9.02.2015

Unusual Uses for Coconut Oil & Lavender Essential Oil

Hello everyone!

It's been a while! I hope your summer was a blast - it was for me. I spent the summer traveling to South Africa, New Orleans, and Israel. I also got a new job and am now the Director of Children & Family Ministries at a church here in Cincinnati. I'm going to seminary (online) in the fall. I'm running my second half-marathon in October. I'm really excited about all these new changes!

I've recently discovered a new love for coconut oil and essential oils. A couple friends of mine were raving about essential oils one night, and it pretty much changed how I felt about essential oils. I used to think people were just saying how much they loved them because they smelled good - and they definitely do smell good. But they also have a lot of healing properties that I am just now learning about. So I picked up a bottle of lavender and orange essential oils from Whole Foods and am now experimenting with them.

First, I made toothpaste. I read about making your own toothpaste a while ago on Pinterest, and thought it sounded like a good idea. Store-bought toothpaste is filled with stuff that is terrible for you and at something like $5 a tube, you can make your own for much cheaper. I already had everything I needed on hand so it didn't take me long to make.

Homemade Tooth Paste
6 T. coconut oil
6 T. baking soda
20 drops essential oil of choice (I used orange)
A dash of stevia (to sweeten it a bit - I used a vanilla liquid stevia)

Just mix it all together and voila! Throw it in a class jar and starting using your toothpaste. This batch will last you a long time. Depending on where you store your toothpaste, it will be thicker or more liquidy (since coconut oil is liquid at room temp.). I just dip my toothbrush in the jar, put some water on top and brush away. It will take a bit to adjust to the taste, and your toothpaste won't foam. But it is much healthier for you!

I also read that lavender oil is good for acne, so I mixed some coconut oil and lavender essential oil together to create an acne face mix. Just stir together, dip your finger in and rub a small amount all over your face. I haven't been using it long enough to note my results, but I did notice a decrease in the redness on my face in the morning after using it.

Finally, I read that lavender oil can strengthen your eyelashes and promote thicker eyelashes, so I added a drop of essential oil to my mascara. It also extends the life of your mascara. Who knew!

How do you like to use essential oils?

Happy almost fall!

3.18.2015

HIATUS & Green Tea

Friends. 

It's been a whirlwind of a year so far. Tons of exciting new things going on, and tons of new ways the Lord is stretching me and growing me. This is awesome, and it also means life is keeping me pretty busy. 

Unfortunately, that also means I don't have time to keep up with the blog right now.

So, PD will be taking a a hiatus. I'm not entirely sure how long it will last, but I don't plan on closing the blog at this point. We will simply be taking a break for an unknown amount of time. 

With that being said, I have a couple final things to wrap up before I leave. I recently partnered with PB&Co. for their Mystery Ingredient Challenge - and I was sent some matcha green tea powder and peanut butter to develop a recipe. 

My attempt is below (I tried multiple recipes and was unsuccessful...whoops)...enjoy.


My original idea was to make matcha green tea croissants. I made the dough and then left to go somewhere and didn't return until late, so the dough was dry and unusable. Bummer :( So next I tried to make a pound cake with a matcha green tea swirl. Unfortunately, the recipe I used turned out pretty bad and kinda like play dough.


It definitely looked pretty though, no matter how bad it tasted!  Regardless of how it turned out, I encourage you to grab some PB&Co. peanut butter and a bag of matcha green tea and experiment on your own. There were other bloggers who had success with this challenge, and their recipes turned out wonderfully!

Also, I recently had a guest blog typed up and haven't had a chance to post it yet! The post will be going live this SATURDAY and will also be my final blog post for a while.

Finally, thank you to Cocozia for agreeing to support me with half-marathon training. I actually haven't been keeping up with training (whoops) and am not entirely sure if I will still be running the Flying Pig Half in May. We will see what happens...maybe I'll walk it? :) But, if you are ever looking for some high quality, organic coconut water, I highly recommend trying Cocozia. Good stuff. 



I think that's all for now. Sad news, but I know it's for the best. Thanks for those of you who have stuck around over the past 4 years and supported PD through all of the changes we have undergone. I've learned a lot, created a lot of new relationships with companies and organizations, and have definitely enjoyed the ride. 

Here's to the future. See you later!

1.19.2015

Half Inspired | Week 2

Pssst! Don't forget to enter our GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to HALF INSPIRED! Do you like our new series banner (and the name)?! 

The idea for the new is pretty simple - I was inspired to run a half :) Pretty straightforward, right? 

I just completed week TWO of training. It went pretty well and I definitely pushed myself. Here was the schedule for this week (a mix of a couple different schedules):
M: 2 miles & 20 min. strength (I did abs)
T: 30 min. strength & legs/booty workout
W: 30 min. cross training (I did the stairmill)
TH: 2 miles & kettlebell workout
F: Abs & Arms toning
SAT: 4 miles with #RunCR
SUN: Rest

I am combining my running with the toning workouts from TIU's Love Your Body series. This week's workouts can be found HERE if you want to join! 

Let me tell ya. Those four miles on Saturday were ROUGH. Here is a look at my Polar HR watch after Saturday's run. I highly recommend getting a HR watch like this so you can monitor you HR and keep track of the calories you are burning!


As you can see, I'm a slow runner. My calves cramp up a lot and during the first 2 miles I had to stop and stretch them pretty frequently (I think I need to start foam rolling more often...). But luckily I was running with a training group, RunCR, and I stumbled upon a group of people running my pace towards the 3 mile marker. They were awesome and I wanted to keep talking to them, so I pushed myself to keep running. 

And I felt great afterwards. 

So this week, I encourage you new runners out there to RUN WITH COMMUNITY. It's more fun & you can encourage each other to keep going!


That quote is SO true! When you help someone else, you are also helping yourself. So get out there, find a fitness community & start encouraging!

This week, I also want to introduce you to one of our sponsors: Cocozia. 

Cocozia reached out to me to review their chocolate coconut water, since I had previously reviewed their original flavor (click here to read the post!). I tried the chocolate Cocozia & loved it so much, that Cocozia agreed to be a sponsor for the series! 

Coconut water is a GREAT drink for workout recovery (an alternative to Gatorade, etc). Mostly because it has potassium. A LOT of potassium. 470mg, to be exact, which is more than a banana & 15 times more than you will find in your typical sports drink. Potassium helps ease muscle pain after a workout and helps maintain fluid balance in your body.

Coconut water is also naturally low in calories, has more sodium than most sports drinks and is filled with electrolytes. Chocolate Cocozia is no different. I love that this flavor is less like chocolate milk and more like chocolate flavored coconut water. Zico, another popular coconut water company, has a chocolate variety as well - and it's good, but its heavy and more like a treat. Which is why I prefer Cocozia :)

I encourage you to replenish your body after a run by drinking some coconut water! You can mix it in a smoothie, shake it up with protein powder, or drink it chilled, by itself. It's good & healthy no matter how you drink it!

Next week, I'm sharing some of my favorite health & fitness companies. Looking forward to it! See you next week!

1.13.2015

Half Inspired | Week 1

Hello again, loves! Hope everyone is sticking to their New Year resolutions :)

(Pssst - Have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet?!)

My main resolution is to run a half marathon - and so far, I've been sticking to my training plan. Probably because I'm only in the beginning stages, let's be serious. 

For me to stick to the plan, I'm taking some action steps for added accountability.

I'm starting a weekly training series. The title of the series is to be determined - but I think it's gonna be GREAT. And I'm inviting you to follow me on this journey! Every week, I will show you how I trained (and whether or not I stuck to the plan!). PLUS.... I have some other exciting this in the works for this 4 month series, including:
Favorite Workout Gear
Toning Moves
Health & Fitness Business Spotlights (from fellow women! #TIUGirlBoss)
Giveaways
Recipes
& more! 

I'm also hoping to partner with a few businesses - so if you are a company and would like to partner with me, please EMAIL ME! 

I am using the following half marathon training plan. Are you using it as well, or have you used it in the past? Let me know how you like(d) it!


Click HERE to download the plan!

I am currently in the midst of week 2. Week 1 went well, and I did everything as noted! I am also doing the six week Love Your Body Challenge over at Tone It Up, so I'm essentially doing two separate training programs at the same time. I'm also a member of their nutrition plan. My trainers, Karena & Katrina, are SUCH a HUGE motivator for me! Especially Katrina.


More on that later :)


This is the half marathon I am training for. It is on May 3rd, 2015, at 6:30AM (yikes!).

To continue to help me stick to the training plan (obviously I need a lot of motivation!), I am buying myself a reward for each week of training I complete. I have a list of various rewards, ranging from inexpensive to expensive (I increased the price the closer I get to the race!). I'll share those with you each week as well. Last week I started with a BIG reward and got a Polar Heart Rate watch! OMG I love it!


It tracks your heart rate and tells you an accurate calorie burn. I love to take this thing running, but I also wear it when I'm doing toning moves or lifting weights. I had no idea how many calories I was burning until I got this thing. So AWESOME.

Finally... some pictures from previous runs. Mostly so I (and you) can see where I've been, which will motivate towards where I'm going!

Me at a 5k sometime in 2012. 

Me at my FIRST 10k - the Flying Pig 10k, May 2014. I never thought I would be able to do a 10k, let alone a half marathon! See the blog post here.

Okay. That's all for now. More to come at the end of this week! 
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1.06.2015

No-Bake Protein Bites | GIVEAWAY

Hello, loves! Today I have a new and DELICIOUS recipe for you. Featuring some of my favorite protein powder. 

But first, I want to invite you to join me on a SIX WEEK fitness challenge to LOVE YOUR BODY, from now until Valentine's Day. 

That's right. I'm encouraging all the ladies out there to head to Tone It Up (TIU)and sign up for the LOVE YOUR BODY 2015 Challenge. I'm doing it, and so are thousands of other women! The community you will be a part of (should you choose to accept my challenge) is phenomenal. Super encouraging, motivating, and supportive no matter WHERE you are in your health journey! I've been a member of the TIU since 2012 but am only just now taking it seriously. I want you to do it with me <3

Now, on to the recipe. 

If you are craving something sweet but would rather have a healthy alternative, I HIGHLY suggest these No-Bake Protein Bites. SO GOOD. 


There are perfect size and provide a quick fix for your sugar cravings! They are also packed with protein from both peanut butter and protein powder, so they are the perfect pre or post-workout snack.


No-Bake Protein Bites
1 cup quick cook oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 scoop protein powder of choice (I recommend TIU's Perfect Fit Chocolate)
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Handful of chocolate chips or carob chips (optional)

Mix everything together in a bowl & then roll dough into small balls. You can make them as large or small as you like - mine were probably a tablespoon worth of dough (or a little less). I store mine in the fridge!

Yum. Enjoy!

To make this a little bit sweeter (and to celebrate PD.net's FOURTH birthday), we are having a SIX WEEK giveaway.

That's right. You have 6 weeks to enter this giveaway, from now until Valentine's Day. 

The winner will receive a box of 20 packets of PF protein Chocolate!

There are 3 ways you can enter. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW FOR EACH ENTRY PLEASE!

1. Follow Passing Daisies on Instagram @passingdaisiesblog. If you are participating in the LYB Challenge, you can follow my TIU account @tiurachael09 instead :)

2. Tell me one reason why you love your body!

3. Share this on PINTEREST & tag PassingDaisies
OR
Share this on INSTAGRAM and tag @passingdaisiesblog & @tiurachael09.
(You can do this EVERY DAY for DAILY entries if you want!)

Giveaway ENDS on Valentine's Day, 2015!

Happy New Year, loves!