Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Diffuse Your Way to a Better Day - Simple Health Idea # 5

Diffusing is a wonderful, chemical free way to make your house smell amazing.  It can help deodorize the air, eliminating unpleasant smells, or create a certain mood - be it uplifting, calming, relaxing, happy, energizing, romantic, and the list goes on!

Smells can trigger emotions and memories, so diffusing certain scents can remind you of childhood memories, or can create new memories for you!  For example, let's say you are away on a relaxing weekend, and take your diffuser along, adding a calming combination such as lavender and bergamot oils.  After running the diffuser while being chill and experiencing the peace and calm of  your environment, the memory of the moment becomes infused in your brain. Then the next time you smell either the combination, or even one or the other of the oils, your mind will replay the embedded memory, and you might just feel peaceful and chilled, even in the middle of a busy day!

Cool hey!

My son now has a diffuser in his bedroom, and turns it on for about 10 minutes before bed.  He loves the combination of lavender and cedarwood, and it settles him down before bed.  We even had to pack it to the hotel on our hockey tournament last weekend.  At the end of the night we had a half dozen kids in our room all on the bed chillin' while the diffuser ran.  So funny.

I love diffusing peppermint and lime while I work out in my basement, as I find it invigorating. Oils like balsam fir and black spruce added to the mix make me feel like I am outside running when I'm actually on the treadmill.  Citrus oils can be uplifting, as can oils such as Joy (obviously, the name tells you so), Valor and Purification.  For a more relaxing experience, try lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense, or oils such as Peace and Calming (again, the name says it all) and geranium.

There are so many other oils to choose from, I have simply given a couple of examples.  The best way to try diffusing is to get yourself a diffuser, and some good quality oils.  I use the Young Living brand, as they are 100 percent therapeutic grade oils, and the company follows very strict growing and harvesting procedures to ensure quality product.

If you are interested in learning more about these oils, you can do so here: www.denisemackinnon.com

Please note that I do have a financial interest in this company, and that the information in this blog is for entertainment purposes only.  It is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any condition.  Please seek medical advice for any health conditions.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Running Free

I just finished the best run of my life.
Fastest time?  No.
Longest distance? Not even close.
Great time with friends? Nope.
Best view I've ever seen? I did stop to enjoy it, but I've seen better.

So what was so amazing about it then, you might be wondering.

I ran free.  Free from a fitbit, Garmin watch, heart rate monitor, iphone running apps, faster running partners, chatty friends, slower running partners, ipod, walkman (ha ha - remember those?!)  I didn't even look at the clock on the wall before I left.

It was just me and my dog, running free in the snow covered trails.

As runners, we can get a bit neurotic about all things running.  What is our pace per minute?  Am I in my target heart rate?  Why can that person always run faster than me on the uphills?  How can chatty Kathy be carrying on a conversation right now when I have blown a lung?  I need to train harder, I need to do more sprint intervals, I need to add another running day, I need to do a marathon, or a faster marathon.  I run so much, why don't I look like her yet?

If we run 7.58 km, we have to run around the block a couple of times until our device reads an even 8 km. If we are running the trails at a slower pace, we need to do a road run to prove that we can still come in at our "fast" time.  If someone wants to do a run that is less than 5 km, we think, "well what the heck is the point in lacing up my shoes?"

I purposely ran a trail that I know is less than 5 km today.  Yup, it was short, and no, I didn't go around the block to top it up.  I walked a couple of snowy slippery sections, and I think I even walked one that was clear, just because I felt like it.  I stopped to pet the dog.  I stopped to look at the ice and snow covered lake.  I called the dog twice, and other than that didn't say a word.  I listened to the snow falling off the trees. I listened to the silence. I ran mindlessly, thinking about nothing, running through the mud puddles and feeling the crunch and squelch of the snow beneath my feet.  I ran free.