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Essential Tips: How Using Essential Oils for Aromatherapy Can Actually Improve Your Wellbeing

There have been a lot of health claims around essential oils as of late. I haven’t personally tested all of the new, trendy methods and implementations in full, but I do know that I have long relied on the benefits of essential oils for aromatherapy. 

Smelling these scents can improve mood, relieve stress and anxiety, and can successfully shift your perspective. Essential oils are also touted as being able to help release sinus pressure, provide headache and tension relief, with their safe application. 

So how can you use the aromatic benefits of essential oils to improve your life? 

First things first, remember that essential oils should always, always be diluted in a carrier oil! Otherwise, the essential oil straight up is much too harsh on your skin. If you’re going to dab some essential oil on any part of your body, which is a great way to gain aromatherapy benefits, you need to dilute with a carrier oil! 

Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends the following ways to carrying essential oils with you to use as you need: 

  • Aromatherapy accessories: Necklaces, bracelets, and keychains made with absorbent materials you apply essential oils to and sniff throughout the day.
  • Body oil: A mixture of essential oils with a carrier oil such as olive, jojoba or coconut oil that can be massaged into the skin. Because essential oils are concentrated, they can cause irritation. Avoid using them full-strength on skin.
  • Aroma stick: Also called an essential oil inhaler, these portable plastic sticks have an absorbent wick that soaks up the essential oil. They come with a cover to keep the scent under wraps until you’re ready.

It’s completely cool to keep essential oils with you on the go – in your car, in your bag, wherever you can stash them for easy access – but my recommendation would be to also carry a small roll-on of your favorite carrier oil. This way you don’t have to lug around a larger container of body oil, but can mix a dilute solution as needed. 

Something like vitamin E oil, rosehip seed oil, or almond oil are all easy to find in a roll-on form online or in any health and wellness store. These are great for using to dilute essential oils and protect your skin in the course of your daily travels. 

Here are some of my favorite essential oils, along with their best characteristics: 

Tea Tree: anti-fungal, cleansing

Tea tree allegedly has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It has a strong, refreshing smell and is a valued ingredient in many natural cleaning products.

Lavender: relaxing, calming, soothing

Serene and soothing, lavender will make you feel like you have been transported to a spa. Use to help ease feelings of anxiety. Good for when you are feeling tense and perhaps combatting a headache!

Rosemary: energizing, invigorating, purifying

There is something about the scent of rosemary that just wakes me up. I love this as a room or pillow spray at the beginning of the day, when I am getting ready to get things started. 

Eucalyptus: cleansing, focusing

Clean and refreshing, I also like to dilute a few drops in hot water and use as a gentle steam bath when my sinuses are stuffed up or when I am feeling under the weather.

Peppermint: uplifting, energizing 

Peppermint is another essential oil that I find gives me a boost of energy. One of my favorite applications for peppermint is as a body oil to relieve muscle soreness and tension. The menthol properties provide a bit of a tingling sensation but work wonders on areas of tension, including when you’re dealing with a tough headache. 

Tips for hair care: Even in hair and skin care, tea tree and lavender are often used for problem skin. If you have a dry or itchy scalp, you can dilute a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil in a carrier oil, rub into your scalp, let sit for  5-10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly in the shower. You can do this with peppermint as well – the tingling and invigorating sensation of peppermint oil is more useful for stimulating hair growth at the root!

Tag me in your Instagram posts and let me know your favorite essential oils and uses. Knowledge is power – I’d love to see what you all like best!

 

Cuckoo for Coconut Water

You’ve probably seen various brands of coconut water in the grocery store, gas station, health food store, the neighborhood bodega – it’s basically everywhere. 

And for good reason! Coconut water is full of potassium and magnesium, both of which are vital nutrients for healthy organ function and useful in supporting muscle recovery and lubricating your joints effectively. Truly, the perfect workout drink!

When you’re sweating and exercising, you want to be replacing electrolytes into your body. Through sweating and activity, your body utilizes and sweats out certain important nutrients. To aid in recovery and to combat potential fatigue, refueling those electrolytes is super important. 

Potassium and magnesium are excellent for muscle recovery and combatting fatigue after some serious exercise. Sodium, still an important electrolyte, can also be found in coconut water, although not in as high of an amount as other electrolyte beverages. 

And unlike other popular sports drinks and electrolyte beverages, coconut water isn’t loaded with tons of sugars, dyes, or excess ingredients. Oftentimes those sports drinks have extra carbs, calories, and sugars that you just don’t need. Of all the electrolyte-filled beverage options on the market, coconut water is for sure the healthiest. Keep it simple with coconut water and give your body only what it really needs. 

In addition to being a great drink during and after workouts, I actually love coconut water in smoothies as well, as it gives an extra boost of magnesium and potassium while keeping the flavor the same. Sometimes adding milk substitutes like almond milk and oat milk, among others can make a smoothie feel heavy or dense, whereas coconut water keeps it really light, refreshing, and hydrating. Sometimes that super creamy smoothie is what you’re craving, other times maybe you’re in the mood for something lighter. In those instances, coconut water does the trick!

I have a habit of drinking a ton of coconut water when I’m in Tulum, MX to help beat the heat and recharge from time working out or time in the sun. 

For skincare, coconut and coconut water is definitely trending as an active ingredient. One creative tip for hydrating your face with coconut is to utilize it as a facial spray, especially in hot and humid weather. You can refrigerate a tiny spray bottle, being sure to refresh the coconut water and clean the bottle every 7-10 days. 

Coconut water is now super accessible, great for replenishing electrolytes lost through sweating, and packed with potassium and magnesium for joint protection and muscle recovery!

Try out my favorite Muscle Recovery Smoothie:

1/2 an avocado from Mexico

1 cup fresh pineapple (frozen works too)

1/2 medium banana

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 cup coconut water

3–4 ice cubes

  • Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Interested in even more wellness wisdom? Consider joining the Yoga Prehab™ tribe to enhance your flexibility, save your joints, and get comfortable! My unique combination of Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT is designed to help heal aches and pains, and get you living your most comfortable, adventurous life!

Why You Should Make Pineapple and Papaya Your New BFF’s

Papaya and pineapple – aside from their notoriously tropical flavors, what’s the deal with these fruits? 

One of the reasons these fruits are super-powered for human health is due to their enzymatic content. Naturally occurring enzymes in these fruits get to work in your digestive systems by helping breakdown food effectively and moving food through your digestive system. 

Think about it as the enzymes infusing your body with a little extra “cleaning power” – helping efficiently separate nutrients from waste, putting the good stuff to work, and then motoring that waste right on out of your body. Helpful, right?

Pineapple contains the digestive enzyme bromelain which assists in breaking down proteins that you ingest and helps put them to good use as fuel for your body. Bromelain also helps sift out amino acids, which are useful for muscle growth and recovery as well as being essential for normal organ function. Helping your body break down and actually absorb the proteins is a huge benefit of digestive enzymes. 

The caricain enzyme in papaya has been found to be effective in breaking down gluten, making it potentially useful if you find yourself sensitive to gluten. The papain enzyme in papaya supports human tissue growth and naturally helps protects tissue and muscle fibers within the body. 

Papaya has a ton of fiber – also great for healthy and regular digestive function – as well as folate, and important B vitamin that supports the metabolic process, cell growth, and cell regeneration. In this way, joint health and tissue protection make papaya a great ingredient to consume for joint and muscle comfort and recovery, especially if you are maintaining an active exercise and mobility schedule. 

 In Thai cuisine, green papaya salad is a culinary staple. The green papaya is actually just an unripened papaya – still light green in color, not yet ripened and bright orange. The green or unripe papaya is actually even better for your digestion and even more full of enzymes. Papaya salad is usually consumed on an empty stomach or at the very beginning of a meal for maximum benefit! Still, a fully ripened papaya will still contain all of the excellent enzymes, but with a different texture and flavor. Ripened papaya you will find to be sweeter and softer than green papaya. 

Papaya enzymes are even becoming increasingly popular in skincare in mask form, as the enzymes work to exfoliate and clear away dead skin. Not only do these papaya infused masks gently scrub your pores and skin clean, they also smell amazing!

Papaya and pineapple are also chock full of vitamin C, helping boost and protect your immune system. Easy to incorporate into smoothies or as a post-workout snack, I highly recommend these powerful fruits to anyone in need of digestion support, joint protection, or extra vitamin C!

Share your preferred pineapple and papaya recipes with me on Instagram

And if you’re looking for a longer-term solution to your daily aches and pains, look no further! Yoga Prehab™ is a proven combination of Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT created to help your body heal, get fit, and prevent potential injuries. 

La Vie en Rose: Why You Should Be Drinking Rose Tea ASAP

Is the hype over rose-infused items qualified? Especially rose tea, I mean, is that even necessary? 

In so many words, yes and definitely! 

Tea made from the petals and buds of roses deserves a spot in your tea stash. I believe it also serves as a perfectly pleasant, warming, and relaxing tea for the winter season. In addition to feeling fancy and luxurious, rose tea actually has some excellent benefits for your body – 2020 and beyond!

Ingredients drawn from members of the rosa botanical family are notoriously powerful for their soothing and moisturizing qualities. Similarly to how rosehip seed oil and rosewater blends can effectively provide moisturize for combination skin, rose tea can help hydrate your skin from the inside out as well. 

The antioxidants found in rosa plants are typically used to combat acne and soothe the skin in various external body-suitable products, but there are similar results can also be achieved when the rose petals and rosebuds are brewed, steeped, and consumed as a tea. 

Rose tea, first of all, smells divine. Smelling and sipping it aids almost immediately in relaxation. Additionally, it can be soothing for your nervous and digestive systems, sometimes getting your digestion back in gear, and even helping to regulate imbalances in your central nervous systems. 

As a digestive aid, rose tea is also effective as a detox infusion – and one that actually tastes good. I think probably we have all been there – with a tea or herbal infusion that is great for our kidneys, liver, digestion, but tastes…tough. These teas are great to get down and really get a strong cleanse, but maybe not every day. 

Rose tea, on the other hand, is delicious, soothing, and a completely manageable daily detox for your body. A drink you can look forward to brewing, inhaling, and sipping, I can assure you!

Rose is also rumored to have a certain aphrodisiac quality to it, so hey, maybe it’s a good thing to try out for Valentine’s Day if nothing else?

Rose tea on its own is fairly fragrant, floral, and somewhat sweet, but you can always add a sweetener if you’d like. My choice would be honey, which always offers a nicely balanced addition of sweetness, plus antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

On its own, it is naturally decaffeinated, but you can find it mixed with black or white tea blends if you are looking for a little added kick.

Tea Sparrow has an amazing tea blend called Moments which features rosebuds, perfectly paired with a light aromatic black tea base to elevate the soft and luxurious flavor of the rose, raspberry, and subtleties of mango. It’s both warm and reminiscent of tropical flavors, making it a nice winter pick me up.

In addition to getting some new teas into your healthy, warming, delicious beverage rotation, I would love if you shared your New Year, New You goals with me on Instagram! I love answering your questions, so please give me a shout if there is anything you need to succeed.