Party Survival – Avoid the Bloat!

Is your stomach bloated?

Have you noticed that certain foods make your stomach feel bloated to the point that you feel like it might… explode?

Feeling bloated and uncomfortable at any time of the day or night is unpleasant. There are simple rules you can follow to reduce internal bloating.

Practical advice

  • Savour each mouthful! Try to chew each mouthful 20 times. This may seem zealous, but chewing triggers the production of digestive juices in the s tomach, facilitating digestion. Therefore, chewing more means less gas!
  • Separate solid foods from liquids! Ideally, you should only drink a small glass of liquid with your meal. Some people take a gulp of water to swallow their mouthful of food instead of adequately chewing it. After drinking, wait 10 to 20 minutes before eating, and after a meal, wa it 20 to 40 minutes before drinking again.
  • Take the time to sit down to eat! Take a deep breath before sitting down at the table to eat and try to relax when you eat instead of eating on the go. Most importantly, avoid eating while you work.
  • Vary your lunch choices! If you are prone to bloating, here is what you should avoid: sandwich + soft drink + coffee. Bread tends to promote bloating in people with a sensitive stomach, so, for a change, try a soup meal with rice cakes or raw vegetables with cheese.
  • Forget wheat for a few days! Do the test to see the difference. Try eating cereal other than wheat for breakfast such as oats, puffed rice, or millet or corn flakes. If pasta is a must, try spelt pasta, as it is easier to digest.
  • No more soft drinks! The gassy effect is definitely not advisable.
  • Eat cooked foods! If you have a sensitive stomach, choose cooked, hot foods over cold and raw foods, as they are easier to digest and are less likely to cause bloating. For ins tance, have vegetable soup instead of a cold salad.
  • Do not keep fruits for last! Finishing off your lunch with a fruit-flavoured yogurt or fresh fruit may seem like a healthy choice, but for many people, this is the cause of a stomach ache in the afternoon. Ideally, eat your fruit at breakfast or as a snack in the afternoon, long after you’ve had lunch.
  • Keep a good posture! Many people who bend over their plate as they eat later suffer from acid reflux and belching. Food will make its way to the digestive tract much more easily if your head is high and your shoulders are back.

Need an extra boost?

Try Molkosan! Molkosan is whey concentrate  that is rich in L-lactic acid. It is a source of calcium and potassium and promotes a healthy intestinal flora and gives the digestive tract a boost. It can be taken twice a day mixed in with water or juice.

Winter’s Blend – Aromatherapy for Prana (Life’s Breath)

Prana is an ancient Sanskrit word, meaning breath, considered as a life-giving force. The concept of the Divine Essence essential oils
Prana Winter’s Blend is to enhance the quality of our vital breathing ability, by helping to support and clear sinuses, lungs and all passageways, especially where there are issues of catarrh, phlegm, bronchial or sinus struggles, or to prevent or treat colds or flus. In a choice blend such as this one, all of the individual oils also contribute to and magnify a synergistic effect, meaning that the whole formula winds up being greater and more therapeutically effective than the sum of its parts. The Prana Blend, with its fresh and pleasant smell, is also wonderful diffused as a general indoors air freshener and deodorizer, or can be used to scent closets, laundry areas, or potpourri for a unique variation. All Divine Essence oils are considered artisan or therapeutic grade, and are thoroughly laboratory (chemo-type) tested for genuine 100% authenticity, purity, cleanliness, non-adulteration, careful production, and thus, full effectiveness for that particular variety.


The Prana Blend (AKA Winter’s Blend) consists of eight premium, certified organic HE450B-030 Prana Winter's Blendessential oils:

  • Eucalyptus Radiata (Eucalyptus radiata) – A softer Eucalyptus, sourced from South Africa, which especially supports the upper respiratory tract and sinuses, including as an anti-inflammatory, helping treat rhinitis or otitis. It is anti-catarrhal and mucolytic, meaning showing expectorant and fluidification properties, when needed to break up and help remove excess mucous. It is anti-infectious, helping treat acute and chronic respiratory infections and flus, and is also energizing against chronic fatigue, or to treat immune deficiency. The Peppermint in this blend enhances its penetration through all three skin layers and into the lungs, if used as a chest rub, along with a carrier oil. (Best carrier oils are Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Grapeseed, or similar plant oils, or in a pinch, most household cooking oils, including Coconut, will work.)


  • Rosemary Cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis cineoliferum) – The most popular Rosemary essential oil variety from Divine Essence, sourced from Morocco; rich, pungent and potent. Most essential oil companies use only the standard Camphor variety, (which DE also carries, along with a third type), but the scents are notably different. Although the properties are nearly identical, being sourced from different regions creates unique characters, much as with fine wines. The Cineole type is often preferred for treating respiratory or circulatory issues. Here in the Prana blend, it supports the immune system, and is very protective against oxidation and oils breakdown, which strengthens and synergizes the entire blend. Research confirms it as effectively antibacterial and antiviral, helping eradicate pathogenic bacteria or viruses, as with colds or flus. It is also helpful for treating digestive pain, muscle cramps or spasms, neuralgia, fatigue or memory issues, headaches, and migraines. Most researchers caution to avoid using Rosemary oil during pregnancy, especially in the first four months.


  • Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora, a.k.a. quinquenervia CT 1,8-cineole), also from Madagascar, has some properties similar to Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), as the Melaleuca genus name implies, but has a more subtle, sweeter scent; still pungent and deep, but not as cutting and intense. This tree, along with the Cajuput variety, can reach up to 35 m (100 ft) or taller, and the genuine oil is not easy to obtain. This leaf oil is used in aromatherapy for its expectorant properties, and helps relieve the symptoms of sinusitis, cough, bronchitis, and cold. It also has skin tonic, immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, among many others.


  • Fir Balsam (Abies balsamea) – Sourced right from Eastern Canada, this therapeutic oil provides the heartwarming, classic, pungent “Christmas Tree” scent. It has antibacterial qualities, and new studies are finding Fir Balsam may possibly be effective against both e. coli and staph. aureus, which could help heal pneumonia and other conditions; more research is needed. Fir Balsam has antitussive properties, meaning it will help relieve coughs and throat irritations. This is activated by inhaling the diffused or steamed oil. It is antiseptic, antiparasitic, and a cicatrizant, meaning it will help heal burns, wounds and cuts. It is also used in aromatherapy to help relieve joint and muscle pain associated with strains, sprains and rheumatoid arthritis.


  • Palmarosa (cymbopogon martinii var. motia) – A pleasant rose-like scent denotes this exotic oil from India, derived from the same Poaceae family that includes Citronella, Lemongrass and Vetiver. Thus, it helps enhance the overall scent profile and usability of the Prana Winter’s Blend. It shows anti-inflammatory and tonic properties, and can be mildly simulating to the immune system. It has been used to treat Cholera, and has anti-infectious, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, thus helping to treat and eliminate colds and flus in this blend. Palmarosa has a normalizing effect on the thyroid gland, and has markedly antifungal properties, making it useful against toenail fungus, candida or skin fungus conditions, and even head lice.


  • Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) – This Cinnamon-type (but quite different) plant variety from the leaf form, fair-trade sourced (as with all DE oils), from our growers and distillers in faraway Madagascar, is somewhat less skin-irritating than the similarly named Ravensara variety. It also has been shown to be particularly effective for respiratory or bronchial problems, in part due to its high 1,8 cineole content, a penetrating compound which helps ease breathing and has anti-inflammatory action. Ravintsara also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, easing colds and flus. In one researcher’s report of an unpublished study, it was used in an aloe vera gel “hand cream” with elementary-aged schoolchildren and dramatically reduced the absenteeism rate that season.


  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – This classic essential oil, sourced from Hungary, enhances the delightful scent of the Parana Winter’s Blend, and is sourced from Hungary. It acts as a catalyst for the other oils, especially enhancing skin penetration through all three layers of the dermis, as mentioned, for chest rubs. This is why you will notice, Peppermint or Menthol, a key isolated component sometimes synthetically derived, is used in nearly every pain relieving cream or oil. It also has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties on its own via different neural and receptor cell effects, as well as mild anesthetic properties. It product a cooling sensation on the skin by activating cold-sensitive receptors, without actually changing temperature, in the same way that capsaicin from chile peppers, causes a heating reaction. Peppermint also has antiviral, antispasmodic, decongestant, expectorant, digestive, and soothing neurotonic properties, among others.


  • Eucalyptus Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) – This more familiar, stronger-smelling Eucalyptus has many of the same properties
    of the Radiata variety, but is deeper-penetrating, and especially powerful in helping reach and treat lower and deeper respiratory tract infections, colds and flus. (Here, sourced from either Spain or South Africa.) It is classically used in a mixture with a carrier oil topically, applied to the front of the chest, which helps deliver the healing constituents via quick penetration through the skin into the lung tissues, but also via the inhalant aromatherapeutic properties. It is also anti-inflammatory, helping relieve pain and pressure in lung and bronchial swelling situations, as well as with joints or muscles.

Overall, these eight oils, carefully blended together, form a potent protective and treatment blend for various fall and winter maladies, best used either in a nebulizer or diffuser, or with head under a towel over a steaming bowl of hot water (shake in 10 to 25 drops as per strength desired), or applied topically with a carrier oil, as a chest rub.


From all of us at Organic Grocer and Divine Essence, Here’s to a healthy, happy Winter Season!

Holiday Recipes with Essential Oils

Remember when you are using essential oils, your choices make a difference – always choose essential oils that are ethically produced, environmentally clean, pure, 100% authentic, lab-tested, and organic as well as Health-Canada approved.  Lisa’s favourite line for therapeutic oils is Divine Essence, but for room scents Aromaforce is a great line!

Try this yummy room scent in one of our new room diffusers:

From Aromaforce:  Festive Scent

Organic Sweet Orange Pure  Essential Oil – 4 drops

Organic Mandarin Pure Essential Oil – 4 drops

Organic Cinnamon Pure  Essential Oil – 1 drop

Organic Balsam Fir Pure  Essential Oil – 3 drops

Organic Peppermint Pure  Essential Oil – 3 drops

Blend these all together, and roll the bottle between your hands to mix the oils (never shake).  Then use 2 – 5 drops in a room diffuser.


Lisa’s Favourite Yule-Time Blend:  diffuser

I never actually count my drops!  But here’s a basic recipe you can play with:

Pure Organic Essential Oil of Cinnamon Bark – 1 drop

Pure Organic Essential Oil of Nutmeg – 1 drop

Pure Organic Essential Oil of Vanilla (dark)- 1 drop

Pure Organic Essential Oil of Blood Orange – 5 drops

Blend these all together in a mixing bottle then roll the bottle between your hands to mix the oils (never shake).  Use 2 – 5 drops of this blend in a room diffuser or nebulizer.


HE450B-030 Prana Winter's BlendWant your house to smell like Christmas trees even though you don’t have a real one (yet)?  Try Divine Essence’s Prana Blend – which is a blend of respiratory essential oils, including Eucalyptus and Fir.  Heaven!!!


Happy Holidays everyone!

RECIPE: Energy Bites by A.Vogel


Makes about 20-25 balls – 1″ in diameter

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Stir all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly mixed.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.

Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Note: If the mix seems too dry, add in an extra tablespoon or two of honey or peanut butter or almond butter.  If the mix seems too wet, add extra oatmeal.

NEW PRODUCT – South of France Luxury Soaps

Besides smelling and feeling amazing there are a lot of reasons to love our new South of France line of bar and liquid soaps.

South of France triple-milled process results in a longer-lasting and moisturizing bar that enhances the transformational and luxurious experience of bathing with scent. Never tested on animals, their natural Bar and Liquid Hand Soaps are free of synthetic foaming agents like sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, as well as glutens, EDTA, parabens, and phthalates.

Non-GMO Project Verified for All 12 Bar Soaps


South of France was awarded Non-GMO certification recently for all 12 bar soaps. The verification is an assurance that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO avoidance, helping you make informed shopping decisions. To find out more, visit

Sustainable Palm Oil


South of France products have also been certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil. The RSPO was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through the use of a global standard that we and our suppliers fully support. For more information, please visit

Gluten Free

Celiac Sprue Association

The appearance of this seal on the South of France bar soap cartons and hand wash certifies the following:

That South of France Natural Body Care Bar Soaps adhere to the Celiac Sprue Association – CSA standards. Their bar soap is free of wheat, barley, rye, and common oats, their crosses and derivatives and products, processing and packaging; or that innovative products have been crafted to remove the gluten from the finished product. Verification testing must confirm no detectable gluten using the most appropriate analysis for the product. Visit CSA at or call toll-free 877 CSA-4-CSA.

Leaping Bunny


All products have been certified by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ Leaping Bunny Program. No animal testing is used in any phase of product development by South of France Natural Body Care, its laboratories or suppliers. For more information, please visit


Recycle and FSC Logos

The South of France packaging is fully recyclable. Their bottles are manufactured from a minimum of 30% post consumer waste and their cartons are Forest Stewardship Council certified. For more information on recycling symbols, please visit To learn more about the Forest Stewardship Council, please visit

Pumpkin Spiced Muffins

Bite into the fall season with these melt in your mouth muffins.
These baked treats are gluten-free and dairy-free, so almost everyone can enjoy!
  • ½ cup Alpha Red Palm Olein
  • 1 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1.5 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • Pinch cloves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tins or fill with muffin cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the oil, sugar and eggs until well blended. Add in the pumpkin and stir until everything is completely smooth. Stir in the water and vanilla.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Slowly add into the pumpkin mixture while stirring. Keep stirring until all of the flour is incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into the muffin tins so they are 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Thanks to Alpha Health for providing this healthy muffin alternative!

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