Everyday Naturopathy: 8 Common Uses for Essential Oils

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Everyday Naturopathy: 8 Common Uses for Essential Oils

I love essential oils. I haven’t explored too many of them yet, but
have really started to incorporate them into our daily lives as much
as possible. I believe in the power of natural healing, and my goal is
to replace every single medication in our closet with oils, herbs, and
clays. And we’re almost there!
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my most common uses for essential
oils, in case any of you may be interested in trying them, but not
sure where to start. Before I go on, I do want to note that it’s
important that you buy organic, therapeutic grade oils, especially
when using them medicinally. Here are 8 Common Uses for Essential
Oils:

1) Air Freshener:
I love to use lavender spray to clear the air in our house. Fill a
spray bottle with 4 parts water, 1 part vinegar, and about 10-20 drops
of lavender eo. You can also omit the vinegar if needed.

2) Headaches:
I use peppermint eo for this. Just rub a drop on your temples, or if
that is too powerful, you may want to dilute it first in a bit of
carrier oil, such as coconut or olive.

3) Teething/Toothaches:
Clove oil is amazing for this! For my baby I use a drop or two in
olive oil and rub on his gums. Have you ever tried it? It’s very
powerful!

4) Canker Sores:
Ugh. These are the worst! I use clove oil and/or tea tree oil. It
numbs and speeds healing!

5) Bug Repellent:
Ants and spiders hate tea tree oil and peppermint. Rub it or spray
some around to repel those little pests!

6) Allergies:
Allergies driving you crazy? Try rubbing on your feet a tiny bit of
coconut oil mixed with these oils: 5 drops lavender, 4 drops
peppermint, 3 drops lemon.

7) Digestion:
Tummy troubles? Rub lavender and/or peppermint eo in a carrier oil on
belly before bedtime or naps.

8) Muscle/Joint Pain:
Massage onto sore areas a carrier oil mixed with a few drops of any of
these: wintergreen, lavender, and/or peppermint.  Bonus: carrier oils
such as coconut and olive also act as skin moisturizers!

Let me know what you try and what your favorite uses for essential oils are!

-Suzanne

Skincare or Skincareless?

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Skincare or Skincareless?

Let’s talk about skincare. Go grab your lotion, deodorant, face
moisturizer, sunscreen, vaporub, massage oil, make-up, etc etc and
look at the ingredients. Do you know what they all are? If so you may
not need to read any further ūüôā If not, read on.
I know for me, I have been so concerned for years about what I put
INTO my body, gradually making the shift to organic, local, and
non-processed foods. Now grassfed, pasture-raised, sugar-free (yes,
sugar-free bacon!). But even though my yoga teacher told us millions
of times to be mindful of what we put on our skin, I wasn’t. I was
careful about what went on my children, but not always myself. Then a
yogi friend of mine started emailing me recipes for skincare and
telling me about her experiments and it reminded me to come back to
that. To be mindful of my skin, to consider the body as a whole, not
just parts. And to be conscious of what I’m using and where it comes
from. Just like food.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, we all know that. And that
means that it carries nutrients as well. Nutrients that are absorbed
into the bloodstream. So what happens when you use skincare products
that contain a thousand chemicals? They get into your body and can
cause endocrine dysfunction and therefore hinder bodily functions.
These chemicals can stay in the body for months, even years. Isn’t
that wild?

Buying more natural products is definitely one good step. Be wary
though, as many “natural” ingredients have undergone chemical
processing which reduces their beneficial
properties.  Look for short, simple ingredient lists, and ingredients
that you recognize. Even better, ingredients that you would eat!

Another option is to make your own. It’s not as daunting as it sounds.
Actually it’s pretty simple, and can be fun! It’s an awesome thing to
do with and talk about with your kids, and the perfect gift for people
that you care about. Did you know you can make a make-up foundation
using just a tablespoon each of arrowroot powder and cocoa? If you
love body butter/facial moisturizer, here is a recipe for body butter
that we LOVE. Japheth calls it miracle butter.
http://wellnessmama.com/6544/whipped-body-butter-recipe/
I’ve also made vaporub for the kids, sunscreen, lip balm, and
deodorant (still working on perfecting that recipe!). Give something a
try and let me know how it goes!

-Suzanne

Paleo Granola (grain free, refined sugar-free)

Paleo Granola (grain free, refined sugar-free)

When going full Paleo, cereal is often missed. ¬†I admit it, I used to be a cereal eater. ¬†And then I tried granola and never looked back. It was so much more filling, and if I found a kind¬†that was both tasty and packed with protein, I thought I’d hit the jackpot! I loved granola: on yogurt, in milk, with vanilla ice cream…but when I finally became conscious of how grains were making me feel I said goodbye to granola and the whole cereal aisle. ¬†Transitioning to Paleo wasn’t as difficult for me as I expected. It was a new challenge, and I accepted it. Not without effort, cravings of the foods from my past, bloated life, and a little adjustment period while I found the clean foods that worked best for me and my hectic lifestyle. But I soon realized that I was and am only limited by my culinary creativity! From this perspective numerous¬†delicious recipes have been tried in our kitchen, fed to our children, and created through trial and error. This granola recipe was adapted from a few of my favorite Paleo blogs and tweaked and refined to create my own take on it. ¬†It has been raved about by our clients and family, and serves as gifts to teachers and friends.

This is a staple in our house. I make it almost every week! You
seriously have to try it – it hits that snack craving: crunchy, sweet,
salty all in one! One warning though: make sure you watch this the
first couple of times you make it so that it doesn’t burn. I found
that cooking times vary from oven to oven. Cook a little less for a
chewy texture; a little more for crunchier.

Paleo Granola

– 2c sliced almonds
– 1c pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
– 1c sunflower seeds
– 1c chopped pecans
– 1c unsweetened shredded coconut
– 2/3c raw, local honey
– 1/2c maple syrup
– 1/2c coconut oil
– 1T cinnamon
– dash of salt

Mix everything together and spread half of it on parchment paper lined
baking sheet. Cook at 325 degrees for 18-25 minutes (time varies
depending on oven), stirring occasionally. When golden remove from
oven and let cool. Continue to stir as it cools. Do same with second
half. Enjoy!

-Suzanne

Paleo Pork BBQ with Cabbage and Beet Slaw

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Paleo Pork BBQ with Cabbage and Beet Slaw

I typically tweak recipes to my own liking, but I have to say, this
pork BBQ is so amazing as it is that I really don’t want to change it!
The only thing that I would suggest is using a lot less salt than
called for – you just don’t need it!
http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/12/03/recipe-best-pulled-pork-crock-pot/

As a native North Carolinian I can’t eat BBQ without slaw. It’s just
unnatural. While this isn’t your typical mustard-based slaw that I
grew up eating, it is a recipe that has quickly become a favorite in
our house. I hope you like it too!

– 1 small red cabbage
– 4 red beets
– 1 bunch parsley, rough chopped
– 1/4 c honey
– 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
– 3 Tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– dash of salt
– sliced almonds (opt)

Shred cabbage and beets in food processor (using shredding
attachment). Transfer to large bowl and toss with remaining
ingredients. Store in fridge for couple of hours before eating, for
best flavor. Top with sliced almonds if desired.

-Suzanne

Paleo Simple Stew

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Paleo Simple Stew:
– 1 lb grassfed ground beef
– 1/2 lb mild Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
– Chopped Veggies – LOTS! I use mostly root veggies for this: beets,
parsnips, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes…
– 1 bunch parsley, rough chopped
– several cloves of garlic, rough chopped
– 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
– Chicken broth (homemade if possible – LINK to blog post) to just
cover veggies and meat
– 2-3 Tbsp bacon grease or olive oil

First heat oil and pbrown meat in large stockpot. Then throw
everything else in and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 1.5 to 2
hours. *Can also make this in a slow-cooker!

-Suzanne

Paleo Breakfast Recipes: Day 1

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Paleo Breakfast Recipes: Day 1

Sugar-free Bacon
“Brown” Eggs
Paleo Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I cooked the bacon first, because I like to munch on bacon while
cooking (who doesn’t?), and so that I could use the bacon grease for
the eggs!

1lb organic, sugar-free bacon cooked in the skillet. Drain most of
bacon grease, leaving about a tablespoon or so.

Crack your eggs.

Throw into the hot skillet as many as you desire. We
typically use a dozen eggs between the three of us. Cook until you
like – Japheth likes them really wet, I don’t!

Now for the paleo pancakes (yummmm):

1/2 c nut butter (NOT peanut butter)
2 ripe bananas, mashed but lumpy
3 eggs, whisked
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c dark (70%) chocolate chips

Throw all ingredients into bowl and mix well. Drop by ice cream scoop
full onto hot, oiled/greased skillet. Flip when bubbly. Serve with
honey or maple syrup and fruit if desired!

-Suzanne

Paleo Meals for a Day

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Paleo Meals for a Day

My goal is to post a weekly blog that captures a typical day of eating
in our house, complete with recipes. Many of our clients ask us for
recipes, meal ideas, and just ideas for new things to try. Also, if
you’re like me, you like to hear about what other health-conscious
people who share similar dietary interests are trying and eating! As
you know everything I post will be paleo, gluten-free, and processed
sugar-free. Please give feedback – I hope to keep it going as long as
there’s interest!

Paleo Meals for a Day: Day 1

Today I woke determined to make  breakfast. Normally Japheth makes the
breakfast: eggs cooked in coconut oil or bacon grease. But today
I wanted more. And by some miracle at 7am everyone in the house was
still sleeping. It was as if the universe wanted me to make pancakes.
So here was our breakfast today:

Sugar-free Bacon
“Brown” Eggs
Paleo chocolate chip pancakes

We eat several small meals a day, usually consisting of about 3oz
protein and lots of veggies! So for the next few meals we ate from a
big pot of stew I had made the day before, which
included all the protein, carbs and fat needed for our meals.

This morning, after my doctor appointment and before my chiropractor
appointment I threw together a quick meal into the slow-cooker. Then I
made a quick veggie side Рmy favorite slaw.  This was ready just in
time for an amazing dinner:

Slow-cooked Pork BBQ
Cabbage and Beet Slaw

By the way, I’ve mentioned I like to snack right? As is typical, today

we snacked on chocolate (of course), paleo granola, and dried
fruit (no sugar or sulfur added).

That’s it. If you have meats and veggies in your house these are super
quick and easy. Hope you try them and enjoy!

-Suzanne

Bring Your Kids!

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Bring Your Kids!
Do any of these thoughts resonate with you?
I would LOVE to do a class with my toddler and meet other moms…something active, and maybe a little yoga too.
My child is struggling with regulation/attention issues…help!
I really want my child to learn a little more self-confidence and strength…
My child is not doing well in school and his behavior is interfering with learning. I don’t know what to do.
I need my teenager to relax – she has so much going on and is stressed and anxious all the time!
Did you know that we offer fitness, yoga, and martial arts classes and private sessions for kids? Our classes span over every age group, from Parent and Me (tots) to elementary age, to preteens and teenagers. When needed, we can also collaborate with schools and other professionals who work with your children to develop and implement the best and most consistent plan possible, based on your child’s needs.
Combined, Japheth and I have over 30 years of experience working with children in a variety of settings.¬†Working with children has always been a passion of mine, so it made sense to combine that with my love of yoga and fitness! I could write a book on all of the benefits of yoga and fitness for children, but since this is a blog post I’ll be brief ūüôā Here are a few things that our fitness and yoga programs can do for your child:
  • promote overall physical and emotional health
  • provide a fun, healthy, and welcoming environment for your child
  • increase strength, balance and coordination
  • decrease body fat
  • improve sleep
  • improve body awareness
  • improve focus, concentration, attention, regulation, and motivation
  • strengthen cognition, improve academic performance
  • combat stress, anxiety, depression, and/or other mental health concerns
  • decrease risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and disease
  • increase self-confidence and self-acceptance
  • promote social skills
There are so many positive effects of fitness and yoga for kids, and continued research to support this. Water and Rock Studio is unique due to our holistic approach to health, as well as our experience with and knowledge of varied fitness modalities. We personalize our individual and small group sessions/classes and strive to help improve your child’s physical, emotional and mental health. So bring your kids to Water and Rock Studio – we can’t wait to meet them!
-Suzanne

Everyday Naturopathy

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Everyday Naturopathy

My knowledge and use of naturopathic remedies is evolving. I’m fairly
new to it, and endlessly fascinated. It makes sense, of course, that
these natural resources would be able to heal our wounds, alleviate
our pain, and cure our diseases. But after decades of using
conventional medicine, of not even considering alternatives, of
trusting everything the doctor tells us, it’s difficult to change this
mindset, even if it means giving our bodies the purest, healthiest,
and often simplest treatment. I’ve been reading about, advising
students, and using some naturopathic and integrative remedies for a
few years, but became even more committed to living as naturally as
possible after having my second baby. Xavier was a healthy baby
overall, but suffered from significant reflux and digestive issues
when he was a newborn. Japheth and I had to watch him screaming and
writhing in pain every night, unable to sleep, unable to find comfort
in anything that we did. He developed a rash all over his body and
spit up almost as much as he ate. We went to two pediatricians: one
dismissed it as a common problem; the other said the rash will go away
“by the time he’s able to smile for pictures” and prescribed Zantac.
Now as someone who had suffered from GERD for years and who
understands all too well the negative effects and addictive qualities
of acid reflux medications, you can imagine how disturbed I was at the
idea of my 2 month old going on Zantac. Enter our wonderful
naturopathic doctor and friend, “Dr. Anya”. Anya took one look at
Xavier and pronounced him allergic to something I was eating, put me
on an elimination diet, and recommended a few other natural methods to
use to help him find a little more comfort, and sleep. A few days
later Xavier was like a different baby. Sleeping better and clearly
feeling better, no longer in pain. I gave life to this child and there
is nothing that I wouldn’t do for him, so giving up eggs and dairy for
a while was nothing. But it meant everything.

Dr. Anya can be reached at: www.guidednaturalhealth.com.

Since then I’ve used and researched other naturopathic healing
techniques, including herbal remedies, homemade skincare, and
essential oils. We drink herbal teas for anything from lactation to
stress to fatigue. We use essential oils to help with allergies, sleep
difficulties, and teething. It’s wonderful to have “medicines” that I
don’t have to worry about being unsafe for our children or toxic to
us. I don’t need a translation for the ingredients on the label. It
just makes sense.

If you haven’t yet delved into this world, I encourage you to do so!
Here are some herbs and oils often used for common conditions. *if
you’re considering giving these a try please consider any medications
you may be taking and check with a doctor if needed. There are many
different ways to use herbs and eos so please do your research to make
sure you’re using them in the safest and most effective way!

Seasonal Allergies-  herbs:ginkgo biloba, stinging nettles, milk
thistle, yarrow; oils: peppermint, lemon, lavender

Headaches- herbs: feverfew, valerian root; oils: peppermint or a blend
of peppermint, rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus

Stress- herbs: lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, nettles, ashwaganda;
oils: lavender, lemon, orange

This is just a sampling. Please feel free to research on your own when
you have a need for something, and of course we’re happy to help too!
For more information regarding naturopathic medicine:
nccam.nih.gov/health/naturopathy/naturopathyintro.htm

Also we can talk with you about recommending/referring you to a
naturopathic or integrative doctor if needed.

-Suzanne

Functional Fitness My Way

 

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Functional Fitness My Way

Ok so anyone that knows me knows that I’m not a naturally competitive
person, or the “do or die” personality type. When I was a child my
brother would get so frustrated by my lack of drive when it came to
sports that he would pummel me with a tennis ball, or just give up and
play by himself. Don’t feel bad for me, I was perfectly happy staying
out of his way because he WAS competitive and fierce. And I admired
that. I just didn’t have any desire to be that way.

As an adult, yoga came naturally to me. I love the concept of letting
go of the ego, of minding your own mat and not worrying about your
neighbor, of forgiving yourself when your practice isn’t quite what
you want it to be that day. No scorecard, no points, no pressure.

So my approach to fitness, as you can imagine, was similar. I got my
gym membership, and became a fan of the elliptical, especially when I
could use it in the fancy schmancy movie theatre at the gym – what?!
How cool is that? Yeah, I burned a couple of hundred calories, lifted
a few weights on the machines, and called it a day. Then Japheth introduced
me to CrossFit. It was a whole new world. Functional varied movements
done at high intensity, a different workout everyday, some as short as
5 minutes! I thought the concept was amazing. And the research, and
not to mention testimonials, claiming its health benefits were
intriguing. Working out in that way felt great, better than an hour or
two at the gym, and in a month of doing these short, intense workouts
I was in better shape than after years of movie theatre gym workouts.
Intensity, competition, had whole new meanings to me. I realized that
I don’t have a desire to compete with others, but I do have a desire
to compete with myself. Like now, I’m competing with past me to get
below wedding weight (isn’t that where we all want to be, ladies?).
I’m competing each week to hit another PR (personal record) in number
of burpees or sumo deadlift weight. And there’s no one there to hit me
with tennis balls if I don’t do it. Just me. And maybe Japheth…just
kidding!

Functional fitness is what it sounds like: a functional way of working
out. You can do it at home or at work, you can do a workout in 40
minutes or in 5. You can do a workout with no equipment and still get
amazing results. You can even use your baby as a kettlebell. Now that
I’m a busy mom of two I workout daily, most often at home, doing 5-10
minute workouts. Sometimes with Quinn on my back and Xavi at my feet.
It’s Functional Fitness, my way. It works and I’m in the best shape
I’ve been in in years.

Try it, if you haven’t already, and let us know: What’s your way?

-Suzanne