Posts tagged ‘natural remedies’

October 2, 2013

The A-Choo Choo Train Has Arrived!

Achoo Choo

Chronic coughing, watery eyes, and sinus pressure is nothing to sneeze about! If you’re an audible reminder of the change of seasons, perhaps it’s time to take your allergies seriously.  When I was younger, I used to hide before coughing, and held in my sneezes (which someone told me would blow out my eardrums and ruin my hearing. So far so good there… although I stopped holding in my sneezes out of that fear.) Here’s your allergy edition of “Did You Know?”

Hopefully you’ll find one or two nuggets of new information that will save your makeup from running, your nose from chaffing, and maybe make you a little more pleasant as we navigate through the fall allergy season.

right sneeze Wrong sneeze

Did you know…

  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t effectively remove all allergens. They kill bacteria, but not necessarily food proteins, whichcause food allergies.
  • Combatting inflammation is key to keeping your sinuses clear. Spirulina, Eyebright, Butterbur, Bromelain, and Goldenseal have all been recommended for allergy relief.
  • Showering off after spending time outdoors is a huge help in reducing the spread of allergens. A quick rinse after spending time outdoors can help remove allergens from your skin and hair and prevent them from spreading to clothes, furniture, pillowcases, and other surfaces.

A favorite home remedy that takes me back to childhood is the steam bowl. Pour boiling water into a bowl and with a towel over your head, hover your face over the bowl (not too close—it is boiling water!) This creates a steam to breathe in deeply and open up clogged passageways. For an added bonus, add a few drops of  Eucalyptus oil, which has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Ahh!

(BEAUTY TIP: While your pores are open from the steam bowl, wipe Witch Hazel on your face for a natural toner and antiseptic.)

Finally—here are two favorite recipes to soothe and decongest you through allergy season.

Lemon WaterPeppy Lemon Water

Warm lemon water with a few drops of peppermint oil (yep, t

hat’s all. So easy, you can have several detoxing, decongesting cups.)

The lemon water has soothing and detoxing properties, and the peppermint will assist with inflammation.

Hot Cucumber Rolls

Mix together wasabi paste and red pepper hummus (or regular hummus and add crushed red pepper)

Slice crisp red, green, and yellow bell peppers

Thinly slice a cucumber long-ways (not the normal way)

Spread the hummus paste lightly onto half a cucumber slice

Roll two or three pepper slices into each cucumber and secure with a toothpick (for parties, add a almond-stuffed olive or a mint leaf

to the toothpick before securing to the roll.)

The wasabi and red peppers both have elements that work as temporary decongestants and cucumbers are detoxing helpers! All of these are feel-good ingredients to comfort yourself and your allergy-stricken body.

For more holistic tips and remedies, check out or message me at for information on what I use to stay allergy-free (and away from sickness altogether!)

August 7, 2013

‘Tis the Season for… Cinnamon!


‘Tis the season… for cinnamon! I promise I won’t chat holidays just yet, although who doesn’t like a warm house filled with the aroma of cinnamon apple pie? That yumminess aside, I love knowing about the benefits of one of my favorite spices: Cinnamon! Nothing reminds us of the holidays quite like cinnamon does, but let’s not save such greatness for just the holiday season. I dare you to incorporate cinnamon year-round. Here’s why!


Cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest-known spices and has healing properties that rival many other products on your spice rack. It’s natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties make it easy to have a love affair with cinnamon. Go ahead! Smell it, taste it, wear it… indulge! Try to incorporate it into your everyday routine to reap the most benefits. Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions:

Brain Power Booster

It was found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory. Carry a cinnamon stick around with you, and take a whiff every so often to keep you focused at work or school.

Pain Reliever

Cinnamon is used to treat pain because it reacts with the hormone-like substance prostaglandin, which contributes to the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Sprinkle some in your bath water!

Diabetes Treatment

Studies have been conducted on diabetic patients, whom were each given one-quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon over 40 days, researchers observed that patients’ blood sugar levels fell as much as 30 percent.

Weight Loss

Because of cinnamon’s effectiveness in reducing insulin resistance – research reports that cinnamon triples insulin’s capacity to metabolize blood sugar – the spice can thus reduce hunger and sugar cravings, which leads to weight loss.

Menstrual Aid

Cinnamon has been used for centuries to help women with heavy menstrual bleeding. (You’re welcome!)

Circulation Booster

Cinnamon is commonly used to thin blood, which in turn increases circulation throughout the body. This not only helps to reduce pain in troubled areas but promises that oxygen is being supplied to the blood cells. Cinnamon is also a great dietary complement for heart attack survivors.

 Complexion Enhancer

Due to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities as well as its antioxidant power, cinnamon is effective in treating acne and skin blemishes. Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon with 3 tablespoons of honey, apply to the skin, and let the mixture sit for a few hours or overnight. Wash off with warm water.

Cold and Flu Reliever

Cinnamon is commonly used across East Asia and Europe as a warming herb for conditions involving the body to become cold. In these cases, cinnamon is combined with ginger to treat a cold or flu.

Yeast Infection Fighter

Cinnamon can be used to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. High blood sugar levels can lead to candida overgrowth, and cinnamon is helpful in lowering blood sugar levels. Cinnamon’s anti-fungal properties are also helpful in combating the effects of a yeast infection.


My Favorite Cinnamon Uses


If you have no time…

  • Add cinnamon to your vanilla protein shake
  • Sprinkle Cinnamon on apple or pear slices, dipped in cashew butter
  • Put cinnamon in your morning coffee to start your day off with zest
  • Having a spinach salad for lunch? Sprinkle some cinnamon on it!
  • Cinnamon on baked chicken shakes up an otherwise bland protein option


If you have the time, here’s a favorite recipe…

Cider-Glazed Roots with Cinnamon Walnuts


  • 3 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled (see Tip) and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Make yourself a warm cup of herbal tea.

2. If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before cutting into 1-inch pieces. Whisk cider, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish until the sugar is dissolved. Add root vegetables and toss to coat. Cover the baking dish with foil. Now, add cinnamon to your cup of herbal tea, and sip.

3. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and stir the vegetables. Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are glazed and tender, about 1 hour more. Ask someone about their day… husband, children, or call and put a friend on speaker phone. Tell her you’re cooking but wanted to chat–you’ll make her feel important and special.

4. Meanwhile, place walnuts in a small skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add butter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until the butter melts and the nuts are coated. Spread out on a plate to cool slightly. Tell the family something fabulous is coming!

5. Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon walnuts. Give your favorite pup (or husband) a taste and celebrate their gratitude over such a yummy treat.

 (recipe compliments of plus my own additions)