Time for Medieval Thymes!

Posted by Maria on September 13, 2017 under Aromatherapy, Cruising into Wellness store, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Photo gallery, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky

As many of you know, I’m passionate about wellness and I love helping people be proactive about their health. To further support my clients with their health and wellness, I’ve opened an online store called Cruising into Wellness.

Please tell your friends about cruisingintowellness.com and if you’d like, make a purchase and I can bring your order to you at your next mobile spa appointment.

Also, for the month of September, 2017, the entire Medieval Thymes collection is on sale and here’s the story behind this unique collection.

As the urban legend goes, during the time of the plague in the 1300’s, four thieves created a secret recipe to protect themselves. Also known as Thieves Remedy, the essential oils used have many benefits.

Medieval Thymes collection

Medieval Thymes collection

Although their motives weren’t at all altruistic, (because they were pillaging), the thieves still managed to do some good for the world by creating a recipe that would be passed down from generation to generation, helping countless people with their health and wellness along the way.

I often wonder how the medieval thieves came up with this concoction in the first place back in the 14th century. I can just picture them cooking up the herbs and spices by day and then going around town stealing by night.

Apparently, when they were finally caught, the court gave them leniency if they gave up their recipe that was keeping them from catching the Plague even though they were constantly exposed to it. It looks like they “borrowed” the practice of wearing this aromatic perfume, so to speak, from the physicians of the day, who were doing something similar.

Anyway, the essential oils in this legendary recipe include Clove Bud, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Thyme, and Myrrh, and together they have a comforting, medicinal aroma.

Personally, with or without this colourful history, I think it’s a good idea to stock up on our Medieval Thymes products, especially since we’re starting a new school year and are heading into the winter months.

And…right now…

the entire Medieval ThymesTM collection is on SALE! Save 15% on Medieval Thymes until September 30, 2017.

Visit www.cruisingintowellness.com and place your order today!

We have 4 products in our Medieval Thymes collection:

1. MEDIEVAL THYMES PURE MIX: Add 5-6 drops of Medieval Thymes Pure Mix to a diffuser. Ideal for inhalation or diffusion.

Medieval Thymes Pure Mix Essential Oil blend

Medieval Thymes Pure Mix Essential Oil blend

2. MEDIEVAL THYMES BLEND DROPPER: Massage a generous layer of Medieval Thymes Remedy Blend to the nape of the neck, bottoms of feet, on wrists, or distressed areas daily.

Medieval Thymes blend dropper

Medieval Thymes blend dropper

3. MEDIEVAL THYMES BLEND ROLL-ON: Roll-on Medieval Thymes Remedy Blend to the nape of the neck, bottoms of feet, on wrists, or to distressed areas daily.

Medieval Thymes blend roll-on

Medieval Thymes blend roll-on

4. MEDIEVAL THYMES SPRAYS: Use daily. Spray above head while breathing deeply. Spray on hands, chest, and on bottoms of feet. Use as a room deodorizer.

Medieval Thymes spray

Medieval Thymes spray

This is the perfect time for Medieval Thymes! Contact me if you have any questions or would like to make a purchase. And let me know what you think about my new store, cruisingintowellness! Be Well, Maria

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Dry Shampoo Recipe for Camping

Posted by Maria on June 3, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Dear Homespunspa, Green Living, Hair, Home spa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Canadians love to go camping in the summertime, (although some of us would prefer “glamping” but that’s a post for another time. :) )

To kick off the camping season, I thought I’d share a dry shampoo recipe that you can take with you on your camping trips anywhere across this beautiful country of ours.

Dry shampoos are good to use in the great outdoors because:

  • dry shampoo recipe from Homespunspa.the powder is lightweight and easy to pack;
  • the natural ingredients will not harm the environment;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes don’t contain industrial chemicals like commercially-made shampoos;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes aren’t over-packaged;
  • the powder does not generate extra garbage;
  • the recipes work for men, women and kids;
  • will cleanse greasy or oily hair without stripping the hair;
  • there’s no water required.

Dry shampoos are not just good for camping and of course, you can always use your dry shampoo at home anytime of year. I keep some on hand in case I need to go out and look presentable but don’t have time to take a shower and wash and dry my hair. And sometimes, if I’m planning to workout later in the day and don’t want to take two showers in a day, I’ll apply some dry shampoo in the morning to refresh my hair. Dry shampoo is a great alternative to wearing hats or pony tails.

Dry Shampoo Recipe by Maria Koropecky

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB Bentonite Clay — a natural clay that absorbs oils and is good for skin and hair.
  • 1 tsp cornstarch — this absorbant powder lends a silky feel to home spa recipes.
  • 1 tsp baking soda — soothes itchy skin and clears blemishes.
  • 1 tsp orrisroot powder — has a slight violet aroma and is used to fix other scents in the recipe.
  • 1/4 tsp myrrh gum powder — is good for dry skin and the exotic aroma warms the senses.

optional ingredients:

  • You can substitute myrrh essential oil for the myrrh gum powder or not use either.
  • If you have dark hair, you can add 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • If you have auburn hair, you can add 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  • If you have grey or white hair, you can use white China clay instead of Bentonite clay.

Method:

Measure and combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and store in a sterilized jar like a salt shaker. You can also put the recipe in a plastic, ziplock, baggy while camping. The shelf life is indefinite as most, if not all of these ingredients, contain some natural preservative properties.

Manner:

This can get a little messy so it’s best to do this outside. I don’t recommend applying this clay powder over a sink because eventually it will clog your drains.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in a salt shaker, bend at the waist and simply shake some powder on your head near the roots. Let it sit for a minute and then brush it out.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in another container, scoop some out with a spoon, bend at the waist, sprinkle over your head, wait a minute or two, and then brush everything out.

Apply more dry shampoo as needed and brush your hair thoroughly. Once you notice a difference and feel your hair is clean, remove any excess powder that may have landed on your neck and shoulders during application.

Voila! Your hair is clean and you’re good to go. I hope you enjoy the myrrh and orrisroot fragrance.

Let me know what you think of this dry shampoo recipe and I’d love to hear about your camping trip, too!

Happy World Coconut Day!

Posted by Maria on September 2, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Guest Bloggers, Home spa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sponsors, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

By Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
& Laura Benvenuto, guest blogger

Did you know that September 2nd is World Coconut day?

Coconuts (Cocos nucifera) are one of the world’s most nourishing, versatile and popular foods and to celebrate World Coconut Day, I’ve teamed up with Laura Benvenuto of Truth be Told New York and Nutiva in this blog post to showcase the many wonderful health benefits of coconuts.

From my research, I’ve found many fun facts and interesting applications for coconuts.

First of all, the word “coconut” comes from “cocos,” a 16th century Portuguese & Spanish word that means “grinning face.”

COCONUTS AND COCONUT WATER, JUICE, MILK

  • Home spa recipes: cleansers, refiners, creams, lotions, moisturizers, soaps, spa snacks.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: abrasive, skin conditioning, emollient, hair conditioning, humectant, masking.
  • Face: Add to facials to soften, exfoliate, protect skin, strengthen elasticity, promote healing, fade age spots, and minimize acne scars.
  • Skin Types: Use especially on AGING skin.
  • Food: Eat for nutrition and to quench thirst.
  • Balances: Sacral (2nd) Chakra. Calms Vata (Infinity/Air), calms Pitta (Fire), and increases Kapha (Water/Earth) Doshas.
  • Native Region: Tropical and sub-tropical countries worldwide.
  • Find: grocery stores, health food stores.

COCONUT OIL

Emollient Coconut oil is moisturizing to the skin and the scent can whisk your imagination off to a tropical beach. It’s also considered one of the “super foods.”

  • Home spa recipes: cleansers, make up removers, creams, suntanning lotions, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, massage oils, soaps.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: emollient, skin conditioning, hair conditioning, masking, solvent.
  • Face: Add to facials to cleanse pores, remove make-up, moisturize, soften, protect, and heal skin, to reduce the signs of aging skin, relax facial expression, de-stress, for fragrance.
  • Skin Type: Use especially on DRY & SENSITIVE skin types.
  • Massage Oil: Add to massage oil to relax, to condition, soften and cool skin, for sun protection, for anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties, to carry ingredients and for scent.
  • Body: Use in body care products to moisturize and cleanse skin and as suntanning lotion.
  • Hair: Apply to hair as lathering agent to revitalize hair, curb dandruff, cleanse hair, condition normal, dry or damaged hair, and inhibit static.
  • Soap: Add to soap recipes for lather.
  • Food: Use as a delicious and nutritious cooking oil as it contains Lauric Acid, one of the good fats.
  • Balances: Sacral (2nd) Chakra. Calms Vata (Infinity/Air), calms Pitta (Fire), and increases Kapha (Water/Earth) Doshas.
  • Native Region: Tropical and sub-tropical countries worldwide.
  • Find: grocery stores, health food stores, online.
  • Caution: 1) Solidifies and melts according to room temperature. 2) Can irritate skin for some. 3) May be drying to skin. 4) Do not confuse with hydrogenated coconut oil.

Nutiva’s products (including Coconut Oil, Coconut Manna, O’Coconut, and Coconut Sugar) can be used to enhance a favourite recipe or make a DIY beauty product. All of Nutiva’s products are non-GMO and organic and certain products are vegan-friendly or have low-cholesterol.

Below are two of Nutiva’s most popular DIY summer beauty recipes.

Home Spa Recipe #1: Ocean Hair Spray

Use this ocean-in-a-bottle spray for gorgeous beach hair. Salt water provides texture and coconut oil provides moisture and nourishment for dry hair.

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
  • 4oz Purified Water, warm
  • 3 tsp Sea Salt
  • 4 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

Directions

  1. Put coconut oil in an 8 oz canning jar and place in a pan filled with several inches of water. Melt the coconut oil over low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, fill an 8 oz spray bottle about ¾ full with warm, purified water and add the sea salt. Stir until the sea salt is dissolved in the water.
  3. Use a funnel to add the coconut oil and essential oil to the spray bottle.
  4. Shake the bottle to blend, then fill to the top with purified water.

Yields 8 oz. Sometimes the oil solidifies. If this happens, run the bottle under hot water to melt. Shake the product and it’s ready to use.

To use: Shake the bottle and spray 2 to 5 pumps on damp hair. Try different amounts to see what works best for your hair.

Home Spa Recipe #2: After-Sun Calming Balm

A soothing blend of coconut oil, shea butter, calendula, aloe and lavender to calm the skin after spending time in the sun. Shea Butter is available at most natural foods stores.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Shea Butter
  • 1/4 cup Aloe
  • 2 Tbsp Calendula Oil
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E oil
  • 25-60 drops *Lavender Essential Oil

*Note: Lavender is well known for its skin healing properties and is especially soothing for burns. Be sure to use lavender and not lavendin, which can actually cause more inflammation.

Directions

  1. In a double boiler over low heat, gently warm the coconut oil and shea butter. Be careful not to melt the oil and butter — heat just enough to blend easily. Once incorporated, transfer the oil and butter mixture to a bowl.
  2. Using an electric mixer, blend the coconut oil and shea butter mixture on low to medium speed until well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and avoid having clumps in the final product.
  3. Add calendula, aloe vera and vitamin E oil. Blend for 3 to 5 minutes until thick and creamy.
  4. Add essential oil and blend to incorporate.

Yields 8oz. Transfer to a container like a wide-mouth canning jar for easy scooping. Keep out of direct sun as the oils and butter will separate if melted.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing these lovely home spa recipes that include coconut oil.

Please let us know in the comments how these recipes have worked out for you or if you have any other ideas on how to celebrate World Coconut Day.

Happy World Coconut Day!

Nothing Beats Beets!

Posted by Maria on January 13, 2014 under Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Dating, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Nutrition, Recipes, Self-Care, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Many years ago, I invited a guy over to my apartment for dinner and asked him if there was any food he didn’t like. He said, “I don’t know…beets?” I said, “OK, I won’t serve beets,” (not that I would have anyway that night) but now that I’m reminiscing about my younger years, I can’t help but think this guy is missing out on a really yummy root vegetable. And because I love it so much, I’m going to expand on my earlier post, “Nothing beats borscht” and talk about beets again! In my opinion, nothing beats beets!

Right now, I’m writing a book called “Supernatural Spa Ingredients” and here’s what I know about beets:

BEETS & BEET ROOT POWDER (Beta vulgaris): Beets are highly nutritious and detoxifying. Beet juice can be rinsed through hair to achieve brilliant red results and beet powder makes soap turn rosy.

Home spa recipes: hair colour rinses, soaps, lip balms, blush, eyeshadow.

Role in cosmetic formulation: antioxidant, binding, cosmetic colourant, hair conditioning, hair dying, skin conditioning, skin protecting.

Hair: Infuse into a hair rinse as a colouring agent.

Soap: Add to soap recipes.

Make-up: Add to lip balms and makeup for colour.

Food: Blend in a smoothie for iron and antioxidants. Eat for nutrition.

Balances: Vata dosha, Infinity/Air Elemental Natures, Root Chakra.

Region: North America, Central America, Europe, North Africa.

Find: Grocery store, health food store, garden.

Caution: May stain.

And here’s a home spa recipe for Rosy Guest Soaps that I’ve taken from my first book, “How to Throw a Home Spa Pajama Party the Homespunspa Way.”

Rosy Guest Soaps

I like to use plastic molds in the shape of sheep for these little beauties but you can use whatever you have on hand and your soap will turn out just as sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup glycerin (melt & pour) – A by-product of soap-making which is used as a soap base foundation in quick, easy, and re-batched soap recipes.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter – Used in skincare for its moisturizing and cleansing properties.
  • 1/4 cup beeswax – Can be used in many applications around the spa but is most often used for its comforting scent and to thicken cosmetics.
  • 1 TB evening primrose oil – Use externally to help skin.
  • 1/2 tsp vitamin E – Prevents scar tissue and may reduce anxiety. Also acts as a preservative.
  • 1/4 tsp beet root powder – Highly nutritious and detoxifying and makes soap turn rosy.
  • 10 drops rosewood essential oil – Calming, head-clearing and relaxing. Often included in romance-eliciting fragrances.

Method: In a double boiler, (I use a metal bowl resting on a pot with one inch of water on the stovetop), gently and slowly melt the “melt & pour” soap base, cocoa butter, and beeswax over low heat and add the evening primrose oil. Keep the pot covered to conserve moisture and try not to stir the ingredients too much because that will add bubbles to your finished product. Once the solid ingredients have turned to liquid, remove from heat and take out a spoonful of the soap and pour it in a Pyrex container. To the spoonful of soap, add the vitamin E and beet powder and mix until well blended. The powder will want to clump, so gently break it up. Pour the rosy liquid back into the rest of the soap and whisk in. By now the liquid soap should be cool enough for the essential oils, so add 10 drops of rosewood essential oil at this time. Mix gently. Have your molds lined up on your counter. You can find plastic molds at craft and candy-making stores in all kinds of shapes and dimensions. I like to use sheep and/or hearts about the size of a box of matches. Pour the liquid soap into the molds. The cocoa butter may separate out a bit but that just creates a pleasant double-decker, marbled effect. Once the soap has hardened, unmold the shapes.

Manner: Wash your hands with the soap and rinse.

Storage / Shelf Life: Unless you plan to use the soap right away, wrap the soaps in plastic to keep the moisture in. Will keep for at least 6 months.

As you can see, beets are lovely and can be added to any spa, wellness and nutrition program. If you’d like to learn more home spa recipes or keep up to date on the progress of my book or to find out about upcoming, “Make Your Own Cosmetics Workshops,” please sign up for my mailing list at the top right corner of this blog to keep in touch. Thanks.

Nothing Beats Borscht!

Posted by Maria on January 8, 2014 under Energy Healing, Green Living, Ingredients, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Many Ukrainians celebrate Christmas Eve with a 12-dish vegetarian feast on January 6th. Borscht is one of the dishes and I absolutely love it! When prepared to my taste (and no two batches, let alone recipes, are the same) it’s like a fine claret with complex notes. Borscht is also a soothing, comforting, warming, and healing soup and I’m inspired to share a recipe with you today.

Meatless Borscht for Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup or more dried mushrooms
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 TB vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and cut julienne
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 3 to 10 peppercorns to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 to 9 cups of water
  • 1 carrot, cut julienne
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice or 1 small can tomato paste or 3 TB ketchup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cooked white beans
  • 1 beet, peeled and whole
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Method:

  1. Notice my stained fingers after peeling this beet for borscht.

    Notice my stained fingers after peeling this beet for borscht.

    To rehydrate dried mushrooms, pour hot water over the mushrooms, drain and wash. Cover the mushrooms (again) with lukewarm water and soak for 30 minutes or longer. Cook the mushrooms in the same water as they were soaked in earlier, until tender. Set aside the mushrooms and reserve the mushroom stock for later.

  2. In a large stockpot, caramelize the onion in cooking oil. You can add the optional red bell pepper here if you wish. It’s not traditional but I like to do it. Cover with 8 cups of water and add 2 beets (reserving a third for the end), as well as parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cover with a lid and cook until the beets are al dente.
  3. Add the carrot, potato and celery and continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage and continue cooking but make sure the cabbage retains some crispness.
  5. Add the tomato juice or paste, minced garlic and cooked white beans.
  6. Add the cooked mushrooms (if you aren’t using them elsewhere) and mushroom stock. Bring to a boil.
  7. Add the last whole beet at the end to brighten the colour of the borscht.
  8. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and/or cayenne pepper.
  9. Strain out the cooked vegetables and serve.

Note: The borscht is served clear with vushka (translated to “little ears” that are closely related to mushroom-filled tortellinis) on Christmas Eve. During the rest of the year, you can garnish the borscht with jullienned vegetables and sour cream and use a meat stock. The borscht should be mildly tart but not sour.

Borscht is one of the healthiest soups I know and if you’re suffering from some sort of health crisis like quitting smoking or fighting cancer, borscht will nourish you and will make you feel better and will help your chances to be successful with your health goals and new year’s resolutions.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you’ve ever attempted to make borscht from scratch before and if you have any tips or tricks for the rest of us. Happy New Year!

Can I Offer You A Hot Beverage?

Posted by Maria on September 28, 2013 under Aromatherapy, Home spa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Recipes, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | 3 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Sheldon: Did you offer him a hot beverage?

Leonard: No.

Sheldon: Leonard, social protocol states when a friend is upset, you offer them a hot beverage, such as tea.

Howard: Tea does sound nice.

Sheldon: You heard the man, Leonard. And while you’re at it, I’m upset that we have an unannounced houseguest, so make me cocoa.

Sheldon has been known to say, “Did you offer him a hot beverage?” on the award-winning tv show, Big Bang Theory and yesterday, I was offered a complimentary warm apple cider drink while I was standing in line at the bank on a rainy, Friday afternoon. Autumn arrived right on time this year — to the day — which is rare — and the hot beverage hit the spot. I was reminded of a beverage I was drinking this past winter during my wellness tour in Ontario — a splash of apple cider vinegar with hot water — and I thought this would be a great time to share the recipe with you — especially since apples are in season right now.

All you need to do is put the kettle on, find a mug, pour a splash (up to a tablespoon) of apple cider vinegar into the mug and top it up with near-boiling water. That’s it. Take a sip and enjoy.

It tastes like you’re drinking warm salad dressing (sounds appetizing, I know :)   ) and the people around you will wonder what you’ve concocted just by the potent aroma in the air, but I really like it.

And if you want to kick your apple cider vinegar drink up a notch, stir in some extra antioxidants and flavour with a cinnamon stick as featured in this photo.

Can I offer you a hot beverage?

Can I offer you a hot beverage?

The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of my favourite home spa ingredients because it has so many healing properties and applications.

In my How to Throw a Home Spa Pajama Party the Homespunspa Way book, I write:

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Astringent vinegar restores the natural pH balance of skin and hair.

Home spa recipes: cleansers, toners, refiners, shampoos, conditioners, creams.

Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning, binding, emulsion stabilizing, viscosity controlling.

Face: Add to facials to cleanse pores, clear oiliness, exfoliate.

Skin Types: Use especially on NORMAL, OILY, DRY or MATURE skin.

Baths & Body: Add to bathwater to balance skin.

Hair: Apply as a hair rinse to control dandruff, balance pH, cleanse and condition hair.

Feet: Use on feet to cure athlete’s foot.

Food: Eat for nutrition and to help alkalanize body.

Caution: 1) Conduct skin patch test first.

And according to my research online, drinking apple cider vinegar will help you improve your complexion, cool sunburn, reduce swelling, lose excess body weight, detoxify, calm upset stomach, cure hiccups, clear a stuffy nose, soothe a sore throat, beat fatigue, whiten teeth, remove warts, and minimize night time leg cramps — which will lead to a better night’s sleep. I also learned that many bloggers refer to apple cider vinegar as simply “ACV.”

So the next time a friend comes over to your home upset, out of sorts, and/or in distress, remember to offer them a hot beverage like hot apple cider vinegar and mention this blog post and Sheldon.

Here’s to our health and wellness! Cheers.

My Interview with Helen Hodgson of Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa

Posted by Maria on August 24, 2013 under Aromatherapy, Books, Magazines, Music, Fitness, Homespunspa, Ingredients, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pets, Photo gallery, Recipes, Self-Care, Spa Party, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I first met Helen Hodgson thanks to a “mobile spa Google alert” I received in my inbox in 2011. She had been interviewed by the “Massage Nerd” and was promoting her 5-week teleclass on “How to Create your own Mobile Spa Business” and I was compelled to click on the link. I’m so glad I did! We arranged to talk on Skype and soon I signed up for her teleclass which was to start in early 2012.

I count meeting Helen as one of the bigger blessings in my life because I dare say, Homespunspa Mobile Spa wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her guidance. She was the first person to show me the beauty of mobile spas and spa parties and has introduced me to many like-minded mobile spa professionals across North America that I keep in touch with on a regular basis through our forum.

Helen is a licensed massage therapist in the state of California and a member of the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals. Helen is a certified trainer and the California state coordinator of the Emergency Response Massage International Team which is responsible for sending out massage therapists to provide massage therapy to First Responders at disaster sites. Helen was also elected to the position of Vice President of The Mobile Spa Network which unites mobile spa professionals worldwide.

Helen was voted one of the best massage therapists by Allure magazine and her TV and radio appearances include NBC, E Channel, Discovery Channel, MTV and Sirius Satellite Radio, among others.

Helen and her team of 50 massage therapists, estheticians and nail technicians, provide massage and spa services in homes, offices and at special events for individuals, couples and groups.

I’m happy to introduce my mobile spa mentor and friend, Helen Hodgson.

Helen Hodgson (far right) with her Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa Team.

Maria: Hello Helen. Do you have any memories of spas when you were growing up?

HELEN: Yes, I do! I am originally from England and grew up in a Victorian spa town — Harrogate, North Yorkshire. My friends and I would spend the day down in the Royal Baths and enjoy the Turkish Baths, steam, sauna and a “loafer and hose down” from one of the attendants on hand. I can still remember how clean my skin felt and I’d be so relaxed.

Maria: That sounds amazing, Helen. What’s a “loafer and a hose down?” :)

HELEN: The attendant (in a white coat) would exfoliate with a loofah mitt and hose us down with warm water from a water pipe. It sounds kind of crude, I know, but it was part of the experience.

Maria: That sounds like a great question and answer for a Spa Trivia quiz! As a frontrunner in the mobile spa world, what year did you create your Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa?

HELEN: The year, 2000.

Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa was established in 2000. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

Maria: Do you still have any customers from those early days?

HELEN: Funny thing is, yes. My longest standing clients are from 18 years ago and I see them still every two weeks. I’ve been to their sons’ bar mitzvahs and they came to my wedding. They are like family.

Maria: What lead you to open Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa in the first place?

HELEN: I’d hear time and time again from groups of women coming in for a spa day together that they’d be in separate rooms. They wanted to be together as they were usually celebrating a special occasion. This lead me to create my mobile spa so they could all be in the same room receiving spa services.

Friends enjoying spa time together is what Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa is all about. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

Maria: What is the best part about your work?

HELEN: Knowing my team and I had made a positive difference in the client’s day and being part of the client’s special memories.

Everyone is enjoying spa treatments of their choice at the same time. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

Maria: What is your favourite spa treatment on your spa menu to give? And what is your favourite spa treatment on your spa menu to receive?

HELEN: I was hoping you’d ask. It’s the Aphrodite’s Delight — which is a bridal favourite — and it’s a soothing aromatherapy massage using oils of tangerine, clary sage, black pepper, nutmeg, patchouli, ylang ylang, myrrh and vetiver. It’s followed by Pedicure and Foot Rejuvenating Treatment.

These women are enjoying foot and hand treatments outside at a Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa Party. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

Maria: I love those essential oils and am curious to know how they smell as a blend. Do you like spa music and do you have any favourite spa songs on your playlist?

HELEN: I do and I’ve discovered I relax best to sounds of water. One of my favourite albums is Healing Waters by Dean Evenson and another is Ocean Dreams.

What colour of nail polish will I pick today? Photo Courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

Maria: I’m going to have to check those out in iTunes and then add them to my ever-growing Homespunspa playlist. If you were to host your own spa party (and I hope you do from time to time :) ), what spa snacks would you serve and can we have a recipe?

HELEN: I hosted my very own Bridal shower spa party for my family when I got married three years ago. I served fruit and cheese plates, chopped vegetables and humus and to drink, I served glasses of Strawberry Kiwi Watermelon Fusion Spa Water.

Helen's recipe for Strawberry-Kiwi-Watermelon Fusion Spa Water

Maria: Running your own business can be stressful at times: What are some of the self-care rituals that you do for yourself everyday to keep yourself healthy?

HELEN: I have an exercise trainer two times a week and I take hour-long walks down at the beach three times a week. I love the feel of the ocean breezes on my skin and hearing the waves. In fact, as caregivers, we need to practice what we preach to our clients and make time for regular down time. And I do get a sports style massage once a month and a monthly pedicure. If I am doing a lot of massage, I have to keep my nails short, so I don’t usually get manicures. And I am sure he won’t mind me telling you, but my hubby has filed my fingernails before — lol.

Helen Hodgson (left) at a SpaFinder event. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

Maria: That’s sweet. What makes you smile?

HELEN: The simple things in life really… singing, catching a sunset, when my cat climbs into my lap and waking up with my hubby on a cozy Sunday morning.

Maria: My cat makes me smile, too. How do you see mobile spas, massages, and wellness in 5 years (2018)?

Mobile spa parties are a great way to catch up with old friends. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

HELEN: What I’ve realized is more and more people are offering spa services these days. All of the hotels didn’t use to offer spa services and they didn’t have a spa, but once they realized how popular spas are, they started to think, ‘oh my goodness, we have to offer a spa.’ The future is: you have to be offering some sort of spa services to people.

Maria: So, spas — including mobile spas — are not some sort of passing trend?

HELEN: Absolutely not. Mobile spas are a convenient way to offer spa services to people in hospitals; to people who are travelling and are staying in high-end villas; to people attending charity events and product launches [to name a few]. Spa services are always perceived as high value, especially for people who wouldn’t normally treat themselves.

This courtyard is the perfect backdrop for a Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa party. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

Maria: Yes, I often find that people make appointments with me on behalf of someone else.

HELEN: Another group of people who appreciate mobile spas are the elderly because they’re living [independently] in their homes longer. We do house calls which is like going back to a time when that was the norm. Everything is more personal and you get to develop relationships with people and give them more personalized care and attention.

Maria: I love that — we do house calls!

Let's not forget how much the teens and pre-teens enjoy spa services and how their enthusiasm will influence the future of spas and wellness. Photo courtesy of Helen Hodgson.

HELEN: My hope is that alternative medicine is available to more people. Even though I’ve been providing mobile services for over 13 years, I am still amazed that people aren’t aware that the service can be delivered to them for their convenience.

Maria: What are you most excited about in your life right now?

HELEN: Last year, I started teaching other massage and spa professionals how to start their own mobile spa business and I wrote an eBook. And I am expanding Serve The Goddess to provide day-long retreats. Maybe we’ll have to do another interview so I can tell you all about that.

Maria: Yes, I’d love to learn more about your retreats. Keep us posted! If someone wants to contact you for a mobile spa service in L.A. with Serve the Goddess or U Knead Massage or if they’d like more information on how they can create their own mobile spa business, how can they reach you?

Helen Hodgson

Maria Koropecky

HELEN: Here are the websites:

and I welcome your calls.

Maria: Thank you very much for your time, Helen, and for sharing some fun photos. I really enjoyed our conversation and I look forward to meeting you in person some day soon.

Laverbread: A Tasty Seaweed Surprise!

Posted by Maria on July 30, 2013 under Green Living, Guest Bloggers, Home spa, Ingredients, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Recipes, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Travel, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Annie Waterman, Guest Blogger

Whenever I think of seaweed, I think of Laver. Laver is a type of edible seaweed and it’s very good for you. It’s famous for its dark purple colour and has a high content of minerals such as Iodine and Iron, so it’s great for your dietary system. Why am I telling you all this? Well, my grandmother grew up in Wales, where Laver is commonly found in abundance. This means that Laverbread made regular appearances on the dinner table when I was growing up. Laverbread is a traditional Welsh delicacy and despite its name, it actually has none of the properties of normal bread! To make Laverbread, you boil the seaweed (or Laver) for several hours until you have a jelly-like paste which you shape into blocks and then leave to cool. This paste is then rolled in oatmeal (creating a kind of cake-like patty) and fried like bacon and sausages, but nowhere near as tasty. It is, however, considerably better for you.

Richard Burton famously once referred to Laverbread as “Welshman’s Caviar.” I have to say, I disagree! When I was growing up, I absolutely hated this slimy monstrosity, which was served up with breakfast at least once a month. Now though, whenever I eat it, (which is much less often than I did when I was a child, I must admit) I think fondly of my grandmother. And I even enjoy the taste of laverbread now — I think it’s because I appreciate the nutritional properties of it, as well as because of nostalgia. And occasionally I insist that my own children try it too — for it’s healthy properties and because it’s a part of their cultural heritage. For something that’s so good for you, it tastes better than you would expect!

According to Eco Store USA, the dietary possibilities of seaweed are endless. They state that seaweed is brimming with valuable nutritional goodness and it is a massively versatile super food. You can add it to salads, pasta and dessert — they even recommend a recipe that incorporates seaweed into a Christmas Pudding! I’m sure my grandma would be delighted to know now that modern science has proven she was right — eating all that seaweed in my Laverbread really was good for me!

Other Uses For Seaweed

seaweed on the beach

Seaweed is a highly nutritious ingredient for all of your home spa recipes. Grab a fork and dig in!

Of course when you think of seaweed, your first thought definitely isn’t of eating it. When you ask most people what they associate with seaweed, they are likely to say having a seaweed wrap at their local spa. A seaweed wrap is a spa treatment that uses concentrated sea water and seaweed to create a paste that is covered all over the body. Once the paste is applied, the body is wrapped in warm towels and you are left for up to an hour to relax. A seaweed wrap is such a popular spa treatment because it really works — once you rinse off the seaweed paste, you see the effects of it almost immediately! Your skin is clean and nourished and left feeling smooth and supple. The nutrients in the seaweed help to remove any toxins from your skin. Some beauty specialists believe that having a seaweed wrap can help with weight loss and can also help to reduce the visibility of cellulite, too.

Seaweed Body Wrap Recipe

If you don’t like visiting spas, don’t worry, you can actually make your own seaweed body wrap at home. You can use powdered seaweed (which can be found at your local health food store) to create the wrap. Simply mix the seaweed powder with enough water to create a thick paste. I would recommend starting with a small amount of water and just adding more as needed (because it’s easier to add extra water than it is to take any excess away). Then add three spoonful’s of olive oil, and three spoonful’s of an essential oil. I would recommend lavender essential oil because it makes the paste smell so lovely. Apply the mixture to your body and cover yourself in a sheet. Then after 30 minutes, simply rinse away the paste and marvel at the incredible results! Just remember to keep a glass of water to hand when you apply your wrap, to ensure you replace any fluids lost as you’re flushing the toxins from your body and you’re ready to go. I can’t imagine what my grandma would say if she knew I’d started wearing seaweed in the bath, as well as willingly eating it!

Annie Waterman combines being a freelance writer with being a full-time writer. She enjoys learning about new recipes and also how to make the planet greener. When not writing, she enjoys being taken for walks by her English setters.

20 Things You Can Do To Avoid The Flu

Posted by Maria on November 2, 2012 under Aromatherapy, Fitness, Green Living, Home spa, Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Recipes, Self-Care, Sleep, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Last December/January, I caught the worst cough I can remember and I don’t want to go through that ever again. I lost my voice to laryngitis for a few days, the painful, phlegmy coughing kept me and everyone in my household up at night, and it took about three weeks for the nastiness to clear out of my system.

Flu, short for influenza, is a viral illness that tends to flare up in the winter months and to involve many people in the community at the same time. Flu symptoms include: fever (38.3 to 40 degrees Celsius or 101 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit), chills, body aches, headache, pain when you move your eyes, fatigue, weakness, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, etc. It usually lasts for about 10 days and then everything will be back to normal, but the flu can also lead to more serious and dangerous complications for some.

Having a cold or flu or cough is not fun to say the least so I’ve come up with a list of home-spa-inspired suggestions that will help us all stay healthy this season.

20 things you can do to prevent, avoid, or at least minimize the flu this year:

  1. Immune System: Fortify your immune system and keep up your resistance to infections by eating a healthy and nutritious diet, exercising regularly and getting plenty of good quality sleep year-round.
  2. Avoid exposure: If you can at all help it, (easier said than done, I know), avoid contact with people who are showing flu symptoms.
  3. Vitamin C: Take Vitamin C supplements daily, (I like the chewable kind), and eat foods that have a high vitamin C content.
  4. Vitamin D: Boost your Vitamin D intake during the dark, winter months.
  5. Echinacea: Take Echinacea capsules or drink Echinacea tea. Echinacea is a popular healing herb that boosts the immune system, has antiviral properties and helps prevent the onset of colds.
  6. Zinc: Take Zinc Lozenges at the onset of a cold. This mineral is often used to reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms. Foods that contain zinc include: eggs, meat, seafood and whole grains.
  7. Panax Ginseng: Take Panax Ginseng supplements during the winter and especially at the onset of a cold. You will find Ginseng in products like ColdFX.
  8. Garlic: Eat fresh garlic (like on toast or in a salad dressing) at the onset of flu symptoms.
  9. Oil of Oregano: Take drops of oil of oregano to boost your immune system.
  10. Hydrate: Drink lots of liquids throughout the day. Choose hot tea with lemon and honey, water, orange juice, and apple juice.
  11. Soup: Eating a bowl of comforting chicken noodle soup may be just the recipe to alleviate your cold symptoms.
  12. Clean Hands: Wash your hands regularly and keep your hands away from your nose, eyes and mouth. Also, use a tissue or your upper arm when you cough or sneeze.
  13. Exercise: Sometimes exercising just as you are starting to feel a cold or flu coming on, may be a good idea; however, do not exercise if you have phlegmy congestion below the neck.
  14. Relax: Managing your stress will go a long way to keep illness at bay.
  15. Sauna: Sitting in a sauna for a few minutes may help flush out your cold symptoms.
  16. Room Sprays: Use room sprays made with essential oils like: basil, bay, benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, cajeput, citronella, coriander, eucalyptus, frankincense, ginger, grapefruit, helichrysum, juniper, lavandin, lavender, lemon, lime, marjoram, myrtle, niaouli, orange, oregano, peppermint, petitgrain, pine, rosemary, tea tree, and thyme (wow that’s a long list) to freshen the space, disinfect surfaces, help breathing and foster sleep.
  17. Stop smoking: You may think now isn’t the time to quit smoking altogether, but many years ago, my father went off on a fishing trip and came home with the most miserable cold and after that, he never smoked his pipe again. Quitting smoking will only increase your health in the long run.
  18. Flu Shot: Consider getting a flu shot early in the season.
  19. Stay Home: If you’re feeling sick, stay home and rest. Your co-workers and the people that you would otherwise meet when you walk down the street, would appreciate it.
  20. Sleep: Get lots of rest and do your best to sleep well at night.

I hope these suggestions and recommendations help keep you and your family healthy this winter. If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment and share your wisdom.

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