Essential Oil Safety for Kids

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If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I love essential oils. At times I am frustrated with Western Medicine and have been fascinated by other forms of care we can provide to our families, in a preventative setting rather than a reactionary one. Essential Oils have been that for us. I know this is just the tip of the ice berg for me. I love researching, learning, and discovering ways to keep people healthy using what God gave us  and to look at the whole body instead of symptomatically  treating problems. (I’m not knocking all of Western Medicine- it is useful and has been life-saving for many, including me- just not all the time). One of the top things I discuss and talk about with people is safety of oils with kiddos. To be honest- when I started out I thought very little of it, if people use Tylenol on infants- why would these be any more problematic. Well the more digging I did I realized everyone has a different opinion about everything. Isn’t that how it always goes?? One person says safe to use, others say it is ok to use in moderation and someone else says, don’t ever use. Now how in the world am I supposed to know what to do???

So I kept digging, articles, journals, books, research, internet searches, library, etc. I found a lot of really great information, it was just hard to find good quality info on safety related to children. I greatly care about the purity of the oils, that is why I choose Young Living. Here’s where I have personally settled for now. (I am always learning, and my commitment to you is to always be honest with what I am learning and using in life).  I am using the Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Healthy Care Professionals as my go to resource. If you want the condensed list of which oils are considered safe and not safe, click here. While I love thieves, pan away, and many other young living blends- based on this recommendation I am not going to using them on E any more (my kiddo). I will definitely continue using them on us, grown adults; but have chosen to go to other oils as a “safer” source. There a few oils that are considered more unsafe with kids, clove and eucalyptus seem to be on the top of that list. One is due to a constituent called 1,8 cineole which can cause slowing of the respiratory tract in children. This substance can be found in Rosemary and Eucalyptus and many say to avoid these oils until children are 10 years old. While it is up to the market to provide us with great product, it is our responsibility to use them correctly. Clove can also be considered a “hot” oil and is not recommended until 2 years of age.

There are many people who use these oils on their children and have no issues. However, since I am not a doctor  I cannot advise what you should or should not do. Just make sure you do your research and know what you are using a why. E.O.s are very potent and powerful substances that can be so useful; however, we need to do so with care and consideration. With that said there are many oils that I can use on the 6 months and older age range. The list gets even longer around the 2 year mark as well. This list is taken from the Essential Oil Safety Guide. As always make sure you are diluting in proper ratios. This is not meant to be an exhaustive resource, but a guide that you can look further into.

  • Bergamot
  • Black Pepper
  • Blue Tansy
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary Sage
  • Copaiba
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • German Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper Berry
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Palmarosa
  • Patchouli
  • Petitgrain
  • Pines -except Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), or Huon Pine (Dacrydium franklinii)
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Sandalwood
  • Siberian Fir Needle
  • Spearmint
  • Spruces
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Sweet Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Tea Tree
  • Vetiver

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As children grow there livers are able to metabolize more and the list can get longer the older they get.  As Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D, author of Advance Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy said, don’t knock the baby  out with the bath water.” Just because we need to be more cautious or investigate further, does not negate the power and healing properties that these oils have.

If you’d like to do further research on this topic here are a few books, and websites I’d recommend starting with.

– Advance Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy  by Kurt Schnaubelt

– The Chemistry of Essential Oils made simple by Dr. David Stewart

– The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-toxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health  by Valerie Ann Worwood

– Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: Valerie Ann Worwood

– When Modern Medicine Fails Dr. Scott A. Johnson

– Learning about EO One Drop at a Time: http://www.learningabouteos.com/index.php/2014/02/07/essential-oils-and-children/

– Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern

– Essential Oil Pocket Reference Guide by LifeScience Publishing

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

   I love a good smoothie. Especially when I want something light, delicious, and relatively healthy. I generally go to this smoothie as a post work out snack, but today since I’m out of every breakfast food under the sun it was a great way to get some protein and start my day off right!

1 ripe banana

1-2 cups of coconut milk (you can use any kind of milk- I prefer coconut)

1/2 cup of greek yogurt (optional)

2-3 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter (I could live off PB, it’s kinda an addiction!)

2-3 Tablespoons of Water- if you need to thin

That’s it- super easy, delicious, and nutritious. If you have some protein powder lying around you could always throw that in there as well. Enjoy!

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Spring Cleaning and a Product Review

    It’s time to start talking about spring cleaning. Our almost 80 degree weather yesterday made me so excited to open up the windows, clean the curtains, and start the spring cleaning process! I recently did a post on my all purpose cleaner that I use for everything, but I want to start a series of reviews, ideas, and tips that hopefully will make your life a little easier, healthier, and cleaner. We’ve talked extensively about environmental toxins. One of the leading exposures that our families have to these toxins is the products we clean our homes with. Laundry detergent, dish washing soap, furniture polish, etc. I grew up thinking these were just common place and everyone uses them. Only in the last few years have we really turned to such harsh chemicals to clean our home with. The other problem with most of the chemicals is that often they just cover up the mess, instead of actually cleaning it.

   Today’s cleaning tip comes from a kind friend who gave me my new favorite cleaning tool! She did a 3 day info session on Norwex cleaning products and each day she gave away some great products.. On the last day, I won the mitt. So excited! It’s funny that the things on my wish list these days include things that pertain to cleaning, exercise, and food. Anyways, this thing is awesome. So great I wanted to make sure you all knew about it. It’s called the Dusting Mitt and you can see why from the picture below.

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     The mitt actually fits on your hand like a glove so that you can just glide your hand along any surface to pick up dust. I’m kinda a nerd so as soon as I got home I put it to use. My mantle, bookshelves and things like that were fairly clean, but man oh man…my blinds. I dust these every single week with a Dusting E-Cloth. I wanted to gag when I saw the dust this thing pulled off. It’s a powerhouse. No chemicals, just microfiber and Norwex Bac-lock protection. So what’s so special about this microfiber versus other products. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first. I took a stab at microfiber a few years ago and ordered from E-Cloth. I really like their microfiber cloths and have been using those to clean my house for about a year. They do a great job- no cleaning chemicals involved, and they are very reasonably priced. But, I have been itching to compare the E-Cloth to the Norwex products. Norwex products are embeeded with microsilver. This sliver has been shown to be effective in killing MRSA and superbugs. The silver not only inactivates the bacteria on the countertops and surfaces, it also acts as a self cleaning agent for the rag. So what’s my consensus- Norwex is worth the little extra money. I saw a huge difference in my dusting rag from E-Cloth vs. the Norwex dusting mitt. Not only did it pick up the left over dust- I know that it is killing the bag bugs at the same time. Win. Win. So there’s my product review- I hope you get to try some of Norwex products- they are a great option for cleaning your home without harsh chemicals. If you are interested in Norwex Dusting Mitt or any of their other great products, click here. Simplify. Enjoy!

The results are in…..One month of meals for $221.21

       So the title gave it away- yes I really did it. 16 planned dinners, with plenty of left overs to boot. Now granted, when I say one month of dinners, I count 4 dinners for each week. With only two (eating adults) in the house that seems to be plenty for us for the week. We eat leftovers for lunch and then I usually cook most weeknights, with date night on Friday night, (no cooking for this momma on that night). This is also assuming that you have basic pantry items stocked. If you didn’t the total would definitely be a little more.I also am leaving a little extra in our weekly budget for things I may have forgotten, fresh produce, fruit, eggs for breakfast, etc.

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The shows a rough idea of when we’ll eat what. In all honesty I am a throw it together in the moment type of girl- but this makes me make sure we have what we need in the fridge. Very simple, we eat gluten free, and mostly dairy free as well, I just can’t do fake cheese. We also are very heavy protein and vegetable heavy, so simple and healthy works. The only regret I have about this is that I couldn’t afford to fit in the organic meats. Usually we go as organic as we possibly can, but it just didn’t fit to do organic meat this month. So here’s the break-down..hopefully this is something that you and your family find useful. Also the below recipes outline the basic dinner idea, and then the veggies I bought will serve as the side, with alternating quinoa, cauliflower mash, potatoes, or rice. Also I bought frozen veggies because studies show they actually have as much or more nutrients than fresh due to the time they are frozen– and Costco organic frozen- crazy cheap!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole x 2

Sloppy Joes x 2 (truth- I forgot the green peppers)

Roasted Whole Chicken x 2

Tacos with Spanish Rice x 2

Chicken Apple Sausage

Salmon Burgers (this was the cheapest way to include fish once a week in our diet that is wild caught- thanks Costco!) x 2

Grilled Chicken x 2

Hamburgers x 2

Price Breakdown 

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1 pack Chicken Breasts- 25.00

1 pack Chicken Thighs- 15.53

5.5 lbs of Ground Beef- 22.40

2 whole organic chickens (this is by far the best deal on meat at Costco)- 23.75

1 pack Chicken Apple Sausage- 13.99 (there is way more in here than on my schedule- this will last us a while!)

1 pack Wild Caught Salmon Burgers- 14.99

1 packet organic spring mix- 3.99

1 5 lb. bag organic carrots-  4.99

1 package of organic quinoa-16.59

1 block of sharp Tillamok Cheese-10.29

1 jar of organic chicken stock base- 5.79

2 jars of organic salsa- 7.69

1 jar green chili- 7.89

1 bag of organic sweet potatoes- 7.99

1 bag of onions- 4.29

1 bag of organic sweet potato fries- 8.99

1 bag organic green peas- 6.39

1 bag organic green beans 4.89 (these were on sale)

(We already have the organic trio of carrots, peas, corn) This is a great one!

1 bag organic broccoli- 7.49

1 packet of corn tortillas- 2.99

1 box of organic diced tomatoes- 6.29

                                                     Total: 222.21

  It took a lot of work but it was totally worth it. I budgeted $100 a week for food; so I have about $25 a week left for extras and eating out. As a side note here are a few others things I think are a great buy at Costco that may or may not have ended up in my cart today.

Organic Peanut Butter- 2 jars: 10.99

Organic triple berry blend frozen- 9.99

Local Honey- 10.99

Organic Coconut Oil- 2 huge jars-  24.99

Organic Olive Oil- HUGE 15.99

Organic Coffee- 10.50

These are not things I purchase every time I go; but are a great deal when I need to restock the pantry. There a few other favs as well- like their gluten free coconut flour, their strawberry organic jam, their organic eggs (although we are now getting eggs from a neighbor). Costco really can save you money- you just have to stay away from all the other awesome things they want to sell you as well! 🙂 Did you try this meal plan? Did it work for you? Any other organic/ healthy favorites at your local Costco?

One Month at Costco for $250??

   Today is meal planning Friday. I’ve been brainstorming ways for us to save money on food- while still eating high quality, healthy ingredients. My goal for this week: Make one month worth of dinners for less than $250 all at Costco. Save a few dollars per week for fresh produce, dairy products, etc. Think I can do it? I was inspired by $5 dinners- she has done a lot of the work and I will be using a few of her recipes; however, I am in need of gluten free and dairy free as well so I will be making a few adjustments. So for now I meal plan. Any ideas? I’m open to any and all ways. What awesome organic products do you love at Costco? I will be back soon with my report.

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Let me introduce you to, Valor.

Valor is one of my current favorite essential oil blends. I have recently been using it to sleep and it has even helped some insomnia in the last few days. It is a blend of Rosewood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, Spruce and Almond Oil. It was formulated to balance energy and work with the emotions of the body. It also encourages the body to self correct and is great after a chiropractor adjustment or massage. Rosewood is anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antispasmodic. Blue Tansy helps cleanse the liver and lymphatic system it is also anti-inflammatory, analgesic/anesthetic, relaxant, Frankincense worth more than gold in Bible Times stimulates the limbic part of the brain which control all of our regulatory functions, like, sleeping, hormones, breathing, etc. It is used in Europe to help battle depression. Spruce is an immune stimulant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, brings feelings of grounding and balance. Almond Oil is used in this blend as carrier oil. It offers Vitamin E and is considered a nutrient to the brain.

     Valor-Info-Sheet

To use: Diffuse, inhale, or add to bath water. Apply to wrists, neck, chest, bottom of feet, or along the spine. Add to a carrier oil if needed.

The statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not for diagnosing, treating, or curing an ailment of disease.

11 Days Till Spring and Homemade DIY All Purpose Spray

It’s hard to believe we could be talking about spring…when currently we are surrounded by snow. Thank goodness it’s melting this week!  February was the snowiest month on record for Colorado and we sure are feeling it. We are a little cooped up- but I know we need the moisture. So for now, I’ll just dream of spring.

Everyone knows that spring cleaning means it’s time to open up those windows, air out the curtains, and clean under your mattress (I just realized I’ve never done that- gasp!) I personally love spring cleaning, actually I love cleaning. It’s sort of therapeutic for me. I know I’m weird, and now that I have a kid I don’t do it as often- truth. So I’ve shared before about toxins and crud that is in everything in our home. Did you know that household cleaners, dish washing liquids, detergents, have some of the highest toxic content in our home. It shouldn’t surprise you since bleach can practically kill everything- including you.

As many of you know, I absolutely love my oils! I started my journey this last year and they are pretty much in every area of our life. We love having something to go to that is a safer alternative than over the counter medications, prescriptions, or just being plain old miserable during cold/flu season. While I absolutely believe that God is our great Physician- we can and should do things to help keep our families healthy at all times. That is why I have chosen oils. Therefore I am going to share with you a few DIY cleaning concoctions that I use in our home weekly. Spring cleaning is a great time to make up a batch of this stuff and then you have it all year long! Today I’m sharing my favorite all purpose spray.

DIY All Purpose Spray-

This is a must. You can use it for everything. Counters, bathrooms, kitchen table, glass, everything. You have two options- first young living has an awesome Thieves household cleaner that is already blended, you just place in a jar add water and go. Easy, convenient, awesome. Second- what I do- you can make your own.

1 cup of water

15 drops of oils- thieves (for antibacterial, anti fungal, antiviral components) lemon for scent and immune boosting

1/2 Tbs of castille soap

Glass spray bottle

Make a batch and spray everything! Easy, simple, great!

Happy Cleaning!

Easy Lemon Bars with Lemon Essential Oil

Today I’m sharing a delicious treat I whipped up with some friends the other day. I love lemon bars. We used a reciepe from a marvelous cookbook called the Maker’s Diet Cookbook. I’ll share it here.

6 pastured eggs

1 cup of grass-fed butter (we used coconut oil- I’m sure either is fine)

1/3 cup raw, unheated honey

7 drops of lemon essential oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup coconut flour (Costco has a huge bag- awesome!)

1 tsp. baking powder

Bake for 20-3 min. at 325 degrees and let cool. Easy. Delicious. Yet another way you can use those oils!

Enjoy!

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Is Fish Oil Just for Fishes?

Today I want to finish up my series on supplements and vitamins. If you missed it, we’ve been talking about the essentials supplements and vitamins that I believe everyone should be taking. We’ve covered a few and there are definitely more. But, sometimes I think it’s better to start small. Small change = lifestyle change. That’s the goal.


Omega 3

So we will wrap up with fish oil. Fish oil is well known as being high in Omega-3; but what the heck are omega-3s and why do I need to take them. Omega-3 is  an essential fatty acid that our bodies need to maintain health. However, it is not something our bodies make, that is why it is necessary to get it from food or supplements. There are two types of omega-3. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Both of these forms come from animal sources (salmon, krill, etc.) while another form ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) come from plant sources such as chia, hemp, and flaxseed to name a few. Omega-3 plays a key role in brain function as well as growth and development.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published three studies looking at the effect of DHA and EPA in the elderly population. They summarized that a decreased amount of omega-3 significantly increased risk of death from all causes, as well as an increased memory and cognitive decline. Research shows that omega-3 reduce inflammation and can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.  Omega-3 is so involved in brain development and function that infants who do not get enough are at risk for vision and nerve problems in the future. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include, “fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.” (Uni. of Maryland). It is also important to have a healthy ration of omega-6 to omega-3. Omega 6, unlike Omega-3 promote inflammation instead of reducing it. According to the University most Americans have 14-25 times as many omega-6 as 3; far too high in their opinion. Omega-6 can be found in corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. The ratio is ideally 1:1.  Americans are “toxic” with inflammation. The rudimentary understanding is that all disease goes back to inflammation. Therefore, if all we are eating is omega-6s we will be chronically inflamed, and therefore diseased.

The benefits of Omega-3 continue as Dr. Mercola cites an Italian study of 11,324 heart attack survivors who were taking fish oil markedly reduced their risk of another event. American Researchers report that men who took fish oil at least once a week had a 50% lowered risk of dying from a cardiac event compared with men who eat fish less than once a month. Omega-3 also normalizes and regulates cholesterol triglyceride levels. Many people with heart disease and high cholesterol take a statin. What they don’t know is that a lot of the times diet could be enough to stay off of the statin. Fish and Krill Oil have been shown to be more efficient than statins at lowering cholesterol levels. Yet another reason why going back to the diet is so important! Studies have also shown them to be anti-arrhythmic (abnormal heart rhythms), anti-thrombotic (blood clots which can result in stroke or heart injury) and anti-atherosclerotic (preventing plaque build up within your arteries, leading to blockages and heart attacks.)

So now we’ve talked about a lot of the ways it affects your health- what about your kids.

Truth. Your kids need fish oil as much or more than you. Their brains are developing at a rapid rate- if they aren’t getting enough omega-3 in their diet it could be detrimental to their growth and development in the future. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013 said that children who took an omega-3 supplement as infants scored higher on rule learning, vocabulary, and intelligent testing at ages 3 to 5. Studies are also showing that kids diagnosed with ADHD and learning disorders have a lower omega-3 level in the blood. Not only do kiddos need supplementation; if you are pregnant or nursing your baby is dependent on their omega-3 sources from your diet and nutrition.

So where should you be getting your Omega-3? Ideally you should ALWAYS be getting your nutrition from real food. The problem is- food is not the way it was designed to be in the first place. Many types of fish are high in Omega-3 but they are also loaded with toxins, mercury, radioactive content, etc. The safest exception is wild-caught salmon. Do not be fooled, farmed salmon contains half the amount of omega-3 that wild caught does. Not to mention farmed salmon is full of toxins, harmful chemicals, fed GMO based corn and soy products that our bodies are then responsible for breaking down. Farmed= bad news. Wild Caught= awesome. Fish Oil is one of the main ways that people in America get the necessary amounts of omega-3 since we can’t eat Salmon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Krill Oil is also highly recommended because it can be 48 times more potent when it comes to anti-oxidants.

There are so many important nutrients for our health and wellness and this one is at the top of the list. Please take charge of your health- take the steps to a healthier life and give your kids the start they deserve. A few brands I have used in the past and have been happy with are: Barlean’s Fish Oil (it doesn’t taste like fish oil to me and I am able to take it daily without a problem). Melaleuca also has an AMAZING fish oil that tastes like key lime pie- I’m not even kidding- it’s amazing. It tastes like desert. If you need a contact for Melaleuca products I know just the person. Either way, capsule, liquid, smoothie- just take it. It’s important.