October, 2015
Archive

  • Guilt Free Pumpkin Cookies

    It’s October and everywhere I turn there is a pumpkin flavored or scented item. I even saw pumpkin Biscotti the other day! I really enjoy the flavor myself. Just this morning I had a Pumpkin Spice Shake. I just added a 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin along with a drop each of Cassia, Clove & Ginger essential oil or you could add pumpkin spice seasoning! Delish!

    Since I do enjoy pumpkin, I came up with this healthier version of the Pumpkin Cookie. Because it is low in calories and high in nutrition, I don’t feel guilty having one or two for my afternoon snack along with a cup of herbal tea. While the Fall Season causes us to consume more pumpkin foods, these cookies are great anytime of the year.

    Pumpkin Cookies

    pumpkin-spice-cookies_large

    Makes about 3 dozen small cookies

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • ½ cup coconut oil
    • ½ tsp liquid clear Stevia
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 3 drops Cinnamon or Cassia essential oil*    cinnamon-oil
    • 2 drops Ginger essential oil*
    • 1 drop Clove essential oil*
    • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • ¾ cup oat flour**
    • 2 T flax seed meal
    • 2 T cornstarch
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
    • ½ tsp sea salt

    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
    • Reduce pumpkin by heating over medium heat in sauce pan for 30-40 minutes. Stirring often until reduced to ½ cup
    • Cream together coconut oil, stevia & brown sugar
    • Mix in cooled pumpkin, vanilla & essential oils
    • Combine dry ingredients in bowl & whisk
    • Combine wet & dry ingredients mixing until well combined
    • Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into ball, place on parchment & flatten with back of spoon
    • Bake 10-12 minutes, let cool a couple minutes on sheet then, remove to cooling rack
    • Store in sealed container.
    • They also freeze well 

    1 cookie: 68 cal, 3.4g total fat, 41.25mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.9g sugar, 1.6g protein

    Notes:  *Not all essential oils are pure enough to be consumed, which is why I ONLY use doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. Learn about them HERE

    **I make my own oat flour by grinding it in my blender or food processor.

    Enjoy!

    Kathy

    October 23, 2015 • Essential Oils, Recipes • Views: 680

  • De-STRESSing the Holidays with Essential Oils

    The time between Halloween and New Year’s Day can get overwhelming with all the things we feel obliged to do. In my two previous posts, De-Stressing the Holidays and De-Stressing the Holidays with Meal Shortcuts , I shared many of the things I do to make this time of year more enjoyable. Over the last several years I have been delving into essential oils and have found them to be amazing in bringing even more balance and harmony into my environment which helps me and those around me.

    One of the many things I like about essential oils is that they do most of the smelling e oilswork.  All I have to do is open the bottle and put a couple drops into my diffuser or take a whiff from the bottle!

     

    Here is a great gift for just about everyone any time of the year

    bath salts in jarRelaxing Bath Salts

     Mix 1 cup Epsom Salts with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and store in a sealed jar. Tie it up with a bow for gift giving!

     

    De-Stressing Essential Oils*

    Cypress – encourages one to cast aside worries and let go of control so they can enjoy the thrill of being alive

    Elevation, The Joyful Blend – assists in letting go of lower energy vibrations and can soothe the heart and balance emotions.

    Geranium  is a great balancer, due to it being an adrenal cortex stimulant, & helps regulate moods. It creates a sense of security and comfort It is gently uplifting and balancing. 

    Lavender – calms the insecurities that are felt when one risks their true thoughts and feelings.Essential aroma oil with lemon and mint on wooden background. Selective focus.

    Lemon – improves one’s ability to focus, restoring energy and mental flexibility

    Lime – instills courage and joy in the heart and reminds one to be grateful for the gift of life.

    Roman Chamomile – restores one’s confidence to do what they came to do

    Serenity, The Resting Blend – assists to calm feelings of hostility, fear, anger, jealousy, rage and resentment

    Ylang Ylang – assists those feeling over-stressed and helps restore joyfulness

    *NOTE – Not all essential oils are of the purity which is why I ONLY purchase from one brand, doTERRA Certified Pure Theraputic Grade Essential Oils. If you would like to learn more and/or purchase at Wholesale pricing, contact me, Kathy@kathyskinner.com

    Diffuser greenair

     

    This is a great diffuser to bring those up lifting aromas into yorur home or office. I’ve had mine for over 2 years and love it! Get it HERE

     

     

    Blessings for a wonderful Holiday Season,

    Kathy

    October 20, 2015 • Essential Oils, Healthy Hints, Mind Managing • Views: 506

  • De-STRESSing the Holidays with Meal Shortcuts

    I thought you might also like some meal shortcuts. I use most of these all year long but even I need a reminder especially during during this upcoming time of year!

    In my previous post I shared some of the things I do to De-Stress the Holiday Over Load between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Check it out HERE. Click HERE to learn about using essential oils to help with de-stressing the Holidays or anytime of the year.

     

    As a general rule, I have to remind myself that I just can’t do it all AND remain sane. family cleaningSo I now have others in the household share in the daily & seasonal chores. If they can do a job 75% as well as I do it, then they can do it. Unless of course it is to dangerous or personal.

    My Meal Shortcuts

    • EVERY time you make a meal or snack – make twice as much. Store the extra for a time when you are rushed. With this you are more likely to stay with your health & weight goals. 

    Do you dread playing hostess, doing all that cooking, making sure your house looks “perfect,” worrying about having enough space for guests to sit or mingle?

    • Revive the potluck. Ask everyone to bring a holiday favorite. You supply the wine, cocoa, and/or gingerbread men
    • Do as much prep work ahead of time as possible.
    • Delegate parts of the meal out to your guests, asking them to bring side dishes, desserts, drinks, etc.
    • Make a list of all your necessary Holiday dishes and baking, then determine from there what can be made in advance, or at least what prep work you can Chopping-foodget done early. That list will come in handy when grocery shopping too.
    • Before putting items away, chop up all vegetables, like those for stuffing or side
      dishes. Or at least store them all together so you eliminate the time searching. 
    • Combine all spices needed for dishes, like your favorite pie, in advance to cut out the time spent measuring.
    • Most side dishes can be cooked the day before, and warmed through the day of. Other holiday essentials, like cranberry sauce can be made weeks intappo_crowd-430x287 advance and frozen.

    If all else fails EAT OUT. Make having a festive dinner at a restaurant your new holiday-season tradition — no cleanup!

    Remember the most important thing is to enjoy your time with family and friends!

    Kathy

    Kathy@kathyskinner.com

    October 15, 2015 • Healthy Hints, Recipes • Views: 508

  • De-STRESSing the Holidays

    Since moving to the Northwest, I find that I really enjoy all the seasons even more than before. Each one brings something special. But more and more over the years it seems that Fall never lasts as long as the other seasons. Maybe it’s because of all the marketing for the holidays happens earlier and earlier each year. When I was young, it was taboo to have anything even in the stores for Christmas before Thanksgiving!

    Halloween-decorationThe Holidays can be stressful, that period of Halloween through New Year Day. Our ‘To-Do’ list can sometimes seem overwhelming. When I start feeling the panic of it all, I have learned to take several deep breathes and then begin to revisit my priorities. It always amazes me at how off track I can get due to pressures of society and well intended family and friends. Here are some things I have done to simplify so I can really enjoy this special time of the year. 

    The Basics:

    • Keep expectations for the season manageable.
    • Organize your time and make a list and prioritize the activities that really matter.praying hands
    • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
    • And remember to schedule some down time to relax and take care of yourself.

    O.K., I know what you’re thinking. That last bullet point might sound counterproductive during what’s supposed to be a season of loving your fellow man. But believe me it is REALLY important! 

    Regularly giving yourself time to regroup, without distractions, gives you both energy and calm. That means you will be more fun to be around AND you will be able to focus better, therefore accomplishing more in less time

    • exerciseGet your sleep, exercise, water & eat healthy. Having a small snack between meals can help to keep your stamina and mood up, so aim to eat something 4-5 times a day
    • Before answering an invitation or building a gingerbread house, Check in with your body first, every time pause to notice how you feel. Are you excited or tense, relaxed or head-achy, calm or vaguely nauseated. If you’re not good to go, don’t do it. And don’t worry about what others will think.
    • Say “yes” to the bigger gatherings. Attending events where you’ll see lots of faces in a short period really helps me feel less obligated to attend lots of smaller events over successive evenings. Big parties can be exhausting, but then you’re done.  

    New-Year-Party-Eve-Tips-Ideas7

    • Take a mid-party break. Step outside. Look up at the stars. Or Find a quiet corner where you can listen to music alone for a few minutes or do some deep breathing, even if it’s just in the bathroom.

    De-stress the gift giving

    I don’t know about you, but I find gift shopping very stressful. All the tips below are ones I have done ( still do many) and they have all been received well.

    • Give the gift of experience. Tickets to a sporting event or arts performance, a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, membership to a zoo or museum. Bonus: One-stop shopping. You can give the same gift to many recipients.
    • gift certificateGive the gift of your presence. Make coupons for activities you can share with an older or younger relative: shopping or fishing outings, regular ice cream parlor visits, time to read together or play cards together. Young parents might like babysitting favors. Older adults might welcome drives in the country.
    • Give uniformly. Find a single gift that works for all the adult relatives or business associates on your list (a food or ornament souvenir from a favorite destination or your hometown) and another for all the kids (iTunes gift cards are a safe bet).
    • Give a handmade holiday.  Try burning CDs, a photo calendar or mug, making spaghetti sauce, baking, crafting, drawing, and so on. It’s amazing how creative even non-“handy” people can get.

    De-stress the Decorating

    All those lights, all that razzle-dazzle — it takes effort, not to mention energy and resources. Downshifting to a more ecologically friendly holiday is a simple way to get a simpler look.

    • Put up just a few lights or better, Skip the lights in front of the house (and maybe even the tree). Fewer watts to burn, fewer strings for you to get tangled in.
    • Decorate with natural elementsFill bowls with pinecones or clove studded oranges. Bring red berry &/ or pine branches indoors (or snip boughs from the christmas-tree-branches-lg bottom of the tree). Bonus: No hauling boxes of decorations down from the attic. When the season ends, you can just pitch everything on the compost pile.
    • Wrap gifts in paper you already have on hand. Ordinary newsprint or paper grocery bags look festive tied with string in red or silver. No newsprint in this digital age? Try recycling some of those holiday catalog pages for smaller gifts.

     

    De-stress Traditions

    At the root of a lot of holiday stress is feeling the need to do certain things, in a certain way, in the name of tradition. Maybe you want to please aging parents or carry on in their memory. Or maybe your focus is on creating the same traditions, so your kids will know them, too. Either way, the effort often creates more stress (for you) than bliss.

    • Don’t assume, ask. Find out which parts of the holiday truly mean the most to your loved ones. You might be surprised by what others really like. Caroling? A special feast? Baking together? Driving around to look at the lights andMother and daughter baking cookiesdecorations? Keep one or two of those traditions — period — and do them up.
    • Shift your focus. Decide to make happy memories, rather than continue traditions for tradition’s sake. The more relaxed an event, the more likely everyone will want to keep it up, making future holidays easier, too.

    Shifting the focus away from so-called ‘obligations’ to what really matters to those you love and care about will make for a happier next couple of months filled with precious memories.

    Get Meal Shortcut Tips HERE

    To help with De-Stressing the Holidays with Essential Oils click HERE

     

    Share your favorite traditions below,

    Kathy

    October 13, 2015 • Healthy Hints, Mind Managing • Views: 726