Feb 162013

by Tahni Segars

During the winter months, it’s not uncommon to need a little extra lathering with lotion to avoid dry skin. And while my bottle of cocoa butter does wonders for keeping my skin from getting scaly and itchy, my pup, Lola, isn’t so lucky.

In the cooler, drier months, Lola gets dry and flaky. Wintertime usually means a lot of itching and scratching for my poor pet. Lola has a dark coat, and this makes her condition very visible. To make Lola look and feel better, I turn to extra virgin olive oil.

Two to three times a week I add just a bit of extra virgin olive oil to Lola’s dry food. Depending on pet size, use ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon to keep skin healthy. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential to a dog’s diet and extra virgin olive oil is the perfect supplement.  But be careful not to add too much, after all, olive oil is a fat.

Sometimes Lola’s dry skin is persistent. When this happens I apply the extra virgin olive oil directly to her skin. In a container I mix 5-10 tablespoons of olive oil with a bit of water (warmed water is better for mixing) and massage the solution into her skin. Creams and shampoos containing olive oil extracts can be an added benefit.

Extra virgin olive oil provides even more pet benefits. The monounsaturated fats and other acids found in extra virgin olive oil can help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. Evoo is an immune system booster that helps ward off disease. It improves circulation which gives them more energy, and it helps prevent cognitive decline. Extra virgin olive oil also reduces shedding, strengthens claws and improves digestion. In cats a small amount of oil helps treat hairballs and constipation.

Marshall waiting for his evoo massage to soothe his flaky skin.

Olive Crazy’s cat, Marshall, waiting for his evoo massage to soothe his flaky skin.

So the next time you notice your pet scratching a dandruffy coat, having digestion troubles or exhibiting the “hairball hack,” grab a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. With so many pet health benefits, extra virgin olive oil should always be on hand.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Jan 142013

by Tahni Segars

I’m still thinking about my New Year’s resolutions. Should I base them on what I accomplished in 2012? Probably not, since my track record isn’t stellar. I had, like always, the best of intentions, but those 365 days just flew by.

When resolution time rolls around again I typically think of adding improvements to my life: a gym membership, a cooking class, more time with family. But adding activities is not the only way to tackle 2013.

Another way to usher in positive change is through removal. By subtracting some of the bad from life and make it a little easier, and I think I’ll start by removing some of life’s difficulties with olive oil.

Remove paint from skin and hair

Whether painting for craft time or soulful meditation, after a day of paintbrush wielding, I usually end up covered in the hues of my palette. It’s under fingernails, behind ears and it highlights my hair. Instead of spending an hour with just soapy water, I’ll pull out the olive oil. A scrubbing with olive oil and a little salt or sugar will make the paint come right off my skin. And while highlights are usually a highly sought-after feature, acrylics are not the best way to achieve that desired salon look. So instead of harsh chemicals and over-soaping my hair I’ll gently rub in olive oil and work out the paint.

Remove eye makeup

On New Year’s Eve across the world there were surely layers of eye makeup artfully added to many women’s’ lids and lashes. Whether it was a smoky eye or glitz and glam, olive oil can be a savior at the end of the night. Dab some olive oil on a cotton ball, swipe gently and watch the shadow, liner and mascara come right off. Even waterproof makeup doesn’t stand a chance.

Remove stickers

It could be an errant scratch-and-sniff your child plastered to the fridge or a stubborn label that no amount of scraping and cursing can remove. Perhaps you’ve come across a sticker with that annoying residue that’s gooey enough to haunt you in your sleep. Dab a little olive oil onto the sticky offender. After letting it sit a few minutes, the sticker will peel right off.

Remove chewing gum from hair

It’s every mom’s worst nightmare: A blob of pink bubble gum stuck with ferocity in your child’s hair. Save your child the trauma of the cut-it-out technique and apply olive oil to the gum and surrounding locks. Leave alone for 5 to 10 minutes then pull the wad out.

Remove squeaks from doors

Battle squeaky doors and hinges by adding a little olive oil. Olive oil is a pet and child-friendly household lubricant.

Remove snoring frustrations

And now for the ultimate of olive oil’s miracle removal powers – snoring. Ditch the earplugs, the nose strips and the mid-slumber partner nudge. Taking a sip of olive oil before bed might be the restful answer to the sleepless night. Olive oil gently lubricates throat tissues to help quiet the nighttime bellows.

Instead of pouring on the things-to-do in 2013, I resolve to remove some of my burdens – with olive oil.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Aug 032011

The money we spend in the U.S. on cosmetics could finance a couple of small nations. I read that dollop of information years ago (can’t remember where), and that was before the array of available cosmetics grew, and surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments took off. Maybe the cosmetics industry could finance a large nation, like one of the heavily-indebted European countries, or lop off some of our debt.

Call me old-fashioned or call me cheap – I still think that some of the best skin treatments for everyday use are in our pantries, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerators. I have personally used potatoes, honey, yogurt, cucumbers, and eggs. My favorite since college is egg whites. It gives my skin a nice, clean, tight feeling and even helps get the pH closer to normal.

Sometimes I want a mask that cleans a little deeper but without the over-drying that some masks achieve. Lord knows I don’t want to go down the over-drying road again after being mummified alive while out west this summer.

Speaking of mummification, here is an olive oil face mask that was used by the ancient Egyptians, at least according to eHow, which is where I got this recipe. I like the way it feels and it’s not difficult to make.

Olive Oil Face Mask from eHow.com

1 egg
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. natural unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. of sea salt
1 Tbsp. whole milk

Note: This recipe makes 2 ounces, enough for one application.

1. Gently crack and beat the egg in a small bowl. Eggs are perfect skin care ingredients for people with large pores, or those who want to firm and tighten wrinkles. Egg yolks are made from albumin, which gently dries the skin and refines pores. Egg whites help soothe sunburned or windburned skin, and gently removes oily residue.
2. Add the olive oil and flour. In this case, the flour is used to thicken the consistency of the face mask. Olive oil is a fantastic way to balance the drying effects of the eggs. Unlike petroleum jelly, heavy lotions and other oils, olive oil will rinse cleanly away, leaving your skin moisturized, supple and glowing.
3. Stir in the sea salt. Sea salt stimulates blood circulation and assists in cell regeneration, helping to keep your skin looking youthful and beautiful. The salts will help to exfoliate, removing dead skin cells to relieve acne, psoriasis and eczema.
4. Mix in the whole milk. The lactic acid in milk soothes and softens dry, itchy skin. Milk will help moisturize skin while at the same time tightening wrinkles and refining pores.
5. Wash your face gently with warm water and pat dry. Apply the olive oil face mask, massaging gently to exfoliate the skin. Allow the mask to set for at least 20 minutes before rinsing.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Jul 262011

It’s good to be home in hot, humid Georgia. From California to Georgia to Virginia back to Georgia, all in one week. California was an adventure, but it was time to go home, and deposit most of the young olives along the way.

The youngest olive was left in California with Mr. Olive Crazy for guy bonding, the second was dropped in Atlanta to get ready for college, the third in Virginia, and the fourth remained in my possession. As soon as we got home for good, my daughter announced how relieved she was to be home in the humid south. I thought she was kidding, but no. She really meant it. It seems that she too was missing an essential ingredient of the hot Georgia summers – moisture.

My daughter, who is 15, told me that she had become very dry and crackily out west and was concerned she might start looking old. “Welcome to my life,” I thought. I told her about my problems out west with dry, tight, itchy skin and how I even wrote an article about Dad and I using Henley Natural Shea Butter Cream with extra virgin olive oil. She asked if I had any left. I had to tell her that I left the jar with Dad, who needed it worse. “Hmm,” she grunted at me.

We didn’t talk anymore about dry skin until this afternoon when we were getting ready to go to the craft store. My daughter has decided the rest of her summer will be best used making bracelets. She put on a cute pair of shorts and said she needed to moisturize her legs, then asked where I kept the olive oil. I was proud.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Jul 112011

Way back in April, when I was attending the Georgia Olive Grower’s Association Spring Seminar, my friend and sometime Olive Crazy contributor, Steve Henley, presented me with a jar of his, Henley Natural Shea Butter Hand and Body Cream. I tried it right away and noticed it made my hands wonderfully silky. Steve seemed really pleased that I noticed and said that the Cream was also a quarter extra virgin olive oil. He also let me know that regular olive oil can often be greasy, but not extra virgin olive oil.

I then put the jar in my car console and used it whenever I was driving, then, sorry Steve, I forgot about it altogether. Until … I reached California.

Being from the southeastern United States, I am used to a certain amount of moisture in the air, even a lot of humidity. What I didn’t realize is how that atmospheric moisture kept this middle-aged woman, aka Olive Crazy, from entering mummification while still alive.

When I got to California I didn’t notice what was going on right away. I intermittently complained to Mr. Olive Crazy that my skin hurt and wasn’t looking too good. He is the one that told me that there was less moisture in the air than I was used to. Since I was “on the road” I didn’t have my full complement of potions and lotions and used the brand X stuff I found among the family toiletries. It just didn’t do the job.

One night I decided to clean out the mess that accumulated in the car from our cross-country trip. As I went through each compartment removing crushed cans and crumbled papers I re-found the jar of Henley Natural Shea Butter Cream. Hallelujah I thought. I went staight upstairs took a shower and joyfully rubbed in the wonderful Shea Butter elixir. I was saved.

I have a few more weeks before I reach home, and my Shea Butter Cream is growing smaller and smaller. I hope I make it home in time to order some more before I run out.

May the sun shine through your branches.