Easy Breezy Non-Greasy Whipped Body Butter

aromatherapy, body butter, clean, cream, creamy, diy, diy lotion, do-it-yourself, essential oils, healing, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, naturopath, popular oils, pure, recipe, remedy, restoration, restore, soothing, Uncategorized, wellness

 

The other day I posted a luxurious body cream recipe containing water-based ingredients.  It’s a little more involved that your typical body cream.  Who has time for that!  So, in the alternative, I wanted to give you another recipe that is simple, contains very few ingredients, and effective – AND NON-GREASY. 

The other day I had to formulate a tummy tightening/stretch mark blend for one of my Aromatherapy course case studies, and I ended up loving the end product.  I don’t yet know if it will tighten saggy skin, or lighten stretch marks (because there isn’t much out there that can do that!) – but it is super hydrating and velvety and will make the perfect every day moisturizer.

If you’re into DIY personal products, you’ve most likely seen a bazillion recipes for whipped body butters containing coconut oil.  I’m sorry guys, but I’m soooo over that stuff… Really, it was a great discovery for me over 5 years ago, but I’ve moved on to something more sophisticated (i.e. LESS GREASY!!!!) – Babassu Oil.  Yes, I do have a Silky Whipped Body Butter recipe that contains coconut oil, which is very good, but only before bedtime…under socks and pajamas.  For years I brought that stuff to every “Make & Take” essential oils class that I taught.  From this point forward, I’m using this newer, snazzier, simpler body butter recipe.  And you may want to as well!

This recipe does not contain any water-based ingredients, such as aloe vera, hydrosols or distilled water.  This means that no preservatives are needed!  Raw oils and butters do not need preservatives and so your end product should last you a much longer time (12 months or more) if stored in a dark, cool area (Antarctica has nothing on my house!  I just keep it on my nightstand).  And if you add essential oils with antibacterial properties to it, it couldn’t hurt!

While water-based body creams soak in to your skin a tad quicker, I usually make up every excuse in the book NOT to make them because of the possibility of bacteria and all the stress of sanitizing everything with alcohol first.  I also hate having to use up an expensive bottle of natural preservative before it expires. Ironically, natural preservatives don’t stay preserved very long…go figure.

This body butter has a light, fluffy, almost whipped cream-like texture.  It soaks in pretty quickly, but is thick enough to create a great moisture barrier – keeping moisture inside where it belongs. It leaves my skin moisturized all day and incredibly velvety.

How is this possible?  The Babassu Oil.

If you hadn’t read about Babassu Oil on my other blog, here are some of the benefits:

  • It is light weight
  • It doesn’t clog pores
  • It soaks in faster than coconut oil
  • It is less greasy/messy than coconut oil
  • It has a very mild scent
  • It mixes better with essential oils
  • It helps heal damaged skin
  • It reduces redness & inflammation
  • It cools on contact
  • It repairs, softens & shines hair
  • It nourishes your scalp
  • It promotes healthy nails & cuticles
  • It locks in moisture
  • It helps prevent body odor
  • If you have the food grade, it’s a healthy alternative to other cooking oils
  • It improves pet health
  • It rejuvenates wooden surfaces

Read more about this oil’s benefits HERE

Just look at these photos.  Doesn’t it look scrumptious?  Like a white buttercream frosting?

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So, let’s crack on already!  (Sorry, I’ve been binge watching “Being British: Joel & Lia” YouTube videos lately, and am starting to use their slang!)

Easy Breezy, Non-Greasy Body Butter

(Makes just over 4 oz body butter)

2 Tbs (1 oz) sweet almond oil (substitutes w/ jojoba or apricot kernel oil)
6 Tbs (3 oz) raw mango butter (substitutes w/ raw shea or cocoa butter)
1 Tbs (1/2 oz) babassu oil  (I found mine here)
120-180 drops of your favorite essential oils (it mays seem like a lot, but for body oils and butters, it’s the recommended amount)

Before you start, you will want to liquify the babassu oil.  It’s a solid in cooler temps, but melts when you put the bottle in a hot water bath. So, fill a large bowl with hot water, and let your bottle of babassu sit inside it for a bit until you can get it to melt a bit.

In a double boiler (or a pot full of water, with a smaller pot sitting on top of the water), melt the raw butter and the babassu oils together. Add sweet almond oil and stir until fully melted together. Let sit to cool in the pot, or pour into a clean mixing bowl, until it’s thickened and no longer clear. You can refrigerate it, but make sure it’s cooled down first, so that it doesn’t create condensation on the lid.

If you refrigerated your mixture, let it sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to soften it before mixing.

Add your essential oils to the cooled mixture. Beat the mixture for a few minutes with an electric mixer until white and fluffy.

SUGGESTIONS FOR USE:
(body only):

  • Hands, feet & elbows before bed (add Frankincense, Lavender & Tangerine)
  • Moisturizer after shower (add Lavender, Jasmine & Bergamot)
  • Hand cream at work or your kitchen/bathroom sink (add eucalyptus & orange)
  • Hydrate aging/crepey skin (wrinkly) (add Cypress, Frankincense & Helichrysum)
  • Massage a dab onto dry/split ends hair before bed.  Wash out next day (add Lavender)

My favorite EO aroma combos:

Frankincense & Lavender
Tangerine & Bergamot
Clary Sage & Lavender
Clary Sage & Rose
Jasmine and Lavender
Cypress and Lavender
Hawaiian Sandalwood
Rosemary & Peppermint
Litsea, Eucalyptus & Orange
Rosemary and Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus & Orange
Lemon & Lime
Patchouli & Lavender
Vetiver & Lavender

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Body Cream Perfection!

aromatherapy, aromatic, body butter, calming, cleanliving, cream, creamy, diy, diy lotion, do-it-yourself, essential oils, healing, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, lavender, natural living, non-gmo, organic, popular oils, pure, recipe, remedy, renew, restore, soothing, Uncategorized, wellness

This lotion/cream recipe is literally perfect!  (Too bad I can’t take credit for the original recipe, as it was created by well-known herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, but I’ve done some tweaking to make it my own).  I hope you love it as much as I do!  Difficulty level is a little higher, but your skin will thank you for the efforts! (I’m going to post an easier version shortly).

When my Aromatherapy instructor shared this recipe with us, I was thinking we were sort of special – but apparently there are many variations of it all over the Interwebs…  This cream has probably been made a bazillion times by people all over the world.  So, while we weren’t especially special, this recipe is truly special!

What I love most about this recipe is that you can change it up with different base oils and/or hydrosols, to suit your needs and it always turns out perfect (but make sure you don’t replace a liquid oil with a solid-type oil, or the results won’t be so perfect!).  It yields approximately 16 oz. of cream, so make sure to have the appropriate containers.

Let’s get started!

FIRST!  Let’s extend the shelf life of our cream by disinfecting all utensils, bowls, spoons, blender, etc. with 70% rubbing alcohol.  Put the rubbing alcohol in a clean spray bottle and spray all items to disinfect them.  Lay them on clean paper towels to dry, or hand dry them.  Bacteria from the tap water could cause nasties to grow in your luxurious cream (this is another reason why we use distilled water or aromatic hydrosols versus tap water).

Preservatives are a must with any type of cream with a water-based ingredient, such as aloe vera gel and hydrosols.  There is a longer shelf life for body butters made with oils and butters only.  This recipe contains aloe vera gel and a hydrosol, so it will grow funky stuff within weeks if not preserved!  I’ve found some natural preservatives on the market to help increase the shelf life of our cream.

Leucidal SF or Leucidal Complete are nice, broad-range and more natural preservatives used mostly in creams and lotions.  Leucidal also provides extra silkiness to your cream.  Who doesn’t want silky skin!?  I sure do…especially since I recently hit 40!

One of the main base oils I chose to use instead of cocoa butter (and am currently obsessed with) is the incredible, but somewhat pricey, Babassu oil.  It is like coconut oil in that it is a solid and melts when warmed in your hand, but it seems to get a bit harder when cooled.

Babassu oil comes from the nuts of the babassu tree in Brazil.  It has so many benefits.  Here are a few to persuade you into loving it:

It is light weight
It doesn’t clog pores
It soaks in faster than coconut oil
It is less greasy/messy than coconut oil
It has a very mild scent
It mixes better with essential oils
It helps heal damaged skin
It reduces redness & inflammation
It cools on contact
It repairs, softens & shines hair
It nourishes your scalp
It promotes healthy nails & cuticles
It locks in moisture
It helps prevent body odor (this would be great in my Deodorant recipe!)
If you have the food grade, it’s a healthy alternative to other cooking oils
It improves pet health
It rejuvenates wooden surfaces

…just to name a few. 

You can read more about Babassu oil HERE.  I may replace coconut oil in all of my recipes with babassu from this point forward – if I can find a good quality, lower-priced supplier.

Below are photos taken step-by-step as I moved through the process. The actual recipe is at the bottom:

Gather all ingredients, sterilize and dry. Ignore the shea butter. I ended up changing the recipe and replaced it with a more liquid oil.

Measure all aqueous ingregients into a sterilized measuring cup.

If using babassu oil, you may need to liquify it by placing in a bowl of hot tap water.

Melt all oils (babassu oil, almond oil, beeswax), minus essential oils, in a double boiler until completely combined.

Fully melted!

Pour hot oils into sterilized blender and cool until room temp. Blend on high and slowly pour in water ingredients through the hole on blender lid. When fully combined, scrape into a sterilized, glass bowl.

Fold in your essential oils with a sterilized spoon until combined. It is a tad blue because I added a few drops of skin-nourishing Blue Tansy essential oil to my cream.

Pour into glass cosmetic jars if you prefer, but make sure your hands are clean when you scoop some out.

Or pipe into lotion containers. It’s much more sterile this way, since your hands never touch the inside.

I had on hand three 4oz lotion squeeze bottles, and one 2 oz round cosmetic container.  I filled all containers the top, and there was enough remaining for me to apply to my super dry arms and legs.

This recipe is velvety, silky and luxurious, and I slather it on after the shower (make sure to have clean & dry hands before putting them into your jar, or use a utensil to scoop it out)

ROSEMARY GLADSTAR’S “PERFECT CREAM” (my personal variation)

Group 1 (Waters)
2/3 cup white rose water/hydrosol (or you can used distilled water)
1/3 cup pure aloe vera gel (no junk from a drugstore – the real stuff)
48 drops of essential oils of your choice (or less)
1/2 oz. Leucidal Liquid SF (natural preservative/antimicrobial)

Group 2 (Oils)
3/4 cup apricot kernel or sweet almond oil
1/3 cup Babassu oil (or shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter)
1/2-1 oz grated beeswax
1/2 tsp. Vitamin E oil

FIRST, see my note above about cleaning everything with rubbing alcohol and drying with/on paper towels.

  • Combine your hydrosol, aloe vera gel and preservative in the glass measuring cup and set aside (cover with saran wrap if you have cats in the home – their fur gets into everything!)
  • Measure the babassu/mango/shea butter (whichever you chose), and beeswax into a double boiler and heat on low until melted completely.  Transfer the melted liquid to your blender, cover with a paper towel, and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to help cool it down.
  • When oils have reached room temperature, secure lid and turn blender on high. Add the water/aloe mixture through the hole at the top of the blender in a slow and steady stream.  (Adding slowly is KEY to getting the waters and oils to emulsify well).  When 3/4 of the water has been added, monitor the cream in the blender. At a certain point, it will thicken and pull above the blades, no longer accepting more liquid.  If okay, add the rest of the liquid.
  • Scrape as much out of the blender as you can, into an alcohol disinfected bowl, and gently fold in your essential oils with to make sure all oils and water are incorporated evenly.
  • Transfer to disinfected storage jars.  The cream will thicken as it sets.
  • Label your jars with all of the ingredients used and store in cool location (the fridge is best!).  Use within 3 months, or until you see mold!  If you added preservatives, it should last 6 months to a year in the fridge.

Enjoy!

How I Ditched My Acid Reflux Medication

Acid Reflux, apple cider vinegar, aromatherapy, essential oils, GERD, gut health, healing, health, holistic, indigestion, natural living, peppermint, pure, recipe, Uncategorized

About 5 years ago, my insides felt like they were coming undone. I had horrible heartburn, nausea, pain under my rib and sometimes food that I’d just eaten kept coming back up over, and over again. After a quick visit to the gastroenerologist, I was diagnosed with GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) and was prescribed a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) drug called Omeprazole. I was overjoyed to find a solution to my problem and so I began eating whatever I wanted and life was good.

Heartburn is one thing, but GERD is a whole ‘nother ballgame. It makes you afraid to eat because of the wrath you feel on your innards. I enjoy pasta, pizza, Mexican food, cheese, whole milk, heavy cream, cheesecake, you name it – I eat all of that stuff and there was no way I was giving it up while I’m still young.

You may have GERD if you have at least 4-5 of the symptoms below (but not always):

Common symptoms include:

Frequent heartburn
Trouble sleeping from heartburn
“Vomit burps”
Sore/scratchy throat
Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
Feeling like there’s a lump in your throat
Damaged teeth from stomach acid
Chest pain
Bad breath
Nausea
Vomiting

During the years I was taking Omeprazole, it gave me my life back, at least that’s what I thought. My doctor gave me a prescription with unlimited refills. So, month after month, year after year, I continued to refill my prescription. I can’t remember the last time I was actually in to see the doctor. Out of the 4-5 years of taking Omeprazole, I believe I only saw him 3 times. Once for our initial consultation and diagnosis, and then for 2 colonoscopies (oh yeah… aren’t you jeally?).

Not long ago, a friend from my oils company, who also happens to be a Nurse Practitioner, posted an article on Facebook about the dangers of Omeprazole. And that natural means could be used to ease symptoms. I’d never heard of there being any issues with acid blockers, but I read the article anyway and then shrugged it off. There was no way I was ever going to discontinue Omeprazole. Picture Gollum from the Lord of the Rings holding a prescription Omeprazole bottle – that would be me. It would take an elephant tranquilizer dart to the neck to pry “My Precious” Omeprazole from me.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m making my usual errands, stopping at Walgreens to refill my Omeprazole prescription. There was a problem. The pharmacy assistant said that they have to contact my doctor to refill the prescription. What? That’s weird, I thought. I forgot about it until a week later when I get a message on my doctor’s online medical portal stating that he’s no longer going to refill my prescription because PPIs aren’t recommended for long term use. Okay then, why did you allow me to refill it for 4-ish years!?!? Also, the doctor recommended using over-the-counter omeprazole, as needed. My initial thoughts were, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!” Now what do I do?

I’m a foodie, food junkie, gorger of goodies, cookie chomper, butter slurper, cheese muncher, pizza hoarder – you name it! Also, I eat out ALL the time – it’s one of the things my husband and I really enjoy doing together on our date nights. I’m a Yelp ‘Elite’ member, meaning I write Yelp reviews and get invited to all of Yelp’s free food tasting parties at various restaurants throughout the year. It’s my thing, and I love it. There is no way I could give that all up.

Within the days following my prescription cancellation, I ate food and got acid reflux all over again. I had bloating, gas, vomit coming up to my throat and excessive burping. I was not happy.

I began doing my research and I came to discover that there are a bunch of natural means to help with acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, licorice root, digestive enzymes, just to name a few. I’d already been using digestive enzymes, which helped my bloating greatly. I was seeing a glimmer of hope. Why hadn’t I done this in the first place!?

After more research, I discovered that I might have leaky gut. That’s a whole other issue to work on, and maybe I’ll do another blog on that some day. Leaky gut can be a cause of GERD, and needs to be taken care of.

I also recently learned that having LOW stomach acid can mimic the high stomach acid symptoms. Great…as if we needed more confusion. Oftentimes, people are diagnosed with GERD because of heartburn and acid reflux, and given a PPI prescription. This causes unnecessary harm to your body if you have low stomach acid because PPIs decrease stomach acid. What someone with low stomach acid should be taking is Betaine HCL with Pepsin (which is betaine hydrochloride with digestive enzymes). Betaine HCL with Pepsin helps aid your body in creating it’s own stomach acid. If you’re experiencing GERD symptoms, it wouldn’t hurt to test for low stomach acid before going to see a gastroenterologist. It’s a simple test, in which I’ll explain below:

TEST FOR LOW STOMACH ACID: When you first wake up in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of baking in 4-6 oz. of water and drink it down. After you drink it, check the clock. If you do not belch within 5 minutes, you have low stomach acid. If you belch within 2-3 minutes, you don’t have low stomach acid. If you belch a lot, then you have high stomach acid. Don’t mistake small burps for belching. We swallow air when we drink, and little burps might be caused by that. Do this for 3 mornings in a row so that you get a good average reading.

If you have low stomach acid, you would benefit by taking the Betaine HCL with Pepsin that I mentioned above. It must have Pepsin in it.A more reliable test would to be to do the test below. This also helps you figure out your personal dosage:

A more reliable test would to be to do the test below. This also helps you figure out your personal dosage:

Take 1 Betaine HCL with Pepsin pill with your largest meat meal. HCL helps break down proteins. If you don’t feel a burning sensation in your stomach, then take 2 pills the next time. Keep adding another pill on to the regimen until you feel a burning sensation in your stomach. Once you do, then you can decrease your dose by one pill and continue that dose for as long as you need to manage the symptoms. Once you feel the burn again, you will decrease by another pill, and so on, until you don’t need to take them anymore.

Obviously, if you have other worrisome symptoms, please make an appointment with a doctor. And before taking any new supplements, be sure to contact your doctor to be sure that there are no interactions with any medications you might be taking already.

My routine now consists of taking 1-2 Aloe Vera Gels by NOW Foods (I got mine HERE), along with 2 digestive enzymes from my company, before each meal – and BAM! – no acid reflux. Just like that. No vomit burps. No nausea. No bloat. It’s amazing. Aloe has such wonderful health benefits already, I’d never dreamed that it would help my stomach issues! You have to make sure to get the good stuff, making sure it does not contain any part of the plant that contains latex. I also take a good probiotic daily. With the American diet, I believe everyone should be on probiotics. They are necessary for maintaining a healthy gut. And last, I take Betaine HCL with Pepsin with each large protein meal.

I am literally overjoyed that I can finally use more natural means to ease my digestive discomforts. Omeprazole is a thing of the past for me – it’s one less prescription that I need to pick up at Walgreens. I seriously don’t even miss it! In fact, I wish I’d known this sooner so that I didn’t have to cause my body any more damage than it already has.

I should note that, as always, changing your eating habits and exercising regularly help greatly. I am in the process of finding a lot more GERD-friendly recipes to add into our family’s mix of meals, so that I’m not purposely provoking my gut. Eating smaller portions will help, and eating foods that are low fat, low acid, and avoiding caffeine, red meat, chocolate, alcohol, fried foods, processed foods, tomatoes, onions, garlic and citrus fruits. Basically everything I like and eat on a regular basis…

For those interested, you can read about Omeprazole’s harmful effects in this article. You will find plenty of information online by Googling: “dangers of Omeprazole” or “dangers of PPIs.” The stuff is pure garbage – plain and simple. If you’re currently on a PPI prescription for major digestive illnesses or ulcers – please stay on your medication and talk to your doctor about using natural means to manage symptoms. If you have acid reflux for other reasons, or occasional heartburn, you might just want to try this regimen. I swear by it.

Have you used any other natural means for GERD, leaky gut, or other disgestive issues? I’d love to hear your regimen.

Life After Thyroidectomy & Parathyroidectomy (with photos)

depression, essential oils, Graves Disease, healing, health, hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, parathyroid, surgery, thyroid, tumor, Uncategorized, wellness

ALL UPDATES ARE IN ORDER AT THE BOTTOM

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3 mos. post-op

In January 2018, had a total thyroidectomy and a parathyroidectomy and lived to tell about it.  Below I’ll share with you as many details as I can remember (but my memory still isn’t the best – thanks to hyperparathyroidism!)  I’m hoping to give hope to those having this procedure in the future.  If you’re like me, you’ve been grasping for positive stories online – but you can’t find any, am I right??  That’s because there are very few positive stories online.  There’s a much smaller percentage of people actually going online to tell their positive stories than negative ones.  Remember that. 😉

I’ve had a multi-nodular goiter (a/k/a lumpy thyroid) for many years (over 20), and Grave’s Disease, which were treated in 1995 by radioactive iodine.  More recently, my surgeon discovered the goiter was growing downward, under my sternum.  It was also pushing on my windpipe causing me to cough a lot and making it hard to catch my breath.  Doc said it would continue to grow if we didn’t remove the whole thing, which would be dangerous down the road.

I also had Primary Hyperparathyroidism, which is basically a tumor on one of your parathyroid glands.  It is caused by the parathyroid gland producing too much PTH hormone.  The only cure for primary hyperparathyroidism is to remove the tumor.  So many people think they can naturally support their bodies and not need surgery.  I’m sorry, but that isn’t the way parathyroid tumors work.  They will slowly ruin your health if not removed.

I did not know if the goiter, nodules or parathyroid tumor were cancerous because I never got a chance to have a Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy on them.  Fine by me!  I was terrified of that needle for some reason.  My surgeon, Dr. De Jong, said that since my whole thyroid needed to come out, it wasn’t necessary to biopsy anything.  He would have my thyroid sent to pathology once it was out, and then we’d find out if it was malignant and go from there.

Apparently, the goiter was the size of my doctor’s fist. :-O  At least, that’s what he told me from inspecting my neck.  My incision was to be about 3 – 4″ long.  He said that by looking at my neck from the outside, you could only see the tip of the iceberg.  Nice visual.  I was ready to get it all out and move on with my life.  We booked surgery for a month out.

Ten days prior to surgery, I was asked to stop taking Advil and all herbal supplements. I hate missing 2 days of my fabo supplements (they hugely help my mood), let alone go completely off of them for 10 days!  It was a bit rough because I rely on those supplements for mental clarity, stomach issues, energy and more.  My head wasn’t very clear at work during those 10 days – but then my mind hasn’t been clear at work for a LONG time thanks to the parathyroid tumor.

Two weeks prior to surgery I went in for pre-anesthesia testing.  They took 5-6 vials of blood to make sure I was healthy enough for surgery.  They like to see where your hormone and calcium levels are. Makes sense.  My poor nurse though… She was telling me how she has a horrible anxiety disorder, and so she had visibly shaky hands.  I tried not to look nervous as her shaking hand came towards my vein with a needle!  In my mind I was thinking, “aren’t nurses supposed to have steady hands??”  Everything worked out though – blood was drawn and I lived to see another day.

January 11, 2018, (my thyroid and parathyroid eviction day!) came before I knew it.  I’d gotten a lot of prayer from a lot of people, and so I was as cool as a cucumber on my way to the hospital (I was ready to get this thing out of me).  I wasn’t afraid of the surgery as much as I was the recovery, and the thought of being hypothyroid (weight gain, more depression, hair loss).

They wheeled me into a prep room where I put on a gown, hospital socks, a gigantic hospital maxi-pad (in case my period came during surgery) (sorry, TMI?).  They also wrapped electronic massage sleeves around my calves that constantly squeezed and massaged my calves.  This was to prevent blood clots. Dr. De Jong came to say hello and that he’d be ready for me in a few minutes.

Some people (nurses, medical students?) came by to wheel me away, but not before first putting a weird metallic shower cap hat on my head.  Once I was in the operating room, they exchanged the metallic cap hat for a knit cap.  I am not sure what that was all about…

After moving me to the operating table, they put a mask over my nose and mouth and asked me to breathe in deeply a few times.  That was the last thing I remember before actually waking up in the recovery room after surgery.  Surgery was over before I knew it and I was on to recovery.  The surgery was apparently 3.5 hours long, and Dr. De Jong successfully removed the very large goiter and parathyroid tumor – leaving the 3 other parathyroids and vocal cords intact and in good shape.  Thank God!  If you have a poor surgeon, you may get damage to your vocal cords.  Please do your research and find the best surgeon you possibly can.

I don’t remember much about waking up from anesthesia except that the nurse administering my pain meds wasn’t exactly a warm and fuzzy gal.  (I thought nurses were supposed to be warm and caring?)  I was drenched in sweat – dripping from my forehead down into my eyes.  I felt disgusting.  Oh, and guess what?  Aunt Flo came to visit me DURING surgery (wasn’t that thoughtful of her??!!??).  While I was trying to wake up from the anesthesia, I felt stabbing cramps in my uterus.  Perfect timing… They couldn’t give me Advil, only Tylenol.  So…essential oils to the rescue!  Thankfully I’d brought a roller-ball blend of my female/hormonal support oils to ease my cramps (a mix of Geranium, Clary Sage, Lavender, Marjoram, should you want to make your own). 😉

Once I was more alert, I was wheeled  into a real recovery room where I would spend the night.  I’d heard that you are usually in a room with a bunch of people, but I got a single room, with a TV and sink.  Not too shabby!  My husband arrived shortly thereafter, kissed me and sat down…and then I don’t remember much of what happened over the next hour or so.  I was so foggy and sleepy from the anesthesia.

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but apparently some people can’t handle anesthesia, and they puke after surgery.  Can you guess what type I am?  That’s right – I’m a puker!  It is a good thing they put a vomit bucket on my lap right away.  If it weren’t so easily accessible, I’d have made quite the mess all over their nice sheets.  After vomiting, my mind was clearer.

At this point, I didn’t feel any pain in my incision, but I did have a scratchy/sore throat. The sore throat was due to the breathing tube and camera tube that were put down my throat during surgery.  They brought me Cepacol lozenges to suck on for throat pain. Other than that, the only other issue I felt was a stiff/sore neck and weakness.  The stiff neck is from how your head is positioned during surgery.  I also had to keep the IV in my hand overnight just in case they needed to use it.  And the massage sleeves were still pumping away at my calves – I need one of those for my house!

Below is a photo of me not long after I puked. Still out of it, but forcing myself to smile…because you can’t take a picture without smiling.  Well, you can, but I usually don’t.  It’s not very often that I will share a photo of myself without any makeup on, so you’ll notice this particular photo is extra small compared to the rest. 😉

A few hours later I felt much more alert, so I took another photograph. This time my bandage had been removed and I forced an even bigger smile even though I was wiped.

I was starting to get hungry but could only order from the liquid diet portion of the menu.  Chicken broth and Jell-O sounded the least likely to induce vomiting, so that was dinner.  It was horrible – but can you really expect anything more from a hospital?  You basically get a bowl of broth, with a packet of protein powder to mix in.  It was like eating Ramen noodles….minus the noodles.  All salt.

The nurses gave me Tums to chew on every few hours. This was to provide my body with calcium because my 3 remaining parathyroids still needed to “wake up” and start doing their job in regulating my calcium level.  You don’t want to have low calcium in your blood. It causes hypocalcemia, which is very dangerous.  I won’t get into that now, but it’s a serious issue.

My husband and I watched TV – sort of – I kept nodding off.  When he had to leave for the night, I tried to get some sleep – but everyone knows you don’t sleep much in a hospital.  Nurses came in every few hours to give me the Tums, take my vitals, take my blood, etc.

I don’t remember sleeping much, but somehow the night went by pretty quick.  Though weak, I had to keep trying to get myself up and walk to the restroom out in the hall.  I had to remember to hold my gown tight so I didn’t give the other patients a “show”!  Before I knew it, it was morning and I was hungry!  I ordered an oatmeal and a yogurt and ate about half of each.  A nurse came by and gave me my very first Levothyroxine pill, which I was told I would be taking for the rest of my life.  “Hello Levo, so nice to meet you.  We’re going to be lifelong friends…as long as you do your job and don’t jack me up!”

At one point before my husband arrived, I got up to use the restroom and got a whiff of my armpits.  Holy mother of pearl…it was horrible.  I don’t know if the hospital gown hadn’t been properly washed before I got it, or if a family of skunks had burrowed into my armpits and died.  I just knew that I needed to freshen up quick – my husband was going to arrive soon and I didn’t want to smell like roadkill.  Thankfully my room had a sink with handsoap and paper towels.  I scrubbed my pits as best I could with that pink junk soap, and asked a nurse for a fresh gown.  Muuuuch better.  I smelled like a human, and even put on a little makeup to make myself feel better.

One of the medical students came in that morning and says to me, “so, now we’re going to take out your stitches.”  What the what?!!  I apparently said that out loud – not just in my head – so she made some type of comment about how “I wasn’t scared, was I?”  I’m no baby, but I did have to squeeze a pillow while she plucked each one out.  It pinched a little bit when she tugged on them.  That last one stuuuung!  It was stubborn and didn’t want to come out.  They remove stitches the day after surgery so that the scar is less noticeable – totally fine by me.

My husband arrived that morning and we watched a little TV until I was able to leave. The nurse came by and gave me a prescription for Levothyroxine and post-surgery instructions to rest, drink lots of water, take 4-5 Ultra Strength Tums (1,000 mg) per day for the next week, etc., etc.  We would discuss more at my 1 week follow-up appointment.

I was given the go-ahead to get dressed and was able to leave around 10:00 a.m.!  I couldn’t wait to get home – I missed my kitties…and my cozy new pajamas and comfy couch.  A very nice nurse took me down to the hospital entrance in a wheelchair. Wheeee!!  It was the most fun I’d had in over 24 hours.

It was about 20 degrees and snowing that morning, and there was ice covering our parking lot.  My husband took my arm and lead me into the house.  Then he led me straight to the couch – where I would spend the next couple of weeks watching TV.

I felt pretty good the next morning, and so I was able to take a shower.  But not without packaging and taping up my neck so that the water didn’t soak the steri-strips.  I need the help of my husband because it was a lot of work and I was still weak.  Here’s a lovely photo of me pre-shower:

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It felt so good to wash off all hospital odor from my body – especially being able to wash my armpits without paper towels and hospital soap!  A little water ended up seeping in and touched my incision area, but all-in-all it was a productive first shower.

Below is a photo of my incision 2 days after my surgery. It wasn’t looking so bad for only 2 days!

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We purchased a bunch of applesauce and yogurt so that I could eat soft foods for the first few days.  By the 3rd day or so, I grew tired of yogurt so we ordered pizza!  Probably not the best idea, but my throat felt a little better and I needed something tasty.

Note:  You’ll have a bunch of disgusting yellow mucous stuck in your throat.  You need to get that out.  You don’t want it getting into your lungs.  So, hopefully your surgeon will give you a breathing tube (which looks sort of like illegal drug paraphernalia), that seems to help it come up.

On the 4th day post-surgery, I felt pretty good.  I had some irritating leg cramping, and so the nurse called in a prescription for Rocaltrol, which was an active form of Vitamin D.  It seemed to help the cramping a bit, but it kept coming back throughout the day.  I had to keep rubbing a blend of essential oils to relax my legs.  It helped a ton, but I didn’t want to keep doing that every few hours.  Eventually it subsided and the cramping stopped.  I think part of the cramping was due to inactivity.  Sitting on the couch for 4 days wasn’t good for circulation or my leg muscles.  I got up and walked in place for a bit, which helped.

My sister came to visit me on my 4th day post-op.  We ended up talking too much, as I normally do, and it irritated my throat.  I started to feel something swell inside my throat. It felt like a little ball was inside my throat every time I swallowed.  I freaked out and thought I was having a side effect from the Rocaltrol (“throat swelling”), so I called the nurse.  She assured me that it wasn’t going to be the death of me.  She explained that they have to cut through a pretty thick muscle in order to remove the thyroid.  Ewwww.  Apparently that muscle gets “angry” for being disturbed and takes a little time to heal.  I didn’t need to hear this.

Below is a picture of my 4th day post-op incision. It was healing up pretty nicely:

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As the days progressed, it was easier for me to get around and do a few small chores, without lifting anything over 10 lbs. I tried to do as little as possible. You know what? Cable TV stinks.  They replay episodes over and over and OVER.  I was incredibly bored . I literally spent most of my mornings searching OnDemand for movies, without actually deciding upon one.

I don’t remember what day it was, when I got the surgical pathology results, but when they came in, it showed that everything was BENIGN! Praise God!

Below is a photo of my incision on my 5th day post-op. Just a couple of days before my 1 week post-surgery appointment with the surgeon. He would be removing my steri-strips, and I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like once removed.

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I saw my surgeon a week after surgery for my 1-week follow up. One of the medical students removed my steri-strips and I checked myself out in their mirror – not bad! It felt less tight, but I still felt like my neck was pulling if I moved my head around.

A few of days later, my incision was looking even better. See the photo below. Some of the scabs had come off with the steri-strips when they removed them.

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At this point (10 days post-op), I started to do what my surgeon told me to do. And that was to gently massage Vitamin E oil above and below the incision for 2 minutes at a time, twice a day for two months. He told me that it was better to rub it above and below, versus on top of the incision, and that it would heal beautifully.

The Vitamin E oil I had was incredibly sticky, so I switched to rosehip seed oil and a blend of essential oils: helichrysum, frankincense, lavender and a skin blend that my company makes. The steri-strips had irritated the skin around my incision, and so it was super sensitive and irritated easily. Knowing how potent essential oils are, I decided to back off of them for a bit, to let the sensitivity/redness go down.

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Once the sensitivity healed up, I began using organic calendula oil, which is very soothing to skin, along with a with a drop of Copaiba essential oil. This didn’t irritate my incision, so I kept doing it every day from this point forward.

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It’s now been 4 weeks since my surgery, and the photo below shows my scar looking a lot darker and more pronounced than it did a week ago! I’m not sure if this is because I hadn’t begun using a scar-diminishing oil, such as Neroli, or if I stretched it out somehow? I think when I took the above photo, I may have had the “skin toning” feature on that blurred out skin imperfections. Durrr.

Now that the incision is sealed and healed, I’m going to start massaging Neroli oil into it 3 times a day. I don’t want it getting any darker than it already is. Don’t bother with the Scar Away silicone patches. Maybe they work on some people, but they irritated my skin.

Now that it’s been a month since my surgery, and I’m back at work (returned after 3 weeks), I am feeling pretty good. Some days I feel achy/fatigued, and other days I feel fine. My main complaints are moodiness and depressive episodes, anxiety, fatigue and some body aches (feeling like I have a fever), cold feet and restless legs. The cold feet has been improving a bit over the last week or so. I’ve had depression and anxiety for over 20 years, so I am not sure either of those will ever improve.

I don’t think I’ve lost any extra hair, and I have only gained 3-4 lbs (but I’d lost that exact amount right after surgery, so I guess I’m just getting it back by eating too much junk food!). I believe my surgeon said they would probably be increasing my Levothyroxine at my next appointment in 2 months. I am hoping once they do that, my hormones will regulate and the remaining symptoms will improve. I’m currently taking 100 Levothyroxine, and 2 Calcitrol +D supplements per day. But that may change at my next appointment. I’m staying positive because the surgery was a success, so I know that future healing will be a success as well.

So far, at 4 weeks post-op, some of the symptoms that I used to have due to my hyperparathyroid tumor have begun to improve. Such as:

  1. Frequent urination (I go much less often – almost normal now)
  2. Extreme thirst/dry mouth
  3. Brain fog/confusion (feeling somewhat clearer and able to focus better)
  4. Breathing better (no more goiter pushing against my windpipe!)
  5. A tad more energy
  6. Joints not as achy when sitting still for too long

I’ve read that it can take up to 6 months to really notice improvements after removal of a hyperparathyroid tumor, so I must be patient like grasshopper. It will come in time. I am praying I am one of the success stories of those who do great on synthetic thyroid hormone and can feel completely normal one day.

If you’re about to have this surgery, please make sure you have a fantastic surgeon. Make sure you have help for the first few days post-surgery. And be sure to get a lot of rest, drink lots of water, and give yourself time to heal. Don’t rush back to work if you don’t have to. I pray your surgery goes well and that you have a positive story to share as well!


UPDATE: It’s been close to 3 months, and here’s how my incision is healing. This is with massaging Neroli oil into the healed scar 3x per day:

Lovely bags hang below my eyes these days. A tell-tale Hypo sign of fatigue. And stress might play a part too…

Other changes include: hair loss, hypo fatigue, 5 more lbs of weight gain. and depression and moodiness. Dr. De Jong switched me over to the name-brand, Synthroid, and increased my dosage to 112, so I’m hoping this regulates me. I miss going to the gym!

But, this is life, and I’m glad I had the surgery. I would rather deal with meds, than have my goiter continue to grow down into my chest.


2nd UPDATE: It’s been just over 4 months, and I’ve had some ups and downs. I’ve gained a total of 9 pounds (not bad) after surgery. Brain fog was gone for a bit, but it’s back somewhat. I have no motivation to go to the gym nor do I have motivation to clean my house (but who does!?). I have lost a lot of hair. It doesn’t come out in huge clumps, but every day I lose way more than I used to. I don’t know if this is from the shock of surgery (surgery can cause hair loss out within a few months of the procedure), or if it is from Hypothyroidism – either way, it stinks. My hair was fine and limp to begin with. Now it’s fine, limp and thinning. Lovely. I sleep pretty well, but wake up exhausted and weak – as if I didn’t sleep at all.

So, I kept hearing/reading about how many people do better on T3 medications, like Cytomel, when taken in combination with their T4 medicine, like Synthroid. I asked my doctor for Cytomel, and he gave me a prescription to start on 5mcg per day. Within the first week, I started getting headaches, I felt wired but fatigued at the same time (how is that possible?!?), I was having hot flashes, my brain felt heavy/foggy, my legs seemed a little crampy, I was irritable (on a recent date night, I almost jumped out of our truck and verbally attacked the person that cut us off in the mall parking lot – SO not me!), and I had serious worsening of my depression and anxiety. My doctor told me to stop taking it, and he increased my Synthroid to 125 mcg instead. I’m hoping and praying that I finally start to feel some energy and that my mood lifts, so that I don’t lose my mind and actually attack someone!

While I am not a fan of most Endocrinologists, mine seems to be doing a pretty good job. I’m grateful that he at least listened to me when I asked to try Cytomel, and didn’t shrug off my request. I think I’ll let him be the doctor next time and listen to his suggestion!

Here’s a recent photo of my scar. I covered it a little with makeup this morning:


3rd UPDATE:

It’s been 5.5 months since my surgery. Since the increase to 125 Synthroid, I lost a few pounds, but basically feel the same. Perhaps a tiny big less depressed. I left a message with the nurse today to ask my doctor if he would increase my dosage to 137, even though it’s only been 5 weeks since the last increase. I want energy!! And, I want my hair to stop falling out!


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7 months post-op

7 Months Post-Op Update

It’s been 7 months since surgery, and I’m finally feeling better! I believe I’m now on the right dosage of medication – which is .125 of Synthroid. Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

My scar is looking a little better – unless that’s because I dabbed some makeup on it this morning? Sometimes I hate the way it looks, and other times I just don’t care. I mean, getting that huge thing out of my neck was the best thing I ever did, and most likely saved me from an earlier death, so I can’t complain about a scar, can I!?!

I copied the list of symptoms from my older blog and noted the improvements next to each. Here’s what’s up:

– Extreme fatigue – GONE! Still a little tired – but I’m 40 years old now, so…
– GERD – still have it, but I’m off Omeprazole and managing it with essential oils.
– Depression – somewhat improved.
– Anxiety – somewhat improved.
– Hair loss – finally slowed down! I was losing chunks for a while there.
– Brain fog/confusion – much better! I finally don’t feel like an idiot.
– Memory loss – improved in some areas, but not others.
– Frequent urination – GONE!
– Constant thirst/dry mouth – GONE!
– Dry/scratchy eyes – GONE! I can wear contacts (the “moist” kind) again.
– Stomach issues – improved with essential oils use, but still bloat if I don’t use my oils.
– Hoarse/scratchy throat/voice – GONE!
– Trouble sleeping – only when I eat too much before bed.
– Irritability – GONE! (except for when I’m hangry and tired!)
– Muscle & joint aches – mostly GONE! (still taking Boron for aches)
– Frequent headaches – GONE!

It’s so odd to me to read these symptoms now, because I don’t even remember having some of them! These symptoms were mostly caused by my parathyroid tumor, but some were hypothyroid symptoms from having my thyroid removed.

My doc ordered blood tests the other day and I got my results within 24 hours. My levels are all normal, and he wants me to continue with this dosage until something changes. I’m hoping and praying that my symptoms continue to improve, but for the most part, I’m all good.

So, this is happening:

hairs

I think these are new baby hairs growing back after losing so much from hypothyroidism and the shock surgery had on my body. I’m so happy to see them, although they are almost impossible to tame throughout the day! My hair used to come out in clumps, and now I may find 5-10 hairs on my comb each morning after I use it.

I can only see my symptoms improving from this point forward.

God bless!


If you’ve recently had this surgery, or had it in the past, will you please comment below and let me know how you are doing? I know our bodies are all different, but I’d like to hopefully hear some positive stories about depression going away and weight loss after Synthroid regulates!

God bless and make sure you check your TSH and calcium levels whenever you get a blood test!

To Become, or Not to Become, a Certified Aromatherapist?

aromatherapy, aromatic, certification, essential oils, Uncategorized

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So, I’ve been a rep with a very well known essential oils company now for over 3 years.  While I get loads of education and information from them, I figured it was about time I take that leap and go one step further in my botanical therapy education to become a Certified Aromatherapist.

I’ve always tried to educate my clients/customers as much as possible with information on how to safely use essential oils and help them figure out which to use, but now I can do it with much more confidence and knowledge.  I really thought I knew enough about oils to get by, and what I didn’t know I’d just ask my team or Google it.  I mean, Google has the answer to all things, right?  😉  I joke.  What I am now learning is that becoming a Certified Aromatherapist gives me much more opportunities and abilities than I ever had before.  There are various types of work you could do with this title, besides sales, and I cannot wait to find my niche!

For those of you who love learning about oils, or even do it as a business, I highly recommend getting certified.  You will have the education and certification to back up what you are telling your customers.  You will feel even more empowered to take your health into your hands.  And you will just feel more confident as you explain essential oils and their benefits to others because you will understand the science behind them.  I am starting to think all sales reps of essential oil companies should become certified before teaching anyone how to use them.  I think there’d be a lot less mishaps with oils than there are because customers would be getting the correct information.  But, as long as you have a great upline team, consisting of some medical professionals, who can teach you the correct information, you should be fine.  I’m just doing this more for my own goals/purposes.

As for certification courses, there are multiple levels of certification.  And my school also has extra courses to further your education in various specialties.  My school of choice is, of course, approved by NAHA and is taught mainly by Jade Shutes.  Jade Shutes is the President of NAHA, and has been studying essential oils for over 20 years.  She’s studied in France, among other countries and is extremely knowledgeable.  She is very soothing to listen to and makes it very easy to learn.  Her love of plants and natural alternatives is evident, and she loves to teach.  The audio and video clips make it easy to sit back and listen from the comfort of your own home.  The school’s Facebook page is for students to interact with each other and to ask questions of their instructors.

So, what school is it?:  The New York Institute for Aromatic Studies (they recently changed the name from The School for Aromatic Studies).  Click here to be directed to their website:  The New York Institute for Aromatic Studies.  I am taking the first foundational course (as stated in the photo above), which is a Level 1 Aromatherapist.  This course is online and allows me to go as slow or quick as I want.  It’s perfect for me because I currently can’t memorize/study much as my parathyroid tumors cause memory loss and brain fog, so it is very hard to take an exam when you forgot almost everything you read!  Once my surgery is over, I’m hitting the books and finishing my certification – and I’m going to slay it!! 😉  Also, if you have a full time job, the online courses are great because you can fit it in whenever you have time!  You will have to complete some case studies in order to complete your certification, and so you will need some family and friends who are willing to be your guinea pi test subjects. 😉

If you have any questions, I’m always available to answer questions.

Blessings,
Karen

 

 

 

Savory Roasted Marinara Sauce From Scratch

clean, cleanliving, comfort food, cooking with essential oils, delicious, dinner, diy, do-it-yourself, essential oils, health, homemade, natural living, recipe, spice it up

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I have always been afraid of making marinara sauce from scratch – like from ACTUAL tomatoes.  Scary stuff.  I mean, what if I buy all those tomatoes and screw it up??  I’m Norwegian, not Italian – how could I possibly make a good “gravy”!?

While marinara made with a can of crushed tomatoes is delicious, I felt it was time I face my fear and make it from scratch.  And, of course, I also wanted to incorporate my beloved therapeutic-grade essential oils into the recipe to see how it  enhanced the flavor.

The sauce took me a few hours to make, because I took my time (and took photos as I went along), so you will want to plan ahead to make this on a day where you have some free time.  Those of you with small children are thinking, “free time, what the hay-hay is that??”  If you have small children…I am sorry…maybe you should save this recipe for another 12 years and then give it a try!  Seriously though, I think you can pull this off if you start cooking right when the kiddos go down for a nap.  I believe in you.

I will spare you the annoyance of reading each step between each photo.  I used to do that, and now understand how annoying that is!!

Feel free to browse the photos below, which are in the order of each step of the recipe.  Some people feel better if they can see how it is supposed to look along the way.  So, enjoy the beauty of these colorful fresh ingredients!:

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Garlic cloves before peeling.

Garlic cloves after “quick peel” in a jar.  I’ll explain below.

Blending roasted ingredients with basil & parsley

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I did it!  Delicious!  Roasted marinara sauce with broiled asparagus coated in olive oil, salt, onion powder and garlic powder, and unleavened whole wheat “bread” (see recipe at bottom of page) with a little shredded basil on top.

ROASTED MARINARA SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 25 Roma tomatoes, cored
  • 2 sweet vidalia onions, quartered
  • 2 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled (see note in the recipe for “Easy Peeling”)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt (preferably Pink Himalayan)
  • 1/4 C sugar or “Date Paste” (See Recipe for “Date Paste” in the Pizza Crust recipe at the bottom of this blog)
  • Small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cans tomato paste, for thickening
  • 2 drops Oregano essential oil (therapeutic grade only, with “Supplement Facts” on bottle – comment below for my favorite brand)
  • 4 drops Basil essential oil
  • 2 drops Black Pepper essential oil
  • 4-6 pepperoncinis, for a little heat
  • *Optional:  1/4 cup dry red wine, diced carrots

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Wash and core the tomatoes.  Split them between two 9×13″ baking dishes, or put all of them in a large roasting pan.  The tomatoes can be left whole; they will break down during the roasting process.

“Easy Peeling” of garlic cloves.  Toss a few garlic cloves in an empty, clean, glass jar, screw the lid on, and shake vigorously for a minute.  The peelings should become loose so that you can just peel it off of the clove.  Don’t overload the jar, only a few cloves at a time.  Cut off the hard ends of the garlic cloves.

Arrange the quartered onions and peeled garlic cloves (and diced carrots, if using) around the baking dish with the tomatoes.  Drizzle olive oil over all and then use your hands to toss the tomatoes, garlic and onions to coat everything well with the oil.  Season everything generously with salt.

Roast tomatoes in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or so.  The tomatoes and onions will look wrinkled, roasted, and slightly charred.  For a thicker sauce, cook longer and stir occasionally to keep from burning.

Remove the pan(s) from the oven and set on the counter to cool for 10-15 minutes. You can easily remove the tomato peelings if you want, but I left them on.

Place a large colander inside a large bowl.  Pour the roasted tomato ingredients into the colander.  The bowl underneath the colander will collect all the juice.  You need this juice for later – don’t toss it!

Scoop the roasted tomato ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Add parsley, and most of the basil leaves (save a few to shred and top your final pasta dish as a garnish).  Puree until it reaches your desired consistency.  You may need to do it in separate batches if you have a small food processor.

Put about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or stock pot.  Warm on medium heat, and then toss in the diced shallots.  Cook until they are soft.

Dump the pureed tomatoes, and the reserved juice, into the pot.  Season with additional salt, if needed.  Add the essential oils and any herbs you might want to add to the sauce to flavor it to your liking.  Add the pepperoncinis and cans of tomato paste.  If you are using red wine, add that to the pot as well.  Mix thoroughly.  I had to use a whisk to make sure the thick tomato paste was dispersed throughout the sauce.

Simmer on low, covered, for an hour or longer, so that all the flavors blend well together.  The longer the simmer, the better the flavors will be.  Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t burn.

Serve immediately as pasta sauce, or on homemade pizza (Click here for the pizza crust recipe that I also used as garlic bread with this meal.  For garlic bread, I just rubbed olive oil all over the dough and sprinkled generously with garlic salt and then baked it).  You will also find the “Date Paste” recipe within the pizza recipe.

Or, you can cool all of it completely and freeze it in containers or Ziploc bags for later use as a quick meal!

Mangia tutti!!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oil company I purchase from gives full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and extremely potent.  If you would like more information on how to get them, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

Easy Homemade Guacamole & Chips With Lime & Cilantro Oils

Baking, clean, cleanliving, cooking with essential oils, crunchy, Daniel Fast, diy, do-it-yourself, essential oils, home project, homemade, natural living, nutrition, organic, pure, recipe, Uncategorized

For a healthy,  quick snack, try some homemade guacamole and homemade tortilla chips!  They are fresher and taste a whole lot better than store bought chips!

First, gather your ingredients.  You will need the following:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/8 cup diced red onion
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 drops Lime essential oil (See note in red below)
  • Less than 1/2 drop Cilantro essential oil, (use a toothpick, serioulsy) (See note in red below)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 pressed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 drop Black Pepper essential oil (See note in red below) or 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 4 soft yellow or white corn tortillas (I prefer El Milagro – they don’t use preservatives)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (or a healthier cooking spray oil than PAM!)

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Thoroughly wash and chop your tomatoes, onion and avocado.

Put your avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until your desired consistency.  I like mine a little chunky. Once mashed, toss in your onion and tomato and stir.

Then, you can add the spices and/or essential oils.  Where it says to use 1/2 drop of essential oil, here’s the trick on how to do that.  Since you can’t really measure a half drop, I usually put one drop on a spoon and then lightly shake some off into the sink.   Then I can stir the remainder of the oil that is on the spoon into the guacamole.  It seems to be just enough.  These oils are super potent, and a little goes a very long way!

If you aren’t going to eat the guacamole right away, put the avocado pits into the storage container along with the guacamole and refrigerate.  The pits will keep the avocado from turning brown!

For the homemade tortilla chips:

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Put 4 tortillas (or more) on a cookie sheet (you’ll need a couple of cookie sheets).  Very lightly rub both sides of each tortilla with a very small amount of olive oil (If you use too much oil, the chips will be chewy, not crisp – and ruin the whole experience).  If you have a cooking spray (which I don’t like using due to the propellant in the can), it would work best in this instance.  Lightly spray both sides of each tortilla instead of using olive oil.  Stack the tortillas on top of each other, and with a large knife, cut through all of them so that each tortilla makes 8 chips.  Using 4 tortillas will make 32 chips.

Spread each chip out evenly out over 2 cookie sheets.  Sprinkle salt over all of the tortillas.  And if you’re feeling crazy, put some salt in a bowl, add a drop of lime essential oil to the salt and mix it up.  Then sprinkle the salt all over your chips.  Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until crispy.

Once the chips are cooled, you are ready to eat!

Enjoy!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oil company I purchase from gives full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and extremely potent.  If you would like more information on how to get them, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.