Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: June 2015

A Letter From the Editor: June in Review

typewriter-801921_1280     Hey there, Darling Hearts! I hope all of you are enjoying a lazy, lovely Sunday in exactly the way that makes you happiest. Today, I’m going to shake up the usual format and give you something a little different to look at.

Just yesterday. I was thinking back on all of the things that have happened in June so far, and realizing some pretty exciting stuff has gone on! If you’re not following me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, you might not even be seeing all of the excitement. Because social media isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I thought I’d make my last post of every month a sort of highlight reel of things I’ve shared, created or otherwise loved. Ready to dig in to the wonderful month that has been June?

They say it’s your birthday! Yeah, you read that right. I celebrated a birthday this month. I got to spend the day of with my family and the day after snapping nature photos with my fella. Basically, it was perfect. Plus, I got to have cupcakes twice. I mean, how lucky can one girl get?

cupcake bday

The first issue of Tejomaya Wellness Magazine came out. I’ve daydreamed about having my own magazine since flipping through the glossy and totally unassuming pages of Sassy in my teenage glory days. This one might not have any articles about Nirvana or what certain MTV VJs do in their spare time, but it was just a blast to put together. If you’re not using Flipboard, I totally recommend it. Get your Wilhelmina Slater on!

I got to use the heck out of my new travel aromatherapy diffuser. Seriously, you guys. It plugs into the computer and everything! I’m, like, so excited about this thing.


I wrapped up the design of my first ever book. Next stop is publishing! I’m believing for exactly the right opportunity with exactly the right people to make my work a reality. I promise you, it’s not like anything you’ve ever seen. Hopefully coming to a book shelf near you very soon!

I was asked to co-teach on a project I’m very excited about. More to come on this in July, but for now suffice it to say, I’m working with one of the most talented people I have ever known and as far as first forays into the field go, I’m blessed beyond measure. So, so good.

I was able to add quite a few new followers to all of my social media accounts. Every day that this number goes up, I think “I’m legit, Ya’ll. I’m doing this for realsies.” It’s a pretty nifty feeling. I hope it never ends.

After busting up my ankle pretty badly at the end of May, I was able to return to my workouts. It feels good to be getting back in the game again. I was making great progress towards my goal before I was taken out for the past three weeks and it’s time to be pressing on until I reach that finish line! I don’t even mind waking up early to do this.

I got an opportunity to look back at my month with gratitude for all the really great things that happened and at the same time put together a post for all of my favorite readers in the whole wide world. And I totally, completely and entirely mean that. Thanks for giving me the forum to feel thankful. This is such a joyful thing I get to do, and I’m glad every one of you is a part of it.

Next month, I have a plan to give this once-a-month post a little more structure. For now, I want to leave you with a challenge. Put together your own blog post, journal entry, napkin scribbling or whatever and go over all the marvelous things that have happened within the month of June. Post your links in the comments or even just share what has made you so happy that you just have to say thanks! Let’s share our joys!


Wishing You Total Well-Being,



Essential Health with Essential Oils: The Oils

wild flowers  Hi again, Everyone!  As promised, I’m giving you part two of my series on essential oils that I wrote for Inner Child Magazine.  This article digs a little deeper and gets into some of the actual oils themselves.  I’ve put together a sort-of kit of essentials, if you will, that’s great for anyone just getting into this rewarding practice.  If you think of any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask by leaving me a comment!  Enjoy!


Wishing You Total Well-Being,




In the last article we covered some of the basics for introducing aromatherapy into your daily routine, and now it’s time to explore some of the essential oils you can use to begin naturally scenting yourself and your home. Because so many of us are on a budget these days, it’s smart to test the waters with oils that are excellent multi-taskers and the good news is, there are a few great ones that can get you started.

As mentioned in the previous article, quality should always trump price, but don’t fret! The top oils are tops because they won’t make you wrinkle your nose or empty your wallet. A half ounce bottle will last you a lot longer than you think, due to the highly concentrated nature of the oils, so don’t worry if you think your shopping bag seems small for what you’re spending. You’ll no doubt be using them for everything you can think of, so that initial small investment will pay off in the first few drops. Ready to sniff out something awesome?


Lavender – No essential oil list would be complete without mentioning Lavender, and with good reason. It’s so useful! You can use lavender oil for all kinds of skin issues, such as minor kitchen burns, rashes, acne, insect bites and as a disinfectant for cuts and scrapes. Lavender oil is typically noted as being okay to apply neat, or without the use of a carrier oil. This is because it soothes so many skin issues, but it’s still smart to exercise caution if you are already have sensitive skin. Another great thing about lavender oil is that the calming nature of the oil doesn’t just stop with the skin. It’s wonderful for soothing and balancing for your emotions and psyche as well. Inhaling lavender draws it into the amygdala, which can help quell sleep disturbances, anxiety, stress headaches and so much more. Make sure you look specifically for Lavandula angustifolia, though. There are variations such as Spike Lavender, and Lavandin which are still wonderful oils, but don’t cast as wide a net as far as uses. Apply a few drops to a tissue and tuck it inside your pillow case for sweet dreams and restful sleep.

Peppermint – Thanks to the natural occurrence of menthol in the peppermint plant, this little wonder provides a cooling effect that is fantastic for so many things. Use peppermint oil (Mentha piperita )for intestinal discomfort like heartburn, and upset stomach. Make it your go to for headaches, respiratory complaints, overworked muscles, and take a whiff for a quick pick-me-up during the midday slump. You can also add peppermint oil to a cotton ball and place it near any areas where you think pests like insects or mice may be getting inside your home. They can’t stand the scent and will run the other way, plus you get clean karma because no harm came to the little guys. The menthol may burn the skin, so always dilute peppermint, but it’s handy, refreshing and wonderful when added to a spritzer bottle full of filtered water for hot weather. Give it a good shake and get some of nature’s free air conditioning for your skin and a fresh smelling alternative to bug spray.

Tea Tree – Tea Tree oil is sometimes fondly referred to as a “medicine chest in a bottle” and boy, is it ever awesome. Aside from treating a variety of skin issues, like warts, dandruff, athlete’s foot and cold sores, Melaleuca alternifolia is an amazing disinfectant for countertops, door handles and more. This makes it super valuable to you during cold and flu season because it is both antibacterial and antiviral. Because it’s antifungal as well, if you forget to take your clothes out of the machine before mildew sets in, run the load again, this time adding a few drops of tea tree to the water and freshen your garments and your washer at the same time.


Orange – You could easily substitute any of the citrus oils in your go-to kit, but orange oil (Citrus sinensis ) usually carries the lowest price tag. D-limonene, which is found in the peels of citrus fruits, is a very powerful antioxidant that’s great for health and also has awesome cleaning power when added to household cleansers. You might also consider using it in skin preparations, as orange oil has been shown to promote collagen production, promote circulation and encourage detoxification. Keep in mind that it can increase the effects of the sun’s rays, so it’s best not to use it right before going outside. It’s great for the digestion and it’s praises have been sung by Chinese doctors since ancient times. Orange is wonderful for lifting the spirits and easing stress and anxiety. Diffuse it in your home whenever you need a happiness boost.

Eucalyptus – Originally prized by Australian aborigines, Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus Globulus) is another versatile oil with a long list of benefits. It’s phenomenal for a variety of respiratory complaints making it great in steam treatments or added to humidifiers. Because of it’s refreshing scent, it’s often used in stress blends because it stimulates the brain and rejuvenates the spirits. It’s often found in natural lice treatments, dental care and products that treat skin infections. It can be added to creams to soothe muscle and joint pain and is a fabulous deodorizer so it can be diffused in a room with particularly lingering smells to kill germs and bacteria. Because it is cooling, mix it with peppermint oil and apply it to a cool, wet cloth to draw out a fever.

These are just a few oils to help you begin your aromatherapy journey and will offer you the best bang for your buck. There are around a hundred to choose from, so spend some time in the beauty section of your natural foods store and start sniffing out a winner. You can also look for small sample kits from reputable companies that will allow you to start with a lot of the single oils I mentioned, and usually for very affordable price. Don’t be afraid to experiment with blending, as well. Many essential oil companies provide you with a list compatible oils, either on their bottles, printed materials or websites, that will help you create a great combination that are especially suited to your needs and nose. Aromatherapy is first a pleasurable experience so above all, have fun and enjoy your creations!

Essential Health with Essential Oils: The Basics

aromatherapy  Hello,  Lovely Readers!  Since I am taking this weekend to celebrate my birthday and partake in some general awesomeness, I thought I’d share part one of a two part series I wrote for Inner Child Magazine on Essential Oils with you! As you learned about me recently, Aromatherapy is one of my main passions in life, so any time I get to write about it, it makes me a pretty happy lady! This one covers the basics of essential oils, like what they are, how they’re used and some basic safety instructions before you get started. I hope you enjoy! (And I totally know you will!!)


Wishing You Total Well-Being,





Let’s talk about essential oils, because they seem to be showing up everywhere. They’re in DIY recipes and pre-made household and beauty products. Some people are even building businesses around them. They’ve become pretty popular lately, so I’ve put together a basic guide to these lovely liquids so even a brand new beginner can use them safely and sensibly. This is the first of a two part series on essential oils so let’s cover the fundamentals and next month we’ll explore some of the most popular oils and the wonderful things you can do with them.

First of all, what are essential oils? Simply put, they are the highly concentrated essence of a plant, extracted by various methods in a liquid form for therapeutic purposes. These oils are then applied to the skin, inhaled, or ingested as a means to supplement health and well being. Your method may vary depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, so let’s take a look at how each method works.


Direct Application – When applying essential oils to the skin, it’s important to consider a few factors before just dousing yourself in whatever smells pretty. First of all, it’s wise to remember that you are using an extremely potent substance, so dilution will most likely be necessary to prevent irritation. Mixing a few drops into a small amount of a high quality unscented lotion or carrier oil is always advised, and most good oils will provide you with a proper dilution ratio to follow for safe application. Also, remember that the skin is permeable, so what you put on you, you’re putting in you. This is where it’s wise to take the time to really research what you’re buying, but more on this later.


How do you get the best out of a direct application? Massaging the area first or applying heat, either yourself or through an aromatherapeutic massage increases circulation and can enhance absorption. Also, unless your ailment is specifically located, such as a rash of blemish, you may have better luck applying it to thin skinned areas or places where you have sweat glands. For a neat trick to test your circulation, rub a freshly sliced clove of garlic on the bottoms of your feet and see how long it takes before you begin to taste it. This is exactly the way that nicotine or birth control patches work.


Inhalation- Another great way for essential oils to enter the bloodstream is inhalation through the nose or mouth. They can be diffused or sprayed into the air, breathed in during a steam treatment or applied to a tissue, handkerchief or cotton ball and simply sniffed. The scent molecules impact the brain almost immediately as they travel through the limbic system. This part of your marvelous mind controls stress, respiratory and circulatory function and hormones.


It also controls memory, so don’t be surprised if sniffing a rose essential oil recalls a romantic gift from a suitor or if cinnamon takes you back to the sweet smell of grandma’s kitchen. This is why it’s good to know that no matter how good an oil might be for a certain ache or pain, if you don’t like the smell of it or it brings back unpleasant memories for you, it won’t be effective. The good news is, there are so many to choose from, if sandalwood doesn’t float your boat, there’s going to be something that will.

Ingestion- The third way to introduce essential oils into the body is to swallow them either by mixing them into a drink or taking them inside an empty capsule. This method is a bit controversial right now, because it used to be widely accepted that oils are not safe for consumption unless under the guidance of a licensed aromatherapist or holistic practitioner, but a couple of the top brands promote use in this way. So who is right? Ultimately the decision to consume your oils is yours, but there are some good things to know while you’re checking things out. While application via the skin or inhalation may not cause any concern, swallowing your oils can be toxic to the kidneys and liver. Also, when oils must travel through the digestive system before hitting the bloodstream, the way they are broken down can change their effectiveness and effects. You will also need to be on the watch for potentially harmful drug or even supplement interactions. Erring on the side of caution where your health is concerned is always smart.

When it comes to quality, an organic label is best, but when that’s not possible, it’s wonderful for your pocket book to know high dollar doesn’t always equal safe or clean. Sometimes the fancy stuff is cut with questionable chemicals or processed multiple times to produce a product that might still smell great, but doesn’t offer you or your health the quality you deserve. Also be watchful of the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils. They might come in a similar looking bottle or even have a name that sounds the same, but a fragrance oil merely smells nice, and in some cases can contain chemicals that are known hormone disruptors. Yikes! Best to stick to the real thing if health is your aim.

As a last and final note, please exercise extreme caution when applying essential oils or using them around your pets. While some will be safe and even beneficial, always verify first with your traditional or holistic vet or before use. Proper dilutions are critical and some oils are toxic and even deadly, especially to cats. They lack specific enzymes that allow their livers to properly process certain essential oils. You might be willing to risk it on yourself, but your furry friend can’t say “Hey! This doesn’t feel right”, so please don’t chance it and talk to a credentialed expert.

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, next month we’ll explore some of the most useful essential oils. If you’re like me and you can’t wait that long, there are a ton of amazing resources out there to get you started. Look for books by top experts and teachers like Robert Tisserand, Valerie Ann Worwood and Kurt Schnaubelt or check out some free classes put on by local or online aromatherapy schools. Happy sniffing!

Drink Up!

Ginger Lemon  Since the change in weather seems to be stirring up coughs and colds in my town, I thought it might be nice to share one of my home remedies with you that got me through the nasty lung flare-ups that accompanied my illness years ago. I still use this to calm just about any kind of inflammation, and it really helps me to feel better quickly.

First, I boil some water on the stove. I’ve never measured the exact amount, but make sure its enough for a cup of tea, since that’s basically what this is. Then, in a mug, I squeeze the juice from half of a lemon. To that I add a 1/4 -1/2 a teaspoon of the following: ground turmeric, ginger and cayenne. By all means, use fresh if you have it, but if you’re watching your budget, ground herbs and spices work just fine and even the certified organic kinds are very affordable. This will be spicy, so if it’s your first time at the rodeo, you can start small or even just sprinkle a little in your mug and build yourself up from there. Cayenne has, for some sufferers, actually settled GERD, heartburn or stomach acid, so don’t be afraid of it, but I get if you want to start out small. Then, I  add one crushed clove of garlic and add my hot water.

At this point, I added a teaspoon of local honey to my mug and sipped it like broth, but if that’s too far out there for you, just finish it as is and follow it with the honey straight off of the spoon. Mary Poppins approved!


Why did I choose what I chose to put in it? Here’s a breakdown of the properties of each ingredient:

Lemon – said to purify the blood and strengthen the immune system.

Turmeric – a powerful anti-inflammatory, showing promise in a variety of illnesses and diseases.

Ginger – aids digestion, improves respiratory function and also anti-inflammatory.

Cayenne – yet another anti-inflammatory, known to break up mucus in congested individuals.

Garlic – a natural anti-viral and antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

Local Honey – traces of pollen native to your area have been known to soothe seasonal allergies.

What about you? Do you have any tried and true home remedies that are good for what ails ya? Share your recipe in the comments!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,
(And a resilient immune system!)


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