Geranium Essential Oil Benefits

Geranium Essential Oil has a sweet, floral fragrance that relaxes the body and mind. It has been used dating back to the times of the Egyptians for supporting beautiful, healthy and glowing skin and hair.

Geranium oil was also used traditionally to support the circulatory and nervous systems because of its ability to revitalize body tissues. Because of these properties, it’s great for restoring and maintaining soft, tender skin.

Popular Uses of Geranium Essential Oil (from http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com)

  • Use in an aromatherapy steam facial to beautify skin.
  • Add a drop to your moisturizer to help balance oil production.
  • The balancing properties of Geranium make it great for both dry and oily hair. Apply a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner bottle, or make your own deep hair conditioner.
  • Diffuse aromatically to help relieve occasional stress and tension.
  • Place one drop in the palm of your hands, rub hands together, and cup over nose and mouth to breathe slowly, or diffuse as desired to release emotions.
  • Diffuse geranium oil throughout the room, apply over the heart or solar plexus, or breathe from the palm of your hand for connection.

Morning Pages…Get To Know Yourself Better

Writing is a powerful channel for some clients to get to know themselves better. Using the Early Morning Pages exercise helps to clear the mind and retrain its focus. I highly recommend committing to this process for at least two weeks to see if its something you may find helpful long term.

Directions:

There’s a time every morning when we are half awake, half asleep and not quite fully conscious. At those moments, we have access to our unconscious mind and our inner workings. But like dew on the morning grass, it will soon be gone without a trace. Listening to these tender morning wisps allows us to reach into our inner world, the deeper part of ourselves that helps guide us on our path of transformation.

Early morning pages are a stream of consciousness written in a journal first thing in the morning. Keep your journal by your bed and reach for it while you are still half asleep.

Begin by writing down any memories you may have of your dreams. At first there may be nothing, or simply minor recollections, but as you do this over and over you will build the muscle. You’ll send a powerful message to your brain: I am prepared to accept my unconscious thoughts and feelings, and I accept that more and more will be revealed. You will develop a deep, direct relationship with your inner self.

Next, write 10 things you are grateful for from yesterday. Usually our minds focus on everything that’s not going well, skipping over the fact that we live in a peaceful, democratic country. Your mind easily forgets that you have great friends, a place to live, plenty of food to eat, access to education, a job and freedom. Take time for thanksgiving and appreciating what went well yesterday.

Next comes the stream of consciousness writing. Write for at least a page, maybe two. Write whatever crosses your mind. Nothing is too petty, too bad or too silly to write down. Nobody will be reading this, so write it all. No censoring. You will be amazed at what comes out of your sweet, innocent mind. Write quickly or write slowly. Find a pace that works for you.

All the angry, ugly stuff that you write in the morning would otherwise stand in the way of you being your best you. By doing early morning pages, you get all those repressed thoughts out of your system so you can live your life and realize that you are not your mind and you are not your thoughts. You are a spiritual being in a material world, moving forward toward the life you deserve, which is the life you truly came here to live.

Watch your breath. Watch your mind. It’s like a meditation. Be still and just let it all pass from your mind onto the paper.

Inspired by The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.

Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole from PaleoLeap.com

This is a keeper! Not only is it warm, comforting and delicious, but it’s also kid friendly! This is a perfect addition to my winter menu. A great balance of good nutrition, sweetness and easy prep.

Ingredients

  • 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks;
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped;
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk;
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder;
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract;
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, butter or clarified butter;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and then start by filling a large sauce pot with water and place all the chopped sweet potatoes in it. Place the saucepan over a high-heat on the stove-top and bring the water to a boil. Continue cooking the potatoes for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, basically until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and strain the excess water.
  2. Return the sweet potatoes to the pot they were cooked in and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil, butter or clarified butter on top of them. Using a masher or hand-mixer, mash the potatoes until smooth. I tend to prefer the texture to be slightly clumpy, but to each their own! As you continue to mash, slowly pour the coconut milk in, followed by the vanilla extract. Once it has been mixed well, give it a taste to see if it requires any salt and pepper. I found it to be just perfect how it was, but a little salt cuts on some of the sweetness. Transfer the mashed mix into a baking dish, or better yet, a casserole dish and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the walnuts in the remaining oil or butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and cocoa powder  and then give it another good mixing. Evenly cover the mashed potato mixture with the topping, put in the preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes and, once finished, indulge!

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 Common Walking Mistakes to Prevent Back, Hip & Foot Pain

By Rachel Song

Walking is a great low-impact exercise for boosting cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles in the legs and glutes, and even preventing back pain common in those of us with 9 to 5 desk jobs.  The problem is that many people don’t learn how to walk properly as it seems like a fairly intuitive activity.  However, walking improperly not only prevents you from reaping the full benefits of the exercise but can also lead to injuries such as shin splints and foot pain.

Here are 6 common mistakes to avoid to improve your stride for a healthier walk:

  1. Over-striding

A natural tendency is to step out farther with the front foot when increasing walking speed.  This tendency throws off your natural gait, leading to a straighter knee, a harder heel strike, and a higher vertical leap which places even more pressure on the feet.

To avoid foot, shin, and hip pain, walk with shorter steps, pushing off harder with the rear foot to increase speed rather than compensating with a farther forward step.

  1. Limp arms

Letting your arms hang loosely by your sides while walking may be comfortable but they will act like weights pulling you back, putting pressure on your upper back and shoulders.

To walk more efficiently, keep your arms at a 90° angle and swing them forwards and backwards, keeping your elbows close to your sides and your hands below chest level at the forward swing.  Make sure your hands don’t cross the center of your chest as well—they should swing front and back, not to the side.  This natural swing will help elongate your upper back and shoulders to prevent tension as you walk.

  1. Looking down

It’s a natural inclination to look down at your feet while walking but unless you are on uneven or rocky terrain, it is more beneficial to keep your chin parallel to the ground and your head up.  This will lengthen your body, enhancing breath and lessening tension in your upper body.

  1. Not engaging your core

Walking without engaging your core leads to bad posture such as leaning back behind your hips or too far forward, which can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

Keep your abdominals lightly engaged and your body tilted no more than 5° forward to keep your core activated.

  1. Overtraining

Walking mostly only builds the muscles at the back of your legs: calves, hamstrings, and glutes.  Therefore, continuous and repetitive walking can lead to an imbalance of muscle groups hazardous to the overall alignment of your body.

To combat this imbalance, throw in a few exercises for your quads and outer hips like squats, cycling, and outer leg swings.  It is important to keep your body aligned to prevent straining any one muscle group such as the hips.

  1. Wearing the wrong shoes

Hopefully this isn’t the first time you’re hearing that you need proper footwear to exercise properly.  Stiff or unsupportive shoes can cause a number of common foot condition such as Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, and Bunions by restricting natural foot movement.

In contrast, properly designed & cushioned footwear from healthy footwear brands like Aetrex can prevent and even provide relief from these conditions.  The proper footwear should allow your foot full mobility while providing protection from natural wear and tear.

That’s why every Aetrex shoe features the “Healthy 3,” comprised of Lynco® orthotic support, memory foam cushioning, and Aegis® anti-microbial technology.

These attributes are perfect for walking: the orthotic is designed with arch support to minimize over-pronation, essentially stabilizing your stride and supporting the natural curves in your feet. The memory foam absorbs shock as your foot lands on hard surfaces, providing the proper cushioning needed to sustain long excursions.  Finally the Aegis® layer helps prevent odor and bacteria for a healthier foot environment.

This all may seem like a lot to remember but with some practice they should become a natural part of your routine and will lead to a healthier, well-balanced body! Good luck!

Got Cramps?

Do you experience muscle or menstrual cramps? Unfortunately, for many, they believe this is a normal part of life that we all just have to deal with. The good news is that muscle cramping is typically a sign of an imbalance in the body that can be remedied with proper supplementation and/or diet.

Calcium and magnesium are both associated with muscle function and the tendency of the muscles to cramp. Muscles contract when the calcium outside the muscle cells travels into the cells, which in turn causes the shortening or contraction of that muscle. With the stimulation of magnesium, the calcium is then released and the muscle relaxes. It has been shown that if the calcium in the extracellular fluid is low, the muscle will spasm/cramp as a result. When either calcium or magnesium supply is low, or when the two minerals are not in the correct proportion, cramps can occur.

To avoid cramping, it’s important to ensure that your diet contains an adequate amount of both calcium and magnesium and that they are present in the proper proportions. Diets high in whole fat dairy products, homemade bone broths and leafy green vegetables will provide proper amounts of the necessary nutrients. If your diet is less than perfect, you can always supplement as well. There are many oral supplements available, and you can learn more information about which supplements may be right for you by visiting your local health food store, supplement shop or even online.  For leg cramps, I also like magnesium lotion, applied directly to the legs. I find this particularly effective in relieving leg cramping, even in children experiencing “growing pains.”