20+ Ways to Live a Healthier Life

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  1. Get educated. I know it’s sometimes easier to stay ignorant to the products you consume and the toxins being poured into your body. If I delve too deeply, I may drift off in despair and hopelessness. Take it slowly, researching more of the products you use and how they are affecting your health, such as your deodorant, hair products, etc.. I’m not saying to slay all non-natural products, but I do try to find better alternatives. I still use hair spray and eat meat. I’m going slowly, but educating myself is paramount in getting my health back in my own hands.
  2. Use coconut oil. It is amazing for skin health and even hair health, although I find it makes my hair too oily to use on a regular basis.
  3. Take detox baths. Our bodies need help in flushing out the toxins we are consuming, and detox baths are wonderful ways to do so.
  4. Introduce essential oils into your daily routine. These oils can really amplify your health.
  5. Cut down on alcohol consumption. I still drink, but I do so in moderation. This cuts down on the empty calories and a headache the next day.
  6. Put a himalayan salt lamp in your bedroom to purify and cleanse. Check out this article by Don’t Mess with Mama on 6 Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt. 
  7. Up your intake of water and research the benefits of certain fruits and essential oils for weight management. I make a concoction I call Detox Water that combines several healthy ingredients.
  8. Drink 1-2 oz. of Ningxia Red each morning to boost your overall health.
  9. Use empty vegetable capsules, coconut oil, and essential oils to create supplements to aid in your health needs. Add citrus oils and Peppermint to help with weight management. Use Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon for allergy relief. Store in the freezer to help with leaking.
  10. Use a foam roller to release built-up toxins in your muscles.
  11. Download a pedometer app. If you know anything about me, you know I rarely get motivated enough to work out. This helps me see how much I’m really doing, or not doing, each day. It encourages me to take the stairs sometimes when I’ve been especially lazy.
  12. Drink warm water first thing in the morning with lemon juice or essential oil. Add peppermint, ginger, or any other citrus oil based on your tastes and needs. This will help with digestion, appetite suppressant, and boosting your metabolism for the day!
  13. Rub Peppermint, Lemon, and/or Ginger essential oil on your stomach in clockwise direction to aid in digestion and natural cleansing. This also helps if you are nauseous.
  14. Stop using antiperspirant. I know it’s scary, but most commercially-available deodorant is awful for our health and in some cases have even been shown to cause breast cancer. Either way, the lymph nodes in our armpits and neck cannot do their jobs of excreting toxins when we block their removal system (sweating) with chemicals. So we clog up one of our largest detox centers in the body, building up toxic nastiness all over the place. Detox your pits and use natural forms of body odor control. I use organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with “mother”) in the mornings and then after that dries, I apply coconut oil and essential oils. Some of my favorites for a nice scent include Thieves or Purification. They don’t stop the sweating, but they control the smell. I sometimes have to apply once throughout the day, but that’s about it. It is also the middle of summer, so that could be a factor. Check out this article by Don’t Mess with Mama on the 7 Toxins Lurking in Your Deodorant. 
  15. Diffuse Thieves essential oil to help boost your immune health.
  16. Add a tiny bit of coconut oil (I use less than a teaspoon) to your coffee in the mornings to help with digestion and internal cleansing done naturally.
  17. Dry brush before taking a detox bath.
  18. Try oil pulling as part of your morning routine. 
  19. Meditate. This is one I still work on, but it’s definitely worth it.
  20. Get out in nature. I don’t work out much, but it’s easier to do when it’s fun!
  21. Burn a smudge stick around your home, especially the entries and corners for cleansing and protection.

What are other ways to live a healthier life? Leave comments and this article will constantly be in work for all sorts of tips to living a better life.

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How I Lost 50 Pounds… Without Working Out.

10360831_10100890465157943_3960812638159976554_nYes, it’s true! I lost 50 pounds and I didn’t really work out. I first want to say that I don’t condone NOT working out… I’m just lazy and aim to work out, but never really do. I’m a busy girl. I’ve made sacrifices, and I will be getting back into the gym <– see what just happened there? I will still try to work out, but anyway…

About 2 years ago I started gaining weight quickly and without cause. I had already gotten my thyroid checked, and my levels were normal. I have hypothyroidism and sadly must take medicine everyday to keep my thyroid levels normal. Well, the levels were normal and I wasn’t doing anything differently. Still drinking the same amount of wine. Not gorging on sweets (that much). What gives!?! Steadily my weight jumped to pushing 200 at 5’5 <– and a half!! That’s definitely in the BMI charts as obese. This was the heaviest I’d ever been by about 30 pounds!

When I jumped on the scale one day and saw 194 staring back at me, I knew it was time to go back to my doctor. Let me clarify before people get all huffy… 194 is beautiful if that is what you’re comfortable at. With my height, 194 just wasn’t healthy and I didn’t feel it. So for the first 15 pounds, my doctor helped me out with a medicine called Phentermene. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but it helped me when I needed it. Once I started losing weight, I eased off the medicine and attacked my weight from a holistic view point. The remaining 35 pounds was all natural and all me.

I started doing rigorous research into the toxins we constantly put into our bodies and why detoxing is so important. The cleansing tools below were brought about over time. I did not jump head first into a detox obsession. Rather, it came about slowly because the results were obvious.

  1. I immediately started taking detox baths and saw a huge improvement in my health.
  2. I upped my water intake and concocted detox waters with powerful ingredients.
  3. I use essential oils each and every day; they’ve changed my life.
  4. I lather my body in coconut oil instead of lotion. This saves a ton of money and also moisturizes my skin naturally without all the added chemicals. Add essential oil for added benefit. Coconut oil is my favorite carrier oil. This is the recipe for my powerful skin serum base that you can add essential oils to for your needs. Read more about skin health here. 
  5. a2f900bca6a3d92fe6cdaf3903f0e066I spike my water with Citrus essential oils such as Citrus Fresh, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange, Tangerine, and Ginger to aid in weight management, appetite suppressant, cleansing, and digestion.
  6. Download a pedometer app. Okay, I said no working out, but we all at least TRY to workout, right? So this is nice because I can feel like I accomplished something if I have some decent steppage on my pedometer app.
  7. Take time for you. I stress a lot and even though I’m totally extroverted, I’m also quite introverted as well. I build up tension in my shoulders and neck, clenching my teeth without realizing it. This causes pain and headaches. Sometimes we all just need some alone time to de-stress and take it easy.
  8. Find your passions. Delve into new and exciting interests and hobbies. This will boost your motivation, releasing feel-good endorphines.
  9. 12- Tummy Roll OnUtilize Peppermint and Citrus Essential Oils for their weight management powers, including appetite suppressant and fat inhibitor. Rub the oils on stomach for digestion and tummy troubles. Diffuse. Rub on fatty areas to tighten skin and remove cellulite. Take in a capsule daily.
  10. I cut WAY back on the alcohol. So this wasn’t intentional, actually, because I quite enjoyed my glasses of wine each night. But my palate changed and soon wine, liquor, and most beer tasted repulsive. I’ve been able to drink hard cider with some ease, but I don’t want much. I think this is a great thing! But I will admit, cutting back from drinking a few glasses of wine each night to maybe one drink a week helped my weight start to fall off.
  11. I started eating less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables, fish and nuts.
  12. I started taking certain vitamins and supplements that were right for my body. My immune system is not great, so I introduced Vitamin C to my daily supplements. Vitamin B Complex also helped with energy and immune health. Research what’s right for you. Maca root is another supplement that aids in weight management.
  13. Get out more in nature. While this is breaching the “no working out” title, it’s easier to sneak in some fitness when it’s fun.
  14. I learned about dry brushing and attempt to remember to do it before detox baths.
  15. I also found out about oil pulling, which is where you take about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of oil, such as coconut oil, and add essential oils for flavor and health benefits, and swish it around your mouth like mouthwash. DO NOT SWALLOW. Pull the oil through your teeth for 10-20 minutes. I will admit I’m still new to this and can barely keep it in for 5, but you have to work with something. You are pulling toxins through your blood vessels and gums into the oil in your mouth. Spit it in toilet paper and throw it away. It will clog drains. Check out this article from Don’t Mess with Mama on oil pulling. 
  16. IMG_3594I started drinking 1-2 oz. of Ningxia Red each morning to boost my overall health.
  17. 1a0da5f9f599aab21aad78106a55b7f8I stopped wearing deodorant. Seriously. I freaked out too a bit. I have a massive fear of smelling bad (weird fear, I know). So I was pretty nervous, but I was also committed to finding an alternative to all those toxins! The lymph nodes in our armpits help flush out toxins in our bodies through sweating. If we block this sweating process through anti-perspirants, we are building up toxins within our bodies. The first step was detoxing my pits. I still use Apple Cider Vinegar in the mornings, then a few minutes later apply coconut oil and essential oils. My choices for my pits are either Thieves or Purification and normally something else, like Lavender to help with razor burn and skin health.
  18. I leaned heavily on certain Young Living Essential Oils for emotional balance. My world started tilting and I needed some emotional support. I received this support through the use of a diffuser necklace. I added a drop or two to a cork piece and smell it all day. The oils I use include Joy, Awaken, Release, Forgiveness, Valor, and Grounding… not at the same time. I also use these oils in the diffuser for emotional support.
  19. I utilized the powerful properties of crystals for healing.
  20. This wasn’t normally an issue for me, but I made sure I started getting 8+ hours of sleep each night. Sleep is important to me and thankfully, for once, it’s something that’s important for my health too!

As I stated above, I don’t do all these all the time, but I like to incorporate as many as I can into my regular routine. I’m now to a weight I’m comfortable at and the scale doesn’t mean much to me because I feel great! And that’s what should really matter.

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24+ Uses for Peppermint

361b6d2b32a7a5e0d748380cc055babfThere are so many uses for this versatile oil and I wanted to share its incredible health powers! There is no denying that this is a must-have oil for your daily routine! At first I didn’t like the menthol scent, but its plethora of healing properties is impossible to deny. So I’m going to start a list of the different ways to use Peppermint, whether fresh, dried, or in essential oil form.

  1. Peppermint essential oil (EO) is amazing for all things inflammation and pain. Add a few drops to your hands and rub on sore muscles to ease tension.
  2. While it’s on your hands, rub behind your ears, at the base of the skull, temples, neck, and forehead to ease headaches and migraines. (Be careful when getting close to eyes!!)
  3. Add anywhere from 3 leaves to a handful of fresh peppermint to a pitcher of detox water.
  4. Add fresh leaves to detox bath to help with sore muscles and to give you a boost of energy.
  5. Add fresh leaves to ice cubes for a refreshing and unique twist.
  6. Use mint leaves as part of a smudge stick to aid in protection, purification, and cleansing.
  7. First thing in the morning, drink a glass of hot water or tea with Peppermint EO, ginger, cinnamon (optional), and honey (optional). This will aid in digestion and internal cleansing. It will also boost the metabolism and give you loads of energy for the day.
  8. Dry mint leaves. Ground down as much as you can using mortal and pestle. Add to mason jar, adding your purposeful energy to the ritual by saying a protection spell or chant, such as, “Peppermint, plant of protection, I call on you now to protect this home and hearth from all who seek to harm. Cleanse this home while banishing all negativity.” or you could even say something as simple as “Peppermint, protect.” over and over while you add sea salt to the semi-grounded peppermint. You can then add something about the powerful properties of sea salt and cleansing, but just do what feels right. Take this mixture and sprinkle at all entrances to your home and all corners of each room. If you have some left, great, keep it! This is what I call Protection Salt. The great thing about this empowered Salt is that it also…
  9. Repels insects, especially spiders!! Add Protection Salt (above) to all doorways/windowsills and the corners of each room. You can also add Peppermint EO to ribbons and hang around the home and porch to repel insects. Rub on your body to help with the biting insects.
  10. Inhale Peppermint EO to boost energy and motivation.
  11. IMG_3673 Peppermint helps relieve upset stomachs. Diffuse for nauseousness and apply peppermint EO to the torso in clockwise direction to ease tummy issues. This has helped me in tons of situations!!
  12. Inhale deeply to ease car-sickness.
  13. Add Peppermint EO to an all-natural toothpaste of baking soda, coconut oil, and water. This will also help with dental health overall.
  14. Mix together EOs Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint to help ease allergies. Add to a roll on bottle with witch hazel as the base and shake before use.
  15. Add Peppermint EO to a spray bottle of water and vinegar for a healthy cleaning product free of chemicals. Add other essential oils to add even more cleaning properties! (Lemon, Thieves, Purification, etc.)
  16. Hang dried leaves or sachets in windows to repel negativity.
  17. Add several drops of Peppermint EO, along with other oils of your choosing and coconut oil as a base, to vegetable capsules. Freeze and take to aid in digestion, weight management, and as an appetite suppressant.
  18. Diffuse Peppermint EO, along with other minty oils 1a779c35a9a190ee8bd86ee04c6aa475such as Eucalyptus and R.C., to aid in sinus congestion and cold symptoms.
  19. Add 5-10 drops to coconut oil, coffee grounds, brown sugar, and other essential oils (Lemon, Ginger, etc.) and apply mixture to body as exfoliator to and help tighten skin, removing cellulite. 
  20. Inhale Peppermint EO before an exam or stress-inducing scenario to calm your mind while boosting your memory and cognition.
  21. Diffuse to purify your home and remove stale odors.
  22. Add a drop or two of Peppermint EO to a cotton ball and drop it in the canister of your vacuum cleaner before you clean. It will make your home smell amazing effortlessly while you clean!
  23. Add a drop or two of Peppermint EO to a cotton ball and insert in your car’s air vent. This will help your car smell great!
  24. Add a few drops to Ningxia Red to boost your health.
  25. Add fresh peppermint leaves in a mason jar nearly filled to the top. Then add a 40-60 proof vodka to the top of the leaves. Keep in cool, dry place for a few months, shaking every few days. Eventually, you will have a peppermint-empowered tincture.

I want to hear all the ways YOU use Peppermint as well! Comment here and I will update periodically!

References:

  • “Essential Oils Pocket Reference” by Life Science Publishing

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Hair Health

Beautiful Woman With Straight Long Hair Over WhiteWe all want beautiful, healthy hair! Some want long hair while others just want their hair to be thicker. I have some great ideas for all desires and needs to keep our hair healthy, shiny, and glorious!

Personally, I have hypothyroidism, which means I battle hair loss regularly and will for the rest of my life. I am always looking for different holistic methods that will aid in thick, healthy hair while combating hair loss. I hope my compilation below of different methods I have found to give me healthy hair will help you also!

Essential Oils

There are many essential oils (EOs) that will help keep your hair healthy. Essential oils are excellent for cleansing, nourishing, and strengthening the hair follicle and shaft. (I just said shaft haha)

  1. Ylang Ylang: promotes thick, shiny, and lustrous hair, while also fighting against hair loss.
  1. Rosemary: hair loss
  1. Lavender: hair loss, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, dry skin/scalp
  1. Cedarwood: hair loss, dry scalp, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff
  1. Peppermint: oily scalp, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff

Application:

Dilute 2-4 drops of chosen EO with coconut oil or castor oil and rub into scalp and hair. If you’d like to make it even better, apply to dry hair and then wrap a warm towel around it. Keep on for 30 minutes to an hour, and then wash out in the shower or bath. That isn’t necessary, but is still a great deep-conditioning treatment for dry locks.

TIP: When you are done showering, turn your water to a bit cooler, but not goosebumps-cold. When your skin is under the warm water, your pores open up. When you turn it cooler, the cold closes the pores again, and this includes your hair… rinsing it with cool water right before getting out will close in the wonderful oils you just conditioned with!

Learn more great ways to use essential oils here!

Natural Shampoo

The products we normally use are killing our hair! It strips it of any natural oils our scalp naturally produces as well as the beneficial nutrients in that oil. I still use commercial hair care products, but I’m slowly trying to venture to more natural solutions. I’ve found a few ideas in my search:

Ingredients:

Mix ingredients together. Apply to wet hair and rinse out.

1-Ingredient Natural Conditioner

You may think I have tricked you on this one, but it’s not a joke! I constantly talk about the amazing (and many) benefits of coconut oil, and this is another instance where coconut oil gets a gold star! Just take a small amount (a little will go a long way) and start at your ends and work your way up. That way, your scalp is not super oily, which can happen with coconut oil, and is why I am still searching for the best conditioner that’s also natural. However, this is a great conditioner if it works for your hair and doesn’t make it too oily. You can also add in other ingredients for your needs, such as castor oil to promote growth and essential oils, explained in detail above.

If I take a detox bath that has coconut oil in it in some way, I usually won’t even use conditioner because the water has already added it to my hair.

1-Ingredient Hair Rinse

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is another one of my favorite ingredients for skin and hair health. I use it in my detox baths frequently. Make sure to use all-natural ACV with “mother”… that’s the magic right there. Mix about ½ cup ACV with ½ cup cool water and rinse hair with mixture. Rinse lightly with cool water again. ACV makes hair healthy and shiny.

Biotin Supplement

I take a biotin supplement (as often as I remember) to help aid in the growth of my hair as well as the health of my skin and nails.

References:

“Essential Oils Pocket Reference” by Life Science Publishing

Hydrogen Peroxide

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Yes, this bad boy has his own Blog post!! He is another super star in my detox baths!

It is advised to use 1-4 cups in a detox bath.

Properties of peroxide:

  • Oxygen detox bath
  • Helps body get ride of toxins
  • Antibacterial and antiviral; great to use in detox bath if you’ve been around a large group of people, traveled, or were around anyone sick
  • Can pretty much heal any infection, fungus, cut, etc.
  • Ease tooth pain
  • Whiten teeth; toothpaste (mix with coconut oil)
  • Kills salmonella and other bacteria: spray peroxide, then vinegar on a cutting board or work area
  • Bathroom cleaner

*When used in excess, this can have a lightening effect on your hair, so make sure to wrap your hair up when taking a bath with this ingredient, unless you want to lighten your hair, I suppose.

Ginger

Ginger can be added to a detox bath to aid in detoxification, or it could be used in an array of other ways, such as to bake delicious snickerdoodle cookies. This superwoman has extreme healing powers that can be utilized in a plethora of ways.

Properties of Ginger:

  1. Eases headaches; migraines
  2. Eases tummy troubles; colon health; digestive tract
  3. Anti-inflammatory
  4. Eases cold symptoms such as sore throat, cough

Ingest/Take Internally

  1. Juice and mix with smoothies or juices for a powerful immune-boosting kick!
  2. Use dried ginger in recipes such as pumpkin pie or snickerdoodle cookies. Add some to your coffee for a different taste!
  3. Add to tea to ease cold or flu symptoms.
  4. Slice up fresh ginger and add to detox water.

Detox Bath

You can choose to put fresh ginger in the tub as well if you would like. Ginger helps you to sweat, so be prepared to. The more ginger you add, the more you will sweat and the hot water helps in flushing those toxins out. Sounds fun, huh? It is actually very relaxing, sitting back in the tub with your water beside you (preferably the amazing detox water you could make with a few items you probably already have on hand). I also sometimes will have wine as well, but tend to still gravitate towards the water because my body is sweating so much. Back to the ginger! It will get sweaty, but that’s what this ingredient does. Think of it like a sauna, but you can choose how much to add. Fresh ginger is obviously stronger than dried.

It is advised to put 1 t to 1 T of dried ginger and/or anywhere from ½ cup to 2 cups of fresh ginger, grated.

Article on how to peel/grate ginger.

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Sea Salt

  
Sea salt is another necessity in my detox baths. Sea salt is salt produced by the evaporation of seawater. When combined with hot water, sea salt helps to open up pores, hence the need for baking soda, to help neutralize any toxins being expunged. The baking soda also helps to cleanse your pores, opening them up to accept the nutrients from the great ingredients in the detox bath.

It is encouraged to put 1-2 cups in a detox bath.

Properties of sea salt include:

  • Improves circulatory system
  • Reduces heart disease and heart attacks by regulating blood pressure and minimizing irregular heartbeats
  • Antihistamine; clears sinus passageways; cleanses lungs of mucous
  • Improves muscle strength and tone
  • Eases muscle tension
  • Strengthens the immune system while increasing your energy output

Baking Soda

When you think of baking soda, you probably think of that tiny box sitting in your fridge, keeping odors at bay. That is just one of the many versatile properties of baking soda!

This is one of my key ingredients in my detox bath mixtures. When 1/4-1 cup of baking soda is dissolved in a detox bath, it helps your body in a variety of ways, including helping to neutralize the toxins you are releasing into the water so your body doesn’t reabsorb them.

Properties of baking soda include:

  • Neutralizes the chemicals, acids, and toxins your body is releasing through sweating and your pores opening up. Baking soda washes away oils and perspiration from our skin. Baking soda also neutralizes a main ingredient in our bath water, chlorine, while also increasing mineral absorption.
  • Facial scrub, body exfoliant, natural deodorant
  • Hair cleanser: the baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind
  • Relieves insect bites and itchy skin
  • Antifungal properties; cleansing
  • Leaves soft skin

Epsom Salts

Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is a key element in detoxifying your body. Mix with essential oil to aid in even more healing properties!

It is encouraged to use 1-2 cups in a detox bath.

Properties of Epsom salt include:

  • Flushes toxins and heavy metals from cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances
  • Helps prevent or ease migraines and headaches
  • Eases stress and improves sleep and concentration
  • Helps muscles and nerves function properly
  • Relieves pain and muscle cramps and soreness by reducing inflammation
  • Improves oxygen use
  • Replenishes the body’s magnesium levels, combating hypertension
  • Exfoliates dead skin, face cleanser, dislodges blackheads, removes foot odor

Epsom Salt PIc

Dry Brushing

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Dry brush your entire body before taking a detox bath to get rid of dead skin cells. It is also beneficial because it helps with the circulation of blood and lymph. Lymph is basically your body’s garbage system and if you get it circulating before the detox bath, it is very beneficial in helping get rid of additional toxins that may not be sweated out!

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