Essential Oils for Runners

Training for a half marathon has had it’s ups and downs so far…

I love the energy it is giving me and drive to be healthy all day, especially when I start the day with a run. I’m running 3 times a week, and have worked up to 6 miles so far. But my hips, knees, and ankles are taking a beating.

I’m stretching more and going to yoga, and incorporating some strength exercises for cross training to help. Using my collection of Young Living essential oils has also provided some relief.

To help both my lungs and respiratory system, and to prime my muscles and joints before I run, I use this blend from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy:

  • 5 drops Young Living Eucalyptus
  • 10 drops Young Living Rosemary
  • 5 drops Young Living Ginger
  • 2 drops Young Living Peppermint

I dilute 3 drops in a quarter size dollop of pure aloe vera gel and rub on my legs and lower back.

After my post-run shower, I use Young Living Cool Azul sports gel on my legs and lower back. It is both invigorating and relaxing when my legs are taxed. (It is packed with 10% pure essential oils per tube!)

And I have to say- stretching helps but I also try not to sit criss-cross-applesauce at my desk chair anymore. It paralyzes my knees after a run! Do you have any advice for managing the beginner runner aches?

cool-azul

Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.

January Reading – Highlight Chris Pavone

My favorite this month was The Travelers, by Chris Pavone. While I don’t think it was as good as the two other novels, The Expats and The Accident, I did enjoy this suspenseful and unpredictable spy novel. The main character, Will Rhodes, is a naive and idealistic travel writer that’s at a crossroads with his wife and life. He finds he has been unknowingly part of a spy ring and his life unravels as he discovers the people around him have conflicting identities, along with the growing danger and implications of his decisions. At times it felt like there were too many characters and a bit confusing, but the novel was fast-paced and had good bones. It ended a bit suddenly for me and perhaps anti-climatically compared to his other books. Was he setting up a 4th book? Or was it just too long and instead of editing to one, the editor decided to squeeze one book into two? I couldn’t remember the Charlie Wolfe link and the bigger story that ties this novel to the other two, so this would be best read back to back with the other two novels. I can’t say more without spoiling the ending, but it left me hanging.

Other notable-

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows – This is excellent storytelling of a family shaped by small-town attitudes and a quest to unearth long kept secrets, set in the summer of 1938. Barrows tells the story from several different perspectives, but I especially enjoyed the view from the eyes of 12-year old Willa. The audio version for this book is especially nice because the accents of the ensemble audio helped to round out the characters.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Lawson – This 2007 Newberry Honor book is a delightful read about the struggle and courage of a young woman homesteader in Montana. Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder will admire Hattie’s pluck; I know I certainly did.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad – It was excellent and entertaining, but also so heartbreaking and felt voyeuristic at times. Awad is beating, wringing out, and hanging on the line to dry those feelings that all women bury, deny and deceive ourselves into thinking are better left unsaid.

Fallen, Torment, Passion, and Rapture by Lauren Kate – Very entertaining, and I know in my heart of hearts that my teen self would have been enchanted by this series. The stories follow a doomed romance and a band of fallen angels, with poetically beautiful settings and characterization. Kate perfectly capturing the egotistic need and dramatics that teen romance encompasses. Along with Unforgiven, that I finished this month, it would be an excellent group of books to download for a beach vacation.

Have you read anything great lately? Tell me about it!

(I have included amazon links to the books I read, but I highly encourage you to track down library copies, as I did.)

Snapshots

IMG_3772.JPG

(Clockwise) Early morning run around Downtown Nashville, Wildfire damage around the Bud Ogle cabin area in the Great Smoky Mountains, Daffodils blooming in Metcalf Bottoms, Hyacinths coming up around our local library and park

Quick Knits

img_3723A quick pom-pom hat and mini-cowl were quickly on and off the needles this week, and made for a quick and bright love day gift (with a favorite chocolate) for the girls. As much as we love bright knits, the forsythias and daffodils are blooming and it is making us so excited that spring is just around the corner!

yarn: mini-cowl quince and co chickadee, hat malabrigo worsted

Wishing warm days for everyone!

 

Simple 5 Ingredient Valentine’s Cake

5 Ingredients, 5 Steps!

  • Angel Food Cake
  • Jello Instant Pudding (Vanilla, White Chocolate, or Cheesecake are all yummy)
  • Milk (we use whole, 2% works great also)
  • Cool Whip
  • Strawberries
  1. Mix the pudding with about a 1/2 cup less milk than the box says. Fold in the cool whip to the pudding mix. Chill in the fridge.
  2. Slice the strawberries.
  3. Slice the cake into half or thirds (depending on if you want a 2 or 3 layer cake).*
  4. Layer cake, pudding, and strawberries.
  5. Decorate the cake with any extra strawberries.

*To make a cake easier to travel with, slice into chunks and layer like a trifle in a clear pyrex bowl or casserole pan.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yummy Smoothies (without a $300+ blender)

Smoothies are a daily habit for me, especially now that I’m trying to squeeze in time to train for a half marathon. It’s an easy meal or snack replacement and extremely freezer-friendly.

I buy the base ingredients in bulk, especially the spinach or kale and bananas because we love to eat them. Then I freeze the bananas when they are too ripe for my taste (without skins) and leftover greens when it becomes obvious we won’t use them before they turn to slime. Frozen fruit is also something I buy frequently, especially in the middle of winter.

Of course you can get fancy and expensive blenders and juicers, but I use this affordable Cuisinart Hand Blender. I have to let the banana thaw for 20 minutes or so, but otherwise it works perfectly. As for flavors, ice cream is just about my favorite thing in the world, so I use ice cream flavors as my smoothie-inspiration.

 

I always start with this:

2 cups of spinach or kale

1 banana

1 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp chia seeds

 

Berry Sorbet:

1 cup frozen blueberries and raspberries or strawberries

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Young Living Vitality Citrus Fresh

Peanut Butter Cookie:

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 cup skim milk or almond milk

Young Living Vitality Ginger

Cafe Mocha:

1 cup chilled black coffee (French roast)

1 pack hot cocoa

Young Living Vitality Bergamot

Strawberry Cream:

1 cup plain greek yogurt

1 cup strawberries

Young Living Vitality Lemon

Superman:

1 small apple, cored & diced

Handful of shredded carrots

½ c pineapple

1 cucumber

½ cup blueberries

Young Living Vitality Lime

Creamcicle:

1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt

1 orange

1/2 c pineapple

Young Living Vitality Orange

Young Living’s Vitality line of dietary essential oils are perfect for adding a flavor boost to your smoothies also. You can find out more about becoming a Young Living distributor here.

Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.

 

 

 

My Norwex Reorder

It’s been over a year since I ordered the majority of my Norwex products and overall, I’m probably about 80% satisfied. I’ve written a few posts about it (here, here & here). I do not sell it and bought everything because I was genuinely interested in the products and liked the company’s philosophy.

Just this past week, I’ve reordered the laundry detergent, Ultra PowerPlus (UPP), and the travel pack of 4 small Envirocloths.

The UPP laundry detergent works great (especially when I dilute it) and lasted me more than a year. Since I ran out I’ve been purchasing All free & clear. The All F&C cleans as well, but doesn’t work as well on stains as UPP did. My husband is too intimidated to use UPP, so I’ll probably always have a little All F&C on hand for when he does laundry.

I’m buying a set of new cloths because I’ve been primarily using one large gray cloth in my kitchen for the past 18 months and I can’t get the mildew smell out of it. I should have deep cleaned it every few months. I plan to deep clean the new ones (by boiling them) as well as rotate them out and launder more.  I basically wipe down the counters, table and appliances twice a day, and with 4 small cloths, I can rotate a new one every other day and wash them weekly. The other cloth was so big it wasn’t getting completely dry, so I think the travel size will be perfect for how I use them.

The rubber brush, dust mitt, dryer balls, bathroom Envirocloths and window cloths I would highly recommend, and in great shape, as are the mop and mop cloths. I also love the Blue Diamond cleaner, Odor Eliminator, and Mattress Spray, and they are likely to last another year. I don’t use very much of it when I clean, so they are all great values as well as wonderful products.

I’m lukewarm on the kitchen towels, wash cloths, and makeup remover cloths. I just didn’t see that they were all that much better than what I was using, and making sure they don’t make it in the general laundry so they could get washed on hot is difficult for our family. We only wash towels on hot, and you aren’t supposed to mix the cloths with regular towels. So I will use what I have, but I’m not likely to replace everything anytime soon, especially with something more high maintenance.

Have you used Norwex? What did you think?