Using Essential Oils

Here's the 'why' behind my love of essential oils:

Unlike chemicals found in most candles, bathroom sprays, cleaning agents etc., essential oils don't remain in our bodies. Meaning, they leave zero toxins behind! They are just as convenient, practical and pleasant as commercial products but without the nasty & toxic ingredients. 

My favourite methods:

  • On a handkerchief or tissue: use 1 drop of essential oil and sniff as needed.
  • Baths&showers: mix up to 8 drops max in a bath with the door closed so the vapours don't escape. Or up to 8 drops max on a facecloth or sponge in the shower.
  • Diffusers: These are especially made for use with essential oils. They come in various materials such as ceramic, stainless steel, clay etc. The essential oils are mixed with water in the top of the diffuser and a tea light is used underneath to warm the bowl. You can also buy electric diffusers as well.
  • Room Sprays: 4 or more drops of essential oils per 1 cup of water in a spray bottle which can be used on carpet, curtains, as a room spray or cleaning agent.
  • Water bowls: Add 1-9 drops of essential oils to boiling water, close all doors and windows and allow 5 minutes for the aroma to permeate the room.
  • Candles: Light a candle and wait until the wax begins to melt, then add 1-2 drops of essential oils to the wax. Essential oils are inflammable so be careful NOT to get them on the wick.

My favourite blends:

  • Baths: I love this Nourishing Oil mix because oftentimes I find that baths dry my skin out. The oils in this blend will float on the water and cling to the body once you're out. Mix 2 teaspoons of Avocado&Apricot oil, 2 tablespoons of Sweet Almond oil with 50 drops of essential oils of your choice. I personally like chamomile, geranium & lavender essential oil with this blend.
  • Air Fresheners: In a diffuser I mix the following essential oils, clove, orange and cinnamon. This blend is my go to for the Fall and Winter Seasons.
  • Steam Inhalation: I use these blends when I have a cold: 1 drop of thyme, tea tree, lavender & clove. Or in a hot bath I use: 2 drops of thyme&tea tree oil with 1 drop of eucalyptus and 3 drops of lemon.
  • If I'm feeling stuffed up or congested I put 1 drop of eucalyptus oil on a tissue and sniff as needed.

When it comes to essential oils and aromatherapy there are SO many different uses for them. I recommend buying a guide and using it as a tool for when and how to use what essential oils safely. Lastly, it's important to ensure that you're buying a quality oil. Look for reputable brands like Aromaforce, Aura Cacia etc. One easy way to tell if it's a quality oil will be the bottle, look for dark bottles vs. clear bottles.

XO Valerie

Wild Shrimp with Zucchini Sticks and Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

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My very first blog post!! (Finally!) Last night Chris and I made the most delicious dinner and I have received some great feedback from the pictures I posted so I wanted to post the recipe here for everyone to check out. We were really into the organic produce we came across and wanted to create two vegetable side dishes. The first, lightly breaded and baked Zucchini sticks and the second, baked stuffed tomatoes. We paired our veggies with garlic-butter wild shrimp but you could very easily pair your veggies with a side of brown rice or quinoa pilaf to keep it Vegetarian.

Just a little nutritional background here: Zucchini's are an amazing source of antioxidants especially when you consume the skin and the seeds and in this recipe we're incorporating both! They also offer anti-inflammatory benefits with a good source of fibre and omega 3 fatty acids. And not to mention they're in season right now!

Tomatoes are a rich source of phytonutrients and research has linked the antioxidant properties of lycopene (that's what gives the tomato its beautiful red colour) to bone health. Tomatoes have also been linked with heart health and are an amazing source of antioxidants.

Baked Zucchini Sticks: We used two green zucchini and it yielded roughly 3-4 servings. Wash your zucchini well and cut the ends off. Cut the zucchini into sticks and toss in a bowl with EVOO and a pinch of sea salt. In a separate bowl mix whole grain breadcrumbs (we got ours from Nature's Emporium and it was a mix of kamut and spelt), S&P, we like to use cumin and paprika to season with but really you could use any variation you desire. Now coat each zucchini stick in your breadcrumb mixture and coat well. Use a non stick baking sheet to place your breaded zucchini sticks on. Set your oven at 425 degrees and bake them for approximately 12 min.

Stuffed Tomatoes: We used two organic tomatoes, one for each of us. Again, wash your tomatoes well. Cut the tops off and very carefully cut just enough out of the inside of the tomato to make room for your filling. Season your tomato with S&P first. Your filling will be a combination of whole grain breadcrumbs, grated Asiago cheese(you can really use any cheese you prefer here), oregano and S&P. Stuff your tomatoes with as much of the filling as you desire and drizzle with a bit of EVOO before placing them in a 425 degree oven for 20 min.

This recipe is not only simple but it's seriously yummy! The zucchini sticks are especially kid friendly:) I hope you enjoy!! XO Valerie