The Magnolia Family

magnolia-1077384_640

Magnoliaceae

The Magnolia is one of my most favorite flowers and it reminds me of my move to Charleston, SC from New Hampshire. On our first visit, while my husband and I were exploring the city, I was in awe of the Magnolia trees. Their large branches and leaves made me curious but what caught my attention the most was the crisp white flowers. Many of the magnolia trees we encountered while exploring downtown had flowers that were out of my reach. This was frustrating since I was so desperate to smell them. Later that evening while dining out, and by out I mean that all the windows of the restaurant were open to the outside, we were lucky enough to have a table right next to nature! Not too long after we arrived a man with two hooks for hands stopped near our table, he was selling Magnolia flowers. I was curious about how a man with hooks for hands was able to pick the large number of flowers he was selling and also excited that I would finally be able to hold and smell one of those beautiful flowers up close and personal. My husband bought me one and I spent the rest of the evening smelling it and admiring its beauty. However, my enjoyment was short lived. I put the flower in water, went to bed, and sadly when I awoke, it was brown. From that day forward I decided to never pick a magnolia flower but to just leave it on the tree so it can live a little bit longer.

As stated in the book Botany Illustrated, the Magnolia family is large with over 200 flowering species. It can be found in eastern North America, Central America, tropical South America, Mexico, West Indies, southern and eastern India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malesia, China, Japan, and Korea. Having many primitive characteristics, it is considered to be among the most primitive of flowering plants. Some of these characteristics are the large flower with many petals and sepals and the many stamens that are spirally arranged around a raised axis which has many pistils. The axis resembles a cone-like structure. “Cone-like fossils similar to magnolia receptacles have been discovered in ancient sedimentary strata, indicating that this is a very primitive plant family” (Armstrong, 2001). Stipules that enclose the young bud leaf shed as the flower expands also the bracts that enclose the flower buds shed as the flower opens. The image of the stipules and the bracts shedding to me represents the power of the large beautiful flower opening up to life.

Magnolia is best known for the beautiful flowers that are produced and the sweet luxurious smell that is often used in expensive perfumes. What many people might not know, according to dōTERRA, a well known essential oil company, is that Magnolia has been used in traditional health practices in places like China and Thailand for many years. The essential oil is distilled from fresh petals and due to the difficulty of harvesting the fresh blossoms, Magnolia oil is precious and expensive. According to the book, The Essential Life (2018), Magnolia essence was used in ceremonies to enhance confidence and well-being. The blossoms were harvested at night when considered most fragrant. This book also states that the top properties of Magnolia are: Sedative, relaxant, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, decongestant, stomachic. It can be applied directly to the skin, although you will mostly find it mixed in with carrier oil due to its expensive price tag, or it can be used aromatically by inhalation.

One of the main constituents in Magnolia is Linalool. Linalool is known for its ability to promote calmness and relaxation while at the same time promoting comfort. According to Pubmed, Linalool is recognized as safe. It can be found in a variety of items from foods to carpet and surface treatments. Pubmed states that “Decreased activity, decreased pain sensation, and sedation have been reported in laboratory animals exposed to high levels of Linalool.” With Magnolia being expensive and mostly mixed with a carrier oil, exposure to high levels of Linalool is probably not going to occur during normal use. However, it is always advised to be cautious when using a new product for the first time.

For many, an aroma will bring a person straight back to a time or place in their memory as if it just happened yesterday. This is the case for me with the Magnolia flower. Before starting this paper I had no idea that the Magnolia tree was considered to be such a primitive plant. So primitive that the blossoms were pollinated by beetles rather than bees back in ancient times (The Essential Oil Life, 2018, p. 125). I feel fortunate to have this beautiful flower to admire right outside my door and the essential oil with its many benefits to enjoy aromatically and topically. Not knowing that Magnolia was used in ceremonial rituals long ago, I am happy to say that I have been carrying on this tradition. Each night before bed I apply Magnolia essential oil topically to my chest taking advantage of the calming properties while also enjoying the beautiful scent.


References
Armstrong, W.P. (2001) The Magnolia Family (Magnoliaceae): A Primitive Family of Flowering Plants. Retrieved from https://www2.palomar.edu/users/warmstrong/trmar98c.htm
Glimn-Lacy & Kaufman. (2006) Botany Illustrated: Introduction to Plants, Major Groups, Flowering Plant Families second edition. New York, NY: Springer
Science+Buisness Media, Inc. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Linalool, CID=6549, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Linalool (accessed on June 4, 2019)
Uses and Benefits of dōTERRA Magnolia Touch. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-magnolia-touch-oil

Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.


The Orchid Family

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Orchidaceae

The orchid holds a special place in my heart. When showing off, it has beautiful flowers which can last quite a long time but then it happens… The flowers begin to shrivel up one by one, fall off, and for some people, never show their beauty again. This is when they come to me. Some of the people around me know that I have open arms to any and all orchids. They call them, boring with plain green leaves. I don’t see them that way and love to nurse them back to health. They sit in my bathroom upstairs enjoying the filtered light and moisture from the shower until they are ready to make an appearance again. Once buds begin to form, they come back downstairs and sit in the prime flower spot in the foyer and kitchen where people can ooh and ahh over them. Every day in my bathroom I look at those boring green leaves and feel a great sense of love knowing what their future holds. The gift of new buds feels like Christmas. Growing orchids takes a lot of patience but I believe it is well worth it!

As I dig deeper into the orchid family, it seems that there is a lot of variance with statements like, they are primarily this but can also be like this. Read on to see a few examples. According to Botany Illustrated, Orchids are found worldwide and are known as the largest family with an estimated 30,000 species. [Even their] habitats vary enormously from dry sand to acidic bogs and wet meadows, from temperate forest and mangrove swamps to tropical cloud forests there is even an underground orchid, Thizanthella gardneri (Glimn-Lacy & Kaufman, 2006, pg.130). They also vary greatly in size. Most leaves are alternate and simple but some plants are leafless. They are primarily herbaceous (nonwoody) but they may also be like a vine or a shrub. You may find them getting nutrients by either being attached to another plant, epiphytic, or from the soil and dead organic matter, saprophytic. Orchids are considered perennials, which means they live for more than two years.

If you’ve ever tried to buy an orchid as a gift, you know that the flower colors and patterns vary greatly too, making it a difficult decision. Dodson (2019) from the Encyclopedia Britannica explains a little about the unique characteristics of an orchid – As a group, the orchids are different from other plants but only in the morphological (structural) characteristics associated with the flower and its organization. Even the special characteristics of orchid flowers, such as the masses of pollen called pollinia, the joining of the stamens and pistil to form a column, and the tiny seeds without endosperm are found individually in other groups of flowering plants. It is through the combination of several characteristics that a family of flowering plants, the Orchidaceae, emerges.  The flower is usually bisexual which means it has staminate and pistillate structures. It has three sepals that may resemble petals, a column of fused stamen and stigmas, and three carpels which make up the inferior ovary. The central petal which is the lip is usually large and unique sometimes even considered bizarre. The lip encloses the fused male and female parts creating a column. On the tip of this column is a sticky pollen sac. The other end of the column has a sticky flap called the rostellum. Insects take pollen from one flower to another flower. There it sticks to the rostellum and a capsule fruit is formed.

The orchid got its name from the Ancient Greeks. They called it órkhis, which when translated means testicle. It is believed that this name was given because of the shape of the root. Carl Linnaeus classified the family as Orchidaceae and the name orchid was used by John Lindley in the book School Botany in 1845. Interestingly, the orchid family is of great economic importance and provides a very important item, vanilla! There are also many folk medicines and cures associated with the orchid: Cure poisoning from a fish, prevent sickness after childbirth, to treat boils, as a diuretic, good for broken bones, food and food supplements, sold as a vegetable, seasoning, flour substitute, and can even be used as a glue.

To conclude, the orchid can be found everywhere, even in roadside ditches, and have many varying features which create a unique family, to say the least. Some species are considered a weed whereas others are considered endangered and protected. They can be used for vanilla, folk medicinal cures, or just for admiring their beauty. Once the flowers fall and you are left with only the leaves, it can take great patience to wait for the flowers to bloom again. I wonder if there is an organization out there for rescuing abandoned orchids? Maybe I should start one.


Aitchinson, P. (2013) Orchid: How did it get its name? Retrieved from https://sfvos.com/ 2013/09/12/orchid-how-did-it-get-its-name/
Dodson, C. (2019) Orchid. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/plant/orchid
Glimn-Lacy & Kaufman. (2006) Botany Illustrated: Introduction to Plants, Major Groups, Flowering Plant Families second edition. New York, NY: Springer Science+Buisness Media, Inc.

magnolia-1077384_640

Magnoliaceae

The Magnolia is one of my most favorite flowers and it reminds me of my move to Charleston, SC from New Hampshire. On our first visit, while my husband and I were exploring the city, I was in awe of the Magnolia trees. Their large branches and leaves made me curious but what caught my attention the most was the crisp white flowers. Many of the magnolia trees we encountered while exploring downtown had flowers that were out of my reach. This was frustrating since I was so desperate to smell them. Later that evening while dining out, and by out I mean that all the windows of the restaurant were open to the outside, we were lucky enough to have a table right next to nature! Not too long after we arrived a man with two hooks for hands stopped near our table, he was selling Magnolia flowers. I was curious about how a man with hooks for hands was able to pick the large number of flowers he was selling and also excited that I would finally be able to hold and smell one of those beautiful flowers up close and personal. My husband bought me one and I spent the rest of the evening smelling it and admiring its beauty. However, my enjoyment was short lived. I put the flower in water, went to bed, and sadly when I awoke, it was brown. From that day forward I decided to never pick a magnolia flower but to just leave it on the tree so it can live a little bit longer.

As stated in the book Botany Illustrated, the Magnolia family is large with over 200 flowering species. It can be found in eastern North America, Central America, tropical South America, Mexico, West Indies, southern and eastern India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malesia, China, Japan, and Korea. Having many primitive characteristics, it is considered to be among the most primitive of flowering plants. Some of these characteristics are the large flower with many petals and sepals and the many stamens that are spirally arranged around a raised axis which has many pistils. The axis resembles a cone-like structure. “Cone-like fossils similar to magnolia receptacles have been discovered in ancient sedimentary strata, indicating that this is a very primitive plant family” (Armstrong, 2001). Stipules that enclose the young bud leaf shed as the flower expands also the bracts that enclose the flower buds shed as the flower opens. The image of the stipules and the bracts shedding to me represents the power of the large beautiful flower opening up to life.

Magnolia is best known for the beautiful flowers that are produced and the sweet luxurious smell that is often used in expensive perfumes. What many people might not know, according to dōTERRA, a well known essential oil company, is that Magnolia has been used in traditional health practices in places like China and Thailand for many years. The essential oil is distilled from fresh petals and due to the difficulty of harvesting the fresh blossoms, Magnolia oil is precious and expensive. According to the book, The Essential Life (2018), Magnolia essence was used in ceremonies to enhance confidence and well-being. The blossoms were harvested at night when considered most fragrant. This book also states that the top properties of Magnolia are: Sedative, relaxant, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, decongestant, stomachic. It can be applied directly to the skin, although you will mostly find it mixed in with carrier oil due to its expensive price tag, or it can be used aromatically by inhalation.

One of the main constituents in Magnolia is Linalool. Linalool is known for its ability to promote calmness and relaxation while at the same time promoting comfort. According to Pubmed, Linalool is recognized as safe. It can be found in a variety of items from foods to carpet and surface treatments. Pubmed states that “Decreased activity, decreased pain sensation, and sedation have been reported in laboratory animals exposed to high levels of Linalool.” With Magnolia being expensive and mostly mixed with a carrier oil, exposure to high levels of Linalool is probably not going to occur during normal use. However, it is always advised to be cautious when using a new product for the first time.

For many, an aroma will bring a person straight back to a time or place in their memory as if it just happened yesterday. This is the case for me with the Magnolia flower. Before starting this paper I had no idea that the Magnolia tree was considered to be such a primitive plant. So primitive that the blossoms were pollinated by beetles rather than bees back in ancient times (The Essential Oil Life, 2018, p. 125). I feel fortunate to have this beautiful flower to admire right outside my door and the essential oil with its many benefits to enjoy aromatically and topically. Not knowing that Magnolia was used in ceremonial rituals long ago, I am happy to say that I have been carrying on this tradition. Each night before bed I apply Magnolia essential oil topically to my chest taking advantage of the calming properties while also enjoying the beautiful scent.


References
Armstrong, W.P. (2001) The Magnolia Family (Magnoliaceae): A Primitive Family of Flowering Plants. Retrieved from https://www2.palomar.edu/users/warmstrong/trmar98c.htm
Glimn-Lacy & Kaufman. (2006) Botany Illustrated: Introduction to Plants, Major Groups, Flowering Plant Families second edition. New York, NY: Springer
Science+Buisness Media, Inc. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Linalool, CID=6549, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Linalool (accessed on June 4, 2019)
Uses and Benefits of dōTERRA Magnolia Touch. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-magnolia-touch-oil

Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.


Inflammation and its Relation to Psychoneuroimmunology

An important part of the body’s immune response is inflammation, especially during acute trauma.  The inflammatory response during acute trauma helps to decrease the injury and maintain homeostasis. This might surprise some individuals who believe that inflammation is a bad sign.  For example, when an injury happens, like a twisted ankle, and inflammation occurs, most people will spring into action by applying the RICE rules hoping to reduce or eliminate inflammation.  RICE stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate. According to Patton and Thibodeau (2014), when tissue cells are damaged they release inflammation mediators. Thanks to some of theses inflammation mediators, the redness and warmth felt when inflammation occurs is due to blood vessels widening and blood flow increasing.  This important step allows white blood cells, known as immune system cells to travel quickly to the injured area.  In acute situations, inflammation can be a blessing but when an individual has chronic inflammation it can have detrimental effects on health and wellness.  This brings me to the discussion of the role of Psychoneuroimmunology in health as described in the clinical paper “Stress, Food, and Inflammation:  Psychoneuroimmunology and Nutrition at the Cutting Edge” (Kiecolt-Glaser, 2010).  According to the Dictionary, Psychoneuroimmunology is defined as “the study of the effects of psychological factors on the immune system.”   The clinical paper points out a few serious illnesses that account for 70% of all deaths in America.  They are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  Their common link is inflammation.  Chronic inflammation can also be linked to diet, lifestyle choices, and stress.   Let us take a step back and look at where inflammation might be coming from when not caused by acute trauma and see how it relates to psychoneuroimmunology.

Studies show that diet influences inflammation.  Foods that an individual chooses to eat can cause health or harm, and to make it even more confusing, not all food reacts the same with every person.  This has been described well by a popular phrase thought to be first written by the Roman poet Lucretius, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”  However, there are a few food items that are known to promote inflammation no matter who you are.  These inflammatory foods are refined starches, sugars, saturated fats, and trans fat.  Many of these items can be found in the standard American diet (SAD), which includes processed and pre-packaged items.  This SAD diet is also known as the “Westernized” diet.  Some important items this diet is missing are omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fresh fruit which contains fiber, vegetables, and whole grains.  Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables have been linked to lower oxidative stress.  Meals high in antioxidants may have an anti-inflammatory effect even when consuming foods high in saturated fats.

Research shows a connection between inflammation and depression, suggesting that high inflammatory diets could aggravate depressive symptoms which can create more inflammation.  It’s also been suggested that healthy diets like the Mediterranean diet which includes healthy fat like avocado and olive oil, vegetables, fish, and whole grains work to reduce inflammation and can be protective against depression.  So, which came first, the chicken or the egg?  A SAD diet increases inflammation which promotes depression.  Depression may cause individuals to not care about healthy eating and lifestyle factors which in turn leads to the SAD diet promoting inflammation.  This is a perfect example of the role of Psychoneuroimmunology in health. Depression can stem from various social factors like having less money than your neighbor, allowing the bad news on social media or TV to get you down, or dealing with past or present trauma.   These are psychosocial stressors, relating to social factors, thoughts, and feelings.

Once stress kicks in, it can interfere with important health behaviors.  One has already been mentioned, food choices.  Another important health behavior affected by stress is sleep.  Many individuals who have negative emotions and/or emotional stressors end up having disturbed sleep patterns.  These disturbed sleep patterns trigger interleukin 6 (IL-6) which is a pro-inflammatory cytokine.  IL-6 thinks it’s doing its job, helping the body out, but it’s not.  Instead, it’s triggering more inflammation due to the stress that is being put on the body thanks to lack of sleep.  Other lifestyle stressors that contribute to chronic inflammation are caring for a family member with dementia or caring for a chronically ill child.  These lifestyle factors are associated with higher oxidative stress and increased pro-inflammatory cytokine production.   If an individual is in one of the situations above, they can’t just stop caring because they are too stressed.  Luckily there are dietary and lifestyle influences that can help.

A number of studies have shown that increased fish consumption equals lower episodes of clinical depression.  This may be due to increasing omega 3 (n-3) consumption which has been shown to curb depression. N-3 is found in fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. N-3 can also be found in supplements, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds either in oil or ground form.  N-3 is helpful in counteracting the inflammatory response of high fat.  This is helpful because high-fat meals can trigger low-grade endotoxemia, a rise in inflammatory antigens.  A good example regarding n-3 and Psychoneuroimmunology used in the clinical paper, “Stress, Food, and Inflammation” (Kiecolt-Glaser, 2010), was a study focusing on a group of medical students.  One group of students had n-3 serum levels that were low or they had a higher omega 6 (n-6) to n-3 ratio.  The other group of medical students had higher n-3.   The group with higher n-3 produced less pro-inflammatory cytokines during exams compared to the group with lower n-3.  This study suggests that diet (n-3 intake) can influence the level of pro-inflammatory response to stressful situations.  Along with diet, bringing in positive lifestyle factors like mediation, changing your perspective on stress, gentle exercise, journaling, intermittent fasting, and socializing with friends and family can also help ease stress and lessen pro-inflammatory responses.

To conclude, acute inflammation can work to help the body whereas chronic inflammation can harm.  Dietary factors have a great effect on health and the body’s inflammatory response.  Dietary factors can also be influenced by social factors that cause stress and depression.  Unfortunately, there appears to be a vicious circle at play.  When social stressors affect a person and they are feeling depressed, healthy food choices are not on the top of their list which leads to unhealthy food choices, inflammation, and illness. Luckily there are food and lifestyle options to help break this vicious cycle.  It is important when working on a client’s diet to also work on their behavior and visa versa. Diet and behavior go hand in hand.


References
Collins, W. (2012) Collins English Dictionary [Digital Edition] Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/psychoneuroimmunology
Goehler, L., Lyte, M. & Gaykema, R. (2007). Infection-induced viscerosensory signals from the gut enhance anxiety: Implications for psychoneuroimmunology. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 21(6):721-726. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.02.005
Kiecolt-Glaser, J. (2010). Stress, food, and inflammation: Psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition at the cutting edge. Psychosomatic Medicine. 72(4):365-369. doi: 10.1097/ PSY.0b013e3181dbf489
Patton, K. & Thibodeau G.(2014). The Human Body In Health & Disease 6th Edition.Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby.

Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.


The Truth about Detoxing

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The Truth about Detoxing – 4 Biggest Myths Debunked

Thanks to much of what we hear in the media, detoxing has earned a reputation for being unhealthy and even unsafe. When you hear the word detox, you might think of all-liquid diets, expensive supplements and short-term deprivation for short-term gains?

The truth is, a detox doesn’t have to involve any of the above—and if you detox in a healthy, supportive manner, you can achieve lasting results in weight loss, energy gain, and full-body health. 

The following are four myths you may have heard about detoxing. Understandably, these myths may cause you to be hesitant to try a detox.

Keep reading to find out the truth behind these myths and why detoxing might be just what your body is craving. 


Myth # 1: You won’t enjoy anything you’re eating while on a detox. 

While you might have to eliminate certain foods that you enjoy, detoxing isn’t all about eating lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil. There are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy ingredients that not only taste amazing but nourish and detox your body. 

The best part is, many of them don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. In fact, my detox participants always discover new foods and recipes that they absolutely love that have become staples in their diets long after the detox ends. 


Myth #2:  You’ll constantly be hungry while detoxing.

While you might end up consuming fewer calories while following a detox, you shouldn’t feel deprived or hungry. Going on an extremely low-calorie diet can actually disrupt your hormones and metabolism, making your body less efficient in the long run. 

Everyone’s caloric needs are different, so a detox should never dictate how many calories you consume. By consuming whole foods that provide you with the right nutrients, you help detox your body while feeling satisfied.  My participants are always amazed that they never feel hungry during my detoxes.


Myth #3:  You need to do an all-liquid detox to remove toxins from your body. 

Liquid-only detoxes have had more than their fair share of popularity. These types of detoxes can backfire: Not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating for several days can be detrimental to your health. An effective detox will include a variety of whole foods to help nourish your body and produce long-term results.


Myth #4: Detoxes are just a way for people to make money on expensive supplements. 

Supplements involved in a detox should be just that, a supplementary part of the program, not the primary source of your nutrition.  While on a detox, you get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources.

Supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods.  For example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and remove toxins from the body.

Aside from the benefits discussed above, detoxing is an incredibly effective way to identify if you have any food sensitivities, balance your hormones, and establish healthy habits for the long term. 

I’ve worked with detox participants who not only have lost weight and kept it off but who have also seen their energy level skyrocket, their skin clears up and even their allergies disappear.


Are you ready to discover the benefits of healthy detoxing for yourself?
Click here to learn more about my 7 Day JumpStart Cleanse. 
Learn more here!

If you are interested in doTERRA Essential oils and would like to sign up to get wholesale prices, I’ll discount the price for the cleanse $35 which is the price for a doTERRA membership!  I’m doing this because I LOVE doTERRA and know you will too.  It’s optional but there are ways to incorporate doTERRA into your cleanse if you like. Learn more and sign up for doTERRA HERE and then come back and buy the cleanse for the discount price!


Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.


Essential Oils for Dogs

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Lately, I have been getting some questions about the safety of essential oils for dogs…

So rather than answering each person one by one I decided to write it down and share! Note:  This is regarding dogs, not cats.  Cats have different guidelines.

My three little doggies see a holistic vet.  They are all healthy so we usually only see her one time a year.  We also work with Dr. Ruth Roberts virtually.  Our doggies love Dr. Roberts’ CrockPet Diet and she has shared specific essential oil blends to help with anxiety, insects, and arthritis.


First things first, a little housekeeping…

I highly recommend Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils from dōTERRA.  If you watch my video on doTERRA’s Top Ten Oils you will learn why I love these oils so much!   dōTERRA prides itself on transparency – we know what is in each bottle that comes from dōTERRA. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for oils we pick up at a big box store.  Read more by clicking the links below.

  • CPTG Quality Testing
    • The purity of essential oil is its most important characteristic. An essential oil that isn’t pure means you run the risk of putting germs, heavy metals, or adulterants onto or into your body, which can provoke irritation, adverse effects, or even sickness. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. dōTERRA even goes a step further, putting all their products and the packaging through a battery of tests to ensure a long and effective shelf-life. This protocol ensures potency, purity, and consistency batch to batch.
  • Source to You   
    • dōTERRA has complete transparency. Click the link to see what is inside your bottle.  Click Quality Reports, enter the number off the bottom of your single oil and see the test results from an independent, verified third-party lab.

Learn more about getting dōTERRA Essential Oils at wholesale and prices HERE

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The first essential oil I used for my little chihuahua Charlie was lavender.  Charlie had a couple seizures, this is why I reached out to Dr. Ruth Roberts.  She had many great suggestions, we ran some labs and started some supplements… she also suggested a lavender blend.  I use this –  mix 1 drop of lavender with 2 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil and apply one drop of the mixture behind each ear.  If you feel the back of your dog’s ear, you’ll find a spot where your finger seems to fit, like a little indent.  This indent is where you should apply the oil.  If your dog is larger than our little Charlie (5lbs), say 15-30 pounds, you can use more than a drop behind the ear. You could even use 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil to 1 drop of lavender.  We use this blend when Charlie seems anxious.

Lavender is also great in the diffuser for dogs and people. It has a calming effect on the central nervous system and might benefit dogs that have separation anxiety.  Just take a few precautions.

  • Do not use a diffuser in a room that a dog cannot leave.  Your dog should be able to leave the area if it has had enough.
  • Use a diffuser that has a timer and set it for the lowest time if you are leaving the house for a while.
  • Make sure the diffuser is in a safe place so your dog cannot knock it over and drink the liquid.

Some essential oils should not be used with dogs but others benefit them greatly!

Use These Essential Oils with Dogs

  • Lavender – calming for skin and anxiety, deodorizer (can be used neat on skin irritations)
  • Ginger – digestion, arthritis
  • Basil – fights odors, antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial, anti-anxiety
  • Cedarwood – repels pest, promotes a healthy coat
  • Peppermint – repels pest, arthritis
  • Clary Sage – calms nervousness and excitability
  • Roman Chamomile – calming for skin and body, wound care
  • plus many more…

Avoid These Essential Oils with Dogs

  • Anise
  • Garlic
  • Clove
  • Horseradish
  • Juniper
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Yarrow
  • Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Use this mix for an insect repellent – mix in a glass spray bottle and then mist over your dog before it goes outside to play.  Avoid the eyes.

  • 1 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
  • 5 drops of lavender
  • 5 drops of peppermint
  • 5 drops of cedarwood

Use this mix for arthritis and/or hot spots – mix in a glass dropper bottle – if you don’t have one of these oils you can substitute with other skin soothing oils like lavender or chamomile.

  • 4 tablespoons of carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil)
  • 1 drop of frankincense
  • 1 drop of myrrh
  • 1 drop of peppermint
  • 1 drop of copaiba

Use this mix as a calming mist – mix in a glass spray bottle

  • 2 drops of rosemary
  • 2 drops of Roman chamomile
  • 4 drops of lavender
  • 8 oz of water
  • 2 tablespoons of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol

Dogs are very sensitive to smells, some might shy away from the essential oils and some may want to smell more.  Charlie is very happy to get his dose of lavender behind his ears and bug repellent on his body but Lilly, our Manchester Terrier, hates everything to do with oils and will run across the room to avoid them! However, the diffuser doesn’t seem to bother Lilly at all – maybe because it’s highly diluted.

My point is, let your dog guide you when it comes to essential oils!  If they shy away and hate the smell, back off and try a diffuser instead.  Remember to always give them the freedom to leave the space where a diffuser is being used and be very careful that they cannot knock it over and lick up the spill.

Speaking of ingesting, I don’t know enough about this to suggest it or not.  I know that ingesting essential oils for people can be extremely beneficial but I don’t feel comfortable suggesting this for a dog.  I would suggest reaching out to a holistic vet that has experience with essential oils and as always, reach out to your vet if you notice any signs of muscle tremors, weakness, difficulty walking, excessive salivation or vomiting.


Love your pets!  They love you so much!!

Pictured below is Lewis the Boxer, Lilly the Toy Manchester Terrier, River the Jack Russell and Charlie the Chihuahua.  All of these dogs chose us one way or another and we are so thankful!!

 


Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.

 


dōTERRA’s Top 10 Essential Oils

I hope you enjoy this presentation of dōTERRA’s top 10 Essential Oils!  I made it in Keynotes and inserted loads of great links!  However, I did not realize that once I recorded my voice the links would not be available!  So, Please click on the links under this video.  dōTERRA has SO MUCH education on their website and I just want to make sure you get the most out of the video!

If you’re interested in becoming a wholesale member, click HERE to get started!

 

 

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/skaQRoOVpuY

dōTERRA top ten oils presentation Links below

Why dōTERRA:  

Co-impact Sourcing,   CPTG,  Healing Hands,  Days for Girls,  Operation Underground Railroad,  Source to You

Aromatic Uses:  Aromatic Uses  Diffuser Blends

Topical Uses:     Topical Uses

Internal Uses:   Peppermint Black Bean Brownies   Internal Uses

Lemon: Lemon Spotlight   Lemon Oil

Lavender: Lavender Spotlight  Lavender Oil

Peppermint: Peppermint Spotlight   Peppermint Oil

Melaleuca: Melaleuca Spotlight   Melaleuca Oil

Oregano: Oregano Spotlight    Oregano Oil

Frankincense: Frankincense Spotlight   Frankincense  oil

On Guard: On Guard Spotlight

Breathe: Breathe Soothing Salve   Breathe Spotlight

Deep Blue: Deep Blue Spotlight


Turmeric

You might know from my Instagram and Facebook feed that my husband and I spent a long weekend in NYC.  We rode bikes EVERY DAY – up to about 30 miles a day!  We loved it so much that when we got home, we dusted off our bikes and hit the road!  Bike riding in NYC in June vs. Charleston, SC is very different temperature-wise (traffic-wise too).  To start our SC adventures we rode around our neighborhood for a bit before deciding to venture out.  Always choosing early in the morning or later in the evening we were surprised that the breeze created by riding was pleasant.  Who needs cars and air conditioning?!!  I’m joking! On our first adventure out we rode about three miles to the Waterfront Park and Pier and then to the other side of town to Shem Creek. We then crossed back to our side of town and headed for home.  Hot, thirsty (we forgot to bring drinks – this is new for us), and a little sweaty,  we were happy to come across a juice shop.  We shared a nice refreshing green juice and my husband had a turmeric shot.  Check out the Turmeric Shot recipe I recreated to share with you.  It’s husband approved!  Enjoy!

Turmeric is a spice that is commonly used in Asian food.  It comes from the root of the turmeric plant.  This plant is part of the ginger family and is perennial which means it comes back each year.  Generally, if you plant the root, you’ll need to dig it up to use it but if you leave a couple in the ground or replant a few roots it will multiply and you’ll have some for the future!  Below is a picture of the turmeric roots I planted a couple months ago.  You can see lemongrass behind it.  Being my first time planting turmeric, I was shocked to see the growth so fast.  I’m hoping that I’ll have a nice clump of roots in there when I dig them up.  I watched these videos to learn how to plant and harvest the turmeric.  I think you’ll find it super easy, however, the entire process takes about eight months.  The second video gives great tips on storing so you can have turmeric all year until the next batch is ready for harvest!

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Below is what it looks like when you dig it up and wash it off (hopefully).

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You may have heard turmeric being referred to as curcumin.  Curcumin is the yellow-colored primary active part that comes from the turmeric root.  Many people use turmeric as an anti-inflammatory.  The Natural Medicines database says it can be used for:

  • arthritis
  • joint pain
  • indigestion
  • abdominal pain/bloating
  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • IBS
  • headaches
  • common cold

In food and manufacturing, the essential oil is used for perfumes, the turmeric and its resins are used for flavoring and coloring.  You probably know it best for being a culinary spice and major ingredient in curry powder!

Besides the Turmeric Shot, I like adding organic turmeric powder or a small piece of fresh root to my smoothies.  You can also try sipping on a Golden Turmeric Latte.

I know many who do well supplementing with 500mg a day and working up to 1000mg a day if well tolerated.  Check Fullscript for a good quality supplement in your price range.  Remember, if you are my client you will receive 25% off.  If you are not my client you can still receive 15% off!  Always speak with your primary care physician before starting any new supplements especially if you are taking other medications.


Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.

*Some of the above links are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of my links and purchase an item, I will receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Please keep in mind that I only recommend products or services that I personally use and that I believe will add value to your life.

Recipes

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Golden Turmeric Latte

I LOVE the taste turmeric lattes and knowing that I am fighting inflammation while enjoying this easy to make drink!  I’ll have my bullet-proof latte in the morning and this one in the evening (minus the coconut milk for me – see below).


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Bulletproof Latte

I enjoy this every morning!  Minus the coconut milk since sadly, I’m sensitive.  Instead, I use MCT oil and ghee.  Before I did the MRT food sensitivity testing I was putting coconut oil in my coffee each day thinking it was good for me but the old saying is true, what might be good for one may not be so good for another!  I am also not a slave to caffeine anymore.  Back in the day if I missed my caffeinated coffee I had a TERRIBLE headache.  I slowly weaned off of caffeine with the help of green tea and now I drink organic decaf coffee.


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Chia-Flax Mixture

This is so easy to make and can be stored in your fridge all week!  Try adding two tablespoons to a smoothie for an awesome addition of fiber! Just make sure you keep shaking it while it sets.


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Bloat Fighting Tropical Smoothie

If you don’t have papaya try adding any fruit you have on hand.  If you do have papaya add some seeds too.  They help fight parasites!  I learned this from a roadside fruit stand in Hawaii!


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Tropical Ginger Smoothie

I’m a sucker for ginger!  Pineapple too – awesome!  Ginger is great for digestion and the bromelain in the pineapple is a great anti-inflammatory, especially for seasonal allergies.


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Green Blender Juice or Smoothie

You can make this in the blender or in a juicer.  If you don’t have lemon or if you just want to use the power of essential oils, try adding three drops of doTERRA lemon essential oil!


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Glowing Green Mango Energy Smoothie

Another awesome smoothie and for this one you can use doTERRA lemon and doTERRA lime essential oils.  Speaking of lemon, before I have my Bulletproof coffee, I have a glass of room temperature water with three drops of doTERRA lemon essential oil to kick start my metabolism, hydrate and work on becoming alkaline.


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Blueberry Beet Chia Pudding

I absolutely love chia pudding and so does my digestion!  Just look at the picture above – delicious!   Be creative, use what you have and make it your own!  Have fun!  My six-year-old nephew loved making this with me.


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Oven Roasted Kale Chips

I also absolutely LOVE kale chips and always wake up alkaline after eating these in the evening.  I drive my husband slightly crazy with my crunching but this is the BEST evening snack. I keep trying to get him to like kale chips too but he loves his Sea Salt & Vinegar potato chips! I use a dehydrator instead of the oven but the oven works just as well.  I hope you like these as much as I do!


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Avocado Sweet Potato Toast with Poached Egg

Gluten-free baby!  My belly thanks me!  Doesn’t this look great!? Give it a try!


Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.


Pranayama and Meditation

pexels-photo-268134.jpegI started meditating during yoga classes when I was 16 but really I  was meditating long before that.  As a child, I spent a lot of time playing in nature and I just loved the feel of being in the woods.  We often had a houseful with my siblings and cousins so the woods were like my sanctuary.  I’d run and jump off large rocks catching a small tree that would bend and take me to the ground.  I’d hop from rock to rock up streams to find the source.  I’d get off the school bus and walk straight into the woods, up the mountain trying to guess where my house might be, then heading straight down sometimes I’d hit the mark, sometimes not. I’d even spend hours in the woods when there was a foot of snow on the ground.  I’d pat the snow down and build it up around the edges making a cozy place to rest.   After all my running, jumping, and climbing, I would be still and just listen to the sounds, breathing in and out… I was meditating!  It was lovely!  As a busy adult, I’m not able to spend as much time in nature as I would like.  I have continued to meditate in yoga classes and at home but not on a regular basis until now!  I just completed the ZivaOnline program and am excited to share my experience with you!  Each morning I was excited to open my email and head on over to ZivaOnline to hear my daily lesson and practice Mindfulness, Meditation, and Manifesting – the 3 M’s.  With the 3 M’s I found it easy to release the stress in my present moment, stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to rest and restore (Emily says this part helps to rid stress from your past), and also tap into the right, creative side of my brain.  My sleep has improved, I’m calm, well rested, and excited about this new-found creative spark.  If you don’t think you have time to meditate, after this training you’ll realize you don’t have time to NOT meditate!  I love the Ziva Technique and Emily Fletcher is so much fun!

After completing ZivaOnline it just so happened that a Pranayama teacher training class was being offered at my local yoga studio and the teacher was Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian, we call him Dr. Sundar.  He is a Cell Biology researcher and a Yoga Biology researcher, a pioneer in the area of research combining Pranayama and salivary stimulation.  Dr. Sundar discovered that Yogic breathing (pranayama) promotes salivary secretions which support healthy living.  During the weekend training not only did we learn many different techniques of pranayama, but we also looked deeper noticing how much and what type of saliva was created during each different practice.  He shared with us some details of his research which were impressive.  Check it out on his website to learn more.

Since Dr. Sundar’s workshop, I’ve been practicing a little pranayama before I start the technique I learned from Ziva.  I set my alarm 20 minutes earlier each morning and sit up in bed with my back secure, head free and begin my morning ritual.

I start by inhaling and then exhaling the sound of Om.  Since my husband is sleeping next to me in the morning I say om silently but when I practice in the evening before dinner, om rides on my exhale quietly.  I do this about 8 times keeping track by moving my thumb across my fingers.  If you are not comfortable with om, you can hum on the exhale.  I then slide right into Alternate Nostril breathing.

  • On your right hand, fold your index and middle finger in, extend your thumb, ring, and pinkie
  • Close your right nostril with your thumb and breath in slowly through the left nostril for the count of 2
  • Close off both nostrils using your thumb, pinkie and ring finger, hold for the count of 8
  • Release the right nostril and exhale slowly for the count of 4
  • Inhale through the right nostril for 2
  • Hold for 8
  • Exhale through the left nostril for 4
  • Inhale left – 2
  • Hold – 8
  • Exhale right – 4
  • Repeat until you feel a beautiful sense of calm

Imagine going up a mountain, hanging out at the top for a bit then going down the other side.  Heading back up, hanging out for a bit, then heading down the other side.  Alternate nostril breathing helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, sharpens concentration and mental clarity, calms the mind while soothing the nervous system triggering the parasympathetic, rest and restore response.  If you like, as you touch your thumb to each finger instead of counting 1,2,3… you can repeat a mantra.  It can be Om Namah Shivaya, I am strong, I am beautiful, I am love or even the words, let go.  The mantra draws your attention to the words rather than your thoughts and can be anything that resonates with you.  It is perfectly normal for the thoughts to be popping in and out.  Acknowledge them and then let them go.

At this point in my practice, my Ziva training kicks in and I begin the 3 M’s – Mindfulness, Meditation, and Manifesting.  Learn more at ZivaOnline!  I am so thankful for my pranayama and meditation practice!  Did I mention that I am sleeping like a baby and have loads more energy?  I feel great!


 

Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.

*Some of the above links are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of my links and purchase an item, I will receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Please keep in mind that I only recommend products or services that I personally use and that I believe will add value to your life.

 


Lifestyle Medicine

Lifestyle Medicine. Say it slowly and think about what you’re saying. Lifestyle Medicine, something we all could use a little bit of. So, what is it exactly?

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine says, Lifestyle Medicine involves the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominately whole food, plant-based diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, alcohol moderation, and tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse the lifestyle-related, chronic disease that’s all too prevalent.

Dean Ornish, a well-recognized lifestyle pioneer states that Lifestyle Medicine is made up of nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction, rest, and social support systems.

Sounds great to me! Well, almost. I support bio-individuality and believe that for some, a plant-based diet works wonders but for others, it may not. However, I love the idea of Lifestyle Medicine and think that it makes so much sense! As an FDN Practitioner and Certified Holistic Health Coach, I spend a great amount of time exploring Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction, and Supplementation. This is the DRESS for Health Success Program®. Some of these categories roll into what we call primary food. This might not be what you expect. Primary food is not what you put on your plate, that is secondary food, it’s what is going on in your relationships, your career, your physical activity, and even your spirituality.  Do you have healthy relationships?  Or do you have energy vampires in your life? Are you getting regular physical activity? Or are you spending the majority of your time stationary? Do you have a fulfilling career? Or are you in a job that you hate? Do you have a spiritual practice? The secondary food is what you put on your plate. It’s secondary because if the primary food is lacking, it doesn’t matter how much organic kale or chia seeds you eat, you will still be missing something. This all sounds like good Lifestyle Medicine to me!

Lifestyle Medicine is not a new idea. Hippocrates, the father of medicine recognized the value of food as a medicine many centuries ago. He had a philosophy, Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.  Hippocrates was not the only one who thought this way.  Lifestyle recommendations have been recognized in ancient healing traditions for a very long time.

Abraham Maslow, who was best known for creating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943), believed that human beings have within them an inner nature that strives in a positive way to actualize their true potential. He described the inner nature as being delicate and subtle and easily overcome by habit. This relates to the saying, listen to your gut. We may not know all there is to know about health and wellness but if we listen carefully and quietly to our inner nature, our gut, we know what is best for us. So why are we not doing it? Do we not trust or even hear our inner voice? Do we not have the willpower?

This is where a Health Coach comes into play. A Health Coach will help you hear the subtle cues your inner nature is trying to share with you. A Health Coach will help you find a vision to work towards, create actions steps to move towards your vision, and help you find ways to hold yourself accountable. It’s ideal to start small and build on each action step to create something great. This idea was stated well by Vincent Van Gogh, Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

Start small, listen for your inner voice and create something great! Try some of the ideas below.

  1. Nutrition: Eat real food and avoid processed food. A good rule of thumb is if there are more than 5 ingredients on the food label, give it a pass. This means, eat veggies, fruit, organic or grass-fed meat and milk, pasture-raised eggs. Choose healthy carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes. Use healthy fats like cooking with coconut oil, use olive oil and Bragg’s vinegar for salad dressing. Drink pure water, avoid GMO’s, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  2. Rest:  Get to bed by 10pm and wake up by 6am. Limit screen time an hour before bed or wear blue light blocking glasses. The blue light from the tv, computer, and cell phone lowers the production of melatonin, your sleep hormone.
  3. Exercise: Try to get daily exercise but don’t overdo it. If you are being too hard on yourself exercise can act as another stress. Daily walks are wonderful, maybe some high-intensity interval training on some days with yin yoga on other days. If you like to workout at home try the MUTU System. The exercises start off gentle and then increase in intensity as your strength builds. It’s a 12-week program but you own it for life and hopefully, it will become a daily habit for you.
  4. Stress Reduction:  Add some breathing exercises into your daily schedule. Check out Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breath. While your mind is quiet, listen for your inner voice.  Try a yin/restorative yoga class or find one on YouTube. Treat yourself to an Epsom salt bath with a good book! Remove the energy vampires from your life.
  5. Social Support System:  Develop your web of support. On a blank piece of paper make a circle in the center and write your name in that circle. Now create lines that go out from your circle and add other circles. They might include your partner, your doctor, your health coach, a sibling, a house cleaner, etc.  Put the name of the person, how they support you and their phone number in the circle. Brainstorm, who else can be in your web of support?  Who are you missing?  Call on this support system as needed.
  6. Reduce your toxic load:  Look through your cleaning supplies at home, can you switch anything out for a more natural product? Check out the EWG’s guide to green cleaning products. What you put on your body is just as important as to what you put in it. Check out EWG’s Skin Deep guide. My daily skin care regimen includes products from Annmarie Skin Care.  Annmarie is all-natural, organic, wild-crafted and you can pronounce all the ingredients on each product!

Interested in Health Coaching or FDN?  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and the DRESS for Health Success® Program are proven methods that have helped thousands of people! To learn more, schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.

*Some of the above links are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of my links and purchase an item, I will receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Please keep in mind that I only recommend products or services that I personally use and that I believe will add value to your life.