Thrifty Tea Tree Cleaner

pexels-photo-255441.jpegThere’s nothing I love more than saving $$ on something.  I first started making natural cleaners a few years back when I read a book about how all of the chemicals that we breathe and that touch our skin get absorbed into our body. (Think about how the nicotine patch gets absorbed into your skin.)  So I decided to start researching recipes and I found one that works really well and it’s very affordable.

So a recently published a  blog post  on how you can use  Tea Tree Oil for your hair treatments.  So I’m on a bit of a Tea Tree roll.  Tea Tree has many benefits and it is a killer on germs.  And once you have the tea tree, the other ingredients are readily available.

Another benefit of the cleaner is that you can give it to your kids to clean  and don’t have to worry about them being poisoned.  You can buy a spray bottle or repurpose an empty hair spray bottle.  Take an empty hair spray bottle and clean it out with baking soda and vinegar and give it a good cleaning.  Rinse well.  You shouldn’t be able to smell anything in the bottle.  If you can still smell some of the hairspray then use more baking soda and vinegar, shake it up and rinse and repeat.  That way I’m repurposing something that would normally end up in the landfill.  (Note please purchase some labels or use squares of paper and tape it on the bottle to write what is in the bottle.) This would be called a General Purpose Cleaner.  You don’t want to think you are spraying hair spray but really it’s cleaner.  Or people will think you are insane when you are spraying hair spray on your counter.My my mom comes to visit, she would be asking me what is this?  So now I know better so that’s why I really label things because sometimes I forget too about what’s in the bottle.

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These kids are figuring out how to clean the planet.  They will be glad their parents use natural cleaners.

Here are the ingredients:

General Purpose Cleaner

  1. 1/4 cup vinegar
  2. 20-30 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
  3. 3/4 cup distilled water

And that’s it.  You can use this on your hands if you are in a hurry, counter tops, stoves, floors, microwave, refrigerator, bathroom etc.  It’s really good and it doesn’t have a bunch of ingredients.  I have another recipe that’s citrus which I’ll post as well in case you want to try that.  But it has so many more ingredients and I just like to keep things kind of basic and it’s also less expensive.

All Purpose Citrus Cleaner

  1. 1/2 cup vinegar
  2. 1/2 cup distilled water
  3. 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  4. 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  5. 5 drops orange essential oil
  6. 5 drops grapefruit essential oil

The Citrus Cleaner is really wonderful.  But I’m trying to help you guys out and not make you buy a bunch of stuff you don’t really need.  But it is a good one if you want to go that way.  Also with the added alcohol, you really get the feeling like everything is super clean.

My intention with these cleaners is that we can clean without injuring ourselves in the process.  Also the use of these products will not harm our planet or you or your kids so it’s definitely a win win situation.

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Thank you for following my Blog.  I am starting a campaign of asking people to give up the Big 4.  Plastic Water Bottles, Straws, Disposable Coffee Cups and plastic Bags.  Together we can clean up our planet, one thing at a time.  But we need to all work together for our future.

Remember as you heal yourself, you heal the planet.  XOXO and Namaste!!!

Valerie is a Yoga Instructor, health and wellness coach who lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.  You can learn more about Valerie
here.

Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

Just a little warning on this one.  These cookies need to be popped in your mouth and eaten in one bite.  So you might not want to make them too big.  Also if you try to make it vegan, it just doesn’t stay together.  Lastly these cookies will go fast.  I have to get rid of them ASAP.  Because it’s easy to eat a whole bunch.  Most of all, enjoy them.

XOXO,

Valerie

Originally Published on Minimalistbaker.com on  By

Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

A month or so back I stumbled upon blog so lovely I immediately became enamored. The name, Sprouted Kitchen. The mission, to make whole foods tasty. The pair behind the movement, husband and wife Sara and Hugh Forte – cook and photographer, respectively.

Consider me hooked, hence the reason I hopped over to Amazon mere moments after discovering their site and snatched up a copy of their new cookbook. This is my humble attempt at honoring the amazing work Sarah and Hugh have put forth in this stunning book that has now become my constant cooking companion, favorite coffee table book, and source of light reading on the weekends (all three true statements).

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I love Sprouted Kitchen because it’s not trying to be anything, per say, besides honest. It’s not trying to secure the market on gluten free cakes or sneak spinach into brownies or make you give up meat. It’s simply presenting whole foods in a beautiful, simple way and making them damn delicious in the process. Proof? These gluten-free cookies that require just a few ingredients (that’s my kind of recipe) and contain three of my favorite flavors: chocolate, coconut and almond.

John and I had a few friends over for dinner last week and as we were expecting a few gluten-free eaters, I knew these cookies would be just the thing to bake. I had everything on hand except coconut flake, which I walked a block or so over to our local specialty foods purveyor (Nifty Nut House) to grab a pound or so of. While there I also managed to snag a “sample” of a double dipped dark chocolate malt ball – an object so large it hardly warrants the title of sample and more like small feast. Either way, I headed back to our place, the Kansas wind whipping my hair in all directions, coconut clutched in my hand and a happy chocolate-coated malt ball belly in tow. Life was good.

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I was so excited to make these cookies – my first recipe to try from Sprouted Kitchen – that I think I literally squealed out loud while gathering my ingredients. Three things I loved about this recipe: It was simple, healthy and quick to prepare; not to mention it yielded some seriously amazing chocolate chip cookies that any eater – gluten-free or not – would be pleased to pick up (yes, the cookie platter was plumb empty halfway through our dinner party).

So thank you Sara for dreaming up such delicious, wholesome recipes and sharing them on Sprouted Kitchen. And thank you Hugh for capturing it all with your impeccable photography skills. I suspect these cookies – and your cookbook – will be warming my little home and my heart for a long time to come. Cheers.

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Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

Prep time
45 mins
Cook time
10 mins
Total time
55 mins

Gluten-free cookies from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook, featuring bits of dark chocolate, shredded coconut, and hearty almond meal.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Serves: ~20 cookies
Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (137 g) almond meal
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) chopped dairy-free dark chocolate (Sara used cacao nibs)
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (Sara used sea salt)
  • 1/3 cup (73 g) brown sugar (Sara used muscovado)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp (45 g) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond meal, dark chocolate chips, coconut, baking powder, salt and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg until uniform in color and doubled in volume.
3. Whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, place on baking sheet with 1-1/2 inch space in between each. Press down slightly to flatten a bit.
6.Bake until edges begin to brown, 7-10 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie (of 20) Calories: 78 Fat: 6.3 g Saturated fat: 2.9 g Carbohydrates: 5 g Sugar: 3.5 g Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1.7 g

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Hi, I’m Dana! I am a food stylist, photographer, creator of the Food Photography School, and author of the 31 Meals Cookbook and Everyday Cooking.

Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Hair

Originally Published on Hairfinity.com on December 4, 2015

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Hair_1

Tea tree oil has been used for thousands of years but has only recently started to become popular as a natural hair care product. The practice of using tea tree oil started in Australia, by native aborigines and was used to cure cuts, burns, boils and for use as an antiseptic. Tea tree oil is extracted from a narrow-leaved tree native to the northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. Tea tree oil is an amazing natural beauty product that should be a staple in any woman’s beauty arsenal. Tea tree oil is a great natural choice for cleansing hair because it won’t cause damage or dryness. It can be used for a number of hair and beauty problems and can help to reduce the effects of hair loss and promote hair growth. Tea tree oil is becoming more and more popular as a natural hair care product. It can be used alone or paired with a gentle shampoo, like HAIRFINITY Gentle Cleanse Shampoo to gently cleanse and moisturize the hair and scalp.

You can use tea tree oil to maintain a healthy scalp, but it is also important to foster scalp health from the inside. HAIRFINITY Healthy Hair Vitamins are formulated with hair specific nutrients that will promote hair that is healthier and more vibrant.

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How to use tea tree oil for hair

Using tea tree oil for hair is an easy and effective way to maintain healthy hair and a healthy scalp. You can apply tea tree oil for hair in many ways, by simply massaging the oil onto your scalp or adding a few drops to your favorite shampoo.

  • For daily cleansing: You can easily make your own tea tree oil shampoo at home by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your favorite shampoo. This will help to enhance the shampoo’s therapeutic properties. Apply the mixture to the scalp and gently massage for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Massaging the mixture into the scalp will help enhance the medicinal properties of the tea tree oil.
  • For hair growth: tea tree oil helps to unclog hair follicles and nourish your roots. To use tea tree oil as a hair growth treatment, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with any carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, almond). Mix it well and massage the mixture onto the scalp. Rinse thoroughly. The mixture should feel refreshing and will have a tingling effect on your scalp. Tea tree oil can also be mixed with olive oil to add softness, smoothness and to add a protective layer that will be resistant to toxins and will help to promote hair growth. To prepare, warm olive oil for a few seconds and mix in 3-5 drops of tea tree oil. Apply this mixture to your scalp and hair at least once a day for 3 weeks in order to see amazing results.
  • For dry scalp: Tea tree oil is amazing for your dry scalp as it moisturizes and nourishes your scalp and hair. It helps to clear the blockages in the pores and helps to prevent dryness and itching. To use tea tree oil for your dry scalp, take a few drops of tea tree oil and mix it well with jojoba oil. Massage the mixture gently onto your scalp for 10-15 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly and wash your hair as normal. Repeat this process regularly to relieve any symptoms associated with dry scalp. Tea tree oil can also be added to your regular conditioner to help relieve the itchiness caused by dry scalp. Simply shampoo your hair as normal, then add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular conditioner. Mix it well and apply to your scalp and hair. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse off completely.
  • For dandruff: Tea tree oil contains antifungal and antibacterial properties that fight against the fungus that causes dandruff, and does so without drying your scalp. It works as a natural conditioner to your hair and eliminates any agents that are causing your skin to flake. Simply add tea tree oil to your existing shampoo, about 10 drops for every 8 ounces of shampoo in the bottle. Shampoo your hair thoroughly and allow the tea tree oil mixture to sit on your hair for at least 3-5 minutes. This will let the oil work itself into the hair and begin to treat the scalp. After the oil has set, rinse the shampoo from your hair thoroughly.
  • Hot oil treatment: Tea tree oil can be added to any of your favorite hot oil treatments to add moisture to your scalp and help to treat dryness/itchiness. Choose any carrier oil such as jojoba, olive, sesame, castor, almond or coconut oil. Add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to ½ cup of oil (use less if your hair is naturally more prone to oiliness, more if it is more prone to dryness). Warm your oil mixture by heating plain water on the stove. Wait until the water is just about to boil and remove the pot from the stove. Put the oil mixture in a separate container and place it in the warm water until the oil warms up. Test the oil on your wrist first to check the temperature, making sure it is not too hot. Section your hair into four sections, to make distribution easier and more even. Using an applicator bottle or your hands, apply the oil to your hair, distributing evenly. Carefully massage the mixture into your scalp and coat through to your ends. Cover your hair with a plastic shower cap and let the oil treatment sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes. Shampoo and condition as normal.
  • Hair mask: Tea tree oil can be used in a hair mask to help eliminate dandruff, dryness and itchy skin. Begin by choosing a base for your mask – one cup of plain yogurt or one whole avocado mashed up. Both are thick enough to act as a paste and will also moisturize due to their abundance of healthy fats. Add 10 drops of argan oil, 2 tablespoons of honey (both will aid in hydration and act as a glue). Add some drops of tea tree oil and stir the mixture until smooth and creamy. Using gloves, apply the mixture directly to your scalp, press in and massage gently using your fingertips. Leave on for 10 minutes, then make sure to rinse out thoroughly. If you don’t have time for a DIY mask try adding tea tree oil to a conditioning treatment like HAIRFINITY Haircare

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Tips, tricks and facts for using tea tree oil for hair

  • Tea tree oil can be used on any type of hair, no matter what style, texture or length
  • Tea tree oil on its own is quite strong, so be sure to dissolve the oil into another carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba or olive) before applying to your hair or scalp. When applied in its undiluted form, tea tree oil can actually be very irritating and can cause itching and dryness. Stop using tea tree oil if you notice redness, rash, or irritation.
  • There are many tea tree oil based hair products like shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and dandruff shampoos on the market now to choose from. Try more than one type to see what works best for you and your individual needs.
  • Tea tree oil can cause allergies in some people, so try doing a patch test first with your diluted solution before applying it to your scalp or hair.
    Try using a mixture of carrier oil with tea tree oil on dry hair. This may help to reduce or eliminate stubborn dandruff from the scalp.
  • Make sure that you are only using a few drops of tea tree oil with your carrier oil, or if using with a shampoo/conditioner, adding only 10 drops for every 8 ounces of shampoo/conditioner. If too much is used, it can have the opposite effect and cause hair to become extremely brittle and weak.
  • Tea tree oil is not only a great solution for hair but can also help to treat a number of skin infections and respiratory problems.

Tea tree oil has been used for thousands of years, and for good reason. Its natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral properties make it a great all natural treatment for many scalp ailments, like dandruff, oily hair and itchy scalp. Tea tree oil is one of the healthiest natural oils available and very effective as a treatment to increase hair growth. Tea tree oil is an amazing beauty product for both skin and hair, and should definitely have a place in every woman’s beauty cabinet! For more information about the benefits of tea tree oil or any other natural oil please visit hairfinity.com

Hairfinity hair vitamins, an innovation in hair care, is transforming the hair of women all over the world with a unique blend of vitamins, nutrients, and our exclusive Capilsana™ Complex. Start YOUR journey with Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins today. SHOP NOW.

It’s Time to Start Taking Climate Change Seriously

sky-earth-galaxy-universe.jpgWake up dear one.  It’s time to wake up and get going.  You see our planet is a little bit sick.  It has too much plastic and the ice caps are beginning to melt.  I will be OK.  Most people reading this will be OK.  But our grandchildren are really screwed.

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They will have a really hot planet to deal with.  And it’s not fair because they are not the ones who created the mess in the first place.  It came about through the industrial revolution.  And also not really thinking about the long term effects of say plastic.  The fact that plastic does not break down.  It just gets broken down into smaller and smaller pieces.  It turns into micro plastic and the fish consume it  So when you eat fish, you are actually eating plastic too.

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It’s not a happy thought.  I am so sorry to be writing this.  I wish I did not have to write about this issue.  But we simply must get all hands on deck and get serious about what exactly is going on.

You may not know but China is not taking the world’s plastic anymore.  So where is all of the wonderful plastic going to end up?  I have no idea.  But I am really concerned about it.  I am going to ask you to please give up the big 4.  Plastic bags, disposable coffee containers, plastic water bottles and straws.  That’s not too hard, is it?

hottie stainless steel

Just think you can be a super hero just by drinking out of that really cool looking stainless steel water bottle.  “Hey hottie, can I have a drink because looking at you is making me hot.”  That’s what all the hotties are going to be saying to you.  Or when you pull out that reusable bag.  Oh don’t even get me started on that.  Basically it means you care.  And you have a good heart.

So do a favor for me and all of the fish, all of the marine life, the coral reef, the polar bears, the ice caps, the Swiss Alps and all of the people that are having their life impacted by climate change and babies that are being born today, please ban the Big 4.  You can do it!!  And we can clean up our planet.  And it’s all because of you Earth Angel.  Trust me I am singing that song to you right now.    And I think if you do those 4 things, you are going to start to develop a lot of good karma and good things will continue to come to you.  You just have to ask for it and also recognize the good things.  Pretty easy don’t you think?

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach, Yoga Instructor, Dancer, Singer, mom to a teenage daughter and her puppy.  She is convinced that by healing the planet, you will heal yourself and visa versa.  Check her out following her dreams.  Also subscribe to her channel so you don’t miss a thing.

Best Ever Mushroom Soup

Originally published on BitesofWellness.com

Best Ever Mushroom SoupCreamy mushroom soup that is not full of crazy ingredients can be hard to come by. Trying to find a vegan version is pretty much impossible. Even if you do, it’s likely full of salt and preservatives. Well not anymore! This vegan mushroom soup is quite honestly the best mushroom soup I’ve ever had. Hands down, no contest.

I think letting the ingredients shine through can really makes the difference between “the best I’ve ever had” vs. “well that was good”, especially when you are talking soup. I have this wonderful memory of having lunch with a very good friend some 4 years ago and we both ordered the portabello mushroom soup. I laugh thinking back at the uncanny silence as we savored our lunch, since there was usually never any silence when were together, mostly because I never shut-up 🙂 But sometimes food can do that. Since then, I’ve been trying to recreate a soup that mimicked those flavors I still remember to this day.

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The secret I’ve found is to remove cream from the equation. It somehow takes away from that mushroom flavor I’ve been chasing after in recreating that soup. The mushrooms, when you treat them right, take on this deep earthy flavor that can easily be lost if there are too many ingredients to compete with. Oh and thyme! I’m a firm believer that anytime you are making something with mushrooms, some fresh or dried thyme should be in the mix. Don’t believe me, well try this recipe and you will become a believer!!

This best ever mushroom soup for me is a flash back to the past, but I hope it becomes on of your favorites as well! The vegan soup can be made creamy with the addition of cashew cheese; my preferred addition. I usually have some at the house just waiting to be enjoyed, it’s been a wonderful addition. You could also add some parmesan cheese if you are not vegan, which would compliment the mushroom with its salty nutty flavor.

Since there are so few ingredients in this dish, I find that it’s important to use very good quality ingredients. Use fresh mushrooms, and organic veggie broth. To prepare the mushrooms, just use a dry paper towel to brush off any soil/dirt you see. Don’t run mushrooms under water, as they are very porous and will absorb the water, and never really develop their flavor fully.

I like using fresh thyme in this recipe, the aroma of the thyme is heavenly, and fresh herbs in the middle of winter are one of my favorite reminders that spring is coming. To remove the little thyme leaves from the stalk, simply hold the stalk at the very top (so the leaves are pointing up) and run your fingers down the stalk pulling the leaves down with your fingers. The stalks can be very fibrous and tough, so be sure to remove as much of them as you can.

Simple earthy mushrooms paired with fresh thyme come together to create the best mushroom soup I’ve ever had! Vegan and low fat, this soup will warm you from the inside out and will have you questioning ever having anything from a can again! This best ever mushroom soup also pairs well with your favorite version of grilled cheese for a hearty, filling meal!

This best ever mushroom soup is almost better the next day, so if you are having company, this would be a great make ahead meal. Just give the soup a few minutes to come back up to temperature over medium low heat before serving. Cashew cheese can be stirred in during the initial preparation or at this point. If you are adding any other kind of cheese, you will want to wait until serving to add it.

Best Ever Mushroom Soup

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The best mushroom soup recipe I’ve ever had! Mushroom lovers rejoice, this soup is full of hearty, earthy mushrooms that don’t have to compete with other flavors to shine through. Vegan and fat free, this mushroom soup will quickly become a favorite in your home!

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 123 kcal
Author Bites of Wellness

Ingredients

1 large white onion diced
1 package white button mushrooms 10 oz sliced
1 package baby portobello mushrooms 10 oz sliced
10 stalks fresh thyme leaves removed
1 cup organic vegetable broth
1 tbs. tapioca flour
1 cup almond or cashew milk unsweetened
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tbs. liquid aminos GF (or soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the diced onions. Allow to sweat while slicing the mushrooms. About 5-7 minutes.
2. Move onions to the sides of the saucepan and add mushrooms, allow to cook 5 minutes uncovered.
3. Stir the onions and mushrooms together. Add fresh thyme and allow to continue to cook, at least 10 minutes.
4. You will notice a substantial amount of water has come out of the mushrooms, and they are reduced in volume by half.
5. Add the bay leaf, the salt and the liquid aminos to the mushrooms.
6. Stir the 1 tbs. of tapioca starch into the organic broth. Add to mushrooms and stir. Add almond milk.
7. Allow to cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
8. This soup is amazing the next day as well and can easily be doubled.
9. Add cashew cheese, Parmesan cheese or enjoy the soup just as it is!

Simple Vegan Pesto

Originally published on Food52.com on March 29, 13 By Gena Hamshaw

Simple Vegan Pesto
Author Notes: This pesto is so good, you’ll never notice that it’s dairy-free! Nutritional yeast adds cheesy flavor. Serve this in sandwiches, with pasta, or as a topping for thickly sliced heirloom tomatoes. —Gena Hamshaw

Makes 1 generous cup

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil

1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts

1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

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Place the basil, walnuts or pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine.

This recipe is a Community Pick!

Difficulty Slowing Down

geranium-wave-water-rings-55813.jpegAre you stressed out and need to calm down?  But then once you get yourself to that time and space that you should be able to relax, then your mind just won’t shut off.  And if it goes on, unchecked and if you have a poor diet, you will most likely experience anxiety and it could turn into a disorder.

But if you don’t have anxiety yet and want to prevent it, then relaxation can be very beneficial.  Especially if you have any kind of injury, then you need to just rest and recover.  But no we want to keep going.  We don’t want to slow down because then that will somehow mean that we gave up.  As I am writing this, I am describing how difficult it is for me to slow down.

tired office worker

You see after working 26 years in a career that was high stress, it takes a while to slow down.  And even as a trained yoga instructor, who should allegedly know better, I still have difficulty slowing down and so I can only imagine for most people it can be very difficult.  Some people are really good at relaxing.  They can fall asleep fast and sleep until they are well rested which is a gift. ( I hope you recognize that gift, if this is you.)

But our culture doesn’t really support the concept of slowing down.  I mean we have to do well in school.  This is so we can get a job to support ourselves and maybe our families assuming that men and women will still be able to produce children in the future with the current state of health in the US.

Our culture supports working and also there is just too much to be done.  Especially if you are a parent.  You must carve out some time for you.

So the concept of slowing down and just focusing on relaxing is an unusual concept which I am allowing myself this time.  I am noticing that it is super important to just stretch and relax a lot.  Also to recognize something that’s causing stress.  Maybe it’s a horrible song on the radio and it’s causing you jaw tension, change that shit with the quickness.val_edited-9208

Also there has to be the concept of good enough.  At some point, your workout has to be good enough.  Hey you hit all the major groups and stretched, you’re good.  There is no need to run 10 miles and do 100 push ups.  If you are not training for an event then allow yourself healing.  And many of us need to heal.  The body recovers when it rests.  When you sleep and eat healthy and relax.

Again meditation just has to be a part of it.  I know it’s the big M word that nobody wants to do but it works.  Or call on your higher power and ask for help.  Archangel Michael and Archangel Raphael are super powerful and they will help you but you must remember to ask.  Of course you can always call on Jesus, Buddha or whatever concept your higher power represents, just call on it.  Relax, pray or meditate.  Then after that things seem much more manageable.  Don’t forget how Jesus went to the desert for 3 days to fast and pray.  (Is that correct? My biblical stories aren’t very good. My point is that Jesus meditated and I know some Christians that have resistance to meditation.  But if Jesus did it, then what’s the problem?)val_edited-9220

You can choose to see the stress and drama but then release it as soon as possible.  You can minimize the stress by how you choose to look at it.  Again turn it around to gratitude as soon as you can.  If you are feeling weak in your legs, immediately think, “Thank you for my legs, that I can walk.”  And if you really want to be a warrior, say, “Thank you for my strong legs.”  Speak that of what you want to happen.

You are stronger than you know but you have to learn to connect to your higher power.  Otherwise it can be difficult if you try to rely on yourself and do everything.  You’re good but everyone needs help!!

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.  Please feel free to email her here.

Grocery bags and takeout containers aren’t enough. It’s time to phase out all single-use plastic

The time to change our love affair with plastic is now.  There is just too much plastic and it’s wrecking havoc on our environment and businesses must come up with other alternatives.  Please give up the big 4: Plastic Coffee Cups, Straws, Plastic Bags and Plastic Water bottles. XOXO Val

Originally published on latimes.com on February 20, 2018 By The Times Editorial Board

Grocery bags and takeout containers aren't enough. It's time to phase out all single-use plastic

Plastic bottles for Sriracha sauce are moulded within Huy Fong Foods Inc. massive sauce production facility in Irwindale, Calif. on Jan. 30, 2015. (Los Angeles Times)

Faced with an unholy tonnage of chip bags, soda bottles, takeout containers and other disposable plastic items flowing into our landfills and our waters, winding up in wildlife, drinking water and food, policymakers in California have tried reining in plastic waste bit by bit. For example, more than 100 cities have adopted restrictions on polystyrene takeout containers, and the state has banned single-use plastic grocery bags.

Considering the magnitude of the problem, however, this item-by-item, city-by-city approach isn’t going to cut it.

The state and local rules certainly have raised public awareness about the problem. Denying free plastic bags at checkout or providing plastic straws only on request sends consumers an important message that there’s a bigger cost to these everyday items than they may have considered. But the actual flow of trash has been disrupted only modestly.

It’s going to take more than a smattering of bans on single items to cure society of its disposable-plastic habit. The sheer volume of plastic trash now littering Earth has become impossible to ignore. It’s time for environmentalists, policymakers and elected officials to start planning a broader response: phasing out all single-use plastic, not just the most pernicious.

That’s right, all of it. If that sounds like a pipe dream, consider what’s happening across the pond. Last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined a plan to eliminate plastic waste by 2042. Queen Elizabeth II kicked it off this month by banning plastic straws and bottles from royal estates, and the Church of England supported a nascent social media campaign, #plasticlesslent, to encourage its flock to give up plastic for Lent this year. Simultaneously, the European Union announced its own plan to significantly reduce plastic waste, including adopting a possible plastic tax, in a direct response to the news that China, the largest importer of plastic recyclable material, was no longer accepting “foreign garbage.”

We don’t expect President Trump or Congress to follow suit, even though it’s impossible to pretend that the trash filling up in the ocean is naturally occurring. That leaves it to states like California to step in. One strategy is for lawmakers to adopt a reduction goal, as they did for greenhouse gas emissions and energy derived from fossil fuels, and then to adopt specific programs to meet that goal. It’s a simple but effective approach to tackling such a formidable environmental threat. Also, it puts makers of disposable plastic on notice, so they can’t complain they didn’t have time to adapt or move into other, less harmful product lines.

If we don’t cut back now, there will eventually be more plastic than fish in the ocean.

But even forewarned, the plastic industry isn’t likely to take an assault on its bottom line well. Plastic makers spent millions of dollars trying to stop the state from banning single-use plastic bags. Imagine what they might unleash if all their disposable plastic products were threatened. As part of that, they will no doubt argue, as they did in the plastic bag fight, that the efforts to clean up plastic waste would mean lost jobs.

But it’s not a zero-sum game. Cutting jobs on a disposable plastic product line doesn’t automatically translate into fewer people employed. If the door closes on polystyrene takeout containers, for example, it will open for cardboard and other biodegradable alternatives.

No one expects consumers to give up convenience completely. In fact, the market for bio-plastic alternatives, which are made from corn starch and other biodegradable sources, is already growing thanks to public awareness and the sporadic efforts to curb plastic waste.

Opponents will insist that the answer is just to encourage more recycling. Not only is recycling not the answer (see China’s diminished appetite for imported plastic trash), it has only enabled our addiction to convenient, disposable plastic packaging to deepen for some 60 years.

Yes, it’s scary to think about a world where one has to carry around a reusable bag or worry about a paper drinking straw falling apart mid…. Oh, wait. No, it’s not. Knowing that every piece of plastic manufactured on Earth is still with us and that if we don’t cut back now, there will eventually be more plastic than fish in the ocean — that’s the truly frightening thought.

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The Path of Least Resistance according to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

waterlily-pink-water-lily-water-plant-158465.jpegWell I’ve been reading The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer for quite sometime.  I bought it years ago and it was on my book shelf for at least 5 years.  Then when I finally decided to read it I was only reading one page before bed.  So I have been reading this book for at the very least 1 year.  And if a better book comes along, I will drop this one so fast.

Something about the book is difficult for me because he challenges my thinking and of course I want to keep doing things the way I am doing them.  So if I find a great book on Essential Oils, I will drop this book so fast, it won’t even know what hit it.

But anyway Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has some amazing things to say and so when something is just like “Whoa!!”  I’ve just got to blog about it.  I can’t keep it to myself.  So my service is spreading these really profound concepts that can just be life changing.

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So he talks about the Path of Least Resistance.  The Universe loves you so much and when you love yourself in the same proportion, then you are matched up with the field of intention.  You have opted for the path of no resistance.  As long as the ego is present, you’ll retain some resistance.  Take the path in which resistance is minimized.

The shape and quantity of your thoughts determine the amount of resistance.  Thoughts that generate bad feelings are resistant thoughts.  Any thought that puts a barrier between what you would like to have and your ability to attract it into your life is resistance.  Your intention is to live a tranquil life, free of stress and anxiety.  You know that stress doesn’t exist in the world, and that there only people thinking stressful thoughts.  Stressful thoughts all by themselves are a form of resistance.  You don’t want stressful, resistant thoughts to be your habitual way of reacting to your world.  By practicing thoughts of minimal resistance, you’ll train yourself to make this your natural way of reacting, and eventually you’ll become the tranquil person you desire to be, a stress-free person free of the “dis-ease” that stress brings to the body.  Stressful thoughts all by themselves are the resistance that you construct that impedes your connection to the power of intention.  

We’re in a world that advertises and promotes reasons to be anxious.  You’ve been taught that feeling good in a world where so much suffering exists is an immoral stance to take.  You’ve been convinced that choosing to feel good in bad economic times, in times of war, in times of uncertainty or death, or in the face of any catastrophe anywhere in the world is crass and inappropriate.  Since these conditions will always in in the world someplace, you believe you can’t have joy and still be a good person.  But it may not have occurred to you that in a universe based on energy and attraction, thoughts that evoke feeling bad originate in the same energy Source that attracts more of the same into your life.  These are resistant thoughts.  

Here are some examples of sentences on the PATH OF RESISTANCE, which are then changed to sentences on the path of least resistance.

I feel uneasy about the state of the economy; I’ve already lost so much money. I live in an abundant universe; I choose to think about what I have and I will be fine.  The universe will provide.

I have so many things to do that I can never get caught up. I’m at peace in this moment.  I’ll only think about the one thing I’m doing.  I will have peaceful thoughts.

I can never get ahead in this job.  I choose to appreciate what I’m doing right now, and I’ll attract an even greater opportunity.

My healthy is a huge concern.  I worry about getting old and becoming dependent and sick.  I’m healthy, and I think healthy.  I live in a universe that attracts healing, and I refuse to anticipate sickness.

My family members are causing me to feel anxious and fearful.  I choose thoughts that make me feel good, and this will help me uplift those family members in need.

I don’t deserve to feel good when so many people are suffering.  I didn’t come into a world where everyone is going to have the same identical experiences.  I’ll feel good, and by being uplifted, I’ll help eradicate some of the suffering.

I can’t be happy when the person I really care about loves another and has abandoned me.  Feeling bad won’t change this scenario.  I trust that love will return to my life if I’m in harmony with the loving Source.  I choose to feel good right now and focus on what I have, rather than what’s missing.

All stressful thoughts represent a form of resistance you wish to eradicate.  Change those thoughts by monitoring your feelings and opting for joy rather than anxiety, and you’ll access the power of intention.

Valerie back again.  Wow isn’t that just amazing.  We can change our negative scary thoughts into something positive.  My favorite is : I have so many things to do that I can never get caught up.  Man I say that a lot.  But who is keeping track that all this stuff needs to get done anyhow?  Nobody really cares.  There’s no inspector coming over anytime soon.  So I just need to calm the fuck down and just remind myself that I’m at peace in this moment.  I’ll only think about the one thing I’m doing.  I will have peaceful thoughts.

Valerie is a health and wellness coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and Black Labrador Retriever puppy, Amber.  Check out their dance moves here.

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10 Ways To Forgive Yourself & Let Go Of The Past

Originally Published on MindBodygreen.com on October 29, 2013 By Megan Hale

10 Ways To Forgive Yourself & Let Go Of The Past_2

Have you ever noticed how you can hold on to past mistakes long after they occurred? Some of us hold on to things for years!

Forgiveness is a process. It does not happen over night and the process will be different for everyone. But no matter how long it takes, there’s hope! Here are some steps you can take toward that journey:

1. Become clear on your morals and values as they are right now.

The reason most of us feel guilt or shame for actions done in the past is because those actions are not in line with our current morals and values. Our past wrongs can actually clue us in to what we hold important. By identifying our morals and values, we start to get a clearer picture as to “why” we’re hurting over what we’ve done, or what others did to us.

2. Realize that the past is the past.

This seems fairly straightforward, but when we can really wrap our head around the fact that we can’t undo the past, the past is done, those things happened, we open ourselves up to more acceptance. Increased acceptance can lead to the emotional healing we are all looking for.

3. Create a “re-do.”

Never underestimate the power of a “re-do”. Write down how you would have done things differently if you could go back and do it again. In doing so, we affirm that we not only learned from our past mistake, but that if we had the skills we have now, back then, we would have done things differently.

4. Realize you did the best you could at the time.

The way we respond depends on the skills we have, the frame of mind we’re in, and how we perceive the situation at that moment. Maybe we didn’t have as much objectivity, or acted out of survival or protection mode. Maybe we’d let stress build up, which put us at a higher risk of responding poorly. Whatever the factors, cut yourself a break. If you learn from it, it was never in vain.

5. Start acting in accordance with your morals and values.

The best thing you can do for yourself in order to forgive is start replacing the negative behavior and thoughts with more appropriate ones that are congruous with your morals and values. By so doing, you reaffirm to yourself that you can handle situations in the way you want to. This can lead to a sense of pride, which is a huge part of building self-esteem.

6. Identify your biggest regrets.

When I work with clients on moving on from their past, it can be very overwhelming for them because they see so many regrets. It’s often helpful to categorize these things because people often only hold on to a handful of big categories/patterns. Working on patterns of behavior is often more helpful than working on individual regrets.

7. Tackle the big ones.

There may be some regrets that don’t seem to improve, and they’re going to require some extra work. I call it “clearing your conscience.” This means it might take bringing this regret into the room and apologizing for your past mistake.

8. Turn the page.

At some point, you have to accept that the past has happened and you’ve done everything in your power to amend past mistakes. It’s now time to turn the page and accept those events as part of your story. They’ve all contributed to making you who you are. Being grateful for those experiences allows you to move on and truly forgive yourself.

9. Cut yourself some slack.

When we learned how to ride a bike, most of us realized it would probably take a few tries before achieving perfection. New behavior and thinking patterns are no different. They’re both skills. Cut yourself some slack while you’re on a new learning curve. Realize that you’re going to make mistakes. We all do.

10. Move toward self-love.

The last step in building self-esteem is moving toward loving yourself. Think kind thoughts toward yourself and show yourself some compassion. If we can learn to think of ourselves as our best friend, to speak to ourselves with love and kindness, and put ourselves as a priority, it reaffirms that we believe we are worth it. Engage in psychotherapy or coaching if you need some outside perspective in this area. Seek books on this subject. Surround yourself with supportive people.

You are more than your past mistakes, and I promise you, you are so worth it!!

10 Ways To Forgive Yourself & Let Go Of The Past

Megan Hale

Megan Hale, LPC is a therapist and Certified Purpose Clarity Coach ®. Her counseling specialties include depression, anxiety, and relationship issues while her coaching focuses on.