more health benefits of lemongrass essential oil

Need to get rid of some pesky fleas? Add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to your dog’s shampoo.

Do you need a more positive outlook on life? Maybe you have just recently found yourself sporting a negative attitude. If so, place just a single drop of lemongrass essential oil into the palm of one of your hands. Rub your hands together firmly, and then inhale slowly for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Varicose veins are unsightly, and you can’t be blamed for wanting to hide or cover up your legs if you suffer from this condition. Don’t worry, lemongrass can rescue you from this situation as well. Add 2 drops of cypress oil to 2 drops of lemongrass essential oil and combine with 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil. Apply directly to your varicose veins once or twice a day.

Do you have ligament or muscle discomfort? Lemongrass seems to be excellent in helping the body regenerate connective tissue, and helps regulate blood flow. It is also said to be great in supporting the body with head tension. See this study: Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus.

 

*Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. There is a difference of opinion on whether or not Lemongrass has the same photosensitive reactions on the skin. To be safe, avoid sunlight or UV rays for at least 12 hours after applying. Always consult your healthcare professional if you are pregnant, nursing, or under a health practitioner’s care.

 

New to Essential Oils?

Learn more about Essential Oils here or

go here if you want to buy some oils.

Interested in working with Essential Oils?

Write us a line here and we will help you find out if this is something for you.

 

Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons User – Obsidian Soul

eteriske oljer for katt - essential oils cats - doTerra

Essential Oils you should never give your Cat

Are you considering using something natural like essential oils for your cat?

For us, Casper kitty is not just a pet, he is a valuable and loved member of our family. So, we are as concerned about his health as we are our own. Casper gets good food and plenty of exercise. But, as an outdoor cat, he has also had his share of bumps and scrapes. While we have a great vet and would not hesitate to use him when needed, we treat most of Casper’s health issues like we treat our own – with essential oils.

Although Essential Oils have been shown to be beneficial to humans and animals alike, a word of caution when using them on our feline friends – cats are extremely sensitive to EOs and can suffer harmful consequences if wrong oils or wrong dosages are given. Even inhaling a sensitive oil can pose problems.

The simple explanation is that cats lack a crucial liver enzyme that allow them to breakdown otherwise harmless compounds (hydrocarbons and terpenoids) that are found in many essential oils. These compounds are then stored in the liver and can cause liver damage. Sometimes it can take a long time for for these effects to manifest and by then it is often too late.

Here are the oils that can be harmful to kitty:

essential-oils-not-good-for-kitty

But it isn’t just a simple matter of staying away from certain essential oils, cats are also very sensitive to insecticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that find their way into the majority of EOs on the market. So, make sure whatever oils you use are 100% pure, therapeutic grade.

Once you have decided on a safe essential oil brand, you will find that there are as many opinions on what specific oils are safe and oil uses as there are oils. So the oils that I recommend are what I feel comfortable using on Casper.

essential-oils-purrrfect-for-kitty

Fennel is a vegetable that tastes a little like liquorice.

Fennel Essential Oil for Occasional Digestive Issues

Fennel has lots of great properties promoting natural digestion.

Add fennel to your meals for relieving occasional indigestion and digestive troubles.  Often used by Roman warriors, fennel was believed to fortify the mind and body for war. The oil possesses natural digestive properties that help protect against issues like occasional indigestion. As a  matter of fact, if you have been to an Indian restaurant, you might have tried the after-meal snack called Mukhwas which contains Fennel seeds.

Fennel oil is distilled from the seeds and is effective in relieving all sorts of stomachaches, even those caused by menstrual cramps.  The oil calms minor skin irritations and strengthens the lymphatic system. Fennel’s strong digestive properties, along with its natural ability to support the skin, make it one powerful agent to have on hand when you’re in need of relief. It is also a great to promote respiratory function.

Fennel is also known for its ability to promote healthy metabolism, liver function, and circulation as well as fighting sweet tooth cravings.

Fennel Essential Oil for Occasional Digestive IssuesPrimary Benefits

  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Supports a healthy respiratory system
  • May help promote healthy metabolism, liver function, and circulation

Uses

To support digestion or menstrual issues, blend 3-4 drops with a carrier oil and massage over the affected area and into the soles of the feet. You can also take internally if you’re experiencing a minor stomachache by placing a couple drops in your hot tea.

To use as a flavoring agent, put 1-2 drops in your dish (particularly good in desserts). You can also use fennel to calm cravings by placing a drop below the tongue.

 

General Methods of Application

  • Apply pure locally on the skin (mix 50/50 in a carrier oil for sensitive skin)
  • Aromatically
  • Internally

Precautions

Those with sensitive skin should dilute the oil with a carrier oil. Avoid touching the eyes, ears, and other sensitive areas with the oil. People who are nursing, pregnant, or are receiving medical attention should consult their physician before use. Additionally, make sure to store the oil away from children.

Blend Recipe: Relief for Occasional Digestive Issues

Ingredients

1 drop Ginger Essential Oil

2 drops Fennel Essential Oil

2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

5 drops carrier oil (i.e. coconut oil, olive oil)

Directions

If you experience occasional constipation, you can relieve it through an essential oil capsule. Simply add all ingredients in a “00” veggie capsule and, every three hours, ingest until the issue is resolved.

Lean more about Essential Oils here or

go here if you want to buy some oils.

Wild Orange Essential Oils great for mood, cleansing and energy

Wild Geranium Massage Blend

Wild Orange is one of our favorite oils. We just call it HAPPY OIL because it’s fresh scent and taste really lifts our mood. Used in a blend to create Wild Geranium Massage it is just amazing.

LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW YOUR FAVORITE WAY YOU USE WILD ORANGE!!

A popular oil for cleaning and freshening, wild orange oil also offers a number of health benefits. For instance, the oil possesses a high level of antioxidants which helps combat those harmful free radicals within the body. As with many other citrus oils, Wild Orange is great for detoxing your body. Studies also show it is fantastic to uplift mood and help reduce stress.

Wild orange can even be used as a surface cleanser for tabletops, dishes, floors, and anything in between. The oil supplies similar properties when it comes to bodily health by combatting harmful environmental elements and seasonal threats.

The oil’s strong purifying and cleansing properties, along with its natural ability to disinfect, make it one powerful agent to have on hand for Spring cleaning.

Uses

To cleanse and purify surfaces, add 3-4 drops wild orange to a spray bottle then fill the rest with distilled water. Shake well and use as needed.

For flavor and health benefits, put 1-2 drops of wild orange in a glass of drinking water, smoothie, desserts or anything else you can come up with. You can also use the oil aromatically by diffusing throughout the room or apply the cup and inhale method to boost energy.

General Methods of Application

  • Apply pure locally on the skin (mix 50/50 in a carrier oil for sensitive skin)
  • Aromatically
  • Internally

Precautions

Those with sensitive skin should dilute the oil with a carrier oil. Avoid touching the eyes, ears, and other sensitive areas with the oil. People who are nursing, pregnant, or are receiving medical attention should consult their physician before use. Additionally, make sure to store the oil away from children. This oil is photosensitive; avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after applied topically.

wild orange geranium massage blend

Blend Recipe: Wild Geranium Massage

Ingredients

15 mL Carrier Oil

10 drops Geranium Essential Oil

5 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil

Directions

Relieve nerves and stress while melting away muscle soreness with this massage blend. In a small glass jar or bottle, add all ingredients and shake well to mix. Massage into the neck, feet, shoulders, and lower back.

New to Essential Oils?

Learn more about Essential Oils here or

go here if you want to buy some oils.

Interested in working with Essential Oils?

Write us a line here and we will help you find out if this is something for you.

eat late lose weight

Eat Late and Lose Weight

4 foods for late-night eating that can help you lose fat

Quick question for those of you who work out, but still can’t seem to drop a few pounds: Do you ever eat late at night?

It is pretty widely accepted that this is a no-no for weight loss, but if you answered yes, don’t worry. I may have a solution for all that night-time eating.

Although it is generally accepted, is eating right before bed a bad thing if you want to lose weight? Well, yes and no. Why it is generally not a good idea to eat certain foods before hitting the pillow, there are foods that are not only OK, but they can actually help you lose fat!

What foods should you steer away from if you want to lose weight? The answer is foods laden with bad carbs. The main reason for this is that fast burning carbohydrates increase your insulin. Too much blood sugar and insulin can lead to more fat storage and less fat burning.

So, what’s the alternative? Good quality, slow digesting proteins. In a nutshell, they provide your body with amino acids that help you recover from that exercise class you took after work and maintain lean muscle as you lose fat in addition to boost your body’s metabolism (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008)

According a study published in “The British Journal of Nutrition” in 2014 eating 30 grams of whey or casein protein 30 minutes before sleep causes a higher resting energy expenditure the next morning.

eat late and loose weight

Eating protein before bed not only boosts your body’s metabolism while you sleep, it may also increase your metabolism into the next morning.

Try these alternatives:

  1. White Animal Meat (not fish) – White meat protein sources such as chicken and turkey digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. They also promote the release of glucagon, a hormone that helps the body break down stored carbs and fat.
  2. Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and also stimulates glucagon release. Just make sure you steer away from the flavored varieties that contain added sugars.
  3. Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake – In addition to the above benefits, this alternative can certainly satisfy any sweet craving you may have.
  4. Green Veggies – Ok, these are not on the high protein list, but they are very low in calories and high in fiber. You can eat these until the cows come home (or until you are comfortably full).

Next time you are feeling peckish at night, you can try these alternative late night foods to both satisfy your hunger and lose weight.

Tummy Tamer Tea with Essential Oils Recipe

I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible habit of overindulging during the holiday season. I love the food, but I hate the bloated, uneasy feeling I get afterwards. Since I doubt I will curb my appetite this season either, I will just have to unbutton my jeans and enjoy a cup of […]

Sugar is Killing Us: a simple video for kids (and adults)

Many have seen, read, or heard about Dr. Robert Lustig’s “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. It has a no nonsense look at how sugar really affects the body. I remember watching the YouTube video and thinking – Wow! We really need to focus on this in our family!

Of course, when I tried to reiterate what I had learned to my kids, my explanations were sorely lacking. Not being able to remember how Dr. Lustig put things, it came out as – listen up kiddos,  uh…pancreas…HFCS…toxic…diabetes…sugar…BAD!

For all you parents and laymen like me, there is a video that gives us the basics of how sugar affects our bodies, with simple words and cartoons to boot. Enjoy and be well!

P.S. Looking to better your health? Check out our Free Webinar on how you can replace everyday medicines with natural alternatives.