How I Got Healthier – Continuing the Journey

5
Jan
2019

It starts with baby steps, making changes that will help your body function better. If you missed the first post in this two-part series, you can catch it here.

If you are looking to live with more energy, vibrancy, and emotional stability, read on. These are the changes I have made to create space for these things.

Movement

You must move your body. Find an activity that you enjoy—and do not think it has to be intense to make a difference. I used to be a hard-core runner, training for half marathons because I truly enjoyed the challenge. Now I find myself taking walks, doing some stretching, pilates, or some simple weight exercises. Fit in 20-30 minutes of activity at least five times a week; your body will thank you.

Sugar

Remove sugar from your daily life. Sugar feeds illness—period. You can Google and find research all over that will testify to this fact. Sugar is in EVERYTHING; begin to read your labels. Sugar is addictive and the only way for you to reset your body is to cut it out, cold turkey. Two years ago I did my first 21-day sugar detox with a large Facebook group. It taught me a lot about my body, truly how addicted I was, and how sugar is in everything. You’ll find it in ketchup, salad dressing, salsa, and canned goods. Do not forget that pasta, potatoes, and fruit contain sugar, even though it’s not “added” sugar, even the natural sugar can affect your body. Do a bit more research on this and at least determine to remove the added sugar to items that are unnecessary as a first step.

Sleep

Your body heals itself during your sleep, so when you aren’t getting enough sleep or entering into a deep enough sleep, your body struggles.

I shoot to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. I am an early-to-bed person, usually in bed by 9:30 p.m. This allows me enough sleep to still rise around 6 a.m. and feel refreshed. By getting enough sleep you will reduce stress and improve your mood; this was a key area I wanted to improve. My emotions were all over the place. When you get enough sleep, you will also tend to get sick less. It’s important—for you, for you kids, for your spouse.

Eat Less Animal Products

Oh yes, I am going there. I just read Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and it truly opened my eyes. The book not only gave great information on eating a more plant-based diet, but gave countless study after study of research on the benefits. It is a must-read. You can easily begin eating less meat and dairy items. To be honest, for most people, typical cow dairy items cause inflammation in the body. So substituting items and removing most cheese is a beneficial change. If you are still drinking cow’s milk and giving pasteurized milk to your kiddos, I encourage you to read this article to perhaps shed some light on why this may not be the best decision.

No Microwave

I wrote previously on the blog about this change, so instead of going into details, you can easily click over to read it here. Using a microwave KILLS your food, period. I am in the corner with microwaves that it zaps the nutrients out of food—literally. In my opinion, the risk is just not worth the small convenience of reheating items using a microwave. In fact, in our new home, we are not even installing a microwave. We just do not use it.

Water

Drinking real, pure, GOOD water is the way your body removes toxins and flushes your systems. Two years ago we began filtering all our drinking and cooking water with a BERKEY water system that removed pathogens as well as fluoride. It was a game-changer for us. We also try our best to not drink from PLASTIC water bottles. So when we are headed out of the house, all family members fill up their own personal glass water bottle. Not only does this save us money, it is a much healthier alternative. When you drink water from plastic water bottles, store bought, or ones you personally fill, the plastic leaches into the water. I am not interested to drink leached plastic.

I hope you consider making one or two changes for the new year from my list of tips. These are things I have successfully implemented and have made a huge difference in my life.

If you missed me mentioning this healthy meal planning bundle, girl… you need it!  If you are looking for quick and healthy meal options your entire family will enjoy – you have found it!

Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2019

How I Got Healthier — Steps to Live Your Best

2
Jan
2019

How I Got Healthier

Just over seven years ago, I really didn’t think much about the food I ate, what I drank, or even what I applied to my body. I really didn’t have much interest in “living healthier,” but I was hit with a sucker punch that changed my mind.

Just over seven years ago I was diagnosed with Cutaneous Lupus, as well as Systemic Lupus. My life felt like I was on a downward spiral.

As I journeyed through this diagnosis, I slowly became empowered. I began to learn that ALL THE THINGS we put IN and ON our body matter. It accumulates and it piles up.

I get questions all the time about how I have managed to put my Lupus into remission, and it’s time to share the steps I took—real, practical steps—to see if they may help you. But first, let me say, these changes won’t just help you if you have Lupus; they will help you prevent disease, care for your body like the temple it is, and be the best mom you can be for your family. You deserve to feel amazing. You deserve to care for yourself in ways that will allow your body to function at its optimal level.

When we poison our body with bad choices, those choices add up. Do not be a victim. Fight for your health, the health of your kids; it is important.

This will be part ONE of a TWO-part series on this topic. There is a lot to share.

Ditched Creamer

I love coffee…truly love coffee! In fact, I have a favorite French press, grinder, and brand of coffee. However, one of the things I loved about my coffee was the artificial vanilla-flavored coffee creamer I added to it. I was truly addicted. But, once I began truly looking at the ingredients on the package, I became quite aware it had to go. I switched to grass-fed raw milk to add to my coffee with some vanilla stevia drops, and eventually I switched to nondairy. I now use a coconut and almond milk creamer and it does the trick…all by itself. My taste buds are not craving the sugary taste first thing in the morning, and my body does so much better without the artificial ingredients. And eliminating dairy is another great step on my health journey.

I encourage you…if you say “there’s no way I can give up my creamer,” I hear you. That was me. But here’s the deal…start making small changes; pick one thing to change and then slowly add that in, like using RAW cream and REAL sugar. Then switch to the next step. It all helps.

Ditched Gluten

Shortly after I was diagnosed with Lupus, a friend with Lupus shared that she found incredible relief by eliminating gluten. I had no idea what gluten even was! I told her I could never not have French fries; she sweetly laughed at me and assured me I could always eat fries.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat that causes inflammation and distress to the intestinal tract. Most people find that it doesn’t bother them to the extent of others, but for me, it’s bad news. The wheat we eat today, here in the U.S., has been modified over the years, making it troublesome for many. So I chose to remove any wheat from my diet. Did it help? Yes, it did! And, honestly, I didn’t replace a bunch of items with gluten-free versions. I rarely eat sandwiches now, but instead wrap with lettuce or make a salad. I occasionally will indulge in gluten-free cookies or a cupcake, but really have decided that those should be occasional treats anyhow.

I’ve also been using Einkorn products, which I have found to be a good fit for me. You can read more about Einkorn and if it might be good for you here. If you have joint pain, feel bloated often, or have digestive trouble, I encourage you to eliminate gluten and see how you feel.

Went Chemical Free

Seven years ago I began to look at products I was using on my skin as well as in my home, like cleaning products and personal care items. It was eye-opening. Something that happens when we apply synthetic, laboratory-made products to our skin is bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation is real; it’s the accumulation of toxins in our bodies, where we absorb more toxins than our body can effectively eliminate, which  leaves our poor bodies struggling to function the way they were created to. The body is overloaded and we begin to suffer from other symptoms, like skin rashes, brain fog, sleeplessness, agitation, mood issues, and more.

I began using ALL-NATURAL cleaners—my favorite being Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s so safe, I can feel great about anyone using it. I love that even at my son’s school they use this cleaner so that all the kids can safely clean and wipe down tables and bathroom sinks. There are even more products in the line, including toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, laundry detergent, and more—all natural and plant based. You can check this out for more info on the entire Thieves product line.

Make Small Changes

I encourage you to begin replacing items in your home with all-natural products. A lot of these synthetic ingredients made in laboratories are endocrine disruptors. They are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine (or hormone) systems at certain doses. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders, and more. Why take that risk when you have a better option?

If you are looking for help with healthy meal planning, this is a must have resource!  Be sure to check it out and give your mama brain a break – you can thank me later!

Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2019

I will cover more on my steps; the next post will be other diet changes, lifestyle changes, and more. You can find it here. 

Simple DIY Summer Perfume Recipes

18
May
2018

DIY Summer Perfum Recipes
Did you know perfume can be detrimental to your health?

The term “fragrance” on labels can be a combination of over 300 harmful chemicals that the company doesn’t have to disclose. This is often why people get headaches when they smell synthetic perfume.  I ditched my perfume years ago for safe, all-natural essential oil perfume that I know will only benefit my body and not harm it.

It is better to play it safe and create your own perfume with natural and effective essential oils that you KNOW are safe.   Not only are these perfumes safe, but their aroma therapy can take you from feeling down and out to happy and confident in a matter of seconds.

I began my essential oil journey because I was looking for oils to help support my emotional well being – little did I know how much I would learn in the process about the toxic chemicals I had been exposing my body to.  I am so grateful for the knowledge to do better and also to smell amazing with all-natural, plant-based fragrance on my skin.

Check out these BEAUTIFUL bottles provided by Silver Orange Boutique on Etsy. You can order these beautiful bottles through her shop, fill them with your favorite essential oils combo, and gift this perfume to anyone whose day you want to turn around.  I love surprising friends with sweet little gifts!

I have all types of bottles on hand to quickly whip up my DIY perfume blend.  I grabbed these simple bottles on amazon, they are colorful and so adorable, as well as these rose colored bottles.  They are perfect for blending and gifting.

Here are some of my favorite recipes.

Fill with alcohol when using a spray bottle. Fill with V6 carrier oil if using a roll-on bottle. Adjust amount of individual oils based on preferred scent.

DIY essential oil perfume blends

❤ Bon Vivant – “Somebody who loves life.”

In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Joy, 5 Geranium, 10 Tangerine
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Joy, 15 drops Lemon
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 Northern Lights Black Spruce, 5 Orange, 2 Rose
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Oola Fun, 10 drops White Angelica

🌺 Rilassante – “Relaxing”

In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Stress Away, 10 drops Orange
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 Drops Lavender, 5 drops Frankincense, 5 drops Orange
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Stress Away, 10 drops Valor

DIY Perfumes with Essential Oils

❤ Amor – “Love”

In a 10 ml bottle – 12 drops Ylang Ylang & 8 drops Orange.
In a 10 ml bottle – 6 drops Grapefruit, 6 drops Sandalwood, 6 drops Jasmine
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Ylang ylang, 10 drops Idaho Blue Spruce.

What is your favorite scent? Floral? Citrus? Spicy?  If you have not tried Ylang Ylang – just do it.  Such an amazing flower that is grown on the Young Living farm in Ecuador. I had the privilege of hadn’t picking flower buds a few years ago.  The field smelled amazing!

Who is next on your list to brighten their day?  Maybe it’s you!!

Please tell me you already have essential oils!!!

If not, please give yourself a gift and make today the day you start.  NOW is a great time to get a starter set of essential oils and a diffuser for 50% off! I’ll also gift you $20 cash back and a goodie bag full of resources worth $25! You’ll also get access to my members-only online community to learn how to use your oils and get lots of education and support.

Five Back to School Tips & Tricks

11
Sep
2017

5 back to school tips and tricks

We just started back to school on Tuesday – much later than many of you.  Our family ended summer with a nice beach fire and it was delightful!

The transition to the school year can be hard, but I have found several tips and tricks that help our family get back into the groove with less stress, anxiety and losing our patience!  

I cover many awesome tips in my Back 2 School Survival Guide – a wonderful resource with topics every parent wants to be in the know about, as well as editable PDF printables to help things run smoothly!  It has been a life saver for many of you who have grabbed it over the years.

Let’s cover some of my top tips to help with the beginning of the school year!

Rhythm and Routine

Just like a rhythm and routine is critical to our success as a mother and manager of our home, our kids need a very similar routine to succeed.   I shared specific steps to create a morning routine for your child in a previous post and know it will help you.  We all want to send our kids off to school with a feeling of success, instead of failure.  

When expectations are not clearly outlined for our children, they lose focus, control and feel lost.  It is up to use to help them have an outline.  The same goes for after school expectations.  Creating a printable list for tasks for your child to complete after school helps develop independence as well as a pride in their work.

Promote Healthy Focus

Oh mama – this is an area we deal with daily!!  We have a little guy who struggles with focusing and staying on task. I have had to come up with some effective ways to keep us both sane!

This is where we open my mom toolbox of beloved essential oils.  I am able to easily mix up a blend of Cedarwood, Vetiver, and Lavender essential oils in a roller ball bottle, add a bit of carrier oil – like Young Living’s V-6 or some coconut oil and we are armed!

I’ve been using this blend on my seven year old since he was three – because it works!  It helps him stay focused, calms his little mind down from racing and helps him have a successful day by completing tasks and schoolwork successfully.  Don’t we want that for our kids?

And, if you happen to struggle with focus, I mean… some of us amazing moms do….this blend is for you too!  All ages and stages – one of the reasons I love having essential oils in my mom toolbox!

the focus roller - cedar wood, vetiver, lavender essential oils

Prep for Healthy Lunches

We all know a healthy breakfast will help your child have a great morning, but do you really take into consideration the lunch you pack and how it will either help your child with great energy during their afternoon, or perhaps impact their body in a negative way? 

Last year I bought a small compartment bento lunch box and it was the best investment I have made in helping me with packing a fun and healthy lunch.  Not only did the lunchbox last the entire school year, we are using it this year too!  

I love the compartments and that I can easily find healthy items to put into each section, like lunchmeat rolled up with some cheese, some diced kiwi (my sons favorite!) dry roasted almonds, carrots, celery and even olives.  I also grabbed these small containers and they fit right inside the container slots and I can add things like the olives without the juice flowing to other items and the main lid just fits right on.

Sending sugary items, foods filled with lots of additives can really affect your child in a negative way.  Some food can even make them irritable and groggy, so take some time to send good for them items!

Good Sleep

You might think this is just for your child, but we all need a restful nights sleep.  Allowing our body to regenerate and rest. 

Does your child struggle to wind down at the end of the day?

Do they toss and turn until late in the evening before they settle in to sleep?

Do they wake in the morning finding it hard to get up and get going?

Perhaps you fall into one of those situations?

Here again, our essential oil collection provides an easy and totally natural way to promote a really restful nights sleep.

Back-to-School-Restful-Sleep

Our favorite blend to apply topically or use in our diffuser, is Lavender and Cedarwood essential oils.  However, we love having other oils to interchange in order to clam us down in the evening.  I will often put some Stress Away in the diffuser while we are settling down after dinner and the magic begins!  Bedtime routines are much easier, as everyone is ready to brush teeth, read and snuggle down into bed.

Space to Exhale

Our lives are busy and with the beginning to the school year often comes many after school activities.  However, I have found it very beneficial to have some down time immediately after school, instead of just rushing off to the next thing.

When your child comes home, spend a few minutes with them to ask about their day.  Finding time to just exhale from all the activity of the day is a great transition for kids.  Depending on your schedule and your day, I suggest allotting at least 15-20 minutes for your child to just relax.  Just like you and I need some downtime, your child really benefit form it too.

Here’s to a great school year for you and your family!

Interested in essential oils? Now is the BEST time to get started.

You can get a starter set of essential oils called the premium starter kit (with 11 oils and a diffuser) as well as $20 cash back, reference material and MORE from me! You’ll also get access to my members-only online community to learn how to use your oils and get lots of education and support.

DIY Hydrating Lotion Bars – Travel Friendly

15
May
2017

Young Living Lotion Bars

These homemade hydrating essential oil lotion bars will make  your summer so easy – especially if you are traveling.

I just returned from a 13 day trip to Australia – it was A-MA-ZING!!  Saw many wonderful places and met some beautiful people too.

But, do you know what happened to me?  My lotion bottle blew up in my checked bag – thank goodness I pack in plastic bags!!  So as soon as I got home I made these homemade lotion bars for my next travel adventure so I can be sure to not have that mis-hap again.

These are easy to make.

Simple to pack and not worry they will explode when under pressure.

Super moisturizing for your body – the warmth of your body helps to melt the natural emollients and the added essential oils smells wonderful and help sooth, smooth, moisturize and hydrate hands, feet, elbows and more!

This homemade lotion bar recipe with essential oils is the bomb – be sure to get some made before your next trip or excursion to the beach or desert area.  You will thank me!

I went through my oily stash and decided to use Stress Away, Joy and Cedarwood (known for it’s calming effects) and I wasn’t disappointed.

Recipe:

 Directions
  1. Combine coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, and cocoa butter in a 16-ounce glass measuring cup.
  2. Place in a pot with water that rises to halfway up the measuring cup
  3. Bring water to a boil, stirring frequently until ingredients are completely melted.
  4. Remove measuring cup from the pot.
  5. Add essential oils and vitamin E oil and stir until completely combined.
  6. Immediately pour into molds.
  7. Let sit for several hours until they are firm
  8. Once cooled, carefully remove the lotion bars from the molds.
  9. Store in a cool, dry place.  I place in small plastic bags for easy on the go use (I use these)

Great to have on hand in your purse or overnight bag.   These are so portable and convenient – helping to keep skin smooth and soft – even while out and about this summer.

How to use these lotion bars::

Simply rub them along your skin to apply the lotion easily.  You can rub on feet, heels, elbows, hands, arms and legs.  No more dripping lotion or pouring too much in your hands.  These are great for kids too!

Grab yourself some oils and the goodies you need to make these and spend an afternoon doing just that – I did with my daughter and it was an enjoyable time together!