Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy!

20150622_170958We all need sunshine….Vitamin D helps our bodies to function properly and lifts our spirits. Even if you do not like spending time in the sun, purposing to get out in it for even a short time every day, will have a healthy impact on your body.

We are also, all aware of the dangers of the sun. We use sunscreen to help protect our skin from damage that the sun can cause. Premature skin aging and skin cancer are concerns for all of us.

But did you know that we can use natural oils that have a Skin Protection Factor (SPF) and do not have any of the harmful chemicals that can be in popular sunscreens?

Here are a few options. Coconut oil has a low SPF of 2-8 all by itself, Avocado Oil 4-15, Wheat Germ 20, Raspberry Seed Oil 28-50, and Carrot Seed Oil a whopping SPF of 40! All of these oils are very good and nourishing to your skin as well.

As a skin cancer prevention measure, research shows that Red Palm Oil’s Tocotrienol’s not only inhibit the growth of skin and other cancers, but kill off the skin cancer cells! I used Red Palm Oil topically on areas I had questionable skin removed, and I am reminded even now, to take it orally every day as a preventative.

Of course we all know that Aloe Vera is a good and cooling after sun measure to protect and heal your skin.

Never use Bergamot, Lemon or Grapefruit, or cold pressed Lime Essential oils  in the sun as they are photo toxic and can cause white patches (as well as other concerns) to form on the skin!

So, go out and enjoy that great big ball of fire in the sky as it was intended to be enjoyed and supply us with the necessary elements we are to gain from it. Healthy Oil Up!

What are your recipes for natural sunscreen? We want to hear from you!

Can you drink the cup?

“When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup?20150609_120430

To live life to it’s very fullest, we must be willing to drink both joy and sorrow. That sounds like an oxymoron. This was Henry Nouwen’s experience. A fascinating man who spent nearly two decades  teaching at academic institutions including the University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School, Nouwen went on to work with mentally and physically handicapped people at the L’Arche Daybreak community in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

I have not finished his book Can you drink the cup?, but I can relate and be exhorted and challenged in what I have read.

As I hold my morning coffee cup making plans for my daughter’s wedding; it’s a celebratory cup! I lift it up! How exciting, a new family  being forged together in this world. It may have even come in contact with tears of joy from my cheeks as I drink… excitement for my daughter and soon to be son-in-law and the plans they exuberantly communicate for all to hear.

And I have also held this cup two hand-idly and  tightly going through a deep personal journey…close and to my chest. My tears most definitely coming in contact with the contents within the cup, making it salty and the drink honest and raw.

I am looking at my cup, like Nouwen suggests, reflecting on each experience life brings….embracing the uncertainties, the sorrows, the joys….It brings healing to our lives when we do. It makes us people with more depth, more compassion, and more love.

…Although they do not press the grape seeds used in grape seed oil, but use a chemical extraction….the oil made from it can be very useful to us in a variety of ways.

It can be used as a carrier oil in Aromatherapy leaving a glossy sheen on the skin.

It can also be used as an oil to infuse herbs into; try garlic, rosemary, thyme or tarragon among others. This infusion could be used as a salad dressing as grape seed has many good oil properties. It also has a high smoke point which makes it a great oil to cook in.

It can also be used as a lubricant for shaving and as a hair growth and strengthening treatment.

Have you ever used grape seed oil? Have you ever read a Henry Nouwen book?!! We want to hear from you.