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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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…

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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.

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! 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 below-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 below-mixture on.

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 castor 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 SerumIMG_3070

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. Choose your essential oil based on your need. 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!

Ways to Use Castor Oil

1. Sleep Aid: rub a tiny drop of castor oil on your eyelids (be careful to keep out of eyes!) to bring about deep relaxation.

2. Eyelash Serum: replace castor oil and vitamin e oil in a clean and empty mascara bottle; use daily to encourage eyelash growth. Another easy way to do this is to get a small amount of your finger and rub your finger over your lashes.

3. Eyebrow Growth: if you want to grow thicker eyebrows, rub a small drop into eyebrows.

4. Hair Growth: massage castor oil into roots** to promote hair growth. Use the recipe above for added benefits. This will also help with hair loss and baldness.

5. Reduce Split Ends: apply a small amount of castor oil or the Moisturizing Serum above to split ends to help seal and discourage split ends.

6. Scars: apply a mixture of castor oil and vitamin e oil (or the serum recipe above) to scars

7. Under-Eye Bags: to relieve swollen, puffy eyes and to ease under-eye bags, rub a drop under eyes using finger

8. Mole, Wart, & Skintag Remover: apply castor oil using q tip or cotton ball directly to mole or wart. Put a band aid on top to keep castor oil in place. Apply twice daily for best results.

9. Stretch Marks: apply serum recipe above, or create your own moisturizing serum using any mixture of oils! Apply to stretch marks daily.

10. Holy Detox Heaven!!!: I’m all about detoxification!! “The main component of castor oil produces significant pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects and is easily transmitted through the skins surface and into lymphatic circulation supporting detoxification pathways in the body” (My Healthy Life Now).

There are many ways people advise doing this, and most people use a castor oil pack. I tried a slightly different method because I wanted to preserve my castor oil. Apply castor oil to stomach… it is very thick, and may be hard to apply to a large area… use a mixture such as the serum recipe above. I then put an old hand towel over my stomach, making sure to cover as much of the area with the serum applied as possible. Then put a heating pad on top. There are a variety of timeframes people advise… I do it for about 30 minutes and that’s all I can normally do. This method also cleanses and detoxifies the liver.

Another great way that castor oil aids in detoxification is as a colon cleanse, removing any backed up waste in your system. It also works as a fast-acting laxative, so be careful! Mix a small amount in a juice that will aid in camouflaging its taste. I have not yet had to use castor oil as a laxative, but I hear that the taste is vile.

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11. Cracked or Dry Heels: apply moisturizing serum to dry or cracked heels to moisturize and heal.

12. Wrinkles: as with many examples above, castor oil is a wonder oil for skin health. Apply a small drop to wrinkles daily to tighten and smooth skin.

13. Acne: after cleaning your face (best at night), make sure your pores are open (through heat such as a steam treatment or warm water). Apply castor oil to skin and allow to stay overnight*.

14. Face Cleanser: use a mixture of olive oil, castor oil, and essential oil to cleanse your face. This mixture removes the dirty oils on your face and replaces it with clean, healing oils. Find out more here! 

If you notice, most of the methods I have described for the use of castor oil are very small amounts. It should last for quite a while. A little goes a long way.

If you have any additional ideas on how to use castor oil, please comment below!! 344dcad22b66df2af243c65740a8d4c2

*Caution: I’ve heard that castor oil 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.

**Caution: I have read that castor oil, when applied to roots, can darken hair slightly.

References:

My Healthy Life Now Blog