Wellness Wednesday: Essential Oils

Hi Everyone. Happy Wellness Wednesday!

I am currently in the middle of finals and my diffuser, loaded with essential oils is keeping me sane. Here is an article by my mother, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner about essential oils and how they can help us.

Essential oils give plants their smell and are used in perfumes, medicinal agents. Essential oil extracts can be up to 100 times more potent than the plant itself,, Now that essential oils are gaining in popularity  so are both benefit and risk. (Battaglia, 1997). Essential oils should be used diluted with a carrier oil, used with a diffuser, with the exception of flavorings like peppermint or fennel.

The most common preparation for essential oils are inhaled or used topically. Peppermint, wintergreen, eucalyptus and rosemary are all used for upper respiratory infections. These can also be used topically, diluted with a carrier base for pain as well. The use of essential oils for skin complaints is well-founded as many have been shown to possess antibacterial (Hmamouch et al., 1990) and antifungal (Onawunmi, 1989) properties. Though the use of essential oils shares a common origin with herbal medicine, the use of isolated essential oils is more properly referred to as aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has been used worldwide for ages. Rosemary was used hundreds of years ago to disinfect hospitals.

 

Eucalyptus: when we think of cough drops we think of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is used for treating the common cold and all its side effects like coughing, mucous, sinus infections sore throat. Other uses are for insect bites and itching. Eucalyptus oil also has anti viral, fugal and bacterial effects. My favorite use for eucalyptus is during a cold. I like to take a bowl of hot water and create a tent with a towel over my head draped around the bowl. I will put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in inhale the steam. It works wonders for any cold, or virus and opens my repository passages. I would use this oil in a diffuser or a few drops in a bowl of hot water. Do not drink it or put directly on the skin!! Inhalation is best and only a few drops!

 

Lavender is the superstar in the essential oil world. It too has anti-microbial, fungal and viral activity to it. It also in an analgesic, sedative, antiaxiolitic, it helps with headaches, lice, cysts, muscle pain, digestive issues, depression, nervousness and many other mood disorders. It can also help with PMS as wellbeing. Lavender is a wonderful first aid remedy, especially for burns; it is among the safest and most widely used essential oils. Lavender was used during the Victorian times for fainting. There are over 350 studies on lavender on Pubmed demonstrating everything from mood enhancement and balance to pain relief. It brings balance both physically and emotionally. I like many uses for lavender. For relaxation I put a few drops mixed with clary sage, geranium , ylang ylang in a spray bottle of distilled water. This is very similar to my favorite aromatherapy scent, Clear skies Ahead by Little Moon Essentials.

Peppermint

This is wonderful for digestion. Peppermint tea is one of the most prescribed herbs I use for digestion. It helps with nausea, upset stomach and all digestive disorders. It can also be used in a diffuser for headaches and fatigue. Peppermint oil can be used as an analgesic but only use 2 drops in a whole bath because it can be very chilling. I use peppermint oil for digestive spasms. Peppermint oil is sold in special  enteric coated capsules to get into the intestines and bypass stomach acid. My favorite is Peptogest by Nature’s Way. I also like using peppermint with lemons to make refreshing lemonade. Peppermint in a diffuser helps with fatigue.

Rosemary:

Rosemary was burned in French hospitals to purify the air up until the 20th century. This essential oil is also an excellent anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiviral. It is an excellent antiseptic as well and why is was used in hospitals a long time ago. It is an excellent tonic and is very similar to lavender as far as uses but rosemary is more of a stimulant and lavender is more of a sedative or has a calming nature to it. Research has demonstrated that it helps with memory and cognition. Rosemary can be used in cooking. I have used the essential oil diffused to help in memory and recall for test taking. A great mixture to help with cognition is to use a few drops of rosemary, lemon, orange and lavender in a spray bottle with distilled water to lift mood.

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil is nature’s antiracial and anti-fungal wonder!! It is also immunomodulatory as well when inhaled. Readers need to be careful as tea tree oil is highly volatile and must be used in carrier oil. I have witnessed so many patients who have had allergic or reactions to it put directly on skin, scalps, and nails. This essential oil has been widely studied an there are almost 400 pub med research papers on it’s efficacy. Tea tree oil has also been demonstrated to have anti-protozoan activity as well. The best way to use tea tree oil is to use it very diluted in a carrier oil or lotion. Currently there are so many products on the market that the safest way to use it is pre compounded because of its known risks with dermal irritations. Do not try using this oil directly on your body or internally!

Right now our favorite company, Little Moon Essentials is running a ten percent off for all Lady code readers: use the code Elizabeth10 for a discount which will last all through July. We love Clear Skies Ahead!

Make sure to check out www.elizabethtrattner.com for more tips about living a healthy lifestyle.

 

Stayed tuned in the next couple of weeks where I will be reporting from the Indie Beauty Expo in Dallas!!

Love,

Char ❤

Advertisements

Happy Earth Day

 

Hello everyone and Happy Earth Day!

This post is serving as celebration for one of my favorite days, Earth Day, along with you weekly Motivation for Monday!

Today, I had the honor to interview the inspiring Elizabeth Tran, founder of Teens Go Green. It is a non-profit which she started when she was twelve years old as a way to educate the youth about excessive waste production and help them get involved in helping and protecting the environment.

Teens go Green works with one of my favorite non-profit organizations; Clean the World. Elizabeth is partnered with Orange County Environmental Protection Division, and Green Works Orlando. Some of the events which she produces include the pageant Miss Miracle which she recycles pageant trophies which would have been discarded otherwise, along with Eco-friendly fashion shows to raise awareness and help get others involved. 

 

 

During our interview, Elizabeth shared some of her advice to help others go green which includes:

  1. Being green is more than a trend, it is a lifestyle choice which influences what you wear, what you eat, how you live and interact with the environment.
  2. Elizabeth recommends Unplug electronics that you do not use all day. In fact, 52% of the energy we use is wasted. She suggests unplugging your toaster when you are not using it.
  3. Be consciousness about what you are wearing. Elizabeth was wearing a garment from Consumer Against Toxic Apparel(CATA), an affiliate with Silver Needle and Thread. They make sure that all their clothes are certified organic or made from natural fibers. It helps the environment and even your own health ensuring that are manmade chemicals and toxic do not go into your skin nor the environment. The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to toxins in our environment, including Chromium 6 which is in polluted waters everywhere.

Please watch the video below to be inspired by this wonderful woman.

Remember to check out www.teensgogreenglobal.org to learn more about how you can help make a difference in our environment.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Love,
Char ❤

Body Positivity For Motivational Monday

Happy Motivational Monday everyone,

Today’s post is all about body positivity and being happy with yourself.

It is important to love your body and truly understand it’s unique needs. In a day where social media reigns supreme, it is easy to understand why body dysmorphia is on the rise. Many social media bloggers will brand themselves according to their type of eating like Vegan or Paleo or cupcake lover. Women need to understand and embrace that every single person is unique and so are their dietary needs. Instead of trying to be like someone else, be yourself and really tune in to what makes you feel good.

Two women the same age can thrive on different lifestyles, diet and exercise. The key is listening to your own inner voice and wisdom and not get distracted on what the internet or a blogger or a movie star says. The other issue with social media is that it embraces the unattainable perfection. It just doesn’t exist.

Love your body inside and out for the incredible machinery and gift it is. Feed it well with love, care and good food that resonates on the inside. Stop comparing yourself to others because you will never be someone else only yourself.

Lady Code is a place to empower women, whether that be to eat healthier, have a positive outlook, inspire makeup and fashion styles, but mostly to LOVE themselves.

Please watch the video below which inspired me for this post.

I am implore everyone reading this to STOP thinking about what they don’t like about themselves or what they wish they could change and START thinking about what they love about themselves.

This theme perfectly ties in with Lisa Opie’s un-retouched campaign for her swimsuit line, Vizcaya Swimwear. In this recent photo shoot, Lisa wanted to promote body love or what she is referring to as #PerfectlyImperfect!

A special “Thank you” to Dr. Elizabeth Trattner for helping with this post.

Happy Monday!

Love Char ❤

Wellness Wednesday: The Power of Being Present

Happy Wednesday everyone,

buddah

With everything going on in the world today, it is easy to get distracted. So for today, I wanted to re-post one of my favorite videos I ever did for Lady Code.

For Wellness Wednesday, I want to challenge all of you to put away the phones or laptops, to turn off the music and have a powerful, meaningful conversation with someone. We are missing the beauty of what occurs right under our noses.

Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Love Char ❤

 

Thursday Treats for Someone Sweet with Char

Hi everyone, 

I am currently swamped with homework and  overwhelmed with 8 hours of math alone. However, I wanted to take the time to share a recipe with you. Eating healthy has always been a big part of my life, limiting the number of treats I could eat. But, over the holidays, I made this cake with my mom. Everything in this cake is good for you and is loaded with anti-oxidants and healthy fats.

Image courtesy of Instagram:@dreliztratts
Image courtesy of Instagram:@dreliztratts

 

Lemon Raspberry Cheezecake.

I used a silicone heart shaped pan from IKEA. Whatever you choose as your mold, make sure it is silicone as your dessert will slide right out. I have quadrupled the recipe because the mold was so huge, but it served about 25 people.

Coconut Layer:

  • 4 cup raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
  • 1 cup cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 and 2/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup organic rice malt syrup
  • juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries

Raspberry Cream Layer

  • 4 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • 4 cup raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
  • 4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups organic rice malt syrup
  • 2 packets of thawed pitaya for color

Coconut Layer

1. Using your food processor, blend the cashews until completely smooth. As smooth as possible.

2. Add the coconut oil, desiccated coconut, coconut cream, rice malt syrup, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and creamy. If it isn’t sweet enough add more rice syrup or a touch of stevia.

3. Fold in the raspberries and pour mixture into your silicone mold. Freeze for a few hours or, until set. Raspberry Cream Layer –

1. Using your food processor, blend the cashews until completely smooth.

2. Add the coconut oil, desiccated coconut, coconut cream, rice malt syrup, thawed pitaya and raspberries.

3.Blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour mixture over the top of the coconut cream layer, and freeze until set. When ready to serve, flip it over, and top with extra raspberries.

Chocolate Syrup

  • 1 and 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup

Mix all ingredients with a whisk and carefully pour over chilled cake. It should set up immediately from the cold. Put in freezer to solidify the chocolate sauce.

Note: Please remember that this recipe was quadrupled for size. The mold I used was huge and needed a lot of volume. You can safely cut this in half and make two separate 8×8 silicone mold cakes. Extra silicone cupcake holders are excellent for surplus ingredients. Don’t forget to freeze on a level surface for a straight line otherwise the cake will freeze lopsided. Also, make sure you leave the cake out at surface temperature for about an hour from the freezer. Use a knife in hot water to cut.

Please follow me @Charvontratt for more healthy treats and motivation.

Enjoy this special Thursday treat.

 

Lots of love and sweetness,

Char ❤

 

Detoxing for Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone,

The post below was inspired by an article my mom, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner wrote for a national magazine and her blog on detoxing.

It seems to me that everyone is making New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, work out more (something I have witness at my college gym), act nicer to others and DETOX!

However, we are living in a society that is too engaged with technology and less connected with our natural environment. Although there are many pros to these technological advancements, one of the biggest downfalls is that we are unable to “ground down”, meaning we seem to have problems unhooking ourselves from social media like Instagram and Facebook. We are in a never ending race to post every social moment, instead of being present and experiencing the moment.

We have become focused one episodic cures. My Wellness Wednesday tip for you is to incorporate several prolonged life changes instead of a quick juice cleanse. Try to get to bed earlier, eat organic food, cut back on refined sugar. These small steps make a big difference.

Another great idea for a detox in to take a trip outdoors where there is bad cell phone reception and practice taking a break from technology. Research has found that spending time outside in nature, without cell phones and laptops can refresh the brain and also increase attention and focus.

This new year, make it a resolution to connect to your food and loved ones, and disconnect from things that do not serve you.

You can read the full article that inspired me for this post at:

 

http://elizabethtrattner.com/blog/index.php?year=2017&month=January&post_get_id=13&page_type=recent

 

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Char ❤

 

5 Ways to Manage Your Weight Over the Holidays

The holidays are filled with cheer– which usually means food! We all love to indulge, which is good because it means we’re living a little. Just remember, swimsuit season is right around the corner, and your body is your temple! Here are 5 ways to manage your weight over the holiday season.

  1. Track your weight
    screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-19-51-am

To shed pounds, or stay on point while everyone is feasting, start by weighing in and having a goal. That way, when you’re keeping track of what you’re eating and the calories you intake, weight loss becomes a simple formula.

The more calories you consume, the more you gain over time. It’s not about being on a diet, though, it’s all about portion control. For example, if you’re given a large plate with extra stuffing, eat half of the plate, and come back to it if you are still hungry.  

  1. Drink a lot of water before meals
    screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-19-57-am

According to the “Healthy Women Website”, our body tells us we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. In fact, there’s a study from CBS that says 75% of Americans are functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. Try making a habit of drinking a cup of water before you sleep and when you wake up, and before each meal! It might make all the difference in the world for your mind and body function.

3. Avoid alcohol

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-20-05-am
When you’re around family and friends, you may have an urge to have a drink or two…maybe six! What you might not know is alcohol is high in empty calories and encourages cravings. At your next get together, try sticking to only two or three drinks. Also, consider having a nutritious meal before going out so you don’t eat an entire pizza like someone I know from last halloween.

  1. Make your own treats

Of course, your mom’s triple layer, brownie-cookie made with condensed milk, and an extra cup of white sugar is tasty… but, in it there’s a lot of calories hidden with love. In fact, in one small chocolate chip Applebee’s cookie alone there are over 1,660 calories! Things I pack with me are:
screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-20-13-am

  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries
  • Chocolate-nut popcorn
  • Chocolate frozen banana

If you dip them in dark chocolate (70% cacao), you’re avoiding fats and sugars, and it’s actually considered a not-so-bad, healthy treat packed with antioxidants. Dark chocolate also aids in regulating your stress hormones (cortisol).

  1. Speed up your metabolism
    screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-20-20-am

Tea’s the season to be healthy! A lot of celebrities like Kim K., Nikki Minaj, and even Lisa Vanderpump (for our Real Housewife lovers) have been endorsing detox teas lately. And for good reason! t’s easy to drain your immune system when it’s cold, and food filled family get together’s can leave you feeling extremely bloated! SkinnyFit 28 day detox is my favorite product to help with unhealthy cravings, plus it contains a powerful blend of 28 vitamins and superfoods that boost your metabolism, while burning nearly 100 calories in one cup!

 

Wellness Wednesday: Making Butternut Squash

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone,

squash

Now that it is Fall and the leaves are changing color, I like to eat nourishing fall foods, so I thought I would share a simple, delicious and healthy recipe for butternut squash. Being a busy college student, time is precious and this is super easy to make, plus this healthy dish is a great way to combat the freshman fifteen.

maple-leaf

Ingredients:

  1. Organic Butternut squash- I buy pre-cut since it saves time.
  2. Organic Coconut Oil Spray
  3. Organic Maple Syrup
  4. Organic Cinnamon

*try to buy only organic ingredients for this dish*

Directions

  1. Pre- Heat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place your squash in a simple pot and steam for 6 minutes. (This helps soften the squash making it easier to bake.)
  3. After the squash has steamed, strain off the water.
  4. Spray the ceramic dish with coconut oil.
  5. Move the squash to the ceramic dish and spray the coconut oil on it.
  6. Pour the Maple Syrup on the squash*.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the squash*.
  8. Place the squash in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes.
  9. Remove the squash and let it cool for 10 minutes.

*indicates no exact measurement

Some of the nutritional benefits of squash include vitamin c, betacarotene and magnesium. It is loaded with antioxidants, plus there is nominal amounts of protein in squash. By adding organic maple syrup and organic cinnamon, you are turning this healthy dish into a sweet treat.

Check out the video to see the step-by-step process

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone and enjoy this yummy recipe.

~Char

 

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone!

It is October which means it is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is very important to me because members of my family have had this disease that effects so many women. In fact, it touches almost everyone I know. One in 8 women are affected by it and environmental exposure is responsible for almost 90 percent of cases! Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in women.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am going to discuss some quick ways to help decrease your risk from getting cancer.

  1. Eat organic animal products. I cannot stress how important this is. If you have cancers that run in your family, decrease the amount of grilled meat as it has heterocyclic amines that are linked to many types of cancer. Also if you have breast cancer in your family either lower or avoid red meat.
  2. Drink clean water. A simple filter like Britta can reduce the amount of chemicals in your water. We have seen so much in the news with contaminated water from different cities within the United States. Make sure you are drinking  filtered water and enough water as well. Just because water is in a bottle doesn’t mean it isn’t contaminated. Water in glass bottles is the safest. Also, do not leave plastic water bottles in hot cars where the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the water from the heat. Consume at least 64 ounces of clean water a day.
  3. Eat organic fruits and vegetables. If you are on a budget, please refer to previous posts regarding the ww.ewg.org clean fifteen and dirty dozen. The phytochemicals present in vegetables and fruit are some of the best way to protect yourself from cancer.
  4. Eat 25-40 grams of fiber a day. Fiber can be found in vegetables, fruits, grains, roots and beans. Fiber has be demonstrated to decrease cancers and cardiovascular disease, another increasing health issue with women.
  5. Do not smoke. Smoking increases the risks of cancer dramatically.
  6. Use sunscreen.
  7. Avoid chemical exposure. Last week I wrote about the dirty dozen of endocrine disruptors. These are paramount to avoid because there is a direct link with these and increased risks of cancer.
  8. Use organic or healthy cleaning products for your home. The same goes for body products and cosmetics. Just like food, what when breathe and touches our skin goes directly into our body!
  9. Exercise can decrease the risk of getting cancer. Sitting is the new smoking.
  10. Keep your cell phone away from your bra! Studies are now showing that cell phone radiation has been linked to other types of cancers. Many young women store their phones in their bras. This practice can have cumulative effects. Use a Bluetooth device or headphones. Try and keep your cell phone away from your body.

Thank you to my mom, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner for allowing me to interview her on this very important subject. You can visit her website www.elizabethtrattner.com  . Also visit www.ewg.org to learn more about ways to protect yourself.

Remember to wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness! on-wednesdays-we-wear-pink

~Char ❤

A Call to Action: Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Today I went back to Clean the World to volunteer my time. This is one of my favorite organizations to volunteer with. Their mission is so simple yet so impactful – they recycle amenities like soap from local hotels and business and distribute it worldwide in order to combat the spread of disease.  www.cleantheworld.org

love-and-respect-image

Today when I arrived, they notified me that they needed emergency volunteers due to the destruction from Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. I put a call into my Leadership Program and to my sorority sisters and within an hour, I received countless calls and texts from people wanting to help.

Although these volunteers had plenty to worry about themselves as the hurricane is headed our way, it was incredible to see how many people eagerly volunteered their time, putting their own safety on hold in order to help others in dire need. This is what philanthropy is all about!

pi-phi-at-ctw

 

Thank you to the sisterhood of Pi Beta Phi and the Lead Scholars Program at UCF for volunteering your time and answering the call to action. It’s challenging times like this that make us realize how meaningful volunteerism can be.

If you would like to volunteer your time, please contact Gabi Norris, Volunteer Coordinator at volunteers@cleantheworld.org, or if you cannot physically donate your time, you can always make a financial donation. Visit https://cleantheworld.org/forms/donation-form/ to learn more.

Check out this short clip from today!

~Char ❤