Category Archives: Essential oils

3 Habits of Healthy Millennials

healthy millennials, healthy habits, healthy people, wellness habits
I am a millennial, and I’m fairly stereotypical. We are fun creatures, at least I like to think so. We’re basically the same as everybody else, but we do things a little differently most of the time. If you happen to visit the house of one, here are three things you might expect to experience:

You can smell their diffuser going before you even open the door.

Millennials tend to be more naturally-minded, and avoid the toxic chemicals found in most commercial air fresheners. The maintenance man at our apartment complex told us once that he enjoyed walking past our door because it always smelled good. We almost always have an essential oil diffuser going! Essential oils play a huge role in our home from our homemade cleaning solutions to our hygiene products to our air freshener.

They don’t wear their shoes inside the house.

Studies show that not wearing shoes in the house helps with overall cleanliness. I would prefer no shoes at all, but  we wear house shoes to keep our feet from getting dirty. Tristan hates shoes in general so he wanders around in just socks, and I am jealous (my socks wear out too quickly if I do that).

Their kitchen looks like a laboratory.

Millennials are more health-conscious, but heaps of student loans and other bills have forced us to save money whenever possible. One of the ways we do this is DIY-ing our favorite health foods.

Fermented foods and drinks are so nutritious, but they take up so much counter space! Once you get going with one ferment it’s hard to stop. Kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough, and even salsa and ketsup are all popular homemade ferments that you might find on a hippie’s counter top. And don’t forget the bone broth in the crockpot or Instant Pot!

What else would you add to this list?

How to Safely Use Essential Oils

how to safely use essential oils, safe essential oil usage, rules for safe essential oils

It’s no secret that my family loves essential oils. Today I wanted to talk a bit about the accessories that we use with our essential oils to get the maximum benefit from these oils while maintaining safe practice.

Dilute essential oils in a carrier oil

Essentail oils are very potent, and many can cause skin sensitivity (clove, for example, is a “hot” oil that you ALWAYS want to dilute before applying topically as it can burn. Water will not dilute an essential oil. Using a carrier oil (a pure vegetable based oil) will dilute the oil safely. Our company sells a fractionated coconut oil, which is a non-fragrant coconut oil that stays liquid and absorbs quickly.

For babies, the standard safe dilution is 1-3 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. For children 2-6, it’s 1-3 drops in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.  For adults, it will depend on skin sensitivity, and especially skin integrity (for elderly adults with delicate skin, for example, I would prepare a dilution for babies).

While I typically use the coconut oil I get from the company we use, you can also use olive oil, regular coconut oil (though that doesn’t usually work well with roller bottles), avocado oil, or jojoba oil. Keep in mind that these oils will leave you with varying levels of a “greasy” feeling after you apply.

Roller bottles

Roller bottles make application a breeze! He can squirm and fuss and all I have to do is swipe one of his feet with the roller bottle and I know he got the proper amount for his little body. Even he knows this now and will actually take a break from fussing when he’s uncomfortable when he sees me heading for his roller bottle bag. In the past, I have purchased roller bottles from AromaTools and MyOilBusiness, but I know friends who have ordered from Amazon as well. Just be sure to label your blends or you will have to do the sniff test to figure out what is what (go ahead, ask me how I know this…).

Diffuser

This is something we wish we had gotten right away! Our little diffusers are small but works very well and we use them All. The. Time.


I hope these tips are helpful!  If you are interested in starting to use essential oils, please leave a comment!

Happy oiling!

Baby Tristan: Our Unassisted Birth Story

our unassisted home birth story, natural birth

Given that I had never given birth before, I’m not quite sure how to write a birth story.  But it was an amazing birth and our little guy is so precious, so I had to share.  Bear with me.

The Stats:

Tristan Amadeus Elihu was born on December 19th at 5:14am.  He weighed 7 pounds, 5.5 ounces, and was 20 1/4 inches long.  He also had the largest feet I’ve ever seen on a newborn.  Even after feeling him kick me for so long, I wasn’t expecting such massively long feet.  This child will be tall.


10 minutes old. So precious!
10 minutes old. So precious!
The Details:

I spent Thursday December 18th sitting on a yoga ball because it made my legs feel better (I developed hip flexor tendonitis during the last few months of pregnancy which made walking sometimes painful).  I was due the following Tuesday, but because this was my first baby I was expecting to go overdue, so bouncing on a yoga ball was not a means for me to induce labor.  I had had one or two mild contractions a day since Sunday.  Nothing about that day was abnormal, maybe 3-5 contractions but nothing painful or regular.  I went to bed around 10pm.

Peter woke me up at 11:50pm, feeling guilty that he had just finished watching the entire 3rd series of Sherlock.  As we were talking, I felt a contraction in my back (babe was facing the wrong way, so I was anticipating back labor).  I mentioned that I felt it and we continued talking.  About 3 minutes later I felt another one, so I pulled out my phone and opened the “time my contractions” app and Peter and I started timing.  Yep, 3 minutes apart, lasting a minute each.

I read a Native American Proverb that said “if a woman lies down during labor, the baby will not come out.”  That’s enough to scare anyone into being mobile.  I got out of bed and walked around the bedroom for an hour.  Around 1am I knew this was the real deal, and finally convinced Peter that it was time for him to head out to Walmart to get the last of our needed supplies (thankfully our birthing kit had just arrived that afternoon).  We talked on the phone while he was gone and I started getting things ready for the birth and recovery.  As he ran around WalMart trying to find graham crackers and coconut water for me to snack on during labor, I was mixing oils for my recovery spray and getting out the first few things we would need from the birthing kit.  I called our friend who was going to attend the birth for moral support and let her know, but at this time I was still walking and talking through contractions.  She told me to call her back when I felt like I wouldn’t be able to cross the street during a contraction.

Peter got home and we put the big pads on the bed and the new sheet.  It took me about 10 minutes because by this time contractions were every two minutes and lasting a minute each.  They were strong enough that now I wasn’t able to walk through contractions, they were more comfortable if I squatted and leaned against the bed.

My water broke around 2am and contractions came faster and stronger.  I massaged Deep Blue and black pepper essential oils into my back and Peter helped with some counter pressure massage during contractions.  I asked him to blow up my yoga ball so I could carry out my original birth plan of laboring in the living room on a yoga ball with my face in a diffuser of Balance essential oil while watching Disney movies.  The plug for the ball was missing, so we tried to duct tape it closed.  It didn’t work.  Plan B: move the diffuser to the bedroom to labor in there.  Only problem was the only open outlet was on Peter’s side of the bed.  This meant he got a much stronger effect from this oil, and he became *very* relaxed. I tried to lay down and get some rest, but the contractions were so much more painful laying down.  No wonder so many women get epidurals!  If I had to lay down the whole time I would get one too.  It was SO much better to be able to move and walk and plié through contractions.

Related: The Hippie Mama’s Guide to a Natural Pregnancy

I, however, was waddling to the bathroom so frequently  that I just decided to stay there. A sweet friend from Facebook was messaging me since she had seen our hint that I was in labor. Her mom had been a birth attendant a long time ago and she herself had just had a home birth a few months prior.  She texted me all throughout labor.  Finally I decided I didn’t want to labor by myself any longer but was now stuck in the bathroom.  Peter was so relaxed from the oils that I called for him (somewhat frantically) six times before he stumbled into the hallway, fell into the door and laid down on the floor.  Methinks I put too much oil in the diffuser.  Anyway, he perked up and found some relaxing music to play on Youtube.  He got the towels that we had reserved for birth and laid them under me.  When the contractions became so intense and I had trouble relaxing through them, he asked me what I wanted to do for our anniversary, “since obviously I’ll be cooking it this year.”

That was just what I needed, because the next contraction Tristan was born! I had relaxed enough that my body knew what to do and I only pushed once or twice.  He came so quickly we were both surprised.  Peter jumped up and ran into the kitchen as I yelled “oh my god it’s a baby!” (not really sure what else I was expecting) and Tristan commenced his screaming.  He cried for 6 minutes straight.  I told Peter “it’s a boy!” and he quickly grabbed his phone and called his family (at 5:20 in the morning) and yelled “I HAVE A SON!” I did a full ICU assessment on him while I admired his little self (and his large feet).

I called our birth attendant friend (oh yeah, I finally forced myself to call her again around 4:30) and she answered with “so boy or girl?”.  She arrived around 6:30 and helped get everyone cleaned up, oiled up, and settled.  We anointed Tristan with Frankincense on his soft spot and Balance on his feet and along his spine.  I used helichrysum and clary calm on my abdomen before doing the “uterus massage” (i.e., pushing your fist around the belly several times every hour to help the uterus go back down to size.  Pleasant).  Peter’s mom arrived around 7 and after she held Tristan she took Peter out to our favorite coffee spot (and they brought home a big latte for me and a new mug I had been wanting!).

The Conclusion:

It was a beautiful birth and extra special because it was just me and my husband there.  I was calm, focused, and in the moment so much that our friend was laughing at me as just two hours after birth I was taking pictures of Tristan being held by his daddy (the one below is my favorite!) and calmly rescheduling meetings with people (hey, I was expecting to go overdue!).  I believe the proverb was right, movement in labor is KEY!  Since I only attempted laying down the once, the majority of the labor I was working with gravity, not against it.  My labor and delivery with my first baby was an almost unheard of 5 1/2 hours!

Tristan was so excited to meet his daddy!
Tristan was so excited to meet his daddy!

Also, I have no idea how women go through labor, delivery, and recovery without essential oils.  They are amazing!

first family photo!
first family photo!

What You Need in Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

how to stock a natural medicine cabinet, natural medicine, natural wellness cabinet, healthy medicine cabinet, medicine cabinet makeover

Today I’m going to take you through our natural medicine cabinet.

When transitioning to a more natural, wellness-based lifestyle, one of the major changes is how you treat illness. A wellness-based system looks at not just symptom relief, but immune support.

Your body comes equipped with a natural immune system. When you give it standard OTC medicine, you run the risk of suppressing the immune response, dragging out illnesses for longer than necessary.

Supporting the immune system requires a holistic approach that includes not only symptom relief but also natural detoxification and organ support.

The best part about a natural cabinet is that everything has multiple uses, so you don’t just have random things sitting around. Many of these staples are also ingredients for DIY projects like homemade toothpaste, homemade air fresheners, and facial moisturizers.

Ready for the tour? Here’s what’s in my cabinet:

IMG_0635

Activated charcoal – for detoxing or food poisoning (also put in tooth powder for whitening!)

Witch hazel – 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 – 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 – 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 – For immune support, especially if I’m coming down with a cold.

Raw organic coconut oil – For skin health, burns, and antibacterial protection.  I also add essential oils to this.

Magnesium oil – 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 – 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 – to treat UTIs or kidney infections

Essential oils – I use all sorts of essential oils for just about everything.  I apply either directly to the skin (following precautions for safe dilution), diffuse aromatically (especially when we don’t feel well we like to diffuse the respiratory and protection blends), and take internally (be very careful about internal use, make sure if you are ingesting that it is 100% pure grade, not just “contains 100% pure”). If you would like more information about essential oils, see my post on safe usage.

Fractionated coconut oil – 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  – for making our own capsules!  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 healthcare cabinet?

My Daily Oil Routine

improve your life with daily essential oils

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).

LLV

 

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.

deodorant

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. {Please do your own research regarding internal use of essential oils. Personally I only ingest doTERRA’s oils that are approved for internal use.}


water
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.”

InTune

 

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).

Balance

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!

photo-9

 

3:35 pm

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

photo 2-3

 

10:57 pm

Time to get ready 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.

photo 1-3

 

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!

If you are interested in learning to use essential oils in your life, I would love to share more with you! Email me at crunchyhippielife@gmail.com!