Pain Relief Through Essential Oils

R and I have been experimenting with my new essential oils kit. I love that he is getting into all of this as much as I am!

I mentioned earlier that I like to use peppermint for pain relief and indigestion/bloating issues. It’s definitely still my go-to oil. I like to apply a drop or two neat (no dilution) directly to any sore areas, such as my hip flexors or lower back. For digestive issues, I apply a drop or two in a clockwise motion around my belly button. It definitely warms up on my skin, but I like the way it feels.

Peppermint

R, on the other hand, prefers PanAway(R) diluted with jojoba oil. We tried it neat first, but he didn’t like the heat so we cooled it down with some jojoba. He also has arthritis in his knees from an injury a few years ago. He wanted to try other oils, so we did some research and found a recommendation for frankincense. That one we apply neat directly to his knees. It’s only been a few days, but he has noticed a significant difference.

I also discovered that lavender can work to relieve cramps. I just put a few drops on my lower back and abdomen. About 15 minutes later, they were gone!

I’m so amazed by how effective these little oils are. I can’t wait to see what else we discover!

Productive Day

After getting a record-breaking 10+ hours of sleep (um, thank you, lavender oil!), I’ve been having a very productive day sprucing up the blog, among other things. A new, more attractive layout was WAY overdue. I’ve also updated the blog roll with new blogs and categories. 

Today has been all about cleaning and organizing at home, too. Not very exciting for a vacation day, but very, very necessary. I am a clutter-bug at heart, but I’m happy to say I got rid of a lot of junk from our desk drawers. You can almost feel the difference in the apartment! Now if I can just find the inspiration to tackle the kitchen cabinets…

 

On the Path to Natural Living

For the past year or so I’ve been gingerly walking the path towards switching from chemical-laden, potentially harmful products, to products with more natural ingredients. I began by making a lot of my own cleaning products by following some recipes that I found on the IHeart Cleaning blog here. For the most part, they work really well and I’m happy knowing I’m doing something that is good for me, my husband, and the environment. Of course, there are still some situations that call for a little bleaching action so I keep a traditional cleaner on hand as well.

Gradually I started looking into natural remedies and herbal supplements. White willow bark capsules replaced Advil, Tom’s of Maine toothpaste replaced Crest, Crystal stick body deodorant replaced other brands, etc.

I’ve also become more aware of how much waste we create and tweaked things where I could. I use microfiber cloths for cleaning instead of paper towels. I use a Diva Cup instead of other feminine hygiene products (probably TMI, but I thought it’s worth sharing!), and we recycle products that wouldn’t otherwise be recycled through a great program called Terracyle. Right now we are only participating in the Dairy Tub Brigade and the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade, but we’ll probably join a few more in the next few months.

My latest, and most exciting discovery (to me, anyway), has been essential oils. R and I recently bought a diffuser and some oils to help with my sleeping issues and his sinus problems. It seemed to help a bit and we really loved the relaxing light and the way our bedroom smelled. A few weeks later a friend of mine invited me to her office to check out an essential oils kit that she had ordered through another friend. To my delight she also had a diffuser and the oil she was diffusing smelled amazing. She showed me the various oils in her kit. Told me a little bit about what each could be used for and invited me to join a FB chat to learn more about it all.

Well, I quickly became smitten, but was not sure that purchasing a whole kit (and signing up as a wholesale member) was for me, so I signed up as a retail customer and bought  a bottle of peppermint and a sample pack of Thieves(R). The peppermint quickly became my new go-to remedy for everything from sore muscles to indigestion and bloating. I diffused the Thieves(R) and added it to my next batch of cleaning supplies because it had anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Plus it smells delicious.

Soon enough I was hooked and decided to switch to wholesale and buy the premium starter kit. It contains a home diffuser, 10 essential oils (singles and blends), an additional oil blend that you can turn into a roll on, sample packs, and other fun goodies.

PremiumStarterKit

I’ve since been sharing samples and my experience with all my friends and a few have become as hooked as I am. The best part about it is that you do not have to make any sales, sign-up any new members, etc. in order to benefit from the wholesale prices. All you have to do is purchase a starter kit (they range in price, but the premium starter kit is the best value if you can swing it) and then buy $50 worth of products each year. That will not be difficult, let me tell you! The quality of these oils is amazing: organic, chemical and synthetic free, therapeutic grade oils. So far I’ve diffused them to help with stress and sleep; made an anti-aging facial moisturizer with frankincense and lavender; made lavender lemonade; add lemon and peppermint to my water, and used peppermint and PanAway(R) for aching muscles. Even R has been impressed with them and agrees that this is a great investment for our health.

As I learn more about uses for the oils, being a part of this great company, etc. I’ll post about my experiences for anyone else who might be interested. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions!

 

 

 

Plateau Woes

It’s time to get serious. I’m currently at the weight I’ve been for most of my adult life and I’ve been stuck here for a few weeks now. I’ve read that it’s pretty common for people to hit a plateau at a familiar weight and I’m pretty sure that’s what is happening now. So the plan this week is to get on the right track to get things moving again.

For me, this means tracking calories, ramping up my cardio, increasing water with lemon oil intake, and getting enough sleep. Since I’m still on vacation I have no excuse not to reach all of these goals. To help with the cardio aspect of things, I just bought a 20 class Groupon for an exercise studio around the corner from me specializing in Zumba. And you all know how much I love my Zumba!

The word of this week is “focus.” Wish me luck!

Vacation Re-set

Phew. Has it been busy around here! I always think that I’ll have more time to blog later, but then later comes and it never happens. Sigh… I’m actually on a two week vacation (aka “staycation” aside from a quick jaunt to south Jersey to see my family), so what better time to get into a serious blogging habit, yes?

R and I have been very dedicated to our yoga and pilates classes, but we recently agreed to give hot yoga a break for a bit. He’s left the class feeling nauseated a few too many times and I personally don’t see a whole lot of benefit to the class right now. So he’s throwing in another Pilates class while I concentrate on Vinyasa and we’re going to give Iyengar a try on Saturday. This means that Thursday nights are another free night, so tonight we went for a long, medium-paced walk. I love walking around the neighborhood with him. It’s so nice to bond while doing something healthy!

I’ve also been getting in regular morning walks, and throwing in some jogging intervals, three mornings a week before work. I’m surprised at how quickly I’ve taken to early morning exercise. It’s such a nice way to start the day. I doubt I’ll be able to carry it into the fall and winter when it’s still dark at 6:00 a.m., but we’ll see. One thing yoga, Reiki, and meditation has taught me is that things are always changing and all we can do is adjust in that moment. It kind of takes the pressure off from looking to far ahead.

Speaking of changes, we’ve been making a lot of healthier changes around the KMB household, including turning to more natural products. It’s been a pretty eye-opening experience. More to come soon!

Happy Hour Workout

Last week a work friend and I decided to meet up for a workout at a new studio instead of imbibing at happy hour. A new boutique fitness studio called BFX had opened up in Chelsea and they were offering free classes for their first week. We signed up for their final free Burn class last night. It was so tough, but also so much fun!

The studio is really nice, modern, and clean. You register for your class online and check in on these huge kiosks in the lobby. The class holds about 20 people, I’d say – large enough to not feel like everyone’s eyes are on you and small enough to get some personal attention from the instructors. We had two instructors who were both super friendly, tough in a good way, and made the class a lot of fun.

The class itself was a high energy HIIT-style class. I had never done a HIIT workout before, but I loved it! They had a really nice mix of challenging and not-as-challenging moves. We used Ugi balls and light hand weights for props. I was happy to see that my cardio endurance was still really good even though I haven’t done Zumba in a while. By the end of the class we were all red, sweaty, and sore messes.

After class, we cleaned up and headed over to an Argo Tea for some catching up time. At $30 a class, it is pretty pricey, but we agreed we might take a class together here and there to mix our routines up a bit. Besides, we have definitely spent more than $30 at happy hours in the past, so I’d say it’s a much better use for our money. 🙂

I’m sore today, but not as sore as I thought I would be. Hopefully I can get through Pilates in one piece tonight!