Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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Looking for a Gluten, Soy and Dairy Free Whole Foods Snack? Look no further! Forth Bars Do NOT Disappoint!!!

Since starting my fitness journey I’ve been experimenting with different healthy eating strategies (I refuse to say I’m dieting because this is a lifestyle change not a diet!).  Within the last couple months I’ve been loosely following the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) program that focuses on finding a balance between the three main Macro Nutrient groups: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. You can read more about it here on the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) website.  They also have an awesome Macro Calculator and an IIFYM Official Facebook group for support.  A couple weeks ago I saw this promotion in the IIFYM Official Facebook group for a new gluten, soy and dairy free whole foods snack bar that I intrigued me.  So I entered the contest and was blessed to have been given the opportunity to review the new Forth bars as part of this contest!

So a little about this new company.  Forth was founded by Terri Mintz who has struggled with profound food allergies.  She lives an active lifestyle and became frustrated with not being able to find healthy, nutrient dense, whole food choices and thus decided to start making them herself.  As others took notice of her improving health, stamina and performance she decided to create a whole line of products designed for people with similar nutritional needs.  “Forth products are filled with FDA identified functional foods, superfoods, whole carbs, proteins and healthy fats. Made from minimally processed, plant based ingredients, Forth products leave you satisfied and energized.  Each Forth product contains targeted ingredients – whether functional food, traditional remedy or superfood – known to positively affect our body and mood. All Forth Bars and Bites are:

  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy Free
  • Soy Free
  • Plant Based
  • Minimally Processed
  • Very Low in Salt
  • Low Fat
  • Free of fillers, preservatives and unnecessary ingredients”

Needless to say that’s an impressive list so if I could find a wholesome, nutrient dense snack food that met the above requirements for my friends with dietary restrictions then I was excited to give them a try!  You can learn more about their products on the We Are Forth website and follow We Are Forth on Facebook and Instagram for special promotions.

I was lucky enough to get a variety pack to try so below you will find my reviews of each of the 7 varieties of Forth Bars that are currently available.

Calm Bar

Lavender + Vanilla + Honey + Berries

The first bar I tried out of my variety pack was the Calm Bar.  In the midst of kitchen renovations I figured I could use a little more calm in my life plus the essential oiler in me was super excited to see lavender as an ingredient! I absolutely love the unique flavor profile of this bar!!!  It is a little “herby,” for lack of a better description, due to the lavender buds.  While I truly appreciate the unique flavor it might be an acquired taste for some.  I was impressed that the bar was sweet enough without being overly sweet or filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners like most snack bars you can buy in the grocery store.  It does have 14g of Sugar and a total of 29g of Carbs so for those on a low-carb or keto diet this may not be for you.  But I’m trying to conquer my fear of carbs as they are necessary for sustained energy and to build strength and muscle and 29g of Carbs is about the equivalent of a slice of organic, whole wheat bread.  Plus, the Forth Bars are Gluten Free so those who need a little carb fueled energy boost but can’t eat gluten containing products will love Forth Bars!  I was also super impressed that all of the Forth Bars are low in Sodium.  Most snack bars like this are super high in sodium which is one of the main reasons I tend to avoid processed foods.  These seem like they will be a healthy, nutritional option for those who need a quick snack or energy boost throughout their day!  I’m looking forward to trying out the rest of the bars in the variety pack!!!

Macro Breakdown: 29 g Carbs (64%), 5 g Fat (25%), 5 g Protein (11%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Freeze Dried Cherries, Hemp Protein Powder, Freeze Dried Mango, Honey, Spray Dried Lemon Juice, Acai Resveratrol (The only ingredient I didn’t recognize so I had to look it up.  Turns out this is an all natural and powerful antioxidant to help your body fight free radicals and support your immune system!), Lavender, Vanilla Powder, Lemon Balm, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Cherry Powder, Vanilla, Lavender, Spray Dried Lemon Juice, Honey

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Calm Bar Nutrition and Information

Body Bar

Chocolate + Molasses + Spices

The second bar I tried was the Body Bar.  Our routine has been super messed up by the kitchen renovations and the tiny human did not sleep well  the last couple hours of the night making it nearly impossible to get up and work out.  So I chose to sleep in which meant that I wanted to get in a good run on my lunch break to get in at least some exercise that day.  With back to back clients all morning I don’t have a lot of time to snack and knew my energy would be low by noon when I would finally get a chance to go for a run.  So around 10:50 am I decided to open up the Body Bar for a quick little pick me up and to provide some energy to help get me through my run.  My first impression was that it smelled amazing!!! The combination of molasses and spices was a beautiful balance of savory and just sweet enough.  I was pleasantly surprised on my lunch run how much energy I had.  The week prior I had allowed stress to get the better of me and hadn’t run much at all so I was really working on getting my stamina back up and I ran nearly a mile further than I had a couple days earlier without feeling as tired and run down.  So the Body Bar definitely gets a winning review from me!!! Might have to order a 12 pack of this one! 😉

Macro Breakdown: 32 g Carbs (66%), 5 g Fat (23%), 5 g Protein (10%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Dried Cranberries, Undutched Cocoa Powder, Dark Chocolate (undutched cocoa powder and evaporated cane juice), Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Molasses, Pumpkin Puree, Pea Protein Powder, Maca, Drum Dried Bananas, Acai Resveratrol, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Undutched Cocoa Powder, Maca, Pea Protein, Molasses, Coconut Electrolytes, Probiotics, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Body Bar Nutrition and Information

Belly Bar

Cranberry + Ginger + Lemon

The third bar I tried from the Forth variety pack was the Belly Bar.  My stomach was a little upset so I figured it would be a good time to try out their bar that was designed to help soothe the stomach. After all, keeping the gut and urinary tract healthy are important in maintaining overall health and wellness so we can use all the help we can get!  Let me just tell you guys, this bar is awesome!!! I love the ginger zing!  Ginger is one of my favorite flavors and this bar has just enough of the ginger spice and it balances beautifully with the citrusy flavor of the lemon and the sweetness of the dried cranberries!  A little higher on the carbs and lower on the protein than the first two bars I tried but overall a win and a really good mid-morning snack to help keep me energized until lunch.

Macro Breakdown: 33 g Carbs (68%), 5 g Fat (23%), 4 g Protein (8%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Puffs, Date Paste, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Dried Apricots, Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Dried Cranberries, Honey, Spray Dried Lemon, Acai Resveratrol, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Drum Dried Cranberry Powder, Maca, Honey, Spray Dried Lemon Juice, Probiotics, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Belly Bar Nutrition and Information

Heart Bar

Mango + Papaya + Coconut

Saturday, March 25 was the suggested race date for my 10K & S.P.E.W. race, sponsored by Hogwarts Running Club (yes, it’s a real thing!) so I wanted a snack that morning to help give me enough energy to help me run the entire race without weighing me down (because I wanted to help free house elves not lose my lunch! lol).  Naturally, I turned to my Forth bar variety pack and decided to give the Heart Bar a try.  Figured a little support for my cardiovascular system while running a 10K would be just what the doctor ordered!  Thankfully, it didn’t let me down!  This bar was a little sweeter than the others I had tried so far and had a nice tropical flavor profile with the mango, papaya and coconut.  There were also a few larger chunks of fruit in the bar which made for a nice little surprise when I would get one in my bite!  30 minutes later I went for my run and was pleased to know I shaved 2 minutes off my run time and finished the 10K in 1 hour flat!  While I can’t promise the Heart Bar will make you run faster I can say it did help provide the energy I needed to run the entire race without stopping to walk!  This and the Body Bar would be excellent choices for any of my runner friends looking for a healthy snack option before races!

Macro Breakdown: 32 g Carbs (61%), 7 g Fat (30%), 5 g Protein (9%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Puffs, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Jungle Peanuts, Date Paste, Dried Blueberries, Freeze Dried Mango, Raisins, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Coconut Flakes, Honey, Acai Resveratrol, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Honey, Drum Dried Mango, Drum Dried Banana, Coconut Electrolytes, Maca, Vitamin D Oil

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Heart Bar Nutrition and Information

O’Mama Bar

Berry + Figs + Ginger

After my race the day before, Sunday was my rest day and time to spend with my daughter.  So naturally the O’Mama Bar seemed like a good choice for my afternoon snack while she was napping!  Like the Belly Bar, the O’Mama Bar does have a bit of a ginger zing but it was more subtle and had a sweeter, richer flavor overall.   This bar is lower on the carbs so for days when you are less active or don’t need quite as much of an energy boost this would make for a great snack!

Macro Breakdown: 27 g Carbs (58%), 7 g Fat (34%), 4 g Protein (9%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Date Paste, Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Drum Dried Bananas, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Figs, Honey, Acai Resveratrol

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Drum Dried Banana Powder, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Freeze Dried Cranberries, Honey, Probiotics, Vitamin D Oil

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: O’Mama Bar Nutrition and Information

Sexy Bar

Spicy Chipotle + Chocolate + Jungle Peanuts

If you have been reading closely or follow me on Instagram then you know that I am in the middle of kitchen repairs and renovations.  I don’t know about you but I find new appliances super sexy (guess that’s a sign I’m officially an “adult,” whatever that means…) so it seemed apropos that I should choose the Sexy Bar to try out the day they were delivered!  It smelled super rich when I first pulled it out of the wrapping so I was excited to give it a try.  OMG!  It was like a flavor explosion in my mouth!  I loved the spicy chipotle and chocolate combo!!! It was so good I took extra small bites so I could enjoy it longer! Definitely had a little kick but oh so good!  Hands down, this is my FAVORITE Forth Bar!  I will be ordering more! ❤ 🙂 Plus, it has Goji berries in it and you all know how much I love my NingXia Red so any other healthy snack that includes the immune supporting Goji berry is a win in my book!

Macro Breakdown: 27 g Carbs (64%), 4.5 g Fat (24%), 5 g Protein (12%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Undutched Cocoa, Chocolate (undutched cocoa and evaporated cane juice), Jungle Peanuts, Freeze Dried Raspberries, Aronia Berries (sweetened with apple juice), Dried Cranberries, Goji, Berries, Maca, Honey, Acai Resveratrol, Chili Powder, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Undutched Cocoa, Freeze Dried Raspberries, Chili Powder, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Sexy Bar Nutrition and Information

Brain Bar

Espresso + Chocolate + Coconut

I was feeling a little sluggish when I returned to work after my 3 day weekend so I figured a little extra brainpower couldn’t hurt!  Thankfully, the Brain Bar was the last bar left in my variety pack for me to try.  It has a subtle espresso flavor with chunks of dark chocolate without being overly sweet.  A similar flavor profile to the Sexy Bar which I loved so much but without the chipotle kick.  So if spicy isn’t your thing or you just love coffee, then this bar is definitely for you!

Macro Breakdown: 35 g Carbs (70%), 5 g Fat (22%), 4 g Protein (8%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Puffs, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Undutched Cocoa Powder, Dark Chocolate (cocoa powder and evaporated cane juice), Coconut Flakes, Molasses, Acai Resveratrol, Maca, Dehydrated Coffee, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Drum Dried Blueberry Powder, Undutched Cocoa Powder, Coconut Electrolytes, Coffee Powder, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Brain Bar Nutrition and Information

Final Review

Overall I’m really impressed by all of the Forth Bars!  They taste great and provide sustained energy for workouts, chasing toddlers or to get through a grueling work day!  I love the unique flavor combinations and that they give me just enough of a hint of sweetness without being overly sweet.  But perhaps the biggest selling point to me is that they are all natural, with no artificial ingredients, are low sodium and are all gluten, soy and dairy free making them the perfect snack for those with dietary restrictions or who are just mindful of what they put into their bodies!

Pros

  • Taste great!
  • Unique flavor combinations
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Naturally sweetened with fruit juices or honey – just sweet enough without being overly sweet or triggering my sugar addiction!
  • Gluten, Soy and Dairy Free – perfect for those with dietary restrictions.  They are not nut free, however.  Most of the bars I tried have peanut butter in them so be mindful if you or a family member have a nut allergy.
  • Low Fat – ranging from 4.5-7 g per bar
  • Low Sodium
  • Reasonable Calories – ranging from 180 – 210 calories each, the Forth Bars are an excellent choice for a quick, nutrient dense snack to provide sustainable energy for an active lifestyle without adding unnecessary calories.  Plus, if you wanted slightly fewer calories to help you stick with your goals, you can also check out their “Bite” options, available in the same great flavor combinations but coming in at less than 100 calories each!
  • Available in packs of 12 in variety packs or single flavors if you find your favorite!

Cons

  • Cost – coming in at $47.40 per 12 pack these bars will run you $3.95 per bar.  However, this is comparable to buying other snack bar singles at your grocery store but without any of the nasty artificial ingredients, high sugar or insane sodium content of what you’re used to finding in the energy bar aisles!
  • Low(ish) Protein – these are not a high protein bar like you might want for post-workout recovery (grab the protein powder instead) but they do seem to provide the sustained energy that the company boasts making them ideal for snacks on the go for afternoon hikes or a pre-workout energy boost!

So overall, I highly recommend supporting this new company so that they can continue to bring healthy, nutrient dense, whole food snack options to the market!  So head on over to the We Are Forth website and order your Bars or Bites today!  And make sure to tell your friends!

 

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Looking for a Gluten, Soy and Dairy Free Whole Foods Snack? Look no further! Forth Bars Do NOT Disappoint!!! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)!

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you may remember my previous post on my Quest for the Holy Grail of DIY Deodorants.  Turns out, what I thought was the holy grail failed to live up to my expectations in the long-run.  It was great in the beginning but then the unthinkable happened, I was approached at work and informed that there had been a complaint about my body odor.  Seriously, the most embarassing thing to have ever happened to me in my adult life.  Try as I might, I still to this day cannot figure out who would have been close enough to actually smell me.  But I digress.  Either way, a change had to be made so I headed to some of my crunchy granola online groups to see if anyone had any suggestions.

In one of my previous deo posts I shared about my failed attempt at using Milk of Magnesia as a deodorant alternative.  You may be wondering how on Earth MoM would work to decrease body stank.  The active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture thereby preventing odor from this buildup.  When I turned to my support group for answers, several of the women pointed out that they had also had failed attempts until they learned the magic trick.  See, MoM works best when it has dehydrated a bit.  Someone, somewhere along the way discovered that the thicker, creamier paste that started to crust around the top of their MoM container was more effective than the liquid itself.  Who knew?  The trick they suggested was actually pouring it out onto a baking sheet and letting it dehydrate for 24 hours or so to let it thicken up. (More information about this trick from Buddhaful Brit) So, I thought “What the hell? I’ll give it a shot!” But I was a bit skeptical that MoM by itself would be effective enough.  I wanted to make sure it had some drying power and that it smelled good too.  So I set to researching options.

Since I have a sensitivity to baking soda I considered adding Arrowroot powder.  This would be effective I’m sure but I’d heard a lot of people say that they had good luck with corn starch.  I had a container of J&J Natural baby powder that is basically just corn starch with some Vitamin E and Aloe added.  I don’t use baby powder on my child so it was never going to get used and I thought it might make a suitable alternative and that the added Vitamin E and Aloe might help soothe the skin as well.

But I wasn’t done yet.  Y’all know me, I had to throw in some essential oils! I had good luck using Rosemary neat so figured I’d add it to my recipe and I had been learning about the deodorizing benefits of Geranium and Cypress essential oils in my aromatherapy class so I set to researching different oils and selected 5 to add to my recipe.  These are the ones I chose:

Geranium – Geranium not only has a pleasing fragrance, it also has properties that help combat odor-causing bacteria on the body.  Geranium essential oil is wonderful to add to your collection for a number of skin conditions as it helps cleanse oily skin and soothes dry, cracked or irritated skin.

Rosemary – Another great oil that provides a refreshing and cooling sensation to your deodorant blend while helping to protect against odor causing bacteria.

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps provide a nice, earthy balance to this blend while also preventing body odor.

Lavender – Like Geranium, Lavender has a lovely fragrance and many deodorizing, skin-soothing, and healing properties that make it a wonderful oil to add to your homemade deodorant and skin care recipes.

Cypress – Cypress helps reduce excessive sweating and prevents body odor.  It has a somewhat woody fragrance that pairs well with Geranium and is suitable for men or women.

 

Other oils I researched that you may want to add to your homemade deodorants:

Lemon – Often added to homemade deodorants and body washes, along with other citrus oils (like Bergamot), due to its refreshing aroma.  It’s cleansing properties help prevent odor causing bacteria growth.  Citrus oils pair well with Geranium. *Note: Many citrus oils can cause photosensitivity so be mindful if you are sunbathing as you don’t want to burn your pits. Grapefruit is a wonderful alternative as it does not cause photosensitivity but still contains many of the same properties as Lemon and Bergamot essential oil.

Tea Tree – A beneficial oil to keep in your oily first aid kit as well because of its ability to help cleanse wounds, promote healing, and prevent the harboring of bacteria which can cause odor and infection.

Lemongrass – Another oil well renowned for its ability to help prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria.  This oil has a strong but refreshing fragrance that provides a nice complement to many of the other oils listed or can be used on its own.   Note: Lemongrass is a “hot” oil so make sure not to use this oil “neat” on the skin. 

Patchouli – An acquired fragrance but Patchouli is a strong smelling oil that has long been famed for its ability to help reduce and masque the scent of unpleasant body odor.

**Feel free to research other oils that have antibacterial, antifungal or astringent properties as any of these would make great additions to your homemade deodorant blends!  I really like the Essential Oils Pocket and Desk Reference Guides by Life Science Publishing as well as Dr. Scott Johnson’s Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy for references and resources when researching essential oils and their properties.

I’m pleased to report that my experiment was a TREMENDOUS Success!  I have been using it for awhile, long enough to completely run out of my first batch and I also shared a sample with a very athletic friend of mine who has been on the quest for the holy grail of deodorant for a long time as well.  We have both put this recipe to the test! It has not only stood up to the challenge that she has presented it while hiking and rock climbing but it has stood up to the heat and humidity of 100º+ heat index of Alabama summers! I do cleanse with baby wipes and reapply my deodorant after my lunch time walks in the heat of the summer but when it was cooler outside this wasn’t necessary.  And I’m super stoked that no one has complained again! I even walk with my co-workers and have had feedback that my office smells lovely from client’s that have come in for afternoon sessions.

So, without further ado, here it is:

deo2

DIY Milk of Magnesia Deodorant

(for sensitive skin)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of plain, unflavored Milk of Magnesia
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch (I like the J&J cornstarch baby powder with Aloe and Vit E added)
  • 5 drops each of: Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress essential oils

Instructions:

1.       Pour entire bottle of Milk of Magnesia out into a baking sheet (with sides) and allow to dehydrate, usually 24-36 hours, until it forms a creamy paste.  If you live in a humid environment, it may take a little longer.  If it starts to harden or crack around the edges just a tad it’s perfect! When you mix it all together it will be like the consistency of cream cheese icing that has started to melt.

2.       Add in ¼ cup of Cornstarch and mix well (before you allow your mixture to dehydrate).  While you can skip this step, I chose to add the Cornstarch to help absorb some of the liquid from sweating and to keep my pits drier.  If you swore by an antiperspirant but don’t want to use aluminum, you probably want to add something like Cornstarch or Arrowroot to help provide a sense of dryness to your homemade deodorant.  This is an especially good alternative if you are sensitive to Baking Soda in homemade deodorant recipes.

3.       After your mixture has dehydrated and is ready, add 5 drops each of your essential oils.  I like Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress.  Stir until your oils are mixed well throughout your mixture.  You do not want to add the oils before you let your mixture set out because they will evaporate and lose their potency.

4.       Transfer to a small glass jar.  I found this recipe made a bit more than I could fit in my 4 oz jelly jar but I like this size for ease of application.  I now transfer the remainder to a 2 oz tin that I carry with me to work or when traveling.

Instructions for Use:

1.       Apply underarms using your fingers (I find this works better than using a cotton round) and allow to dry while you are getting ready.

2.       If you are especially prone to body odor, make sure you shower or scrub your pits with your soap/body wash of choice before applying.  You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar to help balance the pH of your pits.  I spray a bit on a cotton round and apply under my arms.  Allow to dry before applying your homemade deodorant.  I haven’t had to use this method since I started using this deodorant recipe, however!

 

So, there you have it! Did you make this recipe? What did you think?  I love to hear feedback from my readers! Please comment below to share your results or other homemade natural deodorant recipes!

 

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

 

My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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Need last minute Holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank??? Here’s a DIY Holiday Gift Guide to help!

DIY Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are fast approaching and everyone is out shopping for the perfect holiday gifts! But who wants the headache and hassle of fighting for a parking spot at the mall, sorting through hanger after hanger, or stopping at every kiosk to find a gift for those hard to shop for people on your list? Not me.  I worked retail enough years that I refuse to go to the mall or other retail establishments during this time of year on principle alone.  The past couple years I’ve moved more towards DIY holiday gifts.  Not only are they often much more affordable alternatives to traditional gift ideas, nearly everyone loves that you put time and love into handcrafting items for homemade gifts! But where to even start? I’ve taken some of the guesswork out of it for you and scoured Pinterest looking for some of the best DIY essential oil holiday gift ideas and tried out most of them so you don’t have to experiment! I shared these recipes with my friends and they were a huge hit! Below you will find gift ideas for nearly everyone on your holiday list!

Essential Oils 102: A DIY Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts for Her

For Any Woman

Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar

1. Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar:

For presentation I packaged each of the following recipes in a 1 oz plastic container (I bought a 10 pack at the Dollar Tree).  I spray painted the lids with a sparkly red paint and got little sticker labels at Michael’s craft store to label each one.  I used a wide mouthed Mason jar and sprinkled a bit of fake “snow” in the bottom then put all three small containers down in the jar.  I hot glued Christmas ribbon around the lid of the jar.  I found cute “For Your Mistle Toes” FREE printable labels/tags from: http://www.anorganizedfamily.com/2012/12/for-your-mistle-toes.html

ForYourMistleToes

I printed the tag then “laminated” with packing tape, punched a hole in the corner, then tied onto the jar with curling ribbon for a finishing touch.  You could also package with nail clippers, pumice stone, or even cute Holiday socks!

1a. Peppermint Foot Soak:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Peppermint tea bags (I used Celestial Seasonings but you could use any brand of tea)
  • 1/8 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • Food Processor
  • 1 oz containers with lid

Directions:

Cup open your tea bags and combine all three ingredients in food processor.  Blend on high for about 1 minute until all ingredients are turned into a powder.  Pour into your containers. Makes about 8 oz.

To Use: Add 1 Tbsp to warm water to soak feet.

Source: http://4hatsandfrugal.com/2013/06/peppermint-foot-soak.html#comment-12705

1b. Peppermint Foot Scrub:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1-2 cups of Epsom Salts (you could also use coarse sugar)
  • ½ cup warmed Coconut Oil (you could also use grapeseed, olive oil, or other carrier oil of your choice)
  • 10-15 drops of Peppermint essential oil
  • Mixing bowl
  • 1 oz containers with lid

Directions:

Mix ingredients together well in bowl to desired consistency (more or less Epsom Salts) and spoon into 1 oz containers.  Makes between 8-16 oz depending on how much salt you use.

Modified from source: http://blahblahmagazine.com.au/homemade-foot-scrub/

1c. Peppermint Foot Cream:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup raw Shea Butter
  • 2 oz Sweet Almond Oil (you could substitute jojoba or grapeseed oil if you are concerned about nut allergies)
  • 20 drops of Peppermint essential oil
    • Alternative oils: You could also use 20 drops of Lemon essential oil to make a “Lemon Custard Body Butter” or 20 drops of Lavender essential oil for a Calming Nighttime Cream!
  • Double boiler**
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer (stand up or hand would work)
  • 1 oz containers with lid (or larger 8 oz container if you do a body butter variation with alternative oils)

Directions:

Add Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Sweet Almond Oil to double boiler and heat until melted and stir.  Pour into mixing bowl, put in fridge and let cool until you can see your fingerprint in it (this could take anywhere from a few hours to overnight).  Add essential oils and use mixer to whip until it is light and fluffy like cake icing. Portion into containers. Makes about 8 oz.

**Don’t have a double boiler? No problem! Check out this homemade double boiler alternative from TipNut!

Source: http://unskinnyboppy.com/2014/09/diy-body-butter-using-essential-oils/

Peppermint Pedicure in a Jar Inspired by: http://www.thegunnysack.com/peppermint-pampering-gifts-in-jars-for-homemade-christmas-gifts/

 

Lemon Sugar Scrub

2. Lemon Sugar Scrub

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1  cup of Sugar
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil (can substitute EVOO, especially for acne-prone skin)
  • 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • 4 oz glass jar or decorative glass storage container

Directions:

Mix ingredients in mixing bowl and store in 4 oz glass jars (makes 2). Lemon Scrub can be used on both the body and face. It’s ideal for rough spots like feet, knees, elbows and hands. It’s also great for nail beds and cuticles.

As a body scrub: Apply to body, paying extra close attention to elbows, knees, feet and hands (nails and cuticles especially), and rub in circular motions for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse. Enjoy the silky softness of your impossibly smooth skin.

As a face scrub: The lemon and sugar scrub is also great for the face, but use with gentle circular motions. This scrub is ideal for people who suffer from breakouts and acne as all of the ingredients are highly beneficial to acne-prone skin. Lemon tightens pores and evens out the skin tone, sugar removes dead skin cells and cleans pores, olive oil heals acne scaring, and honey prevents future breakouts.  To use, apply to clean face in gentle, circular motions. Be cautious of using on open wounds, as lemon has a tendency to sting. Leave on for 7-10 minutes and rinse with cool water.

Source: Modified from several sources

You can even print FREE cute stickers using this link here: http://cincyshopper.com/diy-gifts-lemon-sugar-scrub-in-a-jar-with-free-printable-labels/

 

For the Bath Junkie

Lavender Bath Salts

3. Simple Bath Salts Recipe

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • ½ cup Baking Soda
  • 10 drops of Lavender, Stress Away or other essential oil/blend of your choice
  • Dried lavender buds (optional for use with Lavender eo) – I would include a small cotton muslin bag with the bath salts if I added dried lavender
  • Natural Food Coloring (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • 8 oz glass or metal storage container

Directions:

Mix ingredients together in mixing bowl and add to decorative 8 oz container or jar.  Optional, include a small wooden spoon and small cotton muslin bag to finish off your presentation.

Candy Cane Bath Salts

4. Candy Cane Bath Salts

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 3 pounds Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil (original recipe creator used sweet almond oil)
  • 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4-5 drops red food coloring (natural is best)
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • Air-tight clear containers for storage – I found these cute “milk” bottles in a 6-pack at Michael’s for $9.99 and they always have 40-50% off coupons so these are really affordable!
  • Labels (optional – visit source website for free downloadable labels)

Directions:

Divide the Epsom salt evenly between two large mixing bowls. In a small bowl, combine carrier oil and peppermint essential oil. Pour half the oil mixture into each of the two bowls of Epsom salt. Mix with clean hands. Add the red food coloring to one of the two bowls of Epsom salt and mix using clean hands until color is distributed throughout. Layer the bath salts in the clear containers alternating between red and white until the container is full. Seal container, label and give to a very lucky recipient.

Note: The red food coloring will tint the bath water, but original recipe creator reports having had no issues with it staining her bath tub. If you’re worried, you can easily leave out the food coloring and still get the same muscle-relieving benefits.

Source: http://www.brokenplowblog.com/2012/12/04/handmade-holiday-candy-cane-bath-salts/

Lavender Bath Bombs

5. Lavender Bath Bomb

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup powdered citric acid (found with the baking or canning supplies in “most grocery stores” – although I can never find it.  I bought mine on Amazon)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil (more or less based on your preference)
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond oil
  • Blue and red natural food coloring (optional)
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • Large glass bowl
  • 4 (4-ounce) silicone molds
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried lavender buds (optional)

Directions:

  1. If using, sprinkle the dried lavender buds into the bottom of the silicone molds (they’ll show up just at the tops of your finished bath bombs). Add the citric acid and baking soda to the glass bowl. Use a whisk to combine the mixture.
  2. Add the essential oil and almond oil to the mixture. Drop in about 4 to 5 drops each of the red and blue food coloring (if using). Use the spoon to combine the mixture very well.
  3. Add a few spritzes of water to moisten the mixture. Don’t use too much at once. Use the spoon to mix the ingredients well. The mixture should be the consistency of slightly wet sand, and should clump in your hand if you squeeze it.
  4. Use a spoon to transfer the mixture to the silicone molds. Pack it in very tightly, all the way to the top.
  5. Lay a few paper towels on a flat surface, carefully turn the mold over, and pop out the bath bombs.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and transfer the paper towels and bath bombs to the baking sheet.  Cover with a few more paper towels and allow to dry overnight.

Celia’s Note: This recipe was a bit like a science experiment.  I had two failed attempts and had to really tweak my third attempt to get the bath bombs pictured above.  Citric acid fizzes when exposed to water so make sure to really use the spray bottle sparingly.  Also, if its humid outside (and let’s face it, it’s ALWAYS humid in Alabama) it may affect your product as well.  I found another recipe that recommends baking the bath bombs to help dry them out.  Preheat oven to 170° and then turn OFF.  Put bath bombs in oven to dry for 45 minutes.  I still had to remove the bath bombs twice during this time to press them back down into their molds before they dried out.  Read all about my Lavender Bath Bombs: Pinterest Fail!

Source: http://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/1028461/diy-lavender-bath-bombs

For the New Mom

Diaper Bag Essentials

6. Diaper Bag Essentials

Mix and match the following recipes to create an on-the-go Diaper Bag Essentials gift bag for the new moms in your life! You could find a cute cosmetic bag just big enough to hold the items you choose so she can just throw the whole thing in the diaper bag and be ready for whatever comes her way! It’s a thoughtful gift idea she can use throughout the year! Also a great gift idea for the next Baby Shower you are invited to!

DIY Hand Sanitizer
6a. Thieves Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Pure Aloe Gel
  • ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
  • 6 drops Thieves essential oil blend
  • Distilled water – I had planned to use purified bottled water
  • small squeeze bottle – I used a cleaned recycled hand sanitizer bottle

Directions:

Start with filling your squeeze bottle with aloe, about ⅔ full. Next, add the Vitamin E.  Add 6 drops of Thieves Essential Oil and give it a shake. Lastly, add a little distilled water until it is to the consistency you like.

Read my original blog post Is your hand sanitizer drying out your hands? Here’s an alcohol free DIY Thieves Hand Sanitizer recipe!

Recipe Source: http://www.eatcraftparent.com/2014/06/non-toxic-hand-sanitizer-with-essential-oils/

Don’t want to DIY it but love the idea? Check out Young Living’s Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier!

Lavender Tea Tree Diaper Rash Cream

6b. Lavender Diaper Rash Ointment

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup organic, raw unrefined shea butter
  • 1/2 cup organic, raw coconut oil
  • 5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    • Other optional oils to add are Roman Chamomile, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifola) for a bad diaper rash, or Gentle Baby essential oil blend
  • 1 tbsp. beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax
  • For Disposable Diapers – 3 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (optional – you can use arrowroot or cornstarch if you prefer not to use zinc oxide)
  • For Cloth Diapers – 3 tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable glycerine or aloe vera gel (optional, for added nutrients and skin protection)
  • Double boiler**
  • Mixer (stand or handheld)

Directions:

In a double boiler, place the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in the top pan and bring to a boil. Leave in the pan long enough to melt all the shea butter and beeswax (5 minutes or less).

Remove from the heat and add essential oils.  Mix well and place in the refrigerator for a few hours – one to two. The cooling step is a very important part of the emulsifying process and cannot be skipped!

Once cooled (it will be harder), scoop into your mixer. A hand mixer should work just fine, too. Then, add the 3 tbsp. of zinc oxide  (or arrowroot or cornstarch) and the 2 tbsp. of optional vegetable glycerin and beat for 5 to 10 minutes. The beating lets oxygen circulate through the cream to fluff it up and thicken it.

It will look creamy and oily when you’re done, but after several hours it will thicken up A LOT. It’s just as thick as store bought ointment and way less toxic!

Celia’s note: I’m sad to say I’ve had several opportunities to use this recipe since I originally made it and it is WONDERFUL!!! I added Tea Tree oil to mine and it has done wonders to help alleviate discomfort and knock out diaper rashes on my little one in a day, maybe two if its really bad.   I now keep a jelly jar on the changing table and a small recycled Gerber baby food jar in my diaper bag (the image above the “Diaper Bag Essentials” heading is actually my diaper bag stash).  I’m about to transfer a jar into a plastic container to send to daycare because it works better than the store bought stuff! I will never run out of this stuff!!!

Source: http://mymerrymessylife.com/2012/07/homemade-diaper-rash-cream-green-non-toxic.html

ouchie

6c. Ouchie Roll-On: For Life’s Little Scrapes and Bruises

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 20 drops of Lavender oil
  • 15 drops of Frankincense oil
    • Bonus: 30 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.  Apply directly to the affected area.

Read my original post Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises

Stain Remover on the Go

6d. Stain Remover On-the-Go

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 capful Thieves cleaner
  • Distilled water
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add 1 capful of Thieves cleaner to roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to slowly fill the roll-on the rest of the way with distilled water.  To use:  Rinse stain with cool water.  Gently shake roll-on and apply directly to stain.  Wash normally when you get home.

Source: I wish I knew… I found that picture above being shared over and over in Facebook groups I’m a member of and for the life of me I cannot find the original source.  If it is your image and/or recipe, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

Thieves Household Cleaner is not currently a part of the standard Premium Starter Kit as most of the suggested oils in these recipes are but you can add it to your order at signup if you are interested.  I promise, you won’t regret it! A little goes a long way and I use it to clean everything!!!  Kitchen counters, bathtub, shower curtains, high chairs… I even add it to my laundry! Or you can get started with the Thieves Premium Starter Kit that includes TWO of each of the following: 14.4 oz Thieves Household Cleaners, Foaming Hand Soaps, Thieves Sprays, and Thieves Waterless Hand Purifiers, plus a 15 ml bottle of Thieves essential oil blend, AromaBright Toothpaste, and Fresh Essence Mouthwash with a BONUS Stress Away essential oil blend and roller fitment for easy application.   That’s enough to share with your friends and family for more Holiday gift ideas!!!

 

Gifts for Him

For Any Man

Vapor Discs

7. Homemade “Vicks” Vapor Shower Discs

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Baking Soda (approximately 2-3 cups)
  • Water
  • 15-20 drops of R.C. essential oil blend
  • 15 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin liners
  • Mason jar or other cute packaging container – here are mine all wrapped up!

Vicks - wrapped

Directions:

Add Baking Soda to mixing bowl.  Slowly add water until you’ve made a thick paste.  Just a little water goes a long way.  You want it to be the consistency of putty.  Add essential oil blend.  Spoon the mixture into lined muffin tin and let sit for 12-18 hours until hardened.  (You could also bake them to speed up this process, approximately 20 minutes at 350° – but if you do this add the essential oils after the discs come out of the oven to avoid damaging the therapeutic properties of the oils).

To Use: Place one shower disc anywhere in the bottom of your tub and let the steam from your hot shower release the essential oils to create an invigorating shower experience.  Especially enjoyable during the changing of the seasons or anytime you might suffer from a stuffy nose or congestion to help open up the sinuses and breathe easier!

Modified from source:  http://beingfrugalbychoice.com/2012/03/homemade-vicks-vapor-shower-disks.html

This is practically the same recipe but with different oils as my Diaper Pail Deodorant Discs.  Super easy recipe to follow and so worth it (plus another gift idea for the new mom)! Check em out!

Icy-Hot Muscle Rub

8. “Icy Hot” Muscle Rub

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup Beeswax Pastilles (or grated beeswax)
  • 2 tsp Cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp Ginger or Tumeric powder (Optional alternative: I bet Ginger essential oil would be an awesome addition!)
  • 15 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops Lavender essential oil
  • Double boiler**
  • Glass or metal containers to package

Directions:

Add coconut oil and beeswax to double boiler.  Bring water to a boil and stir until all beeswax is melted.  Add cayenne and ginger (or turmeric) powders and stir to distribute evenly throughout the mixture.  Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes but not long enough to harden.  Add essential oils and mix well.  Pour into decorate glass or metal storage containers.

Note: This will have an “icy hot” sort of feel to it.  Since peppermint oil is a “hot” oil and the recipe calls for cayenne pepper, have your friends or family do a patch test first to see how their skin will react to the rub.  You can always add less essential oil and/or cayenne or more coconut oil and beeswax (try to keep the same proportions to maintain consistency) if they have sensitive skin.

Modified from source: http://draxe.com/homemade-muscle-rub/

Ache Away

9. “Ache Away” Roll-On

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 10 drops each of PanAway essential oil blend, Peppermint, Frankincense, and Lavender essential oils
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.  Apply directly to the affected area.  Great for use on sore muscles, a crick in your neck or even a headache!

Note: Peppermint and PanAway are “hot” oils so have your friends or family member do a small patch test first to see how they react.  You can always add less essential oils or more carrier oil if they have sensitive skin.

 

For the Lumber Sexual

Black Spruce Beard Balm

(The image above is the recipe I made for my husband.  It is a modification of the recipe below because when I went to make it I realized I was out of Stress Away!!! It was a sad, sad day… However, I’m pleased to report that my husband LOVES this stuff!!! It’s a tried and true recipe for the bearded men in your life, approved by my not-so-crunchy baby daddy!)

10. Stress Away Beard Balm

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax
  • 1 tsp Shea Butter
  • 1 tsp Jojoba  Oil or Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp Argan Oil
  • 4 drops Vitamin E Oil (or the oil from 2 Vitamin E capsules)
  • 2-3 drops of Stress Away or other essential oil blend
    • Customizable with other oils! Feel free to change it up by using other essential oils of your choosing.  Some suggestions are:
      • Northern Lights Black Spruce (pictured) smells amazing! Nice and woodsy, sure to please any outdoorsman!
      • Sandalwood and cinnamon oils combined to give a sexy spiced winter aroma
      • Eucalyptus or tea tree oil can be added to combat blemish prone skin
      • Peppermint oil can be used as an extra anti-itch ingredient
      • Geranium oil is fantastic to calm reddened or inflamed skin
  • Double boiler**
  • 2 oz tin or other storage container

Directions:

Melt beeswax, shea butter, and carrier oils in double boiler.  Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Add Vitamin E oil and Stress Away essential oil blend (or your choice of essential oils). Stir mixture well, pour into container and allow to solidify overnight.

Modified from source: http://www.beautybythegeeks.com/diy-beard-balm-for-men/

Check out http://www.jebiga.com/10-diy-beard-oil-recipes/ for more DIY Beard oils, balms, butters, and mustache waxes for the Lumber Sexual in your life!

 

For the Preppy Businessman

shaving cream image

11. Shaving Cream

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Shea Butter
  • ¼ cup Sweet Almond Oil (or jojoba or grapeseed if you are worried about nut allergies)
  • 2 tsp Vitamin E oil (about 2 capsules)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Baking Soda (you could substitute Arrowroot powder or Kaolin clay if your man has a baking soda sensitivity)
  • 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice
    • Stress Away would smell lovely and is a “Dude Approved” fragrance
    • Lavender would help soothe skin irritation
    • Peppermint would be a nice and uplifting way to get his morning started
    • Other options and combos may include: Sandalwood, Peppermint & Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Orange & Clove… the possibilities are endless!
  • Double boiler** (or microwave safe dish)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer (stand or hand)
  • Small airtight container or jar (I love the moustache ribbon in the source image above!)

Directions:

Place Coconut Oil and Shea Butter in double boiler (or microwave safe dish) and heat until melted.  Remove from heat and add Sweet Almond oil and essential oils of your choice. Stir until well blended.  Place in fridge until mixture is almost solid. Remove from fridge, add baking soda, and whip until light and fluffy.  Transfer to container or jar.

Recipe and Image Source:  http://www.couponsandfreebiesmom.com/2014/11/homemade-mens-shaving-cream.html#_a5y_p=2813726

Young Living also has Brand NEW Shutran Shave Cream for men and Mirah Shave Oil for women that they just added last month! (Note: at the time of this blog entry my website does not currently have these products listed but you can still purchase them at signup if you are interested).

 

For the Motor Head

Hand Degreaser

12. Hand Degreaser

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp Epsom Salts (I found that 2 Tbsp was too runny)
  • 4-6 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 2 oz glass bottle or salve jar

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a 2 oz glass bottle or salve jar.  To use, shake bottle or mix ingredients, dump out a little on hands and rub together.

Modified from source: http://www.abundanthealth4u.com/v/vspfiles/downloadables/AbundantHealth_Holiday_Gift_Guide_2014.pdf

 

Gifts for the Whole Family

For Anyone

Orange Cedawood Lotion Bars

(A modification of the recipe below)

13. Lotion Bars:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of raw honey (optional)
  • 2 oz* Beeswax pastilles
  • 2 oz*  Shea Butter (or Cocoa Butter – would be nice for a subtle hint of chocolate, especially with Peppermint essential oil)
  • 2 oz* coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6-10 drops of essential oils of your choice
    • Lavender and/or Frankincense to soothe cracked and irritated skin.
    • Lemon for an energizing fresh citrus fragrance
    • Peppermint for an uplifting scent and holiday favorite
    • Other nice fragrance combinations: Orange & Cedarwood or Northern Lights Black Spruce for a manly fragrance; Abundance for a hint of Fall; Gold (Honey), Frankincense & Myrrh for a special Christmas blend
  • Double boiler
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin liners (paper or silicone)
  • Mason jar or other large jar to gift multiple bars to single person/family or small container or tin to gift one to a single person or as part of a gift basket

*Note: 1 oz is approximately 2 Tbsp

Directions:

In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax,  shea butter, and coconut oil until they become a smooth, uniform liquid.  Remove from heat and add the olive oil, honey, and essential oil drops. Mix well. In a muffin tin lined with muffin liners (reusable silicone works great!), ladle the mixture evenly between the lined cupcake wells. Allow to set (or harden) on the counter for 7 to 8 hours, or pop in the fridge to speed up the process.

Celia’s Note: I’ve found that my honey tends to settle out of the mixture when cooling.  It was less likely to happen when the bars cooled in the fridge but still settled some.  I just wipe with a damp paper towel to get the sticky off then allow to dry before packaging.

Modified from source: http://www.thankyourbody.com/orange-honey-lotion-bars/

 

raspberry-mint-lip-balm-1(Color optional)

14. Raspberry Mint Lip Balm (with SPF)

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Red Raspberry Seed Oil (sadly, this does not smell like raspberries but that does mean that it’s man friendly if you leave out the tint!)
  • 1 tsp beeswax
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E oil
  • 1/8 – 1/16 tsp Pink Mica (optional if you want a tinted lip balm) – I got mine on Amazon (Rose Red Mica Powder). They have a variety of color choices.
  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • Double boiler**
  • Small tins or lib balm tubes for packaging

Directions:

Add Red Raspberry Seed oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil and Pink Mica (optional) to double boiler and heat until melted.  Stir well and remove from heat.  Let cool a moment then add Peppermint essential oil.  Stir until well mixed.  Pour into tin or lip balm tubes.

Note: Red Raspberry Seed oil has an approximate SPF of 28-50 so it will help protect your lips from the sun!

Recipe and Image Source: http://jenniraincloud.com/raspberry-mint-lip-balm-w-spf/

 

Winter Wellness Gift Basket

15. Winter Wellness Gift Basket Ideas:

Mix and Match the following gift ideas to create the perfect Winter Wellness gift basket for the whole family!

 

15a. Thieves Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

see recipe above under “Diaper Bag Essentials”

Breathe Easy15b. Breathe Easy Roll-On

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 15 drops each of R.C., Peppermint, Lemon, and Frankincense
  • Carrier oil of your choice (I prefer fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml glass roll-on bottle (with steel roller ball if possible)
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Pipette (optional)

Directions:

Using the small funnel (optional – but I find it much easier) add essential oils to 10 ml roll-on bottle.  Use pipette (optional) to fill the roll-on the rest of the way with carrier oil of your choice).  Shake well before use.   Apply to chest to help you breathe easier or to bridge of nose for more severe congestion.  Note: Be careful to avoid eyes as Peppermint is a “hot” oil and can burn or cause your eyes to water.

 

15c. Homemade “Vicks” Vapor Shower Discs

see recipe above “Gifts for Any Man”

Thieves Lozenges
15d. Thieves Lozenges

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • ¾ cup of Raw (preferably local) Honey
  • 15 drops Thieves essential oil blend
  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Powdered sugar to coat
  • Pot
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Parchment paper or non-stick food mat
  • Knife or scissors
  • Glass jar or other storage container
  • Wax paper to make wrappers (optional)

Directions:

Bring honey to a boil and heat to 300° (use candy thermometer).  Let cool slightly and add Theives and Lemon essential oils.  Stir until combined. Once it has thickened slightly, place on parchment paper or no-stick food mat and roll into a long tube while it is still warm.  Cut into small pieces and coat lightly with powdered sugar (helps prevent them from sticking together).  I’ve also seen other sources suggest pouring into a small candy mold or rolling into little balls.  You can wrap individually using small pieces of wax paper (optional) or just package unwrapped in glass jar or storage container.

Source: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/481814860110843414/

 

Love this idea but not a candy maker? Young Living takes the guess work out of it and made them for you! Check out their Thieves Hard Lozenges!

 

Thieves Tea
15e. Bonus idea: Thieves Tea for Winter Wellness:

Include a 15 ml bottle of Thieves (+ optional Lemon essential oil) and Thieves Tea Recipe Card with your favorite Herbal Tea Sampler

Thieves Tea recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water or your favorite herbal tea
  • 1 drop Thieves essential oil blend
  • 2-3 drops Lemon essential oil (optional)
  • Raw honey (to taste)

Directions:

Heat water or brew tea as directed.  Add drops of essential oil(s) and honey to sweeten to taste.  Drink as often as necessary for immune support.  (Optional: Add 1 drop Frankincense oil and/or Peppermint oil for added support).

email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com for a printable recipe card pdf file

 

Thieves Diffuser
15f. Bonus idea:

A Dewdrop, Bamboo, or even Rainstone or Aria Diffuser with essential oils of your choice (Thieves, R.C., or Christmas Spirit are wonderful gift ideas for the holiday season) are always a welcome gift!

 Gifts for the Kids

Sensory Play-Doh

16. Sensory “Play-Doh”

Ingredients & Supplies (makes one batch):

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • Natural food coloring (your choice)
  • 10-20 drops of essential oils (depending on how strong you want your fragrance).  Oil and color pairing ideas below (but feel free to use your imagination!):
    • Lemon essential oil and yellow food coloring
    • Orange or Citrus Fresh essential oil and orange food coloring
    • Frankincense or Thieves essential oils and red food coloring
    • Peppermint essential oil and blue or green food coloring
    • Stress Away or Peace & Calming essential oil and green food coloring
    • Lavender or Valor essential oil and purple food coloring
  • Mixing bowl

Directions:

Stir together salt, flour, cream of tartar and oil in a big bowl. Add the boiling water and keep stirring until it forms a dough. When it’s mixed pretty thoroughly and has had a chance to cool a bit, add the essential oil and food coloring. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed into the dough. This takes a while, but keep working at it! And be careful, because it could still be really hot!

Note: ALL of the above ingredients are SAFE to ingest so if you have a youngster who still occasionally likes to eat play-doh, you can rest assured that while this play dough is definitely salty, it contains no harmful chemicals!

Celia’s note: The above recipe makes one BIG batch! I divided my batch into 6 smaller batches before adding my essential oils and food coloring. I used a couple drops each of food coloring and 2-3 drops of essential oil. My mom had also found me some Gerber plastic baby food containers (see pic) from one of her friends that were the perfect size for storing a little of the play-doh. I will tell you that after sitting for a week my dough got a little sticky but this is easily solved by adding a bit more flour. Also, my natural food coloring seemed to color shift over time. So be aware of these issues and maybe do a test batch before wrapping up. I probably wouldn’t make it too far ahead of time. I have no idea how long it would last (certainly not as long as store bought play-doh) but it’s easy to mix up a new batch if necessary!

Inspired by source:  http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/52159/lemon-essential-oil-playdough?utm_source=loveandmarriageblog.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange

Also check out http://loveandmarriageblog.com/10-essential-oils-playdough-recipes/  for even more sensory play dough ideas using essential oils (ß she even has a link to free printable play dough mats that you can include for the kiddos!)

Sensory Bath Crayons

17. Sensory Bath “Crayons”

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Glycerin Soap (I found mine at Michael’s but you can get some really nice soap options on Amazon)
  • Natural food coloring
  • Couple drops of Essential Oils of your choice. Oil and color pairing ideas below (but feel free to use your imagination!):
    • Lemon essential oil and yellow food coloring
    • Frankincense or Thieves essential oils and red food coloring
    • Peppermint essential oil and blue or green food coloring
    • Stress Away essential oil and green food coloring
    • Lavender essential oil and purple food coloring
  • A microwavable bowl
  • Silicone Mold(s) – you can find Jello brand molds in cute shapes and sizes that would work as well
  • Packaging materials of your choice – I found these clear plastic treat baggies at Michael’s in the cakes and candies section, they also had ones with cute little holiday pictures, and used curling ribbon to tie them off.

Directions:

Most of the Glycerin soap comes in a block that can be cut into little cubes, something like 1-2” square if yours doesn’t.  I would start with maybe 2 cubes in your microwavable bowl.  Heat for approximately 30 seconds until all the soap is melted.  Once melted, add a few drops of your natural food coloring and essential oils of choice (you can always add more if you desire a richer color or stronger scent.  Remember, richer colors are likely to show up better when coloring but a little essential oil goes a long way!) and stir until well mixed.  Pour into your silicone mold.  The size and shape of your mold will determine how many crayons you will get from each batch.  Repeat with desired color and fragrance combos.  Let cool for several hours (you can put in fridge to speed up this process) until your crayons are hardened.  Once completely cooled package in multi- or single color packages.   I packaged my crayons in a clear plastic bag tied with curling ribbon since the colors of the crayons were so pretty to begin with!

Modified from Source: http://www.bathactivitiesforkids.com/2013/03/homemade-bath-crayons.html

Monster Spray

18. “Go Away Monster (Sleepytime) Spray”

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 4 oz Distilled Water
  • 4 oz Unscented Witch Hazel
  • 16+ drops of Lavender essential oil
    • Bonus:  You could also include several drops of other “sleepytime” oils like Cedarwood, Peace & Calming, Gentle Baby, Valor, etc.
  • 8 oz glass spray bottle
  • A cute label (email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com for a high quality png of the image I made that you can print out on sticky paper)

Go AwayMonster Spray

Directions:

Mix ingredients in an 8 oz glass spray bottle.  Print a cute label on sticky paper and add to bottle. Shake well before using and spray around your child’s room at night, especially under the bed and in closets, to scare away the monsters and promote a restful night’s sleep!

 

 

 

 

 

Where to buy your Supplies:

PSK with Diffuser Choices

 Young Living essential oils:

I only use Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils because of their commitment to quality and Seed to Seal guarantee.   All the primary oils suggested in the recipes above are part of Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit. The PSK comes with 11 essential oils and blends:

  1. Lavender
  2. Lemon
  3. Frankincense
  4. Peppermint
  5. Copaiba
  6. DiGize blend – for tummy troubles
  7. Thieves blend – for wellness
  8. Purification blend – for all things stinky
  9. PanAway blend – for aches and pains
  10. R.C. blend – to breathe easier
  11. BONUS: Stress Away blend – the name says it all!

Plus, you get to build your dream kit by picking a diffuser of your choice (additional cost for some of the diffuser options), plus awesome samples, an attachable roller fitment so you can easily apply your favorite oil, and 10 sample bottles!

The baseline kit with the Dewdrop diffuser is a small investment of $160 but the retail value of everything you get above is over $330!!! That’s a savings of over $170! Say What!?! Plus, think of all the money you can save this year by making all your own DIY Holiday Gifts for everyone on your list! It’s a no brainer!  Send me a message or email me at ShadowHawk1231@gmail.com to learn more about how you can order yours today and save an additional 24% off retail on all future orders or to ask ANY questions you may have about essential oils or DIY home, health, and beauty products!  Ready to order now? Visit my page How to Get Essential Oils at Wholesale Pricing to sign up today!

Carrier Oils:

I prefer Carrington Farms brand of Coconut Oil for cooking and DIY beauty products available at Costco.

For fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond, Red Raspberry and other carrier oils I have had really good luck with the Dr. Adorable brand of oils available for purchase on Amazon.

Beeswax and Butters:

Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon both have a good selection to choose from.  If you are an Amazon Prime member you will enjoy the free 2 day shipping, especially as the holidays rapidly approach!

Glycerin Soap:

Michael’s has clear Glycerin soap for approximately $9.99 per package (make sure to check out their website for coupons – they often have either 40 or 50% off a single item!).  You can also find some really nice soap options on Amazon if you want a more gentle formula or extra ingredients like goat’s milk, etc.

Natural Food Coloring:

I ordered mine on Amazon (India Tree Natural Decorating Colors) although natural food/health stores may have some.  I honestly didn’t look really hard.  I know Kroger does NOT have it.  I just bought a set with the primary colors and mixed my own secondary and tertiary colors myself.

Citric Acid:

Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon both have Citric Acid for a reasonable price.  I got mine at Amazon (Food Grade Citric Acid) because I had another order ready to process and I have free shipping through Prime.  But my next order will likely be from Mountain Rose Herbs (Citric Acid) because I have some other supplies I need to order.  It’s a little cheaper at MRH but you will have to pay shipping so unless you have a bunch of stuff to order it’s not really worth it in my opinion.

Glass Spray Bottles, Roller Bottles, and other Packaging:

I’ve found that Kroger often has the Mason or Bell canning and preserve jars (4 oz and 8 oz) for pretty cheap.  I’m sure WalMart would have them for a good price too if you shop there.  Target doesn’t have a very big selection although they do have a few canning supplies.  They were a bit more expensive as well.

Michael’s often has really cute supplies for packaging (plus, they always have coupons on their website).  I got several of my glass jars for this class there. Always check their discount aisle right as you check out.  I also shop at Michael’s for ribbon, tags, labels and stickers to use to put the finishing touches on my gifts.  You could be as rustic, vintage, modern, or fancy as you can imagine with just a few extra supplies!

Shop around for the best prices on roller bottles (make sure they have stainless steel rollers because citrus and other oils can break down plastic over time and you want to be able to reuse them) and spray bottles.  Quality and prices vary greatly so make sure to read reviews if you are shopping from a retailer not on this list.

  • If you are a Young Living wholesale member, there is a secret Facebook group ran by another YL member that has really excellent selection of products for a good price. She buys in bulk so her items are usually pretty inexpensive and always the best quality.  She also offers multiple item discounts to buyers as well.  PM me on Facebook and I’ll add you to this group.
  • Amazon always has a good selection and the benefits of free 2 day shipping with a Prime membership often make Amazon the best choice, especially this close to the holidays.
  • A lot of YL members swear by Glass Bottle Outlet although I’ve never shopped there.
  • Life Science Publishing (they are the publishing company that puts out the Essential Oil Desk/Pocket/Quick Reference Guides) also has some supplies.
  • Abundant Health is another popular supplier of essential oil references and supplies.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Need last minute Holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank??? Here’s a DIY Holiday Gift Guide to help! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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Pinterest Fail: A (mis)adventure with Lavender Bath Bombs

Pinterest Fail - Lavender Bath Bombs

Not every DIY adventure goes as planned.

I’m a Bath Junkie. Always have been.  But I generally keep it pretty simple.  Once I gave up my beloved bubble bath to get rid of toxic chemicals like Sodium Lauryl(eth) Sulfate in my relaxing tub time I’ve pretty much stuck to bath salts with one or another of my essential oils depending on need or the mood that struck me that evening. But bath bombs are all the rage on DIY recipe boards and I figured with the holidays coming up why not try my hand at something new, and a little more visually appealing than bath salts, for a holiday gift idea.  I’ve made tons of recipes over the last couple years, how hard could it be?

……. Apparently, much harder than I expected.  See, I had never worked with Citric Acid before and this (mis)adventure was a bit more like a homemade science experiment than I anticipated.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My (mis)adventure began on Pinterest, as most of my DIY adventures do.

I found this amazing looking recipe on the She Knows blog for DIY Lavender Bath Bombs.  I had the exact same mold she used from when I made bath crayons for the kiddos on my holiday list last year plus I had some leftover dried lavender from the garden and her bath bombs were really pretty, not your typical sphere shaped bombs, that I thought would look nice packaged in my favorite reusable holiday gift “wrap” a wide mouth Mason jar.  All I needed was some Citric Acid and I was all set.

Citric Acid is a weak organic acid, and natural preservative, found in citrus fruits.  It comes in a white crystalline powder which is commonly used in food as a preservative, emulsifying agent, or to make your beloved Sour Patch kids taste sour! It’s also frequently used in personal care products, like bath bombs, bath salts, and cleansers designed to help breakdown grease and makes an excellent, all natural household cleaner (in fact, it was one of the recommended ingredients when I was researching how to clean your toilet without toxic chemicals.  Citric Acid alone doesn’t react with water but when it is combined with sodium bicarbonate (or Baking Soda) and water is added this trifecta creates carbon dioxide bubbles, which in turn is what creates the “fizz” in bath bombs. (see, science can be cool!)

When my Citric Acid came in I was super pumped and ready to try out the bath bomb recipe!  So here’s the basics:

DIY Lavender Bath Bomb Recipe:

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup powdered citric acid (found with the baking or canning supplies in most grocery stores)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil (more or less based on your preference)
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond oil
  • Blue and red natural food coloring (optional)
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • Large glass bowl
  • 4 (4-ounce) silicone molds
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried lavender buds (optional)

Directions:

  1. If using, sprinkle the dried lavender buds into the bottom of the silicone molds (they’ll show up just at the tops of your finished bath bombs). Add the citric acid and baking soda to the glass bowl. Use a whisk to combine the mixture.
  2. Add the essential oil and almond oil to the mixture. Drop in about 4 to 5 drops each of the red and blue food coloring (if using). Use the spoon to combine the mixture very well.
  3. Add a few spritzes of water to moisten the mixture. Don’t use too much at once. Use the spoon to mix the ingredients well. The mixture should be the consistency of slightly wet sand, and should clump in your hand if you squeeze it.
  4. Use a spoon to transfer the mixture to the silicone molds. Pack it in very tightly, all the way to the top.
  5. Lay a few paper towels on a flat surface, carefully turn the mold over, and pop out the bath bombs.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and transfer the paper towels and bath bombs to the baking sheet.  Cover with a few more paper towels and allow to dry overnight.

 

Sounds simple enough, right?  So I set to mixing.  Here’s the first lesson:

Always pay attention to the amount the recipe calls for and measure carefully!

I totally misread the ingredients the first time (mostly likely because of the tiny human that seems to provide an endless source of distraction from the task at hand) and convinced myself that the recipe called for 1/2 pound of Citric Acid rather than the 1/2 cup…  So I merrily dump in half of my 1 lb bag of Citric Acid and carry on about my mixing.  I was very careful to use a spray bottle to add the water to my mixture but it was a new bottle and the nozzle was set to a stream setting rather than that nice full coverage spray. So when I started adding water, however carefully, my mixture started fizzing up pretty good right then and there.  But I thought surely this must be normal and carried on. I got my recipe all mixed up decided that it was “the consistency of slightly wet sand” and it “clumped in my hand if I squeezed it” so it must be good to go.  It looked like this:

bath bomb fail 1 - more than "slightly wet"

 

 

**For the record, this is more than “slightly wet”… If your mixture looks like this, it’s way too wet and you should probably start over.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After I had my mixture to the consistency that I thought I wanted (see note above), I poured it into my silicone molds and pressed down firmly with my fingers.  But try as I might I could NOT get the bombs out of the mold.  They were just too wet and clung to the sides.  So I figured I would just let them dry out a bit and pop them out later.

Well after entertaining the little one for awhile I came back into the kitchen to discover my mixture was rising… like yeast bread dough but at a faster pace! See image below.94876997-c497-42d6-a451-0c694468687e

Somewhat surprised by this turn of events I calmly pressed the mixture back into the mold and let it sit a bit longer.  This time I turned the mold upside down thinking that at least the mixture wouldn’t rise out of the prescribed shape.  I had to run an errand that afternoon so I checked my bombs before I left only to discover that the mixture was billowing out from beneath the upturned mold.  At this point I’m starting to get a bit concerned but didn’t want to give up on it just yet so I decided to press the mixture back down in the molds, yet again, but this time I was going to outsmart it so I turned it upside down and put a heavy pot on top of the upturned mold and left it to dry out while I ran my errands.

Upon my return I was shocked to discover that the chemical reaction was so powerful that it could still bubble out from beneath the upturned mold even with a heavy pot on top.  I had been gone long enough the mixture had, in fact, dried out and was now stuck to the paper towel it had been drying on.  When I removed the mold I was faced with the epic disaster you see pictured above.  Nailed it!

Not to be daunted by this (mis)adventure I spent some time reviewing the recipe, realized my mistake(s) and decided to give it another go the next day. This time I measured carefully, making sure to only use 1/2 cup of Citric Acid and I made extra sure that my spray nozzle was set to a fine mist so as to not over-saturate my mixture.  This time I stopped adding water right when I had the thought that maybe I should add more, just to be sure that I didn’t over-saturate the mixture again.  I carefully spooned the mix into my silicone mold and this time was pleasantly surprised when they popped out pretty easily.  So far so good they looked pretty close to the picture on the original blog so I left them to dry.  926457f8-2aa8-46a1-ad30-7f6150218903I set the bombs to the side and started on another project while they dried.  After a few minutes I noticed, much to my dismay, that they weren’t keeping their shape very well and that there were places where they appeared to have more moisture in the mix that it was starting to bubble out a bit.  It occurs to me at this point that not only is it almost always humid in Alabama but my house is old and tends to retain moisture so it’s likely not helping my project one bit.  So I set out to google alternative recipes that use the oven to dry out the mixture.  I found several but one with a similar recipe that suggested

preheating your oven to 170°, turning your oven OFF, then putting your bath bombs in there for approximately 45 minutes.  

Please note that exposing essential oils to heat does damage the therapeutic value of the oils but at this point I’m desperate and willing to try anything. Besides, these were mainly for fragrance only.  So I carefully remove my bath bombs from the paper towel and set them on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and put them in my preheated, but turned off, oven.  45 minutes later I returned to this… Pinterest Fail 2

Lavender Bath Bomb pancake… (I broke it apart before getting the idea to document yet another failure and thus the inspiration for this blog post was born! lol).  So I put the pancake version in a plastic bag to throw in my own bath whenever I find the time to actually relax.  I should’ve taken a picture but when I went to the bathroom later in the afternoon I discovered that even despite being dried out and baked in the oven for 45 minutes the mixture was still producing carbon dioxide and my ziploc had swollen up like a balloon! It was crazy town! So I carefully unsealed the ziploc (I’m sure I looked like I was handling a nuclear device while doing so) and left them on the counter to finish whatever chemical reaction they still had going on.  I’m pleased to report that more than a week later they no longer produce CO2!

Now at this point I am bound and determined to conquer this recipe and to create something that even remotely resembles the adorable Lavender Bath Bombs in the original recipe.  So, I set out to make yet another batch! This time I followed the directions, carefully measuring my Citric Acid, ensuring that my spray nozzle was set to a fine mist, stopping when I felt like I probably needed to add more water, and now putting in the oven while the mixture was still in the silicone mold to help them retain their shape as they dried out.  After about 10 minutes or so I’m starting to get curious so I go to my oven to check on the bath bombs.  What I discover2b8747e3-6181-4ac2-aa16-30394ead44bd is that they are still, in fact, rising, but this time at a much slower rate.  So I pull my mix and mold out of the oven and carefully press the mix back down into the mold.  You can see in the pic that they were starting to dry out and were a bit crumbly.  I was starting to get pretty nervous but I practiced my positive self-talk and just kept hoping that I would get a usable product this time.  10 minutes later I checked again.  Still rising but starting to dry out more. So I carefully pressed it back down into the mold, packing it in as firmly as I could. Third time is a charm, I guess, because at the end of 45 minutes I was pleased to see that they had finally retained their shape and looked very similar to the pictures in the original blog post!

Lavender Bath Bombs

Winning!  I’m pleased to report that the bath bombs were a big hit at my DIY Holiday Gift Guide essential oils class I hosted last weekend, in part, I’m sure, due to everyone enjoying the tales of my (mis)adventures while making them!   I offered a choice of any one of my DIY gift ideas to the girl who co-hosted with me and she chose the Lavender Bath Bombs as her gift.  I’m pleased to report that she used them and said that she had a delightful bath!

So there you have it.  While my (mis)adventure may not have gone quite as planned it was a story worth telling and in the end I wound up with a beautiful finished product! In hindsight, I’ve heard of other recipes that do not use Citric Acid and maybe one day I’ll give them a try.  But for now, I think I’m tapped out on bath bombs!

 

Have you made DIY bath bombs? What recipe did you use? I’d love to hear about your adventures!  Comment below!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Pinterest Fail: A (mis)adventure with Lavender Bath Bombs was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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10 Day Detox: My Daily Journal and Meal Plan

If you follow my blog you’ve already seen my recent blog posts My New Adventure: The 10 Day Detox and Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox.  If you haven’t already, please check out my two previous blogs for more info on the detox itself and how I’m using essential oils to provide support on my detox adventure. This post is my daily journal and meal plan for those who are interested to know exactly what I did, my progress along the way, and my ultimate results.

As much as I don’t like following pre-made meal plans that come with diets I did make my own Meal Plan before I started my detox to help with grocery shopping and help the hubby, who is the primary cook in the house, know what to cook that would be allowed given the restrictions of the detox.  But I’ll tell you this, be flexible.  I wound up getting sick in the middle of my detox and we altered the meal plan significantly from it’s original plan to what you see below.  Figures that the week that I really try to start getting healthy and focus on me is the week that I get sick after almost 2 years of being overall healthy and not needing a Dr.  I tried desperately to avoid taking any medication since I was on a detox and trying to get sugar and other toxins out of my system but here’s the thing, when you need medicine, you need it.  I’m a firm believer in Western Medicine, but with a holistic approach.  When the oily remedies aren’t helping or the pain is bad enough it’s time to rely on medicine.  I just think that overall we tend to over-Rx and overuse medicine without first looking for other solutions.

So without further ado, here is my daily journal and what I ate.  I will share my results at the end.

Day 1: Monday, September 21, 2015

We went shopping over the weekend and stocked up on lots of healthy fruits, veggies, lean meats, healthy fats, and other ingredients to get started off right this morning.  I also ordered a Glucomannan fiber  supplement from Amazon which arrived on Sunday.  I forgot to discuss this in my intro blog to the 10 Day Detox but Dr. Hyman recommends adding Glucomannan, what he calls the “super fiber” supplements to your daily regimen as a way to get your daily fiber intake and promote a feeling of fullness.  Glucomannan comes from the root of the Konjac, or Elephant yam, native to Asia.  It is making it’s rounds through the weight loss circles because it can absorb up to 50x it’s weight in water which helps promotes satiety and pushes more calories through your colon rather than letting them be absorbed and lowers the energy density of the foods you eat.  Which is basically a fancy way of saying that it fills your stomach up with zero calorie fiber so you feel more full and don’t overeat or aren’t tempted to keep eating after you’ve already eaten your allotted amount for your meal. This was important to me because portion control is a really difficult thing for me to master and I have concerns that I will feel super hungry by cutting so many things out of my diet for this detox.  My goal is to take between 1-3 Glucomannan supplements approximately 30 minutes before meal times per the recommended dosage. (Read more about Dr. Hyman’s thoughts on Glucomannan here: The Super Fiber that Controls Your Appetite and Blood Sugar)

So, armed with a fridge full of healthy food and my new fiber supplement I geared up to face my day.  First thing in the morning I weighed myself and took measurements of my bust, under my bust, my waist, hips, thighs and upper arms just so I had a point of comparison.  Even though I am doing this detox to help break my sugar addiction rather than to specifically lose weight, I certainly wouldn’t complain if I lose some weight along the way so thought it would be nice to have some objective data. Oddly enough, I was at my lowest weight since well before I got pregnant with my daughter when I started the detox!  I did pretty good sticking to my original meal plan that I had set for myself.  I did skip my afternoon snack because I elected to take off work early to go visit family.  Overall I’m impressed with my resolve.  But it’s always easy the first day of any new diet because you are super excited and optimistic about the results.  I did have a pretty major craving after dinner but was able to resist. We shall see if I can keep it up.  I did have a little bit of a headache around my morning snack and again before bed. Wasn’t super bad and I was able to help minimize the discomfort with my Headache Remedy roll-on essential oil combo.

Day 1 Meals:

a.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement and 8 oz of water when I first woke up

Breakfast – Smoothie.  Dr. Hyman’s detox breakfast smoothie didn’t sound super appealing to me and I had heard many people say that they didn’t care for the taste so I found an alternative breakfast smoothie recipe from Smart and Savvy Mom’s blog when she did the 10 Day Detox.  Here is her Strawberry, Banana, Almond Smoothie recipe.  I modified it slightly by using Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk instead of the Soy Coconut Milk that she used as I didn’t want the added sugar since that was my main issue.  I also added 1 tsp of Brewer’s Yeast and 1 Tbsp of Flax meal to my smoothie to help keep my milk supply up since my caloric intake would be decreasing without all the added sugar.

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water.  Since I didn’t have my essential oils order in yet to do my Oily Support supplements I added 2 drops of Grapefruit oil to my water to help boost my metabolism and keep my blood sugar within normal limits.

Morning snack – 1-2 servings of mixed nuts (Seriously, 1/4 cup of nuts is almost nothing!)

11:30 a.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement (made sure to drink a fair bit of my water from that morning when I took it)

Lunch – Salad with tuna.  I threw together a bunch of salad ingredients that I liked all of which are included on this cheat sheet to Dr. Hyman’s Super Salad Bar.  For dressing I just used my homemade balsamic vinaigrette but you could pretty much use any oil and vinegar based homemade dressing recipe you wanted. I also had another 20 oz water with Grapefruit eo with my lunch.

3:00 p.m. – Left work early to go visit family so didn’t have an afternoon snack.  Did however have another 8 oz of water before I left.

5:00 p.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement and 20 oz of water.

Dinner – Baked chicken, sauteed kale, steamed green beans, and side salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Finished my water from before my meal.

Total Water Consumption = 76 oz

Day 2: Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I know I said I wasn’t doing this for weight loss and that you should never weigh yourself daily because of natural weight fluctuations but I totally couldn’t help it and weighed myself this morning.  Down almost 2 pounds in 24 hours! Say what!?!  Probably just a fluke or normal weight fluctuations but hey, I’ll take it.  Hope I get some good results by the end of this!

My Essential Rewards oils shipment came last night so before bed I got to make my Oily Support supplements in anticipation of today.  I was super excited to add NingXia Red and my new oily supplements to my routine today.  I decided to up my Glucomannan from 1 supplement to 2 to see if that helps promote more of a feeling of fullness today.  Totally forgot to take it before lunch.  Need to figure out a good way to help me remember.  My biggest struggle today was that I woke up with a headache that has pretty much persisted throughout the day.  Even though I didn’t drink a whole lot of caffeine I did drink 1-2 cups of coffee daily.  I wonder if I’m having caffeine withdrawal headaches? It’s possible it could be sinus stuff too.  My poor little booger is living up to her name and has been super congested, snotty, and generally under the weather so I may be fighting off whatever she has.  Either way, the Headache Remedy roll-on is helping some but not a lot and I’m resistant to the idea of taking medication since the whole point of a detox is to rid your body of toxins.  Will see how long I can handle it before I give in. But, no sugar cravings today!

Day 2 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and  1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added (I find it’s best to add the essential oil first then add the NingXia red – otherwise the oil sits on top and DiGize can be a bit hot on the lips).

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Morning snack – probably more like 3-4 servings of mixed nuts… I portioned out a small amount but still felt hungry so I portioned out another bit.  Going to have to work a bit more on self-control.

11:30 a.m. – totally forgot my Glucomannan supplements

Lunch – Salad with leftover chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. 10 oz water with 4 drops of Slique Essence essential oil blend

2:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

Afternoon snack – raw veggies (carrots, sugar snap peas and bell peppers) with hummus

5:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

7:30 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily support supplements with 8 oz water

Dinner – baked salmon and leftover kale and green beans from last night. 20 oz water. Ate later than I wanted to but our daughter got sent home sick and hubby (who usually cooks for the family) wasn’t able to prepare food before I got home from supervision because she was being super needy all afternoon and evening.

Total Water Consumption = 96 oz

Day 3: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Down another pound today! Woo-hoo! I seriously can’t stay off the scale now and that’s counter to my entire philosophy.  I really think obsessing over numbers on the scale is a bad idea in any diet or lifestyle change, but alas… here I am.

Our daughter is home sick today so I called in to stay home and snuggle with her.  Threw my routine off a little bit but I was pleased overall with how well I ate even though I had a bunch of food not on my diet plan staring me in the face all day.  Honestly, I didn’t have any cravings for junk until right before bed.  That time of night is pretty much my Achilles heel it seems.  Did well and resisted though.  Go me! Headache not as intense as yesterday and was intermittent instead of persisting throughout the day. Thinking it’s caffeine withdrawals. 😦

Day 3 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Morning snack – raw veggies with hummus

12:15 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan with 8 oz water

Lunch– salad with tuna and balsamic vinaigrette. 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence

Afternoon snack – seaweed snacks from the local Asian market (yum!)

3:30 p.m. – the hubby watched the baby and let me take a nice, relaxing detox bath! 20 oz water during my bath.

5:00 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily Support supplement. Finished water from bath.

Dinner – baked salmon, baked eggplant, and steamed broccoli. 20 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 96 oz

Day 4: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Headache is back today. But it’s coupled with considerable pressure in my head and sinuses as well as a bit of a sore throat.  Lovely.  Hoping my NingXia Red helps provide some immune support and I think I’ll diffuse some Thieves tonight to help me fight this crud.  Busy at work so no real time to snack but honestly I’m just not that hungry today.  As much as I’d like to think that this is because of the detox I’m pretty sure it’s because I don’t feel well.

Took off an hour early today and found out when I got home that I was running a 100.5° fever! No wonder I wasn’t feeling well! Reluctantly took some Tylenol but wanted to see if it would help bring my fever down.  Seemed to help for a bit.

Day 4 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

11:00 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 20 oz water

Lunch – Salad with leftover salmon from last night and balsamic vinaigrette.  Ate less than half of it because I wasn’t feeling well and it was decidedly not appetizing.  Did eat a handful of mixed nuts to make sure that I had some food on my tummy for energy to get through the rest of the day. Finished water from before lunch.

1:00 p.m. – 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence

4:30 p.m. – unsweetened herbal lemon ginger herbal tea with 2 drops Thieves oil.  Skipped the Glucomannan and Oily supplements because I honestly wasn’t very hungry at all and didn’t want to fill up on fiber with no real substance.

Dinner – homemade chicken and vegetable soup, with homemade chicken broth (because my husband loves me!). 20 oz water

10:30 p.m. – 8 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 96

Day 5: Friday, September 25, 2015

Figures the week I’d start trying to take better care of myself would be the first week in almost 2 years that I get sick.  The little one didn’t want to sleep in her crib last night so I wound up on the couch with her and was having alternating chills and sweats all night long.  I was still running a 100.3° fever this morning so called in to works and went to the Dr. Sure enough, bacterial sinus infection (thank goodness not the flu and the rapid strep was negative too). Got a round of antibiotics to help clear it up. So my goal was to relax and take care of myself today. Skipped my supplements because I wasn’t particularly hungry to begin with and wanted to make sure I ate enough food.

Day 5 Meals:

 5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

11:00 a.m. – warm detox bath and 20 oz water

Lunch – leftover chicken soup. Finished water from when I had my bath.

3:00 p.m. – unsweetened lemon ginger herbal tea

4:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

Dinner – leftover chicken soup. Finished water from earlier.

After dinner snack – cheated a bit and had a peach. It was one of the few things that was appetizing to me today and in the grand scheme of the glycemic index not too terribly high. 10 oz water.

Total water consumption = 70 oz

Day 6: Saturday, September 26, 2015

Still feeling under the weather but woke up with no fever! Yay! Have very little appetite today but no sugar cravings. And much to my surprise, I’ve lost almost 8 lbs in 6 days! I’m sure part of the reason my weight loss is that significant is because I haven’t eaten a whole lot the past couple days due to not feeling well, but if I can beat the sugar cravings and get back to eating well maybe I can lose a few more!  TMI alert – my stomach got really angry after eating the bacon and eggs this morning.  I desperately wanted something other than a smoothie and didn’t want to get hungry in the middle of shopping at our big bi-annual Kids Market consignment sale this morning.  My mom thinks it’s the antibiotics that upset my stomach not the bacon but I’m not so sure.  This is the first grease I’ve had in awhile (since even before starting the detox).  Of course it could be because I pretty much ate nothing but liquids the past 24 hours too.  Will have to see what tomorrow brings.

Day 6 Meals: 

5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast- bacon and scrambled eggs with 1/2 peach. 20 oz water.

7:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – the last of the leftover chicken soup. 20 oz water.

Afternoon snack – raw veggies and hummus

4:30 p.m. – unsweetened lemon and ginger herbal tea

Dinner – “Italian” meatloaf (made with almond flour instead of breadcrumbs and a homemade tomato sauce instead of ketchup) with sautéed kale and baked zucchini. 20 oz water.

Total water consumption = 80 oz

Day 7: Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feeling a little bit better than yesterday but still not well.  Didn’t have a headache for most of the day.  Did have one hit in the late afternoon that was pretty bad and broke down and took some Ibuprofen and took a relaxing detox bath.  That helped and my headache went away for the rest of the day.  No sugar cravings today but still not much of an appetite.  I’m pleased to report that whatever upset my stomach yesterday didn’t bother me today.  I did make some bacon as an experiment and it didn’t bother me so who knows what it was yesterday?

Day 7 Meals:

7:00 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast– bacon and scrambled eggs. Glass of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

10:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – leftover meatloaf and a few raw veggies with hummus. Finished water from earlier.

1:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

3:30 p.m. – unsweetened peppermint herbal tea

4:00 p.m. – detox bath.  20 oz water.

Dinner – baked chicken, sauteed Brussels sprouts, and steamed yellow squash, carrots, and onions.  10 oz water

Total Water Consumption – 70 oz

Day 8: Monday, September 28, 2015

Feeling a little bit better but still not 100% yet.  Had to return to work and anticipated that my appetite might return today so I resumed taking my fiber and oily supplements.  Trying to get back on track with the Meal Plan I had made after several revisions due to not feeling well and working in some chicken soup for some comfort food.

Day 8 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie.  Ran out of Brewer’s Yeast but added Flaxseed Meal

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

10:30 a.m. – handful mixed nuts

Lunch – salad with leftover chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence.

4:00 p.m. – 10 oz water

5:30 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily Support supplement. 20 oz water.

Dinner – turkey stuffed poblano peppers with broccoli, green bean and avocado salad. Finished water from earlier.

Total Water Consumption = 78

 Day 9: Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nothing new to note really.  Haven’t had any sugar cravings for a couple days now so that’s good.  I’ve also noticed that I’ve been actually physically hungry, rather than what I call emotionally hungry lately.  I can’t remember the last time that I felt hunger pains before I thought about food.  So I guess that’s good that I’m not constantly obsessing over food and what my next meal will be!  Got sick midday, had to leave work early and couldn’t even think about food in the evening.  Poor hubby already took the day off to take the baby back to the pediatrician and I couldn’t even give him a break when I got home from work.  He did great with the bedtime routine and let me crash around 7:45.  He takes such good care of me. I got a keeper!  Love my man so much!!!

Day 9 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Flaxseed meal

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

10:30 a.m. – handful mixed nuts

Lunch – couple bites of salad greens with leftover ground turkey and broccoli, green bean and avocado salad from last night.  20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence.  Something got the better of me and I was unable to keep lunch down. Went home from work sick.  I swear, this has not been my week!

2:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

3:30 p.m. – unsweetened peppermint tea

Dinner – couldn’t even fathom eating food.  Waves of nausea kept hitting me all night long.

6:30 p.m. – 8 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 78

Day 10: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Holy smokes! I lost 10.1 lbs!!! Say what!?! I’m sure part of it is because I was sick yesterday and didn’t eat much though. No nausea this morning but boy did my milk supply take a hit from yesterday. I’m sure I’m borderline dehydrated.  Even drinking water wasn’t super appealing yesterday evening but I tried to drink enough to get by.  Decided to skip the supplements today because I didn’t want to add anything to potentially upset my already delicate stomach.  Poor hubby woke up with a fever himself this morning so now he’s taking a sick day for himself.  Apparently we are just sharing germs among the whole family…

Day 10 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast – Smoothie with Flaxseed meal. 16 oz water.

9:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – I couldn’t even look at the salad mix at home after eating so much of it and having stomach upset after eating it so I ventured out to the cafeteria on campus for lunch.  It is really hard to find food that meets the detox’s restrictions in a college cafeteria, or any buffet style restaurant I would assume.  They have a soup and salad bar so I figured I’d be safe there.  Unfortunately they only had really small side salad plates (I had to go back twice!) and both their soups had either rice or potatoes in them… Bummer.  But I was good overall.  I did cheat and used the Italian dressing which I’m sure has added sugar in it but I desperately wanted something other than oil and vinegar, which is the basis of my balsamic vinaigrette that I make.  16 oz water.

5:30 p.m. – 20 oz water

Dinner – Baked chicken, steamed broccoli, and blanched green beans. Finished water from earlier.

7:00 p.m. – 10 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 82 oz

So this was really not my week.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so sick and I hate that it fell during the week that I was trying to do a detox to break my sugar addiction because I don’t think this really reflects my every day appetites.  But alas, when picking baby up from day care you often bring home more than just the baby.  I guess we were overdue.  It’s a lesson in being flexible I suppose. I am pleased to report, however, that I feel like I’ve managed to overcome my sugar addiction.  There has been A LOT of stuff in the house that is not on my diet plan (Did I mention the hubby got donuts the day he took the baby to the pediatrician) and I’ve done well to not only avoid eating it but haven’t really craved it.  There were a few evenings, especially early on that I really wanted something sweet after dinner.  I’m not sure why but it seems that before bed is my Achilles heel when it comes to sugar cravings.  But I’m reasonably confident that I can grab a piece of fruit or have a hot cup of tea with honey to satisfy my sweet tooth instead of eating something loaded with processed sugar. So that’s a win!

Also, my hunger cravings in general don’t seem to be bad.  I love food and honestly could eat all day, even when not hungry.  But lately I’ve found myself actually getting physically hungry rather than “emotionally hungry” or just thinking about food.  So that’s a huge change.  My portion control seems to be a bit better under control as well.  Of course several days I was sick so it’s not an accurate reflection of my appetite but by the last day I was more or less back to normal and these changes appeared to be lasting.

Which brings me to my weight loss.  Overall in the past 10 days I’ve managed to lose 10.1 lbs.  In addition, I’ve lost 3″ off my waist, 1.5″ off my hips, 2″ off my bust, 2″ from under my bust, and .5″ from my upper arm with no loss from my thighs. Even though this wasn’t my main objective, I’m really pleased with the results.  I honestly didn’t expect such dramatic loss.  I can only hope that by getting back into a clean eating/whole foods lifestyle that I’ll be able to keep it off and hopefully lost a bit more.

The question remains as to whether I will pursue the Transitional phase of the diet or not.  I’m seriously contemplating just adding back fruits, legumes, starchy vegetables, and gluten free grains (like quinoa) and continuing to abstain from dairy and gluten.  I haven’t decided yet and am still researching the pros and cons.  I admit, I miss cheese. And really I didn’t eat a ton of dairy or gluten anyway.  So we shall see.  If the research indicates that I might be able to shed a bit more weight by remaining dairy and gluten free for awhile I might just try it.  See resources below for more information on dairy and gluten.

 

Have you done the 10 Day Detox? What were your results like? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below to share your story!

 

Resources

Dr. Hyman on Dairy:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/06/24/dairy-6-reasons-you-should-avoid-it-at-all-costs-2/

Dr. Hyman on Gluten:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/12/04/gluten-making-sick-can-going-gluten-free-help-lose-weight/


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Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox

Sadly, my September Essential Rewards order processed a couple days later than expected so it did not arrive in time to start my new weight management routine or my 30 day NingXia challenge on the same day as my 10 Day Detox but better late than never! I’m excited to tell you all about my new oily routine to help support my healthy weight management goals as a supplement to my 10 Day Detox.

NingXia 30 Day Challenge

First up is NingXia Red.  I’ve been hearing so many things about this great product since I joined Young Living.  I tried the samples in the Starter Kit but didn’t really know a whole lot about what it was or why I need to take it until recently. Have you ever heard of the Wolfberry or Goji berry? The wolfberry is a “superfruit” that has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to help strengthen the body, promote fitness, prolong life, and ease transitioning of the seasons. In addition, Wolfberry supports healthy eye function and some research suggests that they may even help improve vision imperfections common with Type 2 Diabetics!

NingXia Red is Young Living’s propriety blend of Wolfberry with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices to deliver a whole-body nutrient infusion.  The wolfberry and other superfruits provide sustainable energy and also contains powerful antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system by preventing free radical damage and oxidative stress.  The citrus oils contain d-limonene a powerful component that can help support GI and other bodily systems.

Now that I know a little bit more about NingXia Red I figured it was a good time to take the 30 Day NingXia Red challenge.  Not only could I use a bit of a sustainable energy boost as I give up coffee during my detox but the added nutritional benefit couldn’t hurt either. Not to mention, everyone around me is getting sick lately with the changing of the seasons so a little boost to immune support seems like a good idea!

More about the Wolfberry here from the National Institute of Health – Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects of Chinese Wolfberry.

More about d-limonene and how it helps support various body systems here from the National Insitute of Health – D-Limonene

DiGize Support

In addition to my shot of NingXia Red each morning I’ve decided to add a couple drops of DiGize to help support my digestive system.  DiGize is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.  It contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen which can help soothe stomach discomfort, calm burning sensations after meals, and promote regular movements and healthy GI function.

My GI tract function is hit or miss and honestly I don’t really know what all sets off discomfort or irregularity.  I’m actually kind of hoping that after my 10 Day Detox when I add back dairy and gluten per Dr. Hyman’s recommendations that maybe I’ll discover the root cause.  But since a detox is all about flushing toxins from the system I figure a little boost to the Digestive system might help rid my system of sugar and unwanted toxins in a more efficient manner.  I’ve heard lots of personal testimonials about people taking DiGize daily either before meals or in a capsule as part of their vitamin and supplement routine.  I highly recommend searching some of these out to find out how DiGize has helped others maintain a healthy digestive system and minimize discomfort!

 

Weight Management Support

Lastly, is my weight management routine.  There is lots of information on the interwebz about essential oils for weight loss.  In fact, Lemon, Peppermint, and Grapefruit have long been dubbed the “weight-loss trio.”  The idea of taking essential oils to help reach and maintain a healthy weight seemed a bit too good to be true but I did a little research and was surprised by what I found about these oils and how they can be used along with proper diet and exercise to help support healthy weight management goals.  First a little about the individual oils then I’ll tell you how I use them.

Lemon – Lemon is well known in diet and weight loss circles as having a natural detoxifying effect on the body. In fact the Master Cleanse diet that was so populare several years ago is based on this premise. Lemon essential oil contains limonene which helps aid in healthy digestive function, cleanses and revitailizes the urinary tract, supports a healthy immune system and can promote healthy, younger looking skin.

More about limonene from WebMD

Peppermint – Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for supporting normal digestion, including promoting healthy intestinal function and gastrointestinal system comfort.  Peppermint may also act like a diuretic to help flush the toxins from your system!

Grapefruit – Grapefruit helps promote healthy weight management by supporting proper metabolic function and reducing sugar cravings.  Like Lemon essential oil, Grapefruit oil contains limonene and also helps cleanse the system and aids in digestion and immune system support. (Note: consumption of Grapefruit, or other citrus oils, may increase photosensitivity.  Always wear sunscreen!)

 More about Grapefruit essential oil from Dr. Axe

Cinnamon Bark – Cinnamon Bark contains the naturally occurring constituent cinnamaldehyde which stimulates metabolism, helps support healthy blood sugar levels and promotes a healthy immune response.

Ocotea – Ocotea is an essential oil extracted from an Equadorian tree, Ocotea Quixos.  It is also known as “fake cinnamon” and like cinnamon Ocotea may help support healthy blood sugar levels.  In addition, Ocotea has the highest level of alpha humulene of any Young Living essential oil, which is a compound that helps aid the body’s natural response to irritation and injury. Ocotea also has natural cleansing and purifying properties and can help promote relaxation as well.

More about alpha humulene here from The Leaf Online – Terpene Profile: Humulene

Slique Essence – Slique Essence is a unique blend of Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lemon, Spearmint and Ocotea essential oils with stevia extract.  It is part of Young Living’s Slique line of products designed to help promote satiety and support healthy weight management.  They also offer Balance Complete meal replacement shakes, Slique protein bars, Slique tea, Slique dietary supplements, Slique gum and a Slique Complete kit of products to help you find the right solution for your weight management needs.

 

 

Oily Support

So how am I using these to support my healthy weight management goals?

First thing in the morning I take a 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with a drop or two of DiGize to help provide some energy and support my digestive system during my detox.

In a vegetable capsule (which I also ordered from Young Living) I combine 3 drops of Lemon, 3 drops of Peppermint, 3 drops of Grapefruit, 2 drops of Cinnamon Bark, and 2 drops of Ocotea and fill with carrier oil (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil).  I take a capsule in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before dinner.  To make it easy I’ve been taking them at the same time as my Glucomannan fiber supplement, about 20-30 minutes before meals.

In the afternoon after I finish lunch, I add 4 drops of Slique Essence to my water.

 

Want more information on how essential oils can help you achieve your weight management goals? Check out this article from Natural Living Ideas: The Complete Guide to Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.