As someone who's personally been using essential oils for nearly two years, I felt it was time to move from simply using oils, to sharing what they've done for me and my family.
Authenticity means everything to me, which is why it's taken so long for me to move into the space of sharing and selling oils. As I really, whole heartedly began to believe in them and fall in love with this non-toxic lifestyle we are leading with our homes, health and bodies, I began speaking more of them and sharing them with those around me and with my clients and readers.
Many have asked how they can get started, I have all that info on my oils page.
This post, however, serves to inform on how you can best utilize the oils that come in the Premium Starter Kit. It's how I got started, it contains some of my very favorite oils that are versatile for your everyday life and it is how many of my friends and clients are starting their oily journeys as well.
Below I've outlined what's included in the Premium Starter Kit, and how each oil is best used. If you have any questions, would like to try an oil or are interested in getting started, contact me. I'd be happy to chat!
4. Keep A Journal. By keeping a journal, I am able to share food ideas as well as my specific struggles along the way. I can reference back to how it went the last time each time I embark on a new cleanse, and it gives me hope to read about the days I felt lighter, lost weight or felt super energized!
5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Remember that you are doing this for YOU. For you to feel GOOD. To feel LIGHT and HEALTHY. If you mess up, it’s OK. Be kind with you
& if you havn't yet, read my Honest Girl's Guide To Surviving A Sugar Cleanse
Last year I guest posted on Around My Family Table on my Honest Girl's Guide To Surviving Sugar Cleanse. And as many of you are working hard at your resolutions, getting healthy and striving to stay healthy if you're on a good health path, I wanted to share it here in this space this year.
t’s that time of year again. When we all set out to refresh. Wipe the slate clean. Become A “New” Person, whatever that last one means. This intention is masked with words like “resolutions”, “goal setting” and “complete turnaround”, and while the effort we make is commendable, sometimes we are setting ourselves up for disappointment if our January 1st To-Do list isn’t completed by the next time the ball drops.
Today I wanted to focus on healthier goal setting, specifically one of the most popular trends on every social media feed and that is “Completing a Sugar Detox” or a “Sugar Cleanse”. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a basic whole food diet that eliminates starches, breads, pastas, starchy vegetables and sugar in any form. As someone who has personally done a sugar detox in the past, and as someone who doesn’t consume dairy, my diet looked a little something like this.
– Grass-Fed and Free-Range Organic Meats
– Organic Vegetables and Some Organic Fruits
– Nuts and/or Seeds
– Healthy Fats (Avocado, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil)
Diets rich in these foods with help to cleanse and reset your system from all the holidays treats that it had to endure over the last few months and it will help you realize what you crave, what you’re sensitive too and what you can most likely live without.
As someone who has been through this, I am here to paint the honest picture of the roller coaster that you might, er, will endure, and how to fight off your sugar dragon like a superhero.
Morning Drink: Each morning I start with a warm mug of water with either a lemon slice or 1 TBSP. of Apple Cider Vinegar. Lemon helps cleanse your system, while Apple Cider Vinegar can help with flushing bacteria or yeast out of the system. This week I'm doing ACV all the way.
Garlic & Onion Everything: While everyone's cooking pumpkin into everything this year, I am adding heaps of garlic and onion into all of our dishes when I can. Just today my poor hubs said "I didn't take my lunch to work, because we have to eat in a meeting and I can't be smelly". Garlic and onion are stars at combating viruses, reduce inflammation and are very cleansing.
Herbivore: I'm also adding spices such as oregano and thyme. Oregano cleanses the respiratory and urinary systems and cleanses out candida. Thyme aids in urine volume output which helps to detox, and is good for the respiratory system.
Get Moving: I will admit and be 100% real with you. Fatigue likes to be my best friend sometimes. Especially when my body isn't detoxing (Thanks, MTHFR) (I'm not swearing it's a condition I have...) and working out is not my favorite thing. If I could just eat healthy and be super fit, that would be aces. But alas, food is 80% of it, while 20% of it is moving. Working out also helps detoxing, it eliminates stress in the body, keeps all of our systems moving and healthy. So, I joined a new gym this past weekend and I walk, use the elliptical, light weights and do Holy Yoga.
Oil Pulling: I have a full post on oil pulling and how it's benefited me, but its so great for detoxing our bodies and keeping up our oral health.
Massage & Therapy: I get regular massages. Bi-weekly I get a variation of Swedish for the relaxing properties and deep tissue to help get out any tension I'm carrying. I also go to a Pelvic Floor Therapist which has been a life saver.
Reflexology: When I am feeling irregular (welcome to my life of TMI, haha) reflexology on my feet along my ":Intestinal" points works like a gem! Staying regular is CRUCIAL for detoxing. And while we're already on this topic, get a Squatty Potty. Enough said.
Shower Time: I start my showers with dry brushing and while in the shower I alternate hot and cold water as it cleanses the lymphatic system.
Clean Air: Make sure to get outdoors regularly and use a good air filter in your home. We have a great one in the bedroom, along with organic mattress and pillow covers.
Drink All The Water: Drinking 8 glasses of clean, filtered water is one of the most important things you can do EVERYDAY.
MIND & SOUL
When I Rise: I start every day with devotions. I read a daily devotional to set my intentions with God's word, and I read bible verses and pray with breakfast.
Holy Yoga: Yoga is extremely detoxifying. Both mentally and physically. I however, wanted to be connecting to Jesus when I went through my workout so I found a local Holy Yoga class and its been amazing.
Crack A Book: Reading calms me and learning new things invigorates and re-inspires my passions. Reading in a quiet, well lit area brings contentment.
Our Inner Child: I did a whole post on the importance of play, and its crucial to our health. Adult coloring, traveling, playing in the yard, hosting game nights. The activity doesn't matter, just have FUN.
CBT: Last year I regularly saw a therapist to work through anxiety and the loss of our little. I still check in with her for maitenence appts to keep my mind clear. She's also Christian and we pray and read God's word together.
Quality Time: Spending quality time with loved ones is a great way to detox your whole body. Endorphins are magical & wondrous.
Meditation & Breathing: Deep breathing is everything in detoxing. We often breathe so shallow, taking time to be mindful a few minutes a day to breathe in fully, connect with God and clear our mind of the day is as important as the food, herbs and water we consume.
Next On The Detox Plan:
Always looking for ways to aid my body in detoxing, I've asked Santa for a rebounder (translation: adult trampoline) which aids which also gets the lymph system moving.
The gym I joined has a dry sauna which is king in ways to detox. I plan to start slow and steady under the care of my doctor and increase my time in the sauna.
I also have more tests scheduled on my detox pathways. Always growing, learning, but most importantly praying for healing.
You may have noticed detox baths (usually a mix of warm water, Epsom salt and essential oils) are missing from my list. I found each time I did one I got sick. My doctor told me they are probably to intense for me right now (which is why everyone is different) and that a foot soak is probably a better way for me to go right now.
Anything missing that you swear by to detox this time of year? Or do you have a favorite from the list? Also, for those of you that have experience rebounding or hitting the sauna, what's been your experience?
There's a specific CD that I use that I love, It's a meditation CD that my CB Therapist gave me that is all led by God's word. Meditating to scripture helps connect me to what's important and let's me rest and relax for twenty minutes at the beginning or end of my day.
For a quick recharge, try this calming 2 minute video below by my friend Rachel Zeskind.
While paradise is probably at the top of all of our lists for the perfect place to relax and recharge, all you need is a quiet space to sit or lay, where you can be cool, calm and comfortable. Even an office breakroom, airplane seat or heck, a bathroom if you're a busy mom looking to grab two minutes of calm, will work for this short, but effective, video.
Share on social media with the hashtag #FitnessFriday to connect and share with others.
And then I grew up, stopped touring, got a full time job in journalism that put me at a desk all day and my health took a turn that for some reason makes cardio leads to me getting sick sometimes.
But I've realized that I can excuse it away all day long, but when it comes down to it I've learned that I am good when it comes to eating healthy, I'm just not so good at working out on a regular basis.
And that's ok. The important thing is that I learn what I can work with. On days, like yesterday for example, when my energy is soaring (and I'll say I was on day 11 of the Whole 30 meal plan), that I get in a good workout. That I try to lift weights, do cardio or power yoga.
And then, on the days when I have no energy, when I'm not feeling well, when I'm experiencing my pelvic pain, or I've put in 10 hours of writing and leaving the house is the last thing I want to do, I will improvise and dedicate to doing something good for my body.
And that can be a number of things, for you as well. You all know your bodies better than anyone. The beauty about this journey is that I've learned to tune in to know when I'm just being lazy or when I know my body really does just need to rest or sleep.
I've put together a list of low-impact, easy exercises to do when your exhausted or just need to decompress or you need a good stretch session.
- Restorative or Relaxation Yoga. This is my favorite. It relaxes me and it helps me to really stretch. After the half hour or hour I put in I am refreshed, feel like I got a gentle workout and am relaxed enough that I can do it at night and not be too energized to go to sleep. Tamal Dodge is my favorite instructor on DVD, or you can find a local yoga studio that offers these classes.
- Walking. Simple as that. Getting out in fresh air, getting my blood moving and taking time to pray and connect to God changes my whole day. When I make the time to go out and take a walk I feel so much better. And one of my best girlfriends and I have started making this a way we hang out in the morning. We usually do 2 miles and walk while we catch up.
- Specified Stretches. Sometimes when I don't do a yoga class or video, I will do a specific 15-30 minute set of stretches from my physical therapist or pelvic pain book. If you have a specific pain issue or you just generally feel tight in a certain body part, shoulders, legs, etc. locate easy and effective stretches either with a book or online videos that will help you regularly stretch out. It's a fact that we hold a lot of emotions in our psoas area (the muscle that runs from under your ribs, down to your inner thigh, deep inside) and when mine is tight I feel much more anxious and irritable.
- Low Impact Cardio Machines. I adore the elliptical machine. It's low impact and you can use as much energy, or not, that you are feeling on a particular day. I used to employ the rule that if I wanted to watch FRIENDS (my favorite show of ALL time, if you know me at all) or read my latest issue of SHAPE, I had to be on an elliptical or treadmill to watch it. (I told you, I was hard core back in the day). I have decided to start using the reward system for myself again, as I know this works really well for me, only now I use new issues of Gluten Free Living or Natural Health as my sweet reward.
I'd love to know what you do when you're not feeling to hot or want to hide under the covers? Fitness first! :)
This month I would like to introduce you to Bikram Yoga.
Bikram yoga is a series of 26 asanas (postures) precisely strung together so that each asana prepares the body for the next, and systematically works every inch of the body from the inside out, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes.
It is, in my opinion, THE BEST exercise you can give yourself.
So what is so amazing about Bikram? The list is endless…
Promotes true healing through postures that activate the body’s natural healing abilities and detoxification system
Promotes mental clarity by reducing stress & anxiety levels and building concentration levels
Promotes healthy metabolism
Expands lung capacity and strengthens the heart
Improves the spine’s flexibility and health
Lubricates the joints
Strengthens bones, and stretches and tones the muscles
Supplies oxygen and nutrients to parts of the body that have been blocked or stagnant
Builds energy and stamina
And much, much more!Yoga is traditionally considered a discipline, used to focus the mind through physical movements that quiet the body and nervous system. Bikram takes discipline to a whole new level. First of all, you’re basically in a sauna; 105 degrees, 40 percent humidity. Bikram himself refers to his studio as the ‘torture chamber’; I think you can understand why. But there is a method to the madness- the heat warms your muscles, making them more malleable, allowing for greater ease of stretching. It does the ‘warm-up’ part for you and allows for more focus on the postures. Along with the humidity, the heat also promotes the body to sweat (profusely; I mean you will be drenched by the end of class), aiding in the detoxification process.
Second, Bikram tests your willpower. Standard Bikram dialogue tells students to push themselves: go farther, stretch harder, focus deeper. Each Bikram posture forces you to focus 110% on your body; lock the knee, suck the stomach in, stretch and stretch and STRETCH! Oh, and don’t forget to breathe!
Bikram purposely designed his series to challenge the student; it is all about pushing past the limits your mind has made up, and building your confidence and inner strength. Every posture is a fight against yourself because the ego cannot stand the thought of accepting defeat. Like the little train chugging up the hill- I think I can, I think I can- you must break the boundaries fabricated between your mind and body and persevere. Regular practice builds one’s focus by quieting the mind and channeling the attention into the moment, into each breath and movement. It is not about just going through the motions, but putting intention into each movement in order to gain the greatest benefit from each posture. This is true discipline.
I fell in love with Bikram yoga my first class in September of 2011. I LOVE the challenge; I practically feed off of it. You’re basically working against yourself; I get extreme satisfaction from pushing past my boundaries and testing myself. I often smile in class because that is when I break past boundaries and take a posture to a whole new level. It makes me feel like a child- “Look what I can do!” The personal gratification Bikram practice brings helps to build your confidence and ground your energy, or make you more connected with your inner self. I have learned more about myself through practicing Bikram than I ever have through a therapy session; it makes me feel like a better person. Other things I have noticed change throughout my practice are my eating habits, my energy level, and my anxiety level. My eating habits become cleaner; my cravings for junk food subside considerably and I naturally crave healthier, more fulfilling foods. I am more able to sustain my energy throughout the day, as well. Exercise in general is a great stress buster, but Bikram really does the trick for me. I am less anxious and more able to deal with stressors and let things go. My practice also provides incredible emotional maintenance. Each posture works not only on a physical level but on an emotional level, too, releasing built up energy. If you are holding onto things (emotionally) be sure they will come up during practice. Don’t be wary though, it is just as important to cleanse the physical self as it is the mental self. Physically, I feel and look healthier and more vibrant. My skin becomes clearer, my posture is normal, and I am more able to enjoy other physical activities, such as hiking. I believe in Bikram so deeply because I have experienced the healing powers it can provide and know others that have experienced it too. It is a truly amazing practice!
Bikram clears the mind, renews the spirit, and rejuvenates the body. A complete package! There is a type of yoga that suits each individual, but I strongly encourage you to try Bikram. I promise it will be worth it!
You can find out more about Bikram yoga, the postures, and find a studio near you at this website: http://www.bikramyoga.com/
Check back next month for my article about Traditional Chinese Medicine!