Essential Oils and Respiratory Health

My daughter--dressed as the Twister Game and my two sons including the one dressed as The Hulk have moderate Asthma. They are on daily medication to keep her Asthma in check including Montelukast, Loratadine, and inhaled steroid. Without health insurance, the cost is astronomical.

When they do have an Asthma attack, cursed and blessed Prednisone (an oral steroid) is often required to reduce inflammation in the lungs. In addition, they have nebulizer treatments with Albuterol which opens the airways helping them breathe.

So what does the above information have to do with essential oils one Sweet and Savory Seven Reader wanted to know? The rescue medicines are relatively inexpensive compared to the preventatives which we order from Canada Pharmacy. Two essential oils have been found to help with asthma. Frankincense is the oil which acts most like Singulair (Montelukast) and Prednisone. It is known to help with inflammation. Eucalyptus helps with opening the airways like Albuterol.

At this time, we have not replaced traditional medications with essential oils. However, they do act to support respiratory function and health.

Some other natural ways we try to keep our children's lungs and respiratory system healthy is providing juice with 100% vitamin C, like orange juice each day. Vitamin C helps keep mucus membranes healthy. Also, water. H2O helps keep mucus secretions thin. In addition, an overall healthy diet with wholesome ingredients is also helpful with any chronic or acute disease.

7 Secrets to Beautiful Skin

Note: Upon request, I am reposting this information for my tips on beautiful skin. After 40, it seems that these steps and principles to nourished and protected skin gain more importance than before.

This post is for the adorable Reagan...former, award-winning Good Things Utah host and Fresh Market Store commercial star. On August 13, 2014, I did the cooking segment for Good Things Utah. Reagan, who was filling in for Gretchen was in the GTU kitchen with me. In between segments, we had some time to chat. We talked about our children, mothers and mother-in-laws, cooking, and skin care.

During one particular commercial break, Reagan said and I quote, "you have beautiful skin. Tell me everything you do!" I was incredibly flattered, because as you can see in the photo above, Reagan has fantastic skin! Reagan is three years younger, but close in age.

Then I continue to tell her about my 68 year old mother who has less wrinkles than many 30 year old women. I am not exaggerating in the least. In fact, my 47 year old cousin, a former international model asked my mother for skincare advice, because--well--my mom's skin is so phenomenal. My mother is a skincare guru. At one point in her life, she was working on developing her own line of skin cream. Nu Skin beat her to it.

Thirty years ago and now, women want to know her secret. I think they would pay good money for it, but fortunate for my readers, you don't have to, because I am about to give you her 7 Secrets to Beautiful, Youthful Skin. This educated advice is the result of trial and error, study, research, tons of product testing, and years of caring for our body's largest organ our skin. Did I mention that my mother is a registered nurse and an information junky. The gal knows what she is talking about.

(Of course, I will post photos of her as soon as she gives me permission. She is also a tad bit vain, but Gosh! who isn't?)

The following tips and secrets are NOT in order of importance. They are all needed for beautiful skin.

1. Exfoliate. We use an exfoliating cleanser. Currently, I am using Neutrogena's Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub. This product contains salicylic acid which helps with skin turn around and exfoliation. I use this product day and night.

2. MOISTURIZE. Moisturize. Moisturize. Utah is the second driest state in the Union. Go ahead and look that up. My mother and I were both born and raised in this dry dessert and still have fared fairly well considering Utahns age ten years quicker due to the dryness.

However, even if you are privileged to live in San Diego, this tip still applies. There are a few moisturizers we love. The first--Dr. Pericone approved is Reviva's DMAE Cream found at GNC stores. Like the name conotes, it contains vitamins D, A, E and C esters. It is a powerhouse moisturizer. Use DMAE cream each night after using exfoliating cleanser.

The second cream we use is Avalon's Vitamin C Lotion with SPF 15 for our day moisturizer. The key words in the name are Vitamin C. About 8 years ago, I helped my son with a science fair project. It was on oxidation. We peeled and sliced two bananas. On one banana, we sprinkled it with crushed vitamin C tablets. The other was left alone. Both bananas were kept at room temperature, uncovered for hours. Then we observed. As to be expected, the plain banana was brown and withered. The Vitamin C treated banana was yellow and plump like when we first peeled it.

Admittedly, the experiment was stunning. Oxidation is real and damaging. This project emphasized that very fact. It also helped me realize the role vitamin C plays in skin care.

The third lotion we like and use for daytime use is Aveeno's S.P.F. 15 Lotion with Soy Complex. This is an excellent lotion we either alternate with the vitamin C lotion or combine with each morning. Who says you need to wear just one?

The fourth lotion is RoC's Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Filler with RoC Retinol and hyaluronic acid. This cream "immediately fills creases and re-plumps skin. Diminishes the look of even deep wrinkles," claims the RoC company on the tube. I for one am a believer since this was the cream I had on under my make-up the day of the television show.

Another effective wrinkle filler I use before applying mineral make-up is Olay's Regenerist fill and seal wrinkle treatment. This is an effective way to fill wrinkles and prepare the skin for a flawless finish.

One last note: Seal the night cream in with Eucerine or Aquaphor Cream. This is a super-model secret.

3. Nourish from the outside. Here is the thing. We need to nourish our skin inside and out. Some people believe one or the other. I am a believer and doer of both. By using creams, lotions, and fillers with vitamins, we are feeding our skin with needed, crucial nutrients and fighting damage from the elements including sun, air, and oxidation.

If you are breaking out, try this nourishing, healing skin mask:

Protein and Vitamin C Mask

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg white

1. In a small bowl, whisk together.
2. Apply to dry skin and leave on for 30 minutes.
3. Wash with cold water.
4. Use 1 to 2 times per week.

Did you know that eggs are a perfect protein? Yes. Eggs contain all the essential amino acids--the body's building blocks for life. Vitamin C enhances the action of protein and aids in healing and building tissue. This dynamic duo does wonders for your skin. 

4. Nourish from the inside. Do you want a face-lift? A few years ago, Dr. Pericone revealed his recommendation for stars preparing for the red carpet: The "3-Day Face-lift" is a non-surgical, inexpensive, food derived "face-lift." He suggests eating salmon, blueberries, and broccoli for 3 consecutive days and your skin will radiate, have beautiful natural color, be moister, firmer, and tighter. 

The omega-3 is a natural and powerful oil which feeds the skin. Blueberries and broccoli are potent anti-oxidants full of vitamins that nourish the skin and bring out the natural color of the skin. In essence, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins in addition to healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines.

5. Protect. If you do nothing more than protect, you are doing your health and skin a big favor. Sun damage is accumulated over time. Each burn and all incidental sun exposure adds up. As a young kid or teenager, we may not pay much attention to protecting our skin. But as adults our skin pays the price with unsightly rough texture, brown spots, wrinkles and sometimes skin cancer.

Even if you do not plan on being out in the sun, put sunscreen with S.P.F. 15 on every day, because even as you drive in your car, you are getting what we call "incidental" sun exposure. If you know you will be out of doors, use a higher S.P.F. 30 to 50 with zinc.

Don't forget to put sunscreen on your neck and chest. These areas age and wrinkle along with your face.

6. Hydrate. Two-thirds of our body is made up of water. If you want to "fill" the wrinkles, drink water. Water is essential to avoiding wrinkles and having beautiful, vibrant skin. Water is essential.

7. Sleep. Our skin needs sleep just as our body needs sleep. Also, while you are sleeping, you may be causing wrinkles as your face is pressed against a cotton and or polyester pillowcase. This is a secret my grandmother employed. "Sleep on silk or satin pillowcases and you will avoid waking up looking like a road map," exclaims my mother. (My mom makes me laugh--which I personally believe is also good for your skin.)

Sleeping on silk is a super-model secret. Incidentally, sleeping on silk also protects your hair from friction damage.

There you have it. The 7 secrets to beautiful, youthful skin!


Studio 5 - Fire Roasted Chili

See if you don't love the back story to this recipe. I do.

Studio 5 - Fire Roasted Chili

Fire Roasted Chili on Studio 5

Due to my adorable neighbor boy, I was invited on Studio 5 to share my Fire Roasted Chili recipe. About an hour before a high school football game, I was trying to get dinner on quick. Sound familiar? We invited my son's friend to join us for dinner and the game.

Little did I know, the boy hates chili. His mom is an incredible home cook, but he just doesn't care for the dish. Without knowing this, I put a big bowl of chili in front of him. Politely, he began to eat it. (I can only imagine the thoughts swirling in his head at that moment.) He ate every bite. I was a little worried serving him the chili, because it has a kick to it not because I knew of his aversion.

The next evening, his mom stopped by with a jar of home made peach jam and a request from her son to get the recipe. This is when I learned the back story behind the boy who didn't like chili--no way, no how. Naturally, she was surprised. I was more than happy to share the recipe. The recipe is simple with a bit of a Mexican twist.

Watch the cooking segment on Studio 5 here.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

This is a simple, but elegant little chocolate treat with a complementary raspberry flavor. I think is would be a fine and fabulous Christmas gift.

1 (15 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (12 oz.) bag Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbls. butter 
2 Tbls. seedless raspberry jam
1 Tbls. raspberry extract
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (for coating)

1. In microwave safe bowl, heat milk, butter, jam, and extract for 3 minutes on high heat. 
2. Pour in chocolate chips and stir until completely melted. 
3. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. 
4. Form balls using teaspoon and roll in confectioner's sugar. 
5. Let set in refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Serves 12

Chicken Salad

This sweet and savoy salad is quick, satisfying, and a lovely lunch dish.

3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup red grapes
1/2 cup salted cashews
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
1/2 cup Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing
red leaf lettuce

1. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, grapes, cashews, celery, and onions.
2. Before serving toss with dressing and place 1 cup of salad on a bed of lettuce.

Serves 4


Lighting the Y

The September afternoon my dad was honored at as coach and lit the Y  was not about us, but we sure did have a wonderful time. For my husband, Joe, back-up quarterback to Heisman Trophy Winner, Ty Detmer and my father, it was like coming home. My father in particular had spent many hours, days, even years on that football field. Likewise, my mother and I spent many hours, days, years cheering for them in the stands. It was the best time of my life. I miss it terribly, but we have to move on and enjoy each day as it comes. But I can't help but pining a little.

My three girls and youngest son did not mind spending time on the field waiting for the opening events. We enjoyed the up close and personal views and experience. We had the fantastic opportunity to shake President Uchtdorf's hand as well as meet Jimmer Fredette. Both were gracious and kind.

Before the game, we enjoyed the wonderful Magleby's Restaurant lunch at the Varsity tent. It was so nice to see old friends and players there. It's like a BYU football reunion. Great people. Great memories.
Our oldest son, Jeremiah, would have loved to have been there, but he is on his LDS mission in San Antonio, Texas. 

It is a blast being on the field, close to the action, the adrenaline, the excitement before kick-off.

 Number 54, Parker Dawe is friend of our family and one of BYU's fine players.

Number 2 is our friends' son, Dallin Leavitt. Can it really be 20 years since I graduated from BYU? Now Joe's former teammate's and roommate's son is playing on the team. It seems that time plays tricks. 

 Cosmo could not have been more helpful in guiding my dad through the tradition of lighting the Y.
 Cosmo, up close and very personal.

 The one, the only, the great...Jimmer Fredette. My mom adores him!

 Sorry girls, this attractive, athletic man is taken.

 Jimmer Fredette and the equally attractive, Joe Evans, #7.

Love this guy...beard and all!