Sunday, March 09, 2014

How Lemon Changed My Life - The End of a Series

So I didn't reckon on the fact that when I decided to chronicle "head to toe" how essential oils have made a difference in my life, that I actually don't have a lot of experiences with them from my thighs on down. I mean, besides the fact that you can apply oils (diluted or neat, depending on the correct indication) to the bottoms of your feet for quick absorption, the only thing I've done is use some Deep Blue to get some cramps out of my legs. (Yes, it worked, and quickly too!)

So instead of making stuff up for the legs and feet (you're welcome!), I thought I would give a bit of a grab bag with how I've incorporated oils into the way I live my life from day to day now!

Two big ways I've incorporated oils into my routine is in cleaning and cooking. This might start to sound crazy, but stay with me!

Photo Credit: Leigh-Anne Eagerton, painting via Compfight cc
I have to be honest and say that, in the beginning of this adventure, "green cleaning" was really the last thing on my list of reasons why I wanted to try essential oils. I was perfectly happy with my Method Grapefruit spray and my Windex, thankyouverymuch. I thought it seemed like a waste of money to pour precious oils into a spray bottle and go to town all over my counters. But once I got my hands on some of the oils, I really couldn't wait to try them everywhere and in every way! 

Now, dōTERRA actually has some products specially formulated for cleaning, such as the OnGuard cleaning concentrate. However, I have found it effective to simply put 1-3 drops of oil in a smallish squirt bottle from Dollar Tree and use that on my countertops, range top, bathroom counters, kitchen and bath fixtures, and my glass shower doors. I used Lemon because I like the clean scent and I know it is antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antiviral. The other reason I like to use lemon is that it is one of the least expensive oils that dōTERRA sells. Remember this cool post from Stockpiling Moms about the "price-per-drop"? Talk about good value for money...I'm cleaning half the rooms in my house with a $1 squirt bottle full of water and 12 cents worth of oil!! And the VERY best part of all is, I could spray this stuff on my face to combat oiliness, I could spray it on my dinner if I didn't have a lemon, and yes, my son could get his hands on it and drink the whole lot and the only thing that would happen is that he would smell lemony-fresh!! You cannot say that about a spray bottle of bleach or other store-bought household cleaner! (Would I actually do all those things? Maybe. OK fine, yes. Yes, I have.) 

That's all well and good, but...does it WORK? I mean, water is cheap and I could just put that in a spray bottle, too. I decided to test out my lemon cleaner on my range top the other day. It had baked-on grease and general gross-ness that a range top gets from a few days of cooking and not cleaning it (whoops). I sprayed my mixture on, waited about 20 seconds (yeah, I'm not too patient) and started wiping. I was shocked at how quickly that stuff cut through the grease! There was no streakiness, no grimy residue, nothing. Then I though to myself, self? What is the grimiest thing in your kitchen? I remembered how the top of our coffee maker has that gnarly grease that you just can't wipe up ever and it collects dust and gets even grosser and you just ignore it because it seems impossible to clean...and I decided to spray on some lemon water. Guess what? Clean as a whistle. No joke. I just wish I had thought to take a before and after photo! I couldn't have been more pleased! 

Another one that people like to use in cleaning is OnGuard. Good for protecting against illness, and it smells divine (cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary and wild orange). 

Now, on to cooking! 

Photo Credit: ArtMind etcetera via Compfight cc

I never, ever thought about this when trying out essential oils. If green cleaning was last on my list, cooking didn't even enter into my consciousness! However, I have found it yet another fun way to incorporate oils into the life of my family. Also, it works great in a pinch when you don't have certain ingredients on hand!

Remember, there are some that caution against taking oils internally without the approval of a licensed aromatherapist or other health care professional. I'm going rogue on this. Another thing to remember if you do join me in cooking with oils is that heat can mess with the benefits of the oils, so the best time to add them is towards the end of whatever process you are doing. This blog is purposed to educate and entertain, not to prescribe or give medical advice. =) OK, disclaimer over. 

The main ones I've used so far are lemon and oregano in food and OnGuard in a very delicious chai-like drink that I will introduce to you in a minute. 

Oregano essential oil, as I've mentioned before, is quite potent and very strong-tasting in its pure, essential state. Therefore, when using it in cooking, measurements call for a "toothpick" of oregano, which literally means to stick the end of a toothpick in the vial and then use that to swirl in your food. Don't even put a whole drop in there to start with! I used two drops for a whole batch of homemade spaghetti sauce, and I probably could have made do with just one. That's eight cents' worth, if we're still counting price-per-drop. 

Lemon essential oil was great one night when we had three frozen fish filets in the freezer and not much else. I decided to make foil packets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and barely-hanging-in-there thyme sprigs, and put them in the oven. The best thing for a plain fish recipe is fresh lemon, and I was fresh out. So, lemon essential oil to the rescue! My husband thought I did a great job and even asked, "Where'd you get the lemon from?" Mua ha ha. 

dōTERRA sells Basil, Ginger, Black Pepper, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Rosemary, and Thyme, in addition to the essential oils I've mentioned. I can only imagine that there's a plethora of ways to use oils in cooking and baking. I've even tasted some dōTERRA Lavender brownies...delicious!

I'll leave you with a delicious drink recipe that I read over at a great blog called Venison For Dinner. She makes a mean "London Fog" with black tea, raw honey, milk and OnGuard. It tastes so similar to chai but is so easy to make at home (in about three minutes) AND boosts your immune system! I have been drinking one as often as I can...watching my OnGuard bottle get emptier and emptier in the process! Ha ha. Worth it. If I'm going to protect my immune system, it might as well be delicious and caffeinated. =)

Don't forget to join my raffle for a Free dōTERRA Introductory Kit before it ends! 

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Thanks for joining me on this journey and putting up with my endless oil rants. I hope you learned something new and maybe, just maybe, I've planted the seeds for a whole new way of looking at caring for your family and your home. One last plug for Preferred Membership (for $10 lifetime membership you can save 20% on everything you buy from dō monthly minimum and no recurring fees) and I'll leave you alone. =) 

There are so many avenues for you to learn more about essential oils (either dōTERRA-specific or just generally) , and I hope that your interest has been piqued sufficiently to spur you on. You can follow my Healthy Living Pinterest board to share some of the great stuff I've been learning and will continue to learn. 

I'm hoping to have some new great posts and series for you soon. Until then, Godspeed and Good Health to you all. 

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