December Wellness Update
Spring School Workouts
Essential oils are concentrated liquids containing aroma compounds from plants. They are called "essential" due to the fact they they contain the essence of a plant's fragrance.
How can they be used?
Essential oils can be used in perfumes, lotions, soaps, cosmetics, sprays, distilled into the air, cleaning products and much more. However, there is no proof that they are helpful to ingest and many essential oil companies advise against it as it can be potentially harmful!!
Common Essential Oils and their uses
Roman Chamomile - Commonly used in perfumes. Mild & soothing, used to help relax and calm. Roman Chamomile is great to use as a spray or in lotions around the holidays when tensions may run high!
Eucalyptus - Used many times topically in lotions and sprays to help ailments, purify and invigorate. Eucalyptus is helpful when you are having cold symptoms and need to open up passageways. Can be stimulating so it may keep you awake!
Lavender - Great for relaxation! Lavender can be used in baths, sprays, perfumes, massage oils, lotions and more. Lavender helps to balance, sooth, calm, relax and heal. Do not confuse with Lavandin which is similar but is a stimulating scent and will keep you awake.
Sweet Orange - Excellent for household cleaning! Pressed from the peels of ripe sweet oranges this scent is great for cheering you up as it is refreshing and uplifting. Any type of citrus scent can help to combat seasonal depression.
Peppermint - Powerful and a great way to open up plugged nostrils! This scent is refreshing, cooling and vitalizing. One spray can help you to wake up and get ready in the morning!
Rose Absolute - Rose is beneficial for the skin and is used in many lotions.
Sandalwood - Works well in cleansing with astringents, massage oils, facial oils, bath oils, lotions and aftershaves. Sandalwood is relaxing, centering and sensual.
Tea Tree - Warm, spicy smell. Blends well with lavender, rosemary or nutmeg oils. Helpful in cleaning!
Essential Oil Mixes
Essential oils should always be mixed into something and not just be applied by themselves topically as they are highly concentrated. Check labels to see if they have already been distilled to be made into a stand alone roll on oil. AuraCacia, which can be found at Wheatsfield, has their products concentrated so you can add a few drops into lotions or sprays with water.
Cheer up mixture
-Use any citrus scents in an unscented lotion or in water for a spray. Equal parts grapefruit essential oil and sweet orange oil with a few drops of lemon oil is a great scent to get you up and going! Works well in the winter to fight seasonal depression!
Fight the cold
- Use spearmint, peppermint and eucalyptus together in a spray! Spray underneath your nose or on your clavicle to help open up passageways. Helps to combat a cold!
- Lavender and Lemon can be used together in an unscented lotion to create a light smelling lotion that can help you relax after a long day!
Light cleaning solution
- Lavender and Tea Tree together are commonly used for light cleaning!
Heavier cleaning solution
- Combine sweet orange with either Tea Tree, Lemon or Sandalwood with a water base!
- In a spray bottle combine water with equal parts Spearmint, Peppermint and Sweet Orange!
- Rose & Jasmine work well together in lotions to be used topically to help with skin care. This can also be used in an oil base for a massage oil.
How to choose which essential oils are right for you!
Ultimately let your nose be your guide. Smell which scents appeal to you and go from there. When combining scents, open the bottles together and see if the mixed scent is what you are going for. You can always change up the ratio of drops in what you create to make an oil more dominant. For more information click here. You can purchase essential oils at Wheatsfield! If you would like to smell some of these mixes just ask Ms. Leinen as she has many of these at home.
Fight the flu with food!
- Stay hydrated! Preferably with water, teas and fresh juice!
- Drink broth, it provides minerals and can help a sore throat! A recipe for bone broth is listed below!
- Vitamin C! You can find this from vitamins, airborne or juice!
- Taking Elderberry Syrup as needed can help avoid or get rid of the flu.
- Get your proteins! They are necessary for many body functions and perform an important role in immune function and weight maintenance. Fun fact: Antibodies are specialized proteins that help defend the body from illness and bacteria. Proteins are necessary for cell division which is vital in healing and growth, and proteins in the form of hormones and enzymes regulate chemical reactions in the body. The adult body needs one gram of usable protein for each 2.2 pounds of body weight. This means that a 180 pound man would need around 80 grams of protein a day and a 145 pound woman would need about 65 grams a day.
- Fats: As long as you don't go overboard fats aren't going to make you fat! In fact, recent research is showing that adequate fat intake is vital to weight loss. Fats provide concentrated energy and are important building blocks in hormones. Fats carry the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Studies show that fats, including the much feared saturated fats, contribute to immune strength, bone strength, and can protect the liver. For optimal immune function, it is important to get adequate fats from healthy sources including olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts/seeds, krill oil and animal sources.
- Vegetables: For weight loss and immune function, it is important to avoid eating too many starchy vegetables like potatoes and winter squash and to focus on greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, mustard greens, etc), peppers, tomatoes, hot peppers, garlic, onions, celery, and asparagus.
- Supplements: Another thing that helps weight loss and flu prevention is to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D. The best source of Vitamin D is that which is naturally produced by your body when it is exposed to sunlight in moderation, though this can be difficult in winter months. If you are unable to get 30 minutes of sunlight a day, supplementation may be necessary. If you choose to supplement, opt for Vitamin D3, a more assimilable and healthy version than other forms. However, since Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it can be dangerous if taken in excess. Consider having your vitamin D levels checked by a doctor before beginning any supplementation, though Vitamin D obtained from sunlight is considered safe.
Home Cold/Flu Remedies
- Get lots of rest!
- Consider taking a detox bath with epsom salts!
- Use a humidifier on dry air in your house, you can put in eucalyptus, spearmint, peppermint or lavender essential oils to help open up air pathways or help you sleep. (More on essential oils later!) You can also use a face steamer!
- Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic in a small glass of water and drink quickly. Do this once per day. Don't take more than 1 clove if pregnant. Garlic is a powerhouse as a natural antibiotic, anti fungal and antibacterial!
- Hydrogen Peroxide can be put in a dropper and than poured into each ear. Lie still until it stops bubbling. This helps with colds, flu, sinus and ear infections.
- Drink hot liquids!
- Cinnamon is an effective antiviral and antibiotic. Mix 1 tablespoon with 1 teaspoon honey and stir in to a tea of your choosing.
- Lay low on white foods. These foods suppress immune function and can slow your body's healing! Opt for fresh chicken soup and hot liquids.
- Add nettle leaf (an herb) into your tea! Or try Chamomile tea!
- Place peppermint essential oil underneath your nose to clear pathways or spray it around the house. Peppermint also helps with digestion troubles and lowering fevers.
- Try putting onions or garlic on your feet at night and cover with a sock. Onions and garlic pull toxins out of the body!
Healthy Gifts for the Holidays!
Wake Up Light Alarm Clock: A natural wake up light alarm can make a big difference in waking up and energy levels throughout the day. Basically, it is an alarm clock that gradually brightens with a daylight-type bulb and nature sounds instead of a blaring horn sound. This particular one is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation and waking up gradually and naturally can have a big impact on energy levels and proper hormone production throughout the day.
Rumble Roller: Basically, it is a deep tissue massage at home, so it is a lot cheaper than regular massages in the long run. It doesn't take up much room and is great for sore muscles! Here is the Rumble Roller and there are two different sizes and firmness levels. They also have them from time to time at JAX.
Lotion Bars: Made On makes all kinds of lotion bars, soaps, natural baby products and hair products that are up to my standards. Their website is HardLotion.com. You can also create unique scent lotions by mixing essential oils with no scent lotion to really personalize it and get the benefits of aromatherapy!
Kettlebell: If someone you know is a fitness buff, or just wants to find a fast workout that yields big results, a kettlebell is a great option. Cheaper than a gym membership, much less space consuming than weights, and endlessly versatile, kettlebells are a great at-home fitness option.
Pull Up Bar: If someone you know is into fitness (or you’d like to be), a pull-up bar can be easily mounted on any standard door frame without any drilling or holes in the wall or doors. It is also easy to take down and is a great way to get in pull-ups, ab exercises, etc. at home. Try this one!
Coconut Oil: It is packed with healthy fats, immune boosting MCFAs, and lauric acid and is extremely versatile. It can be used for cooking, skin care, hair care, baby care, as a supplement, and so much more. It may not be the most glamorous gift idea, but it will certainly be one of the most used! Here is a list of 101 ways to use coconut oil
Earthing Shoes: The basic idea is that they allow the person wearing them to be electrically connected to the negative ions present in the ground, which research is finding works to reduce inflammation and improve sleep. These Earthing Shoes have copper conductors so the wearer can get the benefits without actually being barefoot. Earthing Shoes are based on the same technology as the Earthing Mat and would be especially good for those who are outside on surfaces like dirt, grass or concrete on a daily basis.
Bamboo Bottle: The hard outer shell protects the glass bottle on the inside and the top is completely leak proof, so you can keep it in your bag! The Bamboo Bottle can even be used for coffee, tea, smoothies, etc. without getting too hot or cold and without absorbing the smell at all.
In Season Fruits & Veggies
Bone Broth Ingredients
- 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
You’ll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
Bone Broth Instructions
- The first step in preparing to make broth is to gather high quality bones. Chicken bones work great from a rotisserie chicken! Aim for 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water. This usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses.
- You’ll also need some vegetables for flavor. These are actually optional but add extra flavor and nutrition. An example, per gallon of water and 2 pounds of bones: 1 onion, 2 large carrots, 2 celery stalks, rough chopped, parsley.
- If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. Place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350.
- Place the bones in a large stock pot (you could use a 5 gallon pot). Pour water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
- Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
- Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done. These are the times to simmer for: Beef broth/stock: 48 hours, Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24 hours, Fish broth: 8 hours
- During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. Check it roughly every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
- During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
Just for laughs
- Tuesdays & Thursdays starting at 6AM in the weight room (you can always come in a little later!)
- Wednesday workouts have been disbanded for the remainder of the semester, we will look at revisiting this idea next semester.
(Please check the Wellness Workouts shared doc to sign up so we know who is coming!)
- We also have a sign up for weekly workouts at various Ames locations if you would like to use to buddy system to go together!
We will have someone at morning and afternoon sessions to help those who are curious but have never tried these activities before! Come in and do your own thing or come in and try out some of the workouts we have listed!
Planned for high school January 12th
In the next issue: