Do Essential Oils Actually Work?

You may be wondering if all the hype around EO (which, let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard from me!) is actually true.

Do essential oils really work? Or are they just nice smellies, like air freshener or perfume (ew, and yurgh) but a bit more natural?

The question you’re really asking here is ‘does nature work?’  

Think about that one for a second. Do you believe there is an intelligence built into nature that’s at work?

Yay or nay?

Let’s dive in.

What is an Essential Oil?

This is super basic, but if you’re like me, you probably never really gave this much thought. Maybe you were attracted to the nice smells, and you’re a nature-loving kinda gal/guy.

Well here’s a simple description.

Visualize this if you will. A delicious, juicy, orange, growing wild and free. Not in an orchid (or whatever the orange equivalent is!), not tended by people, just wild and free. Doing it’s thing as nature intended.

Unlike us mammals it can’t fight off predators with a baseball bat.  If environmental circumstances become unfavorable, it can’t move to another postcode. If it’s cold, it can’t whack on the heating.

Basically, our wild orange has to rely on the intelligence built into it by mother nature to thrive in this world.

The rind of this wild and free (and probably rather happy) orange has natural chemical compounds in it. The compounds are it’s immunity. It’s intelligence. It’s in-built defense mechanism that keeps it alive and kicking, so to speak.#

That’s why many essential oils are naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral….etc….that’s how they survive in the wild. They have this inbuilt immunity that wards off pathogens.

When we cold-press the rind of an orange to distill the essential oil (not an oil at all really, actually the plants essence) we extract the plant’s immunity. When we use their essential oils, the plants are essentially lending us their intelligence and their immunity.

Pretty cool, huh?

 

Here’s the science bit…

If you like to see a good study or two to see what the science says, you can fill your boots over at PubMed.com, a search engine for geeks.

Here’s a study that found “evidence that essential oils are potential antimicrobial agents against bacteria associated with porcine respiratory infections.” Here’s one that showed essential oils were good repellents against a type of mealworm (told you this was geeky) here’s one that suggests adding oregano essential oil to meat could be a safe way to inhibit things like salmonella in food products.  Here’s another beginning the conversation on using essential oils to help with depression. Essential oils for pain relief.  Here’s one on their anti-inflammatory action.

I’ll leave it there. There are literally hundreds of studies over at PubMed, so fill your boots and have fun learning about their super-natural powers!  👊

 

Not All Essential Oils Are Created Equal

If you’re feeling pumped and ready to start benefiting from this plant goodness, know that not all essential oils are created equal.

If you want the above benefits and all the awesomeness you can see over at PubMed, you need real, true, actual plant essence. Not perfume. Not something that smells kinda like it. The thing. The actual thing.

The Aromatic Plant Research Centre notes on their website that it’s estimated that 80% of commercially available oils are adulterated in some way.

Because the natural products industry is not regulated, and there is growing consumer demand for natural products, well, lots of shit is getting bottled and sold as “natural” that has nothing (or not much) to do with nature.

So watch out!

Obviously as a Wellness Advocoate for DoTERRA I love their oils and can vouch for them. But there are of course other brands doing a good job of making the power of nature accessible to us in this way.

I’ll be doing a few more blogs soon on how to spot a good quality oil, along with some tips and suggestions on good places to shop.

 

Want to learn more now?  Come join me over in my free Essential Wellness community.

 

Is DoTERRA Expensive?

This was on my heart this morning. I used to think it was expensive too, so hope this brings some clarity to the question.

 

 

 

Some links referenced in the video, for those of you interested in further research:

Co-Impact Sourcing of Vetiver

Co-Impact Sourcing of Frankincense

 

Co-Impact sourcing of Cardamon

 

https://sourcetoyou.com

https://aromaticplant.org/

 

For more from me and to start your oil journey with me

ttps://www.mydoterra.com/inspiredlifeyoga/#/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/575685326107834 (join my free facebook community)

March – Spring Reset

Q1 is officially over. That’s 25% of the year down.

This year I’ve been focusing on just ONE health habit to elevate my wellness each month.

My word of the year is FOCUS so I’m really, really trying hard to practice doing less, but better. It’s hard. I want to do it all. But the honest truth is I really can’t do it all. Not well. Can you relate?

In March I committed to doing (and leading) two seasonal cleanses each year, one in Spring (March) and one in Autumn (September).

Doing a cleanse as part of a group adds the extra accountability that ensures it gets done and remains fun and positive. So if you didn’t join this time around, why not register your interest in joining us in September for Reset and Renew: 30 Day Cleanse

 

Why Detox

 

Before I dive into my detox experience you might be wondering why even bother to detox? Doesn’t the liver take care of that anyway?  

Well yes, and no.  

Yes the liver, and kidneys, and skin, and digestive tract, are always working to keep things moving along and through and out, and the body is a marvel at always working to maintain health and balance….

BUUUUT

… we live in a super toxic world.  We’re exposed to unprecedented amounts of environmental toxins.  On a physical level alone we’ve been exposed to around 80,000 new chemicals in the last 50 years or so. Our body’s are battling with these daily.

And that’s just physical.

Thanks to amazing technological innovations we’re now constantly connected, which takes its toll on our mental body. Every bit of information we’re exposed to takes up part of our attention, and fragments it. Every bit of information we take in, we have  to process. Think just how much you have to deal with and respond to on a daily basis?

Detox is about pressing the ‘pause’ button, or at least the ‘slow motion’ button so that we can start to process everything our physiology and psycho-spiritual body is expected to handle.

It’s an opportunity to focus on our self-care and refine how we’re living, so that we can operate at a higher level.

Is this you? When was the last time you updated your habits and elevated your lifestyle to operate at the next level?

I like the computer analogy. Imagine if every time you got a notification from your computer letting you know that there were updates to install, you just ignored it. Forever. What would happen? The computer would slow down, get problems and eventually break and become obsolete.

Same deal with our bodies. We have to reboot from time-to-time, ideally with the changing of the seasons.

So that’s that. Onto some insights and highlights from my detox this spring.

My Spring Detox

First off, I am still mid-cleanse, so it ain’t over yet, but I like to write about my monthly habit at the end of the month so here goes.

The 30-day cleanse I’ve been doing has three phases

 

💃Activate

💆🏻 Reset  

🧚‍♀️Renew

 

I cleared out a lot of cupboards and drawers in phase 1, to create greater harmony in my space and start to let go of things that were clogging up space unnecessarily.

Phase one is all about getting ready for the cleanse. That means preparing our space, carving out time in our schedule, planning for success. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so these first 10 days are crucial. Plus it gives you time to slip into detox mode. Whatever you’re planning to do for your main detox, you can start experimenting with.

 

Juice pulp crackers! if you’re juicing make sure you do something useful with that pulp, don’t just let it go to waste!

I’ve been juicing lots of greens, starting my day with a fresh green juice, followed half an hour later by a super-charged cacao elixir (the fat in the cacao helps the nutrients from the juice get absorbed).

I’ve been drinking lots of water. This is crucial because the detoxification supplements I’ve been taking assist in liver detoxification, but you don’t just want to have toxins being released, and shaked up, and then left to float around. You want to get that stuff out, and water is a great way to help the body flush stuff out.

 

Inspiration-Station

I’ve also been spending a lot more time offline and doing less of everything.  I’ve chosen two books to focus on during this period for inspiration, and can highly recommend both of them.

Essentialism keeps reminding me to be intentional about what I’m saying say and no to, and the Beauty Diet has so many great tips on healthy living and how to support your body with simple practices and nourishing foods and herbs.

 

Upgrades

The idea with a seasonal detox is that you pick up some upgrades, so that when you go back to regular life, you’ve actually elevated a few areas, or picked up some new healthy habits.

 

This time around I’ve really been cutting back on technology (a whole other post on this coming soon on my experiments with life without a smartphone!) but I’ve also picked up some simple practices and tools like…

 

Chaga and Charcoal

Activated charcoal. have you heard of it? Do you use it?

This natural and ancient substance is such a cool tool to have on hand. Charcoal absorbs toxins like a sponge so is great for detoxing. I was recommended charcoal tablets when I travelled through India, to help with any belly-troubles. The idea is that you take the charcoal and it sweeps through and attracts anything dodgy. then drags it right on outta you.

 

 

 

 

I even made myself a detoxifying juice by adding some to my green (now black) juice this morning. Not the most appetising, I know!

 

 

You can also make a simple face mask AND wash your teeth with it!!! Amaze-balls if ever there was amaze-balls.

And, as you look like something that’s returned from the dead, it’s also great for scaring the kids in your life 😉

Smiiiiiile

Funnily enough, this stuff is great for whitening your teeth in a healthy natural way. I know, you wouldn’t expect it, but it does work a charm!

 

 

And chaga, ahhhh, medicinal mushroom tea, how I love thee now.

I’ve certainly been cugging-the-chaga ☕️ these past few weeks.

Considered the king of the medicinal mushrooms, it’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antioxidant and has liver-protective properties. Its basically a bad-ass you want to be chugging on 👍🏾

Recipes

Simples:
💓 a teaspoon of chaga plus hot water. Enjoy the simplicity

Chaga Chai
💓 teaspoon of chaga
💓 water or a nut milk
💓 cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, ginger, teeny bit of black pepper
💓 maca (optional)
💓 dash of salt and some honey to sweeten if desired
Simmer for 20 minutes and then enjoy

Chaga-Super-Charged-Cacao
💓 tablespoon of ceremonial cacao
💓 teaspoon of chaga
💓 hot water
💓 dash of cinnamon and sweetener is desired
– blitz in blender, pause, enjoy!

 

 

Brucy -Bonus

A quick tour of my juiciest juicing tips, including tutorial on that pulp cracker bread mentioned above.

 

The video’s  a bit ropey, but we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

Heaps more ropey videos and fun resources in my Reset & Renew programme. Why not join us? You get lifetime access, so once you’re in, you’re in, and you can do this bi-annual reset with us every year. Sounds good, right?

Just make sure you join and order your Cleanse and Restore kit a few months ahead of kick-off, we sold out this time around!

 

DIY Natural Dental Care

 

What’s in your toothpaste? Have you read the ingredients? Take a look, see if it’s something you really want to be dumping in your mouth.

And what about flouride, yay or nay?

My dentist says it’s necessary to have it in my toothpaste, and that Lila should use the same stuff, but there are lots of concerns that it’s not safe. As always the information online can be pretty confusing.

That said, my initial research seems to suggest it might not be the best thing to have in our toothpaste.

This Harvard study reckons it impacts children’s neurological development.

And this review of studies  comes to the following conclusion: “The enthusiasm with which fluoride was introduced as a public health measure in the 1950s is gradually giving way to a more rational analysis of its benefits and costs as a caries prevention technology. This review argues that the modest benefits of ingested fluoride in caries prevention are thoroughly counterbalanced by its established and potential diverse adverse impacts on human health. Due to the abundance of this chemical, it is little surprising that humans ingest or inhale fluoride from a variety of sources.”

Add to this the fact that we’re exposed to fluoride through a number of different ways, including through processed foods, pesticide-residues, teflon pans, tea, and some foods including, urghhhh, sadly cocoa – NOOOOOOOO!

Pfft. So, anyhows.  Luckily it’s not hard to detox this small aspect of your daily routine.  Check out my video for tips.

Giving up the colgate is easy, Cocoa is going to be tough, next stop, researching the best suppliers of cocoa!

My Dental Essentials

 

Want to detox with me? Check out my bi-annual 30-Day Cleanse where we do lots of fun stuff like this together.

More charcoal fun over on Instagram 

January – Recovery

 

Each month I’ll be sharing progress on my monthly wellbeing focus, and the top resources that have  helped and inspired me to live a little better than before. 

This month I reflect on reclaiming my attention, addiction, taking myself seriously, living life without sugar, and the journey to recovering the person I was meant.

 

💜 January Inspiration 💜

My focus this month has been on identifying the influence certain addictive products, namely sugar, and secondly social media, have been exerting on my life.  

As someone who has freedom as one of their top values, it’s been a real eye-opener to say the least, to realise the trap I’ve been living in.

The three books I’ve read this month that have sparked a mini revolution and a deep investigation and reflection on my addictive patterns are:

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World   – Helped me see how f$%£king shot to pieces my attention is thanks to social media, modern hyper-communication, and the source of all knowing, as well as all rubbish, the internet.

This book helped me step back from ‘busy-ness’ and question what I’m doing in life and how I’m actually adding value. Or rather, how I could be adding value, if I could just stay the f%$k off insta-crack for long enough to get something worthwhile done!

Realising how much power social media and other bits of technology were holding over my attention and the addictive loop we can so easily fall into with them, I started to contemplate addiction generally and to look at other areas of my life where I had a sneaking suspicion I was less in control than I liked to think I was.  This led me to shine my freshly-wrangled-from-social-media-focus onto another core health topic: food.

As a health lover and someone in the biz for over ten years now you’d think I’d know what to eat. And yet. I’d say food nirvana is still a tad out of reach and feeding myself in a totally nourishing and non-neurotic way is still  a habit that’s up for grabs for me.

Food Focus

These two books have been incredible resources and I highly recommend them both.

Food: WTF Should I Eat?: The no-nonsense guide to achieving optimal weight and lifelong health : Does what is says on the tin. With so much conflicting advice on what to eat it really can be a case of scratching your head and thinking WTF?? The chapter on sugar is particularly enlightening, which is what led me to read the next book:

 

 

Good Sugar, Bad Sugar This is an Allen Carr book, part of a series called the Easyway that helps people let go of unhelpful behaviours in their life by reframing how you perceive these so-called ‘treats’ and ‘rewards’.. Its most commonly known for its Quit Smoking title.

If sugar, or feeding yourself in a less than optimal way,  is something you grapple with I cannot recommend this book highly enough!! If you could press a button and remove your desire for sugar (the bad kind obviously, we’re not talking fruit here) leaving just a desire for foods that deeply nourish your body, mind and spirit, would you press it? This book is that button. So if you’re not ready to part ways with sugar, then definitely don’t read this, cuz when you’re done reading it you won’t look at it the same again.

 

💜 This Month’s  Experiment: Sugar-Free Jan 💜

A few days before the new year I was feeling sick and tired of not feeling optimal and decided something needed to change.

I narrowed down the most destructive thing in my lifestyle to sugar. That shit was bringing me down and it was time to part ways with it.

I set myself a 30 day challenge. Sugar-free January. There’s nothing like removing something completely to properly gain some perspective on what it adds and detracts from your life.

Compared to the average person I probably eat fairly healthy.  I cook my own meals and love a good kale salad.

But I also have a chocolate-tooth. It’s totally a thing.  

Cacao is still in my diet, nothing wrong with cacao per se, but I knew the sugar had to go. I couldn’t continue to fool myself that there was any place for it in the sort of high-vibe, feel-great-all-the-time-skip-out-my-door-in-the-morning life I’m aspiring to live.

Sugar has no place in a healthy human diet.  It really is that simple. It’s a fact substantiated by plenty of scientific research. There is no healthy or recommended amount, except maybe 0. It’s barely a food!

💜 Sugar: What I Learned 💜

One of the best bits of advice I got from reading Food: WTF Should I Eat is to treat sugar like a recreational drug.

Would you sprinkle some MDMA on your cereal in the morning to help you get the day off to a pumped up start? Probably not.

A quick line of cocaine at 3pm to get you through the afternoon slump?

A bag of ecstasy passed around as treats to the kids after school for being good?

It’s crazy shit I’m talking right there, and yet, we do this with sugar!

Why do we ‘reward’ ourselves and our children with a substance that’s so toxic when consumed in anything but minuscule amounts? A substance that causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, and depression?

How is that a treat?

We have to really pay attention to the things we expose ourselves to and be honest about whether they are life-affirming or life-detracting. This isn’t always an easy process.

We often want to continue clinging to things that we know don’t serve us because the illusion that they provide some sort of value is so strong.  That’s the hood of addiction.

But there comes a time when enough is enough.

I think I’ve reached this point with sugar.  

The books above have helped me to reframe my confused thinking around sugar and see it for what it is, a drug like substance that provides no benefit and deserves no space in my life.

 

💜 Abstainer or Moderator 💜

Gretchin Rubin talks about people falling into two camps. Those who can moderate their intake of something and those who need to abstain. You may be an abstainer for one thing and a moderator for other things.

Only you know if something is a problem for you, but if you find a lot of your mental energy being chewed up constantly debating whether you should have something or not, and if so how much , and how frequently, and then constantly having to re-asses…..maybe it’s time to just abstain. Maybe abstinence is easier.

With sugar, I think abstinence will provide me with a great deal of freedom.

 

💜 Recovery 💜

On anything addiction related Russell Brand is a great resource. I’ve read his book Recovery and love his definition of recovery as “recovering the person you were meant to be all along.” Yes!

My 30 day challenge has been freeing so far, and what’s making this stand out from similar forays into sugar-free living is that I’m taking myself and my sugar addiction seriously.

I’m taking my recovery and my extraction from the pull of sugar very seriously. I’m seeing sugar for what it is finally; a vitality-detracting addictive substance.

I’m acknowledging that it has had a power over me and it’s time to put it in its place and take control again.

Before I’d always end up making excuses as to why I should go back and ‘treat’ myself to sugary things again after a bit of a break. But as you can read above, how much of  a treat is something that leads to obesity, diabetes and all manner of health-problems?

I want to start acting like I really love myself and start treating myself accordingly by treating myself to actual treats.

Obviously it’s early days, who knows where I’ll end up with this. But I’m taking it day-by-day and letting myself enjoy life without sugar.

I’d like to look back at the end of the year and say YES – January was the month I elevated my life to next level by dialling this new habit of sugar-free living.

The Moon is my Calendar Journal pictured here is helping me track my monthly wellness focus. For every day that goes by without sugar I give myself a little love-heart, a visual reminder that I’ve done something loving for myself.

There’s no deprivation or suffering going on here, I’m actually stepping into a new level of freedom and self-love.

Big Sugar

You might say sugar is the new smoking. A widespread health epidemic that ‘Big Sugar’ – as I’ve taken to calling the peddlers of processed-edible-food-like-substances packed with sugar- are keen for us not to look too closely at.

Did you know that if you removed all the ‘food’ items in your local supermarket that contain added sugar you would be left with just 20% of what you see there?

Also, experiments by these companies were run to try and reduce the sugar and salt intake as a way to to address the health epidemic. They failed as it turns out most processed food with added sugar doesn’t taste of anything when the sugar and/or salt is removed. Because they aren’t real food!

Bonkers isn’t it. 80% of what we’re presented in a supermarket is highly addictive, engineered-food-like-substances, with little if any nutritional or taste value, salt and sugar aside,  designed to hijack our biochemistry and keep us hooked on something that will insidiously and slowly poison us.

I’ll share something straight from Food: WTF Should I Eat:If it were a brand-new product, the government would treat it like a dangerous substance to be controlled and regulated, not something that should be given to babies and added to 74% of all packaged foods in supermarkets. In fact, it would be approved as a good additive because it is so toxic when consumed in anything but small amounts. When you look at the damage caused by sugar – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, depression – you have to wonder why we continue to eat it as we do, and even worse, why we spoon-feed sugary junk foods to our children.

The food industry is poisoning us for profit. Just like the tobacco industry did. Same shit. Different poison. 

 

A Rose By Any Other Name

 

…..would still smell as sweet, And sugar by another name will still mess you up.

The Eskimos have over 50 ways to say snow.

We have over 50 ways to say sugar.

Gives you an idea how  deeply woven into the fabric of our society this toxic substance is. Read this list of the different names sugar is coated under and soak it up. 

Next time you’re looking at an ingredients label and wishing to avoid sugar don’t be fooled by fancy names for it.  Dehydrated cane juice, agave syrup, coconut sugar….it’s all just sugar dressed up in fancy shoes.

Once it hits your bloodstream it hijacks your chemistry and brain just like SUGAR SUGAR.

Phew, that’s a hell of a lot of information and rantings on sugar. If you’re still looking for more inspiration and information to advise your own re-assessment of sugar, here’s what else I found useful this month:

 

Research Papers

Sugar Addiction: From Evolution to Revolution

Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. 

Impact of sugar on the body, brain, and behavior

Podcasts

Barry Friedman: How to Detox from Sugar, Beat Cravings & Become A World-Class Juggler

https://fatburningman.com/dr-mark-hyman-what-to-do-about-fake-foods-nutrient-deficiencies-pesticides/

Russell Brand – for general addiction information is great!

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/russell-brand-on-recovery-addiction-life-love-fatherhood/id1290769207?i=1000393025416&mt=2

And this podcast, The Doctor’s Farmacy, is awesome for all things food as medicine.

Essential Oils

Of course I’ve been using my oils to support me with this month’s focus.

Cinnamon is wonderful for balancing blood sugar and banishing sugar cravings. I use a teeny-tiny-not-even-a-drop in my cacao to satisfy any need for sweetness.

Peppermint is wonderful whenever you need a pick-me-up. No longer will I grab some chocolate, my new habit is to grab the peppermint and roll some on my temples.  You can’t get rid of a bad habit right off the bat, but you can replace it with a better one!

Jasmine – sugar hijacks your biochemistry and messes up your body’s ability to regulate its dopamine. It makes you feel like you need the sugar to get a hit or high. It’s an illusion. Just like the smoker that starts smoking and establishes a craving for nicotine which nicotine then addresses i.e. the nicotine doesn’t make you feel better than a normal non-smoker feels all the time, it just brings you up to normal by feeding a craving that you’ve created by starting smoking in the first place.  Mad isn’t it? Sugar is the same.  Jasmine helps us to rebalance our dopamine function.

Rose – a reminder that this isn’t about depriving myself of anything but actually loving and caring for myself on a much deeper level,  but freeing myself of something that brings me no real joy or benefit.

 

Over to YOU

Could you give up sugar? How does the thought of that make you feel?

Is there something else in your life that you know isn’t really serving you but you find yourself constantly pulled back to?

 

 

 

February – Drink Up!

Pause and Reflect

We’re 17% of the way through 2019. 59 days down. 306 days to go until 2020.

What victories can you claim so far? How have you been investing those precious moments of your life? If you’re not sure what you’ve been up to, but would like to start focusing on key areas for improvement so you can make some tangible gains throughout the rest of the year, join me in my #happyhealthyme 2019 monthly challenge!

#happyhealthyme 2019 challenge

Realising at the end of last year what a distracted-do-all-the-things-at-once-mess I was, I decided my word for this year would be FOCUS!

Part of my strategy for living out this mantra this year is to pause at the beginning of each month and assess which area of my life could do with my full awareness and an upgrade in order to move my health and wellbeing to the next level.  

The beauty of this strategy (if I do say so myself 😉) is that it allows me to slow down and really drop into one particular behaviour. And if I can make even a 1% improvement in the chosen area, and get that dialled in as the new default, i.e. a new habit, this will compound over time and have an enormously positive impact on my health trajectory. BAM!

A month is also heaps of time to practice the new behaviour.  Practice is the operative word, because more often than not we can’t just declare we’re going to do something better and then just go right ahead and do it forever more.  

A month gives me lots of times to read all the books, listen to all the podcasts, get inspired and informed, and experiment. It give me time to cock it up completely, forget about it, come back to it, and time to sit down, reassess what’s tripping me up, and try, try, try again.   

My goal is that by the end of 2019 I’ll be able to point to 12 tangible upgrades i’ve made in my life that have raised my bar.

I gave up sugar in January, you can check that story out here.  No more added sugar for me. That was a biggy. So February was something a little less huge. Water.

If you’d like to join me in this fun challenge head over to my free Essential Wellness community and let us know what you’re working on each month.

February – Drink Up

Do you drink enough water? Most of us don’t apparently. I had a sneaking suspicion that a little more water would do me good.

There are different schools of thoughts on the topic.

Some say not to overthink it, drink when you’re thirsty and you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about those ‘8 glass a day’ prescriptions. They’re a myth,

I’m so up for listening to our bodies. Trouble is, it’s such a noisy world and I think we often get confused about what our body actually needs. We may spend so long ignoring our body’s messages that our body kinda pipes down.

Sure your body will tell you when it’s thirsty. It’s not going to let you die of dehydration.

But on the other hand, does that mean you’re drinking the optimum amount of water? Or would everything work better with a bit more of the juice of life flowing through you and plumping up those beautiful cells?

 

Finding My Optimum

That was my experimentation this month. To find the sweet spot of how much I should be drinking to feel optimum, while not needing to wee every 2 minutes.

One calculation I found stated that we should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. Bear in mind that food, teas etc, also contain liquid, so it doesn’t necessarily all need to come from straight-up water.

A few other sites, including the NHS, state anywhere between 1-2 litres a day. Again, it depends on your size, the temperature outside, whether you’re blasting out some HIIT or laying around on the  coach…so use your judgement… don’t be the ONE person that overdoes it and ends up in A&E with water poisoning. True story.

 

My Evolving Water Habit

I drink a 600ml bottle of water first thing in the morning. I dialled this habit in several years ago and it feels great. I definitely notice if I don’t do this. For this month’s experiment I was looking to add another bottle between breakfast and lunch and another one between lunch and dinner. That ended up being too much so I scaled the challenge back down to adding one more bottle.

Some days it was easy. Other days I had incredible resistance to drinking the damn water.  What the heck is that about? By this stage in my wellbeing journey I’ve learned to look at resistance with curiosity and find creative ways to break it down.

Tips and Tricks to Work Your New Health Habit

Like I said above, a month gives you a really good window to hack the habit you’re working on and get through the resistance that inevitably comes up when making changes.

Here’s what helped me:

Make it easy and obvious.

💧 Every evening before bed I fill my water flask up and take it up to bed with me. It’s so easy to wake up and drink my water in the morning. The momentum is set in motion the night before. I applied this to adding another round of water by filling up the flask again at breakfast and placing it next to my laptop, with the lid off. This last bit turned out to be a small, but crucial step. The lid off acted to get things in motion again. It was much easier for me to pick up the bottle and sip the water slowly between breakfast and lunch. Just seeing the lid off began the behaviour.  

Crazy no??  But it really is these tiny little shifts that can make a huge difference and tip the chances of us doing what we say we’ll do, and what we want to do, and turn this into what we actually do.

Set some simple boundaries

💧 Post-breakfast, I set up a rule to not eat anything else until lunch, or, until I’d had this extra bottle of water. It’s surprising how often we confuse thirst with hunger.  By focusing on drinking my water I can easily stick to my three meals a day, no snacking eating rhythm.

Jazz it Up

💧Sometimes plain water is just not inspiring. I love adding a drop of my doterra citrus essential oils, lemon and grapefruit are favourites, as is the metabolic blend.

Track It

💧Using The Moon is My Calendar Journal has been super useful as each night I sit down and draw a  little symbol to indicate if I’ve practiced the habit of the month. I draw a love heart, to indicate the practice is a practice of self-love, which it always is. Taking care of your health is self-love at it’s best.

💧Not being able to draw a little heart at the end of the day was a major bummer for me. I felt sad for not taking care of myself as I’d intended, which motivated me to do better the next day.

Reward Yourself
  • One of the most successful formulas for establishing a new habit is trigger, habit, reward. Set a trigger to remind you to do the do, do the do, then rewards yourself for doing it, at least until the reward inherent in the behaviour takes over as the rewards itself.
  • With this in mind, I spent some time thinking about what could encourage me to drink that extra bottle of water, instead of reaching for the snacks (old-less-good-habit).  It’s kinda childish, but why not? Stickers. Love hearts. Each time I drink a bottle of water I get to add a love heart to the bottle of water to decorate it. As time passes and I win at this drinking game, my bottle because full of love, which reminds me of all the love I’m showing myself with this new habit.

 

So that’s that’s 17% of the way through the year and I have kicked sugar out the door and upped my water intake to feel full and juicy AND cut out snacking between meals. Feeling #smug.

Next up – Spring seasonal cleansing. Do you do a seasonal detox? Fancy joining me on mine? 

What are you feeling called to focus on next in your life. Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Sam x

 

 

 

JOIN ME ON AN ADVENTURE TO HAPPIER, HEALTHIER HABITS

If you know you need a habit overhaul and a lifestyle upgrade to unleash the best of you that’s lying dormant within, but you’re not sure where to start or how to stay the course to see the changes through,  check out my 10-month happy healthy habits course.

Previously offered as a 10-week programme, I’m reworking it so we can dive deeper and really make changes that stick, stick stick, so we all emerge at the end of 10-months operating at a new level of frequency. High-vibes all the way.  Register your interest to join the waitlist and I’ll be in touch as soon as the course is done cooking.

Go Deep, Not Wide

Yes to BOOKS!

Sometimes you read a book that changes you.

I’ve decided to read more of those in 2019.  And not just read, passively consuming yet more information as I have such a propensity to do #lovelearning – but to actually spend more time with each book thinking about how the information can be applied to my life and putting it into damn action.  I’ve actually read my three January books twice – how’s that for deep!

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World is the first game-changing book of the year.

Deep Work is described as “a professional activity performed in a state of 🌟distraction-free concentration🌟 that pushes your cognitive abilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your worth and are hard to replicate.”

How often do we make time to do this? Honestly, distraction-free concentration? Say what? Most people (myself included) live in a state of perpetual distraction! 

Our brains are constantly bumping along in distraction and reaction, doing shallow work, like sending emails and skimming online snippets of information, to such an extent that we’ve actually lost the ability to concentrate in any depth and even think for ourselves.

If you can master your ability to focus and go deep into something, rather than have your attention constantly scattered, you have a serious edge.

I want to work deeply.  I want to master my focus. I want to use my brain, and stop outsourcing all my thinking to google.

My takeaways and action points from this book:

  • Attention residue means when you switch from one thing to another some of your attention remains on the original thing. If you’re constantly switching from a – to – b – to – c, and back to- a, your attention is all over the shop! Focus on one thing at a time for a predetermined set of time. Stick phone on do not disturb and set a timer.
  • Use my google calendar to schedule blocks of time for getting core tasks done. Don’t decide spontaneously to do non-critical or important stuff during these time blocks.
  • Ask myself regularly, is what I’m about to do now the best use of my time? Don’t get caught up in busy-ness for the sake of busy-ness, or let shallow work distract me into feeling productive. 
  • Set up specific times to use social media and email, stay out of these at other times.  Start to build a schedule that means I take breaks from focus rather than breaks from distraction.
  • Actually assess the technology that is chewing up my attention (Instagram, Facebook, Email) to see whether it is genuinely bringing enough value into my life to justify any costs and drawbacks, like the total fragmentation and annihilation of my attention!
  • BE BORED – don’t fill every space with checking of social media. Give myself time to check out, dream, think….a relaxed mind is a creative mind…that’s where the magic is.  Downtime actually aides productivity.  
  • Bonus points, every time I resist the urge to randomly check my phone for messages, social media etc….I am training my mind to let go of distractions. This makes it easier to go into deep work when periods of time have been carved out for it.
  • Quit social media for a month as an experiment – not ready for this juuuust yet but it definitely needs to be done as the thought makes me a bit edgy. 

MY 2019 MONTHLY WELLNESS COMMITMENT

As part of my focus on going deeper rather than bouncing around the surface, I’ve decided that each month I’ll be focusing on just one primary health upgrade.

The  idea is to really establish something as a new healthy habit each month, so that come December I can point to some tangible lifestyle upgrades.

I’ll be reading around my monthly focus, listening to podcasts, and tracking my experience and findings. I’ll blog each month right here with an update on the topic of the month.

Deep Work led me to investigate my relationship to social media and how in control I actually was. This spurred me to start looking at other areas of my life where I might have less control over my actions than I’d like to think I do.

My health focus in January has been addiction as it plays out in food. I’m experimenting with sugar-free January.  Watch this space for my update and top resources for kicking the sugar-habit 🙂

 

A Very Oily Christmas

If you’d like to buy someone special a Christmas gift that will keep on giving way past Christmas day, then look no further.

If the person you’re buying for appreciates quality, ethical sourcing, and 100% natural products that support their health and amplify their wellbeing from the inside out, then we got you covered.

DoTERRA produces 100% pure certified (i.e. actually tested so you have proof that it is indeed pure) therapeutic grade essential oils, and essential oil-based products. This is THE stuff if you want the goodness and infinite intelligence of mother nature in your life. Trust me, once you’ve felt supported by these oils you won’t go back to life without them. It’s the difference between living in black and white or full-spectrum colour!

Here are my favourite gift ideas for the holiday season.

Beginners Trio/Introductory Kit

The Beginners Trio contains 15ml bottles and the Introductory Kit contains 5ml bottles of three of the most popular and versatile oils: Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon. A lovely and simple place to begin experiencing the life changing impact of working with plant power in this super accessible form.

Pure-fumes

Perfumes are so last season. Consumers are increasingly aware of the toxicity of many common perfumes, with the endocrine-disrupting chemical -mayhem that they bring,  savvy buyers are ready for better solutions, but we all want to smell lovely, so why not try some of nature’s finest pure-fumes.

Any oil that your like the smell of can work well as a perfume, but if you’re buying for a special someone here are my top three picks. Jasmine, Neroli, and Rose, and three powerful, potent plants that add a touch of beauty to any moment.

These three oils are extremely labour intensive to produce and the result is a precious and delicate plant essence.

A friend smelled by Neroli Touch and commented that it was like sticking her nose in  a bunch of flowers. Essentially, this is what the experience is. Imagine giving someone that beautiful sensation of the smell fresh flowers, but in a form that they can carry around in their pocket, that will last them months and months, if not years, and that they can pull out to brighten their day whenever they need it. Pretty awesome right? Unlike toxic perfumes, these natural pure-fumes smell great and have side-benefits. Their aromatic compounds reach our brains in 22 seconds, enter our bloodstream within two minutes, and can reach every cell in our body in around 20 minutes. They can shift our whole inner state in a very short time. A powerful tool to elevate our wellbeing. Now is that a gift or what?

 

The Yoga Collection

Is there a special yogi in your life? Or maybe your the special yogi looking for a Christmas treat. Well the Yoga Collection could be your best gift this Christmas. Anchor, Align, and Arise are the perfect blends to enhance your life and yoga practice. These blends provide aromas to steady, center, and enlighten your spirit through every breath while strengthening and stretching your body. And as a little bonus, here’s a beautiful worksheet to guide you in using these three.

Hope

This is a very special blend, which given the season of giving and compassion for all is definitely one to consider. The full purchase price of each doTERRA Hope Touch bottle is donated to the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation™ which supports efforts to fight sex-trafficking worldwide. When you purchase this you’ll be giving someone a beautiful gift and making a charitable donation. Sounds good right?

Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit

The doTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy Touch line contains six unique essential oil blends combined with Fractionated Coconut Oil in 10 mL Roll-Ons for convenient and gentle topical application. These proprietary blends provide targeted emotional health benefits for the entire family and can be applied every day to specific points on the body to help balance and brighten your changing moods.  With names like Peace, Cheer and Passion, you’ve an oil for every need. These make great Pure-fumes also! The great thing about these collections is you also have the option of breaking them out into several individual gifts.

The Home Essentials Kit is the one I point almost everyone to initially. As the name suggests it’s the essential collection for all your home needs. From cleaning the house in a green and healthy way, to making your own gorgeous beauty and self care lotions and potions, right through to managing all the common ailments like the sniffles, digestive issues, stress, sleep issues. There’s something in this kit for pretty much anything you can think of. It includes a 15ml bottle of Frankincense which, well, search ‘Frankincense’ on pubmed and check out the research, you want this wise old man in your life. It also comes with the beautiful petal diffuser so you can enjoy your oils in all three ways, aromatically, topically and internally (where appropriate).  If your budget allows this is the best value for money kit.

Christmas Specials

DoTERRA have a selection of limited edition oils and sets which you can view here.  These are available while stocks last.

 

This page will be a work in progress, I’ll update as I gather more gifts for my loved ones and let you know of new suggestions.

If you’re ready to get going head over here or check out my getting started guide if you need more guidance.

Got questions? I’m here to help 🙂

 

 

Conscious Language: You DO have time!

Let’s Talk About Time

If you didn’t read Part I of this series check it out here.

You can probably sense where this is going if you read the previous blog.

“I don’t have time” and “I’m too busy” – two phrases to scrap completely.

We all have 24 hours in a day. We all have a mixture of basic needs (sleeping at night), and responsibilities (looking after little people, going to work), and most of us are plugged into social media 23.5 hours a day mindlessly scrolling for FOMO on something important.

OK, I exaggerate, but seriously, how much time do we fritter on things that don’t need doing? And then lament how great we’d be and what lustrous lives we’d live, if we just had the time for it.

Let’s Do the Maths

Let’s assume you work 40 hours a week. You spend 7 hours a week getting to and from work. You sleep 8 hours a night, which is 56 hours a week. That’s 103 hours a week.

We each get  24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. That’s 168 hours a week. Everyone gets the same amount. Time is very fair in that sense.

Assuming the first calculation pretty much sums up your responsibilities, i.e. time already spoken for, that leaves 65 hours a week FREE TIME! 65 hours a WEEK!!  That’s sooooooo much time!

Doing for the Sake of Doing

So if you don’t have time. What are you doing with all those hours? Aside from outright wasting time, do you (like me) find yourself busily in motion doing a lot of stuff that appears to be productive but is actually just doing for the sake of doing to make yourself feel better and avoid doing what you actually need to be doing to move ahead in life? Or you know, just relaxing and truly enjoying those hours doing what you love?

I say this because I’m guilty of it. I’m currently doing a 90 day challenge with my doTERRA gals and it AMAZES me my capacity to divert into doing a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, a social media post here, catching up on emails there, responding to texts right away, basically nice easy distractions that give me a sense of being productive and ‘on top’ of things, so that I don’t actually have to get on and ‘do the work’ because if I procrastinate on calling that person I know needs calling then I can postpone possible failure and stay safe. OK, that went down a bit of a rabbit-hole.

My point is we often make ourselves feel super busy and like we don’t have time, but if we look at what we’re doing, cut out the things that don’t really matter or need doing, we’ll find ourselves with a lot more space to breathe and do the things that matter.

Does This Need Doing?

Zoom out a year from now and look back at what you’re doing today. How much of it actually matters? Drop the stuff that doesn’t matter so you have space for the stuff that matters.

And if you’re already doing that and still find yourself crying out to say “but I’d don’t have time for x, y, z” then flip it around with “I’m choosing to focus on this other GREAT (make sure it is is great, not just random social media scrolling and mindless consumption) thing right now”.

84,000 Lives

According to some traditions we each reincarnate 84,000 times, so our soul has many, MANY, lifetimes to do the work it needs to do. So if you feel hurried and like there isn’t enough time for it all, zoom out to this soul perspective and relax 🙂

Some mantras to relax and open up time and space:

“I’m choosing to focus on other things right now”

“I’m nurturing these other areas of my life right now”

“I can do it all of course, but not all at the same time”

“ I have alllllll the time in the world”

Conscious Language: You CAN afford it

This is Part 1 of a 2 part rant on conscious language, and a simple trick to feel more powerful by simply watching out for two common phrases that will likely tumble from your tongue when you’re not thinking.

‘I don’t have time’‘ also popularly known as I’m too busy’, and ‘I don’t have enough money’, or, ‘I can’t afford it.

Just don’t say these things any more.

Please.

Will you promise me? At least notice when they come rolling out your mouth and contemplate their veracity.

They’re a script we’re stuck in and repeat on automatic loop. They don’t even mean anything. They aren’t even true in the vast majority of cases. And they rob us of our power. As though we were at the whim of some time-stealing, money-hoovering goblin. Which just ain’t true.

Let’s Talk About Money

There are SO many juicy conversations to be had around money.

A lesson I’ve learnt recently is that people (myself included) have money for the things they really want. When we want something badly enough we find away. We cut back on other things, we redirect spending, we go out and earn more, we borrow, we get an advance on Christmas/Birthday presents. We take out a loan. We good ol’fashion save up! To summarise, we find a way.

People always have money for the things they really want. It’s true. Saying ‘I can’t afford it’ is at best a polite way of saying I don’t really want to buy this, or support that.

Take smoking as an example. A smoker might smoke a pack of 20 a week. The average cost is £8 for a 20 pack. £8 x 52 weeks in a year = a £3,328 a year habit.  Did you know that in Great Britain, smoking is more common among those earning less than £10,000 per year in addition to those who are currently looking for work?  (true fact from this government report). 

Now if someone asked you to spend/invest around a third of your annual salary on something (houses aside, we’re well-versed in the benefits of investing in property and onboard with taking out loans for that!) well your body would probably do all sorts of weird things, quiver and shake, you might let out a nervous laugh, or just an outright laugh, before declaring it an absolute no-no.

And yet, people earning less than £10,000 do sustain a £3.000 a year habit.

I wonder, if you offered one of these people who fall into the smoker earning less than £10,000 a year a business opportunity, or a coaching package, or some sort of training to elevate their earning potential and/or improve their lives, or the holiday or adventure of a lifetime for £1000/£2000/£3000 how many would say ‘I can’t afford that’?

Not to pick on smokers, I just find this such a good example of how we can always find money for the things we truly want. 

That doesn’t mean we can all magically buy everything right now. That’s not the boat most of us are floating in. BUT, crucially, it’s about priorities. We have the power to prioritise where we spend our money so that we are purchasing the things we truly want and need.

So next time you find yourself saying you can’t afford something, be honest, and empowered and say:

 ‘I’m choosing to invest my money elsewhere right now’

or…

this isn’t a priority for me at this time’.  

Notice how freaking awesome it feels to be the boss of your spending!

 

I’ll be battering the “I don’t have time” phrase in Part II next week :-p