Nope, I'm not talking about fighting with your loved ones over the holiday. I'm talking about fighting germs and viruses at home with natural products. Lately, I've gotten lots of questions about how I personally use essential oils. Since my devotional book was published, many have looked to me for essential oil insight. And, while I do have a passion for and experience with oils for myself, I am not an aromatherapist. I do, however, have a trusted team I turn to for my essential oils. There's a small family company called Imani Naturals in Minnesota. Brian is the founder and he was so kind to take the time to help me edit the aromatherapy section of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit. I love not only their products but also their hearts at Imani Naturals.
Their Infection Fighting Kit includes oil blends that have already been diluted and are likely safe for use on your person or in your home (I say likely safe because people can be allergic to anything, always test any new oils or blends in a small place on your body before you slather them everywhere!). As of this post, this kit is on sale for $99 and if you use my blog code, "exploringpeace" Brian will send you a free oil too! So what is in this infection fighting kit and how do you use it?
Also in our home, I have the Guardian blend diffusing constantly this season. We're washing hands, taking our supplements, and will be getting a vaccine when it's available. While there's no guarantee for avoiding COVID-19 (our son has had it already), we're doing our best to stay well and essential oils are part of that regimen. While there are tons of diffusers on the market, I've found I like a larger capacity diffuser with varied settings. I set mine up to diffuse intermittently and that means filling it less often (and yes, you do need to wipe out and clean your diffusers when not in use).
How did I learn about essential oils? Well, for one you I looked to trusted sources, like this information and education from companies I know, as well as aromatherapists and their books. I also use my oils regularly to discover what supports my body and my spirit. Aromatherapy is more than just "smelling good" it is an embodied experience that offers natural benefits such as infection fighting, something I'm leaning into to support my body and spirit in these challenging times.
What essential oils are your favorite for infection fighting?
If you know me well, you know I love collecting Bibles. Insightful commentary as well as scripture in fresh translations are encouraging to my soul. So, when I discovered the Common English Bible had created a Women's Bible, I was excited to spend time with this one in my lap. It is indeed fresh and what really makes this one unique is that the commentary was written by women - for women. The CEB Women’s Bible is intended for all women. It was designed for women in church leadership, women in the pews, and especially for women who value spiritual practice in their lives. It is ideal for those who value equality and discussions related to issues of gender and justice and how those ideas are lived out through their faith (YES, please!).
Once I discovered this gem, I wanted to share it with you too. Good news! My wonderful friends at Abingdon Press gifted me a new hard cover edition to be given away here at my blog - TO YOU! So, if you're feeling like you may need a fresh new translation with insightful commentary, I would love to share this Bible with you! It will be mailed via Media Mail in October to one blog reader (US Residents Only). You have during the month of September to enter the giveaway (the winner's name will be drawn and announced in the October newsletter)!
Simply enter your name and email address below (you'll be subscribed to my monthly soul care newsletter). For an additional entry, comment on this post with an encouraging scripture passage you would like to share with the women in your life. AND...you gain another bonus entry in the giveaway if your passage is from the CEB translation (my favorite)!
Feel free to share this post with someone who may also love to discover the new CEB Women's Bible. Let's encourage and bolster one another on the spiritual journey and reconnect with God's word.
Summer is winding down but the taste of summer doesn't have to leave you. One of my favorite drinks is a healthy, fizzy, flavorful treat called kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea and...I love it! It's good for my body and therefore, it's good for my soul. You can find kombucha in your local grocer (typically in the refrigerated produce section). My favorite store- bought flavor is GT's Trilogy Synergy.
However, my kombucha "habit" quickly became too expensive for our family's grocery budget. So about a year and a half ago, I began brewing my own kombucha at home. It's really not as intimidating as I imagined (I am working through my limiting beliefs about my abilities in the kitchen) and it is VERY inexpensive once you gather your supplies! I researched and read lots on kombucha before starting the process. One of my favorite online resources for all things food and health related is Wellness Mama. You can read how to brew your own tea and read more of those benefits at her blog.
After my research, I traveled to my favorite tea shop in Nashville to pick up my first SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). I know, it sounds gross. But, it's magical! Your SCOBY is the key factor in the fermentation process. You want it to come from a reputable source to keep your brew safe! If you're near Nashville, High Garden Tea is a perfect place to grab your SCOBY and ask questions as they have master brewers on staff. They will even taste test your brew!
If you've read this much about my favorite tea, you're either already brewing your own or maybe you're interested in getting started with home brewing. So, I'm sharing my favorite flavor thus far on my brewing adventures...keep reading.
Once your first fermentation is complete (after about 7-10 days), you can flavor your tea and bottle it to create a soda style drink with a second ferment (this increases the fizziness and adding the flavor is amazing!).
So, here's my favorite summer flavor for my home brew.... Cherry-Limeade!
When ready for your second ferment (follow Wellness Mama's instructions to get to this point), remove your SCOBY and save one cup of liquid to store it until next use (I store my SCOBY in the fridge between brews).
Pour 1/4 cup fresh or bottled organic lime juice (I like Santa Cruz brand) and 3/4 cup fresh unsweetened tart cherry juice (I like R.W. Knudson) into your tea.
Use a ladle and a funnel to pour your flavored tea into your sealable bottles.
Seal and leave on the counter for 2-3 days at room temperature then refrigerate.
CAUTION: Do not shake. It will explode! You may even want to open your bottles and test your second fermentation readiness over the sink or outside with a towel (spoken from experience).
ENJOY and savor summer with your homemade deliciously flavored cherry-limeade kombucha!
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson,
Exploring Peace Ministries, LLC