My High Needs Baby

I’ve had some dark days with Eden recently.  She has pushed me to the limits of my patience (and sanity).  This is hard to write because I love her to bits, but I feel like I have been challenged by her since the day she was born and this week as things have been really hard again I have thought, “when is this ever going to end?”

You might have already read Eden’s Story and her journey as a baby born with major gut issues.  It took us a while to realise what was going on with Eden and see a Specialist who knew what Eden was suffering.  A long time before this I read an article by Attachment Parenting guru Dr. William Sears, which really struck a chord.  It was about the “high need baby“.  Eden ticked every box!

Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha, coined the term “high need baby” when their fourth baby, Hayden, was born. While their first 3 children had been generally easy babies, Hayden was only happy when being held or fed. It was then that they realized that some babies are just truly high need.

While I totally agree, what I have also observed through my personal journey with Eden and through meeting other mums with babies/toddlers/young children that also tick the boxes of “high need” is that there’s definitely a connection to problems in the gut.

We know there is a dynamic interaction between the gut, the brain, and the immune system, starting from birth.  For example, immune cells reside within the gut and that was one of Eden’s big issues as a baby; her immune system was really compromised!

It feels like a bad dream now thinking about what we did go through with Eden.  In the grand scheme of things she is so much better, for which I am grateful!  I didn’t realise how bad it was with her (and how abnormal her constant cries and needs were) until I had my second girl Jade.  Case in point; no milestone, change, challenge, illness has ever got her like Eden got daily!  Eden’s physical and emotional being was so fragile, still is, and while her physical needs have reduced greatly thanks to the gut healing we have done, her emotional needs are still great.  Admittedly I forget this as we go about our daily life and so fall quite regularly into overwhelm when she overreacts or she gets overwhelmed.  Thankfully essential oils come to our rescue to restore our equilibrium. I would recommend them to anyone dealing with a high needs baby/toddler/child!

So what do we use?

There are 4 essential oils that I use regularly with Eden:

doTERRA’s Console, Serenity, Balance & Peace

To read about why I chose doTERRA, click here,

Read on for the benefits of each wonderful oil!

console

1.  CONSOLE

One of the primary essential oils in the doTERRA Console Blend is Ylang Ylang, which is calming and balancing for the body and mind.  It also contains Frankincense Resin, Patchouli Leaf, Labdanum Leaf/Stalk, Amyris Bark, Sandalwood Wood, Rose Flower and Osmanthus Flower which are comforting and grounding.

I use Console in those moments when we’ve all ‘lost the plot’.  The tears are flowing, the tempers have boiled over, emotions are high… I put it in the diffuser or rub it within a carrier oil into our necks.  It is instantly comforting (and you guessed it, consoling!)

serenity

2. SERENITY

The first thing to go out of the window for Eden when she is challenged emotionally is sleep.  Serenity is a beautifully calming blend of essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile.  I diffuse Serenity aromatically in the bedroom to create a calming and peaceful environment before bed, use a Serenity soap or bath melt in the bath, or massage as a balm I make myself.

Serenity is also great in those “lacking calm”moments! Just one drop to the back of the neck is instantly calming, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing!  I also apply Serenity to my brow when I need perspective on my situation with Eden in order to be more gentle with myself or seek answers about how to move forward in whatever challenge we are facing.

balance

3.  BALANCE

Balance has been a key oil in the Emotional Toolbox that has got me through severe anxiety problems.  It is extremely grounding and so is great to use every day to the bottoms of the feet when the high needs bubs/toddler/child is going through change or challenging emotions.  It contains Frankincense like Console, but also contains Blue Tansy, which ignites feelings of self-control, focus, and balance, and Blue Chamomile, which is quite sedative.

peace

4.  PEACE

Peace fuses floral and mint essential oils.  It is known as a Reassuring Blend, to promote feelings of contentment, composure, and reassurance when anxious feelings overwhelm your emotions.  I find Peace really good when Eden is anxious.  This actually happens a lot, but presents in different guises. Eden is affected by loud noises, new environments, too much stimulation or situations she lacks control in.  She presents as overwhelmed or even afraid.  Peace composes her.  I have started using Peace for my younger girl, Jade too, whose big milestones (she’s 1) are leaving her anxious when she’s away from me.

36151-Be-Kind-To-Yourself.jpg

I guess the final part of this blog is honesty around having to remind myself what I like about Eden when she does push me to the limits of my sanity.  Because maybe that might help you too.  Because maybe you’re feeling quite alone right now and utterly horrible for finding your own high need bubs/toddler/child horrible.

A beautiful friend once explained to me that what often happens with kids who are higher needs is that they have an appearance of calm, but actually aren’t.  She shared a thermometer diagram with me to explain what she meant and this has always stayed with me!  Basically, our children sit higher up the thermometer and so constantly sit at a tipping point, and this is why it takes only “little things” to tip them over:

So, one of the things I have promised myself I will do more of is project myself into her mind when we are in a situation that is escalating or at risk of triggering a chain of unwanted events… I ask myself:

  • What would she want me to say and do in this situation?
  • What can I change about the situation I am considering to ensure it meets her needs as well as mine and/or involves her?

It isn’t easy parenting these “high needs”, but it is possible to adopt more empathetic and appropriate responses.  I am still learning!

And the things I love about Eden?

She is resilient, with a warm heart, an inquiring mind and the strength of an ox.  She is independent and unique and beautiful.  I use Forgive essential oil to help myself move on from the soul destroying guilt I feel each time I lose my composure and feel overcome by her more challenging traits instead of these beautiful traits I love.

If you’d like to explore those questions above, as they relate to your situation and whatever brought you to my blog, request a free discovery call here.

If you’re curious now about the positive changes essential oils could make to your life, get my free eBook here.

Image result for doterra forgive instagram

Much Love x x

5 Ways with an Essential Oil TWIST to Ignite Joy in your Life Right Now

I have to admit that today I am feeling really low. I hate admitting that! I’m a Life Coach, your Life Transformation Coach for Health & Happiness, how can I possibly allow myself to get down?!

It happens, life happens! The important thing is how we respond because the longer we stay down the harder it is to come back up!

As a mum, I don’t have a great deal time to do the things I used to do to lift my mood – the long walks in nature, a massage, a relaxing bath, a little gift to myself or a night out with friends! So the following are instant ways to spark joy AND they are kid hanging off your ankles friendly.

What do I mean by joy? That warm feeling, that sudden need to smile, that assurance that all is well in the world, even the giddy feeling of being totally carefree for a few moments.

Firstly, just quickly, what specifically makes you feel good? Focus on it. How does it make you feel? That’s your joy! Now let’s ignite that feeling when you need it!

  • OPTION 1:  MAKE ICE CREAM! You’re a mum, so I am guessing you have frozen bananas in the freezer for smoothies and the like? What if you could whip these babies up into chocolate orange happiness in under a minute? Ice cream cheers you up, right? This is classic comfort food without as much sugar and with the magical uplifting powers of wild orange essential oil. Just combine a few drops of Wild Orange essential oil (get yours here) with a handful of dark chocolate chips and your frozen bananas (preferably small chunks) and whizz away in the blender for about 45 seconds. Serve immediately. Feel the joy (and the kids will love you too 🙂 )
  • OPTION 2: BE MINDFUL. I know I must sound like a broken record in these blogs, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to just be. If you struggle with this, grab my At EASE rollerball and try again (get yours here). It helps me no end when I struggle to stay focused in a task – including contemplating the fluff in my navel! (Or not contemplating it, as that would be thinking and mindfulness is a mind without thought 😉)
  • OPTION 3: DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING even if you’re surrounded by kids, the dog and your curtain twitching neighbour! Grab a sniff of Cheer (you can check this amazing blend out here), put on your favourite song and dance. If baby needs your arms, wrap her, if your toddler wants to play, dance with her. Dance like no one is watching until the smile comes and your worries float away
  • OPTION 4: WALK. It doesn’t matter where. Put a drop of Balance on each wrist (see why here), breathe in the grounding aromas, feel the tightness in your chest melt away and the furrows in your brows relax then hit the pavement. Again, this is one you can do with the kids. The important thing is just get out the house and breathe in the fresh air!
  • OPTION 5: THROW OUT THE TO DO LIST.  The washing will wait, you can last another day without the food shopping and the world won’t end if you don’t make it to Mainly Music. (OK, that’s a lie, your 4 year old’s world will end.) Sometimes we can get so busy it becomes overwhelming and our moods falls flat because life seems insurmountable! When this happens, stop. Grab Serenity essential oil, make the kids some playdough (and lace it with Serenity essential oil 😉 ) and just laze about.

You’re welcome 🙂

Much Love X X

main

 

Eden’s Story

My journey with essential oils all started with Eden,  my beautiful first baby girl.  We knew something wasn’t right almost immediately.  Plunket told me it was “just colic”, but from 2 weeks old she had also developed eczema all over her body and used to cry constantly and arch her back violently when we tried to comfort her.  It was hard as a brand new mum with no idea of what was normal, only able to trust what those around you said.  From 6 weeks we tried a chiropractor, as Eden had been born by c-section.  After another 6 weeks she said there was nothing else she could try and Eden hadn’t improved, but a nutritionist at the practice had mentioned dairy could be causing her discomfort, so maybe try cutting it out.  I was sleep deprived and would have tried anything! Little did I know that in 24 hours Eden would already have turned a corner.  I guess from there our journey began!  It hasn’t been an easy journey.  While Eden improved without the dairy in my diet she went downhill quickly when I introduced solids.  I couldn’t stand to see her in so much pain – in her abdomen, usually from wind or food reactions – still arching her back, clenching her fists and pushing away me and her daddy, hitting her head.  It was like she didn’t want either of us and that hurt.  We would spend hours and hours pacing with her in our arms, unable to soothe her.  She would pass mushy, smelly, green, mucousy, bloody stools. She slept only an hour at a time at her worst point and would spend 1-4 hours crying at a time.  An elimination diet revealed to us the root of her problems and support from Pediatrician Dr Leila Masson  finally when Eden was 1 revealed signs and symptoms of an abnormal gut flora, which can cause intestinal permeability and food sensitivities.

eden_2

Today Eden is well on the road to recovery.  She still eats a diet free of gluten, dairy and soy.  We were able to successfully reintroduce higher fructose fruits (not dried though) and higher fructan vegetables and very recently eggs, but after continuing issues we have recently discovered that refined sugar is a no go and she reacts to citrus fruits and sulphites.  Healing has centred around healing her gut, boosting her immunity and soothing the symptoms that kept her awake at night – probiotics, other remedies and of course essential oils that have all been natural. As hard as those early days were, Eden’s journey has changed my life.  I have always slanted towards a natural approach to health, but I never knew its real capacity to heal and I certainly didn’t understand the importance of gut health, the impact of diet or how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles; I could go on!

As all mothers, I sought to do what was best for Eden. I assessed the things contributing to our “toxic load” as a family, and one by one I cut them out and replaced them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

This is where this blog was born!  I share what I know and what has worked for us.  If you have stumbled across this blog in search of a lifeline for your own personal challenge, I hope that you can see a light at the end of the tunnel!  Browse my Mummy Munchies, website pages and feel free to contact me to talk directly

Much love,

Clare x x

My Emotional Toolbox

The last couple of weeks have been really hard. Business has been a bit quiet after Christmas, so finances have been a little tight, my gorgeous husband has gone back to work after all of those fun family times at Christmas and my emotions have been up and down.

There has also been the additional stress of organising childcare for Eden, who is nearly 4 and totally ready for the transition, but I’m not. I also inquired about child care for Jade who is now one, so that I could increase my available times to coach and run the essential oil consultations and workshops, but ultimately I realised that is not why I set up Essential Mum!

When Eden was one, just like Jade is now, our financial stress was so much greater that I was forced to put Eden into childcare and reluctantly go back to work. Although I did love my job, I didn’t love it as much as I missed spending time with Eden and #beingmum (read my previous blog post ‘No More Moments Missed‘); I certainly didn’t go about my work with the passion and heart I do now! This time I realised I have the freedom to do things differently. And who wouldn’t want to with these two scrumptious faces?!

img_20170215_152712 img_20170215_152704

However, this has required a change of mindset and a reworking of my old ways and habits.  As an anxiety sufferer my go to emotion was panic in situations where I feel overwhelmed or have to make big decisions. Instead of thinking rationally and calmly about the options open to me I would panic, get into a flap, and usually make a knee jerk decision that was not the right one!

It has taken some work on myself with the coaching and essential oils to rework those old habits and remain calm under pressure. I have a Mantra that I have started to share on Facebook:

“Remember to use your oils!”

Image may contain: text

It is so easy when you start to feel better after using essential oils for anxious feelings and other negative emotions to forget to use them again when you have a slip. So, in the last couple of weeks I have remembered my essential oil rituals and started using them again and this has brought me back to the right emotional space to employ my new way of approaching decision making, with a clear mind and a focused goal.

So what I’m going to share with you now is exactly that emotional toolbox, so that you too can use essential oils to manage negative emotions when life challenges and to help stop you slipping back into old patterns.

Make the oils that are right for you part of your routine and habit, so they are an integral part of your life and happiness.  The five in my toolbox are just a small selection of the emotional aromatherapy available.  To fully understand the potential of using essential oils for your emotional balance, and to get started <<click here>>

my-emotional-toolbox

Much Love

Essential Mum x x

My Weight Loss Story

Written 3/04/2016

“12 weeks ago I was pretty bewildered as to how to get my body back in shape and my eating back on track after pregnancy.  I was 3 weeks post-partum, unmotivated and recovering from surgery after a third degree tear having my baby.  I had planned to get straight back into my Muay Thai kickboxing training to get my fitness back and work my way back to the ring, but my surgery had obstructed that idea, as I was very limited in my movement!  I felt quite depressed!

From a food point of view, having suffered awful morning sickness when I was pregnant I had gotten into bad habits. I had craved and eaten lots of simple carbs and sugar because for some weird reason it was all my body was asking for.  I had gone off salads, the idea of fish made me want to vomit. In fact all the things I had loved pre-pregnancy turned me green!  A very weird experience, which over 9 months had concreted some awful habits. I am pleased to say I have turned those around now!

My portion sizes follow TERRAfit’s guidelines and I’m satisfied and my snacking is nutritious and energy-boosting.  Instead of reaching for those simple carbs and sugar I am now completely refined-sugar free and craving smoothies and veggie sticks and taking time to plan my snacks, like yummy refined sugar free slices, bliss balls, muffins and biscuits, so that they are on hand during the week.  This has been good for my daughter also, who is also back to eating refined sugar free!  I am eating heaps of veg, when at the start of the challenge I was struggling to get one portion in, let alone 4!  I feel more energised and happier.

One of the big discoveries I made through the challenge was that I really needed to work on my emotions (which were driving some of my eating choices) and I have done this – by using my essential oils, trying to react in different ways and trying to remove the stresses that were rattling my emotions  in the first place and dedicating some time every day to me.

I have got up 5-6 days a week at 5am to do my workouts because I know this is the only time that I will have my hands free from my 16 week old and put my heart and soul into the TERRAfit workouts.  I have got up even when I have been tired and taken a NO EXCUSES attitude!  Regarding my goals, I have lost 7.5 pounds, which I am really pleased about, but I am more excited about the improvements in my strength and fitness!  I set myself this mad challenge along with one of myTERRAfit teammates to achieve a 5-minute plank and I achieved it!  I could only do 30 seconds at the start of my challenge!  I am now doing 38 pushups (up from 20 at the start of my challenge), 56 air squats (up from 38 at the start of my challenge), 82 sit ups (up from 63 at the start of my challenge) and a 2 minute 35 wall sit (also up from 30 seconds at the start of my challenge!!!)  My main goal was to be able to go back to my Muay Thai training and in the first week of month 3 I achieved it!  I am back doing my Muay Thai training once a week.  And I even have my eye on fighting again!

I really feel like a better version of me as my 12-week challenge comes a close. I am lighter, physically and mentally, full of energy and strong.  I am also in the good habit of getting up each morning to exercise and it’s not a chore at all!  My motivation is back!  And I have discovered an amazing way to eat, which nourishes my body in the way it needs.  I have learned so much in 12 weeks!  About clean foods, super foods, what foods work in what way for your body and I know which are the sensible choices!  My promise to myself as I close this challenge is to never take my new-found good health for granted and take what I have learned over the last 12 weeks and make it my permanent lifestyle and continue to share it with others! I am going on to do the 3-week Sprint tomorrow, just to spend time establishing the things that work for me, as I found I didn’t fully understand them until the 3rd month.   My focus for the next 3 weeks is not weight loss now, but muscle gain!  I want to be able to do the month 3 workouts with extra resistance (especially increasing my shoulder and tricep strength) and up the interval training from 30 seconds to 1 minute!

I think that is the final thing I want to say about TERRAfit and I say it with a smile!  In such a strong team of beautiful people with a coach dedicated to your progress you never stop inspiring and you never stop being inspired!”

How I kicked bladder infections and UTIs naturally!

Since I was a teen up until quite recently, I suffered with constant bladder infections and UTIs.  To the point that I had to have investigative surgery (a cystoscopy under general anesthesia) to shed light on why they were so frequent.  They found I had interstitial cystitis where the inside walls of my bladder had become so red and inflamed from constant infections that I was suffering stabbing pain, serious discomfort while urinating, and sexual intercourse ignited pain that lasted for several days.

I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant called nortriptyline to treat the interstitial cystitis, but the bladder infections and UTIs still continued.  I also suffered some serious health complications from the medication, like black outs.  I finally came off the tablets in preference of some marked changes in my diet and life and natural tools to rebalance the bacteria in my gut and bladder.

How did I get to that point?

I learnt through my experience with Eden that we live in symbiosis with the bacteria that inhabit the Gastro-Intestinal tracts in our bodies.  There are more of these bacteria than cells in our body.  It is an extremely fine balance of friendly bacteria and unfriendly bacteria/fungi/yeast/parasites. If we allow the latter to overgrow we activate the immune system and impair barrier function, which can lead to chronic diseases.

The problems we suffered with Eden and moreover, how nobody seemed to know how to help us or what was wrong for a good while, made me go away do significant research and learned a lot.  For Eden her intestinal permeability led to many symptoms outside of her GI tract, like thrush and other skin rashes, headaches, congestion, abdominal pain, extreme bloating, constipation and diarrhea, that all led to disruption of her sleep and restlessness,  and ultimately…. a bladder infection.  This got me thinking!  I was already suspicious that my gut was out of balance, based on other problems I had suffered in the past. I had many predisposing factors that would prevent my body from working optimally and create an imbalance – early and frequent exposure to antibiotics as a child and teen, chronic use of chemical birth control, which dries out mucosal tissue from tip to tail, creating a breeding ground for bad bacteria; A LOT of stress, disordered eating (a diagnosed eating disorder as a teen). Then, because of how Eden was born with such an imbalance of her own I considered, if I recreated my own gut bacteria balance by removing the undesirable organisms and restoring the desirable bacteria, while I worked through this process with Eden would my bladder problems reduce?

The result was YES!

The first thing I did was identify all the things in our lives that were increasing our toxic load, (heavy metals such as chemicals, mercury, pesticides, and herbicides) and attempt to reduce them, in order to restore immune function (our bacteria are an integral part of our immune system, helping it to distinguish between ‘friend and foe’).

I hadn’t realised until I started reading labels how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles.  Not to mention in the food we eat!  I began to opt for organic food and began to cut chemical products out one by one and replace them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

Then I attacked the food intolerances I suspected Eden had head on!  Eden and I did a full elimination diet to identify problem foods and then we removed them.

I also made other dietary changes.  I began eating some fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut to help re-colonize my bodywith helpful bacteria. We cut out refined sugar completely because it feeds the bad bacteria and we cut down on grains that are high in carbohydrates, so break down into sugar and also feed yeast and bad bacteria growth.

As I realised the bacterial imbalance was not only in my gut, but in my bladder, I started taking D-mannose (500mg 4x daily) to prevent bacterial buildup in my bladder directly.

I used a course of Oregano Essential Oil (5 drops 3x daily in 250ml water for 3 days) because it is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

I then started on quality Probiotics.  I visited Nicola John’s Pharmacy in Glen Innes, Auckland, upon the advice of my awesome midwife with Jade and talked to her about how I could increase the good bacteria in my bladder and gut and reduce the growth of the infection-causing bacteria.

And I took Cranberry tablets (400-500mg 2x daily) to prevent bacteria from sticking to my bladder walls.

Vitamin C (1,000mg 3x daily) was also introduced to make my wee more acidic, so that the growth of E.coli was inhibited, my immune function enhanced.  Eden’s bladder infection was identified as caused by E.coli, so this was important for both of us.

In making these changes I have changed my life.  And I thank Eden for that, for leading me to a better way.  Although what we went through with her was awful and horrific for everyone it has opened my eyes to so many different things that were impacting my own health and as a family we are now so much healthier!

If you are suffering with frequent bladder infections and UTIs I obviously advise seeing a doctor as I am not one of those!  However, investigate some of the things that helped me and if you think they might be able to help you, give them a try because living with the pain and discomfort of frequent infections is awful and as I found can be seriously damaging to your bladder.

To get hold of quality Oregano Essential Oil that you can take internally, visit my doTERRA retail store and feel free to contact me with any questions!

Much Love x x

 

What’s in your Natural Toolbox?

As a mum it is great to feel empowered to know what to reach for when your kids get sick, so that you can soothe their discomfort and suffering immediately and naturally and feel confident that you are making the right choices.

I know as mums we question every day whether those choices we make are the right ones and we always have questions!  Rest assured this is a good thing.  As we ask questions we learn and grow.  We will make mistakes along the way, but instead of feeling guilty about these we must acknowledge the good we do every day also!

jade-2 Post probiotics “whoopsie” with my youngest!  She sneezed….!

For today’s blog I thought it would be helpful to share what is in my Natural Toolbox and my ‘go-to’ uses.  This information forms part of the ‘My Family Remedies Course’ I offer to mums.  I know they find the course really useful.  It is quite an in depth discovery of the primary uses for essential oils in common childhood illnesses.

The oils I take you through are doTERRA’s Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Melaleuca, Oregano, Frankincense, Deep Blue®, Breathe, DigestZen®, and On Guard™.  Alongside these in my Natural Toolbox I keep Vitamin C, Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar, Arnica, Colloidal silver and Chamomilla.

However, the oils I find I reach for most, and those I will introduce in this blog are Melaleuca, Lavender and On Guard™.  At the hint of a cold or the flu I start with Vitamin C straight away and get On Guard™ in the diffuser.  I then apply 1 drop each of Lavender and Melaleuca mixed with 2 tablespoons of Fractionated Coconut oil to the bottoms of the feet every couple of hours. To really open up the airways I use lemon in babies and Breathe in children,  but the Melaleuca and On Guard will suffice on the feet to help kill viruses and bacteria.  Rollerballs are really handy for this.  It’s also important to know how to dilute essential oils appropriately for babies and children though.  I will be going through this in detail at my Essential Oils Basics Workshop on October 12th.  This is an entry by koha workshop that I really recommend to mums as a starting point with Essential Oils.

Another thing we go through with babies and young children often is ear aches and infections.  You can use Melaleuca and Lavender in this instance too.  Just dilute 1-2 drops of Melaleuca and/or Lavender and apply around the ear (NOT inside the ear) and along the back of the cheek bone down & around behind the ear. You can also add Basil to help with the pain.  Did you know that about 70 percent of children get better on their own within two or three days of an ear infection, and about 80 percent are better within a week to 10 days, without antibiotics?

Melaleuca and Lavender can also be used in cases of stings, burns, cuts, scrapes, chickenpox, measles and Hand Foot and Mouth.

However, prevention is better than a cure in the case of these latter illnesses and this is where On Guard® comes in really handy.  Our littlies encounter germs every day, however hard we try to protect them from them.  They bring these germs home on their shoes, hands, clothes!  We can’t protect them all the while they are out, and encountering these germs and bacteria is necessary for building strong immune systems, but it is nice to think we can keep our homes relatively germ free without heavy chemicals.  This is why I use doTERRA’s OnGuard® range around my home to kill germs and as an immunity booster.

If you are interested in learning Essential Oil Basics and are local to Auckland, please come along to my next workshop on October 12th!  Just click here and complete the contact form to book your space.

Happy kids = Happy Mum!

jade kids-happy-and-healthy

Much Love x x

Achieving Hormonal Balance

Let’s face it, being mum is a crazy journey! It’s exhilarating and exhausting all at once, we have days where we feel like superwoman and we have days where we feel like Superman when he’s on kryptonite. What we don’t need as women is an unhealthy hormone balance to screw with our mood, emotions and our weight, which screws with our self-esteem, our digestion, our sleep and other key areas of our life as well!

Essential oils can be be very powerful in rebalancing our hormones. Unlike drugs you may be prescribed by a doctor, the oils do not contain hormones, but have properties that stimulate hormone production and balance. First of all, how do we recognize our hormones are out of sync?

There are a variety of symptoms that we can look out for:

  • irritability, anxiousness
  • PMS
  • menopausal symptoms that interfere with day to day life
  • heavy periods, irregular cycles
  • inability to lose weight
  • breast tenderness
  • hair loss
  • fatigue, insomnia
  • hypothyroidism
  • lack of sex drive
  • dryness “down below”
  • Sore joints and tendonitis
  • increase in belly fat.

This is just a few indications that your hormones could be out of balance.  And it can be different hormones “out of whack.”

The following oils can balance estrogen levels:

  • Clary Sage and fennel (both phytoestrogenic oils)
  • Lavender (naturally lowers cortisol levels)
  • Frankincense (balances hormone levels, which reduces symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause)
  • Basil (great for period pain and increases the body’s natural response to both physical and emotional stress, while conditioning you to cope better)
  • Geranium (an adaptogen oil ).

I use Geranium every day for its overall balancing effect on female hormones.  As I am breastfeeding I have suspected low estrogen, but I also suffer from adrenal fatigue, so this is a great oil for me. I rub it over my kidneys mixed in fractionated coconut oil and frankincense daily. Of course, stress can also cause low estrogen in all its different guises (dietary, emotional, too much work and not enough sleep, environmental toxins, or pain and inflammation) and it definitely causes adrenal fatigue over an extended period of time. So it’s really important to work on this also to avoid a state of chronic stress that causes your cortisol levels to rise, which in turn causes drops in estrogen and progesterone that can cause menstrual irregularities, weight gain, estrogen dominance, and infertility.

Out of all the essential oils listed above Clary sage is the most commonly related to hormone balance and has been used since Medieval times for balancing hormones and relieving pain.  You can dilute a few drops in fractionated coconut oil and rub into your ankles daily. Or, if menstrual cramps are painful, rub the mixture directly onto your stomach and ovary area for pain relief. Add geranium to the blend to enhance pain relief.

You can also add a few drops of clary sage and geranium to a warm bath and enjoy a soak.  Or buy my Balancing Bath Melts that use this blend.

There is a great article on the doTERRA blog about hormonal balance, which also talks about the importance of diet in hormonal balance and introduces some of the doTERRA products available for hormone health. For example, the doTERRA® Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex contains plant-based phytoestrogens, flax seed extract, and pomegranate extract. The ClaryCalm® Monthly Blend is a specially formulated blend of 12 essential oils that can be applied to the skin for a soothing effect.

There are other things you can do to support your hormonal balance.  Dietary stress (eating the wrong foods for your body, or too many processed foods), emotional stress, too much work and not enough sleep and environmental toxins have a hugely negative effect on your hormone balance.  I refer a lot in this blog to reducing your toxic load by following a more natural way of life.  I have decided to elaborate on this and other ways to get and stay healthy in a free 30-page e-book available when you subscribe to my newsletter.  Look out for the launch of this on my Facebook page in the next few weeks!

The final thing I recommend to keep hormonal imbalances from wreaking havoc is a Liver Detox with Lemon Essential Oil.  The liver regulates the sex hormones, primarily estrogen.

A Dutch study has found that the compounds in lemon peels, a large component of doTERRA’s lemon essential oil, improve liver functions like hormone regulation by lowering liver cholesterol.  You can add 1-5 drops of lemon essential oil to a glass of 250ml water each morning and drink before you eat or drink anything else. I do this for blocks of 6-12 weeks when I feel my body needs it.

You can also buy my beautifully delicate blend of Evening Primrose Oil and doTERRA Balance, Frankincense, Geranium, Clary Sage and Lavender in a rollerball for $10.

I add Balance to the oils I recommend above because it contains Blue Chamomile, Ho Wood and Frankincense to support with stress, quiet the mind and uplift mood, but also Spruce that has a hormone mimicking action that helps reestablish balance, especially in the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal and reproductive glands. You can apply to the t-zone on your face and rub in like a moisturiser nightly, apply directly to hormonal breakouts or use on the soles of your feet/ankles daily to support hormonal balance. Contact me to order yours now.

Oils can also be ordered in these handy packs of 4 mini bottles in a beautiful purple or black carry case that you can take out and about with you for use when you need to.  $60 with your choice of 4 oils.

IMAG1721_1

Please note, what works for one person may not work for another and my experience/products should not replace advice from a doctor.

Much love x x

How Essential Oils Can Boost Your Weight Loss

Today I am chugging away on my Slim & Sassy essential oil blend after food cravings got the better of me yesterday!  It made me wonder if people actually know how helpful essential oils are when it comes to a weight loss/fitness journey, so I thought I’d share some facts!

As you may or may not know, I coach TERRAfit challenges.  I also take part in them when I have my own personal goals to meet.  At the moment I am training towards my next muay thai fight.  My essential oils and doTERRA products are a big part of why/how I succeed. Now I am back into my muay thai training they are making a big difference there too.

Essential oils are a catalyst that can help you reach your goals faster and boost the effectiveness of your efforts.

A key reason for this is digestion.

Digestion is paramount to your health and maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy digestive system allows the proper nutrient absorption needed for overall health. The blend that I am drinking today, Slim & Sassy contains Grapefruit Peel, Lemon Peel, Peppermint Plant, Ginger Root, and Cinnamon Bark essential oils that help promote digestive health, but also healthy metabolism, help manage hunger cravings, calm your stomach and lift your mood!  Slim & Sassy is also a diuretic, stimulant, and is calorie free.

Maintaining healthy insulin and sugar levels is imperative to weight management. Eating healthy, nutritionally dense foods along with using essential oils like cinnamon and grapefruit will increase your chances of maintaining healthy weight loss.

Another thing that I know influences my eating and weight patterns are hormones!  I am in the process of writing a whole blog about essential oils and hormonal balance, but for now let it be said, essential oils can be amazing for healthy hormonal balance!

Hormones assist just about every function in the body. Hormonal imbalances dramatically affect weight management. Essential oils are uniquely intelligent and work with hormones for cellular communication.

Check out this video and blog from Dr Axe about his top 3 essential oils to balance hormones naturally.

The other essential oils that I generally use with my Slim & Sassy are Lemon, Wild Orange and Frankincense.  These detoxify and boost energy levels significantly and the citrus oils and frankincense in particular support healthy adrenal function as well, which is really important for me, as I am currently battling adrenal fatigue. Basil, coriander and geranium are also helpful for adrenal health.

It has been suggested that a major reason we hold onto weight is because of toxicity. Many of the doTERRA products I sell are aimed helping us reduce our “toxic load”.  We encounter toxins daily and the organs that help to filter toxins are overloaded. Toxins accumulate in our fat cells and until we can eliminate the toxins the fat cells are there to stay, so use your lemon oil every day for a period of time, along with clean eating and exercise to detoxify.  You will also get gloriously soft skin.

Next, circulation is important to increasing tone and shedding excess fat.   Essential oils that help with circulation are cypress, basil, rosemary, cinnamon, peppermint, lemongrass and frankincense. You can apply the oils before, during and after workouts.

The final two areas in which essential oils can be really helpful are respiratory function and endurance.  Your muscles need oxygen to repair themselves after exercise.  They will repair faster with essential oils.  Blends like Breathe improve your respiratory function and peppermint oil is being studied with athletes for its effectiveness at increasing endurance levels, with positive results. I have a fellow kickboxer trialing peppermint essential oil at the moment, so watch this space for her feedback!

If you want a one-to-one chat about how essential oils might be able to support your weight loss and/or fitness, drop me an email to nzessentialmum@gmail.com.  I can also share more info about the TERRAfit challenges!  You can buy essential oils and the Slim & Sassy Product Line at my retail shop.  Click here.

slim &amp; sassy range

Much Love until next time x x

Essential Mum

 

The Long Hard Road with Eden Continues

For the last 2 weeks my husband and I have had very little sleep. The days have almost been as hard as the nights. Eden has been constantly waking, screaming in her sleep, inexplicably distraught. This impacts her days and she has walked around a little shadow of herself with dark circles under her eyes, irritable, highly sensitive, with little appetite and so so tired. You question your qualities/abilities as a parent as you start to struggle to cope. With Eden’s background, you also start to question ‘what’s changed?’

Well, a few things have in truth. She’s a brand new owner of a little sister and still not over the moon about it (especially having to share her daddy).  We challenged eggs a couple of months ago and thought we’d had a positive result, in that they didn’t go straight through her. She is very constipated, which I think may be down to letting her eat too much fruit (this does block her up) and failing to get her to eat enough vegetables. She also had a terrible reaction to soy a few weeks ago, which she did take almost a week to recover from and it was awful.

As usual we have used the essential oils to manage her symptoms. I made up a rollerball with doTERRA’s blends digestzen and on guard, plus bergamot to help rebalance the gut flora. I have also used the doTERRA blend serenity at night and we are trying a homeopathic recipe for the constipation. Of course they help manage the symptoms, but they aren’t removing the root of the problem, which I hadn’t identified… Until this morning.

I had a lightbulb moment. When we had Eden’s hair tested last year she demonstrated an intolerance to sulphites, which kind of made sense because I had seen her react to naturally occurring sulphites, but we don’t eat the processed and refined foods that sulphites are generally added to, like sugar, dessicated coconut and canned foods.

However, the earth has sulfur in it naturally, and therefore, so do many food products that come from the earth. For example, grapes, oranges and eggs that come from chickens. Some otherwise healthy vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, garlic, onions, chives and leeks contain sulphites naturally. Rapeseed, which is used in canola oil, is another culprit. Strawberries, blackberries, plums, coconut and other fruits also contain varying amounts of natural sulfites. Eden has reacted to all of these things in the past.  Another thing she consistently eats is peanut butter; every day. I had cut these things out after the hair test and her sleep improved massively, but as her grandma was still giving her the odd bit of peanut butter and because it is so difficult to get her to eat anything I had gradually let the naturally occurring sulphites back in and peanut butter particularly she has been having daily. Is this at the root of all our troubles?

The worst thing about when Eden is reacting is that she is horrible. She shouts, she hits and she says hurtful things. Some people might say that this is a normal part of being 3 years old, but having seen the difference in Eden when she isn’t reacting I disagree.

I guess the other thing is that because reactions, especially intolerances aren’t talked about or understood as much as allergies or something like coeliacs disease, it sometimes isn’t taken seriously. If I hear the words, a little bit won’t hurt one more time…

Either way, I think I am onto something. From today I will cut the sulphites back out and see if we start to get some sleep. I will keep you posted.  If this story resonates with you, please stop by my facebook page, Mummy Munchies, for recipes and link shares for advice.

To any other mums (and dads!) that are struggling right now, in whatever way, Kia Kaha ❤

Much love x x

For information, Eden shows reaction to foods in her behaviour, sleep, tummy troubles and thrush, congestion and on her skin. Reactions can be very individual. Reactions to sulphites can be extremely varied, but can worsen asthma and adhd, cause night terrors, insomnia, sleep walking and other sleep disturbance as well as other symptoms. Fedup.com.au is a great resource for information if you suspect food intolerance/allergies. However, always seek assistance from a doctor if you are worried and before you consider an elimination diet.