Today I’m going to take you through our “medicine” cabinet.  Because, well, all the other bloggers were doing it, and I’m pretty proud of our stash.

 

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Here’s my stash:

Activated charcoal (I buy from here) – for detoxing or food poisoning

Witch hazel (I bought mine from Target) – an astringent, great for cooling and healing the skin.  I typically use this with any sprays that I would make with essential oils as it tends to evaporate faster than water.

Tallow (in the mason jar, I like this brand) – High in vitamin A and E, this healing balm is what I use with a drop of melaleuca essential oil to keep my eczema away.  I’ve also mixed in frankincense, lavender, and peppermint to help soothe my skin after a bad sunburn.

Organic raw honey (in the rubbermaid jar, I buy mine from here) – also good for skin healing and antibacterial properties.  I usually use this for a face wash but I also use it for sun burns.

Echinacea tea (I buy mine from here) – For immune support, especially if I’m coming down with a cold.

Raw organic coconut oil (I love this brand)- For skin health, burns, and antibacterial protection.  I also add essential oils to this.

Magnesium oil (I buy mine from here)- nothing helped my first trimester food aversions like spritzing this oil on my stomach before meals!  It absorbs easily through the skin and works quickly.

Bentonite clay (I buy mine from here)- to remove toxins, either as a face mask (which is amazing!) or taken internally.  It attracts toxins to itself and is then easily excreted.

Cranberry capsules (I buy from here) – to treat UTIs or kidney infections

Essential oils (we use doTERRA)- I use all sorts of essential oils for just about everything.  From asthma issues, allergies, bug bites, colds/flu, kidney and bladder infections, ear infections, concussions, and pain killers.  I apply either directly to the skin (following precautions for safe dilution), diffuse aromatically (especially when sick we like to diffuse Breathe and On Guard!), and take internally. For ear infections, a drop of Basil and a drop of Lavender on a cotton ball and stuck in the ear for 20 minutes is a powerful pain killer and helps to sanitize and decrease inflammation.

Fractionated coconut oil (doTERRA)- to dilute essential oils.  It’s always liquid, it doesn’t have that coconut aroma to it so it doesn’t interfere with the aromatic benefits of the essential oils.  It absorbs quickly and doesn’t stain clothes (or microfiber couches – ask me how I know this).

Veggie caps (doTERRA) – for making our own capsules!  Since doTERRA is so pure that ingestion of most of the oils is safe, we use the capsules to make our own allergy capsules, “tummy capsules”, pain pills, sleeping potions, and antibiotics.  Especially for ingesting Oregano (a hot oil) and DigestZen (which doesn’t taste that great when you’re nauseous), this is the perfect way to get the benefits when we need them!

So that’s a peak into our medicine cabinet!  One thing we don’t have yet that I would like to get soon are epsom salts for detox baths.  Also great during pregnancy to help stop preterm labor!

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

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Last Monday of the month!  Since we started our own business, I LOVE Mondays.  A time to hit the “refresh” button and make this week better than the week before.  A chance to get your week off to a positive start, make healthy choices (even though every day is a good day for that!) and focus your motivation and energy towards something big.  I woke up to a Voxer message from our Juice Plus leader this morning, and she kept saying how pumped up she is and even though it was 7:30 in the morning and I’m totally not a morning person, I’m STILL feeding off that energy at 2:30!

Our weekend was great!  Our roommate officially moved in (for the semester, she will move out before Baby Crunchy is born), and now Mr Crunchy and I are getting used to a very talkative, large, orange cat.  We celebrated her moving in with pizza and a Harry Potter movie last night.  Very relaxing.

We had an amazing class with one of our doTERRA business builders, too.  I love that we can help get our teams off to a good start, and genuinely help people!  There was a little girl there who had a cough and after we talked about the Breathe essential oil, her mom called her upstairs and had her try some.  She stopped coughing and everyone kept commenting about it throughout the night!  This job is the best!

Lastly, I love social media.  I saw that Aldi had some produce on sale (specifically, avocados for $0.39 each, and Mr Crunchy is quite the avocado fiend).  I didn’t have time to make it to Aldi before the sale ended, but on Saturday I was at WalMart so I grabbed the produce I wanted and pulled up the Aldi ad on my phone.  They price matched everything and I went from a total of $16.50 to $5.85!  I got 2 pounds of strawberries, 6 avocados, and a cantaloupe! So this morning I tweeted about it, and WalMart tweeted me back to tell me about their “Savings Catcher” feature on their free app. If I upload my WalMart receipts, they will price-match FOR me around other stores (if I haven’t myself).  If they find a better deal elsewhere, they will send me the difference back on an e-gift card.  I never would have heard of that if I hadn’t tweeted.  Social media for the win!

Off to diffuse something peppy and get back to work!

Happy Monday!

 

photo credit

 

One of the most common questions I get about essential oils is “how do you use them?” The concern is that at first glance, they look expensive, and people are understandably concerned that they would invest and, not knowing what to do with them, the oils would end up sitting in the closet.

So in effort to answer that question, today I chronicled every essential oil that I used, why, and how.  And there are pictures. :)

8:30am

Daily dose of the LifeLong Vitality Pack supplements (Peter and I split a full dose, so we take 2 capsules of each instead of 4).  Approved prenatal vitamins and a daily dose of Frankincense, which is not only good for me but good for Baby Crunchy’s developing brain.

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9 am

After I got ready for the day, I put a few drops of Fractionated Coconut oil in my hand, along with a drop of Purify and a drop of Lemon. These are detoxing and deodorizing oils, and I’ve been using them this summer as an effective deodorant substitute.  In the winter I will switch back to my heavier coconut oil/baking soda/arrowroot deodorant and add in some essential oils, but I’ve found that it’s too heavy and a bit greasy for summer.

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9:02 am

Add a drop of lemon and a drop of lime into my stainless steel water bottle for a refreshing citrus flavor and gentle detox.

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9:03 am

Take a big sip of water.  Yum.

9:04 am 

Consult my oil collection, decide what oils I need to be using this morning.  I decide on In Tune because I’ve been rather spazzy the past few days, and I really want to make the most of my day today! I apply a few swipes of In Tune to the back of my neck – and instantly feel more focused and “in the zone.”

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I also decide that I should probably use some Balance, because the upstairs neighbors are loud and lately I’ve been lacking in an afternoon nap because they decide to play street hockey and yell about there being too much noise in their apartment (true story).

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I applied this to my wrists like a perfume and a drop to the bottoms of my feet.

12:30 pm

Pregnancy hot flashes are no fun!  A quick swipe of peppermint to the back of my neck and the insides of my elbows and I’m back to normal!

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3:35 pm

My back is sore.  Time to do my stretches and rub some Deep Blue on my back!  Ahhhh…..

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10:57 pm

Time for sleep.  Tonight’s choice: Lavender.  Sometimes I use a mix of Serenity, Balance, and Vetiver in a roller bottle, but our wakeup time has been getting earlier so I don’t want to be *too* knocked out! Applied to big toes and bottoms of feet.

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I honestly don’t remember how I used to function without my oils!  I’ve been able to incorporate them into every facet of life, and I feel so much healthier!  Bonus: I haven’t been sick since we started using them (except on our honeymoon when I -gulp- didn’t bring them)!

If you are interested in learning to use essential oils in your life, I would love to have you on our team!  You can sign up as a Wellness Advocate (wholesale pricing for a year and great rewards programs!) here.  These links are our direct business links, so purchasing here helps to support our crunchy hippie lifestyle, and we really appreciate it!  If you have questions, please contact me via our essential oil team Facebook page

From Peter's sister's wedding in April

From Peter’s sister’s wedding in April

Woo! Time to resurrect this poor neglected blog!  I’ve definitely missed blogging, and it’s good to be back!  We’ve had a busy few weeks, so here’s a quick update:

- 22 weeks pregnant! Baby Crunchy is most definitely a soccer player and bedtime is the optimal practice. And so is 4am.  It’s awesome, really.  Actually it is – for as much as I am definitely not a 3-hours-of-sleep girl, I know that I will have to learn to function on this much sleep soon anyway and I am cherishing every little kick from my sweet babe.  I think it’s a boy, but I have a 50/50 chance of being right, so we’ll see. I’m just starting to show and a few weeks ago was blessed by a former coworker who gave me an entire fall maternity wardrobe! Including a hoodie.  Rebecca, you’re my new bff.

- We were in a car accident a few weeks back that basically totaled our car. We were able to purchase a new-to-us car, debt-free, and that was a huge blessing.  Mr. Crunchy is partial to cars anyway.

- I am fairly certain that I will be able to indoor garden some greens this fall.  I’m hoping to start those next week and supplement our windowsill with some grow lights.  I want to grow lettuce, kale, spinach, chard, and some herbs.  Living in an apartment with no access to a balcony, fire escape, or patio space for growing anything (even a Tower Garden)  is just depressing! But we have wide windowsills, so I will focus on what I can grow rather than what I can’t.

- We got promoted again with doTERRA! This was thrilling for us and our whole team.  It’s been great to reconnect with friends, make new friends, and to bless others with essential oils.  We get messages from our team frequently with their success stories, both physical and financial.  I’m so blessed to be in this business!

- I’m currently craving some Juice Plus Complete protein powder. Preferably chocolate, shaken in almond milk.  That is all.

This past weekend, we went on an adventure.

A good friend was getting married in Louisville, KY, so we planned to make a weekend out of it.  We drove down to the wedding on Saturday in time to arrive at the wedding, and just as it was ending Peter’s concussion symptoms started to come back, so we just went to our hotel room and relaxed.  I enjoyed some decaf coffee and oreos (first time for both in awhile!).  We drove around Bardstown street for what seemed like ages until we found a place for dinner that actually had some parking in front of it (at…9pm). We weren’t anticipating such limited parking and soooo many people still going out to eat at 8:30 at night!

After check out the next morning we headed out to Elizabethtown, KY, which was only 45 minutes south.  Mr Crunchy and I have loved that movie for a very long time and talked about it a lot before we even started dating, so we were very much looking forward to experiencing it and we were hoping to find a place to eat.

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Well….apparently most of Elizabethtown wasn’t actually filmed in Elizabethtown.  The town square was cute, but it was Sunday  in the South so everything was closed. We drove around for awhile before stopping for lunch at the cutest place in Elizabethtown called “Back Home.”  We agreed that the sweet tea was the best we had ever tasted, the chicken fried chicken was crispy and delicious, and the freshly homemade peach cobbler was just heavenly.  So if you’re ever on an adventure near there, do yourself a favor and stop in for lunch.  I’m sure we looked like typical “young’ins” to them because for the majority of the meal we were glued to the phone where we were watching the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup game. #becausefutbol, that’s why. And yes, we did jump up and down and high-five and silent scream in the lobby when the Netherlands scored their second goal.

our first taste of fried green tomatoes!

our first taste of fried green tomatoes!

We had to travel to Tennessee for our class, so we decided to leave early to allow for “well that’s looks interesting!” side stops on the way down.  We stopped at a Civil War battlefield, drove to an Australian safari (but decided we didn’t have the time or money to go inside to see the koalas), and we stopped at the Mammoth Cave and learned about the origin of the Black Stone Cherry song “Ghost of Floyd Collins.”

On the highway, right after we said, “at the next exit we should use the bathroom,” we encountered a flashing sign that said “lanes closed MM 99-96.” No road barriers, no cones, no more informative signs.  Everyone else kept going and there were no signs of delay (and we couldn’t find a different route).  Well, there was a major delay and 2 hours later we had only traveled 7 miles further.  FINALLY, we saw an exit sign, and since no one else seemed to be moving, we took the shoulder all the way down.  A few drivers tried to go halfway in their lane and on the shoulder to stop us, but we have an SUV – we drove on the grass. It was an emergency.

Oh Nashville, how I now loathe all of your road systems.

Oh Nashville, how I now loathe all of your road systems.

We pulled out an old-fashioned map because my iPhone wouldn’t give me any reroute options and found a new way.  We made it to our class a half hour late, but thankfully the ladies were very understanding. The class went really well, and we experienced true Southern hospitality there.  Our new friend had brought some maternity clothes for me (that all fit perfectly!), and her mom insisted that we take some cash “for whatever you need.” We didn’t leave until 10:30pm and my phone said we would arrive home around 4am.

Around midnight we were so tired – I’m avoiding coffee and sodas during the pregnancy, and Peter was fading fast.  I pulled up my Expedia app and found a motel for $50 with 4 good reviews on it. It looked fine from the outside, so we booked it. Walked in once we got confirmation, turns out we were at the wrong one (the names are REALLY similar).  We found the right one and once we got to our room we looked at each other and just started laughing hysterically.  It smelled funny, the carpets used to be blue, and the towels were a discolored version of white. Mr Crunchy said it looked like a sketchy motel from an 80s movie where the main characters are a biker dude and a woman of the night. We sprayed the bed down with our On Guard spray (quilt, pillows, and sheets) and tried to get some sleep.  In the morning, we covered the floor with the towels so we didn’t have to touch the carpet.  We agreed that next time, we’re spending the extra $10 to stay at a place we trust – and preferably one that has breakfast.

It was quite the adventure, and we are so glad to be home!

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9

Dear Readers,

My husband and I did not have a fairy-tale love story.  In fact, it was riddled with more pain than either of us had experienced before.  But this is OUR story.

People have been sabotaging us from the very beginning, spreading lies and gossip and slander.  My heart aches at how many people never got to know my husband’s true personality because they heard so many rumors and lies before meeting him that it clouded their judgement. We have gone to these people, separately and together, asking for them to stop.  Asking for peace.  Asking for a conversation to clear up their own misunderstandings.  These requests have been met with hostility, condescension, and unfortunately the realization that their pride is better for them than realizing their own sin.

My husband has written a short recap of all the drama on his blog.  Please read it.  We need these rumors to stop.  We have asked for peace for the past 11 months.  We fought it quietly.  But Matthew 18 dictates that if you have a conflict with a person, you are to go to that person to talk.  If they refuse, you bring more people.  If they still refuse, you go bigger.

We have lost so many friends and family over our relationship, and that breaks our hearts.  A marriage is a joyful union, not a crisis.

Many blessings,

Amanda and Peter

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This week really got away from me!  Here’s the recipe that I mentioned earlier.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup raw nut butter (for this batch I used homemade cashew butter, but you can use any, even peanut butter)

1/3 cup raw honey

1 1/2 cups oatmeal (Old-fashioned, not instant)

1/4 cup raw seeds (I used pumpkin)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Melt honey and nut butter.  While that is melting, mix together dry ingredients.  Pour in honey/butter mixture, mix together until all oatmeal is moistened.  This mixture will resemble wet granola.

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Roll into 1″ balls (these are sticky!) and place on a pan.

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Refrigerate until firm (or enjoy right away).   Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

These are my favorite afternoon pick-me-up snack, a post-workout treat, or dessert.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can play around with the ingredients to your liking.  You can make the oats gluten-free, change the seeds, the butter, switch out the chocolate chips for white chocolate and add in some craisins…it’s a fun adventure!

If you have a fun healthy workout snack, please leave a comment!  I’m always looking for good snack options! :)

Happy Friday!

 

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When I was a little kid, I remember seeing commercials on tv about lawyers looking for asbestos-exposure and mesothelioma cases. I never really understood what they were talking about before this week.

I was approached last week by reader Cameron Von St. James, who asked if I would share his wife Heather’s story.  After learning about it, I was excited to be able to share with you!

Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is totally preventable because this form of cancer is actually linked to one cause: asbestos.

Asbestos is actually an organic fiber made of minerals.  It has a very high heat resistance, so it was commonly used for insulation, as well as flooring, shingles, and everything in between.  The risks became more commonly known after the 1980s.  The EPA has since made a very informative website  where you can learn more about it.

If you live in an older home and you’re wondering if you have asbestos, you can contact a trained asbestos professional and they can walk you through the steps of removing it.  If you are about to build a home and you want some “green” ideas, check out this website for tips and suggestions.

Thank you Von St. James family for sharing your story!

 

Happy Monday!

This weekend we spent lots of time with friends, went to go see the Noah movie, bought this awesome baker’s rack from Craigslist

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and mixed up a batch of energy bites (recipe coming soon!).

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I also changed the blog header.  What do you think?

How was your weekend?

 

coconut

I love to eat fat.

Please hear this: I don’t like eating “fatty” foods necessarily.  While you will occasionally witness me downing some McDonald’s french fries (I blame Mr Crunchy), the majority of my fat intake comes from my favorite food group: the good fats.

I’m currently enjoying a peach-spinach-coconut oil smoothie, for example.

Good fats come not only in animal products like grass-fed meats, tallow, and full-fat yogurt, but also through plants and nuts.  Avocado, cashews, coconut oil and milk, and olive oils can all provide you with luscious, luxurious fats that are not only good for your skin, but also brain health.

In basic biology class, you learn that each individual cell is covered in two layers of fat. This gives it a “water-proof” coating that protects it.  So why, then, would doctors prescribe a “no-fat” diet?

I spent over 5 years working in the cardiac world.  I’ve been a tech and a nurse. I’ve worked on post-open-heart-surgery floors, an ICU, and a cardiac doctor’s office.  I get why doctors frequently prescribe medications (those drug rep lunches are really nice).  I’ve also done my own research and know that a lot of these things they prescribe aren’t always necessary.  (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet.  I’m sharing my information and please, if you decide you agree with me, share the info you have with your doctor before taking yourself off any medications or informing them that some hippie nurse told you to eat cheese).

How Do You Build A Brick Building If All You Have Is Mortar?

First on this list of why I hate the no-fat diet: If our bodies (especially our brains) are made of OF fat cells, and those cells have to replenish frequently if we stay alive, how is a no-fat diet beneficial?  It only depletes the body of necessary resources to rejuvenate itself.  Which leads to less-than-ideal new cells.  To put it very simply, low/no-fat diets lead to premature aging.

Your Body Is Still Smarter Than You Are. 

Second, FAT DOES NOT EQUAL HEART DISEASE.  Do you know what causes heart disease?  INFLAMMATION.  Do you know what causes inflammation?  Non- “organic” (in the chemistry sense of the word) compounds being introduced to your system.  Your body is an organic being, which is why we can digest and absorb other organic things from our environment.  Oxygen, plants, and naturally-occuring fats. But it can’t absorb things like velveeta, because everyone knows it’s not cheese.  This causes an inflammatory response because even if you have somehow been convinced that velveeta (which my computer doesn’t even recognize as a word, btw) is cheese, your body still recognizes it as a glob of synthetically-produced chemicals flavored with chemicals and colored with, well, more chemicals. And it is foreign. Therefore, the chemical blob is labeled as an intruder and in comes cholesterol to help.  Oh yeah, cholesterol is the good guy.  Poor cholesterol, it’s just misunderstood.

Low-fat/No-fat Leads To More Medications.

Guess what, friends? Not only is every cell in your body wrapped in a protective fat cell called a plasma membrane, but other things are built by fat, too.  Important things like hormones.  Specifically, sex hormones.

TMI warning: I used to have horrible, flat-on-your-back, call-in-sick-to-work or go-home-early menstrual cramps.  Embarrassing, to be sure.  I suspected that I had a hormone imbalance and increased my healthy fat intake.  That didn’t seem to help, and then my chiropractor noted that my gallbladder was clogged.  All it took was one adjustment to get my gallbladder to process fats correctly, and now I am able to function again and the pain is hardly noticeable.  HURRAY FOR FATS (and detail-oriented chiropractors!).

I had been put on birth control for hormone imbalance before.  Unfortunately, many doctors that I talk to are much more likely to reach for the prescription pad to fix problems than to hand you a nutrition analysis survey and try to get to the cause of the problem.

In Search of True Healing

As a health coach, I like to help people find genuine healing and health.  For example, if you are in pain, I want to relieve your pain, but I also want to find out what’s causing your pain and heal it.  Pain medication doesn’t heal your pain, it just numbs those pain receptors in your brain for awhile.

Please research these things for yourself, and bring your research with you when you talk to your doctor.  Remember, your health is in YOUR hands.

 

 

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