Heart Health

Heart Health
Your heart races when you feel excited, it slows when you relax, and it beats steady and strong when you feel safe and loved.  It’s your constant companion and the drumbeat to your life.  Did you know that if you live to be 100 years old, your heart will have beaten about 3,786,978,960 times?  That’s nearly 4 billion heartbeats!

The human heart is one of the hardest-working organs in the body. It never calls in sick or takes a vacation; it is vital for our survival.  Since there is no backup system, it is vital that we take care of this important organ.  We are going to learn how you can improve your cardiovascular health and why keeping your heart healthy is so important!

EYE OPENING STATISTICS ABOUT YOUR HEART


Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that cardiovascular disease and stroke are major women’s health risks; but knowledge is power and a critical part of healthy living! Did you know ~

  • Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States.
  • Heart disease kills more than a third of women in the United States each year.
  • More than 42 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • Stroke and cardiovascular diseases are responsible for the death of one in three women every year.
  • Almost two-thirds of women who die of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.
  • Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
  • Heart disease kills six times as many women as breast cancer every year, but data shows that women fear breast cancer more.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), some of the key factors to poor heart health include overweight/obesity, diabetes. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and excessive alcohol intake.

Before you get carried away worrying about the state of your heart, remember that there are lots of ways to care for yourself.  Try these tips to help you better manage your cardiovascular health and show your heart some love!


Every little change counts!

With this heart health information, you’re better equipped to take the best care of your heart.  Try adding one thing to your day to give your heart a boost, and remember that little changes can make a big difference!

Candy, Flowers & Cards!

Candy, Flowers & Cards!
Have you ever wondered about the history of Valentine’s Day?  How this day came to symbolize candy, flowers and gifts exchanged between loved ones around the world?

Well, its history is not quite as romantic!  There was a time in ancient Rome when young men were not allowed to marry because it was believed to make them better warriors than those with wives and families.  However, a priest named Valentine defied this, and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.  The Emperor found out and executed the priest.  The Catholic church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine – all were martyred!  

During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which further adds to the idea. Chaucer and Shakespeare both romantiziced it in their work with the writing of love letters and poems.  While handmade paper cards became the “it” thing in the Middle Ages.

Today, February 14this still the day to express love, romance and send cards and gifts to our loved ones.

Here are some tips on showing love on Valentine’s Day.

#1:   Give gifts that speak to your partner’s love language.  
Each of us feel loved and valued when another person gives us time and attention. Gifts that are thoughtful and a tender touch can show appreciation and love. There are 5 universal love languages that all show love. While we can feel love from any of the 5 love languages, we tend to receive love the most with one or two specific ones. This is your dominant love language.

Knowing and giving love based on your partner’s love language can be especially fulfilling for them. I highly recommend The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and taking the love language assessment here

#2:   “Kidnap” them and take them somewhere special.
Plan something for a day when you know they don't have anything going on, tell them you have a fun date arranged, blindfold them, drive around to make sure they don’t know where you’re going, and then go to the location. This could be an activity you’ve always wanted to do together but haven’t had the chance to do yet or something simple that you do together all the time. The added mystery makes it more fun.

#3:   Have a sunset picnic.
So many times, we have picnics during the day, so mix things up and plan a picnic for sunset instead. According to a 
recent survey, sunsets are more romantic anyway.  You could do this at the beach, on the bank of a river or lake, in an open park, or anywhere else that you know has a good view. Try to get there an hour before the sun actually sets, so you can enjoy your picnic snacks and drinks before. Then just focus on each other and the scenery once the sun starts sinking.

#4:   Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, not just romantic relationships.
You may have heard it said that Valentine’s day could be called “Singles Awareness Day”.  Remember, Valentine’s Day is a time when we celebrate love in all forms.  A father can express love to his daughter.  A mother can express love to her son.  Friends can express love for one another.

Think of ways that you can express love to several people around you.  Consider a card for your siblings or a special treat for your kids.  Be creative; show others you care and have fun!

As you read this, consider this a challenge to reach out to at least one non-partnered friend this Valentine’s Day, and remind them how much they are loved.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

PS … As always, I like to provide you with value in my blogs, click below for FREE Tips and Recipes including more info on the 5 love languages, romantic diffuser blends and some recipes to spice up your love life! 


PSS … As February is also Heart  Month, watch my next blog on Heart Health!

BRRR - It's Cold Outside!

BRRR - It's Cold Outside!
Friends, get into your coziest pants, make something warm to drink!  I hope you’ll feel inspired to snuggle up, relax, and get the most out of this blog as it is all about creating a cozy environment wherever you call home ~ I'm writing this in front of my fireplace on this cold January day!  

One of the keys to creating a cozy environment is creating small spaces for people to gather.  Little sitting nooks and chairs drawn together.  Open concept living is all the rage, but even in expansive rooms, having small areas for intimate gatherings is key to a warm and inviting environment.  Cluster pieces of furniture together to create areas for conversation and connection.   Have warm accents around your little nooks - pillows and throws, soft lighting, your favorite books, a leafy plant (I won’t tell if it’s fake).  Things that aren’t cluttery, but make  you feel surrounded by personality and warmth.

Studies have shown that we process our memories and emotions through our limbic system, which is tied to our olfactory nerve. That means our sense of smell can have a major impact on how we think and feel.  When we want to create the most inviting space possible that starts with scent!  As soon as someone walks in the door, I want them to feel at home.

But have you ever wondered about all the scents we come into contact with?  Sometimes, we don't even know we are smelling something that is harmful to our bodies.  I can’t even tell you how many candles I’ve purchased over the years.  Especially in the fall and winter!  I was obsessed with finding the perfect one to fill up every corner of my household with the smell of baked goods.  

Then I learned that candles are terrible for us ~ in fact, fragrance is now considered the new second-hand smoke!  More than 95 percent of the chemicals in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals and a lot of other known toxins are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies—some of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste list.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75 percent of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates (THAL-ates) which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, cause reproductive malformation, have been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity.  Additionally, studies by Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center, link fetal exposure with autism, ADHD, and neurological disorders. 

After researching and looking into this, I wanted to replace those candles and I found out that diffusing actually benefits us.  That’s a pretty awesome alternative!  Check out my FREE class below to find out my favourite Fireside Diffuser recipe - but also other recipes you can use to switch out those toxic products and create a healthy, cozy home. 


PSST ... a little secret ... a couple of my other favourite recipes included is the Peppermint Hot Chocolate and a heavenly Bath Soak recipe! 




LEMON VITALITY LOAF CAKE

LEMON VITALITY LOAF CAKE
I recently had a craving for Lemon Loaf so went to check out my old recipes and came across this one I had received from a friend a long time ago.  Instead of using the lemon extract originally called for in this recipe, I added Young Living's Lemon Vitality essential oil to the recipe.

When I am cooking, if I can substitute a chemical ingredient with one which is 100% plant based and organic I will do so. Also, Lemon Vitality essential oil adds a bright, dynamic flavor to many dishes and its versatility in sweet and savory recipes is what makes this fruit a popular item in kitchens around the world. Use it to add flavor to savory foods like fish and chicken or sweet foods like pastries and cakes.
 
Lemon Vitality oil has a bright taste you’ll want to keep on hand for almost anything you whip up. Instead of zesting or juicing, use Lemon Vitality for a convenient way to use this great flavor. Depending on what you're making, make sure you start small with a single drop of oil.

I know you're going to want the recipe for the Lemon Loaf Cake - so here it is!

Lemon Vitality Loaf Cake

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 drops Young Living Lemon Vitality Essential Oil (start with 8 drops and adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-3 drops Lemon Vitality Oil (optional - depending on your taste - remember a little goes a long way!)
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter and flour the entire pan.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1 cup of the sugar, eggs, lemon vitality oil, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, whisking to combine. Use a rubber spatula to fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it’s fully incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester stuck in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  3. While the cake is baking, combine the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
  4. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it and placing it on a baking rack over a sheet pan. Use a cake tester, wooden skewer, or toothpick to carefully pierce holes throughout the cake (I used a skewer so that I could have various depths of holes in the cake to allow more syrup to get through - don't worry they're not noticeable when you're done!). While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool completely.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon vitality oil (if using) whisking to form a smooth glaze. Pour over the cake. Slice and serve with fresh berries, whipped cream, or ice cream.
Happy baking - enjoy!

Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy First Day of Spring!
Well today is the first day of Spring!  Depending on where you live, it may or may not feel like it!  If you live on the East Coast - you're getting ready for another Nor'easter!  If you live in the UK - you're hunkering down expecting 25+ cm of snow! If you live in Calgary (like I do) - you're wishing that the snow would just go away!

While spring may seem like it's a long time coming - there's nothing stopping us from making spring blends in our diffusers!

The photo attached has some great recipes to try out!  In fact, I think I'm going to start with a Sunny Day!

Here's to Spring arriving (soon I hope!)


 
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