At the start of a new year, many are refreshing their goals of being more active or improving their diet. If these are your goals, we would like to show you how essential oils can help you achieve them. The information below is a compilation from the new sections, “Essential Living for a Balanced, Healthy Life,” “Nutrition and Essential Oils,” and “Exercise and Essential Oils,” found in the 7th edition of Modern Essentials.
Modern research is finding that food may be the most basic of preventative medicines. There is no magic concoction that will guarantee that you get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs. Eating properly is the easiest way to control your health and ensure that your body is provided with all the nutrients it needs.
Developing a healthy diet depends on daily consistency. Following the below guidelines will provide a solid foundation to a healthy diet that will quickly become second nature.
1. Adequacy: Getting enough of what you need.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are 3 necessary nutrients that provide fuel for the body. The other 3 nutrients—vitamins, minerals, and water—are chemicals used by the body to convert carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy.
Sufficient amounts of water are needed to regulate the body’s chemical processes, excrete waste as urine, control body temperature through sweat, and humidify the air we breathe. Eating a nutritionally-dense diet is the easiest way to guarantee the consumption of needed nutrients in adequate amounts. Fresh foods, rather than process foods, are more likely to provide the proper amounts of nutrients needed by the body.
2. Balance: Getting the right amount of what you need.
Cells need the right balance of nutrients to thrive. Too much of a nutrient or too little of a nutrient can cause disease. Eating nutritious foods is the best way to ensure you that you are harvesting all your needed nutrients from your diet. Nutrition supplements are meant to supplement good eating, not replace it. Fad diets, that list main food groups to avoid, will not help and will probably do more damage than good. The more restricted a diet is, the more likely a diet will be nutritionally deficient. If you are following a diet, you will need to plan a little more carefully to ensure you are still getting all the basic nutrients.
3. Calorie Control: Getting the right amount of energy.
Energy intake is directly associated with energy expenditure. Active adults, growing teenagers, and pregnant women require different calorie consumption than the average adult. The most effective way to control calorie consumption is by spreading out food intake over the whole day. Eating small, nutrient balanced meals throughout the day will help maintain a level energy state and avoid excessive hunger.
4. Nutritional Density: Getting the most from your calories.
In general, the more processed a food is, the less nutritionally dense it is. We are bombarded with nutritionally weak food choices that will fill us up but leave us deficient in many needed vitamins and minerals. When trying to determine which foods are nutritionally dense, remember that real foods, like fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans, will provide more nutrition that processed foods, like potato chips, fruit juices, and white bread.
5. Moderation: Getting just enough—not too much.
Eat an assortment of grains, vegetables, fruits, protein foods, and dairy. Most people will not have a hard time eating moderate amounts of these basic food groups. However, foods rich in salt, sugar, and fat should be eaten moderately. Some suggest that if you crave sweets or processed foods, you can eat 100 calories of it without doing damage to your body. Eating just a little can help you satisfy your craving and move on.
6. Variety: Getting nutrients—not bored.
A monotonous diet is likely to produce deficiencies in certain food groups and even certain nutrients. Trying new foods and recipes is an exciting and enjoyable way to add variety to your diet.
A strong argument can be made that regular, sustained exercise is even more important to maintaining a healthy body weight than just limiting the number of calories we consume. In addition to contributing to overall health, regular exercise can help increase energy, build muscle, promote healthy body weight, enhance cardiovascular health, increase flexibility, and contribute to better mental and emotional health.
Essential oils can support the body and mind in many different ways to help enhance success during exercise. Modern Essentials contains more information about the many ways exercise can support the body and some of the many ways essential oils can help support the body before, during, and after physical activity.
1. Regular: Building Habits
A study showed that people who binge exercised throughout their life only had a slightly lower chance of heart disease than people who didn’t exercise at all. On the other hand, it is estimated that those living a sedentary lifestyle have approximately twice the risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who exercise regularly.
3. Variety: Building an Active Lifestyle.
It is important to change up your exercise activities so you don’t get bored. Find things you enjoy doing, and do something different every day.
When making exercise and nutrition goals this year, try utilizing these principles so you can keep your goals.
For example, let’s say your desire is to increase your physical activity, and you determine that your goal is to exercise 6 days a week for 30 minutes. Your first step may be to wake up at 6:30 am. One barrier to this step may be that you have a hard time waking up that early. Maybe you can’t wake up in the morning because you have a hard time falling asleep at night. Maybe you are too anxious at nights or you have a hard time breathing or you just need something to help you relax. Once you determine the reason, you can look in Modern Essentials for some essential oils to try.
Here is a worksheet you can use to help you set your goal, determine your steps, and figure out the barriers and how you can overcome them. You can also use this paper to hold yourself accountable and track the results of your success.
Last Wednesday morning, we taught a class at the AromaTools building in Pleasant Grove, UT, on this topic. We want to share the class with you so that you can learn and then be able to hold a class of your own to share this information with others.
In preparation for this class, do the following:
When teaching this class, do the following:
Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, pp. 66–74; 78–80
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Spanish sage, also known as sage lavender (Salvia lavandulifolia), is steam distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant. It belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family. The aroma is herbaceous and camphorous (with camphor as a primary chemical constituent), with a subtle lavender undertone.
Guaiacwood (Bulnesia sarmientoi)—pronounced GWHY-ack-wood—is steam distilled from the heartwood of the plant. It belongs to the Zygophyllaceae botanical family and is native to parts of South America. The aroma is woodsy with a subtle smoky-sweetness reminiscent of sandalwood. Its properties are...
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