“List”en To Me… Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold

That’s right, after traveling for a week to the beautiful state of Colorado to spend time with my amazing family, celebrate my grandfather’s 92nd birthday and take in the majestic Rockies we have come home and caught the common cold…boo hiss!

BUT we will not let that get us down because we are always armed in our house with ways to prevent and treat ailments especially when it comes to cold and flu season.

I know it’s easy to go to the drug store and pick up over the counter medicine with the idea that you’ll feel better the next day.  Have you ever looked at the active and inactive ingredients list on the back of that cold and flu medicine bottle?  Or those gel caps and nasal sprays?  What exactly are you taking to FEEL BETTER?  Below are the ingredients to Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu Liquid – Alcohol, Synthetic Colors & Dyes (Green/Yellow), Polyethylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol…WHAT?!?!?!?!  AND that’s not even the ACTIVE ingredients!  You can read about why these ingredients are bad news HERE.

Vicks NyQuil Cold Flu Ingredients

Taken from Vicks.com Website

That said, I urge you to check out my Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold and consider trying an alternative option, it may take a day longer to feel better but your body will be thanking you 🙂

Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold

1. Black Elderberry Syrup – Ditch that bottle of liquid medicine and let’s not only HEAL the body but PREVENT it from getting the cold or flu in the first place.

  • Black elderberries have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, especially for flu symptoms.   There have been studies done to prove its effectiveness.  Also known to decrease inflammation.
  • Not only are black elderberries healthy, containing antioxidants and vitamins, they also taste delicious.
  • In our house we take black elderberry syrup daily as soon as the cold and flu season begins, usually beginning in October.  It can be taken by adults and children.
  • There are several brands to choose from, we use GaiaKids so that we have exact dosage needed for our toddler.  The dosage for adults is listed on the box as well.  Additionally, if you search the internet you can MAKE YOUR OWN black elderberry syrup, which can be very cost effective!

GaiaKids Black Elderberry Syrup


2. Bone Broth – Did you think I was going to suggest Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup?!?!?  Just to be clear why I wouldn’t,  you can check out the ingredient list below…monosodium glutamate, soy protein isolate…PLUS all the allergens!  NO thank you, we are trying to heal our bodies, not pollute them!!!

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

Taken from Campbell’s Soup website

Now, back to the DELICIOUS, healing, and nutrient filled bone broth.

  • My crunchy mamas out there would tell you the best bone broth is HOMEMADE!  Which I would absolutely agree, since you can choose your type of bones (chicken, turkey, etc…), add vegetables, vinegar, garlic, or spices.
  • One of my favorite recipes by Diane Sanfilippo can be found HERE.  I recommend making a double batch and freezing it to use during the entire cold and flu season.
  • In a pinch when you don’t have time to make your own, a good option is Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth which comes in two different flavors – Chicken or Turkey.   To combat our colds this week I picked up a box of the Organic Turkey Bone Broth at Whole Foods and although not at as tasty as the homemade version it did help with the healing process.

Pacific Foods Organic Turkey Bone Broth

PF Turkey BB Ingredients

3. Young Living Thieves Oil – The absolute BEST essential oil blend for the cold and flu season.  I have raved about this essential oil blend before which you can read about HERE.  However, for times sake, here are the facts:

  • This blend dates back to the 15th century.  Thieves, who would rob the bodies of the dead, would cover themselves in oils to avoid getting the plaque.  In 1997, researchers studied the effects of these oils and found them to be a killing force against microorganisms.
  • Young Living Thieves Oil is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata (safe for children) and Rosemary.  It is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • During cold and flu season we use this oil a few ways:
    • For my husband and I, we apply one drop of Thieves oil neat (no carrier oil) to the bottom of our feet.  This can be at night before bed or throughout the day for best results.
    • For our toddler, we mix three drops of Thieves oil with one ounce of coconut oil then apply a dab to the bottom of each foot.  We keep the remaining to use for future applications.
    • Lastly we diffuse eight drops of Theives oil in about one cup of water in our electronic diffuser. Cleans the air as well as assists in the healing process.



YL Thieves

If you’d like more information on Young Living and/or how to become a Distributor (discounted oils and shipping) click HERE.

4. Badger Aromatic Chest Rub – First, let’s go back in time…when we were kids and that cold and flu bug hit the house.  Who didn’t get the rub down with the Vicks Vapor Rub?  It was the go to for my mom.  Obviously as a child I had no concern about the ingredients, I mean it was being sold in stores and everyone was using it.  I admit years later I still trusted that brand and kept a jar in my medicine cabinet, clueless to its contents.  How many of you have done the same?!?!  STOP…please take a look at not only the active ingredients but watch out for the INACTIVE ingredients as listed below…petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil…again, NO thank you!

Vicks Vapor Rub Ingredients

Taken from Vicks.com Website

Ok, back to Badger Aromatic Chest Rub…SAFE and EFFECTIVE, I swear!!!  Made with organic ingredients as seen in the photo below.



  • Eucalyptus – Helps with any cough and nasal drainage, promotes normal breathing and gives this balm that energizing aroma.
  • Lavender – Antiseptic and antifungal properties, to rid the germs that have invaded the body and allow the healing process to begin.
  • Peppermint – Not only helps with respiratory issues, but also nausea and headaches which can occur when a cold or flu strikes.  Helps to reduce inflammation and has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Keeps skin moisturized and super soft!!

5. NeilMed Sinus Rinse/Neti-Pot – You have to try it only ONCE to realize how much you love it!  I’ll admit years ago when I first got my NeilMed Sinus Rinse I looked at the box and thought you’ve got to be kidding me, I will NEVER use this.  It looked complicated and when feeling sick the last thing I needed was to deal with was rinsing my sinuses.  Fast forward to present day and this product has worked amazingly!!  So, ditch those nasal sprays that are filled with nasty chemicals!!

NeilMed Sinus Rinse

  • Not only works for colds and flus BUT also ALLERGIES!!!  In addition to my essential oil allergy trio (which you can read about HERE) that I apply behind my ears and base of neck, this has also saved me during the spring when the pollen arrives.
  • Now how to use it…Add premixed packets of sodium chloride (salt) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with purified water and deliver streams of the solution through the nasal passages.  Sound messy?  Yes, a bit.  However, the relief that is felt after is worth that little bit of mess.  I recommend definitely reading and following the instructions to make the whole process easier!
  • When sickness or allergies strike, using this twice a day can be very effective.  You can purchase at large retail stores or drugstores.
  • As stated on the NeilMed website – Preservative, Drug, Iodine, BPA, Gluten and Latex Free

The toxic burden that we are putting our bodies through on a daily basis and especially when we are sick can be changed.  You CAN choose safer and effective products that are HEALTHY for you!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

xoxo, Shane

Which alternative option are you ready to try?  What other natural ways do you beat the common cold and flu?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.


Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on my life experience, facts and research.  This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any illness or disease you may have contracted.  As I am not a doctor, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above if you are concerned.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!

“List”en To Me… Top 5 Deodorant & Antiperspirant Facts

Hello my lovely readers!

Fall is here!!!  Cooler weather, leaves turning colors, pumpkins, sweaters, the list can go on and on.

Yet our focus this week is on deodorant??  No matter what the season we all wear deodorant or antiperspirant EVERYDAY!

There are so many brands to choose from, right?  You see the commercials of the most popular brands then you walk in the store and just assume that what’s on the shelf is safe.  Well you would be very surprised or maybe not at what exactly you are putting under your arms.  So, here are my top 5 facts about deodorants and antiperspirants…

Top 5 Deodorant & Antiperspirant Facts

1.  Aluminum – Seriously BAD STUFF!  Found as the ACTIVE ingredient in antiperspirants, as seen in the photo below.  It is a METAL, that is being applied to skin to block the sweat pores.  Yeah, no thank you!  It is has been linked to BREAST CANCER and ALZHEIMER’S.  Google it.  You’ll see websites, studies, actual testimonies from people who have been affected by this known CARCINOGEN & NEUROTOXIN. It is best to avoid this ingredient all together.

RightGuard - ALUMINUM

ALUMINUM – Active Ingredient

2.  All The Other Chemicals – Just the fact that it says chemicals plural should be ALARMING!  This includes PARABENS, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, FRAGRANCE, PHTHALATES, TRICLOSAN.  These can be found in the ingredients of not only antiperspirants but also deodorants.  Click HERE to read more details about these chemicals.  Curious aren’t you?  Go ahead, go get your deodorant or antiperspirant.  Take a look at what you are putting on your body!

3.  Target Market – Ever wonder why there are brands for women and brands for men?  Is it really necessary?  If I’m not mistaken, it’s all used for the same purpose.  The companies that produce these major brands realize that we are a visual society, that color and shape are what appeals to us as consumers more so than the actual ingredients used to make the product.  Don’t be FOOLED!  THE INGREDIENTS ARE WHAT MATTER THE MOST!

4.  We LOVE Sweat – Did you know you have over two million sweat glands?  Amazing, right?  Just think about all the TOXINS that are being FLUSHED OUT of your system when you sweat.  It’s internal cleaning.  Think about that last workout or run and how great it felt when you were done.  Is it unsightly?  Yes.  Is it messy?  Yes.  BUT SWEATING IS REFRESHING!!!  Now, the key to underarm sweat is to keep the odor at bay.  Sweat itself has no odor, it is the skin bacteria that mixes with the sweat that causes the body odor.  There are SEVERAL natural ingredients that can STOP that body odor, such as aluminum free baking soda, arrowroot and tea tree oil.  So, go ahead, keep sweating away, we’ve got you covered!

5.  Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Deodorant – IT REALLY WORKS!  It is been a staple in our home and one of the most sought after Ava products.  This product is highly hand crafted – hand cut, measured, prepared, poured and capped in Rhode Island where this amazing company it based!  The SHORT list of SAFE & EFFECTIVE ingredients make this the BEST CHOICE!

AvaAndersonNonToxic - Deodorant

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic – Deodorant

The toxic burden that we are putting our bodies through on a daily basis can be changed.  You CAN choose safer and effective products that are HEALTHY for you!

This is why I LOVE my Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products, FREE from harmful chemicals!  If you are interested in learning more about Ava Anderson Non-Toxic and/or are ready to try these safe, organic, effective products for yourself, your family, pet or home please click HERE!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

xoxo, Shane

What ingredients did you find in your deodorant or antiperspirant?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

DIY Surprise… Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Thankful for this new week, nothing like a clean slate to get those creative juices flowing!!  Well, instead of my Top 5 lists of awesomeness, I’m going to branch out and share a great do-it-yourself project this week.  I’ll be putting this one under “Health & Beauty” since a good, solid, no kids waking you up, spouse snoring, dreaming away sleep is not only healthy but also makes you feel beautiful!  Plus your feet will be soft and smooth, always flip-flop ready!  You guys out there will want to check this out too.  Of course this project does involve my Young Living Essential Oils, love, love, love!  So, let’s get to it!

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Items Needed:

  • Organic Coconut Oil – 1 cup
  • Organic Shea Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Young Living Essential Oils – 10 Drops Each Oil
  • Glass Pyrex Bowl
  • Double Boiler (Small Pot w/Glass Bowl)
  • Fridge/Freezer
  • Small Glass Containers – 1 oz Each
  • Labels & Printer – Avery Address Labels – 8160

How It’s Made:

1.  Measure out the 1 cup Organic Coconut Oil & 1/2 cup Organic Shea Butter in the Glass Pyrex Bowl, both will most likely be in solid form.  I use Whole Foods 365 Brand Organic Coconut Oil.  I use REFINED because it has less of a coconut smell and is being applied topically.  If I was going to ingest the coconut oil I would choose unrefined as this is in its purest form.

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

2.  In a Small Pot boil about 1 inch of water.  Once boiling, change temperature to lowest setting or simmer.  Place Glass Pyrex Bowl filled with Organic Coconut Oil & Organic Shea Butter on top of the Small Pot and melt down both substances to a liquid form.  This could take between 5-10 minutes.  I found that it takes longer for the shea butter to melt.

3.  Once both substances have melted, take the Glass Pyrex Bowl off the top of the Small Pot and set it aside to cool for about 20 minutes.   After it has cooled, add the Young Living Essential Oils.  I chose Lavender, Sacred Frankincense and Peace & Calming, which all promote relaxation, healing and rest.

Young Living Essential Oils Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

Young Living Essential Oils
Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

4.  After adding Young Living Essential Oils, stir to mix everything together then place the Glass Pyrex Bowl into the Freezer for 5 minutes or Fridge for 15 minutes.  After allotted time, the liquid should be getting hard on the edges as if to form back into a solid again, but the center should be more like the consistency of a raw egg.

5.  At this point take a fork and whisk the liquid, removing the harder pieces on the edges.  A paste will be formed since the mixture is still cold.  As it starts to warm up, it will take on a gel consistency.  It is now ready to be put into the 1 oz. Glass Jars.  I purchased these at The Container Store, my favorite organization store!!!  You can also find them online to purchase in bulk.

1 oz. Glass Jars  www.containerstore.com

1 oz. Glass Jars

6.  To fill the 1 oz. Glass Jars I use a fork, as the mixture is easy to manipulate because it is more solid from just whisking.  Make sure when filling the jars that all air bubbles are released, this will allow for more mixture to be used.  Once filled, take a damp cloth and wipe excess off the rim and seal with lid.

7.  Now it’s time to make these filled 1 oz. Glass Jars look pretty!  The labels that I chose are the Avery Address Labels – 8160 which were purchased at Staples.  The name, ingredients and directions for use have been typed onto the label.  Before applying the labels make sure the outside of the jars are clean and dry, free of any oily residue.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

8.  Since I was giving these Sweet Dreams Foot Salves as gifts to some very special people in my life I added an extra touch, a verse card that tied around the lid.  There are several other ways to decorate these from labels on the lid to ribbon around the jar.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Hopefully this DIY Surprise project will inspire you to make your own version!  It was both easy and fun!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!


What are some do-it-yourself health & beauty projects that have been successful for you?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.


“List”en To Me…Top 5 Essential Oils – Blends

Ahhhhhhhh, another glorious week is here and the hot topic of conversation is yet again – essential oils.  However this week we will focus on blends.  If for some odd reason you missed my outstanding post from last week about essential oil basics and my top 5 essential oils – singles, you can read it HERE.

What exactly are blends?  Here is the technical terminology taken from the Essential Oils Pocket Reference (which by the way every person should own if using Young Living essential oils!)  – “…blends that were formulated after years of research for both physical and emotional health. Each of these blends is formulated to maximize the synergistic effect between various oils chemistries and harmonic frequencies. When chemistry and frequency coincide, noticeable physical, spiritual, and emotional benefits can be attained.”  That pretty much sums it up, I couldn’t have said it better myself.  So, let’s get on to my list…

My Top 5 Essential Oils – Blends

1. Stress Away – Ok, who here deals with stress on a DAILY basis????  If it’s not work, it’s the family or the dog or the people you drive behind or the clerk in the grocery store and on and on.  Well, this blend is known to bring peace and tranquility, it relieves everyday stress and promotes relaxation.  It can be used by adults and children.

Now the important part, what’s in it?  Copaiba (Copaifera reticulata), Lime (Citrus aurantifolia), Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), Ocotea (Ocotea quixos), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Our family diffuses it so we take it in aromatically (sometimes kick it up a notch with some drops of lavender added), mostly in the evening and sometimes during the day.  Absolutely the most heavenly smell to it!  We also us it topically for back pain, headaches and on temples and back of neck to relieve stress.  Click HERE for more info.

2. Purification – It cleanses, it neutralizes, it disinfects, its just downright AWESOME!  This blend is versatile as it can be used on the body or for the household. From cuts and bug bites, to mildew and offensive odors, this blend can take care of it.  It can be used by adults and children.

Now the important part, what’s in it?  Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis)

Our family uses it topically for glowing skin, acne breakouts and mosquito bites, takes out the itch and reduces the swelling. We diffuse it to clean the air, especially after cooking with strong odors like fish or onion.  Click HERE for more info.

3. Valor – I have to say that this blend is a MUST HAVE!  It is known for its strengthening qualities – balance and alignment as well as increasing positive feelings – courage, confidence, self-esteem.  From back pain and spinal alignment to sleepless nights and snoring to headaches and anxiety, this blend has got you covered. It also has been used in the treatment of ADHD and TMJ. It can be used by adults and children.

Now the important part, what’s in it?  Spruce (Picea mariana), rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora), blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum) and frankincense (Boswellia carteri) in a base of coconut oil

Our family uses it in pain cream and applied directly to the temples and back of neck for headaches.  Click HERE for more info.

4. Thieves – This oil blend has quite the story, dating back to the 15th century. Thieves, who would rob the bodies of the dead, would cover themselves in oils to avoid getting the plaque.  In 1997, researchers studied the effects of these oils and found them to be a killing force against microorganisms.  This blend is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can be used by adults and children.

Now the important part, what’s in it?  Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).

Our family diffuses it to clean the air, especially after a sickness. We also apply it topically for colds and coughs. I use it for oil pulling, only one drop is needed.  Additionally, I add a couple drops to my household cleaners to give them an extra boost.  Click HERE for more info.

5. Oola Balance – OO LA LA, this is becoming one of my favorite blends.  The Oola Guys partnered with Young Living to create several essential oils to promote wellness.  This specific blend is emotionally centering and allows you to focus on passions and behaviors.

Now the important part, what’s in it?  Lavender (Lavandula Officinal), Frankincence (Boswellia Carteri), Ocotea (Ocotea Quixos Lauraceae Leaf), Sandalwood (Santalum Album), Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata), Orange (Citrus Auranium), Angelica (Angelica Archangelica), Geranium (Pelargonium Graveol), Hyssop (Officinalis), Sage (Lavendulifolia), Spruce (Picea Mariana), Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum), Bergamot (Coumarin Free), Lemon (Citrus Limon), Jasmine (Jasminum Absolute), Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile), Palmarosa (Cymbopogon Martinii), Rose (Rosa Damascena), Balsam Fir (Abies Balsamea), Myrrh (Commiphora Myrrha), Cistus (Cistus Ladanifer), Spikenard (Nardostachys Jataman), Blue Spruce (Picea Pungens)

Our family diffuses this oil, usually in the evening to eliminate stress and promote relaxation.  Also applied topically to sun damaged/brown spots on the skin.  Click HERE for more info.

As I discussed in my post last week, which you can read HERE, after researching essential oils for over a year, Young Living stood out as the right choice for my family.  I chose them because I truly believe in their quality, 100% pure using the Seed to Seal process.  I believe you get what you pay for in life and knowing that I use these for health related purposes, as you can see from above, I only wanted to use the best.  Additionally, since being part of the Young Living family it goes much deeper than that.  I have met some amazing and inspiring women, helped family and friends treat problems and conditions and I’ve heard testimonies on everything from weight loss, ADHD/ADD, autism, parkinsons, cancer and PTSD.  Remarkable stories.  In future posts we’ll talk more about specific conditions, disorders and diseases.

If these oils listed above are something you want to try, I highly recommend becoming a Young Living Distributor.  Not only do you get 24% off the price listed on the website, you also can earn points towards more oils and get discounted shipping.  On top of that four out of five of these come in the Premium Kit which is where you get the most bang for your buck as there are ten oils offered in this kit!  Click HERE to start the process!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!


Do you have a favorite essential oil blend?  If so, what do you use it for?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.


Reference: Essential Oils Pocket Reference, Fifth Edition – May 2011 – Life Science Publishing

Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on life experience, facts and research.  As I am not a doctor, nor play one on TV, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above as it is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any sickness or disease.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!

Let’s Get Personal… Holistic Health – Where Do You Start?

I bet if you read my post earlier this week (if you didn’t click HERE) you thought “hey I could at least start with one of those options” or maybe it was “I’m ready to transform my lifestyle completely” either way when you are ready to make some changes, where do you start?

First, let me tell you a little bit about my journey to a more holistic lifestyle.  It was 2008, we were living in Northern California, we had just gotten married the year before and had decided it was time to think about starting a family.  Of course to do this I had to stop taking the birth control pills I was prescribed, little did I know what was about to happen to my life.  From the very day I stopped taking them, my body, my hormones went completely out of whack.  There was a constant (talking 24/7) headache at the top of my head, as if someone was pressing down in one spot.  My appetite was gone, I had mood swings, anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, night sweats, it was awful.  Worst of all I was exhausted EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!   I was getting cluster headaches behind my right eye and had a CT scan to rule out clots/tumors and the anxiety attacks got so bad that I could barely breathe and requested that the doctor give me a chest x-ray, which he knew wasn’t needed but I swore something more serious was happening.  The doctor said that my body would need time to adjust but for me this lasted a very long time, almost a year.  When you feel bad enough you will do just about anything to just have one good day.  So that is when I knew I had to switch gears.  It was time to take inventory of every area of my life.

I started with the food, boxes of processed food were thrown out, soda was thrown out, microwave was thrown out (really haven’t personally used one since), and no more dairy!  Only whole food – fruits, veggies and meat were on the menu for food to eat.  I limited my sugar intake and double filtered my water.  I started reading ingredients and researching what was in our foods.  I was shocked and was sure that this change was the right path for me.

Next was getting more exercise, getting outside, biking, running, hitting golf balls especially since we lived right next to the Bay with beautiful weather, great scenery and a par 3 course.

During this time I also researched about medications and their effects.  I wanted to understand what exactly the birth control medicine had done to me.  Also with the anxiety attacks the doctor had wanted to prescribe me drugs but I wouldn’t take them, it was a temporary fix not a permanent solution.  This is when I started visiting a holistic practitioner and seeing the physical therapist as well.  I learned about herbs and homeopathic medicines as an option instead of the conventional medicines.

Lastly, I knew my spiritual walk had been put on the back burner, so out came the bible, biblically based podcasts and lots of prayer.  I knew that I had to give God my problems not solve them on my own.  “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” Proverbs 18:14

Within a month I started to feel much better. By eliminating foods (processed, sugar, soda, etc..) I was detoxifying my system (which I initially felt worse before I felt better), then add in the exercise and my energy level was back up.  My hormones had finally leveled out.  The headaches stopped, I was sleeping better, the anxiety was gone, my appetite was back…YAHOO!!!

Since then I have maintained this lifestyle, the healthy eating, exercising (mostly walking), using homeopathic medicine and seeing the chiropractor.  I’ve also added in essential oils, oil pulling (for another blog post), drinking kombucha & raw milk (again another blog post to come), it just gets crunchier!  Oh, did I mention that after all that we did get pregnant and yes, I had a beautiful baby girl, such a miracle.  Now as awesome as all this is, there are days when I may take a few steps back, eat bagels & ice cream (not together), not get out for a walk, but I’m good with that, I’m only human 🙂

Phewwww, did you get all that?  Not expecting a story like that, right?  Now back to my original question…when it comes to holistic health, where do YOU start?

1. Take inventory of your life. What area do you want to work on…is it food? exercise? health related? environmental?  It could be a combination of things, however, I would recommend taking one area at a time, baby steps.

2. WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.  When we write it down it becomes real.  Write it on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror or on your computer where you can be reminded all the time.

3. Research – whether by book, internet or an actual conversation with someone who has either experienced what you’re going through or what you are looking to achieve. Below are links to books and websites that have helped me in my journey for a healthier holistic lifestyle.

4. Ever hear that saying that “knowledge is power”?  Well it’s really what we do with that knowledge that ultimately makes the difference.  You have to put your plan (or in this case area of interest) into action.  Again, take it one step at a time and I’m sure you will make some great changes!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!


Whose ready to make some changes to their lifestyle?  What area would you focus on first or are you already changing?  Comments and feedback can be posted below.


Links to Books, Movies, People & Websites:

– Book: The Bible

– Book: You Are What You Eat by Gillian McKeith

– Book: Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman

– Book: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman & Thomas M. Campbell II

– Movie: Food Inc.

– Movie: Forks Over Knives

– Movie: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

– Person: Camille Vardy, L.Ac., DNBAO – My holistic practitioner in California, her website is full of information

– Person: Diane Sanfilippo – Nutrition Consultant & Author

– Website: Food Combining

– Website: Young Living Essential Oils

“List”en To Me…Top 5 Holistic Health Options

First, what exactly do I mean by holistic health??  Alternative methods that take a whole body approach. Below is a list I have put together of my top five holistic health options.

1. Food – Whole/Raw/Fermented/Organic/Local – Our bodies depend on food.  Everyday we have a choice of what we are going to fuel ourselves with.  We can choose to eat processed, sugar-laden food that our body will react to in a tired and sluggish manner, affect our moods, cause weight gain, inflammation, skin disorders, the list goes on and on…. OR we can start our days with healthy proteins, good fats, fiber and natural sugars, such as fruits, veggies, smoothies, meats, eggs, nuts, just to name a few.  Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food wrote a great summary on this way of eating, to read about it click HERE.  There have been several studies that show the harmful effects of sugar, artificial preservatives and additives used in our food today.  Additionally, we all need to understand the negative effects of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) that are being used in conventional produce, grains & meats.  Click HERE to find out more about the Non-GMO movement.  Now is the time to educate yourself to make the best food choices for your family.

2. Essential Oils – Now I could write a book on this one option!  I LOVE essential oils!  They have become the first line of defense for health issues with our whole family.  If you are new to essential oils they are highly concentrated oils taken from plants, flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves and bark that are taken through a distillation process and bottled.  We use 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living, who uses the Seed to Seal process on ALL their oils.  Click HERE to find out more info!  In our house these oils have been used to remedy colds/coughs, areas of physical pain, allergies, cuts/scrapes, sleep, mental clarity, and much more.  In the following weeks we will explore essential oils in more detail, talking about how they are made, different types, quality and most of all uses!

3. Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy – Who wants an alternative method to back/neck/shoulder care without using drugs to stop the pain???  Oh, me, me, me!!!  This option has been a lifesaver for our family.  These doctors and therapists are trained to look for the root of the problem, not just at the symptom at hand.  By working/adjusting parts of the body other areas of the body can be corrected.  Not only that, they advise you on how to keep yourself feeling top-notch by providing additional techniques and exercises to do at home.  Click HERE to find out more details and watch videos about chiropractic care. Now although this option is ideal for most pain management, if you are experiencing severe/debilitating pain please consult a physician immediately.

4. Homeopathic Medicine – Have you even heard of this term before??  Well if not, then today is your day!  This type of medicine is specific to types of ailments and used as an alternative to over the counter medications.  Click HERE to get all the details from the Society of Homeopaths.  These types of medicines can be used on adults and children.  We have used them to heal colds, fevers, sinus issues and keep them on hand for my daughter’s teething pain.  Taken in tablet form and usually placed under the tongue, the medicine immediately enters the system to start the healing process.  A brand that our family uses and is sold in health food stores and drugstores is Boiron.  Before using these medications, I recommend contacting a Homeopath in your area for advise and guidance.

5. Exercise – I put this last as it is the hardest for me to do, but knowing it should really be at the top of the list!  We were designed to move, no doubt about it.  Exercise comes in so many forms – running, walking, biking, lifting weights, strength training, stretching, yoga, anything that causes our heart rate to go up and break a sweat!  Sweating has been said to clean out the toxins from your system, who doesn’t want that??  Exercise also boosts energy, helps regulate moods and keeps your body looking good!  In the next few weeks, I’ll be starting a new workout call PiYo by Chalene Johnson and writing about the results.  If this is an area you struggle with too, right now make it a priority and dedicate 10 minutes a day (out of 24 hours) to do some form of exercise.  Start small and move forward!!

Remember that you design your days, so make each one count!

What are some holistic health options that have worked for you and your family?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.


Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on life experience, facts and research.  As I am not a doctor, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above as it is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any sickness or disease.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!


Excuse Me, You Said WHAT??

That’s right, let’s think outside the box! Think RADICALLY!!

Who says you can’t? Just because it’s been done that way for years doesn’t mean it’s the only way.

What you’ll learn here may go against the grain. It may seem impossible. It may seem down right unconventional however it may also be what makes the biggest impact in your life!

My hope is that this blog provides education, motivation and inspiration.  Most of all to be used as a resource and refuge to help you live a lifestyle that you LOVE!!

On the agenda for next week we will be exploring holistic health options, stay tuned!

Have a wonderful weekend!