Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

Category Archives: Essential Oils

Spring Break is Coming…But Oh, the Packing!

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Travel! We like to get away, but the packing. . . For me, packing takes #alltheoils for focus, courage, and stamina!  I admit it; I am high maintenance, and I like to have all my creature comforts when I am going on a trip.  Computer, phone, books, Kindles, notebooks, pens, coloring books and pencils, calendar, travel journal, crocheting, and snacks…lots of snacks. And let’s not forget oils. Wait, I haven’t packed the clothes yet, and the suitcase is full.

Last fall I took two long weekend trips to Chicago—one by car for business, one by train for pleasure. I took a carry-on suitcase, my purse, my backpack, and on the train trip, my crocheting project.  All the bags were heavy.  Everything I couldn’t fit in a suitcase ended up in my purse. Carrying all of it took some creative lifting and maneuvering.  Lifting my suitcase onto the train, while my shoulders and arms were loaded with my other bags, was impossible. My back was not happy with the weight of my backpack. I returned from those trips stiff, sore, and determined to be a lighter packer. However, wanting to pack lighter and following through on it are two different things.

Our spring break is coming up, and this trip is by car. I will be gone almost a month. The good news is the car holds a lot. The bad news is I still have to load and unload at each new venue.  We will be traveling through various weather zones, so I need outfits for all seasons. Maybe hotels should offer extensive wardrobe collections so people don’t have to pack. 🙂   Or maybe I need a personal assistant to carry all my things.  My husband has resigned from the job permanently.

Short of hiring a personal assistant, I am resolved to taking only few favorite outfits since there will be a washer and dryer available. And some of the creature comforts will have to remain behind.

Toiletries take up a lot of space, too, but I have found a great solution. Young Living’s Bon Voyage Travel Pack.  This little gem is really going to help me. It contains travel sizes of all my favorite things in one little zip up, and it has room to add more.  I am so excited about it.  Though I have tried making my own small containers for my personal items for previous trips, the quality of the bottles discouraged me.  Packing full size bottles of toiletries is not realistic when you are trying to save space.

The Young Living Bon Voyage Travel Pack provides TSA-compliant personal care products. Ten Young Living favorites come in an attractive toiletries bag, including

  • Thieves® AromaBright Toothpaste
  • Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier
  • Thieves Dental Floss
  • Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash
  • Young Living Toothbrush
  • Lavender Shampoo
  • Lavender Conditioner
  • Cinnamint Lip Balm
  • Morning Start™ Bath & Shower Gel
  • Genesis™ Hand & Body Lotion
  • ART® Light Moisturizer

Having a great solution for my toiletries is a good start to packing lighter.  For the rest of my packing, I’ve been reading up on tips.  Wish me luck!

Choosing Health with Young Living

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Back in 2014, I had no idea what awaited me.  I was leaving teaching after 30 years and was looking forward to sleeping past 4:30 a.m., relaxing, traveling, enjoying grandchildren, and writing.  I had actually already written a book that needed some further editing, and I was hoping to find a way to get it published.  And then, OILS!

A good friend of mine introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils, linked her arm in mine, and escorted me into a new business!  I was interested but tentative.  My reservations about starting a new business didn’t last long.  First of all, I love the essential oils. I had always been sensitive to smells—cleaning products, hair sprays, candles, and so many things.  Now I had a diffuser which dispersed beautiful aromas into my home without causing sensitivity issues.  And the bonus is aromatic benefits.  Second, the business aspect grew very quickly. My family fell in love with the oils and the health benefits.  Soon friends and extended family were involved, and I haven’t looked back.

Additionally, this business has expanded my horizons, given me an outlet for writing, taught me many new things, and blessed me with many new friends. Though the financial benefits are there, I believe the health benefits are even more rewarding.  I have purged my home of many chemicals by replacing cleaning products, skin products, food products, and daily supplements.  I live a much more conscious healthy lifestyle because I have been educated.

Essential oil use needs to accompany other healthy lifestyle choices.  My goal when I started was to focus on my health, and I have found essential oils helpful as I increase my exercise routine, improve my eating habits, get an adequate amount of sleep, and reduce the stressors in my life.  For me, this business is about partnering with those who are on a journey to better health and looking for a cheerleader to come along side to provide education and support.

This week, Young Living upgraded their popular Premium Starter Kit.  I’m excited about it because they have re-introduced two popular essential oil blends to the kit. It now includes 12 essential oils, a diffuser, samples of their popular antioxidant boosting drink, Thieves Household cleaner, and more.  With one collection, you can begin your own journey to transforming your home and your health and decrease your exposure to harmful products.

I believe people have an increased awareness of the benefits of choosing a healthy lifestyle. Not only do healthy choices increase your longevity, but also your quality of life, your energy, and your outlook. Health products abound in today’s market, but I believe I have chosen the best ones.  If you have never explored Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise or essential oils, I’d love to share with you what I have discovered on my journey.  Whatever your choices, make them for your health.

When You Don’t Like Banana Bread

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I like my bananas green.  Well, almost green.  There is nothing worse than biting into a mushy banana or putting an almost mushy banana on cereal and then pouring milk over it. I prefer to eat bananas on the non-ripe side.  I will use a yellow banana in a smoothie; but once they start to get brown, I’m done.  I try to buy only what I need, but leftover, yellow-brown bananas are always hanging around my kitchen.  And I hate throwing them away.

Yes, I hear you. Make banana bread, you say.  Trouble is, I’m not a fan of banana bread either. I mean you have to use mushy bananas, so there’s that.  And they get so sweet, the taste, even in bread, is overpowering.  What’s a girl to do?  Today, I decided to bake banana bread but find a recipe that toned down the banana flavor.  I had some ideas—maybe sour cream, yogurt, or lime essential oil. After exploring recipes online, I found ideas that supported my thinking, and the baking began.

To give credit where credit is due, here is link to the recipe I started with: https://reluctantentertainer.com/sour-cream-banana-bread/

What did I change? I used Einkorn flour, so I added an extra ¼ cup for a total of 1 ¾ cups of flour.  (I typically add an extra ¼ cup when using Einkorn.)  I followed the rest of the recipe as given, except I stirred in three drops of Lime Essential Vitality before I put the batter in the pan.

I used a 9 x 5 Pampered Chef stoneware pan for the baking.  The recipe said the batter would fill the pan about ¾ full.  Though I followed the recipe, I’d say I had a bit more batter than that. Maybe that’s why it took so long to bake.  I baked the bread at 350 for 50-55 minutes as directed.  I checked it prior to that.  It required more baking time, and the top started to get overdone. I turned the oven down to 325 and then to 300 and baked about 5 more minutes after each temperature change. I also covered the pan during the last 10 minutes so it wouldn’t be black on the top by the time it was baked through.  If I was doing this recipe again, I would bake it at a lower temperature from the beginning.

How did it taste?  I have to say, despite the adjustments in the baking time, the sour cream and Lime Vitality did what I had hoped they would do!  The bread is delicious.  The lime is not overpowering. You might even be able to add 4 drops, but it depends on how strong you like the oil  flavor to come through.  I suspect the sour cream is what cut the banana flavor the most.  If you wanted more lime flavor, you could add another drop of lime to a glaze to spread on top. Just mix a glaze using confectioners sugar and water or milk.  Stir in a drop of lime.  Drizzle over bread.

This recipe was a bit more work than the recipe I usually use; however, the flavor made it worth it.  Hopefully, I have found a recipe that will save those mushy bananas from being wasted.

EASY DIY ESSENTIAL OIL GIFT IDEAS

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It seems I have no sooner put out my fall decorations than my mind turns to Christmas and gift-giving.  When I was growing up, my family was not very crafty.  We were not a family who made gifts for one another.  We were a shopping family, and I have very fond memories of holiday shopping with both my mom and my dad.

Then I met my husband.  His extended family tended to give more hand-made gifts.  Of course, when we first got married, we had a limited income as most young couples do so making gifts seemed like a great idea to my husband.  Even while we were dating, we started a tradition of making hard candy every year.  During our early marriage we continued to make things for extended family members.  One year I crocheted “holiday candles” that fit over a cardboard tube.  Another year, I made yarn wreaths on a coat hanger.  And for a while, my husband made bread to give to family members every year.

I found gift-making somewhat intimidating. Making things was, and still is, a challenge for me. I will only attempt the simplest of projects.  However, over the past few years, as I have begun using essential oils and been exposed to all kinds of DIY recipes, I have found a lot more easy, creative ideas for gift-giving.  I thought I would share a few I have found simple enough to tackle.

I realize that everyone has favorite essential oils, so I will give you a list of suggestions and let you experiment. You may want to make minor adjustments so that each gift you give is as unique as the person receiving it.  For containers, I use decorative Mason jars. Do not use plastic containers if you are using any citrus oils.

SUGAR SCRUB

Directions: You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or a combination of the two.

  • 2 ½ cups of sugar
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. Honey, optional
  • 1 t. baking soda, optional, add more to achieve desired consistency
  • 10 drops of essential oil of your choice. Choose one or more of the following.
    • Fall scents – Thieves, Clove, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Christmas Spirit, Orange, Northern Lights Black Spruce
    • Citrus scents – Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Bergamot, Grapefruit
    • Christmas scents – Peppermint, Orange, Juniper, Cinnamon, Clove, Thieves
    • Relaxing scents – Lavender, Stress Away, Valor
    • Muscle soothing scents – Peppermint, Wintergreen, PanAway, Valor, Frankincense
    • Man scents – Shutran, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Sacred Sandalwood

BODY BUTTER

Directions: You can use any base – cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, kokum butter, or a blend.  You can melt it first or just soften it.  Use a stand mixer to whip butter base to desired consistency.  Add liquid oil slowly. You may not use the whole amount.  Remove from stand and fold in essential oils.  Add to a Mason jar and seal.

  • ½ cup shea butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond (or grapeseed, safflower, jojoba, olive)
  • 20 drops of essential oil

RICE SOCKS

Directions:  Pour 1 cup of rice into a large bowl.  Stir in essential oils.  Add rice to tube sock.  Fill any remainder of sock with more rice. Close sock with a rubber band.  Shake the sock so the oil-infused rice blends with the plain rice.  Add a bow around the rubber band, if desired.  I personally find the bow is just a pain. Make sure you are using a rubber band or a band that does NOT contain any metal pieces because you are going to warm this up in the microwave.  You can always add more essential oils in the future if needed. These socks are, as far as I am concerned, genius!  I use my rice sock every day.  This would be a great craft for a Scout troop or a Sunday School class.

  • One cotton tube sock
  • 1-2 cups of white rice
  • One heavy duty rubber band
  • 5 – 10 drops essential oil
    • Muscle soothing – Peppermint, Wintergreen, or PanAway
    • Calming – Lavender or Stress Away
  • To heat: Put in microwave 30 seconds at a time to desired temperature, not more than 90 seconds total.
  • Do not apply directly to skin; use a cloth barrier.

SOAP

This is the easiest thing in the world!

Directions:  Melt the soap base.  Stir in essential oils.  Pour in mold.  Cool.  Remove from mold.  I have wrapped these in saran wrap and tied with a bow. I have also put them in small organza bags to give away.

  • Soap base – I have used a shea butter base and a goat’s milk base
  • Silicone Mold
  • Essential oils
  • Option – Dried petals – I tried adding dried rose petals to my soap. Though it worked beautifully, I found they did not hold up well. If I added them in the future, I would store the soap in the refrigerator; or, I would use dried petals in one batch and essential oils in another.

Whatever gifts you choose to give—whether store bought or handmade—may you embrace the spirit of the season, enjoy the preparations, and create lasting memories for the whole family.

Essential Oil Personal Care and Diffuser Recipes

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Have you been outside in the sun and heat a lot this summer?  Your skin may need a little fall TLC.  And as the weather cools and the air conditioner is replaced by the furnace, your skin may need some extra moisture to keep it from drying out.

Here are some skin care recipes sure to put you in the mood for hayrides, campfires, apple cider, baked goods, and long walks.  And as the seasons change, you can change the essential oils you add according to your personal taste. Need essential oils? You can get them here.

SUGAR SCRUBS

 Pumpkin Spice Scented Sugar Scrub

  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • ¼  cup white sugar
  • 1 drop Cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 1 drop Clove essential oil
  • 1 drop Ginger essential oil
  • 1 drop Nutmeg essential oil
  • ¼ cup almond or jojoba oil
  • 1 T honey
  • Baking soda (optional)

Cinnamon Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ c coconut oil
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • 3 drops of Cinnamon Bark

Directions: Combine sugars in a mixing bowl. Mix oils and honey together in a separate container. Combine liquid mixture with sugars in mixing bowl and stir until it reaches desired texture, adding more oil or sugar if necessary. Baking soda may be added to soften consistency. Transfer to Mason jar or other container and enjoy.

BODY BUTTERS

 Pumpkin Pie Body Butter

  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 20 drops Cinnamon Bark
  • 14 drops Ginger
  • 10 drops Nutmeg
  • 5 drops Clove

Orange Dream Body Butter

  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 10 drops Orange
  • 10 drops Tangerine
  • 10 drops Citrus Fresh
  • 10 drops Stress Away

Directions: Whip shea butter and coconut oil together with kitchen mixer; then add almond oil, or a carrier oil of your choice, to desired consistency. Add slowly as you may not need toe whole cup.  Fold in essential oils, using a wooden or stainless steel spoon.  Place in a tightly sealed jar.

DIFFUSER RECIPES

And to help get you in the fall mood, here are some fall favorite essential oils to add to your diffuser.  Use them alone, or mix them up.  Create your own favorite blends.

  • Thieves
  • Stress Away
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Orange
  • Clove
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  • Patchouli

And , while you are enjoying the fragrance of these beautiful oils on your skin or in your diffuser, it’s nice to know that they are supporting wellness of your body systems!  May you be blessed with a  healthy and enjoyable fall season.

Back to School With Healthy Products

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It’s that time again!  Back to school.  We survived the days of 90+ temperatures and overwhelming humidity in July.  And though we still have a full month of summer left, we can’t help think about fall and the upcoming school year—even if we are no longer personally involved getting kids ready.

Walking into any store will remind you that education is making its annual comeback.  Christmas in July sales have given way to Back to School sales.  Mom is sorting clothes to see that Johnny has once again outgrown all his long pants and wondering if he can go to school in shorts until Christmas. Johnny also needs new tennis shoes.  And Susie wants a whole new wardrobe because she can’t possibly wear last season’s outfits.

But mom is not done shopping.  There is the excitement of backpacks, folders, pens and pencils, a new lunch box, and maybe some rain boots.

Thankfully, Young Living has some things to make the transition from summer to school year easier and healthier.

Here are five tips for a successful start to the new school year.

  1. Mom, you are first on the list. Stress Away is a sweet-smelling essential oil blend that will calm you during those shopping sprees with Johnny and Susie.  A word of advice from a mom who has been there—if possible, take one child at a time shopping.  It saves arguments and sanity.
  2. Breakfast and Snacks – Stock up on healthy choices for a quick breakfast or  between meal snack.
    • Einkorn Granola – Eat it dry, add milk to make a cereal, or mix in with yogurt and fruit.
    • Wolfberry bars – A great grab and go snack.
    • Ningxia popsicles – Have some of these stashed in the freezer for cooling off when summer temperatures continue into early fall.
    • Einkorn Flour – This Heirloom Wheat flour contains only 1% gluten and bakes up great using your favorite cookie and quick bread recipes. Check back next week for my blog about baking with Einkorn.
  3. Focus – Keep essential oils on hand that support cognitive function. Start your day alert and finish with concentration on homework. Try Lemon, Peppermint, or Clarity.
  4. Thieves – Support the immune system with a Thieves roller or add a few drops to your diffuser while enjoying some family TV time.
  5. Sleep – Keep essential oils on hand that promote good sleep. When it is time to unwind, and the sun is still in the sky, diffuse some calming oils. Try Lavender,  Peace & Calming, or Sleepyize to get everyone settled in for the evening.

Now that you have your shopping well in hand, it’s time to get out and enjoy the remainder of the summer.  School will wait a few more weeks.

 

HOW DO YOU USE LAVENDER VITALITY?

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Many people like lavender flavor in sweet or savory dishes, and you can peruse the internet and find many recipes. If you don’t have a lavender garden in your back yard, you can use food-grade lavender oil in your recipes. However, there are a few things you should know before doing substitutions.

  1. Choose safe products from reliable resources. One choice is Lavender Vitality.
  2. Lavender oil, or any oil for that matter, is going to add a much stronger flavor to food than flowers or herbs, so adjust your recipe. It might take experimentation. One drop goes a long way. I learned this the hard way. Start low and slow.
  3. If one drop is too much, try the toothpick method. Dip a toothpick in the oil, and then stir the batter with the toothpick.  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but you will be surprised at the flavor.
  4. Essential oils should be added near the end of the recipe by folding them in. When mixing a cake or cookie recipe, the oils may lose a bit of their therapeutic value during the heating process, but you will still get the flavor.
  5. In a stove top recipe, remove the pan from the stove and let the hot ingredients cool a bit before stirring in oils.
  6. If liquid ingredients are part of the recipe, you may want to combine the oil with another liquid before adding to ensure more even distribution.
  7. If using more than one essential oil flavor, definitely start with the toothpick method.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.  Add Lavender Vitality (or another favorite Vitality Oil) to:

  • A simple syrup recipe to blend with ice tea
  • A milkshake or smoothie
  • Homemade Ningxia popsicles or Ningxia shots
  • Whip cream topping your dessert or smoothie
  • Yogurt
  • Cookie or cake recipes, especially mixed with lemon
  • Vinegar and oil-based salad dressings
  • Hot cocoa
  • Candy recipes
  • Marinades
  • Syrup for waffles and pancakes
  • Potato and pasta salads

RECIPES

Honey Lavender Lemonade

  • 6 lemons, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 drops Lavender Vitality oil
  • 10 cups ice water
  • Lavender sprigs, optional

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and Lavender Vitality in a large glass pitcher. Add water to taste. Stir until well mixed. Chill. Garnish with sprigs of lavender.

Lavender Rosemary Salad Dressing

  • 2/3 cup Safflower Oil
  • 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ t sugar (optional)
  • 1 drop (or to taste) Lavender Vitality
  • 1 drop (or to taste) Rosemary Vitality

Combine ingredients in a mason jar.  Shake before use.  Store at room temperature.

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