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Welcome to Essential Oils

I am so excited to finally let the world know about my obsession with essential oils.  This is completely new for me and for the blog, but I am just thrilled to introduce something that has genuinely made a difference in my life, the lives of my children, and our family as a whole (pets included). There are so many amazing ways that we use our essential oils and I feel honored to get to share them in a space that was originally meant to document my transformation into wellness (spiritually, mentally, and physically).

Intro to Oils 2
Let me start by saying that I’ve been very quiet about my learning process when it comes to oils and it is definitely not something that I’ve openly advertised.  I have shared with family and friends that I was exploring the use of oils behind the scenes, but overall I wanted it to be about our health and wellbeing and nothing else. I can’t keep it a secret anymore.  Everyone needs to know about these little bottles of pure magic and what a tremendous impact they could have on your family and general wellbeing.

 I started using oils over a year and a half ago mostly for emotional support as a new mother.  I spent four to five months researching them and then finally took the plunge.  I bought my first diffuser and set of oils, took a deep breath, and completely went for it.  I was fed up with the overwhelming exhaustion (hello breastfeeding and late night feedings), emotional rollercoaster (can you say pregnancy hormones), and general anxiety at the “newness” of being a parent and having no freakin’ clue what I was doing. I knew there had to be a natural and healthy way to aid my body from both a physical and emotional standpoint. Then we got pregnant AGAIN when I was only 6 months into my postpartum mommy journey. Here we were with a beautiful and completely NEW little human, praying every second that we won’t mess her up, and all the responsibility of shaping and molding her into an adult. I was staring down another nine months of pregnancy, such a complete and total blessing, but damn…its hard on the body and mental sanity.  My husband felt lightyears away because thats just what happens when you have an infant and the mommy blues were creeping up hard. I had all the support in the world from friends and family, but it doesn’t change the fact that as a new mother my BIGGEST and TOUGHEST job was, and still is, learning how to be a MOM in the first place. I truly needed multidirectional support and finally found it with oils.

Intro to Oils 4

I began with this starter kit from Young Living (all of the most commonly used oils + a diffuser) and just dived right in.  I worked my way slowly through the kit, asked LOTS of questions, and followed along with the book, Gentle Babies, as a guide for diffusing or using oils around infants or while expecting.  It felt good to truly have a natural resource to turn to for cleaning, diffusing, and aiding our bodies when something came up.

Let me also say that I still very much believe in modern medicine.  I myself am a cancer survivor and through the power and knowledge of modern medicine, my life was saved.  I don’t make my own soap or deodorant, we still choose to vaccinate our children, I don’t spend all our money on organic food and certainly all the products in our home are not 100% natural. But oils seemed like the right step towards a healthier lifestyle for us and our children and we haven’t looked back sense.

Intro to Oils 5

There are literally dozens and dozens of ways we use our oils. For example, Thieves oil for ongoing immune support, my all time favorite Peace & Calming linen spray to encourage a relaxing nights sleep, a few drops of Lavender oil in my mascara tube to grow my lashes long and longer, or a homemade fabric fresher to replace the chemical laden Febreeze gathering dust on the shelf.  I love a therapeutic Epsom salt bath with a few drops of Stress Away oil in the evening to bring me down from the overstimulation of being a full time mommy, and my favorite “Happy Mommy” rollerball is always by my side for extra energy, feelings of calmness, and adding an extra spring to my step when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the kiddos.

If you don’t already use oils but have considered it and are interested in knowing more I would love to be a source of information and inspiration for you. I felt so lost when I got started and I want to help take the guess work out of getting to know your oils.  If you are wanting to dive right in I would love for you to join my team. All you need is this essential oils starter kit.  It comes with ten of the most popular oils, your choice of a diffuser (we LOVE the dew drop because of the price), my all-time favorite Stress Away as a bonus oil, and all the info you could ever need to get started. (BONUS TIP – when signing up be sure to check Young Living wholesale member so you can save 24% on any oils you order later on.)  You are not signing up for an ongoing subscription though, just the AMAZING starter kit that already has everything you’ll need.  I am an open book when it comes to oils so PRETTY PLEASE email me or comment below if you have ANY questions.

 Then come join us over at my oils instagram @thegoldenlime where I have covered our favorite ways to use each of the oils in the starter kit. I plan to share all of our favorite diffuser blends, what I use on the kiddos, my favorite recipes to keep Mommy sane, sugar scrubs and a recipe for my favorite Cadillac Margarita using lime oil, aka, The Golden Lime!

I hope you’ll join me & I know you’ll love it as much as we do!
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Sweat, Sparkle, and Repeat – Week Three

Sweat, Sparkle, Repeat Header

Woo Freakin’ Hoo i’ve officially made it two full weeks…and i’m already half way through this week!!! Boom Baby!!! Feelin’ GOOD and feelin’ STRONG!!!

Weekly Workout Questions:

How long have you been committed to working out? 2 1/2 Weeks!!!!!

Current weight? 112lbs

Any noticeable loss in measurements? About 1 inch all over…

How is your energy? SO AWESOME!

How many days did you workout this week? 7 days…a little bonus exercise!!!

How are you sleeping? AMAZING! My body is finally getting used to my new schedule and waking up early and hitting the gym has made a HUGE difference!!!! I wake up naturally everyday and my body gets tired at the same time every evening!

Best moment this week? Making it through my work week and not missing a single scheduled workout as well as meeting all of my goals from last week! YAY!!!! SUCCESS!!!!!

Miss anything? I miss chilling out with a glass of wine.  I totally rocked it last week so I allowed myself a glass on my day off!

Favorite workout this week? LEG DAY!!! Feeling sore and strong!

Motivation Level (scale 1-10)? I would give it a solid 9 to be honest! The more I do it, the more I want to workout and keep going.

One thing you felt impeded your progress this week? My work schedule changed and threw me off a bit but I managed to work through it and keep my schedule strong!

One thing you will do differently next week? Up next week is a diet change! I’ve built the habit of working out again and now its time to adjust my diet a bit.

To check out previous weeks, click below!

Sweat, Sparkle, & Repeat – Week 1

Sweat, Sparkle, & Repeat – Week 2

Sweat, Sparkle, Repeat - Week 3

I decided that it was time to incorporate some weight training into my morning workout routines! I truly believed that working out in the morning would be so hard, but my body has adapted so well.  My schedule for working out will be as follows.  I would also like to point out that i’ve already completed 4 of my 6 days! GO ME!!!

SUNDAY – “Shoulder Workout” & Cardio – 35 min. Elliptical

MONDAY – “Back and Bicep Workout” & Cardio – 35min. Treadmill

TUESDAY – “Legs #1” & Cardio – 40min. Stairmaster

WEDNESDAY – “Legs #2 and Abs” & Cardio – 35min. Treadmill

THURSDAY – “Chest and Triceps” & Cardio – 35min. Elliptical 

FRIDAY – Rest Day plus Cardio – 40 min. Stairmaster

SATURDAY – Rest Day

I’ve also put together my workouts for these days for anyone who wants them. They are super easy and accessible.  Click the link below for a printable version of my workouts.  I’m starting with my shoulder workout which I do on Sunday mornings followed by Cardio!

Shoulder Workout Routine

Download a Printable copy of this workout by clicking  Shoulder Workout

To check out some of my other workouts click below…

Elliptical Interval Workout

Treadmill Interval Workout

Stairmaster Interval Workout

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Nutrition 101

Imagine Yourself

Image Source can be found HERE!

In the spirit of Spring Cleaning I decided it was time to get my body in tip top shape also!! I have started a new segment were i’m going to outline some of the nutrition & fitness tips that have worked for me in the past as well as some new ones that I will be starting in honor of Spring as well as Summer…which is on it’s way!!!! According to the doc I am on a 10-day hiatus from working out so I thought this might be a good time to do a little soul-searching on my nutrition habits! Here is my version, emphasis on MINE as in not for everyone so read with caution, of Nutrition 101 and some healthy guidelines that I will be implementing. These are all tips and tricks that I have used in the past and have been compiled by me over the past 5 or so years!

Nutrition 101

#1 – Assess How Much Weight You Want to Lose:

Its always good to have a clear and measurable GOAL in mind when starting a new program. If you just jump in with zero structure you will absolutely fail. Trust me on that one…i’ve learned the hard way. Excitement and motivation get you started but that does taper off after the first couple of days. Begin by assessing how much weight you have to or want to lose. A good rule of thumb is to stick to around a pound week. So if you want to lose 12 lbs., a good balanced and healthy approach is to achieve your goal in 12 weeks time. I like to use a combination of body fat testing as well as body weight. Please use whatever you are more comfortable with but keep in mind that a scale is not always indicative of “true” weight loss. Simple things like water retention or high sodium consumption can really throw your numbers off.

#2 – Define Your Calorie Structure:

Next set up your calorie structure to reflect the amount you want to aim to lose a week. I love to use myfitnesspal.com to set up my calorie structure, but obviously I’m an amateur. I don’t log my food all day/every day but this app is a great tool to get started. For example I am aiming to lose a total of 15 lbs. spread out over a 15-week period. Based on this structure I need to consume a total of 1200 calories a day.  This breaks down into 165g of Carbs, 40g of Fat and 45g of Protein according to the app.

#3 – Set Up Some Healthy Guidelines for your Macronutrients:

OK…So your macronutrients are broken down into the 3 basic food structures; Proteins, Carbohydrates & Fats! We need all 3 to live and function and flourish but it’s how we break them down in our diet that makes a difference. We have all heard of cutting carbs or cutting fats or low-carb high-protein diets etc. The list of diet gimmicks goes on and on. I’m a firm believer in BALANCE!!! The old sayings are true. You can’t “diet” your way thin and you can’t completely eliminate Carbs or Fats from your diet. Your body wants & NEEDS carbs/fats as sources of energy! There are of course healthy Carbs/Fats and not so healthy carbs/fats which make a big difference in your physique. Here are my “GO TO” guidelines when it comes to the macros:

  1. Keep your food ratios between Proteins, Carbs, and Fats about even. Maybe a little more protein than carbs & a little more carbs than fats.
  2. Stick to mostly Proteins and Carbs in the morning and afternoon as we are usually more active during the day. Your body will use all those great carbs for energy first thing in the morning after your body has been fasting all night.
  3. Start to bring in more Proteins and Fats later in the day.
  4. Wean carbs out in the evening as we tend to get more sedentary.  Those carbs will be stored as body fat if not used up throughout the day.
  5. Try not to mix Fats and Carbs as they are both used as energy sources and chance are your body won’t absorb both and some will be stored as fat. We want our bodies to be utilizing each as proper sources of energy efficiently!

*Again, I am not a registered dietician or a certified personal trainer, all statements are my own personal opinions and reflections of techniques that have worked for me through healthy diet and exercise. These statements are not to be taken as medical advice and please consult a medical professional before beginning or altering any exercise routine or diet.

#3 – Shoot for 6 to 7 Small Meals a Day:

Break your calories down into 6 to 7 small meals a day.  For my 1200 calorie goal this breaks down into 200 calories per small meal. Another good rule of thumb is to set your calorie intake slightly below your calorie expenditure. So for example, if I work out 5x a week for about an hour I will expend around 1270 calories over a week. This will generally result in around 1lb. of weight loss per week.

#4 – Keep it Healthy Folks:

Maintain a healthy and balanced diet while consuming your calories. I like to get as much bang for my buck as possible. By consuming nutrient rich, low calorie foods you can consume higher quantities of those foods while still getting all the nutrients your body needs and staying under your calorie limit.  Aim to consume whole foods over processed foods. Diet bars and slim fast shakes DO NOT qualify as foods, but are rather processed chemicals and fillers. Whole foods are foods in their natural state!!!!! For example, there are 14 calories in 2 cups of raw spinach! There are 220 calories in 1 cup of cooked pasta. Not only would I be maxing out my calories for that meal, but also all I would get to consume is a measly little pile of pasta. By opting for the spinach not only do I have a healthy base for my salad filled with vitamins and minerals, but also I can pile on other healthy veggies like peppers and cucumber, maybe ½ an avocado, and still be under/or at my 200 calorie limit!!! Plus I’m totally filled up from all that yummy food. Bonus, spinach is filled with fiber, which will help to fill you up as well.

#5 – Adjust your Calorie Structure as your Body Adapts:

Slowly wean away your calories each week as your body adjusts to your new diet and calorie intake. You don’t want to go gangbusters your first week because your body will go into a state of shock and completely fall off the wagon…aka your food cravings etc. will get the best of you because your body and psyche feel deprived.  You also don’t want to lose weight too quickly because you have a higher chance of losing lean muscle mass which isn’t healthy for your body. If you find you are losing weight too quickly or too slowly make the calorie adjustments week by week but in a slow and steady manner. Totally cliché…but “it’s a marathon not a sprint.” Rapid weight loss is not healthy weight loss and 90% of the time results in regaining the weight plus a little extra 🙁

#6 – Read Labels and Be Conscious of What Goes in your Mouth:

Watch out for sneaky hidden calories that you might not be aware of. Things like Pam, Crystal Light and salad dressings etc.  Anything that claims it is “low fat” and is packaged uses alcohol sugars as substitutes but will most likely claim that it is “sugar free”…NOT!!!! These are mainly chemical substances and can cause a chemical reaction in your body that causes you to retain water leading to a perceived weight gain instead of a loss. Like I said earlier…stick to whole Honest to God made foods and you will be surprised at how your body responds.

Food Journal

#7 – Utilize a Food Journal

This one is slightly up for debate but is 100% a personal decision. A great way to be mindful of what you are putting in your body is to keep a food journal. I have tried this and what usually ends up happening for me is I get slightly obsessed with documenting everything, pros and cons with that, and it takes over my life. I have had to find a good and healthy balanced approach to recording my food intake.  At the end of the day I will sit down and meditate on my day and recall the choices I made when it comes to my diet. I know when I’m putting something in my mouth that isn’t to my benefit and it is a conscious choice to go off my plan. This keeps me responsible but also mindful at the same time.

#8 – Drink WATER, Drink WATER, Drink WATER:

Make sure you are drinking TONS of water!!! You will be beyond amazed at what a gallon of water a day can do for you!!! Your skin, hair and mind will be clearer, fresher, and more on top of things. YES…you will be going to the bathroom all the time but who cares! Your once in a lifetime, totally precious, GOD given bod is working at tip top shape…so what’s an extra bathroom break or two…or six 🙂

Basically it all breaks down into being aware and not mindless when you are consuming food. A good motto that I have always lived by is “Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat.”  What you put in your body should fuel you and push you to live each day to the fullest not weigh you down with self-confidence issues and extra weight to carry around.  Ice cream and cheeseburgers, while totally delicious, are not going to fuel your mind and body to do GREAT things the way healthy & nutritious foods are going to!!!!!

It is SOOOOO important to find the right plan for you. This plan and all the tips I am giving might not be the right plan for you. This is a big jumble of all the little things that I have and continue to use. I have tried a bunch of different things over the years and have really weeded out the things that don’t fit with me and my lifestyle. Feel free to comment or email me if you do end up trying something. Next up we have Easter…some spring cleaning that I have yet to actually do, and then a segment on supplements and training! I will also finally get around to posting my “12 months to clean and organized home” projects!!! So much to do and not enough hours in the day!

Happy Good Friday to you all and have a great night!!!