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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Tummy Roll On

12- Tummy Roll OnIf you are new to following me in any fashion, you should know up front that I love my roll ons… for everything. They are just so perfect. Moving on.

When my tummy hurts, I turn immediately to Peppermint Essential Oil for easing nausea, supporting digestion, and relieving gas. I rub clockwise wherever it hurts. So I thought, why not make a roll on, duh! I know that Citrus Fresh is also great for tummy issues, so it was only common sense that urged me to pair the two in a roll on.

Start with your base of witch hazel. Fill almost to the top, but leave about, I don’t know, enough to put 10-20 drops in there. For this one, I did 8 drops Peppermint and 8 drops Citrus Fresh. Easy peasy.

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Skin Health

healthy-faceBefore I moved to Ohio, I had not experienced the magnitude of dry skin that accompanies the frigid winters of the Midwest. My knuckles and wrists especially get so incredibly dry, that sometimes they will crack and bleed if I do not apply some type of moisturizer. So let’s talk about some ways to keep those dry spells at bay, especially during extreme cold.

Coconut Oil

One of my favorite ways to keep my skin hydrated during cold months is Coconut Oil. I like to create my own moisturizing mixture with coconut oil as my base, along with caster oil, olive oil, vitamin e oil, and essential oil. I keep this mixture in the glass container of a long ago burned and cleaned Bath and Body Works candle. Keep the lid!

Moisturizing Lotion

I don’t measure my ingredients because I just keep mixing until it is to my desired consistency. Start off with about half a cup of coconut oil, a tablespoon both of castor oil and olive oil, teaspoon of vitamin e oil, and about 3-4 drops of your chosen essential oil. See below for different properties of essential oils. Mix the concoction until you get your desired consistency and smell.

I apply this mixture to my whole body and not only does it moisturize those hands, it has so many more amazing properties! See what all the ingredients have to offer…

IMG_3070

Castor Oil

Castor oil is one of my all-time favorite things EVER! It is my Jack-of-all-Trades for skin care. At night before going to sleep, I like to get a drop (seriously, less is more) and massage it over my eyelids to aid in peaceful sleep. Make sure not to get it in your eyes, though! While I’m there, I give my eyelashes a good dousing too, which encourages their growth. Don’t forget to get under the eyes too! My reasons are twofold: it helps with under-eye bags and I have a tiny skintag that is attempting to form about an inch under one of my eyes; I am determined that will not happen. Castor oil is supposed to get rid of skin tags over time, so we shall see. If you want thick eyebrows, go ahead and rub your oily index fingers over them too.

Castor oil is wonderful for skin health. Utilizing castor oil in the above-recipe will aid in stretch mark and cellulite reduction, hair growth, and moisturizing the skin while not clogging the pores. Another reason I love castor oil to pieces is that it is highly detoxifying for the liver, especially if you place a heating pad or hot towel on top of your stomach after rubbing castor oil or the above-mixture on.

2ad40199be54acda879e3bf588d8b347*Caution: I’ve heard that the stains are impossible to remove if you get them on sheets or clothes. I have not really had this problem, but I don’t mind stains, so maybe I just don’t notice.

Vitamin E Oil

I purchased the vitamin e oil supplement pills from Amazon, and they arrived in tiny pill form. I was hoping for the larger pills, but must have gotten the wrong size. Trust me, you want the larger ones because it takes quite a few of the tiny pills to get the amount you want in the mixture.

Essential Oils

Lavender

Lavender EO wins the prize for best EO for the skin. Not only is it calming and relaxing both mentally and physically, it is a wonderful oil for all types of skin conditions. It may be used to cleanse cuts, bites, stings, bruises, rashes, and many skin irritations. This EO even eases burns!! For our needs, lavender is perfect for dry or chapped skin, including lips. This EO is also great for easing headaches and migraines.

Peppermint

This EO will help to soothe itchy skin as well as reduce inflammation and keep away headaches.

Cedarwood

Cedwarwood is great for dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and/or dandruff.

Find out more on how to use essential oils here!

Find out where to buy essential oils here!

Above are the oils I used in my detox bath last to help with skin issues and to ease some stress and tension.  
Olive Oil

Olive oil is a wonderful ingredient to add to any moisturizing mixture. More on olive oil later!

Oatmeal Bath

Another way to help combat dry skin is an oatmeal bath. Blend or use a food processor to get the oats down to a powder consistency. Move to a glass bowl for mixing, or straight to your bath.

Regardless of the need I may have when taking a hot bath, I have a few items I always add. The hot water will cause your skin’s pores to open, allowing the release of any built-up toxins. You may aid this process with some ingredients such as Epsom salt for detoxification and aching muscles, baking soda to neutralize any toxins being released so your body does not reabsorb them, and peroxide to aid in riding the body of toxins as well as being wonderful for the immune system.

For dry skin, add the oatmeal to the bath along with whole, almond, or coconut milk if you have it. I also like to add coconut oil in some way so I will either add a small chunk or take in my mixture from above and use that while I’m in there. Adding these extras to your bath will also help other areas of your body that may need it, such as your hair.

I would be careful dry brushing if your skin is very dry because it is brittle at the moment and may easily be broken open.

References:

“101 Uses for Everyday Oils Kit” by Young Living Independent Distributor

“Essential Oils Pocket Reference” by Life Science Publishing

“Everything You Need to Know About… Castor Oil” by MyHealthyLifeNow.

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

Where to Buy Essential Oils

I have scoured the interwebs in my search for the most natural, healthy essential oil companies and one conclusion ended all doubt… Young Living (YL) is the best. After trying YL in comparison to other companies distilling the oils, I knew I couldn’t go back. I’ll let the company’s mission statement speak for itself, “We honor our stewardship to champion nature’s living energy, essential oils, by fostering a community of healing and discovery while inspiring individuals to wellness, purpose, and abundance.” Young Living Essential Oils are 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils. They set the standard for purity and authenticity. They carefully monitor every step of the production of their oils from Seed to Seal – from the time the first seed is planted to the time the bottle is sealed.

If you want to get the best deal on essential oils, become a wholesale member to receive 24% off retail prices! You will also then qualify for the Premium Starter Kit! You don’t have to become a wholesale member to buy the oils. You will pay more for the oils at the retail value, but you do have the option to become a retail member instead of wholesale.  Here’s what’s included in the Premium Starter Kit ($300 retail value but wholesale members can get it for JUST $160 <– that’s a great deal!:

Premium Starter Kit

  • The Everyday Oils collection – 10 of the most popular essential oils from Young Living, including (all 5 ml bottles) Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Frankincense, PanAway, Thieves, Purification, Copaiba, R.C. and DiGize.
  • A home diffuser (retail value $96 – this is a staple in my home)
  • Essential oils user’s guide
  • Stress Away 5-ml bottle
  • AromaGlide Roller Fitment (to turn any oil into a roll on)
  • 10 Sample Packets (for you to share with your friends!)
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Bottles and Business Cards
  • Two NingXia Red 2-oz. samples (energy support)
  • Product Guide and Product Price List
  • Essential Oil Magazine (new!)
  • Member Resources and Information

Remember: you’re NOT obligated to make any further purchases after this. Wholesale membership simply allows you to buy the Premium Starter Kit at a huge discount.

How to Sign Up as a Wholesale Member

1. Click over to the Sign-Up page.

2. Select “Sign up as: Young Living Wholesale Member”.

3. The “Enroller ID” and “Sponsor ID” boxes should already be filled in for you. But if not, enter 2529635 for sponsor and 2529635 for enroller. 

4. Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address, and contact info. You’ll be asked for your social security number… that’s for tax purposes. If you make over $600/year PROFIT selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail, as is required by law. Young Living will never share this info with anyone.

5. Create your password and pin which you will use to log in to your account and order your oils.

1922024_627129860723830_4186663204699586866_n

6. Select your order: the “Premium”, “Basic “Plus” or “Basic” Starter Kit. I highly recommend the Premium: it comes with everything you need to get started, and it’s the best value of the three.

7. Set up your *optional* Essential Rewards Program (ER). You are NOT required to enroll in this program. This is a rewards program to earn money to pay for your oils. At this point, you can skip this step by selecting: ‘No, thank you. I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later’.

8. Agree to the Terms & Conditions.

9. CONFIRM YOUR ORDER! I’ve had many folks miss this step and end up not fully checking out – and I don’t want you missing out on your oils!

That’s really it. Everything else is just a HUGE bonus for you. Tons of resources, free shiz, living a healthy life… you get the idea.

WooHoo!! Your life is about to change. BAM. Do you feel it? It’s exciting, I know. Your enrollment gift is on its way and I will touch base with you soon to see how you like your oils.

Everyday Oils Infographic-Stress-Away

There’s More!!

When you sign up as a wholesale member under me, you also get the added benefits of utilizing all the great resources of Don’t Mess with Mama, who I have found to be extremely useful in learning about the oils and then furthering my oil endeavor. She also has a beneficial FaceBook page! Everyone who signs up under me will also get an enrollment gift, which will be given or sent immediately upon sign-up.

No Gimmicks! Seriously!

Here’s the thing… once you try these oils, you won’t go back either. So you can do one of two things… both of which are great!

  1. Sign up as a retail member to purchase the oils individually at retail price.
  2. Sign up as a wholesale member with no fees, plus 24% off retail value. You don’t have to sell anything. If you want to make this into a business, you absolutely can, but that’s up to you! All that wholesale membership requires is a Personal Value (PV) purchase of at least 50 a year… since the majority of PV are dollar for dollar, the Premium Starter Kit you get at half price for $160 upon registering will satisfy that requirement for this year. You would then want to purchase $50 worth of oils next year, but I doubt you’ll be able to wait that long! Plus, if you decide against it, your wholesale membership will just deactivate and you will lose any points you may have earned on Essential Rewards. Young Living won’t charge your card each year for however many years… if you decided next year you did not want to order, your account would simply be put on hold, in a sense.

If you have any questions about retail versus wholesale membership, Essential Rewards, etc., please do not hesitate to ask! I am here to help!

Other helpful links:

  1. Young Living explains essential oils with text, video, and photos.
  2. Young Living essential oil guide
  3. Ways to Use Essential Oils
  4. 20+ Ways to Live a Healthier Life
  5. How I Lost 50 Pounds… Without Working Out!!