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Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Do you use Aromatherapy?



Throughout my adulthood, I have dabbled with aromatherapy. But not really knowing the true benefits. If I had a rough day, I would drop some lavender oil in my bath, or spray some on my sheets before bed. Now, I have truly educated myself on the healing properties, and I use it everyday!

What is Aromatherapy?
What is aromatherapy? - Dr. Axe
Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine practice utilizing fragrant/aromatic essential oils that are derived from a wide variety of healing plants. When inhaled or applied to the skin, therapeutic-grade essential oils have been shown to help people overcome various health problems without the need for medications (Please consult your doctor).
Here’s some facts about how essential oils work:
  • Plants contain certain beneficial chemicals as a means of protecting themselves, including to ward off insects or rodents, and to defend themselves from bacteria or viruses.
  • The active ingredients within the oils are taken directly from high yields of medicinal plants or herbs through a process known as distillation, then mixed with alcohol to preserve their strength. The finished result is a very concentrated oily formula that can be mixed with other substances.
  • Because they’re very strong, essential oils used in aromatherapy practices are usually combined with a carrier oil, such almond, jojoba or coconut oil (what I use), before being applied directly to the skin.
Aromatherapy can be performed in several different ways:
  • Diffusing a combination of essential oils into the air (or just one single oil)
  • Inhaling oils through the nostrils directly off of a cloth or from the bottle
  • Receiving  massage theraputilizing oils
  • Soaking in an oil-infused bath... yes!!!
  • Rubbing oils directly onto the skin
Research shows that when used at home, most people use aromatherapy oil candles, apply natural products containing oils to their skin or add oils directly to a soaking bath/warm shower. What types of plants produce popular essential oils used in aromatherapy? These include:
  • Herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano or peppermint
  • Leaves from eucalyptus plants
  • Grasses, such as lemongrass
  • Fennel seeds
  • Zest from fruits such as oranges, grapefruit or lemon
  • Flowers, including rose or geranium
  • Wood or bark from trees including cedar or pine
  • Roots from ginger
  • Resin from frankincense trees
  • And many more
What is Aromatherapy used for?
Aromatherapy has been studied in connection with improving both short-term health problems, along with more serious disorders. Research shows that anyone with the following health conditions can likely benefit from aromatherapy (Please consult your doctor):
  • Chronic stress or anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia and trouble sleeping
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Respiratory infections
  • Digestive upset
  • PMS or menopause symptoms
  • Skin problems or disorders, including bites, rashes, bruising, cellulite or acne
  • Blood sugar fluctuations
  • Cancer, side effect symptoms
  • Fatigue
The key to achieving results from aromatherapy is to use pure, therapeutic-grade oils rather than those with synthetic ingredients or fragrances.  The effectiveness of aromatherapy practices always depends on the quality of the oils used, plus the dosage.
What are the Benefits?

1. Promotes Relaxation

Many studies have shown that certain essential oils used in aromatherapy practices, including lavender and chamomile, can help people who feel stressed or anxious to relax .  The scent of lavender is believed to have a practically universal calming effect that lowers activation of the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for the fight or flight response and physical symptoms, such as sweaty palms or a racing heart.
If you’re new to aromatherapy, a simple way to begin is adding several drops of relaxing essential oils for anxiety to a warm bath. For example, five to seven drops of lavender added to a soaking bath (sometimes also with Epsom salt) is a common way to help manage daily stress.

2. Helps Improve Sleep Quality

Because many aromatherapy oils help people unwind and feel less stressed, they can be very useful for making you feel sleepier before bedtime. Those with insomnia, anxiety, or even restless leg syndrome and hot flashes that strike during the night can benefit from sleep-inducing essential oils, including lavender oil, chamomile, rose, vetiver and ylang ylang.
An hour or so prior to going to sleep, try diffusing essential oils in your bedroom using either an aromatherapy candle, electronic diffuser or oil burner. Diffusing aromatherapy oils works by releasing very tiny particles into the air that can be directly inhaled through the nostrils, where they travel to the brain and are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Adding about five to 10 drops to a diffuser in your home or office can help create a calm environment, plus make a room smell great.

3. Treats Respiratory Issues

Certain aromatherapy oils have antiseptic properties that help cleanse the air of bacteria, fungus and mold that can contribute to respiratory problems, such as congestion, coughing or sneezing.
Research shows that using citrus oils in aromatherapy practices can help improve overall immune function and reduce fatigue associated with depressive states. It’s been found that aromatic oils, such as orange and lemon (those with a citrus fragrance), can restore stress-induced immuno-suppression and help restore balance. Citrus oils are also beneficial for improving mental health by stimulation of the sensory system called the “olfactory system,” which controls one’s sense of smell.
Other than diffusing oils in your home, you can inhale aromatic oils directly from the bottle or rub some directly onto your chest or neck so you can breath in the particles. There are some great essential oils for allergiessore throat, and other respiratory problems. Essential oils that can help you overcome sinus infections, allergies, colds, the flu or coughs, and fatigue include eucalyptus, peppermint, frankincense, rosemary, myrrh, lemon, oregano and tea tree.

4. Improves Skin Health

Diluted essential oils can be spritzed onto the skin or scalp to reduce acne, dandruff, cellulite, toe fungus, itching, inflammation from bites, rashes or to improve wound healing. Tea tree oil  is one of the most popular oils for treating skin problems since it has antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and other cleansing qualities.
Other aromatherapy oils for skin include lavender, clary sage, juniper berry, lemon, orange, helichrysum and frankincense. To make a homemade aromatherapy oil spritzer that you can spray into the troubled area of your skin, add 10–20 drops of oil to a spray bottle containing about four ounces of water.
Use several sprays at one time on your skin, and keep what you don’t use right away for later use. You can also use the same oils on your skin or scalp directly (including making a homemade essential oil shampoo) or spray them throughout your home for other benefits.

5. Can Help Manage Symptoms or Side Effects of Cancer 

Aromatherapy is used by patients with cancer primarily as supportive care during treatment, for stress reduction or pain management, or simply for general well-being. It’s common for people battling cancer to try different methods of complementary treatments (including massage therapy, meditation or acupuncture), in which aromatherapy oils can be utilized.
What is aromatherapy used for in cancer patients? Various aromatherapy oils are capable of lowering symptoms associated with cancer or hospice care, such as nausea, fatigue, aches or pains, depression, and insomnia. Essential oils that can help you cope with cancer symptoms, or side effects caused from cancer treatments, include frankincense, ginger, lavender, geranium, rose, neroli and clary sage.

6. Soothes Pain and Inflammation

To help soothe tight or tense muscles, achy joints, inflamed tissue injuries, or pain from headaches, a combination of different aromatherapy oils can be inhaled or applied to the troubled area . Popular essential oils for arthritis pain include ginger, myrrh, turmeric and orange. You can use other aromatherapy oils for nearly any source of pain, including essential oils for headaches, such as peppermint, spearmint, rosemary and frankincense.

7. Helps Reduce Fatigue and Raise Alertness

In a Study from International Journal of Neuroscience found that aromatherapy positively affects alertness, competency on testing (in this case regarding math problems) and improves overall mood. Adults were given three minutes of aromatherapy either using one of two aromas, lavender (considered a relaxing odor) or rosemary (considered a stimulating odor). Participants completed math computations and surveys regarding their mood before and after the therapy.
Those exposed to lavender aromatherapy showed increased beta power, suggesting increased drowsiness, but they also reported decreases in depressed moods and feeling more relaxed. Although they reported feeling more drowsy, the lavender group participants actually performed the math computations faster and more accurately following aromatherapy. The rosemary group showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting increased alertness. They also had lower state anxiety scores, reported feeling more relaxed and alert, and were faster at completing the math problems. 

8. Improves Libido

Aromatherapy has a long history of use for improving libido, raising energy through increased blood flow and treating sexual dysfunctions. Popular aromatherapy oils for improving hormonal balance, “feminine power” and sexual health include clary sage, sandalwood, rosemary, geranium.

9. Improves Digestion and Lowers Nausea

Aromatherapy oils, such as ginger, turmeric, grapefruit, peppermint, lemon, chamomile and eucalyptus, can help curb acid reflex, ulcers, nausea, indigestion, morning sickness or stomach aches due to PMS.
Try Aromatherapy... Add essential oils to your life, it will make a world of difference- improve your Self Soul & Space!! 
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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

As we finally move into Fall here in Delaware, my family and I love to eat soups, chilies, and stews.  This Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup has become a fast favorite, and by fast I mean ready to eat in 30 minutes... Winner-winner-chicken dinner!!

Here's the recipe...

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup
serves 4, total time 30 minutes

Ingredients
2 c Tortilla Chips, crumbled and divided
2 tsp Olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped poblano pepper
2 c sliced celery (about 4 stalks)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 c low sodium chicken broth
3 c low sodium vegetable broth
1 c frozen corn
3 c pulled rotissarie chicken
1 c sliced carrots (about 3 carrots)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 medium avaocado, chopped
1/4 c fresh cilatnro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
4 tsp shredded cheese

Directions
Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onion, pepper, celery; cook; stirring frequently until tender (about 4min).
Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 min.
Add tomatoes; and cook for another 4 minutes.
Add 3 cups of broth, and 1/2 c of crumbled tortilla chips.
Then with an immersion blender, blend mixture until smooth; if you do not have an immersion blender, pour mixture into a blender or food processor; cover lid with a kitchen towel and blend until smooth (and return to pot).
Add remaining broth, corn, chicken, carrots, oregano. chili powder, salt, pepper; and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. reduce heat to medium-low; cook and stir occasionally for 10 minutes or until carrots are soft.
 

Evenly divide soup into 4 serving bowls, top with avocado, cilantro, cheese, and remaining tortilla pieces; and serve with a lime wedge.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Focused Fall

Happy September!
Does it feel like Fall where you live?  Here in Delaware, there have been a few days where it actually felt like Fall, and then it jumps right back to Summer.
Usually with a change in season, a lot of us go through changes in our life.  For me, 3 of the girls are back in school, there are different lessons and practices to get everyone to, as well as my own work schedule. 

Here are a few of my tips to help keep you focused and on track this fall!

Focused Fall Tips:
1. Calendars and Planners are your Friend!  Whether it's a paper or an electronic calendar, pick one up and start using it.  Use different color pens if you manage other people's (kids) schedules. Don't forget to add tentative plans in pencil... sometimes a tentative get together or date night can get forgotten, by another (less fun) event because you forgot about the tentative one.

2. Schedule your Days.  I personally schedule out everyday... what I mean, besides calendar appointments-meetings-practices, I write out each day, either the night before or sometimes at the start of the week. it's crazy, but for sure nothing falls through the cracks! For example:

  • 5am wakeup & get dressed
  • 5:30 eat breakfast
  • 5:45 leave for fitness class
  • 6am Teach Fitness class
  • 6:40 head home
  • 6:50 arrive & finish helping girls get ready for school
  • 7am drink shake
  • 7:30 leave for school
  • 7:50 return home
  • 8am shower
  • 8:30 Work: type up meal plans
  • 9am Mommy & Zoey playtime
  • 10:30 leave to Pick up Veronica from PreK
  • 11am arrive back home & make lunch
  • 11:45 MVZ craft time
  • 12:30 naptime & work-prep for upcoming show & follow up with clients
  • 1:30 put a load in or fold laundry... boo
  • 2:15 start wake V&Z
  • 2:30 leave for carpool
  • 3:15 arrive back home & homework help
  • 4pm start dinner
  • 5pm Family dinner
  • 5:50 leave for cross country practice
  • 6pm XC practice
  • 6:15 Pick up prescription @ Walgreens
  • 7:30 pick up from cross country
  • 7:50 arrive home & shower
  • 8pm Pjs & storytime
  • 8:30 girls lights out
  • 9pm good night Mommy!
3. Make your health a priority! Eat nutritious meals and move your body for at least 30 minutes each day!  And if you manage to miss your workouts, schedule them on your calendar like an appointment. Try adding fall fruits and veggies to your diet.


4. Sleep. get 7-8 hours of sleep each night... even if that means you miss the latest episode of your favorite show, DVR it and go to bed!  Your brain and your body need time off too, so make sleep a priority.

5. Do a Fall clean-out.  Try de-cluttering your home or office, donate old clothes and shoes to local shelter or charity, deep clean your house, deep clean your body with a cleanse, or re-arrange furniture. Fall is a great time to refresh your environment or your body in preparation for the upcoming holidays (yes, I said it).

Try these tips to help keep your Fall more Focused!

               

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Healthy Travel Tips

Summer has begun! And with Summer, we find ourselves on more trips, vacations, and getaways. The beauty is you can stay on track with your healthy habits, even while you travel, but more importantly still enjoy your time away. 😉
Here are some healthy travel tips:
1. Decide if you want this to be a healthy and positive trip!
2. Stick to a consistent breakfast every day while away.
3. Drink tons of water, travel with a refillable water bottle.
4. Sleep, try to stay close to your normal schedule at home.
5. Focus on the activities more than the food, don't forget about your physical activities too.
6. When it comes time to eat, make veggies a priority.
7. Log your happenings, activities and food, help you remember your trip.
8. Don't over pack, no one likes to lug heavy suitcases around.
9. Have fun!
Do you have travel plans this summer?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tropical Dream Smoothie

Since starting my 80 day total body transformation 71 days ago, my smoothies have taken on a whole new life. A lot of them contain Shakeology, a Beachbody superfood shake (for more info see below).  Here is my favorite was to combine greens, fruits, and protein with a hint of the summer tropics.

Tropical Dream Smoothie

Ingredients
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology (I prefer vegan vanilla)
8-10 oz Coconut water
Spinach
Banana
frozen Pineapple
ice

Directions 
Blend all ingredients and enjoy... pop a straw and an umbrella in, and whisk yourself away to Tropical paradise.


*Interested in more information in on Shakeology?
click here: https://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/us/b?referringRepId=1550004