Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New: Salves available for summer bug bites & muscle soreness

     A. Summer is in full swing and so are the mosquitos. And wasps! And gnats! And chiggers!

     B. With the long summer days, maybe you’re playing softball or tennis or spending hours nurturing your garden and your aching muscles need relief.

We’ve got salves to help with A and B!

Welcome Harvest, the maker of the popular Hélan, also makes these products.

Rub Plantain Salve on insect bites and stings. This salve is perfect for summer with all the itchy bug bites we’re bound to get. It works fast, is not scented and is also great for drawing out slivers and infections. Plantain Salve contains plantain extract in extra virgin olive oil and beeswax. A natural alternative to other over-the-counter products, such as Calamine lotion, Plantain Salve reduces the itch of bug bites. My kids love this stuff. I put it on their many mosquito and chigger bites and they forgot the bites were even there.

Use All Sport Salve for sore and tight muscles. This salve contains nettles extract in extra virgin olive oil with cayenne, essential oils and beeswax. It has a mild spicy cayenne scent. Rub All Sport Salve liberally and deeply into sore muscles to relieve tightness and pain. After miles of hiking, my poor calf muscles were soothed by the All Sport Salve. Sports enthusiasts and gardeners could greatly benefit from this salve.

In addition to these salves, there’s the tried and true multipurpose first aid cream, Hélan. This non-toxic herbal remedy is made with a variety of plant extracts and beeswax. Use Hélan to reduce infection, inflammation, itch, and more.

All of these salves use simple, natural ingredients including our very own beeswax. Stop by the store this summer and check them out!

By Amber D. Stoner

Friday, July 1, 2016

Energy Drinks & Gel Recipes

Runners and other athletes expend lots of energy and electrolytes during their runs. They often turn to energy drinks and/or energy gels to refuel and replenish carbohydrates, sodium, potassium and fluids. While energy drinks and gels are available in stores, they often include unnecessary ingredients and produce plastic bottle waste and packaging.

Great news! You can make energy drinks and gels at home with just a few simple ingredients. These recipes are quick, easy, and they include honey! Why honey? Because honey provides the essential carbohydrate boost athletes need to keep going.

Mike Stoner, a runner in Eden Prairie, made the following two recipes by aiming for the 2:1 sodium to potassium ratio common to sports drinks and gels you can purchase at a store. Sea salt is the sodium source, while molasses provides potassium. The honey supplies the carbs and the sweet flavor.

Mike’s Energy Gel
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon molasses

Stir together and put into your preferred container. We use GoToob travel bottles because they are small, reusable and made of flexible, but strong silicone. And the “no-drip” valve keeps the cap and your hands sticky-free.

Mike’s Energy Drink
½ cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon molasses
12 ounces water

Stir together all ingredients. Viola!

Due to the amount of sodium in each, it’s recommended to either drink water and use the gel or just use the energy drink. If you use both, be sure to drink enough water so you don’t consume too much sodium.

Another runner, Erin Strot of Eden Prairie, found an electrolyte energy drink from Everyday Roots online that works well for her.

Bright ‘n Early
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup orange juice
3 cups water (recipe calls for 1½-2 cups water for a more concentrated drink)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons honey

Stir together all ingredients.

Erin has used this recipe and the gel recipe for six half-marathons. Running with a fuel belt, Erin fuels up when needed, doesn’t have to stop at each water stop, and doesn’t produce any waste from plastic bottles or gel packets. She started making her own energy drinks and gels as a way to save money. Also, she prefers to know exactly what she’s putting into her body, especially when she’s training and running hard.

Honey is an excellent source of carbohydrate energy and it makes these recipes taste great while fueling your body. Good luck to all the runners out there!

By Amber D. Stoner