Packing a Punch in the Kitchen

Are you ready for some secret ingredients that have added health benefits, bursts of incredible flavors, and NEVER expire?  YES!  Hold onto your apron and let's get cookin' friends...

Dietary Essential Oils

Essential oils can be for more than just aromatherapy?

First things first.  NOT ALL BRANDS ARE THE SAME.  Actually, all brands are different than what I am talking about.   There is only one company in the world offering a Seed to Seal® standard.  So please do not try this with any brand other than Young Living Essential Oils (YLEO).  

Which oils are the ones that are safe to take internally or cook with?  In the US, this is super simple, there is an entire line of them called Vitality™ Dietary Essential Oils.  Vitality Oils are FDA approved and labeled for internal use and they are just what you need to add elevated flavor to your recipes. 

Grab your favorite cooking spatula and read on for simple pairings to try. 

Perfect Pairings

Okay, what goes with what?

If you know me you know I live by the keep it simple rule.  Don't overthink it and let's find ways to find healthy living for #RealLife. This simple graphic and tips below from our friends at YLEO to keep things easy! 

Avocado and Lime Vitality
The zesty flavor of Lime complements avocados very well.  Add Lime Vitality to your fresh guacamole, tacos, or salad dressing recipe.

Garlic Cloves and Rosemary Vitality
Using garlic and Rosemary Vitality is great to add a robust, herb flavor to potatoes, meat, or homemade artisan bread.

Tomatoes and Basil Vitality
Craving Italian? Basil Vitality will bring any pasta sauce, caprese salad, or bruschetta recipe to life.

Blueberries and Lavender Vitality
Lavender Vitality adds sophistication and many dietary benefits! Add this multifunctional oil to your blueberry muffin, jam, or scone recipe.

Apples and Cinnamon Bark Vitality
Apples and Cinnamon Bark Vitality are a perfect pair! Bring warmth while balancing sweetness and spice. These comforting flavors together will be just the thing for your next baked apples, apple pie, or a hearty bowl of oats.

Which one interests you most to try first?  Stay with me, I've got one of my cheat sheets ready for you below to get you started right with your recipe conversions to start using oils!

Oily Conversion Made Simple
You need less than you think, I promise!

Possibly the most important thing to understand for using the YLEO Vitality Oils is just how much to use.  Say you want to try them with your favorite recipes, how do they convert to dry or fresh herbs and spices?  I am so glad that you asked, generally, the answer is that they are MUCH stronger.  So a little bit will go a LONG way. #AskMeHowIKnow #LessonLearned

Some need so little to replace your prior measurement that they are measured simply in toothpick amounts!  Wow.

Download and print this recipe to add your collection: Vitality Essential Oil Conversion Cheat Sheet.pdf














Did you enjoy this info?  If so I think that you will really enjoy my guide on 3-Ways to a Toxin-Free Home, it can be so simple, let me show you how!  Check it out right HERE.


Water, Water Everywhere

Water, Water Everywhere
Water is necessary for life.   And many of us are good at drinking water, but many of us struggle to get water in to our lives unless it is turned in to tea, coffee, or soda.  And we all know those items tend to be diuretics that only tend to dehydrate us more.  So, let’s learn about the many types of water and pros and cons to each type.  Maybe you’ll find a new favorite to help up your water game.  

The basic types of water are: Tap Water, Mineral Water, Spring or Glacier Water, Sparkling Water, Distilled Water, Purified Water, Flavored Water, Alkaline Water, Well Water - I'm starting to feel like Benjamin Buford Blue (Bubba) from Forrest Gump talking about all the different types of water. And I’m sure I left some out.  

Tap Water: The water that comes from – you guessed it – the tap in your house.  Pros, you are already paying for it, it is easy to get and “they” say it is safe.  Cons – the regulatory agencies and city municipal entities have been known to not be truthful ---Flint, Michigan ring a bell?   Plus, depending on where you live it might not taste so good.  Another factor to consider is the material your pipes are made from and the age of them.

Mineral Water: The water that is pulled from a mineral spring.   Pros – it is said to have health benefits from the minerals included in it including sulfur, magnesium, and calcium.   Many prefer the taste of it over tap water.  Cons: cost is the largest factor.  Oh, and if that water is sold in plastic bottles then you have the risks of the chemicals from the bottle leaching in to the water itself.

Spring or Glacier Water: Claims are that these are bottled at the source of the spring or glacier.  Pros: they should be relatively free of toxins and likely contain minerals as well.  Cons: it is pricey.  And there has been cases made that the water is not “naturally” flowing from anywhere.   In most cases, it is being pumped from a hole in the ground.  Check out this lawsuit https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/business/poland-spring-water.html.  So, you are likely not getting what you are paying for.  Oh, and there is still that pesky plastic bottle problem, too.

Sparkling Water: This is just carbonated water.  Pros: many prefer it to plain water as a substitute for soda.  Cons: many of the sparkling waters on the market contain a lot of sweeteners or sugars.   

Distilled Water: Water that is boiled and then the steam is collected and condensed back in to water.  Pros – It’s good if you are not sure of the water source and it’s what you can find.   And it is great for your ironing as it prevents leaving mineral deposits and other things on your clothing.  Cons – there are no vitamins or minerals, so no real health benefits.  It is thought that water with no minerals can actually pull minerals from where it can to maintain balance, so it might not be good for your body or your teeth.  

Purified Water: Usually tap or groundwater that has been…purified to remove harmful substances.  Pros – great if your water source is contaminated.  Most municipal water sources are technically purified water.   Cons – price in most cases.  Buying it in bottles is pricey.  Buying home systems like reverse osmosis can also be pricey.  

Flavored or Infused Water: Water with flavors.  Pros – Makes it less boring, so people tend to drink more. Cons – often full of synthetic ingredients, sugar, artificial sweeteners that negate any benefits you get from drinking more water.  

Alkaline Water: Water with a higher pH level and contains alkaline minerals and negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP).  Pros – higher pH level can help neutralize acidity in the body.  Negative ORP means that it helps prevent oxidation which is better for overall health.  Cons – too much could reduce stomach acidity too much, lowering the stomach’s ability to kill off harmful bacteria.  

Well Water:  Water that comes straight from the ground and is untreated.  Pros – usually if you have a good well in an area with a safe, pristine aquifer you will love the taste of well water.   Cons – because it is untreated water there is a risk of contaminants like giardia.  
 
As you can see, there is more than meets the eye, or glass, when it comes to types of water you can drink.   Each person should make their own decisions on what they feel is best for their family.  Personally, I currently use a filtering pitcher to help filter my tap water.  But still, plain water is boring, so I like to use these electrolyte drops, that are sugar-free, all natural, and give the water a big boost of flavor, and help my body by providing key minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium that help regulate nerve and muscle function, and keep me hydrated at the same time.  So, water doesn’t have to be boring.
 
Like what you learned, check out my free guide to boosting your immune system

Pupper Tummy Troubles

Pupper Tummy Troubles
UH OH!  Your Pupper has a Grumbly Tumbly!  
 
It’s bound to happen. Your pup gets an upset stomach.  It might be from something they ate or even just stress.  Seriously, some dogs will eat anything, including things better left not discussed in polite company.  Or some pups just have sensitive stomachs.  That’s my pup, Twinkle.  She also happens to be allergic to chicken, which we can pretty much always avoid, but sometimes she is sneaky and will beg the wrong food from someone who doesn’t know. Then we are dealing with itchy skin and tummy troubles.  Yay!

Obviously, the best way to avoid most tummy troubles in dogs is to have a good handle on what they are eating.  But, situations happen.  Like Twinkle deciding this new state of Oregon and the slugs and other bugs in the ground might be worth a taste.  Yuck!!

Thankfully, I learned a thing or two when she was younger that has been a lifesaver for us.  One, is canned pumpkin. Honestly, they should just hand every new pet owner a can with adoption.  This stuff is a LIFESAVER!  The best part, it works for both diarrhea and constipation!  WIN, WIN!  Usually it only takes 2-4 TBSPs to get good results.  And there is a lot more than that in a can.  So, I take the extra, freeze it in ice cube trays, and then pop the cubes out to a freezer bag or Tupperware and toss in the freezer.  Then next time we have tummy troubles, I just grab a cube or two.  You can soften if needed, but Twinkle likes a pumpkin pupsicle, so she’ll just munch on it frozen.  

Another great thing I’ve started using is a good supplement like NutraThrive.  It’s a bit pricey, but I wait until it is on sale and then stock up.  Another good option is just a probiotic like this one. Both of these products help the gut flora in your dogs stomach and intestines to do the work to digest food properly.  Bonuses, less upset tummies, and less gas!!!  

Finally, I always use my powerhouse DiGize on both me or the pups when we have upset stomachs.  It’s combination of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Lemongrass, Anise, Fennel, and Patchouli oils are a must for tummy troubles.   Just a drop or two rubbed on your or your pup’s abdomen and you’ll be feeling better in no time.  

Don’t forget, good products are worth it.  I wouldn’t just buy any dog food, probiotic, or essential oil for my pups, and neither should you.  Make sure you have vetted the company and know you are getting a high-quality product.   

Wanna learn more content like this?  Join my community of normal people who want to learn about healthy ways to live better for them and their animals.   You won’t find any Instagram models here.  We are real people who love a good pizza just like the dog in the picture!  Come check us out HERE.

Catch you next time.  I'm off to keep on Keepin' It Real -----Cathy

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to a few select products I use, enjoy, or recommend. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links, and your purchase supports companies and products I believe in.

Emotional Pups – No Fun for You or Them

Emotional Pups – No Fun for You or Them
Emotional Pups – No Fun for You or Them
 
It’s almost that time of year.  In fact, it might already be in your area.  You know what I’m talking about right?  Either fireworks or thunderstorms.  The times of the year that can be so very hard on your pets, especially dogs.  Read on to find some great tips I’ve picked up over the years of being a pet owner and helping with pet rescue.  
 
Thunderstorms and Fireworks
Thunderstorms and fireworks can be the bane of dogs everywhere.  Oftentimes, it doesn’t matter if your pup is the best-behaved dog in the world, when the booming of thunder or the bam of fireworks is happening, even the calmest dog can get spooked.  And getting spooked can be dangerous.  Did you know more dogs go missing on the 4th of July (US) and New Year’s Eve than any other time of the year?  

So, what is an owner to do?   
One, don’t ever leave your dogs outside if you know there are going to be thunderstorms or fireworks.   They don’t understand what is happening and they will do anything to get away.  And sometimes, that can be a dangerous proposition if they get out on a road.  Dogs will literally climb or jump 6+ feet fences trying to get away.  

Two, plan ahead.  This means, don’t wait until the event is upon you to figure out what you are going to do to mitigate the fear for your dog.   Get your supplies ready and do some trial runs.  It’ll be less stressful for you both.  

What does planning ahead look like?  
In my house, it means planning a safe space for them, be that a kennel or an interior room.   Yep, I’ve slept in the bathroom many a night with my pups.  It happens less often than before, because now they are used to the items we use and I do my very best to plan ahead and not wait.

Thundershirt
One that I always had on hand for Bryndoll (she crossed the Rainbow Bridge this year) was a Thundershirt.   This Velcro contraption wraps them up tight and helps them feel secure.  The issue most people have is they wait too long to put the shirt on the pup or to get them acclimated to it before there is a need.  If you wait until there is a problem, then the dog will only associate the shirt with being scared, and it is less effective.  So make sure you get the pup used to wearing it, and that you put it on well before it is needed.  I always watched the weather reports and if thunderstorms were projected I’d just go ahead and put Bryndoll in it. Same thing for fireworks.  She went in the Thundershirt at least by late afternoon to ensure it was on before the first firecracker went off in the neighborhood.

Essential Oils
Another thing I use is several Young Living Essential Oils.  And yes, they are the only ones I trust for my family and pets.   Again, the trick is to apply them before there is a problem.  The best way to introduce pets to essential oils is to do it low and slow.  Dogs especially have a very keen sense of smell, so too much oil too fast can make them sneeze and might make them less inclined to want to be around them.  What I have found to work best is to take one drop of oil rub it on my hands, and then pet down the back of the dog.  I try to stay away from the ears so the scent doesn’t overwhelm their nose. 

I also will drop some oil on the Thundershirt as well.  Remember, that just like with people, different oils work better for some dogs than others.   In our house, Bryndoll always loved and was calmed by Frankincense the most.  But Twinkle will come running for our Valor blend.  Seriously, if I open the bottle she comes running to get some.   As you can imagine, that is the first oil I reach for when I know there is going to be fireworks.  Other oils that are helpful to dogs are Lavender, Peace and Calming, and Stress Away.  

I hope this gave you some ideas of things to try to help keep your pups calm during stressful times.   And don’t forget, these work just as well for you, too.  We don’t have Thundershirts for humans, but I hear weighted blankets are great!!!

Remember how I said I only trust Young Living Essential Oils?  That’s because they are the only company with a Seed to Seal promise which means they take the utmost care from the selection of the seed all the way through the planting, growing, harvesting, distilling, bottling, and shipping of the products right to your door.  If you want more information on our process check it out here at www.seedtoseal.com.  And if you want to join me personally in learning more you can contact me HERE and join my community where I teach more about these products, pets, and how to live a bit more naturally HERE.  
 
Let's all do our part ot keep our pets worry-free this summer.  

Keepin' Real, as always ----Cathy
Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to a few select products I use, enjoy, or recommend. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links, and your purchase supports companies and products I believe in. 
 

Healthy Dogs – Happy Dog Owner

Healthy Dogs – Happy Dog Owner

Healthy Dogs – Happy Dog Owner

Read along to learn about simple ways to keep your dogs at the peak of health and avoid some serious dangers that are probably lurking in your home right now. At the end I share my recipe for a safe, non-toxic carpet and cat box deodorizer.
 
Pause and Pay Attention to the Paws
Did you know that dogs absorb everything, and I mean everything through their paws?  And have you ever known a dog that didn’t lick their paws?   Think about it. They walk outside, in the grass, on the sidewalk, everywhere and absorb all the toxins.  I think we all probably understand that.  But did you know, the common cleaners you use in your home are also toxic to your dogs?  So…anyone have a dog always chewing on their paws?  If so, your floor cleaner could be to blame.  

Ingredients such as Methylchloroisothiazolinone, often found in floor cleaners and even many personal care products, is a known toxin and cause of allergies and immunotoxicity.  What is immunotoxicity?  It is defined as adverse effects on the functioning of the local and systemic immune systems.  In layman’s terms, it means it prevents your body’s immune system from working properly.  And the same goes for your dogs.  And since dogs are smaller, toxins can build up in their bodies so much quicker.  I recommend doing a deep dive on the ingredients in your home care products so you don’t have to worry about what your babies – animals and humans alike, are absorbing while just walking around the house.  So what do you use?  I personally use a completely safe cleaner that does everything.  It is my countertop cleaner, my floor cleaner, my window cleaner, my toilet and tub cleaner.  It really is #onecleanertorulethemall!  And the best part: It smells great and it is so concetrated I get up 20 bottles of spray cleaner depending on how I choose to dilute.  Check it out: HERE

And what about those pet fresh carpet and cat box deodorizers?  Most, if not all, of them use a smorgasbord of synthetic chemicals and fragrances to basically mask the odor.  Unfortunately, due to US lobbying efforts of chemical companies back in 1976, most chemicals don’t need to be tested for toxicity, and the word fragrance can include many chemicals that never need to be listed because fragrance is covered by trade secret.  And yep.  Those chemicals are toxic to you and your pets.  Best bet, if the ingredient label says 'fragrance' then stay FAR away.  Click HERE to learn more about how the regulations don't protect the consumer.  

But I have a solution for you.  There is one company I trust that does keep my family and my pets health in mind.  Connect with me HERE to find out more.  

Now for that promised recipe.

Dog and Cat Safe Carpet and Litterbox Deodorizer

Supplies: My favorites are linked for simple shopping
Mason Jar sifter lid or fine mesh screen cut to size 

Take 1 cup of baking soda and add 2 TBSP Diatomaceous Earth.  Mix well.   I usually do this in a larger jar and close up and shake well.  Add 5-10 drops of your favorite pet safe essential oils (I only trust one company for this).  My favorites are Purification and/or Citrus Fresh.  Shake well to combine and let sit.  Then either change out the top of the Mason Jar with the sifter lid or transfer the deodorizer to your smaller jar with sifter lid or mesh screen.  I prefer the mesh screen cut to fit in the top of the ring so you can just put the lid on when not in use and easily remove for shaking.  

Shake on carpets, let sit for ten minutes, then vacuum as usual.   Diatomaceous Earth is very fine so I do find I need to empty my vacuum container a bit more often.  But that's ok by me.

For cat boxes, I keep a jar ready to go right next to the cat box and give a small sprinkle at each cleaning.  

Bonus: Diatomaceous Earth also helps control fleas.  So not only will your house smell great, safely, but you will have a built-in flea control measure as well.  

Want to learn more great tips like this?  Then you'll love my community of people who are living #reallife and learning along with us.  Check it out HERE.

Until next time I'll keep on keepin' it real.  I hope you do the same.----Cathy

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to a few select products I use, enjoy, or recommend. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links, and your purchase supports companies and products I believe in.

Natural Ways to Deal with Chaos

Natural Ways to Deal with Chaos
Right now, we all feel a lot of chaos in our lives.  Between what is going on in the world surrounding the pandemic, the working from home, unemployment, becoming the teacher you never wanted to be – and let’s not forget a toilet paper shortage - we’ve all probably felt like we are not in control of our lives.  That feeling is normal under these circumstances.  I know I’ve felt the stress and just wanted to crawl back in bed and forget about it all for a while.  And you know what, that’s okay to do.  But, we can’t live in that realm forever, because we have to still live our best life.  So, what do you do when all you want to do is…nothing?  How do you make sure you stay healthy, while staying home?  

Turn off the news –
The best thing, is to turn off the news and get off the chaos bandwagon.  Not gonna lie.  That is hard to do right now in a time when we crave connection.  Social media helps us easily feel connected to people we miss, but it is so easy to get caught up in that news cycle of gloom and doom.  My recommendation is to set a timer, and when it goes off, you get off the computer or phone, off Facebook or Twitter, and do something else.  Play a game, you know the real kind with cards or that comes in a box with pieces and a gameboard.  Build real connection with your family.  And if you live alone, then at a minimum play a real game with a real live person.  The internet is a great place, when you set limits.   

Get outside –
Take a walk in nature if you can.  If you live in the city and your parks are open, go to a park and get some fresh air.   If you have a dog, they will love exploring a new location, too.  If the weather permits, take off your shoes and socks and feel the grass or dirt beneath your feet.  This is a concept known as “earthing” and it is thought that the connection with the Earth allows free electrons to be taken up into the body which helps your body deal with stress, improves sleep, and can even help reduce pain in just 30 minutes a day. Check out this book on Kindle https://amzn.to/3bO5fwo or in paperback https://amzn.to/3aOSb8P to learn more about earthing.  And then I’d love to hear what you find when you try it.

Do something just for you –
This can be something as simple as just taking a relaxing bath with your favorite essential oils and some Epsom Salts.  Or curling up with your favorite book and your favorite blanket in your favorite comfy chair with your favorite drink.  It doesn’t matter what it is you do, just do something that allows you to relax and unwind.

Find freedom –
Still need to release some tension or stress?  Need to find a way to overcome other things that might be holding you back? Have goals that you want to reach, but are not sure how?  If so, Aroma Freedom Technique might be just the thing you are looking for.  Using the power of essential oils and common psychological techniques an AFT session can help you break through barriers you didn’t even realize were holding you back.  Click HERE to claim your FREE session today. 
 
Like what you learned today and want to learn more about related health and wellness topics in a judgement-free way?  I have a community of real people, learning new tips and tricks to help them on their wellness journey.  Join HERE.  

You can also get my guide on easy ways to reduce toxic fragrances from your life.  Grab it HERE!

Dangers of High Cortisol Levels and Tips to Keep It in Check

Dangers of High Cortisol Levels and Tips to Keep It in Check
Dangers of High Cortisol Levels and Tips to Keep It in Check
 
Cortisol is a stress hormone that is made in your adrenal glands.  Most cells of our body have cortisol receptors which serve to uptake the hormone for a variety of functions, including blood sugar and metabolism regulation, reducing inflammation, and memory formulation.   These are all very necessary body processes, but as you can imagine, too much of this hormone can wreak serious havoc on your body and comes with a host of unwanted symptoms.  Read on to learn a bit more about cortisol and learn some simple ways to manage your levels for optimum health.  

Symptoms of High Cortisol

High cortisol can cause many symptoms in your body.  The most common are weight gain, generally around the midsection and upper back, as well as around the face.  Yay! ☹ Just what we all want, right? Acne is another unfortunate side effect that many people suffer from just when we thought for sure we had left that teenage problem far behind!  Added on to the rounder face and that’s just not a look I am going for, to be honest.  

I can usually tell when I am suffering from high cortisol because one of my first signs is difficulty concentrating.  You know, where you hear the same thing over and over and still can’t make sense of what was said?  That could be “old-timers” but it is likely just high cortisol levels messing with you.   Brain Fog is real and it is no fun!!!!

Other common symptoms are thinning skin and a flushed face – to go with that weight gain and acne.   That’s like the quadruple punch in the face, am I right?  Then throw in some severe fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, easy bruising, slowed healing, and irritability and we are a COMPLETE MESS.   And let’s be honest, I’m not sure the irritability is so much a symptom in and of itself so much as the inevitable response to all the other freaking symptoms!!! Geesh!

What Are the Main Contributors to High Cortisol?

Stress

Both your hormones and your nerves send signals when you are stressed.  This causes your adrenal glands to release hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.  Adrenaline and cortisol kick off the flight-or-fight response and increase your heart rate and your energy to get your body ready for a dangerous or harmful situation that needs dealt with.  Cortisol also has the extra job of limiting functions not necessary to fight-or-flight.   Then your hormones will return to their normal levels after the danger has passed.  This is all a good thing, except….
When you are under constant stress and the response doesn’t turn off.  Then the long-term exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones start to create problems for your body.  Problems like obesity, anxiety, depression, and heart disease. 
 

Medication Side Effects

Many medications can increase cortisol levels. Corticosteroid medications used to treat asthma, arthritis, certain cancers, and other conditions can cause high cortisol levels when taken in higher dosages or over long periods of time.   This includes medications likes prednisone and cortisone which are commonly prescribed.  Estrogen replacement therapy and pregnancy are two other causes of increased cortisol levels.   Of course, you should never stop a prescribed medication without speaking to your doctor, but knowing the side effects can be helpful when having the conversation.

Tips to Reduce Cortisol Levels

Get Enough Sleep

Over time, sleep deprivation causes increased cortisol levels.  Night shift workers are at increased risk for high cortisol ([1]).  Insomnia and interruptions to sleep can also increase levels and disrupt daily hormone patterns ([2], [3], [4]).

Moderate Exercise

Intense exercise increases cortisol shortly after exercise in the short-term, but decrease in the nighttime.  Mild or moderate exercise at 40-60% of maximum effort, however, does not increase cortisol in the short-term, like intense exercise, and it still leads to lower levels at night ([5], [6]).

Eat Healthy Foods

It goes without saying, eating healthy foods is good for you.  There doesn’t seem to be an issue out there that a good diet of whole foods won’t help, and cortisol levels is no exception.   A diet full of fruits and vegetables is good for you.  But guess what?  Studies even show that dark chocolate may be helpful ([7], [8]) as well.  And dark chocolate lovers rejoiced!  
Dehydration can also increase cortisol levels, so drink up. I find that I tend to not drink enough water – come on – it’s boring.  I’ve found a great water additive that I love and that is good for you, too.  

Nutritional Supplements

There are several good nutritional supplements that can help with maintaining healthy cortisol levels.   

Fish Oil

A good fish oil supplement can be a great way to reduce cortisol levels in response to stress ([9], [10]).  

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are friendly, symbiotic bacteria found in foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi, as well as in nutritional supplements.  Prebiotics, such as soluble fiber, provide food for these bacteria.   Both probiotics and prebiotics help reduce cortisol ([11]).  The issue is often the levels in the foods or supplements are not high enough to be measurably helpful.  Choosing a good supplement is therefore very important, otherwise, you are just throwing money down the drain…or toilet if we are honest.  So you have to be able to trust the source.

Specially-formulated Supplements

There are supplements on the market that are specially formulated to work with the body to reduce cortisol levels.  One I trust is a combination of pregnenolone, lipids, black cohosh, DHEA, clary sage, and high-quality essential oils known to help the body manage cortisol levels.   When I am feeling the effects of stress, I add this supplement to my daily supplement regimen for about 8 weeks and the brain fog, bloating, and tiredness melt away.  

Essential Oils

Many essential oils have a positive effect on cortisol levels.  Researchers found that the inhalation of lavender, ylang ylang, marjoram, and neroli decreased blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels ([12]).  Other oils such as basil, bergamot, rosemary, and orange are also helpful.  The important thing to note in the study linked above is that participants who smelled artificial fragrance had no improvement.  So, trusting your oil source is important, as many oils on the market are actually artificial synthetics!  Read below for a free roller bottle blend.  

Cortisol and Stress Reducing Diffuser Blend

Combine the following oils in a cold-water ultrasonic diffuser for stress relief:
4 drops Lavender
3 drops Ylang Ylang
2 drops Marjoram
1 drop Neroli

Conclusion

As you can see, maintaining healthy cortisol levels is important and there are some simple steps such as getting more sleep, moderate exercise, eating healthy, and nutritional supplementation that can assist you in keeping your cortisol levels in check.   

Remember what I said about trusting the source when we talked about probiotics and essential oils?   It’s true.  Not all supplements are created equal and not all essential oils on the market are even made from plants.  Just like I am sure you would rather get your produce from a local source where you can trust the process as opposed to vegetables that were grown on industrial farms with chemicals and picked too early and shipped too far, right?   Lucky for you, I have a source I trust for oils, supplements, and so much more – one where I can even tour the farm and speak to the workers.  How cool is that?  Want to learn more?  Contact Me.

If you liked this content you are sure to love my FREE GUIDE on Boosting your Immune System.  

I’ve put together a welcoming community for people who are just looking to learn healthy tips together in a real, authentic way.  JOIN US.

Until next time - Keep on Keepin' It Real - I know I will.  ~ Cathryn
 

Boost Your Immune System & Get Sick Less Often With Natural Remedies

Boost Your Immune System  & Get Sick Less Often With Natural Remedies

With all that is going on in the world, now is the time to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape. Here are a couple of simple ways to give your immune system a much needed boost.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries and elderberry preparations are a popular remedy in traditional medicine. Taking elderberry syrup at the first sign of a cold or flu infection could help prevent the infection from developing. A placebo-controlled, double-blind study (here) showed that 93.3% of flu patients given Sambucol (a formulation of elderberry extract) were completely symptom-free within two days. 

The rich content of vitamin C in elderberry means that elderberry helps improve your immunity and prevent infection.

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic report that syrups made from elderberries boost the body’s immunity. This means that taking elderberry supplements can help to prevent a cold or flu infection from getting worse. To help keep your immune system strong, doctors recommend taking elderberry along with vitamin C, B6, and E.

Another reason why elderberry syrup and supplements are good for your health is due to the number of antioxidants. Research (here) has revealed that there over 70 different compounds in elderberries that kill off free radicals.

Read to the bottom for a recipe and make it fresh yourself.

Raw, Organic Honey

Raw honey is honey that has not been heated or pasteurized.  It contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants, and other important nutrients.  The best part - raw honey has natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties - and it promotes digestive health.  What's not to love about that? 

Other benefits of raw, local honey is that it contains local pollen, which can strengthen your immune system, and even helps reduce pollen allergy symptoms.  Honey really is a powerhouse.

Added bonus - you need raw honey for that Elderberry Syrup recipe coming up. 

Interested in learning more about raw honey?  Check this out: honey


Essential Oils 

Essential oils have long been used to help people stay healthy and above the wellness line.  Thieves® essential oil blend was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated and wore a special aromatic combination of clove, rosemary, vinegar, and other botanicals that they believed provided protection while they were stealing. French authorities recognized that there was such value in this mixture that upon the thieves’ capture, they received a more merciful punishment on condition that they divulge the ingredients in their secret formula.

Crafted in the spirit of that legendary combination, Young Living’s one-of-a-kind Thieves essential oil blend can be found in all our Thieves products. Featuring Clove oil, Cinnamon Bark oil, Eucalyptus Radiata oil, Rosemary oil and Lemon oil. Thieves imparts a spicy, welcoming aroma everywhere it’s used.

The Vitality version of this oil is amazing as an immune boosting powerhouse that can used internally. Like in that elderberry syrup recipe coming up!





                                                                                                      

  



















Elderberry + Wolfberry Super Syrup Recipe       
YIELD: 3 Cups      TIME: 45 Minutes

Ingredients: 
Directions:
Add wolfberries, elderberries and water to Instant Pot.  Cover and set manual time for 7 minutes and then allow for natural release method (another 15 minutes or so).  Open and strain the liquid into a glass pitcher.  Yield at this stage is around 4 cups.  Set aside berry solids and pour the liquid back into the Instant Pot and select Saute.  Reduce liquid by half (about 15-20 minutes).  Yield will now be about about 2 cups.

Mix syrup with the raw honey and stir well.  Yield should now be about 3 cups.  Add essential oils and stir. Bottle and store in the fridge in a glass container.  This recipe will stay good for many months.  To prolong shelf life replace half the honey with brandy.

Suggested Use:
Adults take 1 Tbsp per day during the winter cold and flu season.  Increase to every 2-3 hours when you need an extra boost.  Children 1-9 years take 1/2 - 1 tsp per day.  Not recommended for children unde 1 year.

Recipe courtesy of Lindsey Gremont at HomemadeMommy.net

Love this info?   You'll LOVE my guide on simple ways to eliminate harmful fragrances from your home.  Check it out right HERE.

In health,

Cathy

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