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?
Some people are totally against it, others find it intimidating (you don't have to, get my easy recipes here!), others argue about the way the sugars of liquid-form fruits work in your body (and as a nutritionist, I understand these points too, which is why I always add veggies to mine for balance) and others find them to be a luxury.
Especially when you add in protein powders. Protein powders can be quite pricey, especially the good quality brands with high health benefit profiles, and so in turn many associate protein = luxury item.
But to me, it's a non-negotiable and it comes down to my priorities. If I'm blessed enough to have the means to stay on mine regularly, I choose to make it a priority, every morning. I feel better, I feel healthier and I perform better when my body is getting all of the nutrients, vitamins and amino acids it needs. And whether you're on the Standard American Diet, an elimination diet or special diet, its easy to miss out on essential nutrients your body needs.
I start every day with one of three smoothies. On weekends, when I cook a gourmet breakfast, I have my smoothie for lunch. I like to put them in rotation so that my body is regularly getting high doses of not only the things I'm deficient in, but things that my Dr. has prescribed for me, things that help my body to heal, to be energized and things that keep my immune system boosted.
- The first is a prescribed, anti-inflammatory formulated powder that is obtained through my Naturopath.
- The second is a new one for me, also prescribed, it's a pre-natal, fertility smoothie loaded with high levels of methylated B-12 and Folate to aid my MTHFR and fertility.
- And last but not least, the fitness star, is the protein and amino-acid packed Everlast protein powder that helps me when I'm working out, running, in yoga and in dance to give me energy and help to repair my body and muscles. If you are vegan, and can tolerate rice, this is a great option. It's a vanilla-flavored blend of pea, rice and hemp protein and packs a whopping 22 grams of protein per serving. That's over half my daily requirement for my weight! AND, NO GMOS and NO SUGAR. It's naturally sweetened with Stevia. It shares so many characteristics of the ones prescribed to me, I felt confident in adding it in to my rotation.
Going above and beyond that, this week I'm also extending them to my blog readers and social media followers. ALL the perks.
Visit www.EverlastNutrition.com to see all of the goodies & if you want to snag some for yourself just enter in my promo code NOSHEVERLAST to take advantage of all the goodies listed above.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Also if you join the mailing list before September 1st you could be one of ten chosen to get Everlast Vegan Protein COMPLETELY free to try it out!
This is a sponsored post as I received complimentary product from Everlast Nutrition for review. All opinions, as well as photography, are my own. Nosh and Nurture believes in authenticity and only in products that nurture well-being and health.
Know what you're putting in your body.
It's important to be aware of what you're consuming. We get one body and what we fuel that body with determines how we feel, both physically and mentally. Starbucks recently released the sugar content for their latest six new flavors of Frappuccino's that everyone is going nuts over and I have to say, honestly, these numbers are almost criminal. 102 GRAMS of SUGAR?!
There's also a big trend in people giving their children these sugar-laden drinks, the ones made without coffee, but I would suggest MUCH healthier alternatives. Make a shake at home. I have a recipe for a dairy-free and sugar-free shake that tastes remarkably like a restaurant chocolate shake that is loved by toddlers in my home. Childhood obesity and diabetes is growing at alarming rates and we the power to stop and slow that trend by making health-conscious decisions.
I am not saying we don't deserve the occasional treat, and if you must get a treat when you're out, know the sugar content. Opt for a sweetened tea or order a hot cocoa. Or work on a sugar-cleanse to benefit you, so that next time you will be satisfied with an herbal tea, warm lemon water or black decaf. Peppermint tea with a dash of honey is so sweet & satisfying to my palette now it feels like dessert. Make these easy swaps and your health, and your wallet, will thank you.
Summer has been a blur so far, but exciting. Between putting out the Summer issue of Runway, class, the new record deal and freelancing, it hasn't left much time for a social life, but we try to make it a priority. We went and saw Pitch Perfect 2 on opening night which was insanely fun and a big personal accomplishment, as in previous years, my anxiety wouldn't have let me attend a crowded movie. YAY for healthier living!
I'm mixing in a little gluten free oatmeal once a week and some high quality, organic rice or rice products as it's actually improved my digestion in the last couple of weeks, and sorry for the information, made me more regular than when I'm just on plants and meats. I also noticed, especially when I was pregnant, that my ketone levels were getting quite high, and healthy carbs, even in the form of sweet potato or starchy vegetables will help prevent that.
As a bonus, you'll also get access to my 5 Tips For A Successful Detox.
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! :)
As we head into the warmer months, runners will be wanting to head indoors. Our gym has an awesome indoor track that I love to use year round, especially in Arizona when temperatures can creep up to 120 degrees. Not so conducive to running outside. Here is a great one-hour treadmill workout to take with you when you go to the gym. Keep the incline at 1% throughout this workout, and if the pace seems too fast for you, you can alter it to your comfort level.
10:00-10:20 minutes: Sprint at 7.5 MPH
10:20-11:20 minutes: Jog at 5 MPH
11:20-14:00 minutes: Repeat Minutes 10:00-11:20, twice
14:00-17:00 minutes: Jog at 5 MPH
17:00-27:00 minutes: Run at 6.5 MPH
27:00-31:00 minutes: Jog at 5 MPH
31:00-35:00 minutes: Run at 6.5 MPH
35:00-39:00 minutes: Jog at 5 MPH
39:00-55:00 minutes: Repeat Minutes 31:00-39:00 Twice
55:00-60:00 minutes: Gradually slow, to a cool down walk/jog
Glad to see that you came back for more!
My goal for this article is to share my personal journey with TCM, but also not to overwhelm you with extreme details. *Spare me the details if you don’t mind* Had I written my testimonial fully, I believe it would be a very dull, depressing novel. On the other hand, the sharing of personal success stories allows the receiver to gain varied personal perspectives and health backgrounds, but also to gain curiosity or confidence in the product or practice through relating with others.
I’ve crossed my fingers in hopes of balance!
My journey began in the pit of despair… In August of 2010 I became very ill; depressed, lethargic, irritable, almost a hollow feeling. At first I thought it was the stomach flu because of the bodily symptoms I was experiencing, and I couldn’t eat or drink anything. All I wanted was to sleep. I felt lifeless, like what I imagine a person on their death bed would feel like.
At the time I was only using homeopathy, but I couldn’t bring myself to see my doctor. I just felt like it wasn’t going to solve my problem. After about three weeks (I don’t know how I made it that long), and trying a lot of random self-remedy things, my mom came to the rescue and suggested I look into TCM, which she had just stumbled upon. (Gosh- thank goodness for moms!) At this point I was willing to try ANYTHING. The stomach flu doesn’t last for THREE WEEKS. I knew there was something wrong.
The practitioner we decided to go with is based out of Seattle, Washington: David Akrish of Heaven and Earth Chinese Herbs. But wait, I live thousands of miles away, and I can’t just up & fly there like a celebrity up & fly’s across the world. Not to worry- A picture [of your tongue] speaks a thousand words… plus the thousand or so words you will have to write on the consultation form. Apparently the tongue indicates the level of your body’s own immunity and functioning. In a very transcendent way, David is able to diagnose exactly what is going on within your body without even meeting you. I know it sounds crazy, but TCM is magical in that way.
So, after the intense consultation that covered pretty much the span of my life history (must be thorough!), and a few hours on the phone, David reported that my body was shutting down. Talk about WHOA. I never thought I would hear that in my life, let alone at age 19. I thought I was in good health, that I was taking care of myself. Guess not. Like the straw that broke that camel’s back, you can only pile so much on until the camel’s back gives out, or rather my body called it quits. Basically, after a long life of unbalance and deficiency, my internal systems could not function any longer and began shutting down.
My whole diagnosis is much, much more in-depth, including deficiency & excess, liver and kidney problems, and digestive weakness. But David also covered things that reflected in other areas of my health, for instance my emotions and tendencies, which are affected greatly by our physical state of health.
Because of the ill state of health I was in, we had to start from the ground up and rebuild my body. David referred to me as an onion, because there were so many different things going on internally that they can sometimes mask each other. Once one aspect of imbalance was treated, another one surfaced; and so we had to work through the layers of the onion in order to restore balance and wellness.
My rebuild regimen mainly focused on diet- because we are what we eat- but also relied upon David’s raw herbal formulas, which you make into tea that tastes like earth. I basically went cold turkey on life as I knew it; I had to stop eating all of the things I loved until my body healed. The one thing I missed the most was PB&J sandwiches and chocolate. Yes it was difficult, but after just three months on the program I already felt better than I had in a long time. Within a year, I felt like a whole new person; no joke. I know that seems like a long time, but keep in mind we are working towards reversing all disharmonies- not an easy task.
The process it took to overcome my profound state of ill-health was by far one of the most challenging and intense tasks I have ever been faced with. I know that sounds scary, maybe even a turn-off or discouraging, but sometimes we just have to do things because it’s a matter of life and death, or happiness and misery. Honestly, I’m not sure I would still be alive today had I not gone through with it. I may not have died, but what life is worth living if you’re in & out of the hospital and stuck on toxic pharmaceutical medication the rest of your being? To me, that is the difference between being alive and just living.