Monday, January 27, 2014

Paleo Leftover Chili & Chicken Taco Soup & Some Paleo Tips

The full title of this should be:

Leftover Venison Turkey Chili and Chicken Taco Soup


What To Do When The Husband Wants Lunch and You're Too Busy to Cook


What I'm Learning About the Paleo Diet and a Good Recipe All Together in One Blog!

So, just call it whatever you want, here's how it all began:

When my husband asked at 12:30 what we were having for lunch, I knew I had to think of something quick...really quick.

Before I tell you what I came up with, let me say a few things:

I am by no means a Paleo expert, having only been doing this for around six months, but I'm learning.

I'm learning that the best way to do Paleo is to buy the right type of food.

I'm learning that spices play a big role in preparing good dishes.

I'm learning to look at what I have bought and then figure out what to cook. In other words, I don't really plan menus before shopping.


We've Come This Far By Faith

Chances are you've never thought about the fact that GOD has invested in you. Now, if you invest in something, you're going to do the best you can to keep that thing alive, well and flourishing. If you plant a garden, you've invested in those seed and you're not going to just throw them out there to fend for themselves. You're going to tend to that garden, water and nourish that garden until it brings forth the fruit at harvest.

GOD has begun this work in us, GOD has planted the seed and according the words of the Apostle Paul to the church at Phillipi, GOD will perform this work all the way to the end. Paul urged the church to be confident is that very thing.

Those words, centuries later, are still urging us to be confident in that very thing.

Don't give up in the face of trials and difficulties. GOD has faith in you and HE has invested much in you! HE is your strongest supporter. 

Hebrews 13:5 reminds us "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for HE hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Many Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil and Peppermint Tea

This blog is a re-post of an earlier blog with updated and additional information about the Spark Naturals Oil of The Month, Peppermint Essential Oil.

Oil of the Month

I do love a good cup of tea!

I know what we say down here in The South...if you're from The South,  the only way to drink tea is from a tall glass with ice and lots of sugar. I used to, but for various health reasons, I no longer drink regular black tea and for many  reasons, I try to avoid as much sugar as possible.

So....some things you just learn to do without and sometimes in the process, you discover something even better.

I started buying every flavor of tea that I could find it seems and before long, I had to devote an entire shelf in my cabinet to my teas. However, I found myself choosing the peppermint over all the others over and over.

There's just something so soothing about Peppermint Tea.

I also grow a lot of mint in my flower beds, so I add mint to my lemon water and if I should run out of tea bags, I can just make my own peppermint tea.

How to Make Your Own Peppermint Tea

To make your tea using dry peppermint leaves, if you have your own plant, lay the fresh leaves on a tray and let them dry in the sun for 24-48 hours until they become crunchy. You could also use your dehydrator. You can also make your tea using Peppermint Essential Oil.

Using fresh mint:
  • add 2 tablespoons of dried leaves to a cup of hot water(use tea or herb ball if you have one)
  • cover
  • steep for 10-20 minutes
  • strain(if you have a tea ball or herb ball there's no need to strain) a
  • add a little honey or lemon for even more health benefits.
Using Peppermint Essential Oil:

  • Simply add a few drops of Pure Peppermint Essential Oil, how many depending on the strength you prefer your tea to be, to a cup of boiling water.
  • This is especially good with honey as a sweetener
  • Add a few drops of lemon if desired
To store fresh peppermint, wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, place in a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator. This will keep it fresh for several days.

Now, on to the benefits of Peppermint Tea

For centuries, peppermint tea has been enjoyed for its refreshing flavor as well as used medicinally. It has traditionally been recommended for relief from a variety of disorders. More recently, peppermint tea has been explored by scientific researchers, who are increasingly verifying the evidence of history and recognizing the health benefits of peppermint tea. 

What are these benefits? 

Peppermint tea has long been a popular "folk medicine" simply because it was reported to work so quickly and effectively in relieving a variety of disorders, including:
  • Headaches
  • Sinus problems
  • Stomach upsets
  • Menstrual cramps
Just the aroma of peppermint tea can help relieve the symptoms of colds or headaches, which is one reason why it is a popular ingredient in aromatherapy. In addition, when applied topically, peppermint, peppermint infusions and peppermint oil have traditionally been used to treat conditions such as skin disorders and arthritis.

It has been discovered that the active ingredient in peppermint, menthol, has an anti-spasmodic effect. This explains why it relieves stomach upsets so quickly. The fact that it is a muscle relaxant may explain why it has been found to help relieve stress. Significantly for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a little known and difficult to treat disorder, peppermint oil, when clinically administered, has shown a great deal of promise in relieving this condition and it is believed that regularly drinking peppermint tea may help relieve the symptoms of IBS. 

Other Health Benefits of Peppermint

Peppermint contains properties that give it a number of other potential health benefits. It is known to have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, so can be effectively used as a cleansing agent on the skin and to help fight bacterial infections. It is also known to have decongestant properties, so can be a potentially effective treatment for a number of respiratory disorders. A known analgesic, peppermint can help with pain relief.

Peppermint tea may also be an ideal study aid for students and help commuters drive more safely. In one study, just the aroma of peppermint tea was shown to help students remain alert and focused when studying. In another study, peppermint tea helped drivers stay alert and relaxed in traffic. A friend of one of my granddaughters was here one day and we were discussing the benefits of peppermint.  She said she had a teacher that gave the students peppermint before tests.

Peppermint tea can also help with bad breath problems. Some say that it removes the problem permanently.  

Regular use of peppermint tea can also help to reduce appetite. Your cravings for food intake is thus reduced helping in weight loss. It's a good idea to put a drop of pure peppermint essential oil under your tongue before meals also to reduce your appetite.

Peppermint Tea can also help ward off colds and flu. It acts as a great preventative force against catching the common cold or the flu. It has good amounts of potassium, calcium and vitamin B, all useful agents in the fight against colds and flu.

I have a granddaughter who suffers from digestive problems and she often requests a cup of peppermint tea to soothe her stomach. It's a good feeling when you can help in a natural way.

Few side effects of peppermint tea have been noted, though health care professionals caution against its use by those who suffer from gastric problems related to excess stomach acid, such as acid reflux and ulcers. In general, though, peppermint tea is healthful, healing and relaxing. 

Precaution: since infants are still developing their immune systems, peppermint could cause an allergic reaction.

These are just some of the ways that Peppermint Tea is beneficial to you.

Now, go put the kettle on, Polly and we'll all have tea!

All about Spark Naturals Peppermint Essential Oil, the January Oil of the Month. To join the oil of the month club go here: 

When you join the OOTM Club at Spark Naturals, for $15.99 monthly(shipping and tax included)you get a 15ml bottle of pure Essential Oil or Essential Oil Blend each month, shipped on the same date each month(your original order date.) 

Peppermint– Mentha Piperita – United States
Description: Peppermint Essential oil is used to help with many things such as liver, digestive and respiratory problems along with irritable bowel syndrome. It also stimulates the mind and increases mental accuracy.
Properties:  Analgesic, Anesthetic, Antiseptic, Anti-galactagogue, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Carminative, Cordial, Decongestant, Stimulant and Vasoconstrictor
Historical Uses: Peppermint has been very effective as a digestive stimulant, it has also has been used to disinfect and treat respiratory ailments. In more recent years studies have shown peppermint to aid in improvement of taste & smell when inhaled and to create a sense of fullness after meals.
Possible Uses:
Rub a few drops of peppermint to temples to relieve tension.
Dilute 2 drops of peppermint in 4 oz of water to aid in digestion.
Apply (dilute) drops on abdomen to help with stomach discomfort.
Diffuse to help with decongestant and to improve taste and smell.
Blends well With: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Rosemary and Melaleuca
Peppermint Essential Oil Application:
Can be use aromatically
Can be consumed
Can be used topically (Dilute for young or sensitive skin)

I almost forgot the most important use of all for Peppermint.....

it keeps spiders away!

Never, ever let yourself run out of Peppermint Essential Oil!