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My first experience with essential oils happened a few years ago when I was working at the Vitamin Shoppe. I was very intrigued by this section in our store and whenever I was assigned to organize and restock the products, I took my time in completing my task, pausing to smell the tester of each oil as I went along. The first time I did this, I learned my lesson about their potency very quickly because by the time I reached the end of the EO display, I was feeling slightly nauseated from the mixture of scents that were stuck in my nose.
(Not exactly sure what essential oils are? No problem…Pause for a moment and watch this video.)
To get the customers more engaged and aware of the oils, we started to diffuse them. They had such a powerful fragrance that they would fill the entire store, which wasn’t exactly a small space. We very frequently got comments and questions about what we were diffusing and people seemed very surprised that the aroma was so powerful. Since our team was always wanting to feel energized at work, we ended up using citrus oils and peppermint in the diffuser most frequently.
When I left this job, I still dabbled every now and then in the oils but was not a serious user. I bought some grapefruit oil as well as a spray blend to use at home, that made me feel peaceful when I smelled it. As I would do my grocery shopping at local health food stores, essential oils would always catch my eye and I would explore the selection that they offered.
It wasn’t until I met Sarah that I allowed my curiosity of aromatherapy and the healing powers of essential oils to fully grasp my attention. Sarah is a yoga instructor and I met her boyfriend at a networking event. After hearing a bit about her, I realized that it seemed like we had a lot in common and I was definitely interested to meet her.
The first time I visited their house, Sarah told me about the oils that she used. They were beautifully displayed in their kitchen and I was overwhelmed by the number of bottles she had. After smelling just a couple, I could tell that there was something different about these than the ones I had previously experienced at the Vitamin Shoppe and other stores. Their fragrance was stronger and smelled more authentic. Sarah explained that these oils were CPTG — certified pure therapeutic grade 100% pure oils that were not diluted with any fillers or chemicals; so pure that you could actually ingest most and use almost all of them topically with no worries.
As she told me this, I recalled that I had seen the warning “for external use only” on many essential oils and aromatherapy products that I had purchased or looked at before. I could practically feel the flick of someone flipping the switch and illuminating the light bulb over my head as I had this realization. I was immediately hooked. I needed to know more about these oils, there benefits and most importantly, where I could get them!
Now, it has been almost two years and I have been faithfully using DoTerra oils since this awesome introduction. My first investment was in the Family Physician Kit (now known as the Family Wellness Kit) and when that arrived, it was like digging into a gold mine. My favorite oils right off the bat were frankincense, On Guard, DigestZen and Breathe.
In my daily life, I currently use peppermint oil the most. It is a lifesaver for itchy/inflamed skin (so for those who have eczema, this is an absolute MUST HAVE); it eases tension headaches–even more so when combined with lavender; it is a cheaper afternoon-pick-me-up than coffee and it is an instant breath freshener.
Other issues that DoTerra’s oils frequently help me with…
Stomachaches – DigestZen
Anxiety – Serenity or Console
Stuffiness or other respiratory issues – Eucalpytus or Breathe
Skin issues – Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender
Inability to fall asleep – Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood
And beyond these uses, I have also added oils to my homemade body butter, put a couple of drops in smoothies and also sprinkled some in food recipes as well. The uses for these essential oils is truly endless and they provide an array of benefits.
Ready to try the oils out for yourself? You can visit my website to order or if you think you might need a little guidance to figure out which oils would best serve your needs, I would be more than happy to offer my advice. Just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ve done it. You have stomped your foot down and declared that you will finally (insert health goal here). After squeezing into clothes day after day that are “a little too tight” (ie. 1-2 sizes too small…), feeling guilty for indulging in another afternoon candy bar and collapsing onto the couch for a Netflix marathon for the fourth time this week instead of making it to your Thursday night kickboxing class, you are feeling completely fed up because you know that the person looking back at you in the mirror with lackluster skin, bags under your eyes and a few extra pounds that seem to have come out of nowhere, is not the real you.
So tomorrow, you’re going to get up an hour early, without complaint and go to the gym for a grueling workout consisting of a little cardio and a lot of weight lifting. Then, you will eat a healthy breakfast consisting of the perfect proportions of healthy fats, lean meats and complex carbs. You will skip your morning coffee and instead, opt for a freshly prepared green juice that you’ll sip happily as you drive to work. Lunch will be a giant salad with spinach, grilled chicken strips and chopped bell peppers and to replace your usual soda, you’ll have a big glass of ice cold water. When you get back to work, you will take the stairs to your fifth floor office instead of the elevator. Score! 2,000 more steps on your fitness tracker. When your afternoon sugar craving hits, you indulge in a cup of fresh blueberries and a handful of raw almonds. Your energy is through the roof from all this great nutrition you’ve been filling your body with all day. After work, you head home and upon arrival, you change into stretchy pants and a sports bra for a yoga workout and meditation. With a clear mind and still plenty of energy, you prepare a piece of grilled fish and steamed vegetables for dinner. To prepare for a good night’s rest, all of your electronics get shut off when dinner is over and you begin to wind down for an 8-hour snooze. Once everything is ready for the day ahead (including an outfit being chosen, lunch and snacks being packed and all necessities being loaded into your purse), you spend 30 minutes or so doing one of your favorite hobbies (reading, drawing, writing?) to ease any leftover tension from the day. Finally, when it’s bedtime, you slip under the covers and fall into a deep, restful sleep within moments.
Sounds too perfect and even impossible, right? Well, having this type of day is not but making it happen overnight probably is. Even if you do manage to have a day like this after resolving to make a change, the chances of you staying consistent with this routine long enough to see major results is highly unlikely.
“I can do it! I truly want to (lose weight/feel more confident in myself/reduce my stress and anxiety)!” You protest. I know. I get it! And I believe in you–but your best chances for success require time, commitment and patience. What good is making major change if it is only going to last temporarily?
When you create a plan for yourself that involves making small changes day by day, you’re more likely to stick to it than something that is more extreme. For example, doing 5 minutes of exercise every day for 30 days sounds much more manageable than adding 60 minutes of exercise every day for 4 weeks. Depending on what your routine is, I’m guessing it is going to be much harder for you to find an “extra” hour in your day, plus, unless you are already a seasoned workout junkie, these daily hour-long workouts probably won’t last past day 3–at least not without maybe having your most prized possession held hostage until you accomplished your goal.
As human beings, we are resistant to change and we fear what we don’t know. By making a small shift in our behavior, we are able to slowly ease ourselves into “new” territory without causing too much shock to our systems. Over time, these small shifts compound into big results because the behavior becomes a habit and 5 minutes of exercise easily becomes 10 and then 20, 40 and so on because we realize how easy it is/how good it feels/that we are feeling just a little bit stronger/that our pants are a bit looser.
Need an example with some concrete, measurable figures? Here is a tip from Today.com:
“Removing just two teaspoons of sugar from your daily cup of coffee may not seem like a big deal, but it can save you 32 extra calories a day or three extra pounds a year, says Morgan. If you’re a coffeehouse fiend and make two trips a day, consider this: Skipping that afternoon latte could save you an extra 54,750 calories (more than 15 pounds!)—and almost a thousand bucks—by the end of the year.”
How about that? You could lose 15 pounds a year, absolutely effortlessly. Trust me, you are not going to miss that extra two teaspoons of sugar a day. Well, maybe at first, but seriously…your taste buds will adapt.
When you stack small changes like this and stay consistent with them over time, it is mind-blowing the results that you can create. But of course, if it was truly that simple, the weight loss industry wouldn’t be raking in trillions of dollars globally, year after year.
Instead of being another one of those people who invests in the quick fix only to give up or seek out a different “solution” later on down the road when the weight or original symptoms of low energy or unbearable stress return with a vengeance, choose wisely and invest your time, money and commitment into a simple solution: a health coach.
Health coaches play many roles in supporting their clients, including being a reliable source of health and wellness-related knowledge, providing regular accountability, empowering you to push past your fears and self-doubt and overcome obstacles and provide a customized action plan that allows you to start and progress at your own pace.
Now, if you are truly ready to ditch the one-size-fits-all programs that require spontaneous and extreme changes in your diet and exercise plans and don’t accommodate your schedule, personal needs and ultimately don’t serve your overall goal of looking better and feeling your freakin’ best without sacrificing your sanity, then finding the right Health Coach should be at the very top of your To Do List.
Want to find out if you and I are a match? Take this quick Assessment and I’ll get back to you with an answer!
Essential oils have been long used for many purposes and are most commonly associated with the practice of aromatherapy. It has never been easier to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy for yourself and your family. Once you get started, you will want a diffuser in every room, of your house. Seriously. Here’s how to enjoy the oils in each area of your house:
In the bedroom: Set it up on your nightstand to enhance relaxation and deep sleep. Combined with a nighttime routine to signal the body that it is time for rest, using a diffuser can be incredibly effective in helping you drift off into dreamland. The oils that I recommend for bedtime are lavender, ylang ylang and Roman chamomile. These particular oils have been shown to support reduced feelings of stress and anxiety–common culprits for lack of quality sleep.
In the bathroom: Set yourself up for a spa experience by using your diffuser while you enjoy a relaxing bath or a hot shower. Waking up in the mornings can be more invigorating with the scent of wild orange or a blend like DoTerra’s Elevation. And winding down at night can be supported by a grounding scent like Frankincense, which is also known to support healthy cellular function in the body. (By the way, if you’re taking a bath, you can add the oils directly into the tub to enjoy their benefits too!)
In your office: Having difficulty concentrating on your work? Try a couple drops of peppermint in your diffuser and mix in a little bit of wild orange for a mood boost as well. Peppermint oil can make you feel reinvigorated and much more focused. It’s also a great oil to breathe in before your workout. The method for this is simple: place a drop of peppermint in your hand, rubs your palms together, cup them in front of your face and then breeeeathe.
In the living room: Keep the air your family is breathing clean and disinfected! Did you know that most air fresheners and candles are loaded with toxins? The cleaning industry is self-regulated, meaning that there is NO regulation as to what goes into them. When you think about how many toxic products you’re exposed to and how often, it is easy to see how the use of these products can cause long-term problems as the toxins accumulate in your body over time. Diffusing essential oils is a great alternative to most commercial products because they smell just as good (or better, in my opinion) and provide positive benefits, such as boosting the immune system and helping to relieve cold and flu symptoms.
Now that you know how essential oils can enhance your family’s health and happiness, I am certain that you are dying to get your hands on a diffuser. That’s why I am giving you a chance to WIN your very own starter kit this month! All you have to do is click here to purchase your tickets and read the description for more chances to win.
Would you like a customized plan for healthier living that addresses everyday habits that are easy to change and is complemented by the use of essential oils and other natural alternatives? Book your complimentary Wellness Consultation with me here.
Exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle or weight-loss regimen is a no-brainer! Although diet plays a major role in the results that we see and how we feel, physical activity is its complementary counterpart and whatever goals we desire are much harder to reach in its absence. Both elements, the right proportions will produce big results.
What keeps you from working out or what are the struggles with your current workout routine? For many, they find that there isn’t enough time for them to exercise daily because of work or family obligations. Another reason may be that they simply do not like going to the gym. (Between sharing equipment with uber-fit and therefore intimidating people plus how boring it is to run on the treadmill day after day…I guess you can’t really blame them.)
No matter what your daily agenda is or what responsibilities you are obligated to take care of, there’s a solution for you and an easy way to make enjoyable exercise a part of your everyday routine.
Here are my top recommendations to make working out an easy task to tackle:
- Start from where you are right now. There are no shortcuts! If your last workout was months ago and it was a 30-minute power walk in the park, it isn’t realistic to think that you are going to be prepared to sign up for unlimited Boot Camp classes starting tomorrow. Not to say that you wouldn’t be up to it physically–I agree that more often than not, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for how much we are capable of, but mentally, it will be no easy feat to adopt this drastic change.Take it easy on yourself and plan to take two 30-minute walks during the week. Observe how easy or how much of a struggle this is for you. Did you knock out two 60-minute walks without feeling much of a struggle? Awesome! Aim for walking on three different days next week and for extra credit, turn one walk into a jog.
- Go beyond the gym. The world of fitness is ever-expanding and all sorts of new fitness centers and workout programs are constantly making their debut into the world. Not into big gyms with lots of equipment but little to no guidance? Make a beeline for a specialized fitness center–one that offers yoga, barre or even “twerking” classes. Trust me, there is something for everyone out there. If classes aren’t your thing, get outside with portable equipment like a yoga mat, dumbbells, jump rope, etc. and create your own workout at the park. And if you’re a real homebody, you have absolutely no excuse because the number of online streaming services and effective DVD workouts available is Mind. Freakin. Blowing. Beachbody, Hulu, Netflix, The Daily Burn, Gaia…Your list of resources goes on and on.
- Keep it consistent. Once you get yourself into a regular routine, there is much less resistance to working out. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to exercise every single day–at least not in the sense of the word “exercise” that everyone expects. Burning calories and keeping your body limber can be as simple as doing a 10-minute yoga sequence on the mornings that you don’t have an intense workout scheduled. Other low-impact and more leisurely activities that count towards your overall physical activity count include swimming, bike riding, having a walking meeting with a colleague, taking a 5-minute dance break in the middle of the work day, etc. You may only be going to kickboxing or yoga three days a week, but you can still get moving on the days in between.
Spring is the perfect season to start a fresh physical activity routine. The weather invites you to spend more time outdoors and the sunshine gives your energy meter a natural boost. Challenge yourself and keep things fun by getting friends and loved ones involved. Remember to progress one step at a time, explore all of your options and find creative ways to make exercise a part of your daily life.
You return home after an 8-hour day at work that was jam-packed with a constantly ringing phone, numerous new messages in your inbox and a handful of customer complaints…every hour. You had to cut your lunch break short and barely had a moment to take a bathroom break throughout the afternoon. Breathing a sigh of relief as you walk into your kitchen, you reach into the refrigerator and reach for…
a) A kale salad with freshly sliced peppers, olives and strips of chicken breast
b) A bottled smoothie that you picked up from the grocery store on your last shopping trip
c) A pre-prepared perfectly portioned meal, featuring lots of veggies and a small serving of a lean protein
d) Whatever the least healthy and most fattening option is (most likely, a slice of cake that you end up topping off with not one but two scoops of ice cream)
When it comes to our emotions, they are the rulers of our everyday lives. Think about how you feel when you get out of bed in the morning. If you don’t naturally feel energized and motivated, think about how the rest of your day goes if you don’t take steps to steer yourself towards more positive emotions. Most likely, the rest of the day goes on with you continuing to feel fatigued and uninspired.
Precautions need to be taken in order to ensure that we are successful in our eating habits. If you don’t plan ahead, you are much more likely to overeat, indulge in calorie-dense and nutrient-deficient foods and feel more stressed out about your diet while also experiencing a major decline in self-confidence.
Here are some things you can do to cut down on your emotional eating:
- Plan ahead and decide what you are going to eat during the next few days or even the whole week ahead. Prepare your meals and snacks so that you aren’t pressed for time when you’re ready to eat.
- Create a “backup plan” for those moments that you may find yourself facing temptation. If you know that you swallow an entire pint of ice cream when you feel stressed out from helping your kids with homework for three hours, don’t keep ice cream in the house and choose a different activity to allow you to decompress afterwards. (Maybe coloring? Journaling? Playing video games? Just a few of ideas…)
- Always have a snack on hand. Things don’t always go according to plan. You get tied up on a conference call or there’s a major roadblock on your way home. If you’ve got emergency snacks available, you won’t be completely ravenous once you finally get back to your “regularly scheduled program.”
- Keep a journal. Sometimes, the worst thing you can do is bottle up your feelings. If you do not want to confide in a friend or loved one, get your feelings out on paper. Be aware of how this makes you feel, especially if it can give you as much (or more) relief as indulging in a candy bar.
The one step that you can begin to take right now that will make a huge difference in your struggle against emotional eating is to be mindful. When you are making choices about what to eat, think about whether or not the food you’re craving is going to hurt or amplify your overall health. Be aware of whether you are eating for a reason other than feeling hungry! Yes, food tastes good but food is fuel. Your body will let you know when it needs it.
You may even want to keep a log for a few days that details your food and beverage choices accompanied by how you are feeling throughout the day. Review the log at the end of the week and look for patterns that could be causing your bad food behaviors. Then, create a realistic action plan to make changes!
Today’s tip for minimizing your stress…
Create a playlist to shift your mindset.
Music stirs us up emotionally so it can be a useful tool during those times when we are feeling frustrated, defeated or simply uninspired. Think about what your favorite songs are–whether they are the hits that you hear today on the radio or “old school” tracks that bring back great memories and make a playlist that you can put on when you need a pick-me-up.
If you want to go a step further, create multiple playlists to set the tone for different moods that you want to create throughout the day. Choose peppy, upbeat tunes for the morning, soothing acoustics to put you in the work flow throughout the day and peaceful lullabies to set you adrift into dreamland at night.