After sun soothing spray

This is my favourite summer DIY! I keep this handy little bottle in the fridge and spray it on my skin a few times per day, after spending some time in the sun. It contains some wonderful healing (lavender and helichrysum) and cooling essential oils.

The “official” recipe comes from this book, although I tend to eyeball things plus I added some water. I just had a small bottle so I cut down the essential oils to about 15 drops.

  • 25 drops lavender essential oil
  • 25 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 25 drops peppermint essential oil
  • Macadamia nut oil (you can use any natural oil)
  • Water

Add this to your sun safety preventative measures and keep your skin happy all summer 😉

Now go outside and catch some rays…

M.


Espresso coffee body scrub

One morning, I was walking by our espresso maker in the kitchen and a light bulb went off in my head. Instead of picturing myself smashing out the coffee grounds in the sink, I pictured myself mixing them with a bit of natural and essential oils.

I had heard of the benefits of using coffee grounds for skin health but hadn’t taken the time to try it out. However, now it’s become a quick and easy new addition to my morning routine: roll out of bed, scrape the coffee grounds out in a glass bowl, squeeze in a teaspoon of jojoba oil and add two drops of doTERRA AromaTouch essential oil then jump in the shower.

Why bother doing this? First off, to help fight the appearance of dreaded cellulite

“The caffeine in the coffee grounds will dehydrate the skin and the circular motion used to apply the paste will stimulate blood flow, which may result in the appearance of firmer, less dimpled skin.” (Source)

What I love about this is I ALWAYS forget to dry skin brush before getting into the shower… now, it’s not a big deal because the grounds and essential oils help get my lymphatic system moving plus get rid of any dead skin cells. It leaves my skin soft and glowy.

I’ve also used the grounds as a face scrub and it worked well. Just make sure to be extra gentle and be careful not to get any in your eyes!

Next, I am going to try using the grounds in my hair. I’ve been reading how it can enrich brown hair, add shine and stimulate hair growth. You can also mix them with honey for a lip scrub – that’s on my to-do list, too 🙂

How do you use your coffee grounds?

M.

 


Feeling a bit rusty

Rustik Health logo

My perfectly imperfect logo

This is the logo my bf designed for me last summer. He literally took an Apple pen and drew it on his tablet within a few minutes. At first, I didn’t want anything to do with it – after all, your branding isn’t something you want to rush into. But I soon realized it was perfectly imperfect for me and what I stand for.

Although my bf is super supportive of me and everything I do, he has a hard time suppressing his sarcastic side. Case in point: he likes to mock my side hustle name and call it “Rusty Health”. Haha… good one… *sigh*

However, the more I mull that over, the more it kind of rings true. Despite my posts on recipes, herbs, supplements and essential oils, my health is still rusty around the edges. And it has never been more evident than this past week.

These past few days, I’ve been mostly disconnected from social media, my tribe of fellow essential oil lovers and my side hustle in general. My spark has been quenched by skin, throat and sinus issues. I hate to admit I feel like I am falling apart and have been too bummed out about it to take care of myself properly.

It’s also made me feel totally undeserving of talking about anything health-related or teaching others healthy living tips. I am le cordonnier mal chaussé as the French say. But then again, I am far from perfect and don’t expect perfection of anyone else. My health is perfectly rusty – and so is my life, business, logo, etc.!

So, from now on, I may have to lovingly call all you followers of mine my “rusties” 😉

M.


Tooth powder (aka tooth dirt) recipe

Did you know that I actually hate DIY stuff? That might sound strange considering I post a lot of natural DIY recipes that I make all the time. However, when I make something, it has to be super quick, easy-to-make and strictly utilitarian. My DIY criteria is as follows and all three must be met:

  1. It has to be faster to make than to go out and buy
  2. There needs to be slack in the measurements (I loathe taking precise measurements)
  3. A purpose is required (no crafting for the sake of crafting)

Also, I rarely DIY and consider appearances. This post is a perfect example. Check out that tooth powder… or should I say tooth DIRT?! I guess I could have made it look a bit more aesthetically please to encourage others to take the leap 😉

Here are my slack measurements for tooth powder:

  • 4 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 3 tbsp calcium powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp activated charcoal
  • essential oils of choice

I gave up fluoride-ladden toothpaste a long time ago. I now alternate between this recipe and a natural toothpaste (the latter for convenience).

I love the irony of this recipe. Using something that looks super dirty to make your mouth clean.

Anyone tried making their own toothpaste before?

M.


Vegan crepe recipe invention

Vegan crepe invention photo

My 7 year old boy eating my vegan crepe invention

I’m pretty impressed with myself!

I am by no means a cook — or even anywhere along the cook continuum — but somehow, I invented a recipe! I haven’t scoured the web or every recipe book to make sure no one else thought of this first… yet I’m going to pat myself on the back until someone comes around and bursts my bubble 😉

This is essentially a variation of the buckwheat pancakes I make based on the recipe my mom gave me. Those pancakes are best served with black strap molasses but one day I had run out and didn’t feel like making the trip to the grocery store to get more. I had maple syrup on hand so I figured I would make pancakes instead but I was also all out of the necessary the ingredients to make these. So I experimented with what I had…

I knew I needed to cut down on the buckwheat flour because it is overpowering and the maple syrup just doesn’t quite work with it (IMO, anyway). So I split the buckwheat and all purpose flour half and half in the recipe. I also added some sourdough starter because The L’Oven Life inspired me to do so! Finally, I put a generous sprinkle of cinnamon in the mix.

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
  3. 1 3/4 cup of warm water
  4. 1 tbsp of sourdough starter
  5. 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  6. Sprinkle of cinnamon (to taste)
  7. Sprinkle of salt
  8. Maple syrup (to serve)

Instructions

Pre-heat round cast-iron griddle on medium heat. Mix all ingredients (except maple syrup) in a bowl and cook a small crepe as a test. Sometimes, the first crepe sticks to the pan and doesn’t turn out but the next one will. Crepe is ready to flip when it bubbles and the edges start curling up. Serve with maple syrup. Makes about 7 thin crepes.

What’s great about this recipe is that it is vegan plus a good source of protein thanks to the buckwheat.

Are you brave enough to try it out?

M.

 

 

 


Detox bath salt recipe

About a year and a half ago, I was looking for ways to naturally and safely detox children and I stumbled upon a particular essential oil blend called Zendocrine by doTERRA. Usually, I end my story there and talk about how that experience propelled me into the world of aromatherapy and essential oils as a means of integrative, proactive health care.

The back story actually has to do with a very controversial subject, which is why I normally avoid it at all costs. The toxins I was hoping to remove were those injected into my son when he went for his vaccinations. Just the word vaccinations usually turns people either defensive, upset, accusatory or super opinionated — or a combo of all of these. So, quite frankly, I don’t bother mentioning it.

Regardless of people’s opinion on the subject, I did not feel comfortable going into the doctor’s office without first preparing my son’s body and then supporting it after all was said and done. In addition to supplementing my son’s diet (and paying special attention to it) before and after the shots, I ordered a bottle of the essential oil blend and treated him to detox bath soaks to help his body cope.

I will be the first to say that our bodies have amazing mechanisms in place to detoxify itself. However, our bodies are subject to tons of synthetics nowadays plus I don’t know anyone who has a meter that can read how well their body is detoxifying on its own. I also believe that we are all responsible to do everything we can to stay healthy.

I use this detox salt bath for myself now and still use it for my son as maintenance. It smells very herbaceous — it includes tangerine peel, rosemary leaf, geranium plant, juniper berry and cilantro herb — but I like it. Just 1/2 cup of Epsom salts, 1 tbsp of baking soda and 2 drops of Zendocrine.

What’s your favourite bath soak recipe?

M.


Allergy season morning drink


As I write this, we received a fresh new layer of snow and it’s looking like winter again…

However, this past week was BEAUTIFUL and we saw a lot of snow melt. I could feel my eyes and nose starting to get itchy so I quickly switched into allergy season mode. My usual morning detox drink has been replaced with this allergy concoction: stinging nettle infusion, local honey and a squeeze of lemon. I’m not really sad about it because it tastes sooooo good – way better than the detox drink!

The concoction is actually a stinging nettle infusion, which means the herb matter sits in boiled water for several hours to pull all of the nutrients out. I usually make mine in the evening and drink it the next morning. To make the infusion, use 1 part stinging nettles to 4 parts boiled water. Place in a glass container (I use mason jars).

  • Stinging nettles: In addition to being great for allergies, a nettle infusion also has a bunch of  fringe benefits. “Nettle rebuilds the adrenals and the kidneys, keeps the blood vessels flexible, shines up the hair, improves skin tone, nourishes the immune system, and moderates or eliminates most allergies.” (source)
  • Local honey: I stress the word “local” because you want to be exposing yourself to pollen from your area. You are using the principle of homeopathy where like cures like. “When a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less sensitive to this pollen.” (source)
  • Lemon: The benefit of lemon on allergies stem from its role in strengthening the immune-system and its high levels of vitamin C. Oh, and it just helps make the drink taste delicious.

The benefits from this drink are not going to be immediate so I use high-quality essential oils to manage my acute symptoms. A diluted blend of lemon, lavender and peppermint goes on my chest and under my feet 2 – 4 times per day. I’ve also been having great results with a drop of Arborvitae under my feet morning and night.

This weekend, I am going to add Quercetin supplements to this regime which have been very helpful to me in the past. Quercetin has amazing anti-histamine properties.

How do you naturally deal with seasonal allergies?

M.


Pushy essential oils salespeople

Wintergreen essential oil

A 15 ml bottle of Wintergreen essential oil from doTERRA

Recently, CBC News published an article about a frustrated mom that posted about her child’s illness on Facebook and in return received a bunch of messages from “pushy” essential oil sales reps. She was apparently looking for “help and support”.

As an aromatherapy student (and PROUD “sales rep”), I feel some responsibility to defend my passion. The recent surge in popularity of essential oils has made it a popular target in health communities and the mainstream media alike. I’m not going to refute each point in this article but rather provide some overall perspective.

  • Neither the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapy nor any certified aromatherapist was consulted in the writing of this article. Why aren’t we asking the opinion of a trained expert in this field?
  • Yes, Wintergreen essential oil can lead to toxicity when used incorrectly. It is particularly high in a chemical compound from the salicylates family, just like aspirin and some topical muscle creams. Here’s a great article with more information. Most people likely don’t even need to have this essential oil on-hand, as there are a lot of other effective options out there, and some aromatherapists even avoid it completely. I’ve actually never used mine!
  • All health products, whether “conventional” or “alternative” are backed by profit-seeking corporations and promoted through sales people and/or various forms of advertising. I honestly don’t see this as a legitimate argument at all. At the end of the day, we all buy from those we like and trust. This woman might not like the product or approach — but to each their own.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with completing my aromatherapy studies but this article hit a few nerves. I’ll dive in on this topic in a separate blog post but I will say that, after reading this, I made some HUGE progress on my assignments.

Now excuse me while I go breathe in some peppermint essential oil 😉

M.


Detox support for Spring

doTERRA zendocrine supplements

Two of my fave detox supplements

As I see more and more “healthy people” around me develop serious health issues, such as cancer, I become more and more convinced that the toxins we are exposed to play a far greater role in our health than we might think. By “healthy people”, I mean people who eat relatively well, exercise regularly and/or are considered far too young to be afflicted by such diseases.

Spring is the time of year when most of us think of detoxing or following a cleanse. I am no exception. In my most recent monthly doTERRA essential oils order, I got myself two amazing supplements: Zendocrine Softgels and the Zendocrine Detoxification Complex.

The Zendocrine Softgels are a blend of Tangerine (high limonene content), Rosemary (supports liver function), Geranium (supports elimination organs), Juniper Berry (supports kidneys) and Cilantro (supports your body’s detoxification mechanisms) essential oils which have been shown to have powerful detoxifying properties. I’ve been taking this supplement with breakfast, lunch and supper.

The Zendocrine Detoxification Complex is a beautiful mix of herbs that support healthy cleansing and filtering functions of the liver (Barberry root and bark, Milk thistle seed, Burdock root, Clove bud, Dandelion root, Garlic bulb, Red clover flowering tops), kidneys (Turkish Rhubarb stem, Burdock root, Clove bud, Dandelion root), colon (Psyllium husk, Turkish rhubarb stem, Acacia Gum bark, Marshmallow root), lungs (Osha root, Safflower petals), and skin (Kelp, Milk thistle seed, Burdock root, Clove bud, Garlic bulb). I’ve been taking this supplement with breakfast and supper.

Of course, at the same time, it is important to reduce your exposure to and consumption of toxins. Are you avoiding packaged goods and focusing on whole foods? Have you checked the ingredients in your home cleaning products and cosmetics? Could you replace some of these products with more natural versions or – EVEN BETTER – start making them yourself?

We commonly think of healthy eating and exercising as gateways to good health. I highly encourage you to also think about your toxic exposure as another important factor.

Are you going to support your body in cleansing this Spring?

M.

PS – Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I TOTALLY sell these supplements. However, I also HONESTLY use them on a regular basis. I have absolutely NO SHAME with that. I would feel FAR worst keeping secrets to good health from you!


Restocking my herb collection

Bags of dried Stinging Nettles, Red Clover, Lemon Balm, Dandelion and Gotu Kola

The herbs I got from l’Alchimiste en herbe in Montreal this past weekend.

This past weekend, I was in Montreal teaching an essential oils workshop at Café Floraison. I love the café’s warm, quaint and inviting atmosphere – plus, it’s located between a couple of neat shops selling a variety of herbs.

After the workshop, I took some time to explore and restock my dry herbs. Herbs are a great way to pack nutrition into your diet. Many are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytosterols and more!

Here’s what I ended up buying:

  • Stinging Nettle – energizing, nourishing and strengthening to the adrenals. It’s also a great support for allergies, which is something I struggle with. I make an infusion with this herb to get the maximum benefits.
  • Red Clover – superb anti-cancer and cancer-preventative herb. It is helpful for many “woman issues”. This is another one I drink as an infusion.
  • Lemon Balm – calming and supportive to the immune system. I consume this herb as a tea during cold/flu season and for a great night’s sleep. Lemon balm is part of the mint family and has a wonderful flavour.
  • Dandelion Root – great source of nutrients. Dandelion is a great detoxifying herb and I use it mainly for this purpose.
  • Gotu Kola – referred to as the herb of longevity. Need I say more? This is exactly why I consumer this herb!

There are many other health benefits associated with these herbs and I encourage you to do more research if you are interested in incorporating any of them into your proactive health regime.

Which herbs do you use and love?

M.