I L O V E love soap making! I also love baking. This being said I have been under extreme stress this past year and it seems to be not letting up. I love to bake and usually have to create something to take my mind away so most times I bake. This is fine when you have someone to share it with but stress and having junk around is not a good combo. Nope DANGER! So I have decided to make soap instead. I am working on some soap that look like food and most are made with food ingredients. I am not a good cook. Only a fair baker but soap, I rock soap. My special thing that gets me going is the challenge of finding all natural ingredients. I do NOT use fragrance oils and because of this I cannot make your favorite bath and body works products but I can make some real fun ones. Tonight I am making Coconut Lime (by request)! For fragrance I used lime zest and coconut milk and extract. I also added coconut oil and Shea butter for moisturizing effects. This seems to be working for my stress relief and excellent on my waistline! I get the aromatherapy effects during the process as well as the cooking/baking effect during the creation. The only down side is no instant gratification as it takes 3-6 weeks for curing but I have got to do this more often! Look for more soap to come and leave a comment if you have any special request you would like to see me try.
Eventually, it happens to every Alamogordo man or woman who has taken a haphazard approach to diet and exercise. The Health Reckoning. The Big Wake-up Call. Harsh Reality. Call it what you may, but eventually us Texas slackers all realize that we have to live a healthy lifestyle to feel good, look good, and stay active.
For many Las Cruses folks, that means improving diet and incorporating more exercise into chaotic schedules. Perhaps Las Cruses teens and Colorado twenty-somethings can function without nutritious food, adequate sleep and regular exercise without noticing any ill-effects. But that lifestyle cannot continue indefinitely without serious consequence.
Our metabolism slows down as we age. It seems to take more discipline to maintain a healthy weight at 45 vs 25, especially around New Mexico. If you are having a hard time keeping your weight at a sensible level because you indulge in chocolate regularly, Xocai antioxidant chocolate is for you. Xocai delivers the dark chocolate fix without the fat and calories found in conventional chocolate products you find around Alamogordo.
What Is a Gluten-Free Diet? Before tackling the gluten-free diet, let’s get to know our culprit. Gluten is a specific type of protein, but one you won’t find in meat or eggs. Instead gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for most people with gluten allergies or celiac disease, a condition which causes intestinal damage when gluten is eaten.
Gluten “Red Flags” People on a gluten-free diet need a sharp eye for labels. Some ingredient red flags are obvious, like wheat, wheat gluten, barley, or rye. But some foods have “stealth” gluten. Two terms to watch for are malt (which is made from barley) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (it often contains wheat). And while oats may offer an alternative for those eating gluten-free, they may also increase symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
Say Bye-Bye to Bread … Mostly Perhaps the most difficult step in a gluten-free diet is bidding farewell to bread as you know it – that includes white, wheat, marble, and rye. Also off limits are bagels, muffins, croissants, hamburger buns, scones – you get the idea. Yes, even pizza. But don’t despair – there are alternatives.
You Have Gluten-Free Bread Choices Many health foods stores and some major supermarkets now carry gluten-free products, including an assortment of breads. These are often made with rice or potato flour instead of wheat. Just check the label to make sure it says “100% gluten-free.”
Lots of Cereals Have Gluten Traditional breakfast cereals are another casualty for people on a gluten-free diet. Cream of Wheat is obviously out, but so are many other favorites. Cheerios contain wheat starch, while Frosted Flakes use malt flavoring. Any cereal containing wheat, barley, rye, or malt must be avoided.
Enjoy Corn and Rice Cereals Corn and rice-based cereals are good breakfast alternatives, but it’s crucial to read labels carefully, as some may also contain malt. You may want to check your supermarket’s health-food section for gluten-free products.
Pasta Is Made of Wheat It’s true, no matter what its shape or name, most pasta is made out of wheat. So you’ll need to avoid spaghetti, macaroni, shells, and spirals when you’re on a gluten-free diet
Dig in to Rice and Potatoes On a gluten-free diet? Say hello to filling, flexible, good-for-you rice and potatoes. You can top them with just about anything, mix them into meals, or enjoy them on their own. Still mourning the loss of your favorite pasta? Here’s a secret: When you’re really craving a bowl of spaghetti, it is possible to find gluten-free pasta – just think rice noodles.
Most Crackers Are Made of Wheat Check out the ingredients label and you’ll find that most crackers have wheat as one of their main ingredients. Your mission? Find an alternative venue for your favorite cheese spreads.
Rev Up Munchies With Rice Cakes Who needs crackers when rice cakes and corn chips can host all sorts of spreads and dips? Another gluten-free crunchy snack: popcorn.
Steer Clear: Chicken Nuggets & Fish Sticks Check the ingredients, but the breading on most chicken nuggets and fish sticks is generally made from wheat flour
Who Misses the Breading? You don’t need to hide the succulent charms of fresh chicken, fish, and beef under a bunch of bread. Go for unprocessed meat without the additives and you’ll be eating right for a gluten-free diet. Do keep in mind that hot dogs and deli meats are processed, so check the ingredients for additives that might contain gluten.
Avoid Most Cookies and Cakes While a gluten-free diet won’t contain most traditional cakes, pies, cookies, and other celebratory treats -- which are loaded with wheat flour -- there are still lots of ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Enjoy Sweet and Chewy Treats Marshmallows, gumdrops, plain hard candies -- these are all usually gluten-free. But it doesn’t have to stop there. Look for specialty bakeries that may be able to create custom-ordered gluten-free cakes, pies, and other treats, too.
Beer Contains Wheat -- Who Knew? Unfortunately for fans of the six-pack, most beers are made with barley malt. While there are some gluten-free beers, it’s best to check with your doctor or dietitian about whether these are safe for you.
Cheers! You Can Still Raise a Glass Wine and liquors are generally gluten-free, so you can still raise a glass and offer a toast, no matter what the occasion.
There’s So Much More to Enjoy Along with wine, potatoes, and rice there’s even more delicious food and drink that’s safe to enjoy on a gluten-free diet, such as eggs, fruits, vegetables and milk products.
A small note: When using frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, check for additives that might contain gluten. The same goes for processed cheese spreads and flavored yogurts.
When Dining Out, Talk It Out One of the biggest challenges in maintaining a gluten-free diet is decoding a restaurant menu. Don’t be shy. Talk with your server or the chef and explain your dietary needs -- they’re there to satisfy you.
To Stay Symptom-Free For most people with celiac disease, even a little gluten can damage the intestines, and include symptoms like gas and bloating, changes in bowel movements, weight loss, feeling very tired, and weakness. That’s why going gluten-free can be a big help to those with celiac disease or gluten allergies. Note: Check with your health care provider before making major dietary changes.
Gluten-Free Diet and Autism Some parents believe a gluten-free diet can help children with autism, although the idea is controversial. The theory suggests children with autism are sensitive to gluten, and avoiding the protein can improve certain symptoms, such as speech or social behavior. At present, there is not enough research to confirm or refute the effectiveness of gluten-free diets in people with autism.
Going Gluten-Free Has Its Drawbacks The gluten-free diet isn’t always easy. People who benefit generally need to stick with the diet for life. That means giving up many staples, such as bread and pasta, and treats like cake and cookies. But it’s getting ever easier to find gluten-free alternatives, and careful planning can help you stay gluten-free long-term.
by Lisa Fraser
The holidays are over, we have returned to our regular schedules and it is back to business as usual. Now is the time to focus and get some real work done. You may feel like you are continually busy, but at the end of the day, have you accomplished as much as you could have? If you find that you are constantly overwhelmed with busy-ness, perhaps it is time for some time management tips.
Declutter. Organize your desk space, filing system and office clutter. You will find yourself getting less distracted and will appreciate the breathing space. Make your office a sanctuary for your creativity to blossom.
Set Priorities. Commit to making a list of all the things that you need to accomplish. Break this list down into items that are urgent, those that are important and finally, those that would be nice to complete (but can wait). If you are having difficulty deciding what is most urgent, consider the items that affect your business income the most or that come up most often to be top priority. You will feel more relaxed knowing you are not missing completion of a task and the simple act of crossing completed items off your list is very satisfying.
Delegate. The less urgent tasks can be passed to your assistant, if you have one. If you do not have one, and find that you just do not have enough time in your business, now may be a good time to consider hiring one. This will allow you to be fully focused on the important business at hand and ensure your unique personal touch.
Make a Plan. Use your online calendar to organize your day and ensure you are always prepared for meetings. In terms of scheduling, plan your day so that you are completing your most important tasks when you are most energized. If you are a morning person, get through the most important tasks at the beginning of your day.
Block Time for Distractors. Turn off the visual and/or auditory alert that indicates you have a new e-mail message, put your devices on silent and schedule your online activities. Block off time chunks each day to review your inbox/reply as appropriate, check messages and post to your sites. It is too easy to get sucked into a distractor time vortex!
Multitasking is a Myth. Since reading, The Myth of Multitasking by Dave Crenshaw, I no longer use the term “multitasking”. It is impossible to give your full, undivided attention to more than one thing at a time. Think about typing a message while talking to your assistant. Are you truly focused on both the entire time, or are you listening to your assistant and then re-reading the last few words of your message to regain your thoughts, or asking your assistant to repeat what was said when you finish typing the message? When you switch your focus back and forth, what Dave Crenshaw refers to as “switchtasking”, you are actually losing time as you refocus when returning to each task.
Prepare for Delays. We generally tend to think that things do not take as long as they actually do. Getting to a meeting or event requires preparation. Work backwards from the time you want to arrive and subtract out the time it takes to put yourself together mentally and physically, as well as to get there. Build a little extra buffer time into your calendar so you will arrive relaxed and prepared.
Guard Your Time. Throughout the day, there will be people that want time with you and that can drain your energy. Guard your time and respect those that have scheduled time with you. While it can be uncomfortable, saying “no” can be very liberating.
Remember to reward yourself for being so organized and accomplishing so much during your work time. You deserve it!
Four Ways to Stop Stressing, Stop Doing Too Much, and Create Some Inner Peace: Part One Starting New Habits: How to Remember to DO the Things that Are Good for You
By Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC
You know that saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions?” It’s one thing to set a goal or declare a New Year’s resolution. It’s another thing to create a new habit or routine that actually sticks. We can spend so much of our life on “automatic pilot.” This is especially true if you are busy, living a stressful life, or have too much on your plate.
You vow to work out every day, but life gets busy and it doesn’t happen. You tell yourself that you will stop and eat a healthy lunch, but work picks up and pretty soon its midafternoon and you are ready to go on a sugar binge. You promised to manage your stress better or practice those stretching exercises so that you wouldn’t get those tension headaches from sitting at your computer…but it isn’t happening. Maybe you set a goal to only check email once or twice a day, but you are finding it’s hard to manage your time. Do you set your priorities in the morning and find yourself way off track by the end of the day?
Guess what? There may be some easy solutions. The way to stay in the driver’s seat of your life—so that YOU are the one setting the course and making the decisions about how you spend your valuable time and energy—is to stay present. When you are on “automatic pilot,” routinely going through the motions of your life, you tend to be operating “mindlessly.” Ever have the experience of munching through too much candy at your desk or losing hours sifting through email? These are common examples of operating mindlessly and not making deliberate choices of how you want to be focusing your time.
Here are some easy ways to keep your goals and your priorities in focus:
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? Feel free to reprint on your own website, newsletter, blog or message boards as long as you include the following: Copyright © 2010 Melissa McCreery, PhD. Are you a smart, busy woman struggling with emotional eating, overeating, and balancing work and life? Claim your free audio series: “5 Simple Steps to Move Beyond Overwhelm with Food and Life" at http://TooMuchOnHerPlate.com Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, is a Psychologist, Emotional Eating and Life Balance Expert, and the founder of www.TooMuchOnHerPlate.com, a company dedicated to providing smart resources to busy women struggling with food, weight and overwhelm.
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Looking for some ‘last minute’ gifts that you can create yourself this holiday season? Well, Michele Beschen has you covered! She has put together 50 FUN and RESOURCEFUL gift ideas that are sure to please anyone on your list.
So yesterday was the opening day of our new office and what a great day it was! We had lots of visitors that really made it special and raffled off an ipod nano. Congrats to Michele Simms our winner! We had goodies of all kinds and ended the day with Barbie! Yes you heard right Barbie! We have been discussing the book I am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler and our group is making a Free Barbie display for our local Vagina Monologues. We at Naturally Balanced are proud to be a part of this great event in helping our local area stop hiding from the "Unspeakable". Big things are happening at here and we now are sharing a space with Rivers Web Strategies to create a total balance increasing your health and your wealth in one place! So here's to the next year and all the BIG things to come so stay tuned.
~Be Balanced~ Angella
It's almost August ... can you believe it? Before we know it, it will be September and our kids will be heading back to school.
During summer, it can be difficult to keep kids on a regular sleep schedule; we want them to play and have fun while they can! But research shows school-aged kids needs about 9-12 hours of sleep at night, which is especially important during the school year to support intellectual and emotional health.
Now is a great time to start your kids back on a healthy sleep schedule so that by the time school rolls around, they'll be rested and ready to head back. So, how do you help support your kids' healthy sleep schedule? Here are some suggestions:
. Many kids (and adults!) find a few drops on the pillowcase soothing and relaxing. You can even lead your kids through some to help them relax and inhale the lavender aromatherapy essential oil.
A 2008 study in Early Human Development  also showed that the aroma of lavender bath oil may have effective relaxing and sleep-inducing properties. When used with mothers and infants, the data showed increased relaxation of mothers and infants.
Have you tried lavender with your kids? We'd love to hear more about your experience using lavender for sleep and relaxation. Please post your comments to share (and if you have other suggestions for helping your kids to get healthy sleep, please post those too!).
 Field T, Field T, Cullen C, Largie S, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn.
Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants. Early Hum Dev. 2008 Jun;84(6):399-401. Epub 2007 Nov 28. Accessed 7/27/10: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053656
* Note the information within this article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or cure. When using essential oils, it is best to consult with a Registered Aromatherapist or your primary care physician for questions.
So many of you know I am crazy about Lavender! It would make sense because my favorite color even as a little girl was purple. I tried to deny it for a short period but kept reverting back. I love to make many products from fresh local Lavender and I love to bake so I thought it only natural to try some lavender recipes. Recently I have made Lavender Sugar, Lavender Tea, Lavender Water, Lavender Lemonade, and as of tonight Lavender Tea Cookies with Lavender Frosting. Let me just say YUM! We made plain, Sugar topped and frosted and I think the votes are in for the frosted ones to be the best with a hint of Lemon they are a perfect addition to an afternoon tea or bedtime snack. Did you know . It is said that Queen Elizabeth enjoyed eating Lavender conserve and also used it as a perfume. Apparently she insisted that the royal table should never be without Lavender conserve. She also drank Lavender tea to help ease her migraines. Even today, French farmers graze their lambs in fields of lavender to give the meat a superb, fresh, floral flavour.
Some benefits of Lavender are~
Lavender may help ease insomnia. Lavender may help calm nervousness and anxiety. It may also be used to alleviate stress and uplift flagging spirits.
Lavender may help treat an upset stomach, as well as flatulence and colic. It may also be used to treat stomach and bowel infections. Lavender may help alleviate depressive and migraine headaches. Lavender when applied topically, may help alleviate colds, cough, asthma, bronchitis and similar problems in the respiratory system. Lavender tea may help induce sweating and consequently reduce the body temperature during fever. Lavender when applied topically, may help heal cuts, wounds, ulcers and sores. Lavender tea is also useful as a mouthwash to combat halitosis.
Well of to bed with a Lavender cookie and a cup of tea as well as a great book I picked up this weekend from a local authors. Goodnight all until next time... Next Lavender project Colorado pork chops With a Lavender sauce.
Angella M. Trout CNC, RA
As a Nutritional Consultant and Lifestyle Coach I am passionate about teaching others about total balance in health and spirit. As a real life person with real life struggles.