Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: May 2016

Gratitude Review : May

forget me not     I absolutely love May! The sunshine and nice weather makes the days practically perfect. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m sitting on my balcony thoroughly enjoying the cool breeze on my skin. With so much to feel grateful for in this moment, this feels like a wonderful time to look back on all of the things I have had to feel thankful for this month. Ready to go on this little journey with me? Here’s what I’ve been happy about in May:

April showers definitely did bring May flowers. For my birthday last year, we took the camera out and I went snap-happy at several local public garden spots, but we almost waited too long to do it. By June, the heat had gotten to a lot of the plants and flowers and it left them kinda scorched. I made myself a promise this year to start getting shots early, so I wouldn’t miss anything and I’m so glad I did! I’ve gotten so many good pictures and I’ve gotten to use my new camera, too! Here are a few of my favorites:

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I went hiking a lot this month.  Getting outside in nature has made a world of difference in my mood and in helping me stay grounded.  When we first started, going on the 4.4 mile trail was kinda rough on me, but keeping with it has really payed off and we’ve shaved several minutes off of our time! I’m incredibly grateful for that.

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I undertook a major cleaning project this month. It all started when I signed my lease for another year, and felt pretty disappointed to be spending another year in a state that just doesn’t have my heart and in an apartment without room or sun enough for the garden I so deeply desire. Rather than getting bummed about the circumstances, I decided to use this time to prepare for the right house in the right location. What does that mean? Going through every closet, drawer and room and asking myself what I’m willing to pack and take with me when I move and what I’m willing to give away. It’s like KonMari, but with moving boxes! I’m not finished, but my space already feels lighter, because I’m slowly surrounding myself only with things I love.

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What have you been up to this month? Did anything exciting happen that you want to give thanks for? Are you doing any Spring cleaning? Tell me all about it in the comments below. I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot

bergamot-354152_1920      Earlier this month, I shared with you some of the benefits of lemon essential oil when I posted my tutorial for Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Scrub. Today, I wanted to sing the praises of another, lesser known essential oil, Bergamot.

When you open a bottle of Bergamot for the first time, there’s a good chance it will have you thinking about tea. That’s because Bergamot is the small citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey it’s distinctive je ne sais quois. It’s also been used in men’s and women’s fragrance for centuries. It’s origins are unclear, but a popular theory is that the fruit trees were brought by ship to Bergamo, Italy after a voyage to the Canary Islands. Bergamot is still grown in Italy, as well as some parts of France and Turkey, where it’s used to flavor the delicious dessert, Turkish Delight.

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When used to make essential oil, the rind of the fruit is cold pressed, as it is with all citrus oils. What results is a fresh, slightly sweet, almost floral fragrance. It plays extremely well with others. In fact, you’d have a hard time coming up with an oil that Bergamot doesn’t blend with. It holds it’s own, too. I love wearing it in my diffuser necklace, as personal perfume and  diffusing the single note in my home. When bad moods, stress and tension try to take your down, Bergamot can be a wonderful means to lift your spirits and stabilizing the emotions. According to Ayurveda, it can also help to balance Vata and Kapha. There have been some interesting studies on the use of Bergamot for a variety of skin complaints, such as acne and psoriasis.

In general, citrus oils have some issues that are worth noting. First, they can be toxic to cats, so don’t apply them directly to your sweet fur-kids. As a rule of thumb, I don’t put any oils on my pets that I haven’t first researched heavily and then talked to my vet about. You’re probably not going to encounter any issues with diffusing it in your home, but dosing fluffy just isn’t a good idea. The other thing to be cautious about when using citrus oils is photo-sensitivity. Citrus oils can cause skin irritation when exposed to direct sunlight for up to 72 hours after using them, so try and limit your time outside if you’re using then on the skin, or just play it safe and stick to inhalation methods only. If you’re still going to apply them, be sure to dilute your oils in an appropriate carrier or lotion. Though it’s a controversial position, I’d also stay away from using any essential oils internally. We just don’t know enough about what the long-term effects of essential oil ingestion are and what happens when we mix them with medicines and supplements. Your health is far more important than any suggested benefit by using oils in this way. Bergamot specifically is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, so mommies, please be careful.

Be careful with your pretty kitty friends. Their livers don't filter most essential oils.

Be careful with your pretty kitty friends. Their livers don’t filter most essential oils.

Ready to add Bergamot to your essential oil line-up? I get my favorite one from Mountain Rose Herbs.  High quality, Certified Organic Bergamot can be a little on the pricey side and I don’t need a wholesale membership to get a good deal. You can get your own bottle of Bergamot here. I do get a small commission for any business I send their way, but it allows me to keep content like this on my blog and it keeps me in Bergamot, too. I can’t wait for you to sniff this stuff!

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I want to hear from you. Are you already using this beautiful oil? What do you love about it?  Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Giving the Green Light to Greens

garden lettuce     Hey there, Darling Hearts! Hope May is treating you kindly. I wrote this article for Inner Child Magazine last month and wanted to share it with you. Make yourself a green smoothie and give it a read!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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In an ideal world, we’d all eat a sparkling clean and totally balanced diet at all times. We’d grow our own foods and make delicious home cooked meals from scratch, with nothing but the best and most wholesome ingredients. With the busy lives we lead though, it can be hard to meet all of our nutritional needs and truly fuel our bodies the way they deserve to be fueled. This is why most of us take supplements. As far as what supplements to take, health experts recommend a good multivitamin, a quality Omega supplement and a healthy dose of green foods. Of course we take a multivitamin to fill in those gaps in our diet, an Omega to support our hearts and brains, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why we need those leafy greens? Chlorophyll! Flashbacks to high school Biology aside, this stuff benefits us in miraculous ways. Here’s how it works its magic and some easy ways to make sure you’re getting enough:

What is Chlorophyll and Why is it so Good For Us?

In order to understand what Chlorophyll does for our bodies, it helps to make sure you have a good working definition of what it is.  Chlorophyll is the pigment present in the leaves and stems of plants and grasses that gives them their green color. Chemically speaking, it’s strikingly similar to hemoglobin, the main difference being that hemoglobin has Iron as its central atom and chlorophyll’s central atom is Magnesium. Here’s a quick refresher on hemoglobin: It transports oxygen from our lungs to other parts of our body. Amazing, right?! This very connection is why chlorophyll is such an absolute rockstar for cleaning the blood. Aside from this, it’s also touted for promoting healthier bowels, neutralizing bad breath and body odor, and stimulating the immune system. Sound like something you need more of? Read on to find out how to incorporate more into your diet.

spinach smoothie

 

Green Foods

Strictly speaking, all green veggies contain some chlorophyll, but there are some sources that are higher than others. Look for whole leaf spinach and kale and make one of your meals a big salad. Add fresh parsley and cilantro to your meals. If you’re feeling adventurous, try juicing wheatgrass. If you struggle with the taste of greens, tossing a handful in the blender with your fruit smoothie will make it more palatable. While getting them in their raw form is best, there are tons of great recipes online for tricking your tastebuds into putting more greens on your plate. Bon Apetit!

Supplements

If you can’t stand the idea of all those veggies or you’re pressed for time, supplements can be the answer for getting a mega dose of the green stuff. Companies have done the hard work for you and created wheatgrass, barley grass and greens powders that come in all kinds of flavors. They can be added to juices or blended into delicious drinks to make them hardly noticeable. You can also look for an array of algae as a great source of chlorophyll. Look for similar sounding Chlorella in tablet or capsule form. Of course, if you’re super pressed for time and you want to pull out the big guns, you can buy chlorophyll on its own in liquid or capsule form. The liquid versions even come in flavors. Try a dropper full of mint flavored chlorophyll in sparkling water for a refreshing, healthy take on soda.  Just remember when taking supplements, it’s best to follow the directions on the label as to proper dosages and even better to talk to your doctor before adding anything to your existing regimen, if you can. While it’s unlikely that green foods will do anything other than improve your health, it’s smart to make sure you’re not taking too much or taking anything else that could cause a negative reaction.

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Science lessons considered, it makes good sense to get more greens. With all of the options available for you, it’s easy to find one that fits your lifestyle and taste preferences. With all of the benefits you’ll gain from this change to your diet, you’ll be sure to make everyone around you green with envy!

Mother’s Day Tutorial: Lemon Poppyseed Foaming Sugar Scrub

sky-rose     Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all you beautiful mommas out there are having a lovely day. I made my own mom a gift to celebrate her special day and thought I’d make share the process with you so you can try it yourself! Ready to make a delicious Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Scrub? Here’s what you need to get started?

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Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Scrub

2 Cups granulated sugar

1 Tbs poppyseeds

1/3 Cup castile soap

1/3 Cup jojoba oil

4 Drops vitamin e

10 Drops lemon essential oil

Pour two cups of sugar into a large mixing bowl and break up any lumps. I use a fork to do this and it always works pretty quickly.

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Then I added my poppyseeds and mixed until they were evenly distributed.

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After that, I added the castile soap and jojoba oil and stirred until the mixture was nice and fluffy and the sugar mixture was evenly absorbed into the liquid. My consistency was still liquidy when I was finished, but that was the texture I wanted. You could definitely add more sugar to the process and make your scrub more on the dry side and it works just as well.

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**As a side note, I opted to use a castile soap that was scented with almond and vanilla to turn my recipe into a sort of lemon scone scent. You can use any scent you like, but unscented castile soap would help keep your recipe purely lemony, if that’s what you’re after. If you’re open to experimenting, you could really use any variety of scented castile and essential oils you wanted. That’s the beauty of making them yourself! You get to decide.**

Once everything was good and coated, I added the vitamin e drops and my essential oil. This process always takes a little trial and error because some folks like their oil scent to be strong and others not so much. Because I used almond vanilla castile and the scent overpowered the lemon a little, I ended up using 10 drops to achieve the blend I wanted. If you went with an unscented soap base, you may be able to get away with only using 4-6. I’d definitely start out with only a couple and build up slowly from there until it pleases the nose.

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If you were so inclined, you could definitely add a little yellow food coloring to your scrub to make it look more lemony, but if you’re trying to avoid that sort of thing, there’s no reason at all that you can’t just let it be natural. I thought mine sort of resembled scone batter, so I left mine as is.

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Finally, I used a large spoon and transferred my scrub into empty containers with lids. I ended up having enough to give one to my mom, one to my boyfriend’s mom, and one to keep by my kitchen sink. Love it when it works out that way!

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I hope you enjoy making this recipe! Let me know if you try it and if you make any great variations or additions. I love reading your comments and seeing your photos, so share away in the comments below!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

 

P.S. I bought almost all of my supplies to make this recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs. If you use my affiliate link, I’ll get a small thank you for sending the business their way and you’ll get some dang good (and clean) ingredients for a great price for your recipe. Happy scrubbing!

Now Taking Requests: High Vibe Playlist Project

girl-869213_1920     Hey there, Darling Hearts! I hope you have your dancing shoes on, because I’m ready to rock and roll! For some time now, I’ve had the urge to make a high vibe playlist to share with all of you. I’ve been in desperate need of some new tunes to take with me to my day job to keep me in a happy place so I can power through my have-to, so I can get to my want-to. Believe me, I totally get how hard it can be to stay motivated, especially when you give it your all at a 9-5 and then come home with only a little left to work on the stuff that makes your big, beautiful heart sparkle. As I’m working on getting my shop off of the ground, I’m putting in lots of research and sending lots of emails to vendors to establish relationships so I can get good stuff out there in the world, but sometimes (Truth: a LOT of the time), I kinda just want to decompress from having worked for “the man” all day and watch TV in my leopard-print jammies and you know, not.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes we really need to just take a rest day. Burnout is not a cop out. It’s entirely real and as long as we don’t stop showing up for our own lives, there’s nothing wrong with building a blanket fort and taking it easy. What I’m talking about are the times when you really want to, but your energy just feels looooow. It’s a real drag to drag yourself around when you have a notebook full of ideas to realize.

So how do you raise your energy when you’re just not feeling it? There are any number of things you can do to make yourself and your space feel vibey-er. You can try bringing live plants or a fresh bouquet of flowers into your space. Throw open windows and let fresh air in or get outside in the sunshine for a bit. You can even give yourself a little boost by  diffusing a peppy blend of essential oils. (I’m crazy about the simple combination of sunny grapefruit and fresh peppermint, right now.) One of my favorite, and maybe one of the easiest ways to turn the energy up in your home is to turn up the music!

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What makes music high-vibe? Well, the easiest answer is that you do! Anything you associate with joy can liven up the space around you pronto. The lyrics don’t have to be especially motivational and your track doesn’t have to belong in the dance genre, they they totally can. If country music is your thing, or you smile along to those no-lyric loungey tunes, more power to ya! The idea is to get into what you’re into, and see where the mood takes you. I love to take a track I’m already in love with and check out recommendations for other stuff based on my preferences. When I do this, I’m always expanding my repertoire and nothing makes me happier than a new totally-me musical discovery!

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I’m giving you some totally fun homework for the month. I want you to create your own High Vibe Playlist and listen to it as often as possible. Take it with you in the car, listen with headphones at your desk, put it on when you get home from a hand day’s work. Wherever you need a kick in the mood, kick out the jams! I’m not exempt from the assignment either! I’ll be sharing my playlist with you in my first post in June! Until then, keep the vibe high and rock on!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

P.S. If you want to try the blend I mentioned above, here is my affiliate link. It keeps me stocked in oils so I can keep creating awesome blends and allows me to keep the blog going! I added two drops of grapefruit for every drop of peppermint until I reached the number of drops my diffuser allows.  Good luck and let me know if you try this! <3

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