Wellness Wednesday #15 – Parsley

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Did you know there are actually a ton of nutrients in Parsley?

I didn’t.

I see it all the time in recipes and usually go for some dried parsley just to say I added it in. Honestly I don’t think it has that great of a taste. I think it’s time to start getting some fresh parsley for those recipes!

Parsley hails from the Mediterranean area and has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for 2,000 years. It has a very green leafy taste, much like you would think from its appearance. The leaves and the roots can be used as food or medicine.

The rich nutrients in Parsley include vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Plus it is high in volatile compounds that help fight some cancers, inflammation, osteoporosis, arthritis, and heart disease.

Due to the high amounts of vitamins and minerals in Parsley, it is a strong immune booster. A parsley tea will help detox your system too!

Although there are some cautions with taking Parsley in high doses, (you can check here and here for those cautions) there is no need for concern with regular culinary use.

You can add fresh parsley as a garnish to many dishes. It’s great in soups, salads, omelets, juices, and anything that needs a little green! It’s an easy herb to grow and can be added to a small herb garden or even a pot out on your porch.

I’m going to buy a bunch next time I’m at the Farmer’s Market. There’s always a vendor with Parsley!

 How do you add parsley to your diet?

Sources: 1, 2, 3


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Wellness Wednesday #13 – Real Food

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Wellness Wednesday is here again!

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ve noticed that on Wednesdays I cover a spice, herb, or whole food ingredient that will benefit your health.

Why is this important? True health begins with the food you eat.

Rather than wait on getting sick or being diagnosed with a “condition”, practice a lifestyle of wellness by taking care of your body now. This starts with the nutrients you get in your food.

Note: I’m not a doctor. I’m not telling you how to cure or prevent anything, but this is really just common sense! See my full disclaimer here.

It doesn’t take a team of scientists to discover that eating more fruits and vegetables will benefit your body. Simply cut out the processed foods and eat more vegetables. Try it and find out for yourself!

But easier said than done! Real food eating can be overwhelming at times because it means you aren’t relying on prepackaged foods. You have to make your meals from scratch! And chop a lot of vegetables. And spend extra time in the kitchen.

Trust me, I know! I love eating real food and how it makes me feel. My body does best when I have kale with breakfast and salads for lunch. Eating a lot of fresh foods greatly increases my food prep time! Even though I need my fresh veggies, I don’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen. (I have a growing boy to play with!)

I recently shared with you my tips on Saving Time (and Money) in the Kitchen. Now I have expanded that information and created a complete guide on how to achieve real food eating and efficiency in the kitchen!

Planning with Purpose is my new eBook that is just released this week. In fact, I have a giveaway going on right now for you to get a copy for free! If you can’t wait until the end of the week to get your hands on this life changing book, I’m running a special price right now in celebration of the launch.

Find out more –>> Here!

I’m not just trying to sell you something. I really do believe eating real food will benefit your life in so many ways. Yet, I understand the difficultly it can be to make the time to feed your family well. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years about balancing real food eating and spending time with loved ones which is why I’ve compiled all my tips in this one book.

I want you to succeed in serving real food to your family to keep them well. And also I want you to be free to spend time with your family and pursue other important things in your life. You can do it!

 

Before you go there is a link up to view!

 


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My Natural Hair Care Saga

This post contains affiliate links.

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I don’t know about you, but figuring out the best way to care for my hair has been a long process.

If you have been following me for any length of time you probably read the beginning of my natural hair care saga when I started No ‘Poo. That was quite some time ago. I really liked the idea of going chemical free in my hair care.

There is so much junk in commercial shampoos that I didn’t want in contact with my body. Yes, those products work and make your hair soft, shiny, and full of volume, but all that stuff will absorb into your body!

Using No ‘Poo worked ok. My hair tends to be oily, and after researching I assumed it was because I was over producing sebum, the natural oil on our skin and scalp. The commercial shampoos were stripping my hair too much, making my body try to counter it which resulted in greasy hair.

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After quite a while using No ‘Poo my hair started to get too dry. The ends were getting crisp and I still had oily bangs. So in order to avoid going back to commercial shampoos, I just started using the castile soap that I make. That really worked well. It actually cleaned my hair without stripping it and upsetting the natural balance.

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Well, then came pregnancy. As you may very well know, your hormones cause all kinds of havoc on your body during pregnancy. My hair went a little crazy and although it grew amazingly thick, it got really oily really fast. The castile soap wasn’t really working at the moment. I wasn’t really in the mood to try another type of homemade shampoo, but to keep a natural hair care routine I went with some reduced chemical options like this. Unfortunately the budget wasn’t going to allow that for long.

So once baby came and I got myself situated into a new life. (Talk about a BIG change!) I tried making my own liquid shampoo. At first that worked great. I really liked the balance of it. My husband really liked it as well. (He currently wants me to make up a new batch of it!) But after a few weeks of using it, my hair got really oily again. It just wasn’t the right mix for my hair. It would work really well for dry or coarse hair.

I remembered then (I probably knew all along but was ignoring it) that castile soap worked really well. I decided to try making a shampoo bar. It’s basically castile soap, but with some oils and herbs that are really beneficial to hair growth. Perfect for natural hair care!

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And let me tell you it works GREAT! I like how clean my hair is, there doesn’t seem to be an imbalance to my natural oils. So far I haven’t noticed too much dryness and my hair is staying shiny thanks to an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse after each washing.

If you want to know how to make your own Herbal Shampoo Bars, I shared the process this week at Don’t Waste the Crumbs. I also carry them in my soap shop Southern Vines Soap Company if you wanted to try them before investing in the supplies to make your own. I want to make some more scents and try out some variations to the oils to see how they work in my hair.

Although the experimentation on my hair may not be over, I am currently very satisfied with how it is going! Natural hair care is a tricky thing. Especially when trying to find out an option that’s right for you. It’s a little vain to care so much, but a woman needs to take care of herself at least a little!

What’s the latest in your natural hair care saga?

 

P.S. It’s really hard to get a good photo of your own hair!

This post is shared at these blog link ups.


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Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer With Essential Oils

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I’ve never been a big fan of hand sanitizers. I’ve never liked the smell of them, the feel of them, and heaven forbid you get some in your eye. Yes, it has happened, thanks to those fancy spraying bottles.

It didn’t seem to me like I was actually getting my hands any cleaner when I would use hand sanitizer. The high alcohol content always made me feel sticky and then dried out. Some of the ingredients are even questionable as to their safety for human use. (Triclosan, anyone)? In fact, I don’t use anything commercial that’s labeled “antibacterial.” Antibacterial anything is actually better left avoided. More on that here.

Even though I’m not a germ-a-phobe, there are some instances where soap and water are inaccessible, and I need to wash my hands. (Gotta love changing a diaper in the car.) This is where some homemade hand sanitizer gel can come in very handy. It is easy to make and will clean your hands much better than the chemical laden version.

A few simple ingredients at you are ready to go. Aloe vera gel is great for your skin. It will moisturize and cleanse your hands. Mix it with essential oils that naturally ward of germs and vitamin E oil that acts as a preservative. A very simple, non-toxic way to clean your hands on the go!

Hand Sanitizer:

Makes about 2 oz.

4 TBSP aloe vera gel (affiliate link)

1 TBSP water

1/4 tsp Vitamin E oil (affiliate link)

10-12 drops essential oils (A good combination is Lavender, Wild Orange, and Melaleuca OR doTERRA’s On Guard blend.)

Simply whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a squeezable container. Use as needed.

If your squeeze container is larger than 2 ounces, you can increase the amounts of aloe and water.

When was the last time you needed hand sanitizer?

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Fall Giveaway!

I say we kick off Fall with a giveaway!

As many of you know I am a fan of doing things myself. One of those things is making soap and beauty products. I have recently created Southern Vines Soap Company to share my luxurious soaps with you! I make my soap with natural oils and pure essential oils to bring you a chemical-free experience that will leave you feeling clean and moisturized.

I have a new product to feature in my shop and I would like one of my wonderful readers to get it first!

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This gift basket includes the new Avocado Mango Luxury Soap Bar, Two Patchouli Lotion Bars, and One Mild Peppermint Lip Balm. It comes with the basket and is wrapped as a gift for you!

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I really enjoy making soap and benefitting from a natural way to get clean. The soap lathers really well and doesn’t leave you dried out. I even use it in my hair if I’m out of shampoo or traveling.

Lotion bars are also amazing for travel. They are light and compact and won’t make a mess in your bag. Simply hold the bar for a few seconds between your hands to warm the oils and then rub on. It’s that simple! I used to have chapped lips all the time, but now that I use my moisturizing lip balm I am much better off. The natural oils keep my lips soft and moist without needing to frequently re-apply.

If you want more information on the ingredients I use in my soap and body products you can find it in my Etsy shop here.

To try at winning the gift basket, enter in the Rafflecopter giveaway listed below. Winner will be announced on Monday.

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Thank you for participating and spreading the word about Southern Vines Soap Company!

 

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Why I love Frankincense Essential Oil

If there was only one oil that I could choose of all the amazing essential oils, it would be Frankincense. The variety of uses in this one oil is astounding. Immune system, skin care, digestive health, anti-aging, cellular regeneration, hormones, respiratory, reduces stress and anxiety. And that’s just a short list. No wonder the ancients valued it as much as gold!

This oil has been used for many many years in medicinal and religious practices. One of the most famous being the wise men’s gift to baby Jesus. Frankincense is fit for a King. It has been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians, the Romans fought to gain control over the trade (and failed), and the oil is still rare enough to have a hefty price tag.

Frankincense is sourced from Oman, India, Somalia, Yemen and other Northern African Countries. The gum resin from the Boswellia Sacra trees is harvested and then is steam distilled to get the essential oil. There are a limited number of families that tend the trees in Oman.

I love the scent of Frankincense. It has a rich, woody, warm smell that is very calming. Diffusing the essential oil is very effective as it will kill germs in addition to reducing stress and anxiety while it boosts your immune and respiratory systems.  I don’t diffuse it often enough!

One of my favorite aspects of Frankincense is how it aids in cellular regeneration. This property of the oil will help with scarring and aging. When I was pregnant, I used it every day on belly to reduce the chance of stretch marks. Unfortunately I still got the marks, but the scarring from the stretch marks is minimal. It has also done wonders for the skin on my face. I love using it with a dab of almond oil on my skin. I soothes the dryness and heals the acne scars while it works to keep my skin from aging too quickly. Its amazing that something so simple can heal my skin and help my cells regenerate!

I haven’t needed to try it for any illnesses since I haven’t been sick since I’ve started using essential oils. It is also supposed to be great for wounds. It will help with the healing and reduce scarring. Fortunately neither me nor my family members have had any major flesh wounds recently, so I have not used Frankincense for this either.

This amazing oil is great for helping with hormonal balance. Hormones are the little communicators in our bodies and are so important for pretty much everything (not just feminine issues!). I use it daily to keep things on track. Hormones are amazing and a whole other topic that I could go on and on about. But to the point, Frankincense helps tremendously with keeping them in order.

I’ve only touched the surface of the outstanding properties of Frankincense. If there was only one oil for you to choose it should be this one, with Lavender close behind it. It has a strong track record of value and is still important to use today!

Is there one essential oil that you can’t go without?

 

This post is shared with Wellness Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesdays.

 

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Open For Business!

I’d like to announce my new Etsy shop Southern Vines Soap Company is now open for business!

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I make handcrafted soaps using natural ingredients and pure essential oils. Most of my soaps are unscented or are very mild in scent. I’ve used quite a few samples and each soap lathers up amazingly well and leaves my skin nice and moisturized!

Also available are lotion bars and lip balm. I love the lotion bars as an alternative to liquid lotion. The scent stays strong and they are super moisturizing. They are also excellent for traveling.

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Take a peek and visit often! I will be busy making and adding new product frequently!

You can visit the shop by clicking here.