Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category



Jurgen Reichling, a German professor at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, was one of the speakers at Botanica this past Fall. He presented on the antiviral effect of pure essential oils on HSV-1(Herpes Labialis, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus-Type 1); commonly known as cold sores. The essential oil of Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol) was at the top of the list, inactivating the virus within 10 minutes of contact. Next, in the power line up, were the citrus essential oils, followed by Pine. He shared the following formula:

  • Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol)
  • Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

The above essential oils were combined at a 6% dilution in a gel base, applied five times per day to the affected area. The results of the study showed clearing of the blister(s) outbreak in an average of 9 days vs. the typical 12.5 day period, if left untreated.

An interesting note highlighted was that the complete essential oil was more active than the individual main components. The synergistic effect of the whole essential oil had more activity and action on the virus. Are you surprised? I’m not! I think Mother Nature knew what she was doing. :o )

More snippets coming your way.

Next up: Pharmacological Activities of Essential Oils

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,


Photo Credit: American Meadows

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With the fast pace, pressure and demands of our modern lifestyle, stress is no stranger to many. Effects of tension can manifest in a variety of ways both physically and emotionally. One symptom that is on the rise is teeth clenching and grinding (medically known as bruxism). It is amazing how common this disturbing and many times painful habit is. Over the last couple of years, I have experienced first hand the frustrating and what seemed unavoidable repercussions of this act, including several chipped teeth, 4 fractured molars and jaw/head pain. The standard recommendation is to wear a mouth guard while sleeping. You can be fitted for a custom one by your dentist or pick up a generic one at the pharmacy. This seems like a surface “fix” and who wants to sleep with a mouth full of rigid plastic for the rest of their life? Not me!

So I began to incorporate daily practices in effort to soothe the root cause. They are:
Body Mechanics:

Becoming aware of body mechanics-furrowed foreheads, raised shoulders, clenched jaw, squinted eyes, held breath. The act of tuning in to specific body parts, checking their position and manually re-adjusting can be a great relief. The simple consciousness of “checking in” and breathing into the targeted area, allowing release, can be a profound first step in letting go of tension and stress. Many times we are unaware that we are even holding tension in our body. A night-time practice of relaxing the jaw and mouth area is especially helpful. Positioning the tongue upward with the teeth apart and the lips closed, gently moving the jaw up and down and side to side, and massaging the jaw and sides of the face and head are good habits to begin sleep.

Nutritional support is a big help. I have found excellent results incorporating a product called CALM(a calcium/magnesium supplement). Other stress busting vitamins are a good vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C and Zinc. Also, staying hydrated has been shown to decrease teeth grinding, as well as cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and refined, processed foods.
Flower Essences:

Flower Essences are a safe and natural addition when addressing the emotional side of bruxism. According to Louise Hay, the under lying issues can be pointed to anger, resentment and feelings of powerlessness. Willow, Cherry Plum and Bach’s Rescue Remedy are helpful when dealing with the above.

Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine, advocates sounds for healing. I personally have found great results using this method every evening prior to bed or when I am feeling facial tightness. It works amazing! Dr. Deepak Chopra  says, “Take a deep breath and make the sound while exhaling. Each sound may be repeated from one to three times. This should be done daily for optimum results.” The sounds for relaxing the jaw, helpful for clenching, migraine and tension headaches are YA, YOU, YAI. You can run through all of them a couple of times using the mentioned method.

Relaxation Techniques:

Incorporating daily Meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga and/or Brisk Waking cannot be underestimated when putting together a healthy and relaxing routine. Lower blood pressure, increased body/mind awareness, stress reduction and centeredness have all been reported by adding one of the above for as little as 20 minutes per day.


Essential oils have a profound effect on the nervous system. They heal on a holistic level, touching all aspects of the root cause; mental, emotional and physical. An effective blend(2 % dilution for daily use) is as follows:
Organic Jojoba: 1 oz.
Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia): 5 drops
Vetiver(Vetiveria zizanoides): 2 drops
Ylang Ylang(Cananga odorata): 2 drops
Marjoram(Origanum marjorana): 2 drops

Place in a cobalt or amber 1 oz. glass bottle. Gently massage around jaw line, neck and behind the ears. Apply once per evening, prior to sleep. Safe for children above 2 years of age. Avoid if low blood pressure is present.

I am a big believer of taking baby steps when incorporating new and different practices into your lifestyle. Start with one or two of the above suggestions. When you are feeling comfortable and established with the new routine, review the list again and add one or two more and so on. Before you know it, your clenching and grinding will be a thing of the past. Now that’s something to smile about!

Until next time,
Breathe joy…

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Check out my guest blog today on Jodi Lobozzo Aman’s

Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace…

There is something really beautiful and profound in simplicity. In today’s world where more is generally perceived as better, it’s nice to pare down to basics, go deeper and establish a relationship with each essential oil. Taking the time to ‘get to know’ your essential oils will not only give you more aromatically pleasing blends, but an opportunity to create successful healing remedies as well.

Six essential oils that can transform how you deal with ailments both emotionally and physically are Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Sweet Orange, Roman Chamomile, and Eucalyptus.

Click here to read the complete post, comments and awesome recipes.


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[tran-zish-uhn, -sish-] noun
movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change. (dictionary.com)

Lately transitions of all kind have been on my mind.  From dramatic climate changes, to the massive expansion of access in global communications, change is occurring at a rapid pace.  So rapid, that sometimes it feels overwhelming to “catch up” or stay tuned in. Bringing it back from “out there”and pulling the reins into your inner circle can be very helpful to re-group.

One thing that I have found useful in managing the swirling and twirling of mind-boggling options is to actually slow down, do less and be more one-pointed.  The first fear is that you are going to miss something exponentially urgent, not fit in, or drop the ball.  When in fact, what I am finding is quite the opposite. What is fundamentally important is rising to the top, like fine cream.  Taking the space to actually “sift” has been shown to be noteworthy with positive effects.  Weeding junk e-mails, clearing out household clutter, donating what no longer represents personal style, organizing files, spring cleaning…all of these seemingly mundane tasks actually can renew individual perspective and give increased inspiration for future goals.

Change is sometimes scary.  Fear of the unknown, insecurity, doubt, all seem like standard characters in the play of change.  We can reflect confidently on history and see growth spurts, major achievements and advancements in agriculture, business, education, etc. go through enormous transitions(many very uncomfortable) before the pleasing end result.  Evolution is crucial to survival.  And in today’s time, being flexible and finding innovative strategies to not only cope, but thrive, when life throws you a curve ball is more imperative than ever.

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” ~C. S. Lewis.

When you find you need a little extra support during life’s inevitable changes…
Smooth Transitions Daily Lotion-Original Essential Oil Recipe (2 % dilution):

2 oz. of all natural, organic cream or lotion base
Grapefruit(Citrus paradisi)- 7 drops
Black Spruce(Picea mariana)- 5 drops
Bergamot(Citrus bergamia)- 5 drops
Black Pepper(Piper nigrum)- 2 drops
Laurel Leaf(Laurus nobilis)- 2 drops

Combine the above ingredients well.  Store in a  dark, airtight jar.  Apply a nickel size amount over the chest area daily, in the morning.  Avoid direct sunlight on the application area for 12 hours after. For adult use.

To growth, and being open to the infinite possibilities that surround us.

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,


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Well, what can I say, there was never a dull minute in Chicago! We flew in on the day of a blizzard, with over 700 flights cancelled(luckily, our plane was the last one approved for landing), and proceeded to catch a cab to the Merchandise Mart.  Over 3 hours later(for only 17 miles), we reached our destination, and were ready to set up. Somehow a trade show in the Windy City in the dead of winter is like a sauna in Las Vegas, in July–there is bound to be one melt down!

The week continued to stay interesting, with very colorful neighbors.  One in particular was on the reality television show; Wife Swap.  Her life consisted of an unruly homestead with 10 dogs, 4 cats, 2 birds, and a 200 pound goat(that lived inside the house)…oh yeah, and a husband and a daughter.  Needless to say, you can imagine the stories that arose over the course of the show.  Kept the time rolling. :o )

During the evenings, we found some great veg. eats:  Karyn’s Cooked, a longtime favorite, that did not disappoint.  Their extensive menu ranged from Kombucha, to at least 12 delectable deserts(all vegan!)….can you say YUM!  Chicago Diner is another must – a little off the beaten track, but worth it. With entree’s that resemble any carnivores delight, using seitan, tofu, etc.  High quality & super fun.

A new spot, Green Zebra, was a real treat to experience.  Vegan nouveau with items like Pink Peppercorn & Thyme house made soda, to Crispy Sweet Potato Dumplings with crabapple ketchup, walnut-sage pistou + honey crisp apple.  Unexpected pairings put this gourmet cafe high on the “will return” list.  And to top it off, I was able to meet up with a fellow aromatherapist–BIG BONUS!

As far as my picks @ the show-

Green Daffodil takes the cake for soy candles, soy lip balms & other natural body care items.  Their line is handmade, and vegan with a fresh look & feel.

As far as collectible art, glassworkonline took my breath away.  With much of the inspiration coming from the sea(a spot close to my heart), artist Vaughan Anderson has an angel’s touch when it comes to glass.  Of course, with my passion for sea turtles, I had to indulge in this piece.   The attention to detail is mesmerizing!  + it’s always such a pleasure to connect with the artist in person, and share stories of common threads.

And the journey continues to the Big Apple.

Next Stop: The New York International Gift Fair

Until then…

Breathe Joy,



Travel Tip:

If you are sensitive to synthetic fragrances, I would avoid the W hotel in Chicago.  They have a “signature scent” sprayed throughout the property on a daily basis, that is more TOXIC than CHIC!

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Well, back from yet another jaunt on the trade show circuit.  This time, home of monogrammed everything, bubblegum pink, and black & white polka dots.  Yes, you guessed it…Atlanta, GA. Don’t get me wrong, I love the southern charm, manicured nails & all.  First stop was Whole Foods to stock up on vegan yummies, protein powders, and fresh squeezed juices to stay healthy when on the road. Among all the super foods in my cart, I did stumble along a little bit of indulgence to top it off. Homemade, vegan chocolate coffee cake.  OMG!!!  So super moist, delicious, and just what the doctor ordered when a bit of comfort is top priority, after a long day.  This was definitely the find of the market, and at only a buck a square to boot…jackpot!

OK, time for work… off to America’s Mart.  The “World’s Global Market”, 3 buildings jam-packed with over 4,000 permanent showrooms, and hundreds of temporary vendors with goods from soup(literally) to the rarest of diamonds… and everything in between.  We were exhibiting in Building 2 West Wing, where only Gourmet was showcased.  Organic raw honey, mixed with fresh raspberries, lemon, or cacao to the front of us & upscale pecan goodies to the side, made the week of selling our wares ultra palatable.

Of course, what’s a girl to do around so much ‘retail therapy’ but partake.  Cash and carry jewelry department here I come. :oObsidian Jewelry has been a favorite for years. Jeff Kohnfelder, is the talented designer, where his tag line reads “It’s all about the stones”, and it is.  After years in the field, he still gleams with excitement to talk of the latest find from some obscure mine, or the newest nugget uncovered.  My eye zoned right in on one of those gems, an Amethyst Sage pendant chunked over purple drusy quartz, and amethyst.  Yay, baby…you’re coming home with me!  This piece, a type of lavender chalcedony, is riddled with manganese dendritic inclusions, and truly is a one of a kind.

Next, the spa floor.  Soothing auras filled with soft shades of pastels, the latest lip shimmers made with resveratrol for anti-aging, candles galore, and all things zen.   One new item caught my eye; Moso Natural.  A small, young company that has created an air purifying bag filled with 100% bamboo charcoal.  This capture from the Far East helps remove odors, bacteria & allergens naturally.  www.mosonatural.com for more info on this eco-friendly little number.

And, the tour continues.  Next Stop: Chicago

Until then…

Breathe Joy,



PS: Very grateful to travel with

Pink Himalayan bath salts with pure essential oils for soothing comfort & deep rejuvenation. Ahhhhhhh………..

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This past Sunday I attended a memorial service, where there was not a dry eye in the crowd.  Carol, was survived by her husband; her soul-mate of 35 years. 

The feeling evoked by his deep sorrow was profound.  He was so honest, raw, broken and lost.  It was actually inspiring to see his heart in such a powerful way.  His courage was in the realism, the pain, the daze.  How do you pick up, and continue on?  Life, as you’ve known it, suddenly so radically changed forever.

Well, no one really had the magic answer for Richard, but the love, support, and total acceptance his friends, and family showed seemed to offer some consolation, and warmth.

We don’t know when the ‘last curtain’ will be called. But for those of us who experienced the depth of heart displayed, you can bet we will continue the performance with a new script.

♡¸.•*¨*• . ❤ ¸.•*Last Curtain ♡¸.•*¨*• . ❤ ¸.•*¨*•.

I know that the day will come
when my sight of this earth shall be lost,
and life will take its leave in silence,
drawing the last curtain over my eyes.

Yet stars will watch at night,
and morning rise as before,
and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments,
the barrier of the moments breaks
and I see by the light of death
thy world with its careless treasures.
Rare is its lowliest seat,
rare is its meanest of lives.

Things that I longed for in vain
and things that I got
—let them pass.
Let me but truly possess
the things that I ever spurned
and overlooked.

Rabindranath Tagore

Ylang Ylang~Heart Centered Essential Oil

Original Essential Oil Blend for Comfort Support

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)- 4 drops

Frankincense(Boswellia carterii)- 3 drops

Neroli(Citrus aurantium var. amara)- 2 drops

Marjoram(Origanum marjorana)- 2 drops

Ylang Ylang(Cananga odorata)- 1 drops

The above blend can be added to a portable blank inhaler.  Uncap, and hold under the nose for 2-3 deep, relaxing inhales.  Use throughout the day, as needed, for soothing peace.

Until next time,

Breathe Joy…



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Hello Rose... of Sharon

After playing an active part in my gardens this summer, it was easy to see the daily transitions occurring ever so diligently.  However, the reduction of rain, and other season variables resulted in shorter height(up to 3 1/2 feet on the butterfly bush and bee balm), color fade(on the hydrangea) and blossom scarcity(compared to last summer, on the day lily’s).

At first, I was somewhat shocked, and disappointed with the seemingly “lack of production”.  My expectations for perfection were challenged.  I find this happens in life, as well.  After reflection, I could feel a smile forming on my face, and an understanding of what ‘acceptance’ might be showing me.  There is beauty in the now What if we dropped the mental preconceptions, the should’s, the if’s, and the but’s.  Nature doesn’t question “Where is more”?…why should we?

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.” ~Ram Dass

Bee Balm Love

Accepting the present blossoms, production, life circumstances, etc.  can provide great peace, release of the expectation/disappointment cycle, and even unveil a sweet gratitude for what IS.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.” ~Lao-Tzu

Essential oils can have a gentle and effective role in cultivating acceptance.

Original Essential Oil Blend @ a 1% dilution:


Vanilla Infused Organic Golden Jojoba- 1 oz.

Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct linalol)-2 drops

Palmarosa(Cymbopogon martini var. motia)-2 drops

Neroli(Citrus aurantium var. amara)-2 drops

Jatropha Flower Essence

Suggested Use: Apply daily over the heart area morning, and evening.  Nicely paired with regular entries in a personal gratitude journal.

Blooming Bell Flower

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~Melody Beattie

Until Next Time,

Breathe Joy…


Pictures from my garden, Summer 2011

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With our summer temperatures getting up and over 100 degrees throughout the country, it’s only natural to look for ways to cool down and quench the inferno.

Blazing Heat

Couple of my fav’s:

Follow the Yogi’s~

Traditional ayurveda suggests consuming foods that bring down the body’s internal temperature.  Cool peppermint tea, grapes, cucumbers, watermelon and water from the young coconut are top on the list. Nature provides these in abundance during this season for a reason!

Mint Mist~

Peppermint Hydrosol(Mentha x piperita) is the ‘King of Cool’.  I like to store a mister in the refrigerator.  Spritzing throughout the day is divine & super refreshing.

Loving it Raw~

Keeping summer meals focused on foods with a high water content(raw) is another helpful hint to keeping light, free and breezy.  One of my all time loves is from Sarma Melngailis & Matthew Kenney’s book Raw Food Real World; Bunny Spice Shake.(reprinted with permission from author, Sarma Melngailis)

Always Ready for Bunny Spice!


1 cup carrot-ginger juice(run carrots through the juicer with a thumb-size knob of fresh ginger root)

1 cup almond milk

2 cups frozen diced banana

Pinch of ground cinnamon

In a blender, puree all the ingredients until smooth.

This shake is the bomb!  It is like swirled ice cream through a straw and has never failed to delight any of my guests.

A little side note:  If you are ever in the NYC area, Sarma’s restaurant, Pure Food and Wine is a hot spot for raw foodies.  My favorite item on the menu is the Mint Chocolate Sundae-fresh mint, raw cashew cream & gobs of raw cacao….truly a work of art!

Agua Purificada Por Favor~

Ahhhh....Refreshing! (Photo by Sandra Engler)

Stay hydrated with lots of fresh water and/or homemade herbal sun tea.  It’s fun, pretty and effective to float cucumber slivers, muddled mint and/or slices of citrus in your brew.  Keeping a full pitcher ready in the fridge is a surefire way to encourage imbibing.

Essential Oils That Know How to Chill~

Diffusing essential oils known for their cooling abilities is quick, easy, and another way to wipe the sweat off your brow in a flash.

Original Recipe~

Sweet Orange(Citrus sinensis): 27 drops

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia): 10 drops

Peppermint(Mentha x piperita): 8 drops

Palmarosa(Cymbopogon martini var. motia): 5 drops

Place the above quantities in a clean, dark glass bottle(15 ml with orifice reducer).  Add the appropriate number of drops from your created “stock blend” to your diffuser and turn on.(styles differ, see your manufacturer’s suggestion).

Of course loose, breathable clothing, avoiding direct mid-day sun, and a nice gust from multiple fans are obvious ways to beat the heat too.  And if all else fails, I go jump in the Lake!

My Favorite Spot for a Dip~Canandaigua Lake

Until next time,

Breathe Joy…

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Garlic scapes that is! 

For years, I never knew what a scape was, or that it’s a wonderfully edible ‘by-product’ of the beloved garlic. Garlic is a member of the genus, Allium(onions, leeks, and chives also belong to this family).  The garlic scape is a shoot that sprouts from the underground garlic bulb.  Scapes are ready to be harvested when they lengthen and begin to straighten out from their natural looping tendency.

Garlic Scapes: Who Knew?

With most things that sprout, harvesting when the shoot is young will produce a more tender and delicate outcome. It is best to harvest the scape when it is bright green.  Waiting until it is white, or pale is actually taking away energy and life force from the garlic growing below; resulting in smaller bulbs.

There are a ton of ways to use scapes.

Being 100% Italian, there is never a shortage of where this delectable bulb stalk can be tucked in.  Garlic scapes are a welcome flavor addition chopped raw and added to stews, salads, stir-fry or casseroles.  The flavor has a fresh, light and ‘green’ overtone to the familiar garlic sensation.

So let’s get cooking, shall we!

Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto


10 garlic scapes(diced)
1/3 cup walnuts(or pine nuts)
1/2 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste


1/3 cup raw cashews, 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast, pinch of salt, black pepper to taste, 1-2 Tablespoons of HOT water


Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper.

In the same food processor bowl, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.  Process until mixed and slowly add the hot water.  Pulse until combined(use a spatula to clear the sides, so all is throughly mixed). Add this mixture to the first bowl, stir by hand.

This can be spread on baguettes and toasted under the broiler for an amazing garlic bread, or added to your favorite cooked pasta with fresh garden tomatoes chopped atop & a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Still hungry for more?

Freshly Picked from My Garden

Garlic Kale Chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner(or paper towels).
  3. Add 1/3 cup of the vegan garlic scape pesto(above). Massage the pesto into the greens(your hands are the best option…now that’s Italian)!
  4. Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake until the edges brown for 10 to 15 minutes(flipping 1/2 way through). Watch carefully so the edges do not burn.  The chips should be light and crispy when done baking. Enjoy!
Until next time,
Breathe Joy…

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