Wellness Blog

HWNC strives to maintain information flow to those interested in improving health, needing special dietary information, and more. This page is dedicated to serving that need. Short articles on specific topics, emerging research results, recipes, wellness and stress management tips, and more will be found at this location.

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Room Diffuser Recipes

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:40 PM

Open Airways

5 drops of Eucalyptus Oil

4 drops of Lavender Oil

2 drops of Peppermint Oil

Purifying Room

1 drop of Tea Tree Oil

1 drop of Grapefruit Oil

10 drops of Lemon Oil

Headache Ease

3 drops of Lavender Oil

3 drops of Peppermint Oil

3 drops of Roman Chamomile Oil

Blues Relief

2 drops of Clove Oil

2 drops of Lemon Oil

3 drops of Sweet Orange Oil

Daily Balance

2 drops of Geranium Oil

2 drops of Rose Absolute Oil

2 drops of Clary Sage Oil

Mental Focus

3 drops of Eucalyptus Oil

2 drops of Peppermint Oil

2 drops of Tangerine Oil

Cheer Up Buttercup

1 drop of Lime Oil

1 drop of Grapefruit Oil

2 drops of Lemon Oil

6 drops of Tangerine Oil

Essentil oils for Arthritis

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:40 PM

Essential Oils for Arthritis Include:

Bay Leaf: Helps relieve the pain and inflammation.

Tea Tree: Helps relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis.

Lemon: Helps reduce inflammation of joints.

Cedarwood: Helps decongest the lymph system and improve poor circulation.

Frankincense: Helps relieve muscle aches and pain. Myrrh: Calms the spirit and relaxes the body to speed up the healing process.

Commonly Used Essential Oils

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:35 PM

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia): Antidepressant, appetite balancer.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum): Anxiety, mental fatigue, mild depression, indigestion, nausea, heartburn, stomach ache, poor circulation

Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica): Immune Support, stress, tension, anxiety, emotional exhaustion.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea): Relax and strengthen nervous system

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens): Poor circulation, immune support, general overall tonic, stress, anxiety, mild depression, hormonal imbalance

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Nervous exhaustion, mental fatigue, mental fog

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum): cell regenerative, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, indicated for bruises and swelling

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia): Adaptogenic, promotes relaxation

Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus): cleansing, antiviral, insect repellant, use for cleaning, antimicrobial

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata): calming, great for children (can combine with lavender), slightly more warming citrus aroma

Neroil (Citrus aurantium var. amara) relieves and reduces anxiety, antispasmodic, PMS, antidepressant, nourishing, postpartum depression, pregnancy/delivery

Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin): antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, soothes the nervous system

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Sluggishness, immune support, nervous stress, mild depression, shock.

Pine (Pinus sylvestris): Poor circulation, fatigue, immune support, adrenal support. (Pine may have a stimulating effect on the adrenal cortex; it can be a good essential oil choice for fatigue and nervous debility. It is energizing without being overly stimulating. It is used extensively with clients who are in adrenal burnout, who have chronic fatigue syndrome or are generally overstressed.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Good strengthening tonic for the whole body often used for clients who are tired, run down and may be helpful for exhaustion.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides): Poor circulation, immune support, nervous tension, mild depression, and mental exhaustion.

Clary Sage

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Clary Sage Oil

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research found that inhalation of clary sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36% and improved thyroid hormone levels (TSH). The study was done on 22 post-menopausal women in their 50’s, some of which were diagnosed with depression and at the end of trial the researchers stated that “clary sage oil had a statistically significant effect on lowering cortisol and had an anti-depressant effect improving mood”.

This is just one of the many studies proving clary sage oil benefits hormones. The biggest benefit of clary sage is that it helps balance out estrogen production in the body. Because clary sage helps balance out those estrogen levels, it’s an incredibly effective essential oil in a wide array of hormone imbalances.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata), the cananga tree, is a tropical tree originating in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines. The health benefits of Ylang-Ylang can be attributed to its properties that include an antidepressant, antiseborrhoeic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, nervine and sedative substance.

The chief components of the essential oil of ylang-ylang are benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate linalool, caryophyllene, geranyl acetate, methyl benzoate, p-cresyl methyl ether and other components known as Sesquiterpenes

WARNING: Do not use during the first trimester of pregnancy. While Ylang Ylang is regarded as safe for use later in pregnancy, early weeks are questionable.


Ylang-Ylang fights depression by relaxing both the body and mind; thereby driving away anxiety, sadness, and chronic stress. It is also an uplifting effect on mood and induces feelings of joy and hope. Because of its ability to act directly on the olfactory system of the brain, inhaling ylang ylang can have immediate, positive effects on your mood. Research shows it can help release negative emotions, including anger, low self-esteem and jealousy. This could explain why many people feel Ylang Ylang is energizing, useful for fighting fatigue, and even body aches. Excess stress or depression can manifest as those symptoms. Apply to your pressure points.


Seborrhea or Seborrheic eczema is caused due to malfunctioning sebaceous glands. This disorder results in irregular sebum production and the consequent infection of the epidermal cells. The appearance is unattractive and painful. The white or pale yellow skin, whether dry or greasy, peels off. This normally happens on the scalp, cheeks, eyebrows, and wherever else hair follicles are found. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil can be beneficial in improving the inflammatory situation, reducing the skin irritation and redness by regularizing sebum production and treating the infection itself.

Antiseptic: Ylang-Ylang can help to avoid both sepsis and tetanus by inhibiting microbial growth and disinfecting the wounds. This property of Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil protects your wounds from infections from bacteria, virus and fungus. It also helps to speed up the healing process.

Aphrodisiac: This can be very beneficial for those people who have lost interest in sex due to tremendous workload, professional stress, depression, or the effects of pollution. The loss of libido or frigidity is a growing problem in modern life. However, Ylang-ylang may be able to help you rekindle your sex drive.

Hypotensive: Ylang Ylang supports a healthy circulatory system. It is a very effective agent for lowering blood pressure. It’s considered one of the most helpful essential oils when partnered with lavender, clary sage, and frankincense for controlling blood pressure and preventing heart arrhythmia. Massage a single drop daily over the heart (combine with a carrier oil).

Sedative: This oil sedates or calms nervous afflictions, stress, anger and anxiety, while inducing a relaxed feeling. It is also beneficial in fighting insomnia. Try diffusing the oil in your home or massaging it into your skin to bring on stronger feelings of awareness, confidence, peace and self-love.

Nervine: Ylang-Ylang is a health booster for the nervous system. It strengthens the nervous system and repairs any damage it may have suffered. Furthermore, it also reduces stress on the nerves and protects them from developing a number of nervous disorders.

Skin Health Preserve:r A popular use for ylang ylang is applying to the skin in order to preserve a “youthful glow” and help prevent signs of aging or irritation. Ylang ylang has also been indicated in use to prevent skin cancer cells. Combine one to two drops with coconut or jojoba oil. Massage it into the face once or twice daily for protection.

PMS Remedy: Aromatherapy or massage with ylang ylang can be helpful for reducing PMS symptoms. To address PMS cramps, tension and stress, apply ylang ylang oil combined with lavender oil to the back of neck and lower abdomen. Natural

Hair Care Product: Try massaging ylang ylang into your scalp along with along with coconut oil or jojoba oil (or just add to your regular condition) to increase the appearance of healthy, shiny hair. It can also be helpful for preventing tangles and dandruff, while also working as a hair loss remedy for many people. Some research even shows this combination can kill head lice.

Diabetes:  Ylang ylang can help protect tissue and cells from damage, making it helpful to diabetics. Lowering the risk for nerve damage due to diabetes complications, allows ylang ylang to play an important role in diabetic health. Massage several drops into the reflex points of the feet.

No Bake Protein Energy Bites

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:20 PM

No Bake Protein Energy Bites– Makes about 20-25 balls

1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)

2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

1/2 cup nut butter

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)

1/4 cup honey or agave nectar 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls about 1" in diameter. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

High ProteinSnacks for Health

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:20 PM

High Protein Snacks for Health

Are you a prone to snacking? If so, don’t feel alone. National dietary surveys show 90% of adults, 83% of adolescents, and 97% of children snack daily. Make those snacks work toward improving your health! Many benefits have been found in choosing high protein snacks over other snacking options. Several studies show this choice in snacking increases satiety and may help in weight management. However, the benefits do not stop here.

Additional research shows connections between high-protein snacks and stabilized blood glucose. A protein based mid-morning snack has the ability to stop high/low drops in blood sugar between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner. This leads to better insulin response in the body and balanced energy throughout the day.

The American Journal of Hypertension reports a connection between protein intakes and high blood pressure. Research published in this journal shows people with higher over-all protein intakes also experience lower blood pressure. Making this yet another good reason to use snacking as an opportunity to boost your over-all daily protein.

Are you physically active or perhaps an athlete (weekend or otherwise)? Then the importance of protein is not news to you. Protein plays a vital role is muscle mass, strength, and endurance. High protein snacks and protein shakes after exertion is mainstay for a peak performance.

What types of snacks will provide the greatest benefit? That will depend on each individual and personal activity levels. However, here are some generalized suggestions. For those without lactose intolerance, Greek yogurt (17g), or cottage cheese (12g) provides a good protein boost. Nut butters (8g) when combined with a complex carbohydrate (cracker) can offer a healthy protein boost and extend energy.

A simple choice could be a small amount of nuts. Of course it should not be overlooked that a small piece of meat is also a good protein choice. If you are a non-meat eater then look to a small serving of beans or lentils. In a hurry and needing to keep it simple? Then choose a high protein bar. Many of these bars contain as much as 25g of protein. Please note: look at the labels on protein bars carefully. May also contain high amounts of sugar or sugar alcohols.

Let’s face it. We all snack at one time or another. The next time the urge strikes, reach for something high in protein rather than sugar or salt. The health benefits are greater and you will feel more satisfied!

Swaps for Egg Allergy

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Swaps for Egg Allergy

Egg allergies are on the rise. Typically, children under the age of 5 are more sensitive to the proteins found in egg whites. However, a continued sensitivity after age five may be an egg allergy. Many times it is the chicken feed causing the sensitivity (corn), but if you are suffering egg allergy it affects many foods beyond the egg itself.

Eggs are found in many prepackaged foods. Mayonnaise, “just add water” mixes, pizza dough, and some pasta are examples of hidden eggs. Other places are bagels that receive an egg wash, and breading found on fried foods. Sometimes eggs are used as a binding agent. Meatloaf, meatballs, lentil loaf and other similar foods all use egg as a binder to hold the finished item in a solid form. Unfortunately, many vegetarian packaged products (burgers, etc.) also use egg as a binder. If you are eating a plant based diet and have egg allergy look for products marked vegan. Vegan products do not contain eggs.

Eggs serve several purposes in recipes. These include leavening, binding, and providing structure or texture in finished products. There are several substitutes for eggs that will still produce a satisfying end result.

If you are not opposed to the added banana flavor, the one ripe banana can replace one egg. Best recipes to use bananas in are cookies, sweet breads, and cakes, especially pancakes. Roughly one ripe, mashed banana equals one egg. Bananas add moisture, which can increase the denseness of the cookie or cake.

One-quarter cup of applesauce can replace one egg. The best recipes in which to use applesauce are those that don't require significant structural support such as cookies or brownies. The end product will have a slight apple taste, be moist and airy. Applesauce is added with the other wet ingredients.

A personal favorite is the use of ground flax seeds to replace eggs. Mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with three tablespoons of water with a fork or whisk and let sit for 20 minutes. The mixture will turn gelatinous, with a texture similar to egg whites. Flax offers additional omega-3s along with binding, leavening, structure and texture in your finished products. If you are looing for an all-purpose substitute for eggs, then flaxseeds are a great choice.

Flourless Sweet Potato Brownies

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Sweet Potato Brownies (flourless)


1 cup mashed sweet potato

½ cup smooth nut butter of choice (almond or cashew butter work well)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ cup cocoa powder

Handful of semi-sweet chips (optional)


1) Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a small cake/loaf pan.

2) On the stove, melt nut butter with maple syrup.

3) In a large bowl add the mashed sweet potato, melted nut butter and maple syrup, and cocoa powder and mix well.

4) Fold in chocolate chips.

5) Pour mixture into greased 8x8” pan and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

6) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing and refrigerating. These brownies are best when cooled completely. Store in fridge or freezer

Instant Energy Boosters

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:10 PM

Instant energy boosters… Running low on energy? One or more of the following may help to boost those low dips in daily energy.

#1 Do you normally hit the snooze button? Instead try getting up right away and let the light revive your energy. Exposure to light signals your biological clock to make the switch from resting to being awake. Your brain stops producing sleep-inducing melatonin and releases stimulating hormones like cortisol and mood-boosting serotonin instead. Your body temperature also rises slightly, helping you feel more awake.

#2 Set aside a few minutes for morning physical activity. Exercise brings oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your muscles and brain, increasing alertness and response time, and spurs growth in the parts of your brain that control memory, multitasking and planning. One study showed that after one year 75 percent of morning exercisers were still sticking to their workouts as opposed to only 25 percent of evening exercisers.

#3 Get your vitamin D to improve more than bone health. Vitamin D deficiency impairs the production and secretion of insulin, the hormone that helps regulate our blood sugar levels. This is the fuel for muscles. In fact, new research shows that vitamin D deficiency is thought to contribute to both type 1 and type-2 diabetes.

#4 Take some deep breathes. For many the main cause of mental and physical exhaustion is stress. Stress impairs concentration, disrupts sleep and makes us more likely to get sick. Fortunately, we can quiet stress with simple, focused breathing. Close your eyes and concentrate on the sensation of your breath coming in and out of your body. Continue this mindful breathing for one to two minutes. MRI scans have shown that deep breathing also quiets the white noise in the brain, improving your concentration.

#5 The yoga breathing technique known as “the breath of fire” is a series of rapid, forceful exhalations that stimulates your sympathetic nervous system for an instant charge. Start in a seated position with your hands just above and below your bellybutton. Quickly contract your abs in and up, pushing your diaphragm toward the lungs and forcefully exhaling through your nose. Then let your stomach relax and inhale through your nose. Repeat 10 times, working up to three breaths per second for 60 seconds.

#6 Take a 10 minute cat nap! In a 2006 Australian study, participants who caught just 10 minutes of shut-eye reported immediate improved energy and thinking and reduced fatigue. These perks last for more than two and a half hours. Longer naps left participants feeling groggy for up to 30 minutes after waking, though eventually they had similar energy levels.

#7 A 2006 study from Japan showed that shinrin-yoku, or forest walking, a relaxation technique practiced in Japan for almost 30 years, significantly improves energy, friendliness and well-being, and decreases hostility and depression. These effects were felt immediately upon entering the woods, and the longer the study participants spent in the forest, the more energy and less hostility and depression they experienced.