Thursday, September 13, 2018

The best part of camping - Marshmallows

Did you know that you can make marshmallows?!?  You can!  We have been doing it for years.  When our daughter was diagnosed with food allergies and sensitivities to food dyes, I was pretty unphased until I flipped over the package of marshmallows.  NOOOOOOO.... WHY?!?  Why must something so white and fluffy and pretty and yummy contain food dyes?!?  Since then our view on food has changed quite a bit and I realize marshmallows are not the healthiest thing on the market to begin with, but marshmallows are an essential part of family camping trips.  So, determined to maintain family camping traditions, I started researching how to make marshmallows.  We learned it's actually quite easy and FUN to make your own creations.



INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of water (divided)
3 TBSP gelatin
1 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
optional - Young Living Vitality essential oils (ex: Peppermint Vitality, Orange Vitality)
optional - toppings of your choice (coconut chips, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, etc.)


DIRECTIONS:
1.  In a large mixing bowl add 1/2 cup of water and 3 TBSP of gelatin.
2.  On the stove bring 1/2 cup of water, 1 cup of honey, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 1/2 tsp of salt to a rolling boil.
3.  Boil, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes.
4.  Add slowly to the gelatin water (which by now the water should have absorbed the gelatin and be a thick gel) and mix on low (being careful not to splatter any because it is HOT!).
5.  Increase speed to high and mix for about 10 minutes (it will become like marshmallow fluff).  If you would like to flavor your marshmallows, you can add a few drops of Vitality essential oils at this time.  Peppermint Vitality or Orange Vitality are two of our favorite flavors.


6.  Pour into an 8x8 pan coated with parchment paper.


7.  Let sit and dry for about 8 hours.  Slice with a plastic knife.  You can roll it in cocoa powder, coconut flakes, or a topping of your choice.



You can also get creative with this recipe.  We like to make marshmallow pies by layering ingredients, like crushed coconut chips, the marshmallow fluff, and chocolate chips.


Top Essential Oils for Gymnasts

A few years ago we signed our girls up for a homeschool gymnastics class.  We thought it would be a fun way to work in some PT, meet other girls their age, and learn to listen to the instruction of someone other than me.  As it turns out, they actually have some talent for the sport and were itching to compete.  It does not help that both their mother and father are super competitive.  So they tried out for the competitive team and we were blown away when they were recommended for Level 3&4.  Suddenly they went from 2 hours in the gym a week to 12 hours.  They went into that first practice so excited (and nervous), but when I picked them up they had a whole new appreciation for the words "sore" and "tired".  When I asked them how they were feeling, our oldest said, "I need Cool Azul Pain Cream and all the oils."



After four years of using Young Living products for just about all of our family needs, she knows way more than I ever did.  Growing up, after a hard swim practice I would lather up in Bengay or IcyHot and take a few naproxen, because that was all I knew.  But after some health scares and realizing that my body was so overburdened with toxins, I learned a better way.  We ditched the toxins from our home and have not looked back. They were quite fragrant those first few weeks as their bodies adjusted to the harder, longer workouts, but we learned a lot about supporting some of the specific needs of gymnasts with essential oils.  Essential oils harness the power and energy of the plant.  They are 50 to 70 times stronger than herbs - WOW!  They are so versatile that you can use one oil for many different things.  Here is what they say are their favorite oils:

1.  Peppermint

Well, first of all, we live in Arkansas where it is a billion degrees in the summer and even though the gym is air conditioned it is not exactly the coolest place to spend your summer.  A dab of peppermint on the back of the neck is invigorating, cooling, and refreshing.  It also helps you work out stronger and longer by increasing blood flow to the muscles.  Inhaling peppermint improves mental alertness and concentration, which is critical for gymnasts since a lapse in concentration can lead to a nasty fall or injury.  Peppermint Vitality added to their water bottle helps relieve nausea and indigestion, which sometimes all that flipping can cause.  It also improves respiratory function and helps an athlete to breathe more easily.



2.  Lemon

Citrus oils in general are uplifting and invigorating, and lemon is one of their favorite scents.  Lemon Vitality also supports the lymphatic system, digestive system, and overall well being.  Lemon is also great at removing sticky residue (like that left from kinesiology tape on the skin). 




3.  PanAway

This special blend of Wintergreen, Clove, Peppermint, and Helichrysum is great to keep at hand during and after a workout.  Massage into tired muscles for a soothing and stimulating experience.  PanAway helps recover from a workout so they can get right back out there and practice hard again the next day. 




4.  Lavender

Lavender is comforting and calming.  Athletes sometimes find it hard to unwind and rest after a hard workout (or before a big competition).The girls love adding a few drops of lavender to Epsom Salts and relaxing tired muscles before bed.  You can also rub a few drops of lavender behind the ears or diffuse it at bedtime to promote restfulness.  Lavender is also soothing to the skin - a great choice for cuts and bruises.  The girls found that combining Lavender with either the Rose Ointment or Seedlings Diaper Cream works very well on their hands when they are determined to get a new bars skills. 



5.  Stress Away

The girls were so nervous about walking into the gym for their first practice on the competitive team.  To go from recreation to Level 3+ was not an easy transition for them.  Some of these girls had been competing for years and most of the girls new each other.  Stress Away helped combat that stress and nervousness, and I am sure it will be much loved as we enter competition season.



6.  Thieves

Athletes cannot perform at their best if they are catching every bug that goes around.  Thieves Vitality helps strengthen and support a healthy immune system, which is important because training can wear you down.  It is truly an amazing oil, and one that we use every day.  As soon as they get home from the gym, they roll Thieves on their feet and on their spine (diluted appropriately).  We also love the Thieves Hand Purifier and Thieves Spray.



Get these oils, plus more of our favorites, by purchasing the Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  It's the only thing on the Young Living website that is half off, and by purchasing it you become a wholesale member which saves you 24% off all additional purchases.  Let us help you take your fitness and wellness journey to the next level.