Happy Monday and Happy Fall!! Fall is the absolute perfect time of year in my opinion and I am happy to have had such an awesome season so far here in Spokane.
I have lots to report on this week and even a new addition to the family!
#1 Ollie the Aussie
We welcomed little Ollie into the family this last week! I am so excited to have my own puppy to raise and he has been such a blast so far! Even if he does wake us up 3+ times a night to go potty 😉
Ollie is a mini Australian Shepherd / Blue Heeler mix and is super smart. At 8 weeks old, he knows his name, how to sit and is getting potty trained! Since I don’t really plan on having children, this is the closest I am going to get!
I am excited to have a running buddy in the near future (though we have to wait until he is at least ~8 months old to prevent injury) and a cuddly little companion!
#2 Evening Primrose Oil
I have been experimenting with evening primrose oil for about 2 weeks now for the last two weeks of my menstrual cycle. So far I have noticed some slight benefits in the quality of my skin, lessened cramps and am excited to see what other benefits will show up!
Evening primrose oil has been long touted for its high content of the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that can be beneficial for reducing PMS symptoms, brittle hair and nails, eczema and more! If you haven’t checked out my article on my journey to better periods and menstrual cycles head here. I am always looking for better (and holistic!) methods to reduce pain and discomfort surrounding my cycle.
It is recommended to take evening primrose oil the last two weeks (luteal phase) of your cycle to help with Omega3 to Omega6 ratios and reduce PMS symptoms, but as always, check with your doctor or functional medicine practitioner first!
#3 Lavender Essential Oil
I am becoming such a big fan of essential oils! Seriously, is there nothing they can’t do?! Lavender has a very calming effect and I love making a dilution solution and using it on my bedding so when I crawl in I am surrounded in lavender scent!
This oil is also great for dogs and pets who have anxiety (aka young puppies who struggle to sleep through the night still… cough… Ollie… cough). I have been putting a couple drops of the oil in Ollie’s kennel at night so he can start to wind down and have a comforting scent to fall asleep to. I have also put a hot water bottle heater in his kennel with the lavender essential oil to radiate some heat as well as the soothing smell!
Other uses for the lavender essential oil include relieving pain, reducing headaches, healing wounds and reducing anxiety! I have certainly noticed a generally calmer demeanor in myself when I use the lavender essential oil.
I’m really interested in oils and have started to collect quite a few! I wouldn’t be surprised if I sign up to sell them in the very near future as I am becoming SUCH a believer in all their benefits!
#4 Roasting Pie Pumpkins
Now this is just plain fun!! Double serving using the flesh for pumpkin purée, and then getting to use the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds! It is so simple to do and creates a ton of purée!
I simply cut my pie pumpkin (1-2 pounds) in half down the middle, placed it on a baking sheet cut side down and baked it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. I then scraped out the seeds and puréed the flesh to use for later! Stay tuned for what I used it in this week! Hint, it’s an AWESOME fall recipe that uses the Instant Pot so it’s super quick AND nutritious.
To prepare the savory-flavored pumpkin seeds I simply tossed the seeds with melted ghee (could use butter, coconut oil or olive oil) along with sea salt, a dash of paprika and a dash of chili powder! Roast at 300 degrees for 35 minutes and you have a super easy, Whole30 approved snack.
You could always go the sweet route and toss with pumpkin pie spice, coconut sugar and a little cinnamon. Totally delish!
#5 Tracking Progress (via Whole30 Day by Day)
You manage what you monitor. I’m a huge fan of using tracking devices to see progress and reach goals. Loving the journal-style entry that the Whole30 Day by Day includes, along with expert tips and reminders.
I used a homemade journal for my last Whole30 but decided to purchase one this round and am really glad I did! While progress isn’t always visible and it can be easy to forget how far you’ve come, writing down thoughts and feelings in a journal can be extremely helpful! Spotting patterns can also be much clearer, as well as being motivated to reach goals!
I am not a huge fan of the phrasing “on track” or “off track” because it can cause an all or nothing mentality. I don’t believe we should punish ourselves or feel guilty for “going off track” as long as we are still moving forwards towards our goals. The language we use with ourselves is incredibly important and the Whole30 Day by Day guide does a great job reminding us of that!
Monitoring creates an observational strategy to change habits and create more self-control in the areas we monitor. When we use tools to measure progress it can create more power and self-confidence. This can work in the areas of money spending, exercising, eating more healthfully, getting more sleep and other habits!
If you find yourself struggling to reach health goals, try starting a journal or hiring a health coach for more accountability! These are great tools to keep in your quiver to reach ultimate health!