Chicken, Lentil & Veggie Soup

Soup season is officially here! Honestly, I make soup all year round, but my husband doesn’t prefer a hot bowl of soup in the middle of the summer. So for his sake I try to limit my soup making until Fall & Winter – and then I go crazy and make ALL. THE. SOUP. The best part about it is I pretty much always use my trusty Crock Pot for all my soups! I just throw all the ingredients in in the morning, let it cook all day and have an awesome healthy dinner ready by 5! So amazing and convenient. I really love my Crock Pot! But any way, today I want to share one of my favorite healthy soups that I make very often. It’s a chicken, lentil, veggie soup – see the recipe below. It’s based on a recipe that I found online a long time ago and I have tweaked it and added to it over the years. The recipe makes a full crock pot, so if you’re not into leftovers you may want to cut the recipe in half.

Chicken, Lentil & Veggie Soup 

  • 1 pound lentils
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken (I love to use rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 3/4 – 1 cup broccoli 
  • 3/4 -1 cup sliced carrots
  • 3/4 -1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano (I sometimes use oregano essential oil instead) 
  • 2 tsp chili powder 
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Several scoops bone broth collagen (this gives the soup an awesome healthy kick, it supports and helps boost your immune system!) 
  • When ready to serve, top with green onion, cilantro and sour cream if desired! 

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My family loves this soup! Even my 15 month old gobbles it up!

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Do you have a favorite go-to soup recipe?

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Our winter protocol for boosting immunities and avoiding sickness with kids.

Last winter we were SO SICK. My toddler got cold after cold and just couldn’t seem to kick it. :( Our entire family even got an awful case of Hand Foot Mouth disease during the summer. Lets just say it wasn’t a season that was easily forgotten. This year we knew we needed to be on top of it, unless we wanted to spend another season at home feeling miserable. So, after much research, this is our new sickness protocol!

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1. PROBIOTICS. 

We are being consistent about giving our kids probiotics this year. Every morning they get probiotics mixed into their milk. We like to switch up which probiotic we use periodically so that we get different strains. It’s also important to make sure its a quality probiotic. We love Young Living’s for our toddler. We use Baby Gaia and Klaire Labs for our 9 month old. My husband and I are currently taking Garden of life’s, but we also love Young Living’s Life 9!

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2. IMMUNITY ROLL ON.

I made a roller bottle of 5 drops thieves, 5 drops lemon, and 5 drops frankincense. I filled the rest of the bottle with sweet almond oil since that’s what I had on hand, I normally use fractionated coconut oil. It’s important that the oils are diluted especially for sensitive baby skin! We also diffuse thieves all winter long! My husband and I use a stronger roll on! More thieves and Immupower (an awesome oil blend I got for FREE last month). If you are interested in making a wellness roller bottle, I recommend getting a starter kit and wholesale account – it is the most affordable way to purchase quality, 100% pure essential oils!

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3. ELDERBERRY SYRUP

Elderberries are full of antioxidants and are fantastic for boosting immunities and helping heal from colds quickly. I made my own syrup using bulk herb stores organic elderberries. The toddler gets 1 tsp and we take 1 TBSP.

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4. LIMIT SUGAR

Sugar reeks havoc on the immune system. We are using honey as a substitute for the occasional sweet treat! :)

5. WHOLE FOODS DIET

The body best fights sickness when it is being supported by a whole foods diet. We eat a bunch of healthy soups in the fall and winter! And we try and get a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains (freshly ground), and fermented foods, etc.

6. COD LIVER OIL

Cod liver oil contains vitamin A & D which are both so important for a healthy immune system! My babies take Nordic Naturals. The baby gets the liquid and my toddler loves the chewable ones. :) My husband and I take Carlson’s.

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7. NINGXIA RED

We love having a shot of this super fruit & essential oil blend! It not only tastes great and boosts energy (a necessity when my babies keep me up at night!) but it is amazing for the immune system and overall health. It contains Gogi berries and several other super fruits! The mix provides an incredible dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber (so it aids digestion as well). It is definitely pricey, but that’s because it is packed with powerful whole food, organic fruits and oils. The way I fit it in our budget is by saving up the reward points I earn through my monthly order and then once I have enough I’ll order a 4 pack for FREE! 😀 Essential rewards is definitely the way to go to be able to afford Young Living’s products on a budget. :)

 

How do you avoid and fight sickness!?

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Oils & Pregnancy

I am currently 33 weeks pregnant with baby #2 (the final count down has begun!!!) and I have used oils all the way through both pregnancies with amazing benefits and results! It can be nerve wracking using oils while pregnant if you don’t know how to use them safely and which oils are okay while pregnant and which are not. While it is good to use caution with oils while our bodies are working so hard growing an amazing little person, it is also good to support your body with oils that can cause your pregnancy to be SO much more comfortable! Below I will share my very favorite oils to use while pregnant!

  • Morning Sickness – Peppermint – While you don’t want to go too crazy with peppermint, it can be a game changer when it comes to morning sickness. Just inhaling it can really settle the nausea. Lemon – Add a couple drops to your water and settle your tummy. Digize – Dilute with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and rub onto your tummy for nausea relief.
  • Headaches/Migraines – I have had A LOT of headaches with this pregnancy and while I know it’s technically okay to take Tylenol, I really prefer to take it as infrequently as possible. Peppermint diluted with coconut oil and rubbed on my temples, forehead, and back of neck has come to the rescue so many times!!! Lavender is also helpful with more minor headaches as well, my favorite is to mix both peppermint and lavender and really nip the headache in the bud!
  • Sleeplessness – Sleepless nights anyone?! I struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep terribly during pregnancy and Peace and Calming has been amazing for me! Diffuse this little gem at night and rub a drop on the bottoms of your feet and big toes. It smells amazing and is so calming. Tranquil – This is an essential oil roll-on blend that I put on my wrists and back of neck right before bed. It is relaxing, calming and helps induce sleep. You can also apply topically and/or diffuse Lavender to help with sleep.
  • Stretch Marks – Gentle Baby, Lavender and Frankincense mixed with a carrier oil and massaged onto affected areas (belly, chest, hips). My favorite is to mix a drop Frankincense with Rosehip oil and massage it all over my tummy before bed! It is so moisturizing and also helps if your skin is feeling itchy!
  • Hormonal Acne & Blemishes – Lets be honest, pregnancy may bring a “glow” for some people, but some of us more unfortunate souls end up struggling with unwanted and unappreciated hormonal acne. My lifesavers are Tea Tree and Frankincense! Use Tea Tree as a spot treatment on individual spots and use a drop or two of Frankincense mixed with your night cream and rubbed all over your face.
  • Fatigue/Exhaustion – Especially during the  first and third trimesters our bodies can be quite worn out from all the work they are doing making a baby! To combat this, I love to diffuse uplifting and energy giving oils! Grapefruit and Orange are awesome for this, they smell great and really boost energy levels.
  • Immunity Boosting – Thieves, Thieves, Thieves you guys!!! Seriously, it’s the best!  While pregnant our immune systems are compromised and it is easier to get sick. We are currently entering the cold/flu season here and I have been diffusing Thieves on the daily as well as rolling it onto my feet at night!
  • High Blood-Pressure – This may not be an issue for some of you, but I was diagnosed with Hypertension during my first pregnancy and I’m trying everything I can this time to keep my blood pressure stable. Throughout my pregnancy and before every OB appointment I drop Ylang Ylang onto my wrists, rub Lavender onto the bottoms of my feet and put Stress-Away onto my chest and back of neck. This has helped me SO SO much!!! It’s worth the time and effort it takes to remember to apply the oils!

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A couple other items I LOVE to use while pregnant:

  • Stress Away Roll-On Stress Away is one of my very favorite oils even when I’m not pregnant, but the anxiety and stress that pregnancy can cause can really be helped out with this amazing blend! Keep it in your purse and roll it onto your wrists anytime you feel the need!
  • ClaraDerm Spray – I use this spray to prepare for labor and delivery. Just spray your *ehem* lady parts 1-3 times daily for the last 4 weeks of your pregnancy! It helps immensely! I didn’t tear at all having my first baby. This spray is also AMAZING for post partum healing, but I will talk about my favorite post-partum oils in a future post!

If you are interested in any of the above listed oils, you can get them HERE.

Some oils to avoid while pregnant: Rosemary, Fennel, Clary Sage, Juniper, Basil, Jasmine, Sage, Cinnamon, Wintergreen.

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Fall Essential Oil Diffuser Blends

Fall is upon us and that makes me so stinkin’ happy! The crisp air, colorful leaves, cozy sweaters, pumpkin bread, boots, apple picking… I could go on. Fall is easily my favorite season, and with the changing weather one of my favorite things to do to cozy up my home is to make it smell like Fall! I do this with my favorite essential oils and my gorgeous diffuser.

Here are some of my favorite Fall diffuser blends:

  • 4 drops Thieves & 4 drops Orange. This smells DIVINE and will be benefiting you by boosting your immunities, killing all the yucky bacteria that comes with the cold/flu season, and creating a calm peaceful atmosphere.
  • 3 drops Orange, 2 drops Cinnamon, 2 drops Frankincense. Um YES.
  • 4 drops Thieves & 4 drops Stress Away. Diffuse this for a spicy – warm vanilla scent that will make you want to snuggle up on the couch with a big cup of chamomile tea! (or maybe that’s just me?)
  • 5 drops Clove, 2 drops Orange, 1 drop Cedarwood. Mmm, so warm and cozy.

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It’s so simple, smells AMAZING, and has so many great health benefits for you and your family! Ditch your candles this year with their artificial fragrances and chemicals and grab some of these truly amazing oils instead!

You can get them here: Essential oils

If you already love diffusing, tell me what your favorite Fall blends are!

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.

Essential Oil Starter Kit Breakdown

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     As you well know, I use oils ALL the time! They have revolutionized my medicine cabinet, replaced toxic chemicals in my house, and are vital to the care and health of my babies and family! With that being said, I am excited to announce that Young Living is running a sale on their starter kits! If you’ve been interested in essential oils for a while now but just haven’t quite taken the plunge, now is the time to do so! Starter kits are already a super discounted way to start your oil collection, and now they are an extra 10% off! This is such a FANTASTIC DEAL!!!!

The oils in the kits are all must haves in the home! I’ll break down each oil with a little summary on some of the uses for them.

Grab your kit here!

Raven

  • Thins mucus and decreases cold and allergy symptoms
  • Boosts immunities

Panaway

  • Soothes tired and sore muscles
  • Great for massage after workout
  • Relieves growing pains on children
  • Decreases menstrual back pain

Stress Away

  • Calms anxiety
  • Relaxes
  • Uplifts
  • Lowers blood pressure

Citrus Fresh

  • Heightens focus
  • Calms anxiety
  • Breaks up clogged milk ducts
  • Smells amazing

Frankincense

  • Great for all types of skin care
  • Moisturizing
  • Healing
  • Reduces swelling
  • Heightens focus
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces appearance of scars and stretch marks
  • Considered “universal oil” because of its many uses

Lavender

  • Great for skin care
  • Calming and soothing
  • Relaxation and sleep aid
  • Relieves pain and headaches
  • Kills bacteria

Digize 

  • Aids digestion
  • Soothes abdominal distress

Thieves

  • Boosts immunities
  • Fights sickness
  • Treats infection
  • Great for housecleaning and disinfecting
  • Smells phenomenal!
  • Possibly one of my favorite oils (a must have during sickness season)

Lemon

  • Uplifting
  • Detoxifying
  • Great as a household cleaner
  • Boosts digestion
  • Adds yummy flavor to water
  • Brightens complexion
  • Fades scars

Copaiba

  • Drives oils in and ramps up the effects
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain reliever
  • Great for teething babies

Peppermint

  • Reduces fever
  • Aids digestion
  • Reduces congestion
  • Relieves pain

 

As you can see these oils have SO many different uses and are so versatile! Plus, a little goes a long way so these bottles last for quite a while!

I can’t remember the last time Young Living did a sale like this!! Don’t miss your opportunity to get all of these oils PLUS a beautiful diffuser (I am in love with how these diffusers look and work! Cheap ones break down quickly so quality is important) The kit also comes with a household cleaner and Ningxia red sample. Oh. My. Gosh. Such a deal!! Right!?

Grab your kit here! And I will send you a FREE diffuser recipe card to help you get started using that gorgeous new diffuser!

I can’t emphasize enough how good this deal is!! And it ends Friday folks, so don’t wait!

 

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If you already have a stockpile of oils and a quality diffuser, check out the sale on the makeup kit!!! I have had my eye on this kit for a while and now its on SALE woohoo!!! This is a great way to replace all those toxic makeup products and feel good about what you are putting on your skin! :)

 

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Fast, Easy, and Super Healthy Breakfast!


Honestly, some mornings my toddler is so HANGRY he pulls on my leg whining the entire time I’m cooking breakfast and he can hardly shovel it down fast enough….I can’t blame him, he definitely got the low blood sugar and hanger from me lol! Some mornings I really don’t have any time to fix a healthy breakfast before we need to be  out the door for appointments or whatever, but I know how important it is to start the day off with something nutritious. So, when I found this Groatmeal recipe I was ecstatic!!!!!!! Cook it on low in the crock pot all night and wake up to a nutritious & delicious breakfast? YES PLEASE!!

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Oat groats are the least processed, healthiest form of oatmeal. I got some on Vitacost (one of my favorite places to shop!) but you can find them at some health food stores and amazon. :)

I found this recipe for over-night groatmeal from theyummylife.com! I made a few changes and it is now one of my favorite breakfasts! It smells like a bakery when you wake up to it in the morning!  :)

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 2 cups oat groats
  • 2 tablespoons ground  flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 apples chopped
  • 2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)*
  • 4 cups water
  • optional: 2 scoops protein powder (I use unflavored integral collagen)
  • optional sweetener: 1/4 cup honey, organic maple syrup, or a few drops stevia

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly grease crockpot, mix all dry ingredients well and pour into crockpot. Add apple and wet ingredients. Stir to combine, cover, and cook on low for approximately 6-7 hours. (slow cooker times and temperatures vary, so the time may need to be adjusted.)

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Detox Essential Oil Baby Bath

Ahhhh to take a bath, better yet a detox bath is so good for you and so relaxing, yet most of us don’t make the time for them. Really, we ALL should be taking them regularly. But todays post is specifically about our sweet babies and how a detox bath can be so helpful and beneficial for them!

My 9 ½ month old baby girl has gone through a lot of health issues in her short little life. (I’ll have to tell her story some time in a later post) So naturally, I’ve searched for all the natural supplements, healthy food, baby massages, sleep tips…you name it, I just wanted to find anything  that would help her and benefit her health.  Many of the things I have found have been very helpful, however, sometimes very pricey. Recently I heard about giving babies detox baths with essential oils and I was intrigued. I looked into it for myself and found how easy, fun, inexpensive and super healthy they really are!

All you need is some good Epsom salt, baking soda, and an essential oil or two. Start filling your bath tub with warm water and then slowly pour 1-2 cups of Epsom salt in mixing with your hand, then add 1/8-1/4 cup of baking soda, again stirring around with your hand. This part is fun because your child can feel the salt and baking soda and help you mix it. Next just put a drop or two of your favorite essential oil, (I like to use a drop each of frankincense and lavender) and voila, you have yourself a detox bath! So easy! And my baby seems to really enjoy them!317925B7-CCEF-4642-9BF9-13C937284941 (1)

Now, I’m sure your thinking “okay, now we know how to create a nice detox bath for our kids….but what’s so great about it?” So let me give you some reasons why these detox baths are so incredibly beneficial!

  1. Helps fight colds/flus! As soon as my daughter shows signs of sickness I give her a detox bath. This helps boost her immune system. The Epsom salt and baking soda also help flush out all the icky toxins that build up in our childrens bodies.
  2. Helps to calm and relax child before bed. The magnesium in the Epsom salt is very calming and can help even the most hyper child calm down and prepare for bed time.
  3. Helps support concentration. The Magnesium helps support brain function and helps children stay focused better and for longer periods of time.
  4. Relieves stress. If your child has gone through a traumatic situation or health issue like mine has or if they are just prone to being more anxious and stressed, these detox baths will really help calm them and help prevent anxiety and irritability.

If you don’t have lavender or frankincense and would like to purchase either of them, the best way to go is getting a youngliving account and buying it wholesale! Check out some account options here! And until Friday the kits are on sale!!!!!! Eeeeeeek! Check out the sale details here along with a breakdown of all the oils in the kit!

Detox baths have definitely become a regular thing around here and we are loving them! Let me know if you and your family enjoy detox baths!

Weekly highlight – digize essential oil

DIIIIIGIIIIZE!

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Ok – I’m just going to jump right into it this. Digize is one of my new favorite oils. Although I still love thieves with all my heart 😉 haha. Digize is an oil I use to forget to use but I have used it several times lately and am floored by the results. Oh. My. Word. Y’all…seriously…I used to live with stomach pain from food not settling well or *ahem* gas pain *ahem* from certain foods such as beans haha. But this little bottle of amazingness really eases the pain and helps aid in digestion. It’s as simple as that.

It is a mix of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise seed, and patchouli oil. In case you want to look up how each of these oils help your tummy troubles! 😉 Tummygize is the kid version of this oil and for a while I used it almost every day on my colicy baby!! It was a life saver!! SERIOUSLY, it’s a baby must-have. You can use digize on baby’s if don’t have tummygize, but it needs to be VERY diluted before being applied.

If you don’t have digize and would like to purchase it, the best way to go is getting a youngliving account and buying it wholesale! Check out some account options here!

Any other digize fans out there??? What is your favorite oil when your digestive system is in distress?

 

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.

The danger of dryer sheets! Weekly highlight

This week’s highlight is on DRYER SHEETS. So step into the laundry room with me and lets take a peek at these little sheets and decide if this commonly used product is really worth using… 😉

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Ok, here we are in your cozy little laundry room… Now take a deep breath and smell that clean laundry drying. Mmmm.. If you are like me and hate doing laundry, clean laundry  is one of the most amazing scents ever haha it is quite an accomplishment to keep up on laundry! However, I learned in an essential oil class recently by Covenant essentials that dryer sheets and fabric softeners contain the MOST harmful toxic chemicals found in most homes. What!? Those amazing smelling little cloths really contain that many harmful chemicals? YIKES! This is because the scented film left behind on clothing absorbs into our skin and infiltrates our body. This can lead to many issues for our systems, including long term illness and cancers. WOW. This seriously was a shocker to me….I can’t believe the chemicals so commonly used on these little dryer sheets are rated as so dangerous! Ok…I may have thrown away my dryer sheets after that class haha. I knew harsh chemicals really cling to fabrics and are absorbed into our skin when we wore them and had been wanting to start using something more natural for a long time and that class gave me the incentive to make the switch…fast! But I love my laundry smelling good ad fresh. Lets step back into the laundry room and imagine breathing in the scent of…nothing *gasp* haha its totally fine not to use anything but if you are like me and like your clothes to smell fresh and clean, there are safe alternatives! I love honest company’s dryer sheets! They work great and smell amazing! Buying them can get pricey though. So my very favorite are wool dryer balls! These little babies can last for quite a long time (mine last for a year or so) and keep laundry static free. I love putting a couple drops of my favorite essential oils on the balls to give my clothes an amazing (and chemical free) scent! Thieves oil is one of my favorite to add to dryer balls! But I also like using citrus oils like orange, lemon, & grapefruit to freshen up my laundry!

Here are awesome wool dryer balls on amazon:

Thanks for listening! As always, I’d love your input :)

 

Sienna Carlton

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.

Weekly highlight – Thieves

Howdy!

I am SO excited to be writing my first weekly highlight post. Choosing a subject was so difficult as there are so many things I want to share with you all! But, for my very first post, I chose to highlight the essential oil THIEVES. :)

2017-03-26 19.35.29I’d like to start by saying that I am not writing this to push you into buying essential oils. But, if you have thieves or are interested in essential oils, this post is for you! Also, make sure you use essential oils safely. To read more about how to use oils safely click here. Do not begin using oils until you know how to use them safely.

I LOVE thieves. It is one of my favorite and most used oils. Let me tell you why!

  1.  It boosts immunities. We love to keep it diffusing in our home to boost our immunities, especially during sickness season!! 
  2. It kills germs & fights sickness. When illness strikes we rub it on the bottom of our feet and chest or add it to a roller bottle. Also, it works wonders for sore throats. My husband gargled a couple drops in warm water when he had mono and it significantly reduced the pain and boosted healing. 
  3. It works as a great cleaner. I love putting thieves in my homemade household cleaners :)
  4. It smells AMAZING. We love to diffuse it in place of candles and other chemical ridden scents often used in the home. 

If you don’t have digize and would like to purchase it, the best way to go is getting a youngliving account and buying it wholesale! Check out some account options here!

Gentle Babies is a fantastic book full of recipes and information on how to use essential oils safely for pregnancy, babies, and children. I highly recommend it!

What is YOUR favorite way to use thieves?? 

I’d love to learn some new recipes and ways to use this awesome oil!

 

<3 Sienna Carlton

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.