These? Are essentially essential. {DoTerra Essential Oil Review & Giveaway}

Say “essential” again, Salt.

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My familiarity with essential oils began and ended in massage studios and at the place where I used to get my hair done in Burbank, CA. (Scalp massages FTW.) They were not something that I have ever thought to keep around the house or use on a daily basis and I didn’t realize that there was any sort of hierarchy among brands. Basically I figured peppermint oil was peppermint oil no matter what kind you purchased.

Although I never kept oils at home, I’ve always thought aromatherapy was very cool and have been experimenting with it a little more often ever since I realized how pleasant aromatic Epsom salt baths can be for my ragged out runner’s muscles. So when I was contacted by a representative from doTERRA and asked if I would like to try out some of their essential oils, I was all about it. I like to read up on all the companies I review for before receiving the product and that is how I became aware that not all essential oils are created equal.

DoTERRA oils are therapeutic-grade, naturally safe, and set the standard for purity. Like literally they are so awesome that they CREATED the standard where previously there wasn’t one.

5304764These oils are “guaranteed to be 100% pure and natural and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates”. I would feel perfectly comfortable using these oils for myself or even a diluted version for Betty. Lavender is known for its calming properties. Maybe this could come in handy on the days when she is being a complete basketcase.

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I received a box containing three oils: Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint, plus also a sample of something called Deep Blue Rub which apparently works miracles on athletes. Immediately I had to uncap all the bottles and smell them. They were all dreamy.

On the interior flap of the box they have a handy guide printed featuring all the things you can use these oils for. My mind was completely blown.

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You can sooth a sore throat with lemon essential oil AND use it as furniture polish? Who knew!?

I got right to work that night experimenting with my oils by putting the lavender on my pillow and it’s probably not a coincidence that I got the best night of sleep that I had had in weeks. Some other ways that I’ve been using them recently:

  • Lavender in my bath and, yes, on Betty’s feet when she’s having a particularly hard time settling down for bed.
  • Lemon + coconut oil on my nails before I give myself a new Jamicure.
  • Peppermint on my leg muscles before a hard workout. I also like to dab a little bit of it behind my ears before I run because I feel like it wakes me up. I’m finding the peppermint to be the most versatile and carry it in my purse most days.

And as you can see, what I’m doing with them is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure in the future I’ll be using the lemon to pull chewing gum off of fabric.

The Deep Blue Rub that I do not have a photo of is also really phenomenal. It was a small sample so I’ve been using it sparingly on my shin and I’ve been dealing with whatever issues I have there, but you don’t need much for it to be effective. That stuff is powerful and I would definitely recommend it to any runner who experiences muscle pain. Which would be like…every runner.

So you want to try them too, right!? Because Discover Natural Solutions was kind enough to offer up an intro pack of doTERRA oils for one of my blog friends!

Here’s how you can win:

And here’s a Rafflecopter to make it even easier:

The Essential doTERRA Essential Oils Giveaway!

This giveaway ends on Saturday. Good luck to everyone who enters!

Have you used essential oils in your home? Which of these oils would you like to try the most? What would you use it for?

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and great-smelling Tuesday!

xo,

Salt

Going “long” and other weekend highlights.

I’m so happy that I can use the word “highlight” when describing my first attempt at a ‘long’ run in well over a month.

As you guys know – or maybe you don’t if this is the first time you’re reading my blog…WELCOME! – last week I was recommended surgery by this podiatrist I went to see about an entrapped nerve in my foot. Despite all this he told me I could run if I felt I could tolerate it.

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And that is happening in less than 2 weeks. The course for Chuck12 runs along one of the most well-known roads in Baltimore and everyone I know who ran it last year said it was so much fun. I’ve long since given up on the idea that I’ll be trying for a decent time; I just want to have fun, finish it, and since this is the final jewel in Charm City Run’s B3 triple crown, I want to collect my medal.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous before a run in my life as I was on Saturday morning. My alarm went off at 6am which is considerably earlier than I would normally wake up for an 8 miler. Mr. Salt has to leave for work at around 8 and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to make any necessary adjustments/take walk breaks/drag my leg behind me/etc. I had a couple different routes planned just in case I needed to cut it short and my phone just in case I absolutely could not get it done and needed to call for a ride.

As it turned out, I didn’t need any extra help and finished with plenty of time to spare.

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The best part was that it didn’t feel terrible. I took my time, there were no major issues, I didn’t feel any physically worse for wear afterward, and of course mentally I felt like a million bucks. Mile 8 was my fastest and I felt as if I could have kept going, but at that point I was already back to my house and didn’t want to push it.

I’m pretty confident that I will make it through Chuck12 and then I will really REALLY deserve that medal.

The best parts of the rest of the weekend included swimming with Betty’s Nana (who also so happens to be my mom) and then ALL THE BRUNCH. I missed the brunch photo opp on Saturday because I was too busy trying to keep Wreck-It Betty from destroying the restaurant, but I can tell you that it was a chicken, goat cheese, and asparagus egg white omelette. It was to die for even though I could barely taste it from having to eat it so fast, as one sometimes must do while out with their 2 year old.

There was also a mimosa involved because crazy 2 year old.

I made sure to take a picture of Sunday brunch though because I know the Internet really cares a lot about what I eat.

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Drooooooooooooooooooooooool.

Those crepes are stuffed full of fresh strawberries and topped with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and organic strawberry yogurt. Then homemade granola, and then that is the best lemon poppyseed muffin I’ve ever tasted. They have a new “Muffin of the Day” and I’ve never been disappointed by it. This restaurant is called FirstWatch and it is a chain, so if there happens to be one near you, GO THERE. I promise you will love it.

After brunch a complete miracle occurred in the form of Betty taking a nap. Mr. Salt also wanted to take a nap, but I can’t nap in the middle of the day or else I won’t be able to sleep at night. It’s a curse, really.

So instead I went and got a long overdue pedicure.

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I felt so badly for the poor guy that had to deal with my feet that I tipped extra. He was awesome anyway. Usually I stick with dark colors, but he told me that I could pick a brighter one if I wanted and he would make sure it masked my zombie toe. He wasn’t kidding.

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You tell me I can go bright? I go bright. The fact that they ended up matching my PR Soles exactly is purely a weird coincidence.

What is your favorite thing to eat for brunch? (I feel like I’ve been talking about food on here a lot lately!) Have you ever been to a FirstWatch? Did you run this weekend?

Whatever you got into, I hope it was fun and fantastic. Let’s make this a GREAT week! (I’m going to legally change my middle name to OPTIMISM.)

xo,

Salt

Life is just a bowl of cherries! {And a chiro update.}

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I went just about 36 years without much fruit in my diet at all outside of the occasional smoothie. Actually I talked about this not too long ago when I suddenly became obsessed with apples and needed to know all about which kinds I should try. Thank you for all the suggestions, by the way. My favorites so far are Pink Lady and Gala and I’ve been eating an apple as a snack almost every day.

Since then I’ve been so much more open minded about trying new things and Mr. Salt has been bringing home all sorts of fruit for me to sample. I’ve had…

  • Peaches: The smell alone makes my stomach turn and I can’t get past it. It reminds me too much of this nauseating Body Shop fuzzy peach perfume my friends used to wear in middle school.
  • Nectarines: AKA: Non-fuzzy peaches. I managed to bite into one and didn’t die from it, but the smell was too similar to peaches for me to be able to enjoy it.
  • Watermelon: Meh. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat it by itself, but it tastes good when paired with other things such as cottage cheese. I think pretty much everything goes with cottage cheese.
  • Pears: NO. Maybe I got a bad one, but I hated it.
  • Red Seedless Grapes: We have these in the house all the time now. So good.
  • Oranges: Tasty!

And quite a few others. Then last night he arrived home with a bag of some of the biggest cherries I’ve ever seen. Apparently cherries are expensive (?) so he doesn’t usually buy them, but when he stopped to get milk on his way home he saw that these were on sale and thought they would be good for Betty’s lunch. She LOVES cherries.

As he stood at the kitchen counter de-pitting them, he handed me one. I was skeptical. These cherries were intimidating. But I didn’t want him to make fun of me, so I accepted it and bit off a tiny piece.

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 TASTE EXPLOSION!

I was instantly hooked, but I also wondered…how healthy are these exactly? The only experience I had with cherries before last night was with the maraschino variety that they put on ice cream and in cocktails and those are LOADED with sugar. As it turns out, there is a huge difference between those sweet little cocktail cherries and the gargantuan ones in my house. They are packed with vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, fiber, contain virtually no sodium or fat and are a great low-cal snack!

I never would have dreamed how beneficial cherries could be to your diet…especially the diet of a runner!

Cherries for Runners

  • They help keep you trim and fit. Cherries contain B vitamins crucial to your metabolism. Plus as I mentioned above, they are low in calories, but pack a lot of fiber so as a snack they leave you feeling fuller, longer.
  • They can aid sleep. If you are anything like me, you might get race-induced insomnia before a big event. Cherry juice could help you sleep a little easier! From a study: Participants drank 30ml of cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before their evening meal, thereby boosting their exogenous melatonin intake by 85mcg/day.
  • They combat post workout soreness. Cherries/cherry juice contains anthocyanins that are thought to significantly reduce muscle inflammation. This study shows that if you run long distances you are probably destined to be sore afterward, but the cherry juice group reported less post-run pain.
  • And speaking of anthocyanins… These are also thought to prevent cancer, and encourage healthy circulation. And proper nerve function.

PROPER NERVE FUNCTION.

I’m about to eat all the cherries in the whole world.

Oh and after talking to my daughter’s teacher this morning I learned that cherries are delicious when frozen and then dropped in a glass of wine. I know what I’m doing later.

How do you feel about cherries? Do you remember that fuzzy peach perfume!?

Also I would like to thank everyone for the kind comments and great suggestions left on yesterdays post. At first I was going to hold off on posting about that appointment until I could process the news a little better, but now I’m so glad I wrote it right away. You guys are so helpful!

Now for some better news:

I went back to Dr. Dave (my chiro) armed with my new diagnosis. He checked out my leg and foot and told me that I’ve already improved 10-fold since I first went in to see him. (Which I believe. My leg is better.) Anyway he wants me to trust him and he said that he can fix it without surgery if I just stick with him for a minute. He did the ART method that a couple of you mentioned (thanks, Judith and Annmarie!) and used an ultrasound on my foot. I go back to see him again on Tuesday.

Last night I dug my old Merrell hiking sandals out of the closet that are still full of dirt from playing around in streams in California, but at least they are much more supportive than flip flops and I can still have open toes on these hot summer days. Hopefully the fact that Dr. Neuro is on vacation for the next couple weeks and the surgery wouldn’t be able to be scheduled right away anyway is a blessing in disguise and I’ll be able to get this under control before any invasive measures are needed. And if it does come to that well then I guess I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it.

xo,

Anatomical Nightmare Salt

Also I just want to remind everyone that I am not a nutritionist or fitness instructor so as always whatever info I post on here about certain foods or workouts are things that I have researched on my own and found interesting. Take what I say with a grain of salt. Pun totally intended.