Tag Archives: healthy

Just Breathe®

22 Aug

Disclaimer: I am not an essential oil advocate. Below is my personal experience using dōTERRA products. This post is not sponsored and I did not receive products for free to review. 

Some mornings you wake up ready to tackle the day…other mornings, you wake and feel the day tackling you. I have had such a morning the past two days.

After a night of tossing and turning, coughing and hacking, it’s hard to muster the energy to open my eyes, let alone stand. Standing sets off the alarm bells in my head – something isn’t quite right. That’s when I notice the pressure and tightness that have inhabited my lungs during the night. As a former asthmatic, these symptoms used to send my anxiety into overdrive as it was never long before my airways began to close and breathing became too difficult. Back then, I had to rely on man-made medications administered through an inhaler or nebulizer to force my lugs open once more. But those days are long gone!

Now, as the weather starts to get cooler, and the pollens start to fly, there’s no reason to panic. About four years ago, I traded in my man-made medications in exchange for God’s all natural medication in the form of essential oils. As an individual with a history of severe allergic reactions to medications, I feel so blessed to have all natural alternatives.

This morning, when I felt that tightness grip my lungs, I headed straight for the refrigerator. That seems like an odd place to go at that particular moment, doesn’t it?! Within that chilly fortress lives my saving grace during moments of breathing difficulty – my dōTERRA Breathe® vapor stick.

This amazing product eases discomfort through a cooling and soothing vapor. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator for a few reasons: 1. During the heat of the summer, I noticed it began to “melt” while sitting out on the counter, and 2. For me personally, when I can’t breathe, I often feel overheated at the same time. The coolness applied to my skin aids in lowering my body temperature and allowing me to feel like me again.

With just a swipe or two over my chest, relief is moments away. And it couldn’t be any easier to use – it honestly looks like a giant chapstick! While I don’t have children of my own yet, I imagine it would be so easy to use on a sleeping little one during times of sickness or discomfort. Another time I love to use this product is right before I exercise – once again it keeps my lungs functioning properly and helps to keep me a bit cooler!

Have you tried dōTERRA’s Breathe® vapor stick? Share your experience with me in the comments below! Let me know if there are any other ways you use Breathe®!

If you are new to essential oils and interested in learning more about the dōTERRA company and its products, I invite you to join my boyfriend’s informative Facebook group! Periodically he will share live videos of his favorite oils and the ways to he likes to use them, along with information on how you can get your hands on a free sample.

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Tater tot tragedy

18 Jan

We’ve all been there, you see a post on Pinterest and think “I can totally do that.” I had such a moment this evening and in my oh so humble opinion, it was an epic fail.

In the battle of four ingredient zucchini tater tots vs. the aspiring chef, the tots were victorious. What should have been a stress-free endeavor according to the original post that spiked my interest, turned into a frustrating experience.

Here were tonight’s highlights:

  • The tots just didn’t hold their shape. No matter what I did to shape them, even resorting to using a tablespoon as a mold, mine looked more like mini mountains of grass than the perfectly shaped cylinders  I saw on Pinterest.
  • What should have taken 15 minutes to brown, actually took FOREVER (read as 25 minutes), and the moment they browned they burned instantaneously. Luckily no smoke alarms went off during the making of these tots. 
  • Oh and turning them over halfway during baking, forget about it…they crumbled into pieces.
  • As for the taste, it was alright, probably should have used more seasoning I think.

I guess it’s possible my zucchini to potato ratio may have been off – I had two very small zucchini to two good size potatoes. I was also impatient and hungry, and in hindsight should have left them in the freezer longer.

So while the battle may have been lost this round, I may demand a rematch. Until then, maybe I’ll stick with store-bought!

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The Green Machine!

16 Jan

I love the color green, it’s one of my favorites. And I love smoothies, even in the wintertime. So putting the two together – why have I not done that sooner?

As I was off work today due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I decided to make my first ever Green Smoothie chalk-full of healthy, natural and delicious greens! One of my favorite ways to waste time (when I should be doing homework, or folding laundry, or making a shopping list) is watching various cooking channels on YouTube. And since we’ve started this new lifestyle, I’ve added a few new channels to the mix focusing on consuming foods raw and in their natural state. Needless to say, I’ve watched a dozen or so videos on different ways to construct the ultimate Green Smoothie and I was feeling up to the challenge!

Unfortunately for you,  I didn’t follow a particular recipe, nor did I measure my ingredients. So trust me when I say you’ll just have to trust your gut on this one, it won’t steer you wrong!

Here’s what I had on hand today:

  1. 1 frozen banana
  2. About a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  3. 1 Granny Smith apple
  4. About 1/2 frozen pineapple (I picked through a bag of mixed frozen fruit for what I wanted!)
  5. 2 heaping handfuls of spinach
  6. 2 heaping handfuls of kale
  7. 2-4 drops of lemon essential oil (I had doTERRA, use whichever brand you prefer, or juice the real thing if you have one handy!)

Now, here’s where things got a little interesting – I had everything in the blender, pushed the button to mix it all together and milk goes everywhere! As the blender was already assembled when I went to use it, I didn’t know there was a large crack in the base. (Ugg!!) Food processor to the rescue and the smoothie was saved!

Personally, I loved the taste! Hints of tropical paradise with the pineapple and lemon. Nice and creamy with the banana. And the spinach and kale made it a beautiful shade of green! This is one I plan to make again – even Scott enjoyed the taste!

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For dinner tonight, we incorporated the kale again by making this delicious Spaghetti Squash with Kale, Fire-Roasted tomatoes and chickpeas. Just a wee bit too much kick for me (may have added a dash too many of the red pepper flakes!) but overall fantastic and very filling! We had enough leftover to each enjoy it for lunch later this week – and that’s a win in my book!

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What’s in my basket?

9 Jan

I will be the first to admit that I hate shopping. It doesn’t matter what for – clothes, household items, or groceries – I absolutely hate shopping. The only exception being the bookstore, I could literally spend hours there and not have enough time!

Anyways, about a week ago, an Aldi grocery store opened up near our apartment and Scott and I were thrilled! We have heard my parents and friends talk about how great this store is and how inexpensive their selections are because of the different cost-saving initiatives the store have implemented company wide.

With my shopping list in hand, I prepared for my first solo Aldi shopping trip.

Here’s what I got:

  • 3 small zucchini squash – 0.99
  • Kalamata olives – 2.29
  • Flat leaf spinach – 1.79
  • 2 jars of peach mango salsa – 3.98
  • Organic kale – 2.49
  • A bag of sweet potatoes – 1.49
  • 10lb russet potatoes – 2.99
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – 0.99
  • 16 oz cucumbers – 0.79
  • 2 pts grape tomatoes – 3.98
  • White sliced mushrooms – 1.49
  • Cauliflower – 1.99
  • A bag of lemons – 2.89
  • Roasted garlic hummus – 1.99
  • Red/white quinoa – 2.49
  • 2 mangoes – 1.98
  • A bag of Granny Smith apples – 2.99
  • 6 Avocados – 3.54

Grand total: $41.14

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Now, as this was my first shopping trip, I’m not sure if that’s a good haul or not, but at least now I have something to compare future trips to. And, this was ingredients for four dinners…not too shabby.

What’s in your shopping cart this week?!

Wellness Wednesday – Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 Jan

The past few days we have done very good about avoiding meat and dairy products. I was even off to a great start this morning with my bowl of oatmeal and a banana and a lunch filled with a veggie “chicken” patty, cucumber, carrots, and apple slices. Before I left for work I even had in my first 20 oz of water for the day.

However, things went south when I got to work and learned we were celebrating two birthdays with a pizza party and chocolate fudge brownies. Being only 4 days into this lifestyle change, I caved. I told you I’d share the good, bad, and ugly and here it is.  I had two slices of Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza and a brownie square and another 20 oz of water. A few hours later, however, I was regretting that choice. My stomach was in knots and I felt like I needed to temporarily move in to the bathroom because I was visiting it so frequently they were going to start charging rent! Okay, enough of that.

For dinner tonight I knew I needed to get myself back on track. So I looked though our refrigerator, jumped on Pinterest, made a shopping list and went to work creating a new masterpiece.

Tonight I present you with vegan stuffed bell peppers. However, I tweaked the recipe ever so slightly to fit our needs.

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The original recipe called for a-couple-kinds of cheese, I eliminated those along with the cilantro because we don’t like the flavor of that herb. Another change I made was switching out quinoa for white rice and chopped up in the food processor. In addition, I substituted corn with a half bag of mixed vegetables to add a bit more color, crunch and flavor, and replaced petite diced tomatoes with halved cherry tomatoes. I kept all of the spices the same, however I didn’t have onion powder on hand so I just left it out.

As for as the taste – this dish has a mexican feel to it. I’ve decided to use the leftover stuffing for burritos, enchiladas or quesadillas later this week. The stuffing could even be warmed back up and eaten as a dish by itself, it’s that good! One thing I can tell you after devouring this meal, this stuffed pepper stuffs you! My tummy is happy and content and feeling a million times better than lunchtime.

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In thinking to the future and making this dish again, I would probably use a bit more spice – the flavor was good, but I personally like a bit more punch and pizzazz with the flavor. Switching out the ingredients in the stuffing could be fun as well – garlic, summer squash, sweet potato or even different kinds of beans may taste good.

Let me know if you decide to give these stuffed peppers a try! What alterations would you make to the recipe?!

Wordless Wednesday – 4/24/13

24 Apr

A pair of shoes can change your life!!

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