Essential Oil Travel Checklist + More

Since I am traveling, I decided to make a “Cheat Sheet” for the most needed essential oils when traveling. I don’t want to bring a ton, as I will only be gone a week, but I also wanted a cheat sheet to take with me so I know what my go-to oil is when traveling. I have only included the few oils that I feel will come in handy when traveling. However, I am open to taking another oil or 2 if anyone recommends more! I will be in Costa Rica, near the jungle, with lots of sun. Because of those factors, I have chosen the below oils.


Lavender – The “Swiss Army Knife of oils”

Anxiety, Sun burn, calming, helps with sleep, insect bites/bee stings, bruising, stress, poison ivy, Typhoid Fever, fights infection, relaxes muscles, headaches


Sunburn, alertness, ANY type of stomach issue, headaches, sinuses, congestion, bruises, bug bites… also great to apply as a “finisher” after applying other oils, as peppermint drives deep into the skin


Solely bringing this for food poisoning & digestive issues! Oregano is also good.


Supports immune system & protects from bacterial infections, colds, overall sickness


Cuts, Scrapes, Infections, Sun burn… any type of skin issue

Deep Blue

Any type of muscle pain or ache, restless legs, bruises, headaches, burns (mainly using for inflammation/sore knee)

Other oils to consider taking when traveling for specific symptoms:

Anxiety (flying, traveling)

Onset of any sickness/immune system

Stomach issues – pepperment, digestzen

Frankincense – overall healing, coughing, bug bites, stress, immune system, arthritis

Other items to consider when traveling:

Earl grey tea – for sunburns!!!

baby wipes – for all those times you can’t get a shower in or have immediate access to clean water


Bug spray

coconut oil – great for hair, moisturizing, mixing with your oils, etc.

This is just a basic list – I could probably expand, but I will only be gone for a week. I will update after my trip as well as when I go on my longer trips. Does anyone else have recommendations on essentials to bring while traveling? Any other travel tips?


Since I have started on this spiritual journey the past few years, I have always felt like I have had this block. Like I am meant for greatness, meant to do something big, but I don’t know HOW. And I used to blame situations, other people, my past for my current life. Then I learned that I am responsible for my life, no one else. Just because I don’t make that much money, haven’t traveled the world, or found my passion in life doesn’t mean I can blame my past, or other people, for getting me here. I am responsible. Every day I wake up, I decide who I am. Who I am going to be. Who I want to be. It can be terrifying, especially if you don’t know what you want. Or even worse, trusting yourself to become the best you can be.

With my recent surgery, I had been faced with pain, physical limitations and fears. Pain from the holes drilled in my bones, limited to laying on my back and not being able to bend my knee for a week straight, not being able walk, rehabilitating, and fear that my body would not heal the way it should. I put my trust in my doctor, my physical therapists, medicine – to make sure that I would have a successful surgery and be back 100% by the end of the year, if not sooner. And then I remembered – what about me? Why am I putting all of my trust in other people, other things, to help heal me? Of course I needed to trust them to a certain extent… but I also didn’t trust myself. I was setting myself up for failure, not trusting my body to heal well on its own and using other people/things as a excuse in case something went wrong.

All of my life, especially after college, I lost faith in my body. I had anxiety, stomach problems, was exhausted, and couldn’t think. I always assumed there was something wrong with me, with how my body functioned. I tried everything, acupuncture, natural medicine, essential oils, doctors… I still had problems. Why wasn’t anything helping? Was it the food I was eating? Was I over exercising? Was it candida? Parasites? Allergies? Why can’t my body function right?? Recently, someone said to me: Nina, what if there isn’t anything wrong? All of these things you have tried to “fix yourself”, your body doesn’t need them? And then it hit me – I have always been putting myself down, never trusting my body to heal itself. I was blaming my body for not doing its job, when in fact, I had been in control of it all along. I was my own bully, and my thoughts were the root of the problem.

So I decided. I decided that I was going to take responsibility for my healing. I was going to be positive, trust my body to heal and love every minute of this painful surgery. Because if I didn’t, who would?

After my surgery, I had thoughts flood in – what if you got an infection? What if your body rejects the graft? What if, what if, what if? And i stopped them. I began saying nice things to myself. I started thanking my body for healing, for being so strong. I was grateful. My boyfriend thought I was crazy – I would sit and talk to my knee, telling it how wonderful it was and how I loved it for healing so quickly. And I felt amazing. Every time I had a negative thought or found myself dwelling on something negative, I replaced those thoughts with what I was grateful for. And guess what – it worked. My knee is healing, there was no infection, I was able to walk without crutches after 2 weeks, walk with no limp after 3.5 weeks… My swelling has decreased in my knee to the point where I can bend my knee to 138 degrees already… Incredible! And I am proud. I am so proud of my body, of myself, because I was able to take control of this seemingly terrible situation and turn it into a positive moment in my life.

I have not complained once since my surgery – I have taken control of my thoughts, which aren’t just helping my recovery – they are also affecting my life. I look at people, situations, almost everything with such a different perspective. I am in love – with how easily my thoughts can change, and how I can shape my day with just one simple switch in perspective. I am in love with this experience of rehabilitation, because without it, I wouldn’t be able to reach my goal of running another half marathon in less than a year. I am in love with how I can take control of my thoughts and my life, instead of putting the blame on other people.

Stepping back, I now see how this one experience has been such a huge stepping stone in clearing this “block” in my life. And who would have thought – that block was me.

So to anyone and everyone reading this – what is your block? Is it your thoughts? Yourself? Have you been blaming others for what has happened in your life or for the way things have turned out? I challenge you to take a step back – take a deep look at yourself, evaluate your thoughts – and don’t forget to tell yourself how wonderful you are today.


-My mother

ACL Surgery

Hi all! Since I found out about my ACL surgery, I have been reading up on what to expect ( & ACL Recovery FB groups have been amazing resources!), talking with friends who have undergone the same surgery and gathering as much information as possible. I want my recovery time to be miraculously fast, so I have been preparing my body the best that I can before going under the knife. I have been eating strict paleo and using essential oils to help aid & prepare my body for the surgery – you do not have to do this, but I highly recommend doing your own research to help prepare yourself before undergoing any type of surgery. Below are lists of Surgery Prep for what to expect, nutrition, using oils, questions to ask your surgeon, insurance and what to prepare for and expect 1 month leading up to surgery all the way through 1 week post surgery. I will be updating this as much as I can as soon as I go in for surgery and making any changes afterwards to add anything I missed. ACL  ACL2 1 Month Before:
  • Began drinking homemade bone broth (grass fed) on a daily basis – I drank 1 quart a day. This is packed full of minerals & nutrients, heals your gut and strengthens your immune system.
2 weeks before:
  • Stock up on movies & books!
  • 1-2 aromatouch massages a week – this is supposed to help prepare your body for the trauma it is going to go through! (My mom is certified, so she did this for me 1x week about a month before my surgery)
  • Tie up loose ends with insurance
    • Coverage on you brace, crutches, ice machine, physical therapy, surgery fee, anesthesiology fee, doctors fee, surgery recovery room fee, MRI, etc
1 Week before:
  • Begin adding a few drops of lemon/lemon oil to your water – this will help cleanse and detox your body in preparation for the surgery
  • Apply a flu oil blend to the bottoms of your feet (before bed) – to help with toxic protection
  • Schedule your 1st physical therapy session (within 4-7 days post surgery)
2 Days Before:
  • Apply a flu oil blend, Frankincense & basil to your knee (or wherever you are having surgery). This will help reduce inflammation in the area, protecting against toxins and bacteria or MRSA.
Day Before Surgery:
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery, including gum & mints
  • Meal prep/stock up on groceries (if you live alone, don’t have someone to help you around the clock or have a special diet). I heard Pineapple & Tumeric are great for inflammation! (not necessarily together)
  • Stock up on Ice for your ice machine – this is extremely important, as you will be changing out the ice in your ice machine every few hours for the next week or so. [Edit: My PT said to freeze small water bottles and use with a little bit of water instead of ice – this eliminates the need to constantly be changing out the ice all the time/having to store so much ice in your freezer.]
Day of Surgery:
  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes
  • Bring a small bag to put your insurance cards, photo ID & pain prescription in – this will be helpful to whoever is going to be picking up your prescription post-surgery

Arrival at Surgery Center:
  • Park in rear of building at “Surgery Patient” Parking and enter at the circle drive. The Surgery Institute is on the right when you walk in (These were instructions for where I was getting surgery)
  • Register at front desk with insurance card & photo ID
  • Fill out paperwork & consent forms
  • Meet with nurse & begin health assessment (if necessary – I had my doctor send over my most recent physical, so there was no need for this)
  • Change into gown & slippers
  • Meet with anesthesiologist/physiologist
  • Have nerve block administered (all of my friends that have gotten their ACL repaired said this is a MUST)
  • Chat with Doctor before going under anesthesia
  • Diffuse Frankincense and a flu oil blend in the room.  If they are do not allow (mine did not), make a small spritzer with a few drops of each and 2-3 tablespoons of water and spay your bed and area with the mixture. This will help kill bacteria/germs during/after your surgery.
  • Wake up in recovery room – plan to stay for 1-1.5 hours
  • Pick up prescription for pain medicine
  • Figure out a way to get up the stairs to your apartment that is on the second floor
Arriving home after the surgery:
  • Set up Ice machine
  • Depending on whether or not you got the nerve block/you begin to experience pain, take your pain medicine
  • Apply Cypress and Basil to the area of surgery. This will increase blood flow and circulation to the area, aiding healing.  If there is any excessive bleeding, you can apply Geranium or Helichrysum instead.
  • (If you can’t get to the (surgery area) because of cast, bandage, etc., rub on the opposite arm, leg, knee, etc. and the (injured area) will receive 65% of the benefit. This is called Sympathetic Response. The body understands where the essential oil is needed and will send the recovering (surgery area) what’s needed).
  • Diffuse Frankincense and a flu oil blend in the room several times per day.  If you do not have a diffuser, make a small spritzer bottle with a few drops of each and 2-3 tablespoons of water and spay your bed and area with the mixture several times per day
  • As soon as is possible after surgery, start the AromaTouch technique again doing it at least twice over the next week or more. This can help balance your nervous system and reduce the physiological impact of surgery trauma.
The Days Following Surgery (Advice I received from friends who have already undergone ACL reconstruction):
  • Ice!
  • As soon as the nerve block wears off/you feel your leg, begin quad squeezes!
    • Flex your quad & hold for 5-10 seconds. Do 10-20 squeezes every 30 minutes (set a timer!)
  • While icing, put pillows under your calf/ankle. Gravity will help pull your knee straight
Questions to ask your surgeon before going under the knife:
  • What type of graft will I be getting?
    • Patellar, hamstring or cadaver – see the differences here: (My doctor recommended hamstring with a little cadaver, before I did any research. If I had done my research beforehand, I would have chosen the same thing, or just a hamstring graft. It’s ultimately up to you on what you want!)
  • What type of screws will be used? (mine used bio-composite interference screws – it depends on the doctors preference. I just wanted to know out of curiosity – you can do your own research on what you would prefer)
Did! I miss anything? Please feel free to comment and add anything 🙂 I hope this is helpful for those preparing for their ACL/knee surgery! Sources: PLEASE NOTE: The information I have provided is not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice. This is information that I have gathered on my own through a variety of sources, and if you decide to use/apply any of the ideas from my site, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. This information is not meant to diagnose or to treat any medical condition. Please consult with your primary care physician holistic doctor to diagnose/advise of any medical condition if you have any questions. I am not liable for any damages or negative consequences resulting from any action by any persons reading or following the information on this site.

This e-book was created as a guide to help everyone – Adults, Kids, Athletes, and Non-Athletes – recovering from ACL surgery. After reading this guide, you will have a better understanding of what to expect, surgery options, costs & insurance, and a detailed timeline for recovery.

Improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and feel more confident post-surgery with a 2 month yoga progression plan.

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