Running Essentials

“Running teaches us to keep moving forward, one step at a time, especially in the most painful moments.”

I enjoy running. Okay…maybe I should rephrase that sentence. I enjoy running in nice weather, on flat courses, when I am in the “right mood.” I am a picky runner and I am perfectly content with that. I love 5Ks and I can handle 10Ks. However, after my last half marathon, I made a promise to myself that would be my last half-marathon without more than a week’s worth of training.

I struggle with training consistently because my schedule is just a tad crazy right now, so there is always some excuse to go running on a different day. I will be running a 5K in the near future, so tonight I had to have a serious talk with myself and start training. The first day back is always the hardest. My legs started aching about 1/8 of a mile in. Pathetic, right? I have to remind myself that what matters is that I am being active. At this stage in my training, it does not matter how fast I go. All that matters is that I am out there moving.

The wonderful thing about running is that once I get back into it, I remember that even though my body will experience some aches and pains, running makes me feel GREAT.  Living an active lifestyle makes me feel more energized and improves my emotional dimension of wellness. Running reminds me how important it is to set goals and work my hardest to achieve those goals. My first short-term running goal is to be prepared for my upcoming 5K. Baby steps. One day at a time. Progress matters. 

Thankfully, essential oils can be incorporated into your pre-running and post-running routines to improve both the physical and emotional dimensions of wellness.

Before Running:

  • Apply a few drops of Peppermint or the respiratory blend to your chest and/or wrists a few minutes before beginning your run. Peppermint will clear the airways and enhance alertness.
  • Inhale or apply the grounding blend to stabilize emotions and clear the mind of outside thoughts.
  • Did you know Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties? Apply a few drops to your legs to reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Apply 1 drop of Frankincense and 1 drop of Peppermint to the bottom of each foot for energizing and cooling sensations while running.

After Running:

  • There are a variety of essential oils that are wonderful to soothe muscle tension. Apply Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, White Fir, or Frankincense to your calves or other sore muscles to relieve tension.
  • Rehydration is essential! Add 1 drop of Lemon to each 8-ounces of water you drink to benefit from its uplifting and cleansing properties.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath with Lavender to soothe sore muscles and experience ultimate relaxation. If you missed my post on the importance of a detox bath, you can read it here!
  • Cypress supports circulation! Apply a few drops to your legs after running to promote blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Blisters? Apply 1 drop each of Lavender, Melaleuca, and Chamomile to speed up the healing process!

What are some of the natural solutions you utilize to enhance your running or workout experiences? I would love to hear your thoughts!

All-Natural Spotlight: Pantry Products

Welcome to my first all-natural product spotlight! I am always on the lookout for new, local products that align with my holistic health mindset. My birthday was a few months ago and one of my besties got me a few items from Pantry Products.  I instantly fell in love with their organic bar soap and bath teas.

First, I want to take a quick look at the unique business structure of Pantry Products:

  • Pantry Products uses only 100% natural, organic ingredients–plant oils, butters, therapeutic grade essential oils, and so on.
  • Michelle M. Czarka, Pantry Products’ proprietor, blends the products to reflect her love for the culinary and handcrafted arts. Additionally, all products are made in small batches by hand!
  • Pantry Products pursues a “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mindset. I am a big supporter of sustainability and I love seeing smaller companies taking the initiative to reduce their impact on the environment. Sustainability is an ongoing process and we all must engage in more mindful practices if we want to promote real, positive change.

I have not (yet) tried all of the available products, so I am only going to focus on the specific items I picked up during my last visit!

Image Source: Organic Facial Steam

Organic Facial Steam: Facial steams are fantastic at opening up your pores to eliminate toxins and dirt. If you are in need of a quick route to a peaceful evening, an organic facial steam is exactly what you have been looking for. Facial steams should last for about 5-10 minutes and they will keep your skin glowing if you incorporate them into your weekly ritual! If you want to learn more about facial steams, check out this post. Pantry Products has two variations of their Organic Facial Steam: Sierra and Sunshine. I am currently using the Sierra blend and yes, it actually has pieces of star anise!

Sierra blend: linden blossom + cinnamon stick + juniper berries + orange peel + star anise + eucalyptus

Sunshine blend:  lavender + chrysanthemum + calendula + chamomile + linden blossom + rose petal

 

Image Source: Soul Soother Bath Tea

Soul Soother Bath Tea: Bath teas are quickly gaining popularity. This proprietary blend is the ultimate “soul soother.” Not only does this bath tea have salts, but it also contains herbs and flowers (eucalyptus + spearmint + peppermint + lavender + roses), as well as eucalyptus essential oil. I have a Eucalyptus obsession, so this product truly speaks to my heart. In case you missed my post on the importance of a detoxifying soak, you can read it here! Insider tip: bath teas can also double as facial steams!

If you are still trying to figure out why this is called a bath tea, I strategically saved the best part for last! To prepare your bath tea, you add the bath tea blend to a reusable cloth tea bag and then “steep” your warm bath water for about 5-10 minutes!

Tip: For an extra calming bath, add 1 drop of Chamomile essential oil to the bath tea and sip on a steaming cup of chamomile tea! Trust me now, thank me later.

 

Image Source: Cold Process Organic Bar Soap

Cold Process Organic Bar Soap: The last product I am currently swooning over is the cold process organic bar soap. The amazing thing about this bar soap is that it actually leaves you feeling “squeaky” clean. Pantry Products does not use any of the chemicals found in most bar soaps and body washes, so your skin will actually feel both nourished and fresh! Organic coconut oil, raw shea butter, pure essential oils…need I say more?

With the bar soap, you have your choice of some very unique scents: calendula + chamomile | cinnamon + ginger | cocoa + mint | lavender + oatmeal | coffee + orange | orange + clove | rosemary + spearmint | sea salt + peony | seaweed + eucalyptus

My current bar is of the orange + clove variety and it is perfectly refreshing for a morning shower! Another great thing about this bar soap is that it does not get that gross soapy residue (due to the elimination of chemicals), so the quality of your bar will not deteriorate during its lifespan.

I just barely covered a small portion of Pantry Products’ all-natural product line, so you should visit their shop in The Basement Reno and take a peek at their beautiful website! Pantry Products is a small, local business located in Reno, NV. If you do not live in the Northern Nevada area (or even if you do), Pantry Products will ship products to you anywhere within the United States!

Now that you are aware of this fantastic company, I am counting on you to let me know what you think of their detoxifying seaweed sea salt soak, lavender-frankincense clay mask, or the warming chai milk bath if you get there before my next trip!

Have you tried anything from Pantry Products? Or do you have any other companies with all-natural products that you just can’t get enough of? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is known as the Oil of Wellness. This encouraging essential oil promotes both emotional and spiritual wellness. Eucalyptus “encourages individuals to take full responsibility for their own health.” Additionally, Eucalyptus promotes feelings of liberation and increased responsibility, while combating the desire to escape life and feelings of powerlessness. The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with some background information in order to establish a basic understanding of Eucalyptus essential oil.

Eucalyptus comes from the Myrtaceae botanical family, which is the fancy, scientific word for Myrtle shrubs and treesThe main chemical constituents found in eucalyptus are oxides and monoterpenes, which contain anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. The extraction method for Eucalyptus essential oil involves the steam distillation of eucalyptus leaves. If you are interested in learning more about essential oil extraction, check out my blog post here, which covers the basics of essential oil extraction and the importance of quality.

The primary uses for Eucalyptus essential oil include asthma, bronchitis, congestion, cooling of the body, coughs, disinfectant, ear inflammation, fever, flu, inflammation, jet lag, kidney stones, lice, measles, over-exercised muscles, pain, pneumonia, respiratory viruses, shingles, sinusitis, and tennis elbow.

If you would like to do some additional research and learn about the studies that have been conducted on the primary uses of eucalyptus, the U.S. National Library of Medicine website is a fantastic resource!

Eucalyptus essential oil can be applied via two application methods­—topical and aromatic. Topical: Eucalyptus essential oil can be applied directly to the skin on the area of concern or on reflex points. Please note: for individuals with sensitive skin or for children, dilute Eucalyptus essential oil with fractionated coconut oil (utilizing a 1:1 ratio). Aromatic: Eucalyptus essential oil can be inhaled directly or diffused.

Koala Highlight: I recently visited Featherdale Wildlife Park, which is located just outside of Sydney, Australia. Featherdale Wildlife Park is home to the largest collection of Australian native animals in the world. I instantly fell in love with the koalas.  One of the first things I noticed when I encountered the koalas, was the familiar scent of eucalyptus. Here are just a few fun facts about koalas:

  • Koalas are marsupials (which makes them a relative of kangaroos!)
  • The average lifespan of a koala is 20 years
  • A newborn koala is barely the size of a jelly bean
  • A baby koala will stay in its mother’s pouch for nearly 7 months
  • The population of Australian koalas has dropped by 90% over the last decade
  • Koalas live and sleep in eucalyptus trees and their diet consists primarily of eucalyptus leaves (talk about constantly living in a state of Zen!)

Cleary, I might be a tad obsessed with koalas. I was inspired to create my own unique diffuser blend for a little reminder of my Australian adventure.

“Koala Escape” Diffuser Blend: Eucalyptus, Tangerine, & Cedarwood (2-3 drops of each essential oil)

Everyday Uses:

  • In need of a spa escape? Place a drop of Eucalyptus on your shower floor and inhale the aromas through the steam!
  • Feeling congested? Place 3 drops of Eucalyptus in a mug and fill the mug with boiling water! Breathe in the steam through your nose (and make sure to cover your eyes with a towel) for instant relief!
  • Suffering from migraines? Frozen Eucalyptus washcloths are pure heaven! Check out this post for the recipe!
  • Achy and tired muscles? Add 2 cups of Epsom salt and a few drops of Eucalyptus to a warm bath and soak for at least 15 minutes!

Where do I get most of my information from? The sources I completely rely on and fully trust are Modern Essentials and  Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing. Check out these books if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Eucalyptus essential oil!

What are some of your favorite ways to use Eucalyptus essential oil? How do you incorporate this essential oil in your daily routine to regulate your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLAIMER: this website is for general health information only. This content is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. You should not rely on this information for your own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own healthcare provider.