Uses For Castile Soap

If you haven’t heard of castile soap before, you are going to want to buy some once you’re finished reading about it. Castile soap gets its tame from the Castile region of Spain, where the soap has been made for centuries. Modern day castile soap may not be made in the same region, but it contains much of the same ingredients.

Like its predecessors, modern castile soap is an all-natural soap made from vegetable oil, which means its free from the animal fats and synthetic detergents found in most commercially available soaps. Some brands add other plant oils, such as coconut or soybean oils. To make sure your castile soap is environmentally friendly and sustainable, check for vegan certified and fair trade certified brands. The best-known example is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, which are available at Target.

While castile soap may not be magic, it comes close. This versatile soap can bee used as a body wash, hand soap, laundry soap, a general household cleaner, and more. It’s also safe to use on babies and pets because of its all-natural ingredients.

When using castile soap, there are a few things you need to remember. Unless diluted, liquid castile soap is very concentrated. You only need a few drops to clean your hands. When in doubt about how much to use, start with a small amount and add a few drops until you’re satisfied. You also shouldn’t mix castile soap with vinegar, ammonia, or any other household cleaner. The resulting product is often toxic. If it’s not toxic, the castile soap will break down into its original oils. Either way, you don’t want to clean with the results.

For an idea on how much you need to use, check out doTerra’s recipe for a natural Castile soap and lavender essential oil kids shampoo.

Why You Should Add Probiotics and Prebiotics to Your Diet

Probiotics and prebiotics should be a regular part of your diet. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Prebiotics can be thought of as food for probiotics because they support the growth of beneficial bacteria.

If you’ve recently taken antibiotics, which kill both good and bad bacteria in an attempt to get rid of an infection, you’ll want to replenish the good bacteria in your gut. Without the right amount of good bacteria in your gut, harmful bacteria and fungi can take over. When they do, it can negatively impact your digestive system and your immune system. Probiotic consumption can help treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and other digestive disorders. Some research has shown that probiotics may help treat eczema and hay fever.

The good news is that you don’t have to look very far for sources of probiotics and prebiotics. doTerra offers PB Assist+, which promotes gastrointestinal health. However, there are also plenty of food sources of probiotics. Many of these foods are fermented. Saurkraut, miso soup, and some pickled vegetables are good sources of probiotics.

As for prebiotics, you also need them to maintain a healthy gut. They too can be found in doTerra’s PB Assist+. Foods high in prebiotics tend to be high in fiber. Some examples are asparagus, bananas, oatmeal, and legumes.

To make sure your gut maintains a healthy balance of probiotics, it’s important to eat a healthy diet. High-sugar and high-fat diets allow harmful bacteria to take over colonization of your gastrointestinal system, which gets worse the longer you stay on an unhealthy diet. By consuming probiotics, you promote the growth of good bacteria and keep harmful bacteria in its place.

Best Essential Oils For Athletes

Athletes of every sport dedicate much of their time toward improving their performance and pushing their bodies to the next level.  An athletes’ success in their sport is dependent upon overall good health, ability to recover quickly and maintain a positive mindset.

Athletes will commonly purchase various aids or supplements to help them feel and perform better.  While some of these aids can be helpful, often times, these items do nothing to help the problem.

A natural and super-effective tool for athletes is the use of essential oils.  Essential oils can be particularly useful for athletes for immune support, performance boosting, soothe achy muscles, antimicrobial healing, and a non-toxic solution to stinky gear.

So what are essential oils exactly? Essential oils are extracts from plants.  They are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs. Essential oils have been in existence for thousands of years and were used before there were doctors and pharmaceutical companies. They are used for many medicinal and therapeutic benefits.

There is a vast difference in the quality of  essential oils since there is no governing body for essential oil companies to answer to.  I choose to use doTERRA Essential Oils because of their rigorous 3rd party testing for potency and purity.  doTERRA oils are certified pure therapeutic grade oils (CPTG)  which ensures that they are 100% free from all toxins, pesticides, fillers and chemicals.   

Here are my top picks for the best essential oils for athletes to have on hand:

Peppermint – invigorating, analgesic, anti inflammatory, cooling, vasoconstrictor. Topical application and inhalation has been shown to improve pain tolerance and workload effort.  

  • relieves nausea and indigestion,
  • improves mental alertness and concentration,
  • relieves aches and pains,
  • improves respiratory function,
  • helps lower body temperature,
  • helps boost performance.  
  • Use in spray bottle for overheating
  • Repels bugs
  • fevers /hot flashes
  • Bad breath

Breathe – respiratory blend that contains eucalyptus, lemon, melaleuca, peppermint.

  • Amazing for opening up airways.
  • Pneumonia and asthma
  • Allergies, cough, congestion, bronchitis and flu, sinusitis and nasal polyps
  • Apply to nostril area and to chest before exercise
  • Diffuse into air for clear breathing, allergies
  • Put on before you go outdoors 

Lavender – astringent, antihistamine, analgesic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, regenerative, sedative.

  • helps relax the mind and body.  Stress, anxiety and teeth grinding
  • Sleep issues. Topical application and inhalation has been shown to improve pain tolerance and workload effort.  
  • Can help soothe and heal cuts, burns and bruises and blisters
  • sunburns, burns and scars
  • Allergies and hay fever
  • Reduces pain and inflammation  
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Rub on neck for neck pain, sunburn, remedy for chafing, add to a relaxing bath at night, yoga mat disinfectant spray.  
  • DIY dry shampoo for athletes

Melaleuca –  antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, analgesic, antiparasitic, antiviral, decongestant, antimicrobial .

  • Freshen up athletic gear with melaleuca and lemon. Add  5-10 drops of lemon and melaleuca with a little baking soda on to shoes and gear.  
  • For skin irritations, cuts and wounds.  
  • Acne, toe fungus, eczema, candida, Athlete’s foot, staph and mrsa
  • Bronchitis cold and flu
  • Dandruff
  • Hives, rash and itchy eyes
  • shock

OnGuard – contains clove, cinnamon , rosemary,  eucalyptus and wild orange.  Provides immune support and protection from seasonal threats and especially during prolonged and heavy training, there is a depression of immune system functions.  Training hard can actually stress the immune system and make you more vulnerable to certain illnesses.  Clove has the highest level of antioxidants you can find.  

  • Colds and flu
  • Staph, strep and coughs
  • Antiseptic cleaner
  • Urinary tract support (take internally or apply to lower abdomen)
  • Cold sores, warts and infected wounds
  • Oral health
  • Fungal and parasite issues
  • Chronic fatigue and autoimmune (take internally or apply to bottoms of feet)
  • Killing germs and airborne pathogens

Deep Blue – soothing blend .  A must have for any athlete.  Contains wintergreen, and blue tansy and peppermint and chamomile.

  • Applied topically to soothe sore and tight muscles.  
  • Cooling benefits.
  • Arthritis and aches
  • muscle , back and joint pain
  • Growing pains.  
  • Fibromyalgia and lupus
  • Pre and post workout
  • Relief after a strenuous day.
  • Carpal tunnel, neck pain, arthritis.  
  • Headaches,
  • Bruises and injuries,

For more information on essential oils, visit my Essential Oils Blog on my website at www.PureFitWomen.fit.  If you would like more info on how to get started with essential oils, contact me at Amandapurefit@gmail.com or you can go direct to my DoTerra website at www.mydoterra.com/amandamancini.

 

Common Diet Mistakes For Women Over 40

If you are a woman over 40, and you are exercising regularly and eating clean, you may be feeling very frustrated by the lack of progress with your weight loss goals.  No matter how hard you try, it seems that the scale will not budge!    Some women feel so defeated, they believe that there is nothing they can do about their bodies changing and they inevitably give up.  I am here to tell you that there is hope for you!  Even with a sound diet and consistent fitness habits, you may be making a few mistakes that can stall your weight loss progress.

Turning 40 is a milestone and time of transition.  It is also a time of heavy responsibility, caring for children, parents or considering a career change. We have less time for ourselves and end up being stressed out and exhausted. Entering our 40s is also a time of menopause.  The average age of menopause is 51, with most women reaching this milestone somewhere between 45 and 55.  You are considered menopausal if you haven’t had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.

Before you reach this milestone, you could be experiencing changes in your body for a full decade before your menstrual cycle stops.  Everything is affected, from your appearance, to the health of your heart and bones.  This is considered the perimenopausal stage, which is when your estrogen levels decrease.  You will notice heavier or shorter periods, missed periods, hot flashes, irritability, and problems sleeping. Peri-menopause can lead to anxiety and depression for some women.  Metabolism also begins to slow, and weight gradually shifts from your hips and thighs, to your abdomen, shoulders and chest.

However, it is important to know that it is never too late to start a plan to improve your health, have more energy and look your best, at every age.   Exercise and strength training will help strengthen your bones as your body produces less estrogen throughout your older years.

First and most importantly, you must focus on your overall health.  The main components of health are a sensible diet and healthy weight.  Although  changing lifelong habits can be difficult, it is possible to make changes to your health at any stage in your life.

Below are a list of common mistakes women over 40 are making with their health and wellness. These mistakes can easily contribute to weight gain but can be remedied with my tips below.

  1.   Lack of consistency /skipping workouts – you must commit to long-term change.  Exercising daily is crucial to your success.  It should be something you just do, much like brushing your teeth and getting dressed in the morning.   
  2.   Lack of cardio.  The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of sustained aerobic activity per week.  Your slowing metabolism burns 300 less calories per day according to the American Council of Exercise. Based on these two facts alone, it is evident that the body needs to move daily.  This could be a walk with your dog, a run, biking or whatever activity you enjoy.
  3. Pay attention to your heart.  In your 50s, the American Heart Association confirms that there is a 90% risk of high blood pressure who never had a problem before.
  4.   You don’t practice self-care.  Raising kids, aging parents, and jobs, many women find it hard to squeeze in personal time.  However, if you don’t take care of you,  then you will not have the energy to help anyone else.
  5.   Not enough sleep.  Lack of sleep leads to greater risk of heart disease and other health problems, including weight gain.
  6.  Carb phobia. You need energy at the right times.  Carbohydrates are a vital macronutrient that your body needs for it to function properly.  Eating foods in amounts that your body doesn’t require for energy or eating excess sugars (mostly processed forms) will add to the weight gain. 
  7. Lack of weight training in your exercise routine. Since your body loses muscle mass as you age, the less muscle you have the less calories you burn at rest.  You can offset this by building muscle with weight training. You will look better, have more muscle tone and feel younger. Aiim to incorporate three strength training sessions per week at minimum.However, eating nutritious foods in proper amounts are necessary to your overall well-being..
  8.  You eat foods you dislike.  Why? There are so many foods to choose from.  Try making it in a different way before you decide you don’t like the particular food. Certain foods prepared without any seasoning will not be palatable in general. Find recipes with foods you would like to incorporate into your diet.
  9. Remember the golden rules of weight loss.  Eat enough to nourish yourself and feel satiated.  Exercise daily.  There is no need to do anything drastic. Cut down foods that are not nutritious, slim your cocktails, swap for lighter foods, eat more plant-based foods.
  10.  You don’t seek help of a professional.  If you are frequenting the gym, but have not seen any results, invest in a personal trainer.  Personal trainers are in the business of getting results. They know the most effective exercises, combinations and proper form that will engage multiple body parts for a time efficient workout.

Foods High in Antioxidants

The consumption of antioxidant-rich foods provides many health benefits. Antioxidants slow down the signs of aging, make your skin healthier, and protects against heart disease. They also reduce your risk for cancer, vision problems, and cognitive diseases.

Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, which harm the body. By consuming foods high in antioxidants, you can minimize the impact of free radicals and detoxify the body.

The good news is that antioxidants are easy to find in foods once you know where to look. They are found in many common fruits, vegetables, and herbs. I’ve put together a list of my favorite antioxidant containing foods.

1. Blueberries

The first fruit on this list contains the most antioxidants. While wild blueberries have twice as many antioxidants as regular ones, they both have enough antioxidants to lower inflammation and strengthen the immune system.

2. Grapes

Grapes, especially dark colored ones, are high in antioxidants. If you don’t have grapes available, a serving of raisins will work too. Grapes contain phytochemicals, which boost your immune system and may help protect against cancer.

3. Raspberries

Raspberries contain many antioxidants, but ellagic acid is believed to be responsible for much of the fruit’s benefits. Animal studies have shown that ellagic acid may guard against colon cancer, liver cancer, and several other types of cancer.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in phytochemicals, beta-carotene, and antioxidants in general. This vegetable promotes a healthy immune system and may help prevent cancer.

5. Spinach and Kale

Both of these dark green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants. Like the other foods on this list, they may protect the immune system and inhibit cancer cells.

Many foods not on this list also contain antioxidants. In the end, it doesn’t matter which antioxidant-rich foods you eat. However, the higher in antioxidants a food is, the less of it you must consume to benefit from it.