Let’s talk about Essential Oils…

Because really…that’s probably the most important staple in every Hippies house. Essential oils take the place of perfumes, air fresheners, they are added to pretty much every recipe for DIY cleaners and cosmetics. In some cases can even be used medicinally. I’d like to stress I’m no doctor and also learning everything myself. I actually contacted a doTERRA wellness advocate and we went for coffee (she also happened to be an old, good friend of mine) and she answered all my questions and gave me a WEALTH of knowledge about essential oils and their uses: Essential Oils with Lindsay Loretta

So what are essential oils? doTERRA describes it as natural aromatic compounds found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. What I learned (and loved) about doTERRA is that they source and collect their oils in parts around the globe where this said plant is at its highest grade. Oils can be used aromatically, topically, and internally, but there’s a wealth of knowledge on certain oils and their proper uses. The way I see it, our ancestors living in the bush before modern medicine were taking plants and breaking them down and using these compound’s to help heal themselves naturally. Obviously essential oils shouldn’t take the place of modern medicine completely but I am definitely all for rubbing some peppermint oil on my temples to help my migraine rather than popping 2-3 Tylenol or Advil a day.

I’m prone to bad sinus infections when I get a cold, so I plan on purchasing a essential oil kit that includes a diffuser as well. If I can eliminate using nose spray all together to clear my air ways, I’ll be a really happy lady. Not to mention I threw out all my Febreeze air fresheners and sprays. Here’s a chart showing common uses for doTERRA oils. Keep in mind, when you have a little collection, it can be fun to experiment with different combos of scents in soaps, lotions, cleaning supplies, etc. You can get creative with what you like to smell. This chart rather, shows common health issues and how you can use doTERRA oils to avoid those meds and chemicals when you can/should.  Essential Oils can get pricey depending on which one you purchased and where its sourced. However most of the common ones can be anywhere from $15-$30 some going up to the hundreds. However with how often they will most likely be used (for myself at least) I’ll be purchasing a “starters kit”.

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Back to the Basics

Life can seriously get in the way, this week I’ve been feeling a little under the weather and lazy. We also established that Justin and I will be living on our own with no more roommates as of June (which is exciting and annoying all at the same time as it will be harder to save for the wedding) BUT I got promoted to full-time at work so things still seem to be working out in our favor. All in all this week was hectic and stressful…and when I get stressed or feel like I need to get organized, I make lists. I’m a HUGE “lister”, lists all the time. I have a huge book of to-do lists and to-buy lists. I find they help me immensely, so I thought I’d post some basic lists of products and accessories you might need to get started. Of course this will depend on how committed you want to be with living naturally. Some might only choose to swap out cleaners, others may want to do it all.

What I have been doing is trying to make a stockpile. Every few days or when I have the money ill go to the health food store or grocery store and buy a few things here and there. A lot of these products are super inexpensive (like a giant container of vinegar – less than $3). Some things may seem expensive, especially buying raw or 100% organic products, but remember that most recipes you’ll be making will be in smaller amounts and will only call for a couple drops of this, or 1 tsp of that. Essentially, you’re buying in bulk and if you are careful about your usage then most of this should last a while. That being said most cleaners and cosmetics will last up to a couple months anyways.

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So far I’m learning that there are some things which are better purchased online (mostly Amazon.ca – Free Shipping!) and the rest can be bought at the health food store, grocery store, or local Walmart. Some things you can buy at the health food store but you will find that they most likely over charge. I was going to spend $32 on 0.25 kg of raw Shea Butter at the store and after doing some research online I bought 1 kg for $20 from Amazon. Also, hit up the dollar store and buy a bunch of mason jars for storing your DIY cleaners and cosmetics. Plastics don’t mix well with essential oils, vinegar’s, etc. You’ll find that they will keep a lot longer in glass and also plastics are bad for you anyway! I actually bought amber glass spray bottles online because I just couldn’t find them locally and needed them for my cleaners.

Note: Items with a (*) indicate products you will most likely be buying often, so grab them when you can and stockpile.

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It seems daunting because there’s a lot and I’m still slowly working on gathering everything on these lists. As I said before, it’s a slow process. But the idea is that once you have everything, you have it! Buy in bulk and stockpile. As I find better suppliers or cheaper options I’ll update and modify my lists.

 

Disconnect

My phones been disconnected for over a month now, at first it was annoying and I really noticed how much it was always in my hands or how often I was always checking it. Now I can honestly say I hardly notice. I have WiFi at home and at work so I can still text important people like Justin (my fiance) and my parents or best friend when I need to. But I’m finding when I’m home I’m barely touching it anyways! When walking to work or busing I read, listen to music, or just sit with my thoughts and really…it’s not all that bad to completely disconnect and get lost in a chapter of a book rather than think of who’s on Facebook or who might be messaging me. I’ve been so much less stressed and content.

I figured my $100/monthly phone plan can go towards something more important. Getting rid of these unnecessary things and living a bit more simply one day at a time.

Found this today and thought it pretty much encapsulated the way I’d like to live my life day to day. Cheers Hippies.

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The First Run

Literally was winded after a minute and a half, my heart felt like it was going to explode and after doing yoga for the first time in years…I realized how horribly out of shape I actually was and how I really am not flexible at all. Safe to say I was pretty discouraged. Huge wake up call. I’ll be posting some pictures soon to show my starting point and a few shots on yoga positions because I think it’ll good to see some sort of progress along the way, especially with yoga. I guess the point is we all need to start somewhere and we all need a base line. I just need to keep telling myself that this is my base line…

Anyways today’s detox water was Oranges (organic), blackberries, raspberries, and mint. What I love about my infuser bottle is that after I finish it I can just refill it again and stick it in the fridge for an hour or so and the water will be just as flavorful. So I can continuously use it throughout the day. Also my orange, which came in my Organics Live Box, literally almost looked like a grapefruit. It’s crazy to see the difference in your fruit and vegetables when you go organic. HUGE difference in taste and looks, seriously suggest paying the extra.

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I also had a chiro adjustment today, so pretty much an hour after I was dealing with an insanely bad migraine. The biggest problem for me is my C1 and C2, which are the first two vertebra in your neck,where your neck and head meet. When I came home I tried this yoga video specifically for headaches and by about half way through my migraine was almost gone. It helped me a lot so I’m posting it here. I also used the sample I had of doTERRA peppermint oil and rubbed a drop into my temples. Honestly, it worked wonders and no Tylenol needed!

 

A Total Detox

Alright, so today’s the day! getting all the crappy stuff out of my house! Need a clean slate to start and don’t want to resort to using them. I have to admit it was actually a little hard to throw some of this out…you keep thinking you’ll SOMEHOW need it in the future or I am being wasteful for throwing almost full containers in the trash. In the end the thought I always came back to was that if I need, I will just have to friggen make it myself! Eventually I’ll have most if not all to do it. So here’s what went in the trash today

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Pretty much, anything I figure I can make myself, like soaps, creams, cleaners, medications and even cosmetics went bye-bye. For some reason I don’t like the idea of putting something on my body that I cant even pronounce. Mind you there was some things I kept that are sort of a necessity until I get all the products, like toothpaste. Today I will at least be going to the store and getting what I can, such as a huge thing of vinegar, dawn dish soap, baking soda, oranges/lemons, etc. that will replace a lot of basic cleaning supplies.

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In the spirit of detoxing I also purchased a glass water bottle infuser (stay away from plastics when you can) to try some “detox water”. Today I tried blackberries, cucumber, and mint (grown from my own garden!). I also added a splash a lime juice and threw it in the fridge for a couple hours to “infuse”.

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And Voila! I just layered everything in the infuser and broke up the mint leaves a little to add the taste. I’ll be breaking this puppy out after my run, during my little yoga session.

Personal Barriers

This week we just found out an old friend of my fiance’s, passed away in her sleep at the ripe young age of 25, we unfortunately heard the news late but after hearing it we sat in bed for an hour talking about it. crazy right? 25!? In her sleep?! You never think something like that will happen to you until it actually does. I can be all cliche here and say life’s too short, but actually…LIFE’S TOO SHORT. On the ride to work the only thing running through my head was that you can literally put 150% in taking care of yourself and your family and you can still get hit by a car or potentially pass away in your sleep. Just. Like. That. For me, right there, I recognized that as a mental barrier. A personal barrier, I started to doubt doing all this because the only thing I was thinking is that I need to live life to the fullest! screw dieting, screw eating well, screw exercising, it’s your life! Wait..it’s YOUR life. It was that quick for me to realize I was looking at it all wrong. If it’s your life wouldn’t you want the best for yourself and your family? Yes life’s short, and we really have no idea when we will croak, but ill still be attempting to do the best for myself and love ones. Even if it means putting in a little elbow grease.

It didn’t take long for me to realize this is going to be a complete lifestyle change, and obviously it’s not going to happen overnight. It will be little, slow changes here and there. And of course, with any lifestyle change there’s going to be countless mental barriers and doubts, that’s something I will personally have to deal with. I am such a routine person, breaking a routine is hard for me and I also have almost no will power. I wake up at almost the same time everyday and I get a Tim’s coffee before work or on any day off, that;s going to be hard for me to change. Overall, its about slowly adding things to those routines or altering them towards that lifestyle change.

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Let’s face it…

It is almost impossible these days to somehow not be in contact with some sort of chemical or toxin, whether its face lotion, shaving cream, shampoos, bathroom/household cleaners, pesticides, preservatives…the list is literally on-going. If people knew about half the crap that gets absorbed into our bodies through our skin (*cough* roughly 60%), I bet a lot more people would actually start reconsidering whats around the house and what we are using. Unfortunately these days, convenience is the main factor. I am completely guilty of this. Its easier for me to go to the store and by a $3.00 bottle of all purpose cleaner rather than sit down and make it myself. That is why I wanted to start this blog. I wanted to attempt to go full force and detox these chemicals and toxins from my daily routine and (hopefully) document the positive changes along the way. Maybe show its possible for anyone to do it, especially in this decade when there is literally toxins in about everything we come to contact with.

It’s Spring, I’m getting married in 5 months, and I’m definitely feeling that added winter weight. I am gifted with height but have managed to fluctuate between 140-150 lbs since grade 9. I wouldn’t consider myself fat, I love my curves, but I definitely want to tighten up before I take that walk down the aisle and I also don’t loose weight easily at all. It’s always unknown in the morning whether I will wake up with an upset stomach or not. I get horrible tension headaches and migraines due to my neck and back (which I see a chiropractor for) and lets just say that overall I don’t FEEL great. If I can impact any of these aspects in a positive way or change them for the better I’ll be happy.

So here’s the game plan…I will be changing 3 major aspects of my life. Fitness, Food, and Overall Lifestyle.

Fitness

  • I’ve given myself a 3 month goal to be realistic, every month I will attempt to make the routine harder by adding 5-7 lbs weights, longer runs/yoga sessions, etc.
  • I am no expert and get winded after climbing stairs, so I will start with 5 min runs, 3x a week and add 2 minutes every week after, eventually getting up to a 30 min run
  • I plan to do a 10-20 minute yoga session everyday (to help my neck and back)
  • I want to mainly target my stomach, butt/legs, and overall core strength so I’ll be doing a mix of planking, crunches, squats, etc and then everyday further on adding a little more (I do this to keep myself motivated and make it seem like I’m doing more and more everyday to challenge myself).

Food

  • I’ll be eating less processed food and less sugar
  • Eating organic fruits and vegetables (we have bi-weekly subscription to Organics Live, a local company who delivers a big box of organic food to your door step)
  • Ideally I’d like to get the point of buying our meat from a local butcher rather than the grocery store (my fiance is a meat lover so going vegetarian isn’t an option)
  • I’ll be growing and preserving my own herbs
  • Drinking more water and tea
  • Experimenting with different, healthy, recipes & drinks

Overall Lifestyle

  • I’ll be completely eliminating all household cleaners (all purpose sprays, bathroom cleaners, air fresheners, candles, detergents, etc.
  • I’ll also be attempting to eliminate some cosmetic products like shaving cream, lotions, toothpaste, mouth wash, sunscreen, bugspray.
  • I unfortunately wont be able to go completely makeup-less or create my own as I know I wont be able to get the desired results, but I will be switching to vegan makeup lines that are more natural and don’t test on animals
  • Shampoos and conditioners free of gluten, paraben, and salts
  • Improving the overall indoor air quality in the house by adding plants
  • I’ll also be familiarizing myself with essential oils and their benefits

So there we go, that’s the game plan, as I said I am no expert…just a beginner starting out. I don’t plan on completely restricting myself, I believe you still need to reward yourself here and there. If I go out for dinner with my family, I am going to have a beer if my heart so chooses. If I wanna snack on some fries, I will (cause really..potatoes, am I right?). Regardless its going to be a massive change for me and my routine, but overall I know it will only benefit me in the long run. I think everyone loves the idea of living the hippie lifestyle but actually taking the time and making the effort is a different story. Hopefully it doesn’t prove to be as hard.