Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: March 2016

Gratitude Review: March

blossom-918453_1920     There’s something magical about Spring that hasn’t changed for me since childhood. That feeling you get when school is almost out and skirts and sleeves get a little bit shorter. There’s something totally freeing about it and while Fall is still my favorite season (Three Words: Snuggly Sweater Weather!), Spring comes in a close second. I’ve got lots to be thankful for this month, so here are some of my happiest moments.

I got outside with my camera almost every day that I could and snapped lots of photos of all of the blooming flowers. They are probably my favorite subject. Here are a few of my favorites:

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If you know me personally, you know that I am obsessed with all things coconut. I love the smell, the taste, the oil, the water, all of it! I also love lemons. I love diffusing the oil to clear the air and give everything a light, clean scent. I put it in my homemade cleaning products and I always keep sliced lemon on hand to add to my water. How can you not love these sunshiny, citrus fruits? I recently re-discovered this fabulous 3-in-1 lotion from Everyone/E.O. Products, and I am totally head over heels for it. I make a lot of my own beauty and body care products, but this stuff can’t be beat. I’m a chronic hand-washer, so my knuckles used to be so chalky and on the verge of cracking, but my skin drinks this stuff up. It’s non-greasy and it smells like a dream, but isn’t overpowering. It’s Gluten Free, Non-GMO and not tested on cute little animals, so it gets my big old stamp of approval. I know it seems silly to be thankful for lotion, but I get a big boost of happy every time I use it. Sunshine in a bottle, for sure!

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I’ve had a pretty good month for weight loss, too. I made some good progress last year and I want that to see carry over into this one. The weather has been cooperating, so I’m able to get outside and walk more often, since it’s my favorite way to workout. The fella and I even discovered a nearby nature preserve with gorgeous hiking trails that we’ve been taking advantage of on the weekends. Getting back in nature has made me so happy, especially because parts of our trail remind me of my beloved Boulder, which I miss very much.

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I want to hear from you! What were your memorable moments for March? Leave me a comment below and share in the joy! Staying in gratitude is an important part of how I stay positive, and nothing makes me more thankful than reading about how you’re keeping a smile on your face.  Thanks for reading and have a wonderful April, Darling Hearts!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Essential Oil Spotlight: Hydrosols

chamomile     When you’ve been in the world of aromatherapy for a little while, you’ll eventually hear the term hydrosol, or floral water. When you extract an essential oil from plant material using water or steam distillation, there is condensate water left over. This byproduct of essential oil production isn’t tossed out, it’s highly valuable! Because the condensate water contains the essence of the plant being used to create the essential oil, it’s therapeutic and wonderful for a variety of cosmetic preparations. Because it is milder than an essential oil, it’s able to be used in circumstances where an oil might be too strong or cause irritation. On average, they contain only 0.2% of the essential oil that batch produced. This makes them good choices for children, older folks, pregnant women and people with very sensitive skin.

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The term ‘floral water” might be a tad antiquated. Hydrosols come from a variety of plants and while they do indeed include flowers such as Rose, Ylang Ylang and Neroli (Orange Blossom), they can also be made from herbs, needles, roots and woods. Just like essential oils, hydrosols are available in Eucalyptus, Douglas Fir, Rosemary and Peppermint, just to name a few. Unlike essential oils, you can find hydrosols in varieties where essential oils are not common or not possible to produce, like cucumber. These types of hydrosols are wonderful for people who want to use only natural plant essences to make perfumes. Another benefit is that hydrosols often cost less than essential oils, so they are a great place to start if you’re on a budget, but still want to experience the wonderful aroma of these beautiful plants.

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Hydrosols make excellent skin toners. I pour mine into spray top bottles and keep them in the refrigerator. I’ve used Rose hydrosol to hydrate my dry winter skin and Peppermint hydrosol for my face, neck and chest to cool off in the hot summer months. Soak a cotton ball or pad in Cucumber hydrosol and rest them on tired, puffy eyes for natural relief. Two to three tablespoons of Chamomile hydrosol can help your little one relax when added to warm bathwater. They are also fantastic linen sprays. Not sleeping all that well? Softly scent your sheets and pillowcases with dreamy, pure lavender. Ahh, now that’s better!

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While I’d still be cautious around animals and check for any possible contraindications, hydrosols are fun to use and generally regarded as safe. Just make sure you’re getting the real thing and not a synthetic version. A reputable company will be transparent about their production methods and won’t mind explaining to you how they are made.

I want to hear from you! Let me know how you use hydrosols and which ones are your favorites. Feel free to share any cool combos you come up with or any unexpected ways you’ve come up with to use these wonderful waters. Happy hydrosoling!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

P.S. If you’re still a little confused about where to go to find quality hydrosols, I’m really happy with the quality, prices, and service I get from Mountain Rose Herbs. If you use my affiliate link to order, I get a small thank-you commission from the company that allows me to keep this blog going and you get to use some of the best dang products on the planet.

 

Drink It In: 5 Great Reasons to Try Matcha

tea drinker     Hello, Darling Hearts! I’m busy working on school this week, so here’s a replay of one of my favorite articles for Inner Child Magazine. Do you drink Matcha? Tell me all about it in the comments below! 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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One of the things I love most about new food trends is discovering that they are actually quite old and steeped in rich tradition. This is so the case with Matcha! First traced to China and then brought to Japan, this potent powdered green tea has been consumed for over a thousand years. Originally, it was only served in an elaborate ceremony for royalty and honored Samurai, due to the cost and effort required to produce it. Unlike other green teas, the entire leaf is used in the process. After a special growth process where it’s allowed to reach optimum chlorophyll levels, it’s pulverized into a fine powder, allowing you to receive up to 10 times the benefit of your normal cup of tea. No wonder they gave this stuff to warriors! So what else can it do? Here are 5 more great reasons to drink it!

 

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  1. It’s loaded with antioxidants. You know that stuff that counteracts the damage caused by UV rays, pollution and secondhand smoke? Matcha has it in spades, specifically EGCg, or epigallocatechin gallate. It has a reputation as a cancer fighter, and outranks nearly every other superfood on the ORAC scale by a wide margin.
  2. It boosts the heck out of your metabolism, which may help with weight loss. We’ve heard for years that green tea is a real-life fat burner, thanks to the process of thermogenesis. One study in particular showed fat burning potential increase by 25% when participants drank one serving of matcha before their workouts. It also increases endurance and energy levels with a hearty dose of L-Theanine, which will give you a hand up at the gym.
  3.  It’s brainfood. The L-Theanine in matcha promotes clarity and concentration in as much as 5 times the amount of traditional green tea. It does this by increasing production of dopamine and serotonin and stimulating alpha brain waves. Since stress causes a spike in beta wave activity, an increase in alpha waves results in a calming effect. Pretty nifty for a beverage!
  4. It’s good to your heart. In 2011, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported significant lowering of LDL cholesterol levels in individuals that consumed green tea or green tea extracts. Matcha certainly qualifies!
  5. It’s your immune system’s new BFF. While the catechins have been reported by some to contain antibiotic properties, matcha does also have notable amounts of Vitamins A & C, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Protein and Fiber, which promote overall health. It’s also heavy on the chlorophyll, which alkalizes the body and oxygenates the blood, encouraging it to fight off illness and disease.

matcha cake

 

Not sure where to find matcha? Because of its recent popularity it’s easy to find at natural foods stores and specialty tea shops. If drinking it isn’t your cup of tea, matcha can also be used in a variety of homemade recipes and is now being featured in a variety of healthy convenience foods, as well. Any time can be tea time, if you know where to look. Raise a cup to your health!

Announcement Time: I’m a Mountain Rose Herbs Affiliate!

rosemary-919234_1920     I’m over-the-moon-excited to announce that I am now a Mountain Rose Herbs Affiliate! What does that mean? Simply put, the company who I’ve personally been using for my aromatherapy and DIY beauty needs is kind enough to pay me a small commission every time one of you lovely folks buys something using one of the banner ads or product specific links on my page. It does not alter the price you pay, limit the offerings available to you, or affect the security of your purchase in any way. What going through my links does help me accomplish is defraying some of the cost of maintaining the blog and allow me to afford some extra goodies so I can create fun, future content for you to enjoy. That’s pretty fantastic, right?

Now, I get that some of you may be skeptical. It won’t hurt my feelings if you decide to do your own research. In fact, I urge you to! It’s so important to be informed when it comes to essential oils because they are not all the same. Dig deep because your health is on the line! My biggest reason for going with Mountain Rose Herbs for my own personal needs was that affordability didn’t come with a compromise to quality. I get Organic and wild crafted items without over-inflated prices and I’m supporting a company that supports Fair Trade and respects the planet. I’m building my practice and business on these same whole-heartfelt principles. It was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m honored that they are giving me this awesome opportunity!

As for the blog, you’ve probably noticed that it’s already taken an aromatherapy focus of late. It’s a shift that’s given me a lot of joy and an abundance of topics to write about. I haven’t felt this happy since I fell so madly in love with a little bottle of lavender oil 18 years ago! If there’s anything about aromatherapy or essential oils that you want to learn about, leave me a comment and I’ll get right on it! In the meantime, feel free to check out the Mountain Rose Herbs website and have a look around. Don’t miss the Specials tab at the top of the page! It’s a great place to stock up on-the-cheap and try something new.

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

 

Tuesday Night Beauty: A Peek Into My Weekly Self-Care Ritual

clairisonic     As part of my self-care goals for 2016, I’ve created a weekly pampering ritual that I’m just now willing to admit in a public forum. Not because taking care of myself is anything to be ashamed of, but I do have an confession to make. I’m a QVC addict! Not in the “Wow, this credit card bill is outrageous” sort of way, but if I’m not actively marathoning something with the BF while the TV is on, the channel is set to the Q. I know all of the hosts by name and can tell you what days and times most of the regular segments are on. I don’t know what it is about it, but it totally relaxes me. I get a little good-natured ribbing from the fella and a few friends over it, especially when I started seriously considering elastic-waist pants at 35 years young, but it is what it is. I won’t change!

My favorite night to watch is Tuesday, because of Tuesday Night Beauty. It’s a whole show dedicated to nothing but beauty products. As a former make-up artist, I love seeing all of the latest and greatest in the world of cosmetics. I’ve cleaned up most of the products I use of petrochemicals, parabens and other hormone disruptors, but I still love staying informed and seeing what’s shiny and new. Because of this, I started paying attention to my virtually non-existent beauty routine since I started school and began using that night to administer a little TLC. I don’t do any work or go out and socialize that night, I slip into my prettiest lounge-wear, put on the Q and take my time to really savor the experience and care for myself.

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I started mixing up a detoxing masque of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 30 minutes while I put some argan oil on my hair and coconut oil on my cuticles. Once my masque is dry, I rinse it off. It takes a little effort, so I steam a washcloth and give a little extra love to my pores. When it’s all off, I wash with my favorite herbal cleanser and then apply argan oil to my face and decollete. Coconut oil goes on as eye cream and anywhere else that needs added moisture, and then I give myself a healthy manicure. I’ve been using No Miss nail polishes for a while, because they are toluene and formaldehyde free and they come in great colors. After that, I drink my Natural Calm magnesium drink (it’s like a massage in a cup!) and put a little lavender oil in the soles of my feet and go to bed early. The best part is that I always wake up on Wednesday feeling like a million bucks.

What started out as a deep conditioning treatment and a general reminder to use eye cream has really blossomed into my favorite night of the work week. It’s amazing how much of a difference it’s made in my mood and it’s even making Mondays more tolerable, because I know I’m only a day away from a little slice of happy. I don’t joke about Mondays, either! It’s really a lovely treat to look forward to.

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I want to hear from you! Do you have a special self-care ritual that you enjoy? Tell me about it in the comments below! You never know what will inspire others to take better care of themselves, so don’t be afraid to share. No judgement here! Besides, it’s a Sunday. I’m too busy watching “In the Kitchen with David”. 🙂

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

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