You can make that…just sayin’.

howtogreencleaners

Do you like saving money? Do you like not using chemicals? Cool. Me too. I mean, I also like spending money, and I do use  chemicals…but small changes and baby steps are what we’re aiming for. Here are a few swaps you can make to help make your cleaning routine a little greener.

  • Instead of buying liquid fabric softener, use EPSOM SALT. Trust me. It gets clothes just as soft. I air dry many of my clothes, and they’re nice and soft; not crispy. You can add essential oils to the epsom salt if you like your clothes to smell good…I do. I use lavender, lemon, and tea tree.
  • Instead of buying carpet powder, use BAKING SODA. Baking soda is great a sucking up odors. You can add essential oils to the baking soda as well, for a fresh scent. This may sound strange, but I like to mix nutmeg and cinnamon (the actual spices, not the essential oils) into the baking soda before I sprinkle it on the carpet. Smells like Christmas.
  • Instead of buying Febreeze, make your own. All you need is a spray bottle, water, and…essential oils. For every cup of water, add in 80-120 drops of essential oils (based on how strong you want the smell to be).
  • Instead of buying kitchen cleaner, use VINEGAR. Buy a big container of white vinegar, and add lemon, lime, and orange peels. Let it set. Eventually, it won’t smell at all like vinegar. Add some to a spray bottle (Keep the rest in the original bottle and keep adding those peels! And you can even pour more vinegar in to keep the cycle going). You’ll have the cleaning power of the vinegar and the citrus.

Easy. Quick. Cost effective. And no mention of chemicals you can’t pronounce, that do things you don’t want to hear about.

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I get SAD.

Fall is here. It’s actually feeling a bit more like winter…the current temperature is 36°F, and some cities not far from me woke up to snow this morning.

I have no love for this time of year. I’d love to live somewhere that is 80°F and sunny every damn day. Sweaters and boots are not my jam. I like my leaves green and on trees. You can buy pumpkin year round…please tell me you knew that. I thrive in the sun. Without it, I am left lethargic; un-energized; and depressed. Aaaaand, here comes SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka the Winter Blues). SAD is a kind of depression that occurs as the seasons change, due to changes in our circadian rhythm, and a drop in our bodies’ serotonin and melatonin levels. This is a very real condition that affects millions each year. The symptoms of SAD include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Sound familiar? Factors that increase your susceptibility to suffering from SAD include: being a woman, living far from the equator, and having a family history of SAD &/or clinical depression. There is a lot of science behind this, so I’ll insert some links at the end of this post, if you feel like getting geeky. For the sake of brevity, I’m just going to list some actions you can take to help keep you feeling lively and human until the sun comes back. For me, that’ll be June. No!!!!! God, no. No. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  1. Increase your Vitamin D- You’re most certainly not getting enough…over 1/2 of the world’s population is Vitamin D deficient. Yes, your body makes it’s own D, but ONLY after sun exposure. And I’m talking full sun, noon, no sunblock, no clothes- for 2 hours. You can take 1000 IU (units) per 25 pounds of body weight. You can safely take up to 10,000 IU per day.
  2. Light Therapy– I am currently writing this post in the glow of my light therapy box. Light therapy boxes emit full spectrum light, similar to sunlight, with the UV waves filtered out. Do NOT go to the tanning bed! UV light does not help with SAD. You simply turn on your lamp (preferably in the morning), and let your brain think that it’s getting some sun. This is the lamp I use: Light Therapy Box.
  3. Eat Properly- Eat a balance of protein, carbs, and fat. When it’s cold out, the last thing you want are smoothies and salads, but it’s important to feed your body the nutrients that are essential for hormone regulation (this includes mood regulating hormones).
  4. Exercise- I know, it’s difficult to get the motivation for exercise when it’s cold, rainy, and snowy. But, again, exercise helps increase your mood boosting hormones. If you can’t get outside or to the gym, there are tons of free workouts that you can find on YouTube. Many require no equipment.
  5. Limit stimulants- While not fun, limiting alcohol; caffeine; sugar; and technology are essential for getting your body ready for a good night’s sleep. And while you’re at it, try and stop all liquid consumption 1-2 hours before bed, so you’re not having to get up and go during the night.
  6. Aromatherapy– There are many essential oils that you can try to help boost your mood. Here’s a blend that I like that can be applied topically, or diffused: 2 drops EACH- ginger, peppermint, and anise; and 4 drops of lavender. If you’d like to try this blend topically, mix the 10 drops into 35mL of a carrier oil.
  7. Seek professional help- If your feelings of depression become more than you can handle, ask for help. It takes a strong person to admit that they are not an island!

SAD basics

Why you need Vitamin D

Serotonin Boosters

Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website

Aromatherapy 101

imagesI am frequently asked about Aromatherapy (aka- Essential Oil Therapy). Here are the basics…

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine, that uses the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots, or other parts of a plant, to enhance mental and physical well-being. Essential oils can be inhaled, applied topically, or ingested. They can be used on their own, or combined with something called a carrier oil (a carrier oil dilutes the essential oil, making it easier for your body to absorb it).

I don’t want to make this post too science-y, but you’re going to learn something, damn it, so stay with me! How do essential oils work? The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). The BBB is a semi-permeable (lets some things through) barrier that separates blood and brain fluid. It protects the brain, helping to maintain a consistent environment. The capillaries that bring blood to your brain are highly selective…the Mean Girls of the body, if you will.  Teeny tiny molecules (think: nutrients and oxygen molecules) can pass through this barrier, but larger molecules (blood, most medications, fat) can not.  What is special about essential oils, is that they bypass the BBB, and go straight to your brain through the olfactory system (your sense of smell). Essential oils go no further than the inside of your nose, but they trigger nerve impulses, which have far reaching effects. Whew! I guess I could have said, “You smell it and it goes to your brain.” Anyway…

There is an oil for everything…however, if you’re new to oils, I recommend doing your research (thoroughly), or contacting me. You absolutely CAN NOT ingest all oils, you shouldn’t use certain oils if you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t use certain oils when on specific prescription meds, you might be allergic to some oils, you might build up an immunity to some, children should not be exposed to all oils….the list goes on. Fortunately for you, I’m here to help!

I do not sell oils, but I do sell my, “potions.” These are custom oil blends that are made specifically for you to assist with whatever ails you. Some of my favorite blends are used to help: digestion, headaches, anxiety, sleep issues, acne, attention issues, skin irritations, and hormonal symptoms. Prices vary base on what you need, so contact me for quotes.

I get my oils from several companies. I prefer Eden’s Garden and Plant Therapy (in the states); here in Europe, I like Fresh Skin (a UK based company). I like these companies because they don’t use a middle man, which lowers the cost SIGNIFICANTLY, without compromising the quality. Whenever you buy oils, be sure that they are, “pure, essential oils,” and not, “fragrance oils.” Fragrance oils can be mixed and diluted with synthetic junk.

For ideas, follow my Essential Oils page on Pinterest:

***Leave your questions below! Have a peaceful, relaxing weekend. A weekly menu will be up on Monday…let me know if you have any dietary needs/wants/desires that you’d like me to consider. Thank you so much for your support, words of encouragement, and for reading my ramblings. Love ya; mean it!

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