Essential Oils: They Do More Than Just Smell Good!

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essential oils

essential oils

Just a few years back, I only thought that essential oils were something that a massage therapist added to her massage oil so that it would smell better or I would see essential oils listed as one of the ingredients used in a reed diffuser to enhance the aroma in a room, but little did I know that essential oils had amazing healing properties!

I was introduced to doTERRA essential oils at a wellness event and for the first time, I learned that essential oils have the power to kill certain viruses and cancer cells, resolve minor health issues like burns, rashes, fevers, insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, minor muscle pain, and positively affect our mood.

At first, I wasn’t completely convinced that a natural substance could be as effective as the over-the-counter and prescribed medications I used over the years.  So I became my own test subject and put the oils to use!  Over time, I began using the oils for my occasional acne breakouts, insomnia, headaches, cramps, mosquito bites, a strange rash from a hiking trip, a cold, and a few other ailments.  To my surprise, the oils worked very well in treating my health issues and in some cases, the essential oils were doing a better job than some of the pills and creams I would normally use.  I realized that a healing intelligence exists in our plants, and extracting the oils from the various parts of plants, allows us to utilize the healing properties more effectively.

The most surprising thing I discovered about essential oils is that besides diffusing the oils into the air and applying the oils topically to my skin, I could also ingest the oils.  doTERRA oils are a therapeutic grade of oil meaning they are pure without being mixed with any fillers and the oils are tested for consistent quality and potency.   Now I was enjoying the subtle flavor of wild orange, lemon, or grapefruit essential oil in my water every day and I found out that the citrus oils contain a natural chemical called “d-Limonene” which is linked to the anti-tumoral properties of these oils so they may assist our bodies in preventing cancer.  This information was important to me as a breast cancer survivor since I’m always looking for holistic and natural ways to strengthen my immune system and support my cellular health to prevent a recurrence of cancer.

Essentials oils are now part of my everyday life.  Whether I need a boost of energy before my gym workout (peppermint oil does the trick!) or I’m rubbing majoram oil on my sore muscles because of its analgesic effects, I realized over time, that there’s usually an oil I can utilize for just about every health need of mine.

I’m such a believer of the oils that I became certified in doTERRA’s Aromatouch technique in 2013, which is a relaxing application of eight different essential oils on the meridians of the back, neck, scalp, and feet to address the following health concerns:

  • Stress
  • Weak Immunity
  • Sore Muscles
  • Inflammation
  • Imbalances of the Nervous System
  • Poor Circulation

Please come join me at our next class so you can learn more about the history and the healing properties of the oils, the effective uses of the oils, using essentials during and after cancer treatment, and how the Aromatouch technique can melt away any tension, aches, and pains, and help balance your body, mind, and spirit!

Terri Allen is the guest speaker at Circle of Hope’s Support Group on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015.

Jimmy Carnelli Headlining Santa Clarita’s 2012 Vine 2 Wine Classic

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An era gone by is coming back–entertainers the likes of Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, and Nat King Cole. These icons of music may be gone, but their music is very much alive and well with a new group of crooners such as Michael Bublé, Steve Tyrell, and Santa Clarita’s own Jimmy Carnelli. Close your eyes and listen, and you would swear you were listing to Frank Sinatra.

Jimmy Carnelli has worked in a variety of live, recorded and televised performances with artists such as Chuck Negron, Mike Pinera, John Forgerty, Kenny Nolan, Spencer Davis, Danny Gans, Wolfman Jack, Bobby Kimbal and the Los Angeles Raiders Big Band. Between the years of 1996 thru 2011, Jimmy was the drummer for legendary pianist Roger Williams where he enjoyed playing live with Roger’s traditional sextet as well as with over 40 symphonies across the United States. He was featured on Roger’s live recording of Pop Goes the Ivories released in 2000.

As a professional drummer, many who followed Jimmy were not aware of his singing talents until he stepped out from behind the drums.  He is now the lead man, taking center stage.

At the Vine 2 Wine Classic, Jimmy has enlisted his friends from the Roger Williams Band  – they’ll be getting back together to play from the Great American Song Book, featuring very special guests performing throughout the evening.  Jimmy’s eight piece band will take you back in time to a bygone era.  See Jimmy like you have never seen him before.  This will surely be an evening filled with unforgettable music!

The music alone would be worth the price of admission, to hear these world class musicians perform.  Don’t  be left out of this once in a lifetime event, tickets are limited. See Jimmy Carnelli and friends, Saturday August 18th at Vine 2 Wine Classic in Santa Clarita.

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Four Ideas for a Wine Tasting Party

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Having trouble waiting for the Vine 2 Wine Classic on August 18th?  Host your own wine tasting party!  Here are four types of wine tastings from our special guest columnist, Russ Briley.  Russ writes a lifestyle column on wine for the Ventura County Star.  He is owner and winemaker of Nuggucciet Cellars’ artisanal pinot noirs.  Nuggucciet Cellars will be pouring at this year’s Vine 2 Wine Classic.  For more information about the event, please visit

Tastings presented in four basic forms
by Russ Briley

If you are thinking about hosting a wine tasting, there are four basic types  of tastings you can organize.

They range from knowing what types of wine you are tasting and evaluating  them, to tastings where you are trying to figure out what you are drinking, the  vintage, and where the wine is from. These four basic types of wine tasting are  horizontal, vertical, blind and double blind.

In a horizontal wine tasting, you are tasting wines of the same vintage, but  from different wineries. From here you can decide if you want the wines to all  be the same varietal or a mix.

When I have a horizontal tasting, I like to select wines from a particular  region and compare their differences. For example, you could do a tasting of  Paso Robles zinfandels from 2007. The differences you will see from grapes grown  on the east side and west side of Paso Robles are astonishing.

The vertical tasting is one where all the wines are from a particular winery,  but are different vintages.

Here you can see the how the terroir (the growing environment) affects the  vineyard and the grapes it produces year to year. You also can see how age  changes wine in either a positive or negative way.

Now we come to the “fun tastings,” the first of which is called a blind  tasting.

Usually in a blind tasting you are tasting wines all from the same varietal,  which is revealed beforehand, but you do not know what region the wine is  from.

You might taste chardonnays and have to discern if the wine is from the Old  World or New World and why you think this.

In this particular example, a California chardonnay is usually completely  different from a French Burgundy.

There is a second type of blind tasting called the double-blind tasting. This  one is the ultimate in fun and difficulty.

In a double-blind tasting, bottles are usually wrapped in a bag and all are  of different varietals and vintages. When I do one of these tastings, we try to  figure out what the varietal is, the vintage (before or after a designated year)  and if it is Old World or New World.

When sommeliers gets tested on wine, they usually go through a blind tasting  or double-blind tasting. The surprising thing is that they usually are not  trying to guess what the wine is but eliminating what the wine is not, based on  many factors. What those factors are is another full article. At your next wine  party, try one of these tastings and have fun with it.

This column has been republished with permission from the Ventura County Star.

Food and Wine Pairings: Fish

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I love summer and fish. A ceviche appetizer, lobster from my grill, some wonderful friends and, of course, wine. Grilled lobster with melted butter, some brown rice, a fresh salad… Oh, did I forget to say wine? And maybe a piece of chocolate, and… What am I forgetting????? Oh yes, some wine.

What do I do? I choose different wines.

Ceviche is raw fish that is “cooked” in lemon and lime juice. So what complements this taste? I love to pair it with a Gewürztraminer – one that is really spicy. Others have recommended a “trocken” (dry, not sweet) Riesling. If a red is desired, a French Gamay Beaujolais or possibly a Napa Gamay Rouge would work well. And of course, a Brut Blanc de Blanc will always pair well.

Another fish appetizer that I have loved for as long as I can remember is shrimp. To me, shrimp with a Prosecco (a light-bodied wine, generally sparkling, from Veneto) is a wine and food pairing made in heaven.

Now on to the entree – lobster and butter scream out for a white burgundy, which happens to be the Chardonnay grape from the Burgundy region. A wonderful, big California Chardonnay is also a super choice. When choosing the California Chardonnay, choose one that has been aged in oak, not aged in stainless steel. I have a couple of favorites, but my advice is since this is lobster, don’t look for a cheap one.

Desert is something that I have always loved, and a simple piece of dark chocolate after this meal is a great way to top it off. For this edition, let’s pair it with a wonderful Port.

As you can see, different wines paired with different foods can make a wonderful (and maybe a romantic) evening.

If you have any wine and food pairing questions, I’d love to hear from you.

Steve Cravitz is the Assistant Director of Wine for the 2012 Vine 2 Wine Classic.  He can be reached at