Spring is in Full Swing – My Face is Streaming! 😱

You feel me? It’s beautiful sunshine outside, blossom flourishing everywhere, garden is brimming with green and you just want to get out and enjoy the change in season!

However… Your eyes are puffy and itchy, your nose is streaming and you want to rip your own face off 😬

For many a spring and then also into summer too I endured epic seasonal allergy symptoms. Before I started my natural journey I used to use antihistamines, but because of the severity and duration of my symptoms I would be on them for months on end!

I am pretty sure this extended use of prescription drugs was one of the many things that destroyed my gut health and added to my toxic load. And I’m also pretty sure my general state of health and bad diet were making my seasonal allergy symptoms worse! As you’ll know if you follow my blog, I’ve cleaned up my diet a lot and cut most of what was adding to my toxic load out. I do still suffer with symptoms though as we head into the spring/summer season, but I have found some really good natural remedies that help.

Read on as I share them!

1. Neti Pot & Saline

This is a really simple and effective idea. Pollen, dust, other particles hold onto the insides of our nose and the saline washes them away! It takes a while to get used to the sensation, but it is relatively effective!

2. Probiotics

Lactobacillus GG and L. gasseri are believed to be two of the best probiotics for allergies, along with L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis! Look for these in the ingredients of the probiotic you choose. I use the doTERRA PB Assist. Click here for more details.

3. Local honey

When a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.

I’ve got to say, I’m not sure if my love of local honey has helped my allergies or not. I just love local honey!

4. DNA Testing

Now this is a key one. And pretty advanced thinking too. One of the many things our genes show is whether we are prone to inflammation! If we are we can eat in a way that prevents inflammation, which should also help curb our allergy sysymptoms. The DNA test I took provides a detailed summary of how to eat and how to exercise and as our DNA never changes, it is information I can refer to for years to come when making decisions about my health. The test I used also sequences with life-sensing technology to keep the DNA information relevant to the present day because genes are predetermined and particular gene variants can affect the body in real-time. Learn more here

5. Allergy Testing

You know you are sneezing and it’s spring, but is that the full picture?

Many foods or drinks that we consume, especially on a daily basis, can affect our health and wellbeing and are linked to many unwanted effects including fatigue, headaches, skin problems, breathing problems as well as affecting our immune, nervous and digestive systems.

 

Www.allergytest.co.nz are the most helpful, most straightforward and most convenient allergy test service I have found. You can test from the comfort of your own home and choose the level of testing you have according to your budget. You an really get a full picture of the foods and environmental substances that are affecting you. Click here to learn more!

6. Essential Oils

There are 3 essential oils I have used to ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies: peppermint, lemon and lavender.

Lavender is so soothing and has natural antihistamine properties. Peppermint is known to reduce inflammation and clear respiratory passages. And lemon is also a natural antihistamine and naturally cleansing and gives you that lift when the drag of seasonal symptoms brings you down!

Using these 3 oils together is a great idea because they work better synergistically, but I have to be honest in that they have only been able to take the edge off for me when using them topically and aromatically. I raised this with another doTERRA Wellness Advocate and she suggested trying Triease, which is a capsule to take them internally. She suggested that the dose is more targeted and the body’s response to the oils quicker. I know there is some controversy over ingesting essential oils, so read more about that if you are concerned, here.

Learn more about Triease here.

If you want to purchase any of the doTERRA products, visit my web store here! And read why I chose to be an Advocate for this phenominal wellness company here!

Next we’ll tackle Mosquitoes! 😯

Much Love,

Essential Mum x x

 

 

 

How to peel back the layers of your #anxietyonion & get to the core of what you need

Having anxiety when you are a mum can be challenging because we often put everyone else first, meaning focus on our own wellbeing can be lacking.  However, I’d like you to see this blog as a message of hope because my recovery began when I became a mum.  Having Eden gave me all the reason in the world to recover and was the beginning of my becoming positively selfish (you can learn more about this in my podcast, here).

However, if I have learnt anything from my 10 year long relationship with anxiety, it’s that recovery is not straightforward.  It transcends our physical, mental and spiritual state.  I’ve learned to think of it like an onion and I’d like to help you unpeel its layers.

So if you are feeling anxious right now, or have been diagnosed with anxiety, or are navigating the complex recovery process, or are supporting somebody else to do so, this blog is for you.

I am not a doctor, I am not diagnosing you and I’m not even really making any recommendations, I am just sharing what happened and what worked for me in the hopes it helps you.

The external layer of your onion – your anxiety’s cause

A cause of anxiety is something that caused your anxiety disorder to be a part of you in the first place.

For some people there is no obvious cause, but for others there is a clear link to your situation and your anxiety starting.  For me it was a pressured work environment.  Don’t get me wrong, other things contributed in the lead up to it, which broke down my resilience, but the long-term, persistent stress was the tipping point for me and was the catalyst to my long-term anxiety issues. I have had friends and family members who have developed anxiety after living with cancer, and others who have developed anxiety after troubled relationships or loss.  My first step in recovering from my anxiety was to get away from its cause.  Obviously this is not possible for everyone, but if you can move away from the cause of your anxiety, I really recommend that you should, to open up the space to heal, which for me started in my physical state, rather than my mental state.

The next layer of my onion – my physical state

I am sharing this as a really important layer of everyone’s anxiety onion (should I hashtag that? #anxietyonion?) because it wasn’t until I had become physically more healthy that I realised that my physical health had played such a significant part in breaking down my mental resilience to cope with life. Of course, the persistent stress was also damaging my physical health, so it was a revolving cycle; a mess.  My recommendation is that if you are having anxious feelings right now, make an extra effort to do the following things:

  • Clean up your diet
  • Kick out the processed stuff and replace with clean, homemade food that is low in sugar and other rubbish like preservatives
  • Add in a probiotic to your day
  • And start taking a good multivitamin.  (I take these.)  B Vitamins, magnesium, vitamin d and other vitamins, minerals and even amino acids like Tryptophan can all have a positive impact on your anxious feelings.

The third layer of my onion – Counseling/Coaching

Counseling is one of the first things a doctor will offer somebody who is suffering with anxiety (alongside medication), and for some it works really well. For me I felt it was a load off to talk about the the things that were bothering me, but that was all it was, a load off.

Then in 2016 I was offered a sponsorship to train to become a life coach. As part of this I received a lot of coaching and it was transformational. Read more here.

And if coaching or counseling is something you haven’t tried yet, give it a go. Talk to me about the difference between the two and what might serve you best.

The fourth layer of my onion – are my daily actions nourishing or draining?

How we spend our time can massively impact our anxious feelings.  If we spend all of our time around noxious people, sit in front of a screen all day, never get outside, listen to bad news and lie awake all night fretting, we are going to feel low and drained, which is like swinging the door open for the anxious feelings to come in.

If we instead try to do things that lift us and make us feel good, it gives us the resilience to keep those anxious feelings out.  I didn’t know any of this in the early days of my recovery.  It was in my personal development that I learned about our personal energy and how everything we are is energy and about how we can either vibrate high or low.  And it’s the nourishing things that keep our vibration high, which keeps anxiety out (mostly).

I started to learn about Gratitude Walking and Earthing and the power of nature and sunlight. I started to look critically at the people I was spending most time with, the things I was reading and listening to and paying attention to what made me feel good so I could do more of it.

Kickboxing has always been something that has made me feel better. Exercise gets our heart beating and increases our good hormones, and helps us sleep (which is also important to how we feel.)

Prior to my life coaching I’d started kickboxing because someone had recommended exercise to ease how I was feeling and I literally tried the first class I saw a sign for on the way home from work! I was instantly hooked. I never intended it to be anything more than a hobby, but after Eden was born I ended up saying yes to a fight! Turned out to be transformative in how I looked at my anxiety disorder. For all this time I had been experiencing this irrational fight or flight feeling and then suddenly, there I was heading into real combat with a real reason to feel my cortisol burn. And yet, by focusing on the trust in my training and the end goal I was able to control the feeling and function. It wasn’t until my life coaching that I understood the power of this perspective and how to use it in my daily life to face the fears that didn’t exist outside of my mind.

The final part of my onion – the core

I refer to this as the core of my onion because it took a state of real self-awareness to understand it, and that self awareness mainly came from all the other work I did on myself, as I peeled away the other layers. However, the other reason it is a core issue, is that without getting a handle on this, however many times you think you have a handle on your anxiety it will always trip you up again. It’s the panic attack that takes you by surprise, the sudden fall from Zen to chaos and the middle of the night when you suddenly can’t sleep and it feels like the hands are closing round your throat. This sudden return to anxious even if you have had months of being OK is caused by triggers. This is different to the cause of your anxiety, you may long have moved on from that, but it is like your body remembers how it feels to be in certain situations and puts you in the state of fight or flight all over again. For me it was the multitasking that juggling motherhood with a business brought, the chaos that unfolds with small people and the pressure of success. It was crazy because I’d be under pressure on the Monday and feel nothing, then multitasking on the Tuesday and feel nothing, then do nothing on Wednesday and be hit with a panic attack! It wasn’t until I started wearing my Helo that I started to identify the triggers that were causing my heart rate to rise and my breathing to hasten way before I spiralled into a panic attack. To figure things out I started to journal what I was doing each day then I would reference that with my Helo data that gets stored in a Lifelog, so you can see exactly what every single one of your bioparameters is doing at every moment through the day; even down to your mood and energy levels. I saw very quickly that there was a clear pattern between trying to work from home when the kids were there and my spiral into an anxious state, so I was able to make simple changes to my day that had a big impact on how I felt! I also used my Helo to stay on track because if I slipped back into bad habits, my bioparameters reminded me to take a look again at what I was doing. I don’t think I could have progressed as quickly as I did without this sort of accountability!

HOPE

What if our experiences are exactly what we need?

I ask this question because my anxiety disorder changed my life, in a good way.  It got me to question certain things and make changes and ultimately get to a better place of health, mental calm, spiritual awareness and now I am helping others to do the same.  If we can alter our energy about the things that are happening to us we immediately change our vibration and this helps us to feel hope.  It helps us to find the motivation to move forward and helps us set the intention to make positive change.

Much Love x x

Has this blog been helpful to you?  I would love you to reach out in the comments.  And please contact me directly if you would like to discuss any of the information above.

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5 Simple Things you can do to Improve Air Quality inside your Home

I watched the most incredible video the other day…

It talked about how we have become the “Indoor Generation”.

We have filled our homes with everything we need and more, so we don’t need to go outside anymore…

Apparently we spend 90% of our time indoors and have left nature behind…

We have replaced daylight with artificial light and boxed ourselves in with walls, so nothing can escape.  The activities that we do in our homes – showers, play, exercise, cooking, cleaning, using our technology – they all leave a trail of pollutants, chemicals and moisture that can’t get out.  They are trapped between our 4 walls and so are absorbed by our bodies and trapped in the dust that we breathe on a daily basis….

Am I over-reacting?  Over-exaggerating?  It’s not like we fill our homes with cigarette smoke like we did before we realised that was harmful, is it?

You’re right.  It seems obvious now that smoking is bad for you.  However, back in the first half of the last century, things were very different. Medical textbooks were largely empty on the subject, and smoking was often seen as part of growing up.  The Royal College of Physicians made their recommendations on tobacco in 1962, 10 years after research started to show harm.  Only then did things start to change.  And it took 50 years to take them off display in shops.

Does that remind you of anything?

Just a couple of years ago, in a landmark alliance known as Project TENDR, leaders of various disciplines came together in a consensus statement to say that many of the chemicals found in everyday products can result in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and attention-deficit disorders.

Co-chairwoman of the Project, Irva Hertz-Picciotto said, “Ten years ago, this consensus wouldn’t have been possible, but the research is now abundantly clear…

Frederica Perera, (a signatory on the statement) Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University said at the time “At some point, we say we know enough to take preventative action.”

What clues does this pattern give us about what is to come?

To me, the answer is clear.  We may not be able to fully explain the toxic burden of tour everyday necessities (or moreover, get clear guidance from Governments), but we can clearly see from emerging science that much of the plastic, furniture, baby products, cosmetics, personal care products and TECHNOLOGY we use day to day may be carcinogenic, and at the very least are wreaking havoc with our natural systems.

Wait a minute Clare… TECHNOLOGY?

In March this year (2018), an external expert panel reviewed the draft Technical Reports of a $25 million study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).  They studied rats and mice to help clarify the potential health hazards, including cancer risk, from exposure to cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation.  New-generation mobile telephones are part of an increasing number of technologies, like WiFi, that are increasing the radiofrequency exposure of the general population.

RF exposure caused by our modern need to be constantly connected is another issue that we, as the general public are little informed about, despite the facts that:

  • Human exposure is widespread
  • Current exposure guidelines are based largely on protection from acute injury from thermal effects and haven’t been reviewed for 20 years
  • Currently available human studies have found evidence of an increased risk of cancer from cell phone use
  • Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are now passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children’s use of wireless devices

Here in New Zealand we are generally, blissfully, unawares of the impact our technology is having on the developing brains of our children.

We know that brain development is the most complete and most rapid during the first nine months, prenatally, and during that time, neural connections and pathways are being developed.  Any interference by a physical stress like a toxic chemical or other stressor like electromagnetic frequencies can disrupt this natural progression that is so very delicate and complex.  The fetus is particularly vulnerable to microwave radiation. It can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons.  After birth our children continue to absorb more radiation from technology than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller. The World Health Organisation has declared radiation from wireless devices a possible human carcinogen and children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen.  And the consequences of exposure are anything but immediate.  Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood.

So, what can we do to stay healthy and protect our children?

The answer for me is also clear.  Take back our control and take preventative action.

2016, the year of the release of NTPs Study, is exactly 20 years since the EMF Project started.  This is the biggest and most acknowledged study so far, but other smaller, peer-reviewed studies (over 300 of them from 40-something countries) have preceded it, linking the increase in things like asthma, insomnia, autism, and even depression to our exposure to microwave radiation.

It is my belief that like with chemicals and tobacco before it, we will soon become very aware of the impact our technology is having on our health, but by then the harm will already have been done.  And worse, the majority of harm will have been done to our children…

Toys that emit RFs are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Kids spend hours on tablets and play with our mobile phones.  Having a mobile phone of their own is a rite of passage.  A standard part of growing up (like tobacco was?)  Stay at home mums and dad sit and work on the laptop while the kids play in close proximity on the floor.  Our WiFi routers run constantly.  We use cordless telephones and baby monitors that sit inches from our babies’ brains.  Digital dementia is being reported in school age children.  A study has shown when cellphones are placed in teenage girls’ bras multiple primary breast cancer develop beneath where the phones are placed.  Ipads and tablets were never tested in the laps of little children and yet they are being expected to take them to school and learn on them.  All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to RF and that exposure limit for laptops, computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body.

My list could go on and on…  I have been researching this issue for over a year now and I made a decision not to let my children be part of a mass experiment.

I am taking a stand for my own family’s wellness. I am on a MISSION to help other mamas too…

If you follow my blog or Facebook Page, you will have followed my journey replacing chemicals with essential oils and you will have seen the benefits we have experienced in our health, so hopefully you trust that when I say I know my shit, I know my shit… 😉

So, if you haven’t started the non-toxic journey yourself yet, this is a great place to start.

And whether you have or whether you haven’t, here are 5 tips with things you should start TODAY, if you aren’t doing them already, to reduce your toxic exposure!

  1.  When you get up in the morning, open windows, whatever the temperature outside
  2. Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum and use it every day
  3. Let as much natural light as you can into your home and avoid using artificial light as a substitute to increase positive mood and energy
  4. Review how much time you spend outside (this EXCLUDES an urban setting, which doesn’t count) and increase it
  5. Start using EMF Protection

If you have any questions or need any help with anything, please feel free to reach out to me

Much Love x x x

Get The Happiness Habit

In my Emotional Balance e-book I tell you “this is where you start to release and receive.”

I tell you this from first hand experience. There are a lot of weeds tied up in my emotional soil. Small ones and big ones.  The final step in healing from them is releasing them.

While memories fade, our body doesn’t forget.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean by this…

I was made to feel incredibly ashamed, small and embarrassed at a family occasion once when I began to discuss my ideas around finding childcare so that I could go back to work part time. At the time I was feeling incredibly guilty and sad about having to go back to work at all. It was only for financial reasons. The response I got was like a stab in the stomach. My guts physically twisted and I thought I was going to be sick. My body burned with embarrassment and shame and I had to take myself off to the toilet to recompose.

Now, when I think about asking for help from anyone regarding the girls I start to feel these same physical sensations. That tiny ripple in time has left a significant physiological imprint in my body. The similar sensations I start to feel now as I begin to consider asking for help are my body remembering. And the thing is, needing help with my girls is inevitable, so these sensations aren’t helpful. I am a working mum with one very high needs child and her sister and the consequence of not asking for help is leaving me exhausted.

So how does one release the painful memories stored in their body?

I am addressing this in a blog because I am doing some really deep work on me at the moment. I have realised that a combination of the constant multitasking of motherhood and battle to keep bad memories in their box, with the lid shut tight where they can’t hurt me, has made me forget how to really live in the moment. In this way I have been working on meditation and consciously immersing myself fully in the moment I am in. This has included creating space to enter each moment in a peaceful, relaxed state of mind and honoring myself the space afterwards to appreciate what I have immersed myself in, even if only briefly before I move on to the next thing.

My goal is to be in a more peaceful state of being in 30 days time. I believe my self confidence is being blocked by this lack of peace and only by releasing the unhappiness of the past can I receive the happiness of my future. There are many intentions for my life that are living on Someday Island at the moment!

Last year I designed a life I truly believed would bring me happiness every day, but my emotional issues are preventing me from living it to its potential. It is time for change.

They say it takes 30 days to develop a new habit. Are you ready to develop the Happiness Habit with me?

I have done some extensive research and come up with my own plan to make that change and become the peaceful, confident person I want to be.

My essential oils have been an integral part of getting me to this point, which is what I teach you in the e-book, Emotional Balance. If you haven’t read it already I really recommend it to make a workable plan to lead a more balanced life, emotionally. We identify your triggers for emotional imbalance and the feelings that aren’t productive in your life and make a plan to manage them. Getting into a place where emotions do not obstruct you from being the person you want to be is just one part of designing a life that brings you happiness and fulfillment every day.

My own plan with the essential oils has brought me to the point I have reached now: ready and feeling able to release the emotional burden I have carried for too long. In essence, they have reconnected me to my heart.

“Essential oils raise the vibration of the physical body (Stewart, 2003.) As the body lives in higher vibrations, lower energies (such as supposed emotions) become unbearable. They want to release. Stagnant anger, sadness, grief, judgement and low self-worth cannot exist in the environment of balance and peace which essential oils help to create. Emotional healing occurs as old feelings surface and release (Morton, 1992). Sometimes this experience is confused with regression. People may perceive they are going backwards, or that the essential oils aren’t working. We are so used to symptomatic healing that we have been conditioned to view healing as the immediate cessation of all physical and emotional pain. In reality, the oils are working.” Daniel McDonald, Emotional Healing with Essential Oils.

Are you ready to develop the Happiness Habit with me? If any of what I have written resonates with you, The Happiness Habit might be of interest to you to support you on a journey to a place where your emotions remain calm and balanced.

You will get:

  • Mindfulness ideas
  • Self care ideas
  • Motivating Quotes
  • And more!

Giving yourself the permission to feel is a first step…

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The other day I cried. Like I cried buckets. I cried at Coffee Group, then I cried at the gym after sparring, then I cried all the way home. I couldn’t really explain it at the time, but the next day I felt better; lighter.

I realised that unknowingly this healing process had begun and the feelings and emotions that are part of it are uncomfortable. #beingmum to Eden has been uncomfortable and I realised that it is because of the incredibly traumatic experience we had in that first year with her, when she was at her worst. She would cry inconsolably and often physically push me away.

When you are mum it is your job to have all the answers, or you feel it is. It is certainly your job to soothe your crying baby. I would try and hold her in my arms and love her pain away. She would just bring up her knees and arch her back, pushing me away. I felt hopeless. I felt like a crap mother because I couldn’t soothe her. I felt empty of solutions to help her and exhausted by her constant cries.

Now, I have noticed that I get the same physical sensations when I run out of ideas to “reach” her. I go into this default feeling of hopeless rather than empowered. I have got on top of the physical symptoms of Eden’s condition with the oils now, just about, but we are still learning our way through the emotional stuff and in a similar way to when she was a baby when she is emotionally uncomfortable she pushes me away and my emotional response is inappropriate and rooted in the past. And it’s uncomfortable.

It is time to release. I am ready to release and receive the the joys and fulfilment of ALL of the life I designed for myself a year ago.

Are you ready to develop the Happiness Habit with me?  Click here and select “Join The Happiness Habit” from the dropdown box.  It’s completely free and I will see you there!

Much love,

Clare

Creating Community

I had such a lovely day in the community today.  I was invited by the Beachlands Community Trust to take part in their Remakery.  This is such an amazing thing for the community! A chance to learn about composting, upcycling and more. I was there with my Make & Take Workshop teaching people how to make home essentials like deodorant WITHOUT synthetic fragrance and other dangerous chemicals, like SLS and parabens.

Those of you who follow Essential Mum will know that I am on a MISSION to get those things out of our family homes and get mums using easy, natural recipes with essential oils.

There was a great turn out from the community; young and old got their hands dirty!

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It was great opportunity to answer questions about essential oils and talk about doTERRA’s amazing Co-impact sourcing, which of course was of great interest to the people at the Remakery because of their desire to make a positive difference to our world.

I am so excited about the Remakery continuing and that I have been invited back! I was also approached by a local lady who runs breastfeeding workshops to bring the essential oil education to new mums there, to help with common issues like thrush, nappy rash, disturbed sleep and baby blues naturally. I loved this opportunity (and if course said yes) and would be open to more, if anybody out there has a group that they think would benefit?

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 Jennie’s Art Projects did this little project with a child. He brought his own laundry basket and mixed up his own paint colour from leftovers. Then they painted the basket together. Good fun and a proud boy!

I urge people to also put the next Remakery, on the July 8th, into their diaries. We live in a disposable world that is causing such irreparable damage. Our children have more opportunities to learn how to waste than they do to how to conserve and protect. The Remakery is one way to change that. There were a few youngsters getting involved in my workshop today, making deodorant and room spray and multi surface cleaner and learning about the benefits of essential oils. It was great to see!

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Jenny, who runs the Remakery, from the Beachlands Community Trust is full of great ideas and enthusiasm to keep our community great and improve it too. Essential Mum is committed to supporting her ideas and efforts. Especially because she said I reminded her of a young Anne Roddick… jokes 😉

If you came along today and enjoyed the Make & Take workshop, and you’d like to learn more about the essential oils you got to experiment with, I am running a FREE workshop on the 16th at my Beachlands Home. Learn more here!

To keep up to date with events like the Make & Take, follow me on Facebook.

My next event is a Creative Vision Board session as vehicle to looking within yourself for the guidance you need to be happy and healthy.

I am a certified Life Coach and this session is part of my Design Your Life June & July Series. Come along and get creative. Bring what you would like to create on (white board/ cork board, pens/pins, something else) and I’ll provide paper and magazines, scissors, etc.

The session costs $10, including coffee and tea.

If you’d like to receive a copy of the recipes I shared at the Remakery, CLICK HERE and complete the contact form with “RECIPES” in the comments.  I’ll also send you the free copy of my eBook.

I’ll update this blog with names and links and photos as the other members of the Remakery share them with me, I was just too excited to wait before I shared the story of a wonderful day.

Thanks Beachlands Community Trust!

Much Love X X

 

“Every time I start exercising I get a cold”

I see this so much, and experience it myself when I crank up my exercise intensity. It’s important to understand why this happens, so we can prevent it and enjoy our journey towards our #Fitmama goals!
Increasing exercise stresses our body and thus weakens our immune system. So, as we increase our exercise levels we need to increase the vitamins and minerals that are going to keep our immune system strong; like vitamin c and zinc.
The preferable way to do this is through your diet, but unfortunately nowadays our soils are very depleted of the vitamins and minerals we need and so we can end up deficient and needing to supplement them.
I am a very good example of this. I eat really well. Really clean with lots of fruit and colourful veg, but when I got a blood test I found I was lacking in a few things, especially zinc, so I started on the doTERRA long-life vitality supplements and have never looked back since!  If you want to read more about this supplement system, click here.  They are only available to doTERRA Wellness Advocates, but you can read about becoming one of those here.  If you choose to buy a multivitamin over the counter, just take a look at the label carefully to check whether it contains synthetic vitamins that won’t be helpful.
We also need to get enough rest to properly recuperate between exercise sessions.  Regular moderate exercise actually boosts the immune system. So it’s a fine balance, but maybe increasing frequency rather than intensity might help.
Gyms are also germ-laden and you’re exposed to a large variety of bacteria in spite of the gym’s good cleaning and hygiene efforts. I found this out when I got a staph infection in my thumb!  I make a Cleansing Spray now for any  mats & equipment I am using. It’s really easy! Just grab a 2–4 ounce spray bottle, 5 drops of doTERRA On Guard blend, Witch hazel (¼ of spray bottle) and some Filtered water.  Combine all the ingredients together in the glass bottle. Mix well, spray, and wipe!
Finally, don’t rule out the effects of stress that is external to your new exercise regime that could be making you more susceptible to getting ill!

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!

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Much Love x x

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.

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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?!

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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!”

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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>>

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Much Love

Essential Mum x x

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