To beat the winter gloom incorporate these whole body grapefruit recipes to lift your mood and spirits.
So, the new year came and went. Now we are left with full bellies, busy schedules, and gray skies. The month of January can be a tough time for some. While it signifies new beginnings and resolutions, it also launches you back into the work week without a break until Martin Luther King day. That is if you’re lucky.
A PR company actually declared that the most depressing day occurs in January called Blue Monday. This year the date was January 15, (Woo! we made it) and they’ve actually devised an equation to determine this most-depressng-date. The formula is complicated and involves lots of division and exponents so I’ll save you that headache. The date is determined by a few factors: weather, debt level, time since Christmas, and the time we’ve had to make and fail our resolutions. Doesn’t that just sound dispiriting? But don’t worry, the whole idea of Blue Monday was created without scientific backing. It is up to you whether you would like to participate in Blue Monday.
I don’t believe in this miraculous remarkable day of depression. I think it belittles the severity of an actual diagnosis of depression. What gets me down this time every year is Seasonal Affective Disorder. It leaves me tired, mopey, and just makes the world around me lack luster. But come Spring, Im jumping for joy at the change of the season.
So what do I do when January and February get me down? Look to food of course! Although it may seem cold and dreary and like no plant life could ever thrive, January and February are abundant in citrus produce. It is their season to shine so I take full advantage. I like snacking on clementines, slicing some lemons into hot tea, and throwing some orange slices in the dehydrator to make the house smell heavenly. But my favorite winter citrus is the grapefruit.
This citrus fruit is truly a super food. It’s chock full of vitamins and is rumored for its positive effects on overall health. So throughout January and February I like to switch up my routine and use grapefruit in multiple ways for my mind, body and beauty.
How I use Grapefruit
Body: Grapefruit Chia Parfait
This grapefruit and chia parfait is the perfect way to start your day on a high note. By roasting the grapefruit in fragrant coconut sugar the sour flavor of the fruit is balanced, and isn’t such an assault to your tongue. You could eat this plain but since I like overdoing it I dolloped some chia pudding and lemon flavored granola on top. I finish this concoction with a drizzle of maple syrup for some added sweetness.
Roasted Grapefruit and Chia Parfait
*makes 4 parfaits, with leftover coconut chia pudding, you’re welcome
- 1 can lite coconut milk
- 1/3 c chia seeds
- 2 T maple syrup, or to taste
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 2 grapefruits
- 2 coconut sugar
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- nondairy greek yogurt
Your first step is to make the coconut chia pudding. Mix together the coconut milk with the chia seeds, maple syrup ad vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously for about a minute to get your seeds activated. Let sit 6-8 hours. I just make this overnight.
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Halve your grapefruits. Using a sharp knife, slice around the membranes of each grapefruit segment.
I included a very crude digital image of a grapefruit which is really just a summation of shapes. But you want to cut around the lightest pink lines so that within each membrane you have a nugget of juicy grapefruit meat free to be scooped out by your spoon.
Mix the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over your grapefruit halves right before you’re ready to bake. Bake for about 12 minutes or until sugar is sizzling.
While your grapefruit is cooling take your chia pudding and give it a good stir. I like to add a little greek yogurt to bulk up the pudding. Then dollop some pudding on each half or layer it in a parfait glass. I like to then top it with some granola for a crunchy texture. Enjoy!
A Quick Note about Essential Oils
At the most basic level essential oils are highly concentrated natural oils found in plants. They have a strong fragrance and are chock full of the plant’s healing properties that it derives from. Many use them for aroma therapy and topical cures. However this should be done at your own risk.
Grapefruit oil is extracted through the peels of the grapefruit. The extracted aroma is very concentrated and has remained as my favorite of the citrus essential oils. Brands use different methods of extracting this oil so every brand has a different concentration. While one brand may have a super concentrated single drop of oil, other brands may require two drops to be as powerful.
If you are new to essential oils, I would always look for pure oils. Ones that state 100% pure on the label is what you want. They may seem pricey at first glance, but when they are highly concentrated you don’t need to add as many drops. Some brands do cut their oils with carrier oils to price them more affordably. Be careful with these oils as they may not be as diverse in their use as the 100% pure oils. You should always read the intended use for your individual oil since not all are created equal.
Mind: Oil diffuser
I started getting into essential oils when I noticed how fashionable they can be. In order to experience the benefits all day long you can purchase essential oil necklaces, bracelets, and even pins so you can #alwaysbeoilin. I was drawn to Mama Namaste on Etsy when I discovered the most charming minimalist jewelry using lava beads. You simply apply the oil to the bead and it absorbs into its craters. Just one drop lasts for about four hours. When worn as a necklace you get little whiffs of it throughout the day. What set this designer apart was her outstanding quality and artful composition. (Not sponsored by Mama Namaste but if she’s reading, I’d totally be down) I have made multiple purchases from this seller and recommend her to anyone getting in to oils. Some of her products even come with an oil sample. My first necklace came with a little vial of, you guessed it, grapefruit oil.
Obviously the best use for oils is your diffuser, but what’s neat about grapefruit is that it purifies the air and may have the power to kill airborne germs. Grapefruit oil is also popularized by its energizing smell and is rumored to alleviate symptoms of depression. I like combining it with equal parts orange and spearmint in my diffuser for a fresh and invigorating scent. Try this recipe in your diffuser!
Beauty: Body Butter
When I first started with grapefruit oil I applied it to my pulse points. (Radial artery and carotid artery (So wrist and neck, I’m not gonna pretend to be that educated)) It gives off a lovely perfumed scent without being overpowering. I noticed it also uplifted my mood as I went about my day whenever I got a sniff tease.
Once I found out how many benefits there are to this oil I wanted to find more ways to use it for the body. I found this lotion recipe that I whipped up on a whim with some ingredients I had at home. I first created it with my cellulite in mind (ladies I know you can relate) and noticed an actual change in my skin. It helped some of my stretch marks vanish and even reduced the appearance of the cellulite. I let my best friend borrow the jar amidst her pregnancy, and never got it back, and have received nonstop requests for another jar for months.
Other Fun Ways to Use it
Pinterest is full of tips on how to use grapefruit oils. Essential oiling is a very fun hobby and I encourage anyone to take it up. I use a range of different essential oils every day. Some of my favorites include Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Thieves, Frankincense and Cedar wood. They are an important part of my daily life and my mental well-being. Whenever I feel a wave of anxiety start to gain on me, I look to essential oils to bring me back to shore. I know anxiety is a life-long burden for some, but I encourage you to never stop trying different remedies to make every situation more enjoyable. Remember: inhale. exhale. oil up.
Here are some resources that inspired me to use grapefruit oil:
And here are some lovely quotes that help me when I’m feeling anxious: