Metabolism

Six weeks in to 2017 and I am feeling great! I posted in January about my game plan to make this year, a year full of health. To read my thoughts on new years resolutions and see how I am approaching this year differently you can read here. Of course there have been struggles along the way and I wanted to share some thoughts with you before I get into today’s topic on metabolism.

I noticed a few weeks into my game plan that something was missing. I felt like I needed an extra something to boost my motivation. I looked around to those who I see as successful in their health pursuits and I noticed one thing. They had created a community around them. So, I began to brainstorm on how I could insert myself into a community or build one around me. I came up with two ideas.

First, I reached out and found an awesome personal accountability partner. We text every day and hold each other accountable when we fall. I love that I can reach out when I have a difficult day. I also love that when I start to get off track she is right there to be like “no”. I really recommend finding a partner in your health journey, if you have not found one already.

Second, I started attending the free group fitness classes my college offers. Yes, seriously they are free and I never took advantage of them before. Better late than never though! I love having these people around me. We recognize when someone is missing and we are so happy to see each other in class. This group is amazing and judgment free. I have been so blessed by this free resource. Now I don’t want to skip a workout because I love seeing their sweaty smiling faces haha!

Both of these things combined with my home workouts and eating plan, have helped me tremendously in 2017. I am seeing progress for the first time in over a year! Stay tuned for updates on my 2017 “game” ūüėČ

Now, onto the metabolism! Contrary to our typical belief that metabolism is fat  burning, metabolism is a term that actually encompasses all of the chemical reactions that take place in our body. This of course includes fat burning but, I wanted to dig down to the base definition to demonstrate a point. Everything is connected. If you notice your “metabolism” slowing, you are actually seeing the result of a breakdown in your body’s basic chemical functions. This is a big deal. We need our bodies to thrive all the way down to a chemical layer. If one piece breaks down, we see the effects everywhere else. Because of this interconnected relationship, we need to approach the body as a whole. Metabolism has many different facets that need to be addressed. Here are a few ideas to help you nourish your body as well as boost your fat burning potential.

*Disclaimer, PLEASE DO NOT use just any essential oils internally. this is dangerous if you are just buying oils from your local health food store. I have carefully researched and found oils I trust 1000%. I am happy to share these oils with you. If you would like to know what oils I use and how to incorporate them into your health regimen, please contact me and I will do everything I can to help you safely enjoy the benefits of essential oils.*

 

  • For over all cellular health I recommend adding frankincense to your daily routine. Frankincense gets a lot of press in the essential oil world but, for a good reason. This oil packs a serious punch. From cellular health to skin health Frankincense is an amazing oil to have in your cabinet. To make sure it doesn’t just stay in your cabinet, here are a few ideas on how to use it on the daily

– Take 1 drop under your tongue in the morning and one in the evening.

– Add 2 drops to your favorite face wash or moisturizer.

-Take three drops in a gel cap in the morning.

-Massage 3 drops combined with carrier oil into your feet before bed at  night or upon rising in the morning

  • Life Long Vitality supplements from doTERRA. These supplements made a huge difference in my overall energy, mood and function. It nourishes your body from the inside out with essential oils, vitamins, minerals and more. If you had to choose one thing to boost your cellular metabolism, I recommend this as your first choice.
  • For fat burning, grapefruit is a must. Grapefruit is a wonderful citrus oil that has a bright invigorating scent. Not only will the aroma energize you, the oil when taken internally, will boost your metabolism. I personally take this oil internally in gel caps every morning.

– If you want a citrus flavored water, feel free to add 1-2 drops to your waterbottle in the morning.

-Take 2-3 drops in a gel cap with your breakfast.

  • Slim and Sassy metabolic blend. This blend is specifically aimed to boost your metabolism. This blend comes in capsules or as an oil AND AN ALL NEW SUGAR FREE GUM!!. It includes grapefruit, lemon, ginger, cinnamon and more. All of these wonderful oils combine to supercharge your metabolism and bust sugar cravings.

– Take one to three capsules in between meals to boost metabolism and help fight your mid day cravings.

– Add 1-2 drops of the essential oil to your drinking water and sip throughout the day.

– Pop in a piece of gum on the fly when cravings strike.

 

I hope these metabolism ideas help you as much as they have helped me. I love how I can use my essential oils to nourish my metabolism from every angle. I use frankincense and  lifelong vitality to enrich my cells, grapefruit to boost my morning, and slim and sassy to crush cravings all day long. If you want to know what oils I am using and how to get some samples of these amazing products, feel free to drop me a line. I love to hear from all of you, comment on this post and share your tips and tricks for metabolism.

-Lady Bug

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Honesty and Infertility


Today’s post is a bit different. Men you may want to look away. Or stay. The choice is yours.

Today’s post is a healthy dose of honesty. I know my blog is focused on natural health but, today we are just talking. You, me and 10,000 other strangers. No formalities just truth. In some cases embarrassing truths.  I wanted to address this topic because sometimes we only get the chance to see the struggle after someone has already won the battle. We never know all that went into that battle. We never see the day in, day out struggle to reach the goal. We then tend to assume that for the individual who claims victory, the battle was easy. It was not as intense as ours. How could it be? Their struggle is over and mine is still going on. No one could possibly know what we are going through. Yesterday I was encouraged by a friend to be open and honest. I don’t think she knew I had a blog (however rare the posts may be), but this morning I thought it was time. I hope you understand I do not intend this to be discouraging. I do not intend this to be a pity party. I don’t even want you to think I am complaining. I simply want to tell you my story.

Infertility is extremely common in today’s society. One could ask the question if infertility is so common, why isn’t it talked about more? Fear. Shame. Pain. guilt. The uncomfortable look someone gets when you bring it up. Their eyes give them away. In that moment they have no idea what to say. They may feel guilty because of how easy pregnancy was for them. They may feel uneasy because they know their words can’t fix the problem. Whatever emotions or thoughts that go through their minds when infertility is brought up, their eyes give them away. They would rather be having any conversation other than this one. They may even question why you brought it up. Why do you feel the need to air your dirty laundry? Can’t you just be happy with what you have? Yes these are real thoughts or comments women who are infertile encounter and many women don’t talk about their struggles with infertility because they feel embarrassed. They feel broken. The female body was biologically designed to do one thing that a man could never do. Have children. We were designed by our creator to, create. To carry life inside our bodies for nine months and then, to care for that life for the rest of ours. Do you know what that does to a woman who can’t? I DO and, I am not the only one. There are millions of us all across America but today I will talk about my battle.

Sometime around the age of 8 or 9 my body rapidly began to change. I had been a skinny, outgoing child who loved to play outside. I began to suffer debilitating constipation. I missed a ton of school and the school police even came to my house to check up on why I had missed so much school. I found myself 60lbs heavier and I loathed the sun( I literally told a friend I was allergic to the sun to avoid playing outside). By the age of 10 I weighed 100lbs and I just kept packing on the weight. By the age of 12 it was clear I had a problem. I was active in soccer and swimming yet, the weight gain was not slowing down. My parents took me to the doctor who ran a bunch of tests (I can’t even remember what they were). The diagnosis? Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS. For those of you who don’t know what PCOS is, let me explain. PCOS is a hormonal condition marked by excess testosterone levels, cysts on the ovaries and in general hormonal imbalance. This is PCOS in simple form. It leads to excess hair growth, possible diabetes, possible infertility and a host of other complications. Women who have PCOS are more likely to have ovarian, uterine and breast cancer along with a myriad of other problems. PCOS truthfully is not well understood and years of research still leaves me (and health experts) in the dark.
So at 12 years old this was the diagnosis I was faced with. (Most doctors in later years questioned if I could accurately be diagnosed that young but, as it turns out it always came back to PCOS.)
The doctor told me two things. I was going to get incredibly fat and, If I didn’t take birth control I would never have children. That is it. That was the sum total of my doctors instruction. Thanks, I think?                                  I was later sent to a nutritionist who instructed my mother that a truly healthy breakfast would be 1/2 a cup of unsweetened cereal…… No. I was not about to survive on that. I was going to eat what I wanted, when I wanted. First let me say, her recommendation was preposterous. No child can thrive on 1/2 a cup of unsweetened cereal for breakfast. Second can you tell I was a stubborn child? My poor parents. The next few years were tough. I could never remember to take my birth control and I had no interest in controlling my diet. This left me very sick. As a teenager I was in and out of the ER for un-explained severe illness. I left school and started working graveyard seven days a week. If my mom had not been my boss I probably would have been out on my ear. I just could not get better. Finally one ER did an ultrasound. The scan reveled a cyst that looked to be sizable sitting on my Fallopian tube. I met with a surgeon who insisted this could NOT be causing my pain and there was no way it could ever make me sick. If I insisted though, they would do surgery but this really was probably no big deal. I insisted.

The first thing the surgeon told me when I came out of surgery was, how glad she was we had done this surgery. The cyst was the size of an orange and in her twenty years of experience this was the largest one she had ever seen. Take it from me, sometimes you as the patient need to fight for your treatment. The surgeon did congratulate me though, despite this large cyst and a host of symptoms, my ovaries and uterus looked pristine. She was truly shocked. To this day I hold on to that. At least something is in my favor. After the surgery my health seemed to improve. I pretty much ignored the fact that I was sick. In truth I was 18 now and still had no menstrual cycle.

I continued to ignore everything until I was 20 and in full wedding planning mode. My health suddenly took a drastic nose dive. I was covered in hives. My entire thigh was one huge hive. My eyes would swell shut. My lips, fingers, belly no place was safe from these awful hives. I had apparently developed an allergy to milk. My health practitioner ran some tests and my liver was not doing so hot. We worked on the liver for a bit and attempted to eliminate dairy. All of this helped but I eventually got too comfortable and began to ignore it all again. It really just felt too overwhelming and I wanted to forget it all. Surly God would just heal me. Right?
That was four years ago. Since then I have found sensitivity to gluten, discovered my gallbladder hates me, my liver still doesn’t follow the rules, my pancreas has adopted the motto YOLO as its own and in general my body is one tough cookie. I am still in the middle of my struggle. I have been married for four years and still no little ones. Infertility is described as the inability to get pregnant after a year of trying. Did I mention its been four years? I have endured countless thoughtless comments. Some from well meaning strangers and some from people who knew better and should have kept their mouth shut. (just being honest.)
In the past two years alone I have watched 12-16 little ones come along. I am so happy for their parents. Children can bring so much joy. I don’t begrudge them. I don’t hate them. I love them all. That doesn’t mean somewhere in the back of my mind, my brain isn’t wondering when my time will come.

Earlier this year I connected with two Naturopathic physicians who have done more for me in one year the any other doctor had in the past 13. I now know that myo-inositol is the natural alternative to metformin and in clinical trials, it out preforms metforim. In clinical trials the majority of women on myo-inositol had a spontaneous menstrual cycle within, six months of starting myo-inositol supplementation. I know how important blood sugar regulation is to PCOS now. It is not just about preventing diabetes. Blood sugar and insulin resistance issues go hand and hand with PCOS. When this is out of whack so are your hormones. That is part of why all women with PCOS should avoid dairy. Dairy actually messes with your blood sugar levels and spikes your testosterone production. I also know now that my pituitary gland is a huge part of what causes PCOS. There is hope. There is hope for me and for you. I know how important your digestion and the health of your colon is in relation to PCOS. Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut.”

I have discovered over the past 4 years I have a passion for health, not just mine but everyone’s. It is part of the reason I now want to be a nurse. This journey is not all bad. I have good says and bad days. Days where I think I am dying and Days where I think I am on the edge of a break through. I had an experience about 2 years ago that I have never forgotten. I felt God speak to me that I WAS going to have a child. No time frame, just a reassurance it would happen. From then on it has been a struggle, but I do my very best to hold on to that promise. Some days that is all I can do. I try not to question why God has not chosen to move yet or why he asked me to walk this road. I also don’t blame my parents. We see in the Bible a story of a man who was born blind. Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus who had sinned? The man or his parents. (In other words, who was at fault for this man being born blind?) Jesus’ response? No one. No one has sinned. This man is sick so God can receive glory when he is healed. Jesus then proceeds to heal him.
I strongly believe my sickness is for God’s glory. I have fervently promised God that my children would be for his glory, not mine. I think opening up now and sharing my story with you is part of that.When I do finally get to experience the joy of motherhood you all can be my witnesses. The journey has been rough but there is hope. I think in the future I will write a few posts about some of the treatments I have been doing and some of the info I have learned along the way. I want to help all the other beautiful women who are struggling. For now though, take hope.

At the beginning of this year Wrote a journal to try and keep me accountable. This journal asked for a quote that I felt could encourage me along the way. I searched and searched. I couldn’t find anything that really resonated with me. Finally I just decided to write down a quote I hated but thought “oh well as long as I write something down.” I wrote down the following quote ” just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, she became a butterfly.” I have no idea why I hated this quote but I can tell you I love it now. 7 months ago I thought my world was ending. I felt sicker than ever. I was exhausted and my treatment seemed to be doing the opposite of what it should have been doing. I gave up and in anger I stopped what I had been doing… Two weeks later I had my first menstrual cycle. Yes you heard me right. At 24 I had my first cycle. Turns out I am becoming that butterfly. There is hope.

If you are struggling with infertility feel free to share your story. I would love to hear from you. If you have questions you would like me to research and address, let me know. I want this to be a safe place. The world needs more honesty and fewer awkward silences. The world needs our stories.

Brain Maker

image

My baby! ‚̧ I just HAD to start you off with a bit of cuteness. My little Cujo gives the best snuggles. Tonight as I was putting some final touches on this post I just could not resist his charm, so I decided to share. ūüėČ Ok, onto the good stuff!

While other kids were off eating mud pies or jumping on the trampoline all summer long, I could be found devouring my newest book. ¬†I seriously had a problem (I actually told other kids I was allergic to the sun…. Cue Dracula music). ¬†In my defense though books are amazing. ¬†They allow you to travel to new worlds, experience different cultures, try on another persons skin and in some cases they open your eyes to a whole new world of truth. ¬†That obsession has been revived in adulthood. Seriously do not interrupt my reading or my audiobook. I may cause bodily harm. (Or more likely subject you to some serious eye rolling.) ¬†Here is a review of one of the books I recently finished reading.

Brain Maker is a brand new book by bestselling author Dr. David Perlmutter.  I recently came across this book on Audible.com and I am so glad I did.
Brain Maker is one of those books that take you by surprise.¬† When I first found it I was like “ok, I know I need to avoid grains. Tell me something I don’t know.” ¬†This book did just that. ¬†Using cold hard facts and staggering statistics Brain Maker plunges you into the world that exsists within. ¬†The latest scientific studies are revealing just how intimate the connection between our gut bacteria and our brain health really is. ¬†This connection plays an astounding roll in the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism, ADD and more! ¬†Using logic that rivals even our friend Mr. Spock; Dr. Perlmutter delivers truth bomb after truth bomb. He lays out just what these new studies mean for not only us, but future generations as well. This is certainly a must read for anyone looking to improve mental clarity, lose weight, heal digestive issues or beat the odds when is comes to Alzheimer’s. Grab your copy right here-
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* A low carb approach is discussed in this book. I want to make you my readers aware that while I recommend this book; I do not typically recommend a low carb lifestyle long term. Low carb can be good therapeutically however for longer duration there are many factors that must be assessed. I still recommend this book. I feel the information it contains is too important for people to pass by, simply because of a disagreement over carb counts.

– Lady Bug

Goooood Morning Vietnam! 

Ok, so I am not in Vietnam; but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to start out on that note! ¬†I want to start out talking a little bit about stress management. ¬†For a lot of us who struggle with long term illness we often find we become (or were born) the kind of person who is all over the place. ¬†We want to do everything we can to get better! ¬†The result? ¬†We try this therapy then that therapy. ¬†We take this supplement then that supplement. ¬†We go to this class and read that blog. ¬†We read fifty different diet and lifestyle books… and try to follow every single one. ¬†Am I the only one guilty of this? ¬†No, I didn’t think so. (over thinkers unite!)

Unfortunately this often leaves us tired, stressed, and at times unable to sleep.  We are just trying to do what is best for our bodies but, in reality we can be undoing all the good we originally set out to do.  As this is something I have personally experienced I thought a good start to this blog would be to tell you all one thing.

Stop. (Collaborate and listen🎶)

No seriously…stop….take a few deep breathes….now check out a few of the things I have found personally helpful in my quest to de-stress.

1. Find a hobby

Mine is crocheting. ¬†I couldn’t stand the feeling of doing nothing however; I was too exhausted to do anything substantial so I found a relaxing distraction that allowed me to turn my brain off and still be doing something semi useful. ¬†(Everyone needs leg warmers right?) ¬†You can find something too. ¬†All that is needed is an activity you enjoy and one that doesn’t add stress. ¬†An idea may be walking, gardening, card making, scrap booking, sewing, collecting, puzzles or even cooking. ¬†Resist making this activity a job or deadline orientated. ¬†I know it can be a struggle. ¬†I do sell my crochet projects on the side and I’m obviously doing this. I have learned though when you go all gung ho….second (or third) job style… It really defeats the purpose of relaxing. ¬†Which brings me to my second point.

2. When you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else

This is really important to remember. ¬†There is only so much space in one day. ¬†In order to make the most of it, do the important things first. ¬†If family game night is important to you, skip that sports game on TV. ¬†If you already have three up coming dead lines at work; resist taking on more in your personal life. ¬†If Jimmy is in soccer – do you always have to be the chauffeur? ¬†These scenarios are just examples of choices we make everyday. ¬†You might think you can’t say no but remember….you all ready are saying no, just don’t always realize it. ¬†Your life is made up of the choices you make each moment of the day. ¬†If you really want to help your recovery, make a choice to do less.
3. Say yes to more sleep

Remember what we just talked about? ¬†Well, getting more sleep is a choice and a choice we should all make. ¬†New studies show that even just 30 minutes less sleep per night actually increases your likelihood of developing major health problems. ¬†Sleep is very important in the recovery process of any illness. ¬†Your brain literally detoxifies while you sleep. ¬†If you don’t get enough sleep your brain cannot get rid of enough toxins. ¬†I don’t know about you but, I don’t want my brain floating in toxins. ¬†Now I understand that sometimes life is what it is, do the best you can. ¬†Don’t stress out about perfection. ¬†Start by trying to get 30 extra minutes per night then you are getting now. ¬†Baby steps girlfriend. ūüėČ
4. Take 10

Ladies (and gentlemen) sometime we need a time out! ¬†I reached the ripe old age of 24 😆 and realized I had no idea how to relax. ¬†Hours in front of the TV just is not the same as sitting quietly and doing some deep breathing. ¬†Just ten minutes a day can make a huge difference. ¬†When I began to do this I noticed instead of feeling lethargic I felt energized after my “time out.” ¬†It takes a little bit of training your body and mind but, it is so worth it. ¬†When the day starts to take a toll on you, take 10.
5. Remember that things take time.

When you start a new treatment, supplement, or dietary change don’t expect everything to get instantly better. ¬†Most doctors want you to stick it out at least three months. ¬†Your skin is regenerates every 27 days. ¬†Your brain rebuilds itself in one year. ¬†Nothing happens overnight. ¬†Don’t get discouraged if things take longer to heal. ¬†Get encouraged that your body does actually heal itself! There is hope. Sometimes you get worse before you get better but just relax and commit yourself to being in it for the long haul. ¬†“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a butterfly”
6. Start your day off right 

This is one of the most important things I can say. ¬†Start your day off with God. ¬†The Bible says “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee.” (Psalms 55:22) ¬†“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” ¬†(1Peter 5:7) ¬†He cares for us and sustains us. ¬†When we start our day off by laying our cares on Jesus we are free to be sustained by the strength God gives. ¬†We can’t rest until we let go. ¬†If we start off our day by holding on to everything and through out the day we pick up more and more…. eventually we will not be able to hold it all. Something is going to fall, many times you will fall with it. ¬†Some advocate meditation or self awareness, but in my experience meditation pulls you inward. ¬†Devotion time with God pulls your focus away from yourself and onto his desires and his love for others. ¬†Pour out your stress to God and allow him to pour his joy into that space, then share that joy with the world.
These are just a few of the ways I hit the pause button. ¬†When my mind becomes over active, and the stress of chasing my health overwhelms me; I have to breathe and remember that stress is the enemy. ¬†Often times causing more damage then my original problem. ¬†Remember to take all things slow. ¬†We didn’t get sick overnight, and we are not going to get better overnight. ¬†When you are sick or stressed you need to remember that taking a break does not make you lazy. ¬†It helps you heal. ¬†There is hope and healing for all.

So get ready, set, STOP.

-Lady Bug

Food Addiction

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This lunch represents one step towards freedom. Food addiction is a real thing and I have realised I have a real problem. I posted a month or so ago about trying to find balance and experimenting with where my food boundaries really were. I literally couldn’t find that balance. With Dairy I didn’t notice issues but, once I opened the door to wheat, I lost it. 
For years I have been swinging back and forth between extreme restriction and un-ending binges. I really had to sit down and get honest with myself and realize I was not in control. I was being controlled. My brain was literally telling me I “needed” that cake and that pie and that pizza. 

I think the real moment of realisation for me, was when I told my husband I was only sorta hungry…and the proceeded to eat 2 double cheeseburgers, 1 large fry and a small coke. How is that only sorta hungry?? Truthfully…..I could have and kinda wanted to eat more. That was a catalyst. I realize I need to approach eating the way a drug addict approaches drugs. The problem is… You have to eat. You can’t just avoid eating. I need boundaries and I need help. 

I turned to prayer and brought this issue thoughtfully before the Lord. I knew my answers could only come from him. He led me to my essential oil books. I almost felt silly because I have suggested certain oils for others needing support with various addictions but, forgot to apply them to myself. I began to look for the right oils to support me through my recovery process. To my surprise, many of the oils I had been intending to incorporate into my daily routine already, were on the list of helpful oils for food addiction. I had felt drawn to add these oils in and here they were meant to help exactly the issue I had been avoiding. Sometimes you just have to give it to God and get out of the way haha. I have to continue to use these oils and take each day one day at a time. 
I am writing this early in my discovery process so results are not really in a place for discussion but, I wanted to share this with you all as I move through my journey in the good and the bad. I know I am not the only one struggling with this addiction and I hope this blog will help others who are struggling to speak out and seek help. If you are interested in joining me in using essential oils to support yourself in recovery from food addiction, please reach out to me. I would love to share my knowledge and I would love to have others to share this journey with. 

Food Addiction

‚Äč


This lunch represents one step towards freedom. Food addiction is a real thing and I have realised I have a real problem. I posted a month or so ago about trying to find balance and experimenting with where my food boundaries really were. I literally couldn’t find that balance. With Dairy I didn’t notice issues but, once I opened the door to wheat, I lost it. 
For years I have been swinging back and forth between extreme restriction and un-ending binges. I really had to sit down and get honest with myself and realize I was not in control. I was being controlled. My brain was literally telling me I “needed” that cake and that pie and that pizza. 

I think the real moment of realisation for me, was when I told my husband I was only sorta hungry…and the proceeded to eat 2 double cheeseburgers, 1 large fry and a small coke. How is that only sorta hungry?? Truthfully…..I could have and kinda wanted to eat more. That was a catalyst. I realize I need to approach eating the way a drug addict approaches drugs. The problem is… You have to eat. You can’t just avoid eating. I need boundaries and I need help. 

I turned to prayer and brought this issue thoughtfully before the Lord. I knew my answers could only come from him. He led me to my essential oil books. I almost felt silly because I have suggested certain oils for others needing support with various addictions but, forgot to apply them to myself. I began to look for the right oils to support me through my recovery process. To my surprise, many of the oils I had been intending to incorporate into my daily routine already, were on the list of helpful oils for food addiction. I had felt drawn to add these oils in and here they were meant to help exactly the issue I had been avoiding. Sometimes you just have to give it to God and get out of the way haha. I have to continue to use these oils and take each day one day at a time. 
I am writing this early in my discovery process so results are not really in a place for discussion but, I wanted to share this with you all as I move through my journey in the good and the bad. I know I am not the only one struggling with this addiction and I hope this blog will help others who are struggling to speak out and seek help. If you are interested in joining me in using essential oils to support yourself in recovery from food addiction, please reach out to me. I would love to share my knowledge and I would love to have others to share this journey with. 

Food Addiction

‚Äč


This lunch represents one step towards freedom. Food addiction is a real thing and I have realised I have a real problem. I posted a month or so ago about trying to find balance and experimenting with where my food boundaries really were. I literally couldn’t find that balance. With Dairy I didn’t notice issues but, once I opened the door to wheat, I lost it. 
For years I have been swinging back and forth between extreme restriction and un-ending binges. I really had to sit down and get honest with myself and realize I was not in control. I was being controlled. My brain was literally telling me I “needed” that cake and that pie and that pizza. 

I think the real moment of realisation for me, was when I told my husband I was only sorta hungry…and the proceeded to eat 2 double cheeseburgers, 1 large fry and a small coke. How is that only sorta hungry?? Truthfully…..I could have and kinda wanted to eat more. That was a catalyst. I realize I need to approach eating the way a drug addict approaches drugs. The problem is… You have to eat. You can’t just avoid eating. I need boundaries and I need help. 

I turned to prayer and brought this issue thoughtfully before the Lord. I knew my answers could only come from him. He led me to my essential oil books. I almost felt silly because I have suggested certain oils for others needing support with various addictions but, forgot to apply them to myself. I began to look for the right oils to support me through my recovery process. To my surprise, many of the oils I had been intending to incorporate into my daily routine already, were on the list of helpful oils for food addiction. I had felt drawn to add these oils in and here they were meant to help exactly the issue I had been avoiding. Sometimes you just have to give it to God and get out of the way haha. I have to continue to use these oils and take each day one day at a time. 
I am writing this early in my discovery process so results are not really in a place for discussion but, I wanted to share this with you all as I move through my journey in the good and the bad. I know I am not the only one struggling with this addiction and I hope this blog will help others who are struggling to speak out and seek help. If you are interested in joining me in using essential oils to support yourself in recovery from food addiction, please reach out to me. I would love to share my knowledge and I would love to have others to share this journey with. 

Fertility, diet tweaks and finding mental health

We went on vacation! This vacation has actually allowed me some time to catch up on blog posts and enjoy some quiet mornings of writing once again. Part of my blogging has been sharing my journey with you. Its been awhile since I have done any updating with my story. Its always a struggle to find the balance between sharing too much and not sharing enough. 

I have talked before about my PCOS and my struggle to treat it naturally. I have been to several herbalists and naturopathic doctors. Each of them have added a piece of the puzzle but, I still felt like something was missing. I needed some bloodwork done so I could for sure know where my hormone levels were and how to best treat them. Until now it had just been educated guesses by my doctors. At the begining of this year, I was finally provided with health insurance that would allow me to see a OBGYN to begin looking at specific fertility issues. Not only that but, unbeknownst to me they covered my bloodwork 100%! What an amazing blessing. I now have specific blood results that show the levels of hormone in my system. I know that despite my previous thoughts, I am low on estrogen and I have almost zero progesterone. My body makes only the slightest of trace amounts. Now I am being supplemented with progesterone for part of the month in addition to my supplementation routine at home. So far this is working out really well. I am continuing my home supplementation because, even though my practitioner doesn’t believe in herbs, essential oils or natural medicine, when she seen my blood work she was so impressed with my health markers and other results, she was almost speechless. She told me that whatever I was doing at home needed to continue because it was working great. I had amazing liver, kidney and metabolic function. Yay me! Despite the goodnews, my practitioner is not optimistic about my chances of achieving pregnancy without fertility treatments such as IVF or IUI. The progesterone treatment is our first step and I chose this step over birth control pills. She was reccomending the pill due my combination of low estrogen, progesterone and LH hormone. I however, want to try as natural as possible first and see if my body will take its cues from there. Even in the face of my practitioner’s lack of hope, I am hopeful. I am seeing results and beyond that, I trust in Christ who I firmly believe has spoken that he will heal me and that I will have children. With God on my side, nothing can stand against me. 

While all of this was going on though, I was really struggling with food. I love food. My husband loves food. We love to expirence food together. 

(I submit for an example, this amazing breakfast we enjoyed with friends on vacation. If you are ever in vegas, you NEED to go to craft kitchen.)

I also love to cook, but with nursing school my time and energy have been short. Some nights no matter how much I prepared dinner would end up in take out or something from the store. Literally there were nights where my crockpot or the oven failed to cook despite setting it and turning it on. This was more than a little stressful. I was also working out 5 days a week, counting calories and STILL gaining weight. Not the good kind thay comes with building muscle either. This led to nights where I would burn 700 calories at the gym buy come home and freak out because I ate 100 calories over my goal. I was dissatisfied, stressed out and in an unhealthy cycle of restriction followed by binging. I felt so lost and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to eat healthy, feel good and lose weight but, I had so many restrictions on myself, I couldn’t keep it up. I had to let go.

For several years I have been tryinh to cut gluten and dairy out of my diet. I was doing this for several health reasons not just for fad diets. However, I had a moment where I realized, I have been experiencing fewer symptoms of exposure as of late, and the stress I was causing with restriction counteracted any health benefits I could possibly be receiving. I literally felt like I was having mental breakdowns over FOOD. I was in real trouble and despite my best efforts, I had gained back all the weight I had lost anyways. 1 year of hard work had been destroyed by two years of struggling with food and it was finally all coming to a head. 

I realized I have a great oppertunity here to see how food really effects me. I have blood test results and these blood tests will be repeated in april. So I have changed my way of eating in the following ways. I am having no food off limits but, I am eating to fuel my body. I am eating high quality sources of food. For example unless I am on vacation or at a special occasion, if I eat dairy, it needs to come from grass fed cows. If I eat gluten I want it to be from the highest quality source available. A good example of that would be traditionally fermented sourdough. The fermentation process eats up nearly all of the gluten in the process. In all of this I will continue to work out, and track my food so I can have a good record of what I have been eating and doing. If in mid april I get vastly worse results, I will know it is time to go back to the drawing board. I want to approach this in a way that puts my health first and that includes my mental health. Without happinesss even being skinny is pointless. My weight loss may take a lot longer than it would take someone else but, if the worst thing I am is fat…. I think there are worse things to be. I have struggled to find balance in this new way of eating but, I am determined to find my way in a way that makes me and my husband happy. I have decided to share this with you as I go through it so that when I share my updated blood results, you will have background on what is going on and you can see how I opperate as a human being. Too often on these health blogs the only thing we see is the victories. I say you can’t appreciate my victory, unless you have seen my struggles. 

I hope you understand where I am coming from both in my choice to seek medical treatment and in my decision to eat from a whole food perspective. I also hope that you can enjoy my journey with my and somehow, be encouraged in the process. I share my journey with you in the hopes of making yours a better one.

-Lady Bug 

Carrier oils and safe dilution of essential oils.

Often times when I post recipes for essential oil blends or I am consulting with some one in the proper use of essential oils, I reccomend using a carrier oil. As soon as I say the phrase carrier oil, many people get confused and over the last year, one of the number one questions I get has been about carrier oils. Because of the high volume of questions I get on carrier oils, I realized that a blog post explaining all the ins and outs of carrier oils might be helpful. 

First let me explain what a carrier oil is and why you should be using it. According to wikipedia “A carrier oil, also known as a base oil or vegetable oil, is used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before they are applied to the skin in massage and used in aromatherapy. They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin. Wikipedia“. Essentially a carrier oil is any oil you mix with an essential oil to safely dilute that oil before applying it on the skin or, when making a blend that you will store for multiple uses. 

Now that we know what a carrier oil is and what it does, let’s talk about the different options to use for a carrier oil. There are almost limitless options out there but, some are better than other for various reasons. I am going to talk about my top choices and then give you a few choices I personally avoid. This is where my expirence not only with essential oils but, also as a massage therapist comes in handy. 

1. Jojoba oil

My number one go to oil is and probably always will be jojoba oil. Interestingly enough, this oil isn’t actually an oil. Chemically it is classified as an ester. The chemical make up is unique because, it is the closest thing in nature to your skin’s natural oil. Your skin’s oil is also classified as an ester. The similarity to your skin oil means, jojoba oil is hypoallergenic and when you massage it into your skin, it absorbs right in. It won’t leave you feeling greasy or like you need to shower. Jojoba oil also won’t stain your clothes! Every other carrier oil will to some degree or another stain fabric. ūüėĘ Jojoba oil’s unique chemical make up also makes it the perfect essential oil dilutant/ carrier oil because it is almost entirely odorless and will take on the smell of any oil it is mixed with. This leaves you with a pure scent. The only bummer, is the price. This is a spendy option. You can buy it in almost any health food store but, it runs around $30 for a 16oz bottle. You can also purchase it from a company online called “the jojoba company”. They have a variety of sizes and when I was a massage therapist, this is where I purchased my jojoba oil. Despite the price, the smooth and rapid absorption, its ability to readily take on the scent of essential oils and the fact that it doesn’t stain fabric, makes jojoba oil a clear first choice for a carrier oil. 

2. Fractionated coconut oil (FCO)

This carrier oil is a coconut oil that has been altered so that it stays in a liquid state at room temperature. FCO is a popular carrier oil because of its low price and high quality fats. Over all it mixes well with any essential oil and is relatively odorless. You can find it in health food stores or online for a great price. I usually have this carrier oil on hand and use it for the majority of the time because of its low price. There are however two main drawbacks. FCO is slighty greaser than jojoba oil and will stain fabric.

3. Olive oil

This carrier oil is special. I don’t use it for topical applications because it doesn’t absorb into the skin very well and will most assuredly stain fabric. I actually use this oil for internal dilution. First let me say, DO NOT ingest essential oils you buy from the store. I use a very specific brand of essential oils that are purifed above and beyond all other oils on the market. This allows me the safety to ingest certian oils for specific benefits. For example I will take a few drops of lavender in a gel cap when I am getting on a plane. This helps me calm down and overcome my fear of flying (AKA fear of falling out of the sky and to my ultimate doom). If you would like to know what brand of oils I use, please message me. I would be more than happy to point you in the right direction and explain why I only use one brand of essential oils. Anyways, back to the olive oil. When taking oils internally some people still like to dilute the essential oil. I find this can best be done with a high quality olive oil. Simply add a few drops of essential oil and a few drops of olive oil to a gel cap and you are good to go.
Now that I have given you my top carrier oils, let me share three I avoid.

Apricot oil and almond oil 

These oils are greasy, have what I consider an unpleasent odor and can cause some serious allergic recations in some who are allergic to nuts. These oils can also go rancid. The happens when they are exposed to heat or are not used quickly enough. Their chemical structure actually changes and instead of helping the essential oils, they can actually damage the structure of the essential oil. This renders the oil useless and wastes your precious resources. 

Grapeseed oil has simlar disadvantages however, it will not cause the same allergic reactions as apricot and almond oil.
Ok so, you now know what carrier oils are and which ones I consider to be the best. Now let’s talk about how to use them. We are typically using carrier oils to dilute essential oils before putting them on the skin. Dilution ratios however, can be confusing. The important thing to keep in mind, is that essential oils are potent. This means while you may pay $30 for a bottle, you can use that bottle one drop at a time and still see amazing results. When you do that, your bottles will last you for months. 

Dilution ratios

For adults- 1 tsp of carrier oil to 5 drops of essential oil

For children or individuals with sensitive skin- 1 tsp of carrier oil to 2 drops of essential oil 

A real world example would be a relief blend I use any time my body is feeling a little rough or my joints feel overused. 

  • 15 drops arborvitae
  • 10 drops frankincense
  • 20 drops massage blend
  • 15 drops muscle blend
  • 3 tablespoons (12 tsp) of carrier oil 

Store in a dark colored glass bottle and use as needed. 
I hope this post answers your questions about carrier oils and gives you a guide for safe dilution. Essential oils are powerful tools when used properly and I want you to be able to get the most out of your precious oil. If you have any questions feel free to comment. If you are interested in using essential oils and you want to know what oils I use on a daily basis, please send me a message using the contact form on my page. I would be happy to fill you in on the amazing source I am using. 

My car is now a cafe

So busy. So so so busy. That is life nowadays. We rush from place to place and grab food wherever we can. I know now that nursing school for me, is in full swing, I spend so much time on campus and then rushing around trying to get errands done. This has lead to a resurgence in fast food in my world. I can tell you, that does not feel good. While I am on fire in my workouts, I can’t out excersize bad nutrition. Not to mention I can’t afford the hit to my wallet haha. So I came up with a solution. My car is now a cafe. Before you as no, I am not open to the public, and no, I have not lost my mind
I have designed an on the go healthy eating resivour that will travel with me. I gathered snacks, utensils, hand wipes, condiment packets, and even a mini cooler that keeps things cold for 24hrs. All of this in my car will ensure that when I am out and about I have no shortage of healthy options. I have heard of others keeping food with them on the go but until now, I didn’t have a clue what to put in it. I felt blocked. Thankfully I found some inspiration and now I will share a few ideas with you. I gathered up a fun mix of carbs, protein, and fat, to make my box a well rounded source of nutrition. Some of these items are not perfectly paleo but, I still feel they count as whole food.


Indivudually wrapped dill pickles (these take care of my potato chip cravings)

Single serve hummus packs

Single serving guacamole packs 

Mama chia squeeze packs

Grass fed jerky

Single servings of nuts 

Healthy kettle corn 

Individual nut butter packs

Single serving carrot packs

Salad mix in serving sized containers

Grapes

Oranges

Apples 

Grass fed/ raw cheese

Lunch meat 

Cooked bacon slices 

Paleo wraps

doTERRA slim and sassy gum/ capsules (crush cravings and boost metabolism

Condiment packages of mustard and mayo, hot sauce, and barbeque sauce

Apple slicer, mini cutting board, Knives, forks, hand wipes and a cooler that lasts 24hrs.


These are just some ideas and inspiration for you all to use. It us born out of my personal struggle to fuel my body and leave fast food out of everyday life. When I have this in my car now, I have my own personal cafe. I can grab a snack for class, take a moment to make a crazy good salad or wrap, or refuel after a hard workout. With a cooler on hand, the possibilities are endless I can pack a soup, steak bites or other leftovers from dinner for a completely prepped lunch with no hassle. All of this in my car, on the go. 
I hope you find this helpful! If you do something similar I would love to hear what you keep on hand. I also want to see pictures of your on the go car systems. Head over to instagram and post them, just make sure to tag me in them so I can see or use the hashtag #mycarisacafe 

-Ladybug 

The game plan for 2017

The new year starts tomorrow! Many of us take this time to reflect on the year we have had and what we want to change in the year to come. “Resolutions” are a big thing, but this year I am approaching them differently. I wanted to share my thoughts with you in hopes, that it may help you as well.

Ok, hands up if you have ever made a new years resolution. Hands up if you have perfectly kept that resolution all year long….. Not as many hands this time I am sure.

Do your resolutions often sound like this- lose 40lbs by february, eat only healthy food and workout every day.
The problem can be two things get in the way. 1) you let the scale define success. The scale can’t tell you if you passed on that tempting treat, meditated more instead of losing your cool, loved your family fiercely etc. The scale can’t show you the important things in life. So why let it define your success for the year?
2) you expect perfection and when you fail, its all over. No one is perfect. We will all fail this year. The problem with black and white resolutions is, once you fail it feels like your off track and will never be able to begin again.
This year instead of resolutions, I am doing what I loosely term as “game plans”. Before you ask, no, they are not the same thing. I do have goals, I would love to lose weight, I would love to be fit, I would love to save money and develop better eating habits. These are all what I would term a “score” in the game I am playing. As we discussed however, all of these have the pitfalls of failure built in.

So here is what I am doing, to get to each of these goals, there are pretty clear steps. I need to drink more water, remember to take my pills, workout, meal prep, relax more etc.

So instead of focusing on my goals, I am going to focus on my steps. Now like any good game, I have the plays I need to make in order to score a goal. But, how can I play a game, if I don’t have the equipment? That is where the final piece comes in. I don’t have the willpower to pull this off myself and frankly I don’t have the brainpower to remember it all. What I do have, is a day planner and a phone.
I downloaded an app that reminds me to drink water. I set alarms on my calendar for workouts, to take my pills AND DESIGNATED RELAXATION TIME. That is right I scheduled relaxation. Otherwise I know I would never do it. I turned my day planner into a food tracker, menu planner and shopping list. In short, I gave myself the tools/ equipment to play the game. By doing all of this and focusing on the game plan instead of the goals, I set myself up to play a good game. When you play a good game your are guaranteed to score at least once. If I score and hit a goal (say losing some weight) at least once this year, that is a win for me.
Today and this week when you reflect on your goals, I encourage you to approach yourself with love and compassion. Take the “win or lose” mindset out of your resolutions. Look at what you need to do to play the game, give yourself the tools to play the game and above all else give yourself love and grace.
Have a blessed 2017

-Lady Bug

Dynamite salad 

I have never been much for salad. Unless you however, drench every last leaf in ranch dressing. Mmmmm. Ranch dressing however doesn’t really agree with my tummy anymore unless, I make my own using this recipe. I often don’t have time to make my own ranch though, and I still need to get my greens in. Enter my second love. Hot sauce. Oh how I love hot sauce. Pretty much anything spicy really. One of my favorite meals is buffalo wings. Yes, wings can indeed be a meal. This salad was inspired by that love. Instead of using ranch dressing, I top my salad with wing sauce and half an avocado. These combine to create a creamy yet spicy dressing that makes me almost forget I ever used ranch dressing. Almost.

Serves 1

1/2 an avocado

1/4 pound of cooked chicken breast

1 slice of crispy crumbled bacon

1/2 of a cucumber 

1 cup of spinach

2 cups of your prefered lettuce mix 

Frank’s red hot wing sauce to taste.
Directions

Place lettuce in a bowl and top with the crumbled bacon. 

Next, slice the avocado and cucumber. Place on top of salad.

Shred the chicken breast and add to the bowl.

Top salad with wing sauce and mix.

Voila! Simple yet dynamite salad. Trust me on this one. Your taste buds are going to expload. 

Thanks for reading! Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram for more healthy lifestyle info, as well as lots of essential oil tips and tricks.

Chime in below and let me know what you top your salad with in place of ranch dressing. 

Rest and Digest

This year has been a rollar coaster. I can’t wait to have a break and finally get to a few things around the house. This crazy busy time has led me to reflect on a few things though.
We spend our lives stressed out. When we are stressed our sympathetic nervous system is active. This system kicks in our “fight or flight” mode. Our heart beats faster, our blood sugar raises, our digestion is put on hold and our pupils dilate. All great things if we are being chased by a bear, not so great if we are sitting in traffic. Did you notice where I said our blood sugars raise? Imagine now what happens when our blood sugar is raised due to stress and we grab a doughnut in the morning for breakfast. Our sugars go sky high and if left uncontrolled, diabetes eventually follows.

 While many of us are not grabbing a doughnut for breakfast, we are still eating while we are stressed and that still has an extremely negative impact on our blood sugar. So how do we calm down?
The sympathetic nervous system has a partner system called the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is meant to kick in after stress is over.Often referred to as our “rest and digest” mode, this system lowers our blood sugar, returns our heartbeat to normal and turns our digestion back on. Pretty important huh? In today’s world though, the stress never seems to be over. This means we have to actually remind our bodies to manually kick on the parasympathetic nervous system. We can actually do that by breathing. Sounds simple right? See we have a nerve in our nose called the olfactory nerve and when we breathe in deeply and slowly, this nerve is activated. This nerve is directly linked to the parasympathetic nervous system. Essentially serving as a manual switch that turns the sympathetic system off and the parasympathetic on. I want to share a technique I recently learned and have empolyed with great success. 

Before eating take a deep breath in through your nose, while mentally counting to 4. Hold this breathe for a count of 10, then slowly blow out through your mouth. It is important to blow out slowly or you may feel light headed. Repeat 10 times. 

Your parasympathetic system should now be fully engaged and your body is ready to digest your food without spiking your blood sugar. This means better nutrient absorption, lower blood sugars and frankly a better eating experience. Don’t forget to put away all electronic devices and treat every meal like a special occasion. 

I hope this helps you understand the why behind relaxing while eating and gives you the tools that you need. Drop a comment below if you have questions I love to hear from my readers!