How I Fell In Love With Essential Oils

Last year my family became a big user of essential oils, and I’ve been amazed at how many different things they can help with!! It’s kinda funny I fell in love with them, as I was a skeptic for a long time!! You see them everywhere and most people can’t help but wonder if they are a fad, or truly do work. I know your first thought’s reading this are probably…. “oh goodness, another person jumping on the essential oil bandwagon!” Before judging though, I’d love for you to read how I fell in love with essential oils!

How I Fell In Love With Essential Oils

How I Fell In Love With Essential Oils

Reason 1:

My oldest son has asthma, and it went un-diagnosed for quite awhile. Nothing worse as a Mom as fighting with doctors and trying to tell them what they were suggesting, wasn’t working! We spent many nights with my son coughing so much he got sick, missing over 30 days of school, and spending hundreds of dollars on medicines and tests (finally we got a referral to an allergist…surprise surprise, Mom was right and he did have asthma and a few allergies!). I turned to essential oils for help while we tried to find a diagnoses and not only did they give him peace at night, he was also able to recuperate faster!

Reason 2:

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I’m one of those people who really doesn’t like to take pills. Sure I have some I have to take everyday, and I do, but other things like Tylenol for joint pain, or allergy medicine….I just don’t like to do it! Well me doctors actually recommended trying to avoid medicine as much as possible. That was scary! At the time I was having really bad headaches almost daily! I also was getting severe sinus infections which put my on antibiotics every 4-6 weeks (yes, I know they kill the good bacteria in your gut…which Is why I turned to oils!). A friend of mine suggested peppermint oils for my headaches, along with an allergy blend, and an oil to boost my immune system. Not only did my headaches go from daily down to once or twice a month (if that!)….I haven’t had a sinus infection in 8 MONTHS! I had 6 in a four month period, plus the flu, plus strep throat!! That’s HUGE!! An autoimmune disease means a weakened immune system, but thanks to oils and a few other things, I’ve done much better in not catching things!

Reason 3:

Oils can boost your immune system and help with many condition! My kids were in 1st grade and Pre-K and brought home so many germs!! For awhile it seemed someone was always sick! I found an oil that boosts their immune system and started mixing it with coconut oil, and rubbing on their backs and feet each night. Second half of school….neither of them got sick!!! And if they did start to feel down, I would put a few oils in a diffuser in their rooms, and the next day they were back to normal!! (Disclosure: I did also start giving them probiotics, and a REALLY GOOD kids vitamin!)

Reason 4:

ADHD…..this is something so many kids are diagnosed with these days, especially boys! My oldest son was first thought to have this in Kindergarten, but at the time we didn’t know much, so didn’t do much! By 1st grade, it got much worse. He fell behind in learning, his grades suffered, and each day of school was miserable because he struggled. I wanted to avoid medicine if I could after reading too many scary stories and my own husband having issues with it! I began to research and learned a lot! Such as it’s most common in boys and their brain develops slower, plus most boys are just higher energy than girls. I did a few different things to help him (good vitamins, especially omega vitamins, no junk food, lots of activities, etc) but one of the biggest was oils! I used an oil to help him pay attention, and one to help him calm down. Not only did his grades go from failing to A’s, he also began to enjoy school! He went from being behind, to excelling in all his work! The joy on his face showing me all his good grades makes all the research and changes we did worth it!!

 

So that’s it! That’s how I fell in love with essential oils!! Everyone has different stories and different results, but if you haven’t tried oils, I really recommend it!

 

For those new to the oil world, I’d love to share a little more about them! Now, I am not an expert by any means (luckily I have a good friend who is and I pick her brain often!), but here is just some generic information on oils, how to use them, and picking brands to try!

How I Fell In Love With Essential Oils

Essential oils come from plants and are the highly concentrated version of the natural oils in plants. The oils are removed from the plant through a process called distillation using steam or water.  They also use different parts of the plants such as seeds, bark, leaves, flowers, etc. The end result is a highly concentrated oil from the plant which carries the fragrance of the plant along with some of its healing properties. So when using oils, you literally are using plants to help heal you!

 

Essential oils were mankind’s first medicine! In fact, research shows they have been used for thousands of years by physician’s and priests. They were even found in alabaster jars in the tomb of King Tut!! In the temple of Isis on the island of Philae, a sacred room was used for emotional clearing using oils and oils baths! There are over 180 references to essential oils in the Bible! A few you may recognize are rosemary, myrrh, and frankincense….two of these were presented to the Baby Jesus by the wise men!

 

What can essential oils help with??

  • Headaches
  • Allergies
  • Nausea
  • ADHD
  • Digestion
  • Balance Hormones
  • Skin Conditions
  • Joint Pain
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Cold and Flu Symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

The list goes on and on and on!

 

Where can you get oils?

This one is very important!!! I have read many horror stories of people being hurt by buying bad quality oils, or not using them in the right way! One tip is never buy cheap oils from the grocery store, amazon, or a drug store.  If it looks too good to be true, just say no!!! Buy them from a company that is well experienced in making high quality oils. I personally have bought oils from FIVE different companies  and loved them all. They were all high quality oils, from organic farms, some were much more expensive than others which was one reason I kept trying different companies.  I did try and find a chart showing different oil testing that is done, but it was hard to do as the oil business is very competitive and most charts were made by a company to make themselves look good haha. I would also suggest asking friends which oil company they use as there are quite a few! And then compare prices! I have found the quality on the 5 companies I tried was all the same….it came down to the price differences. Things to look for are testing such as GC/MS, organic, proper label with information, and price (should be reasonable and not too cheap!).

Also, do NOT ingest oils! While writing this article, I came across a few articles on the FDA saying never to ingest, unless working with a certified expert.

101 Uses For Essential Oils

FDA-Use Oils Responsibly and With Proper Instruction

Choosing An Essential Oil

 

Here are my favorite books on essential oils, how to use them, and blends to make!

The Essential Life

Essential Oils Natural Remedies 

Essential Oil Recipes: One Drop At A Time

Smart Mom’s Guide To Essential Oils

 

Here are a few of my favorite essential oil items:

Essential Oil Car diffuser

Car Freshener 

Home Diffuser  ( I Like this one as it will go all night vs the small ones that only last an hour or two!)

 

 

You can use oils for so many health issues, but also fun things too! I’ve done bath bombs and sugar scrubs with them, bug repellent luminaries, toilet fizzes, car fresheners, and more!! They truly are amazing and can help with many different health benefits. No they are not some crazy fad seeing as they have been around for thousands of years. Don’t take my word for it, give them a try!

How I Fell In Love With Essential Oils

 

 

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review and who use affiliate links. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
Dana

Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal

The moment every parent dreads….the stomach bug!!! If your kids have not been in school or exposed to other kids much, you are lucky!! Nothing is worse than the horrible stomach bug, especially when your kids are little! My family has been very blessed in that my kids have mostly gotten sinus problems or random sickness that was NOT the stomach bug. It has really only hit my house 3 times in almost 7 years of being a Mom so that is really good! But as all parent’s know who have experienced it…one time is one time to many! But I’m excited to say I finally found a way to stop it in it’s tracks!! This is how you can stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal!!

Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal

Let me start out by saying, kids get sick all the time! Especially when they are young as they don’t understand germs, washing their hands, covering their mouths, etc. Some people are born with an amazing immune system that can combat anything, but others get sick when they have those lovely germs rubbed on them. I talked to a few teachers and they all agreed that under 3rd grade, they constantly have kids out each week sick (One school in my area had over 75 middle school kids out with a stomach bug). They sneeze on each other, hug each other, share snacks and drinks, come to school sick, touch the same school supplies…it’s germ central! As a parent, you can try and boost your child’s immune system, but most the time the first few years of school are just rough. And for some parents, it’s year after that! My poor Mom did all she could to keep me healthy yet I would end up in the hospital from stomach bugs pretty often. So parent’s, if your kids are constantly getting sick….don’t beat yourself up! I know kids with super healthy parents and lifestyles who are sick all the time. I know kids who eat junk food at every meal and never get sick. Each child is different but after talking with multiple Mom’s, Teachers, Nurses, Registered Dietitian, and a Physicians Assistant the general conclusion is kid’s will get sick often when in elementary school!

Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal

Of course there are a few things you can do to help. Healthy eating and exercise is key! Avoid processed foods, foods high in sugar, and junk food. Fruits and vegetables are hard for kids sometimes but you can sneak them in smoothies, spaghetti sauce, and soups! My kids do a smoothie for breakfast, a sandwich, yogurt, and organic fruit snack for lunch, and popcorn and fruit when they get home from school. Along with healthy foods, you also can give kids probiotics which help boost their immune system. Here are a few helpful articles on probiotics, plus some good ones to pick.

Probiotics For Kids

Baby-Biotics

 

I personally also use an immune boosting essential oil blend. That has been such a huge game changer for my kids! For example, last December my oldest son was sick an entire month, and then passed it to my two younger kids. This December, my daughter got a stomach bug at the beginning of the month (Yay PreK Germs!) that lasted two days….and that was it!!!! We survived December with just that one tiny bug, and thanks to the immune boosting oils, it didn’t go to my boys! Parent’s of multiple kids, you know how hard it is NOT to spread germs from one kid to the other haha, so this was a big accomplishment! Earlier this month, my husband got strep (he works at a hospital so comes in contact with many germs!) We didn’t realize it was strep and by the time he got diagnosed, but the boys got it too! I rubbed the essential oil on myself and my daughter (hers is diluted!) plus had it going in all our diffusers. Now, I need to mention in case you don’t follow my blog often, I have an autoimmune disease. I also found out recently my immune system is pretty much not working at all (Very low sIgA) so of course I just assumed I would be getting the strep too….NOPE!!! My daughter and I both managed to not get it!! Thanks to the power of an immune boosting essential oil!

Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal

I also recently discovered another great home remedy….activated charcoal! I had heard in the past that you can Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal, but also that it was a good detox in case I ate gluten. I bought it, then never ended up using it! I finally got a chance though! My oldest son came down with a high fever, and said he felt very tired. He rested all day, went to bed early, and I hoped he would feel better the next day. NOPE! About 30 minutes after going to bed, he came downstairs and threw up. Now, panic mode set in for me as he had a 103/104 fever all day and with throwing up, he wouldn’t be able to keep the medicine down! After he threw up the second time about 30 minutes later, I started looking up “at home remedies for the stomach bug” and what I came across was the activated charcoal. I read a ton of reviews from others who had used it, plus called my husband to have him ask about it (one of the small benefits of him working at the hospital at that time). Once I finally figured out a dosage, I decided to give it a try as Will had thrown up 5 times in less than 2 hours. I was sure he would throw it up (I mixed it with water and ice) since he hadn’t stopped getting sick….but an hour passed and he kept it down! And his fever was lowering!! I sent him to bed still doubtful and thinking we would be up soon with another trip to the bathroom, but I was wrong! He slept good the entire night and was so excited he didn’t throw up again, he came bounding in my room at 6am to say he wasn’t sick anymore!

Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal

I also took some myself as my stomach began to feel queasy…I’m not sure if I was getting the bug, or just lack of sleep and nerves from him being so sick. But after a day I felt better so I was able to Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal in myself and my son! Plus thanks to my essential oil immune booster, neither of my other kids got it. Again, Mom’s of multiple children you know how rare that is haha. My 2 year old even drank out of big big brothers cup!! I will definitely be keeping it on hand for the future as it stops that stomach bug right in it’s tracks! Activated charcoal works for stomach bugs because it adsorbs the bacteria responsible for the bug, helping you to then treat it and hopefully prevent it from spreading…but don’t just take my word on it, look it up and you’ll see this is a must have item! (100% grape juice is a good prevention method for the stomach bug as the acid in it coats the bag stomach bacteria…prevention though, it won’t work if you are already throwing up).

Stop Stomach Bugs With Activated Charcoal

Those are my tips on stopping yourself from getting a stomach bug, or what to do help once it starts! Remember kids get sick, so Mom’s, it’s not your fault!! Just do the best you can, try a few different things, and when in doubt, ask your doctor for tips on boosting their immune systems!

 

*This is not medical advice, just sharing things that have worked for me after consulting our own doctors. Always check with a medical provider first before giving yourself or children any supplements, or holistic medicine*

 

 

 

 

Dana

Dear 2017

2016 was a very rough year for me. As a personal trainer, it’s hard to watch your body change from strong to weak. As a Mom, its hard to have to tell your kids many days a week that you are sick. As a friend, it’s hard to act like you are fine when the truth is you feel horrible….yet you don’t want to be a burden to people. One of my biggest struggles though is sharing what I’m going through. Most my life I’ve been told I’m a “perky” person and I like that trait….but the health problems have turned me into someone else. It’s a struggle to admit what I’m going through but that’s one thing I want to change in 2017!!! I hope that my story might help someone else who is going through the same thing, to know they are not alone!

unnamed-1Backstory: In March 2016 I had been struggling with some health problems. Fatigue, bruising, sore muscles, nails breaking, hair falling out, etc. A visit to the doctor resulted in the discovery of a nodule on my thyroid. After a rushed trip to the hospital for an ultrasound and the discovery that I did indeed have a lovely lump growing….I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. It is an autoimmune disease that targets your thyroid and attacks it until your thyroid no longer works. Repeat attacks on the thyroid is what caused the lump to form. For those that don’t know, the thyroid stores and produces hormones that affect the function of virtually every organ in our bodies. It’s kinda like the powerhouse of the body and when it doesn’t work well you feel horrible! There is no way to cure an autoimmune disease so instead they treat the damaged thyroid.

 

I began thyroid replacement treatment in the hopes that would improve my symptoms as the autoimmune disease had put me into hypothyroidism which meant my thyroid wasn’t working as well anymore.  The hypothyroidism can cause many harmful side effects so I also had issues with my reproductive system and now have hormone treatments plus ultrasounds. It also damaged my stomach and we discovered I have something called Barrett’s Esophagus where the lining of your esophagus has been badly damaged and you have a long term risk for esophagus cancer. I currently take a daily acid reducing medicine in the hopes of stopping the damage to my esophagus and will have another biopsy done on it in a few months to see if it has gotten worse. I’ll get to have those for life BUT luckily that put me to sleep, its over in a few minutes, and the recovery is easy!

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In the beginning of August, I started having severe sinus infections. In fact, I have currently had 5 since then!!! The reasoning behind that….I’m not sure haha. I did find out I basically have no immune system right now which means I have to be very careful with who I am around as I get sick so easily. I also noticed I began gaining weight, was cold all the time, and has weird pains in my hands and feet. A return for more blood work showed that my thyroid had been damaged even worse than before and which resulted in increase in my medicine plus some more blood work and another ultrasound to see if my lovely little thyroid growth has gotten bigger.

 

Needless to say, 2016 has been rough! I think the hardest part for me was mentally handling all this. Waking up everyday feeling sick is a lot to handle especially with 3 kids and a husband who isn’t around very much due to his schedule. Before long, I noticed myself feeling depressed. It seemed each time I went to the doctor, they found something else wrong. It was the most frustrating situation as I’m not a big fan of going to the doctor, but now I have FIVE doctors I go to! I understood pretty quickly why many people with an autoimmune disease suffer from depression. A chronic illness is lonely. No one understands how painful it is (physically and mentally) unless they have been there. Gone is your motivation, your perkiness, your desire to socialize. You become someone different.

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This has taught me so much though! I’ve learned I’m far stronger than I ever thought. I’ve learned that I have a voice, and even though I hate talking about my weaknesses, I need to! I’ve learned that simply being there for someone who is struggling, is one of the BEST things you can do. I’ve learned to relax more, stop beating myself up, and ask for help. I’ve learned to laugh as much as possible and make good memories. But most importantly, I’ve learned to be thankful. I’m thankful it’s me going through this and not my kids! I’m thankful for a job where I can work from home…if not I would be on disability at this point! I’m thankful for my wonderful tribe of supportive friends. I’m thankful that I’m a fighter!!!

 

2016 was a very rough year for me…..but 2017 will be amazing. I actually have a tattoo of a Phoenix I got over 12 years ago, and it applies even more now than then! Sometimes you have to be worn down and defeated in order to rise again!

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For 2017, I’m taking a lot more time for me and focusing on my health. My husband is taking some time off from college to help me more. I plan to find a doctor that can handle all the issues an autoimmune disease causes, and hopefully focus more on total health. I have a great nutrition plan in place as I follow the paleo diet, and a workout plan that is not too much stress for my body to handle. I can always use extra prayers though so if you don’t mind adding my to your prayer list, I would greatly appreciate it! And if you know anyone with an autoimmune disease, I beg you to reach out to them often and let them know you are praying for them. That simple act could change their whole day. An autoimmune disease is a very depressing, lonely, and overwhelming disease and just giving someone a shoulder to lean on can truly make all the difference for them.

 

Here is to 2017!!! It may take a little while, but I know it will be amazing!!!

Dana

Toxin Free Is The Way To Be

Last year I began the journey to a toxin free home. For many people, they think that is “extreme” and don’t understand my choice. That is totally fine as it’s not for everyone….but for me, health is EXTREMELY important. I feel that is one of the BEST gifts I can give my children!

Publication4

My obsession with health and fitness started young as I had always battled my weight.  But after having my first child, I learned that losing weight the healthy way, was best and sometimes being fit was way more important that the number on the scale! Slow and steady I dropped over 80 lbs and fell in love with being strong! I became a personal trainer and nutritionist and my focus became on helping others find their love for health!!!

 

But I began to struggle. My oldest two kids are 16 months apart, and I noticed I started getting sick easier, my weight became a struggle, I had headaches and fatigue. But I pushed on! After my 3rd child was born I had non stop issues. Finally last year the words “autoimmune disease” started being thrown around by my doctors.  That was hard to hear because for those…there are NO cure and once you get one, more come along to play…..

 

“Simply put, autoimmune diseases are conditions where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues rather than a foreign molecule like bacteria. This happens when something confuses the immune system. Increasingly, that “something” appears to be the enormous load of environmental toxins to which we are all exposed.”

go green

When I began to research, I found that YES I lived a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating fruits and veggies, but I had a very toxic home! I cleaned with dangerous chemicals, I used the cheap, toxic shampoo and personal care products, and I never read labels or ingredients on products I put on my skin!!!! I began to learn that every single product we use can effect our health, not just the items we eat! I also learned that we may be healthy NOW, but those toxins can build up in our bodies and cause damage in the years to come. All that research led me to the decision to convert our home to toxin free.

 

Knowledge is power. Health is important. And we have to educate ourselves and KNOW that many diseases can be prevented. More and more people have health issues now than they did 50 years ago. The reason??? The toxins and chemicals in our products!  People may laugh at my toxin free lifestyle, but for me, full body health needs to be a priority!

 

Need A Better Place To Grocery Shop?? Meet My Toxin Free Online Grocery Store!

 

Capture-d’écran-2012-04-10-à-14.44.24-1024x767

Autoimmune Disease: Stop Your Body’s Self-Attack

Cancer And Toxic Chemicals

Laundry Packet Poisonings Increase in Kids

Dana

Healthy Crock Pot Chili

One of the only things I like about winter is getting to eat lots of soup!! I’m one of those people who can’t eat soup when its hot outside, so I really enjoy it for most of the winter. I normally make 4 different types of soup, and freeze them so we have an easy meal every week. Chili is one of the favorites in my house, my 18 month old LOVES chili!! I like it as its packed full of protein, healthy, and fills you up! Plus this recipe is super easy and makes a huge batch so I also have something for lunch all week too. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Healthy Crock Pot Chili12063587_10153286085164576_4687325389345251948_n

 

Ingredients 

1 Lb. Lean Ground Turkey

1 Onion

1 Yellow Pepper

1 Red Pepper

2 Cans Tomato Sauce (15 Oz)

2 Can Diced Tomatoes (15 Oz)

2 Cans Black Beans (15 Oz)

2 Cans Kidney Beans (15 Oz)

1 Cup Frozen Corn

1 Tbsp Chili Powder (add more if you like your chili to have a kick!)

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Pepper

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

 

Directions

10353088_1061867783846687_4815752159621034768_nPour the olive oil into a saute pan and cook the ground turkey. While it’s cooking, chop up the onion and peppers and pour them in the crock pot. Rinse off the beans and add those to the crock pot too. Next add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Once the ground turkey is brown, add it to the crock pot along with the corn. Stir the ingredients in the crock pot. Next add the spices and stir again. One everything has been stirred, turn the crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours (or 4 hours on high).

Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!!

You can also freeze this and warm it up when you need it!

 

 

 

Dana