A Guide To Starting With Oils
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!
Abs, Core and Pelvic Floor
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Natalie Hodson, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #abscorepelvicfloor http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
I've never been one to shy away from hard topics when it comes to women's health and I'm excited that, today, I finally get to dig deeper into one of my very favorite topics that most women don't talk about.
The health of our core and pelvic floor post-baby.
I've personally suffered from Pelvic Floor Disorder and pelvic inflammation for years, even before Grey was born, and after a 29 hour natural labor, four hours of pushing and a traumatic birth, my pelvic issues have continued since his arrival and I stay diligent to do all I can to support the health of my abs, core and pelvis. Not only for my health throughout life, but for when and if I'm blessed to carry and birth another little baby.
In addition to pelvic floor therapy and massage, I have been following Natalie Hodson's Abs, Core and Pelvic Floor program to work on my pelvic floor and core health daily. Therapy and massage can be pricey, and with a one year old, hard to get in for appointments as often as I'd like. Natalie's program allows me to stay on top of my body's performance and health every day, even with a baby in the room.
Along with Dr. Monique Middlekauf, a specialist in pelvic floor dysfunction, this program is well-rounded, touching not only on exercises that can help your overall pelvic floor and core health, but it also includes nutrition help, supplement advice and encouraging self-talk affirmations.
To be honest, I actually cried a few tears of joy when I found out about this book and program. I've been searching for ways to minimize pain and improve function in between doctor visits and this has been such a blessing to me, and by extension to my family, because when I feel better and have an outlet to exercise in a safe, effective way that supports the post-partum issues we as mamas can deal with, I am a happier person overall.
The program is an easy 30-day program that can be done right in your own living room. It addresses issues such as pelvic floor dysfunction (raises hand), Diastasis Recti (a problem that plagues many of my mama friends and clients) as well as helping with overall fitness and turning our mom-bods into leaner, healthier bods we can feel good in. Natalie and Dr. Middlekauf are extremely knowledgeable and the program is written well and is easy to understand and follow along.
Women are able to start the program as early as 6 weeks post-partum (or as advised by your doctor) and on. It's never to late to start taking care of your core and pelvic floor, and even women who haven't gone through childbirth but who suffer from pelvic or abdominal muscle conditions, can benefit from this program. Issues ranging from incontinence to chronic tightness (my personal ailment) to painful intercourse and urinary problems (also mine), can be improved by putting effort into supporting such an important part of our bodies.
As mamas who are looking to get back in shape, I know a lot of us jump right back into our old routine - crunches, planks, vigorous workouts - when in reality, as a personal sufferer of pelvic floor disorder, and with fellow moms struggling with Diastastis Recti, these are big no-no's in getting yourself back on track and they can actually increase your pain and underlying issues.
Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor addresses all of these key points and gives us women alternative, beneficial exercises that can not only help us get back into shape, but that support our issues, helping to heal, restore and strengthen.
The entire program is available in a printable PDF, as well as a series of videos, to further assist in understanding how to do each exercise, how to engage your muscles and how to use the right form to prevent injury. There's also bonus information on nutrition, which, as a nutritionist, I found exciting to see included because it is such an important piece of the health puzzle.
Taking steps to improve my pelvic health, is HONESTLY, one of the BEST decisions I ever made for myself. It personally changed MY life, which is why I am SO passionate about it, and why I don't shy away from the topic when other women want me to share my story or ask for advice.
Personally, from one mama friend to another, I would suggest you speak to your doctor or a pelvic floor therapist in your area to assess and diagnose your specific issues.
To learn more about this amazing 30-day program, read more on Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor on Natalie's website!
And when you do start the program, reach out! I'd love to cheer you on and do it along with you! Find more on the program and follow along my journey on Instagram as well with the #AbsCorePelvicFloor hashtag.
Although it's a 30-day program, I plan to integrate their exercises, stretches and tips in to my day to day workouts. Take the step, you won't regret. I feel so much stronger, healthier and so many issues have improved since I've implemented my game plan to better pelvic health. There is so much valuable information to gain from this program, in addition to what I was already doing, that I can use for life and am so thankful for it, and for them.
Pairing up with the Aetna Foundation for the Healthiest Cities Challenge inspired me to share with you some ways that me and my family infuse health and wellness into our everyday. Implement one of these each day, or each week, for a couple of months and they will become a healthy habit!
01. Start Your Mornings Slow -
Each morning I take my time to get ready for my day. Prayer, devotionals, cuddles with the puppies and a nice breakfast are key to centering me and setting me up for my best day working from my home office or heading out for events or meetings with clients.
02. Connect With Your Inner Child -
Playtime isn't just for elementary school and recess. Even as adults we need to take the time to connect to our inner child and play. For my full post on ways you can play as an adult, click here.
03. Drinking Water & Meal Planning -
Make sure that you’re getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and water each day. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you incorporate healthier food options for your snacks and meals. (credit Aetna Foundation) For assistance in healthy, effortless meal planning, contact me.
04. Make Playtime Count -
When it comes to playing with the kids, opt out of video games and TV time and do something that will stimulate you all mentally or physically. Whether this is a craft project or getting outside for some old fashioned sports and sunshine, it will benefit you all more if activities such as these become part of your regular routine.
05. Physical Care -
Aside from your daily workouts, activities like getting regular massage, joining a sports team, or yes, even regular sex with your spouse can greatly boost your endorphins, pumping the feel good chemical through your body, thereby lowering stress levels naturally.
06. Get Involved -
Volunteering, meeting new people and staying connected to your friends and families is shown to improve health outcomes. With a strong support system, you can also help each other make healthier choices and organize ways to stay on course. Websites like Volunteer Match or Big Brothers, Big Sisters are great places to start to connect to new people and help your community in the process.
07. Micro-Breaks -
Life can get busy and overwhelming, but simple acts like taking a few deep breaths, standing and stretching or taking a walk can help calm the mind and relieve stress. Remember to take breaks even on busy days, not just the slow ones and if you work from home, having animals is great because it helps force you to take mini-breaks. (credit Aetna Foundation)
08. Daily Workouts -
Of course one of the most important aspects of daily wellness is exercise. Aetna shares some great tips to making working out fun: Break it up throughout the day! Watching TV? Have a competition with your family members during commercials: Who can get the most steps up and down the stairs? Or who can do the most push ups or sit ups? Another way to make it fun is to put on music and dance! Me and Mr. Charming also turn up our iPods when we clean the house so we can clean and dance around, burning extra calories and making chores fun. Taking an after dinner walk as a family is also a great way to get in your fitness while bonding.
09. Power Down -
Hearing this one at the Aetna Foundation event reminded me that this is a weakness for me and something I want to implement in our home.
Put your smart phone and yourself in sleep mode. Try to create a relaxing bedtime routine or develop a sleep schedule to help you get the best night’s rest possible. This includes unplugging from electronics an hour or more before bed time. Remember that you can turn off notifications when you go to sleep. It keeps you from waking up when your phone receives messages throughout the night. Also remember to shut down the Wi-Fi! It forces everyone to have quiet time and it can have a positive impact on the morning routine. (credit: Aetna Foundation)
10. Help Your City! -
Help your city become the healthiest it can be by joining the #HealthiestCitiesChallenge. For more information read my blog post on ways to increase health and wellness citywide in your area.
While it's important to detox year round, the holiday season is a crucial time to take care to detox our bodies, mind and souls regularly. The change in weather, family and added financial stressors, additional caloric intake and cold and flu season all threaten our health on a daily basis. Below I share my detox routine that helps keeps me balanced overall.
I am not a doctor, as a nutritionist I am sharing what works best for me. While most of these methods are gentle and are able to be used by most, please always consult your doctor before trying any new detox methods.
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?
It's lightweight container also makes it easy to pop into my gym tote, backpack or purse and it lasts a long time. And you can enter to win TWO free bottles (one for you, and one for a fitness buddy) by clicking here because I think you beautiful ladies all deserve to be luxuriously hydrated too!
In addition to my yoga mat, headphones and water bottle, it keeps my gym bag light while allowing me to feel fresh and go about the rest of my day.
What special items makes your gym sessions feel luxurious and keep you refreshed?
This is a sponsored post. I received free product from Evian in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions, as well as the photography, are my own.
create your own ab workout
You ever have days where you set your intentions to work out, you head into your gym or home gym and then you space on your routine or lose motivation, ending up being less productive than planned? For those of you saying no, well that's awesome for you, haha, you probably have an organized workout regiment that you stick with. But those of you like me, who outside of tried and true favorites, don't have a structured plan of action each time your Nike's hit the gym floor - this post is for you.
Mr. Charming and I put together this master list of ab exercises and it's framed on our gym wall. A few times a week we set our intentions on a number, 200, 300 etc. and then pull from the list the exercises we want to knock out in sets of 20. It gives us the opportunity to mix it up daily and allows us to get right into our workouts without much planning. Below you will find our bank of 20 abdominal exercises that you can mix and match to make your optimal workout of the day. When added with cardio and yoga or Pilates, your abs will get an awesome workout each week!
If you have any questions on the above exercises, leave it in the comments! Most of them are pretty straight forward, and if you are used to working out shouldn't be anything new. It's just convenient to have a handy-dandy list in place so you can pick and choose and knock them out without much planning.
Have any to add to the list or do you have a favorite? I'd love to know! Happy summer to my healthy foodie & fitness girls & guys!
a very special fitness friday.
We have a SUPER special #FitnessFriday for you today!!
Yoga, for me, has always been a way to brush off the morning sleepiness, prepare for my day, pray and stretch out tightness that has settled overnight. It’s also a retreat when I’ve had a long or stressful day, or my pelvic issues are acting up and I need to open my hips. I love being able to go into our little home gym and put in a good thirty to sixty minutes with my mat. Which is why I am SO excited about this week’s AMAZING giveaway that YOU GUYS get to be a part of.
Cat from The Rustic Willow allowed me to include my readers in her AMAZING Yoga Giveaway in celebration of her one-year Blogiversary. I'll let her explain the goodies.. take it away Cat!!
Hi all! My name is Cat and I'm the blogger over at The Rustic Willow. I've been blogging for one year now, and what a year it's been! I've learned an incredible amount in one year (more than I could ever explain in one blog post) and have made endless bloggy friends.
In celebration, the folks at Aurorae Yoga have agreed to give away a Yoga Kit, which includes one yoga mat in the color of your choice and one soy candle in the scent of your choice to one lucky winner! (U.S. Only) They're SO sweet to do this for me and I'm so stoked to be able to offer these wonderful prizes to you!
Aurorae prides itself on offering a wide variety of products that are both environmentally friendly and safe for both humans and animals. Their yoga mats are free of Phthalates, Latex and Silicone and all of their products are all SGS approved. Additionally, their candles are may from 100% natural soy wax.
Whether you're an expert in yoga or just starting out, the giveaway is a great addition to anyones fitness collection.
To enter just follow the link to the Rafflecopter by clicking here! Good luck!
stress reduction yoga
Through my position at Runway, I've had the privilege to work with the beautiful Holistic Health & Wellness Coach Rachel Zeskind. She is one of our fabulous writers and always has something to share regarding clean living, eating well, managing stress and an abundance of fitness tips.
From time to time we are going to be sharing one of her wonderful recipes, videos or articles to help inspire a healthy and fitness driven attitude for this summer.
I've personally had a very stressful week - and needed something to help me recenter, get focused and be calm while helping to relax my muscles. Aside from my prayer time in the mornings, I like to unwind with gentle stretching, breathing techniques and Rachel's stress-reduction yoga video. The video takes just over 90 seconds and is a great way to end the day or break up a busy day.
For more - visit www.RachelZeskind.com
30 minute spring cardio workout
Spring is upon us, and if you're like me, someone who loves to walk & run in the great outdoors, this time of year can rain on our parades. In the form of pollen, and dust, and sometimes, even literal rain.
Since cleaning up my diet, my seasonal allergies are definitely much, much better, but there are days when the pollen is so high that jogging outside gets my eyes watering & itching and invites the sneezing & sinus pressure. That's why it's good to have indoor workouts in your back pocket so that you don't miss out on your fitness, and can still get your heart rate going and the calories burning.
This thirty minute treadmill workout is a good easy to moderate workout for walking and light jogging, maxing out at 6 or 7 miles per hour. It's one of the treadmill workouts I started with when I was training to work in more cardio.
20 minute elliptical workout
The elliptical has to be my favorite form of cardio. With past knee injuries and a pelvic floor disorder it is a comfortable and low-impact way for me to get in a good workout. I love to mix it up and try different variations of 30,60 and 90 minute workouts. Below is a challenging, but rewarding, 20 minute workout that is sure to make you sweat and burn calories.