Minty Fresh: Spearmint and Peppermint

As promised, I come to you today to reveal today’s doTERRA BOGO. *Drum roll, please.* Today if you buy 1 bottle of Spearmint get 1 bottle of Peppermint oil FREE. Remember, this deal will only last one day so get it while it’s hot! Speaking of hot, be advised that these oils may be too “hot” to apply straight on to those that have sensitive skin. You’ll want to dilute both of these oils for younger kids, and those with sensitive skin.

bogo-spear-pep

Spearmint is a great oil to have in your arsenal. You can use Spearmint topically (dilute when needed), internally, and aromatically as well. It was be used aromatically in your diffuser to uplift the mood in the air. It pairs lovely with Tangerine oil, and other citrus oils. Spearmint is also helpful at assisting you at releasing negative emotions and beliefs. You can use spearmint topically to support a healthy digestive system. You can use spearmint in your cooking as well, whether it’s just adding flavor to your water by adding a drop to your glass or using it in sauces and salads.

tangermint-soap

Peppermint is an essential oil I never run out of in our home. We use it daily. My kids don’t respond well to seasonal changes, and when the watery eyes, coughing, and runny noses start I blend Peppermint with Lemon and Lavender and apply it daily. My husband takes that exact combination in a pill form every day, especially when he is spending lots of time outdoors. If you need a pick me up in the morning, diffusing Peppermint and Wild Orange helps to perk you up. That combination was a life saver for me when I was pregnant and not drinking caffeine. It really helped to wake me up in the morning! You can also use Peppermint to help with digestive issues by rubbing some on your stomach, or taking a drop of two internally. The uses for Peppermint are endless!

What are some of your favorite uses of these oils? Comment below and share with us!

FREE doTERRA Oils: Day 1

Do you love the health benefits of essential oils? If you’ve never experienced the positive effects of essential oils before, now is the time to try them. doTERRA is having a BOGO sale all week long. Every day they are featuring a new BOGO deal, and the BOGO will change daily. So, the deal you see featured today, will only be valid through today only, so act quickly. If you are not currently working with a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, I would love to help support you and get oils in your home. Now, let’s see what doTERRA is offering today!

Today’s BOGO is buy a 15mL of OnGuard ($42.67 Retail/$32 Wholesale) and receive a 15mL of Lavender ($28 Retail/$21 Wholesale) for free. I love these two oils, and they are wonderful oils to have in your home, especially if you’re just getting started with essential oils. So, if you have a wholesale account, you’d be getting both of these oils for only $32!

og-lavender-bogo

doTERRA OnGuard is a proprietary blend that contains Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oil. OnGuard is designed to support your immune system. This was actually the first oil I got introduced to, and I’ve been hooked every since. You can use this oil topically, aromatically, and internally. (Side note: doTERRA is the only brand of essential oil I would trust enough to use on my kids, and I advice everyone to do your research when purchasing essential oils.) I personally used this blend when I had a sore and scratchy throat. I rubbed the oil along my throat, massaging my lymph nodes, and I also used 1 drop of OnGuard in hot water with honey and drank it like a tea. I was amazed at the results I had, that I ended up buying an entire enrollment kit that month.

I enjoy using OnGuard daily on my entire family to help support our immune system, especially during the winter months. For my children (5 years old and under) I dilute this oil with doTERRA’s Fractionated Coconut Oil because it is a hot oil, and can be too warm when applied directly on children. We also have it in a spray bottle with water, and we use it as a natural hand cleanser every day. We use it to clean our homes too! I love that I’ve been able to eliminate traditional (and toxic) household cleaners and hand cleansers.

lavender-cover

Now, Lavender essential oil is an amazing oil to have in your home. Lavender can be used aromatically, topically, and internally. Many of us are familiar with the traditional use of lavender for sleep and relaxation. While this is true, it also has so many other uses as well. You can use this oil to help reduce skin irritations, and it’s amazing when paired with melaleuca for these purposes. We have an “Owie Spray” in our home that we’ve used for bee stings, ant bites, stinging nettles, and rashes.

Lavender can also be used to soothe sore muscles. I like to pair it with peppermint before and after a workout, and it really helps with the post workout soreness. We love using this oil in our homes, and my kids have been known to ask for “the purple oil” whenever they get a boo-boo.

Are you interested in purchasing today’s BOGO? I would love to help you get started using these oils. I provide my team with additional education once you’ve received the oils, and I make myself available to when you need additional support. I’d be honored to help you on your journey towards natural solutions for your health. Happy Monday!

To get started on my team go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber

Have you used essential oils in your home? What are some of your favorite ways to use oils?

Gerber’s Go To Green Juice

So, I’ve kind of started a new ritual in my morning. Instead of going straight for coffee in the morning, I do a couple of other things first. First, I’ll drink a glass of water with doTERRA Grapefruit essential oil. Why grapefruit, you say? Mostly because it’s my favorite citrus oil in water, but it does have many benefits! Grapefruit helps support a healthy metabolism, aids to naturally cleanse your body, and can even help curb sugar cravings. I beg of you, don’t go to your local health store and drink those essential oils. Most the essential oils in a grocery store are even labeled, “Not for internal use.” Find a good quality therapeutic grade essential oil brand that is safe for ingestion. Obviously, my brand of choice is doTERRA, but don’t just take my word for it. Do your research and decide for yourself. I’ll be blogging soon on essential oil quality!

Moving on. The second thing I like to do after finishing my water (or many times I am drinking my water while making this) is make a green juice or smoothie. I do have a green smoothie recipe already posted, so today I’m going to give you our go to green juice recipe. Yum! I like to drink a green juice before eating breakfast or drinking coffee for a couple of reasons. I think it’s beneficial to provide your body with nutrients right away. Also, our bodies can quickly absorb and digest fresh juice. The vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can easily be absorbed and then our body can use this goodness to take charge of our day full of natural energy.

Ok, without further ado, here is the Gerber’s Go-To-Green Juice recipe.

Ingredients

  • Large kale (about 1/4 of a bunch)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cucumbers
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 lime
  • Handful of parsley
  • I inch of ginger
  • Pineapple (to taste)

Directions

  • Throughly wash your produce.
  • Cut the fruit and veggies as needed to fit in your juicer.
  • Juice the goodness.
  • Stir and pour in fancy glasses for you and yours.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • This is a rough base. However, there are some ingredients we have found to be a “must have” for our home: cucumber, pineapple, and lime. The rest you can cater to your taste, or what you have in the fridge that day.
  • I try not to use a ton of fruit, as vegetables are healthier and have less fructose. If you find you need more fruit when you first start juicing, then just slowly decrease the amount of fruit overtime so the juice is majority vegetable juice.
  • Unless you really like lime, just stick to 1 lime. I tried 2 limes this morning and it was TART. Isaac loved it, but he could eat lemons and limes as a snack if I let him.
  • Have fun and experiment! We’ve also juiced carrots, beets, apples, broccoli, and much more. Find what works for you and your family.

There you have it, my friends! Enjoy the Gerber’s Go-To Green Juice to start your day.

What’s are some of your favorite juice combinations? Share in the comments below!

Wild Orange Essential Oil GIVEAWAY!

As promised, today begins my weekly essential oil giveaway. The essential oil that I am giving away today is Wild Orange (citrus sinensis) oil. I chose this essential oil because it is great for people just beginning to use oils, and it has many benefits. It was one of my first oils to use, and I always have it on hand.

This particular Wild Orange essential oil is cold pressed from the orange peel and is sourced from the Dominican Republic. It has a sweet and fresh aroma that is loved by many. The oil is commonly used for energizing and revitalizing. It is also uplifting not only physically, but mentally as well. A great way to use this oil is in the diffuser to boost the mood of the room, as well as clean the air. Many citrus oils are great to use when cleaning because of their natural cleansing and purifying properties.

Wild Orange essential oil can not only be used aromatically, but also topically and internally as well. It tastes wonderful in your water, and I love applying it to the back of my neck when I need a little midday pick-me-up. Please take note: Citrus oils are photosensitive so if you use them topically be sure and wait a couple of hours before heading outdoors or place on an area of your body that will be covered with clothing.

How do I use Wild Orange oil?
• Diffusing daily with peppermint to lift my mood and freshen the air.
• I clean with Wild Orange and Lemon oil in my kitchen and bathroom. I just add a couple drops of each to 8 oz. of water and get to cleaning!
• Add 1 drop to 8 oz. of ice water for a refreshing beverage.

So, how can you get your hands on this amazing oil? You can be entered to win up to 2 times. First, comment below on why you’d like to try this amazing oil. Then if you want an additional entry, follow my blog via Facebook. This giveaway will be opened through Sunday until midnight, and I will announce the winner on Monday.

For more information on the brand I love and use, and how to get these oils in your home email info@amandagerber.com.

The proceeding statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. These are simply things that have worked for me personally, and my family and friends.

This giveaway is now closed.  Congrats to our winner Rachel!

Granola Balls: Healthy and Toddler Approved!

As a mom of hungry boys, I am always on the lookout for healthy snacks that actually taste good. Then I stumbled across this gloriousness (not sure if that is a real word, but it should be) through my friend (thanks, Lindsey!) who had found this recipe on a blog smashedpeasandcarrots.blogspot.com. I think the term that they used for the snack was “energy bite,” but my son Noah renamed them “granola balls,” so that’s what we call them in my house. You can just call them “awesome.”

I knew this recipe was a winner when my son said it tasted like a cookie, AND I was happy with all the ingredients in the recipe. Not only that, but your kids can totally help you make this recipe. Let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t like being in the kitchen? Let’s get right down to it, because you don’t want to waste another minute without this recipe. Be sure to read all the way down to the notes for modifications for the healthiest snack possible!

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Ingredients:
• 1 cup of oats
• 1 cup coconut flakes
• ½ cup of chia seeds
• ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
• ½ cup peanut butter
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until they are all evenly distributed. I start with a spoon and end up working with my hands. Your hands will get messy, just embrace it.
2. Place the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
3. Once chilled, roll into 1 inch balls (makes about 20-25 balls). Again with the messy hands, but you can lick your fingers after!
4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, but they won’t last that long!

Notes:
• Instant oats are heavily processed, which means less nutrition. Use old fashioned oats!
• As far as the coconut flakes go, use UNSWEETENED coconut flakes. There is no need to add more sugar to the recipe, and you still get a great texture and flavor from the unsweetened flakes.  You can usually find these at any whole/health foods store.
• The original recipe calls for flax seed, which I actually always have, but I used chia seeds a few months ago and prefer the texture more in this particular recipe. You can totally use chia or flax or a combination if you wish!
• If you want to omit the chocolate chips, you can substitute any dried fruit in its place, but I gotta tell ya I almost always use the chocolate chips. The mini chocolate chips work the best, and it becomes more of a treat for me and the boys. 🙂
• You can use any nut butter in place of the peanut butter. Again, try and find one without any add sugar or junk (look on the back of your jar). I’ve used unsweetened/unsalted almond butter and it worked just as well.
• Honey has great health benefits, so I don’t substitute anything there.  If you can snag some local honey, use that for assistance in allergy relief!

You will soon find that this will be a staple in your arsenal of healthy snack. These are so much fun to make with the kids, and I’ve gotten opportunities to explain the ingredients going in the snack and why they are so great for our bodies.

Do you think your family will enjoy this recipe? Try it out and leave your reviews in the comments!

Homemade All Natural Deodorant

So I took the plunge and made my own deodorant. I hate spending grocery money on toiletry items. This is how my mind works when I have to do that: shampoo+conditioner around $6 = A pineapple, kale, and bananas. Deodorant around $3 = Organic potatoes. Not to mention all the chemicals in those products! So I decided to make my own deodorant. I got the recipe from wellnessmama.com and did my own tinkering to it. I’ve been using this deodorant for a few days and really like it. I think what I like most is that I know exactly the ingredients in it, and not to mention it works!

deo

Ingredients:
• ¼ cup of cocoa butter
• ¼ cup beeswax
• ¼ cup coconut oil
• ¼ cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch will work here too)
• 1 tablespoon of baking soda
• 5 drops of melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
• 5 drops other essential oils for scent (optional)

Directions:
1. Melt cocoa butter, beeswax, and coconut oils together in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
2. Once melted, take the bowl off of the heat and add the arrowroot powder and baking soda. Mix well.
3. Add the essential oils and mix well.
4. Pour into an empty and clean deodorant container. This recipe makes one bar of deodorant and a little extra. Pour the extra in a baking cup, or soap mold and use it as a travel deodorant.
5. Let it cool and set overnight before using.
6. Use the next day with the joy of knowing you know exactly what you are putting on your body: pure goodness.

Notes:
• This recipe is a deodorant, not an anti-perspirant. So this will help with the stink, but you will still sweat. That’s okay, sweating is good for your body!
• I have used this recipe this week while working VBS all morning and working out in the afternoon, and I have had great results.
• You can replace the cocoa butter with other body butters, such as shea or mango butter.
• You can usually find arrowroot powder in any whole foods type of store.
• Melaleuca is great to use because of its cleansing and purifying properties, so I wouldn’t omit this oil. While citrus oils do have similar properties, they are photosensitive, so if you want to add citrus oils I recommend waiting until winter time when you’re not in tank tops anymore.

Have you made your own deodorant before? What’s your reason you would like to make the switch from store bought to homemade deodorant?

Munchin’ on Marigolds

This past weekend we went to our friend’s birthday party and my friend, Angie, made a salad with edible flowers. Of course, many of us know there are edible flowers, but have we ever tried them? I hadn’t tried them before and was very curious! Well, that’s a lie. I had tried flowers once before when I was probably 4 years old and had just watched the movie Bambi. There’s a scene in the movie where the rabbit, Thumper, is eating flowers, and after that my sisters and I searched our backyard and probably ate every Texas wildflower we could find. So, other than that, I had not tried edible flowers.

There was quite the assortment of flowers, and they gorgeous of all colors: green, orange, pink, and bright red. They were so pretty you almost didn’t want to eat them. But I did! I was curious so I tried almost all of them. Here’s my review.

marigolds

The marigolds were kind of zesty and spicy, similar to arugula. A lot of people at the party didn’t care for this one, but I liked it. I’m also a fan of arugula. Marigolds have some cool health benefits to that I found out on livestrong.com. They are high in antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer. Not only do they help fight cancer, but they help to prevent the regrowth of cancerous cells!

The mums were pretty bland and earthy. They can easily blend in your every day salad. Mums are known to help improve cardiovascular health. They can also help relieve high blood pressure and some symptoms of high blood pressure like headaches or insomnia.

Lastly, I tried the dendrobium, which are the pretty pink orchids. I thought that these flowers actually had a slight sweet taste to them, and were also pretty mild. I just popped the whole thing in my mouth without any sort of seasoning and had no problem with the flavor. It was pretty tasty! According to webmd.com these flowers are known to help boost the performance of a workout, and act as a stimulant.

What do you think? Are you willing to give edible flowers a try? Do you have a favorite already?

Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I am just a mom on a mission for wellness and sharing cool facts as I come about them. These flowers are not intended to cure, treat or prevent disease. If taking prescription medication, you may wish to consult a physician before consumption of beautiful flowers.

Cold Oatmeal: Sounds gross, Tastes good!

Cold oatmeal: It sounds gross, doesn’t it? When I first read about cold oatmeal it did not sound appealing. I think it’s because I think of the cold oatmeal I am usually eating: you know, the oatmeal that gets left at the bottom of the pot after my kids are all done eating… That kinda cold oatmeal. BUT this is not just someone’s lifeless leftover oatmeal. It’s a whole new way to eat oatmeal and it tastes so stinkin’ good. The best part is that you make it the night before so when you’re ready to eat breakfast the next morning, it’s all done! Did I mention you can totally make this dairy free if you wish? I got a recipe from theyummylife.com and just catered it to my preferences. So, here’s my first cold oatmeal recipe that I tried and adore! Let’s get started.

oatmeal

Ingredients:
• ¼ cup old fashion oats (stay away from instant, it’s way processed)
• ¼ cup vanilla yogurt
• ¼ cup milk
• ¼ cup berries
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• Dash of nutmeg

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a glass 8 oz. jar with a lid.
2. Secure tightly with a lid and place in the refrigerator to let it sit overnight.
3. In the morning, top with fresh berries and one more dash of cinnamon. (Optional).
4. Eat and enjoy your healthy, ready-to-go breakfast. Share with your toddlers, which really means you should triple the recipe because everyone loves it!

Notes:
• To make this dairy free, simply substitute the milk and yogurt for a quality soy, almond, or coconut option. I used organic soy milk and it turned out great.
• You can use whatever yogurt you have on hand. If you want to avoid the added sugars of the vanilla yogurt, just use plain yogurt and you can add a splash of vanilla extract and honey to taste.
• When you mix all the ingredients together, it will be a thinner mixture and thicken overnight.
• This recipe makes one serving, so if you’re wanting to make it for your family just double or triple the recipe and place in separate jars so there’s no fighting over it in the morning.
• Get creative with the flavors and add-ins: try it with chia seeds or sliced almonds, bananas or peaches would be yummy too!

Have you tried cold oatmeal before?  What are your favorite add-ins?

Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Today I am going to introduce to you my favorite essential oil blend from my trusted company: Grounding blend. Just thinking about it makes me relax in my chair. The Grounding Blend is a blend of spruce needle/leaf, ho wood, frankincense, blue tansy flower, and blue chamomile flower essential oils in a base of coconut oil. It’s got the nice woodsy, sweet smell to it that makes you want to breathe it in for days.

I use this oil every single day. I put it in my diffuser (along with a citrus oil) and it has helped my mid-afternoon grumpiness craziness I am prone to. Also, it’s already diluted with coconut oil so if one of my kidos is having a meltdown I can pour a drop in my hand and rub it right on their feet or chest. So between myself and my boys (remember 4 years old and under here) we go through about a bottle a minute! Just kidding… but you get the point; it’s that amazing!

From my own personal experience I can honestly say this has helped me recover after the birth of my children as well as keep my anxious feelings at bay. I can start to feel when I’m getting stressed, and mentally as well as physically I start to get tense; so I’ll grab my bottle and put some of the Grounding Blend on my feet, or even just smell the bottle and it calms me down.

This oil, in my opinion, is a must have for every mom. Remember, you can email me at info@amandagerber.com to get the oils in your home, but what I’m doing today is a Mother’s Day Giveaway. I want to give away a bottle of this amazing blend to a deserving mom. So, what do I need from you? Leave a comment below of a mom you would like to nominate to win this bottle and why they should win (go ahead and brag on them! Let them know they are loved!). This will be open today through Friday (May 8, 2015) ending at 11:59PM. I will announce the winner on Saturday.

Share below and she could be the lucky winner!

DISCLAIMER: This information is not regulated by the FDA and is not intended to cure or treat disease. It is for informational purposes only. I am just a mom, not a doctor, sharing my experience with essential oils and how they’ve helped my family.

Mother’s Day Brownies

As promised, I am going to give you another post related to Mother’s Day. Today my post is going to be in the form of recipe (not for mom to make, but for you to make for her!). Can you guess what my recipe will contain? My two favorite ingredients: chocolate and essential oils. Yummm…

So, these are actually gluten free brownies that are moist and yummy and full of fiber! Fiber in brownies?!? How is that even possible? Two words for you: Black. Beans. Now, don’t you crinkle your nose at me. I just made this and tried it out on unsuspecting guests with great results. My husband actually liked it, but admitted he would like it a little sweeter (an easy fix!). Honestly I did not expect to like these brownies, but I love them. I am going to give you the original recipe that I followed from doterrablog.com and feel free to tweak it according to your taste buds.

DSC_0533

Photo credit: doterrablog.com

Ingredients
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained, and rinsed (Trust me, just do it!)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup honey (I actually used half honey and half agave)
1/3 cup coconut oil
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 drops Peppermint essential oil
¾ cup chocolate chips, divided

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place all ingredients, except for chocolate chips, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
3. Stir in ½ cup chocolate chips.
4. Pour into greased 8×8 inch pan and top with the remaining chocolate chips (don’t skip this step, this is what made the brownies perfect).
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine took 40 minutes). Let cool (or not! We dug right in when it was still warm and it didn’t make a huge mess, just a little one.) and cut into pieces. Store in the fridge if you haven’t devoured the entire pan.

Notes
– Y’all, this is my new favorite dessert. I love it and I don’t have to feel guilty about having two three brownies. This would be a dessert a mom on a diet could actually eat. It’s awesome.
– At first bite I thought it could be a tad sweeter, but once I took another bite I realized it was just the right amount of sweet for me. From my personal reviews everyone liked the brownies, but a couple of people could use a touch more sweetness.
– This is a very versatile recipe: you can use the peppermint essential oil, or cinnamon, or clove, or simply leave the oil out of the dish. Play around and have some fun with it!

What do you think about black beans in brownies? Try the recipe and comment below how it goes!