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Caroline Jackman, be complete, essential oils, essential health, christmas time, sleep problems, over indulgence, stress at christmas, sickness at christmas, alison canavan,

Christmas is a wonderful time that most people looking forward to but it can also be a very stressful time of year for many. If you’re feeling stressed out doing last minute shopping or struggling with indigestion after your Christmas dinner, essential oils can provide a welcome relief. Diffusing essential oils like clove, cinnamon, douglas fir and nutmeg are a great way to set the festive mood and make your home smell wonderful when family & friends visit.

Stress

Whether it’s the complicated social interactions at this time of year or the stress of the mounting costs of all those presents, there’s no denying Christmas brings its own share of headaches and stresses. Inhaling wild orange or lavender before guests arrive can help you feel calm minded and less anxious. Citrus oils are uplifting and provide a great mood boost. Mixing lavender or roman chamomile with Epsom salts in a bath is a great way to rest weary muscles after a hectic day of running around the shops.

Sickness

It’s the time of year for colds & coughs so to avoid spending Christmas day sneezing into your turkey, give your system a boost by using oils like clove and lemon to help ward off threats and improve immunity. If you’re unlucky enough to catch a cold or flu then oils like Eucalyptus and Peppermint will help to open up airways and help to clear a stuffy nose.

Sleep

For the kids watching out for Santa and refusing to sleep on Christmas eve, diffusing calming oils can be a really effective way to ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. Roman chamomile, lavender, marjoram and Ylang Ylang are some good choices for calming busy minds.

Over Indulging

Christmas dinner & pudding followed by turkey sandwiches and chocolates – suffice to say most people spend Christmas night suffering with indigestion. Essential oils like peppermint and ginger will help with bloating and digestive discomfort. Most social interactions at this time of year also include alcohol so applying peppermint to your temples will help with the following day’s headache. Taking lemon and grapefruit essential oils internally can help with hangovers by assisting your liver to detox and inhaling them will provide a nice lift when you’re feeling unwell.

 

‘Santa’s Sleepy Blend’

1 drop Bergamot

1 drop frankincense

1 drop roman chamomile

2 tbsp fractionated coconut oil

Combine essential oils with coconut oil & massage onto soles of feet

 

Essential oils can be used aromatically to affect mood and open airways; topically for quick absorption into the body through the skin, and internally for immune & digestive support. It is important to select therapeutic grade oils free from synthetics.

Essential oils are a great way to improve your health easily and quickly. Drop me a line if you’d like to learn more about using essential oils or where to purchase 100% pure oils.…

 

caroline@honestabouthealth.com


Thanks to fix.com for Contributing this article. It helps simplify just what exactly essential oils can be used for and how beneficial they can be. Do you use essential oils and would you like to know more?

If so contact caroline@honestabouthealth.com who is our weekly resident #EssentialHealth writer.

Whats your favourite essential oil? Comment below…

AC_days_tastythursday carrot apple juice

This is hands down one of my favourite juices. As we move into the colder months I start to include a lot of ginger and tumeric in my diet. It’s a great alternative to your OJ in the morning. This juice will energise you, help with digestion and is a strong anti-inflammatory juice.

This is also a great juice for kids but what I do is juice 3 carrots and the apple and give some to James and then add the ginger and tumeric for myself followed by 2 more carrots!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5-6 CARROTS (Add an extra 1-2 carrots per child)
  • 1 RED APPLE ( More than 2 kids add another one. One Apple= 2 servings)
  • 1 INCH GINGER
  • 2 INCHES OF TUMERIC

DIRECTIONS:

  • JUICE CARROTS AND APPLES PUTTING THE GINGER AND TUMERIC IN BETWEEN THE BIGGER FRUITS (I find they juice better this way)

*For kids I just juice carrots and apples first. I usually get away with adding tumeric but not ginger!! (Just yet!)

FROM TRAVEL SICKNESS TO ANXIETY TO SWOLLEN ANKLES I’VE GOT YOU COVERED!!

Travel Sickness

Nelsons_Travella-72tabs-€5.99-

If you are going to travel, don’t’ forget to include some basic essentials: long journeys are generally not enjoyable; however, for those that experience the symptoms of travel sickness they can be even more unpleasant. To help relieve these symptoms, remember to pack Nelsons Travella. (€5.99) It contains a unique combination of seven homeopathic remedies, each specifically chosen to help bring soothing relief for the unpleasant symptoms associated with travel sickness.

 

Planning a boat trip?

Sea-Band_Adult-€9.95

Sea-Band (€9.95) is the natural way to relieve motion sickness (GREAT FOR MORNING SICKNESS DURING PREGNANCY TOO). Sea-band operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist.
They are also suitable for children and help with motion sickness in the car, boat and are great for kids Find out more here Sea-Band

 

Holiday Anxiety and Fear of Flying

Rescue-Remedy_Spray2-20ml-€12.50

Feeling anxious or overwhelmed are common symptoms of holiday travellers, especially for those who fear flying. The thought of sitting trapped in a plane for even a couple of hours can be a terrifying prospect.

Rescue Remedy (€12.50) taken on the day of the flight can be very helpful in dealing with feelings of anxiety and panic. A few sprays or drops can be taken as often as required during the flight until the person feels calmer and in control. It is also safe to take alongside other medications.

 

Swollen ankles and tired legs

AVogel_Venagel-100gr-€16.75 (1)

If your dream holiday is either to explore a city or simply relax don’t forget to nurture your legs. Swollen ankles can be an unwelcomed side effect of flying, especially on long flights. After a long day sightseeing you may also experience tired and aching legs.

Apply A.Vogel Venagel (€16.75) made from Horse Chestnut as it will cool your legs and help to reduce the swelling and sense of fatigue. Drink plenty of water and try to put your feet up at least once a day.

 

Sun care from head to toe

Parasol-Suncare-factor20-100ml€21.50-200ml€38.99

Irish skin is not generally accustomed to sunshine, so protecting your sensitive skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays is very important. I have just returned from Spain and I used Parasol (€38.99) for the first time.

I found it great and it is also an Irish brand. It has an innovative broad spectrum with a photostable filtering system. One application per day protects you from harmful UVA and UVB rays, while still letting the sun rays through to give you a lasting tan. Parasol is non-staining, waterproof resistant and includes a wide range of sun factor screens, making it ideal for the entire family.

Optima-Aloe-Pura_Aloe-Vera-Gel-100ml-€4.45After a long day outdoors, you can apply Optima Aloe Pura Vera Gel,(€4.45) a cooling and soothing 100% organic gel which helps to moisture and restore dry and damaged skin.

Smile your way through summer with Optima Aloe Dent Lip Balm,(€3.83) a natural lip balm with UVA and UVB protection. The Tea Tree oil and lysine based formula provides rich and soothing protection for dry & cracked lips from sun exposure. It also helps to prevent the dreaded cold sores I get. Taking Lysine tablets every day when you are away will also help!

Naturtint_3-in-1-Restructuring-Spray-30ml-€9.99 (2)

Your hair may also need some special attention. Naturtint 3-in-1 Restructuring spray (€9.99) is essential for anyone who colours their hair as the three active ingredients are designed to rebuild & repair, strengthen & protect and maintain hair colour. Spray onto dry ends throughout the day, to keep your hair hydrated and glossy (free from parabens, silicone and SLS).

 

First aid kit

Higher-Nature_Citricidal-45ml-€13.52

Whether going camping or travelling to less developed destinations,Higher Nature Citricidal (€13.52) with grapefruit seed extract is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic for external and internal use.

It has the ability to support the digestive system and taken every day while on holiday, it may help prevent any unwanted bacteria from taking hold, avoiding traveller’s tummy problems. A few drops can cleanse utensils and wash fruit & vegetable safely. It is also a powerful ally for all pregnant women, allowing to prepare a healthy and fresh meal, such as salad during summer time.

Probiotic Complex terranovaBecoming ill with a tummy bug or infection can really ruin a holiday so be prepared and don’t forget to pack a good probiotic. I absolutely love Terranova’s products for so many reasons. The owner of the company Stephen Terrass is such an inspiration. There are no binders or fillers used in any his products. I took these on my holidays and for a week after I returned home!!

Above all have fun. As well as letting the sunshine in, let your inner sunshine glow. Be happy, be healthy and be you xxx

20140713_132307

My mum recently sold the house and one day when we were clearing out 36 years of hoarding she handed me a newspaper article from 2012. “I want to go there one day,” she said and just like that she left the room. I looked up the website details and it looked like heaven. It’s a place called Dzogchen Beara in West Cork offering some peace and tranquility away from this sometimes chaotic and crazy world. As I looked at the website I got incredibly excited to see that Sogyal Rinpoche was in Ireland for 10 days and they were offering a weekend retreat in three days time. I called mum and she has absolutely no idea why I was so excited or indeed what the hell I was rambling on about. The book I kept saying to her, the book I read fifteen years ago, he’s here. It was at that point I think she wanted me to go for the weekend in case I was having a mental breakdown.

When I calmed down as I do like a bit of drama, I explained to mum that Sogyal Rinpoche wrote the book, The Tibetan book of living and dying. Its now 20 years old and will still be relevant in another twenty years because the content is timeless. Every one regardless of background and religion should read it. It has many lessons in it relevant to all of us during our lifetime and for me its an incredibly thought provoking book that made me look at meditation in a new light and develop my own compassion for others and to try and look at death differently. The book teaches us that everything in life is transient and if we don’t come to terms with that we will always struggle and hold onto things or indeed people when we should let them go.

This book has taken me on a spiritual journey through some incredibly difficult times and no matter how many times I read it I learn something new.

I headed off to Cork on my own which was exciting as it was the first time I have been away completely on my own since I had James and all I could think about was sleeping without getting kicked in the face by a toddler. I arrived tense and quite stressed as recently a couple of my business ventures were showing signs of failing and I was upset because I had put my heart and soul into them. I was becoming impatient and angry and needed space to think. On Saturday afternoon as the day was progressing I began to feel quite emotional. Listening to the teachings from Rinpoche was stirring a lot of uncomfortable feelings inside me. I thought of my dad, my sometimes pained and fractured family and when I returned to my B&B I sobbed so hard I honestly thought my insides were going to come out. I returned the next day slightly speechless as I began to feel a change within myself. Again I felt emotional but I gave in and allowed myself to actually feel and work through my feelings. We meditated for quite a while and as the day went on I really felt a sense of peace within myself. I also realized how much of my own “stuff” I hadn’t dealt with. Sometimes in life we move on so quickly after traumatic and sad events. We live in the future almost constantly from the minute we get up till the minute we go to bed. When we go to bed we worry about the next day and all day the next day we worry about next week or even next month.

This was the first retreat that I had been on where I was introduced to meditation with my eyes open. This made me quite uncomfortable in the beginning but made so much sense towards the end. Tibetan Buddhist Meditation is about being present in the moment and having your eyes open ensures you are present. You don’t look at any one thing, you look or gaze but without focus. You see things but you are not really involved. I learnt a few key simple steps, which are that during meditation you need to sit still, speech silent, have the natural flow of the breath and the mind at ease. You should also keep your mouth slightly open as if you are about to say Ahhh. The main thing during meditation is to not block your thoughts. Acknowledge them but don’t follow them. Think of it like watching traffic and then all of a sudden you see a Ferrari and are tempted to follow it, don’t, let it go by!

The biggest addiction we have in modern society is negative thinking and meditation can help with this. It has been scientifically proven that meditation can alter the structure and function of the brain, which is called neuroplasticity. It activates a part of the brain associated with positive emotions. Even when you are not practicing these areas are sill lit up proving that mental training does affect the mind.

The mind really is the root of everything. It’s the creator of both happiness and suffering. Buddha says that all our fear and anxiety comes from a mind that’s untamed leaving me with one thought. Why not try meditation? Its free and just 10 minutes a day can transform your life. Driving back from Dozgchen Beara I felt different like my energy center had changed. I felt emotional but calm as I reflected on a three-day retreat that has probably changed my life forever and for that I will always be grateful. #meditatewithali
Over three million copies of the Tibetan book of living and dying have been printed in thirty-four languages, and the book is available in eighty countries.  It has been adopted by colleges, groups and institutions, both medical and religious, and is used extensively by nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals. For more information on retreats www.dzogchenbeara.org

AS PRINTED IN THE DAILY MAIL 30TH JULY 2014

 

 

Kelkin_GF-Rice-MilletPorridge

Theres nothing better than starting your day the right way. Porridge is quick and easy and a simple way of adding extra nutrition is to add your favourite fruit and some sprinkles (James word not mine) and we change our sprinkles every day. Today we chose Linwoods flaxseed with bio cultures and vitamin D.

The vitamin D helps to absorb calcium and grow and maintain strong teeth and bones. Omega 3 is an “essential” fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own. The sprinkles also provide calcium, iron and zinc and can be added to any food at any time of the day including yogurts, baking, scrambled eggs and much more.

Flaxseed is considered by some to be one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence from studies that it may even help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. This teeny tiny seed has been around for ceturies in fact it can be traced back to Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it!!! Imagine a law requiring you to do something healthy (now thats a thought) Now, thirteen centuries later, some experts say we have preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected so give it a go. It certainly can’t hurt

Would love to hear what you think so please comment below,

Thanks Ali xxxx

photo 1

STEP ONE: IT TAKES 3-5 MINUTES TO MAKE THIS GLUTEN FREE PORRIDGE IN A SAUCEPAN

photo 2 STEP TWO: ADD SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FRUIT (JAMES IS  STRAWBERRY CRAZY)

photo 3 STEP THREE: ADD SPRINKLES OF YOUR CHOICE ( SEE PIC BELOW)

photo 5 STEP FOUR: READY TO GO (ADD MILK SOY/REGULAR/RICE OR  WHATEVER YOUR PERSONAL CHOICE

JAMES CERTAINLY GIVES IT THE THUMBS UP AND I ALSO MIGHT HAVE  TOLD HIM IT WILL MAKE HIM RUN FASTER AT RUGBY TOTS!!

photo 2

brekkie face
TODAY WE WENT ONE STEP FURTHER AND MADE A FACE WITH INCREDIBLE  HEALTHY HAIR AND USING FROZEN BLUEBERRIES WORKS A TREAT!

linwoods brekkie

James chia bia

I’m always looking for easier ways to slip healthy habits into my life. As parenting is a constant cycle of guilt as well I’m always worried if James is getting enough nutrients and a well balanced diet. I’m self-employed and always running from one place to the next. (Violins please) I try to eat as healthy as I can but I skip meals and then eat junk in the evening because I’m so tired and want an instant fix.

 

There are a few changes that I have introduced which have had an enormous effect on our diet, mood and behavior. We now sit at the table each morning for breakfast instead of switching on the TV and handing James a bowl of cereal in an effort to keep him quiet while I run around like a headless chicken achieving very little other than making myself stressed and starting the day off saying “quick Mummy’s in a rush”. When your three year old says “Mummy you’re always in a rush” you know you have got to make changes.

It’s been fascinating to find out how appalling I am with time management. James is up at 6AM so what on earth was I doing with my time. Then I realize (like its news to me) that I’m on Facebook and Twitter. Yes I said it.. First thing I do is pick up my IPhone and scroll down my timeline to see what random people who I haven’t spoke to for 10 years are doing!! Now I do it when I’m in bed at night. Big difference I hear you say but I can justify anything to myself and now I am spending quality time with James in the morning and we’re both having a good breakfast. As I pat myself on the back for thinking I have figured out something unique, amazing and wonderful my friend who’s a mother of 3 announces she has always done that and couldn’t believe I used to sit James in front of the TV and give him breakfast. I won’t be telling her that I still do it at the weekends then!!

 

As you can see from the picture James is clutching his favourite food. It’s called Chis Bia and we have mixed it into cereal, salads, yogurts and shakes for well over a year now. If I baked I would also put it into the delicious cakes I would make. Chia Seed is great for your Heart, Mind & Body. If you’ve heard of Flax, Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds you have to meet Chia, as Patrick Holford says it’s ‘The best all-rounder’

Dr. Wayne Coates rediscovered Chia seed, an ancient food of the Aztecs, in 1991 after it had disappeared from common knowledge over 500 years ago. In 2009, Irish company Chia Bia began bringing Chia products to the European market, and last year, Chia Bia expanded into Malaysia, Canada and the United States.

Chia originates in Mexico and South America where the Aztecs and Mayans had long known the benefits of eating Chia. It was so valued that it was offered to their gods in ceremonies, was used as currency and was also used for wounds, upset stomachs, body odour, prostate problems, sore throats and many other illnesses.

Chia is a complete food, which contains the highest plant source of omega-3 with soluble and insoluble fibre, protein and antioxidants to help get your heart, mind and body in shape. The main health benefits associated with Chia Bia include; reduced blood pressure, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and improved concentration and energy levels. Chia Bia can also help promote weight loss as the seeds can absorb 12 times their weight in water; this results in a gel forming in the stomach that slows the absorption of carbohydrates and leaves you feeling fuller for longer helping you avoid the 3pm slump!

Its also tasteless so really great for fussy kids. James calls it “Bia Bia” and loves the routine of mixing it in and feeling like a “big boy”. The levels of Omega 3 are also very high and as a sufferer of depression this is an essential part of my diet. As oily fish can have high mercury levels this is also a far safer option.

Chia Bia Bags small €4.95, Large €9.95 med

MEDITATION-facebook

 

 

AS PRINTED IN THE DAILY MAIL:

Q: Have you any tips on taking mum time when there’s so little time to spare?

 

“Mum time”, the mere words make us shudder and shake with guilt. I always hear Mums talking about never having a second to spare and being completely exhausted and that is exactly what led me to having such bad post natal depression. Trying to be the perfect person simply didn’t work for me. I’m now settling for just doing my best, which is what everyone should try and do as being perfect is vastly overrated or so I’ve heard!

Long before having James I started going to meditation classes in New York. Initially, I thought everyone was bonkers and as we sat and meditated I kept cheating and peaking to see if everyone else was actually doing it. Over time though I began to understand the power of simply sitting still which is something so rare for any of us nowadays. When you have children the thought of doing anything for yourself simply goes out the window but it is vitally important.

As time is of the essence I recommend finding just ten minutes every day where you can sit still. Meditation is not about connecting with a higher being or feeling like you were transported to another place. I’ve been to a lot of weird sessions which is why people get turned off so let me simplify it for you. Unless you’re dead or an enlightened being (god, Buddha, Dali lama) it is impossible to clear your mind completely. For me meditation is about sitting still in the moment and watching those thoughts pass through. I either focus on my breathing or I listen to some music from www.omharmonics.com or www.zen12.com where you can download sample tracks. You also don’t need to be in a room with candles and sit on the floor with your legs crossed. You can meditate anywhere at anytime. I have often sat in the car when I have ten minutes when I’m early for a meeting or sometimes I set my alarm ten minutes early in the morning. Those ten minutes are there you just need to make sure you find them. You could write a book about the benefits of mediation but here are just a few.

It increases optimism; self esteem and helps with depression. It can also help you sleep better and help your mind to become clear and focused. I find it helps my patience, especially with a 4 year old. It definitely reduces my stress levels and emotional wellbeing. Try it for a week and if you like it tweet me @alicanavan #meditatewithali

 

4  TOP TIPS:

1. Pay attention to your breath as it’s the greatest way to focus on being in the present moment.

2. Don’t try and stop your thoughts, instead let them float by and focus on your breathing again. This will become easier with time

3. Use music specially designed for meditation. I find it gives me a far better experience. I alternate this with days of silence too for maximum benefit.

4. Enjoy the experience and as a mum enjoy this time alone

 

 

Coconut_Water1

 

Travelling all the time wreaks havoc with your skin, immune system and energy levels. Recirculated air on planes is no good for anyone but for the life of a model this is part and parcel of our job. The most important thing to do is keep hydrated at all times especially when you’re flying. I find coconut water great as it contains more potassium than bananas and is high in chloride, magnesium and other vital minerals our body needs to hydrate and re-energize. It also helps maintain proper body temperature, which can be great for travelling to climates that you’re not used too.

 

Potassium is an essential life mineral, necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work normally. Most people who eat a healthy diet would get enough naturally but unfortunately in our modern world, fast food, alcohol, smoking, eating disorders, birth control pills and physically demanding jobs deplete us of this essential mineral. Running around and very often skipping meals in this modern fast paced world means we need to go that extra mile and think about our health.  I always carry one in my bag when that sluggish hour of the day rears its ugly head. Small changes make a big difference. Switch one coffee for a coconut every day for a week and see how you feel?