Monday

Atrial Tachycardia, Anxiety, Essential Oils

*This post is not to be taken as medical advice, by any means. This information is based on personal experience only, and may contain inaccurate information regarding health conditions and the use of essential oils.*

Me? Stressed? Nah! I'm the one always telling others to relax and take a chill pill.  Lately however, I can't seem to take my own advice. It all started in June, the month I got engaged. I started feeling intense palpitations in my chest several times a day, distracting me from work and overwhelming me in everything I would do. Sometimes the palpitations would wake me from my sleep, or start when I was relaxing with G in the living room. How could I be feeling so overwhelmed in such a relaxed state? I wondered, is this stress I am feeling? Am I feeling pressure? Nervous about being newly engaged, stress about planning a Wedding? Thinking that this was my bodies reaction to stress, I tried to ignore the symptoms by coaching myself into relaxation. When this proved unsuccessful, I knew something was wrong. I'd experience anxiety each time the phone would ring, or when it came time to pay a bill. I'd even wake up in the morning with a racing heart, worried that I wasn't going to be able to live up to anyone's expectations that day. I started worrying about money, my relationships and my future more than I ever did, and it was not fun. These anxiety attacks came with intense heart palpitations, chest pain, a feeling of restricted breathing, hot sweats and an upset stomach that lead to vomiting. Something was just not right. I couldn't continue living feeling tired, overwhelmed and nervous.

I went to see a Doctor who referred me to a specialist, and after several special tests I was diagnosed with Atrial Tachycardia. From what I understand, this means I have an abnormal electrical pathway in my heart which is sending signals to the upper chambers telling it to beat very fast. It's often considered more annoying than dangerous, and can be treated with medication, a simple procedure, and anxiety management. It was very scary, having blood work done several times, ultrasounds and other heart monitoring tests - being told that the tests did show extreme irregularity and there was something physically wrong. But, I was happy to know I wasn't turning into a nervous wreck. I tried one medication, then another, and finally found something that works for my body and doesn't make me feel run down. I'm happy to say I feel in control and I feel no side effects from the medication.

Atrial Tachycardia and treatment aside, I need to learn better ways to deal with everyday stress to kick my anxiety in the butt and relax me. Things like coffee, tea, wine and sleepless nights DO NOT HELP, so those things need to be limited. Other ways to deal with stress include getting lots of rest, eating healthy, deep breathing, exercise and meditation.

On the weekend I learned about something else we could be doing, or sniffing, to relax us. Don't get the wrong idea people! I went to a local fair where a lady was selling essential oil inhalers and other oil products. One combination of oils really caught my eye. Pressure Drop, said to fight anxiety and stress by calming the mind and body... Let's just say, $9 dollars later, I was sniffing.



Here is the combination of oils in the inhaler.

PETITGRAIN - An oil derived from orange leaves which has antiseptic properties and is said to re-establish nerve equilibrium.

YLANG YLANG - Said to be extremely effective in calming, balancing the nervous system and bringing on a sense of relaxation. It's great for hair and skin, stimulates your adrenal glands and can be used for pain and insomnia. It can lower blood pressure and alleviate problems with PMS.  

LAVENDER - Has been clinically evaluated for it's relaxing effects. It can be used to clean cuts and skin irritations, and can be rubbed on strains, sprains and sore muscles for fast healing. The fragrance is calming, relaxing and balancing for your physical and emotional well being. 

GERANIUM - It's aromatic influence helps release negative memories. It has been used for skin care and it's strength lies in the ability revitalize tissue. It benefits the glandular, reproductive and nervous system.

FRANKINCENSE - It is stimulating and elevating to the mind and helps in overcoming stress and despair. Comforting, centering and elevating, with many more benefits. When applied on skin, it acts against ageing.

CLARY SAGE - Warming, sedative, an excellent nerve tonic. It can induce feelings of mild euphoria in some individuals and is thought enhance ones ability to dream. A tonic for ones overall well-being, and is ideal for use on a regular basis in baths or as a perfume.

I took to the Internet and found so much interesting information, but knowing I can't trust Dr. Google, I decided to email my one and only contact.  Sandra, who sold me the oils, began studying and using essential oils 16 years ago and incorporates the oils into many of her products. She really knows her stuff! She explained that because I have a physical problem, the oils can only do so much, but still said using the oils will calm the mind and body in times of stress. *She does not recommend using the oils internally and although it is done, it should only be done with professional guidance.  Play it safe and stick to using the oils in baths, as massage oils, diffusers and inhalers. When using inhalers, take deep breaths for better results. Some oils are not recommended for applying to the skin, but others are. Lavender is excellent for the complexion, and is one of the few oils that can be applied directly to the skin. I would never digest or use essential oils on my skin without speaking to an expert first. I highly recommend anyone with health conditions contact their Doctor before using oils, to ensure they are safe for your body.*


 Do you have experience with essential oils?


If you have any questions, Sandra is open to receiving emails from my readers at:
eponascloak@seasidehighspeed.com


Rachel Emmilee
XO

Rachel's BLT (Bacon Lovin' Tomato) Dip

 This is one of the first dips I came up with on my own. The first few times I made it I stuffed cherry tomatoes and served them as BLT Bites. They were always a hit, so cute to look at and so delicious. If you don't want to stuff tomatoes, it is just as good served with veggie dippers on the side.


If you want to stuff the tomatoes, start now! Cut off the tops of each tomato, use the end of a spoon or a tiny measuring spoon to gut out the seeds and juice. Put them upside down on a paper towel to drain until you are ready to stuff. Consider that you can't eat just one, so get comfy because this takes some time. 



Combine 1/2 block of CREAM CHEESE, with 1/2 lb cooked crumbled BACON, 1 generous handful of CHEDDAR CHEESE grated small, 1 bunch of GREEN ONION chopped. Once combined, this mixture will appear quite thick and more spreadable than dipable. Add a generous squirt of THREE CHEESE RANCH DRESSING to give it the dipable consistency. Finish with BLACK PEPPER (a pinch or three) mix well and refrigerate.
Serve this dip with veggie dippers, baguette or as stuffed tomatoes!













Thursday

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

... And I am four hours from a Starbucks...


The Fall brings out the Hot Apple Cider lover in me, but Winter calls for Egg Nog Lattes and lots of them. I have very fond memories of living in the city, meeting up with friends for "coffee" in the evenings although we never ordered coffee. We would grab our Holiday Lattes, sit for a bit then stroll through the city streets window shopping and breathing in the crisp air. It was a must do if I wanted to find my Christmas spirit early in the season.
                                                         
Mom and I hit the road yesterday and on our travels we stopped at a department store. Every aisle was packed with Christmas candy, chocolate, gift ideas, wrapping paper, decorations and Christmas clothing. I realized how many weekends were left (or better yet, how many pay cheques were left) before Christmas. Not many! With this being our first Christmas in the new house, I better get my butt in gear and start shopping.
So ladies, I am coming to the city to find some Christmas Spirit. Starbucks here I come! Three Venti Egg Nog Lattes, neat.

Rach XO

Tuesday

Cape Breton Chats

I grew up on Cape Breton Island.
This ladies and gentlemen, is how it all goes down.
 



Party Planning!

Thanking one of my very best friends (you know who you are) for a great day on the road! Girl talk, shopping, and party planning bring out the best in us! Oh, and with all the talk about Blogging, how could I not include you in my next post? Hehe.. Now to execute the perfect Wine & Cheese party to kick off the slow, cold winter ahead of us.

What's on the menu?

Stuffed Mushrooms with Bacon, Cheeses and Onion
Easy Creamy Artichoke Dip with Parmesan and Asiago
Cheesy BLT Dip with Veggies
Brie baked in pastry
Extra Old Cheddar
Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Dip
Marinated Greek Feta Skewers
Baked Goats Cheese with Bruschetta

Recipes soon to follow! :)

Saturday

Cheeseburger with Special Sauce Recipe


MAKE THE PERFECT PATTY

In a large bowl, mix together 1 LB GROUND BEEF with 1 PKG ONION SOUP MIX, a few splashes of W SAUCE, FRANKS HOT SAUCE, an EGG and a pinch of PEPPER. Add a handful of OATMEAL if you think the mixture is too wet.
*When making a patty, make sure it is as big as the bun you are using. Make it as thick as you want it, and stick your finger through the center of each patty. Creating a hole keeps the shape and thickness even during the cooking process.
FRY or BBQ the hamburger patty, melting sharp CHEDDAR CHEESE (and lots of it) on top for the last few minutes of cooking.

MAKING THE SPECIAL SAUCE

In a small mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients for the perfect sauce for your favourite burger... Homemade Big Mac Sauce!
1/2 cup MAYO or MIRACLE WHIP DRESSING, 2 TBSP MINCED ONION, 2 TBSP GREEN RELISH, 2 TBSP FRENCH DRESSING, 1 TBSP VINEGAR, 1 TBSP SUGAR, 1 PINCH OF SALT.
This sauce is even better if it sits in the fridge for a few hours before burger time, and it can keep for a week in the fridge in a sealed container.


Your burger can be piled high with two patties, three buns and a dill pickle like the classic BIG MAC, or kept simple. My all-time-must-have burger staple is French's French Fried Onions. 

Enjoy!