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

 

 

 

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5 Ways to Replace Harmful ‘Fragrance’ with Essential Oils

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks!
 
The chemicals in our laundry detergent, multi-surface cleaner, even DUST can cause irritation of our eyes, nose, and throat, fatigue and nausea, or even longer-term more serious effects like respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.

Most of us are aware of outdoor pollutants, such as fuel exhaust and smoke. But

indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air!  And we are much less vigilant about it, so I thought I’d help you out by sharing 5 ways to swap out one of the BIG chemical emissions in your home…  FRAGRANCE (also listed as “parfum)!!
Have you seen this harmless word on the ingredients list of your favourite detergent or beauty products?
From Dr. Axe:
“A National Academy of Sciences points out some vital facts: About 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). They include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene and many other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. (1) Unfortunately, 30 years later, toxic ingredients continue turn up in products we use and breathe in on a daily basis. Some of the worst toxic ingredients used in lotions, shampoos, laundry detergents, cleaning products and so much more include synthetic scents, often listed as on labels as the elusive “fragrance.” And many on the list are known or suspected endocrine disruptors, compounds that tinker with hormonal health that can trigger weight gain and even set you up for diseases decades down the line.”
If you are ready to start making a positive change TODAY, here is my top 5 ways to get started!
1.  Make your own deoderant
Just fill a glass spray bottle with 120ml magnesium oil and add 15 drops of doTERRA Lemon.  Or if you prefer not to make your own, or like a solid deoderant, one is available at my Online Apothecary
2. Make your own multi-purpose cleaner
Grab, preferably, a glass spray bottle (these ones are great!)  Add in a 1:3 ratio of white vinegar to water and 30 drops doTERRA On Guard Essential Oil.  On Guard contains a proven mix of certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils that when together work effectively to kill bacteria and viruses.  I have used On Guard to clear an antibiotic resistant staph infection and a clinical study found it effective against the H1N1 flu virus.  The science is emerging on this incredible blend, but I’d recommend it for everything!  Read more here.
To buy essential oils, click here
3.  Ditch the perfume!!!!!
Please, I know it is hard to give up your favourite scent, but the chemicals and the harm they can cause in perfume will surprise you.  And our littlies breathe these chemicals too!  With essential oils you can get a nice smell and a therapeutic effect.  There will be lots of recipes to try on pinterest if you do a search, or visit my board for inspiration!
Pick Me Up and Calm Me Down also have a beautiful perfume as well as HUGE emotional benefits.  Take a look here!

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4. Go no poo!

To be honest, the synthetic fragrance in your shampoo is probably the least of your worries!  The harsh chemical mix in shampoos and conditioners strips your hair of its natural oils, ultimately making it more greasy and less healthy, and the myriad of chemicals are absorbed into our bodies and do significant damage (some are reportedly linked to cancer).

Instead you can easily make your own shampoo that leaves your hair feeling gorgeous!  You can make using ingredients you have in your pantry, plus essential oils!

 

  • Honey (preferably raw and unfiltered) and/or coconut milk
  • Distilled water
  • An essential oil
  • A simple container or pump of some sort
  • A spoon. This is to mix all of the ingredients together.

 

I choose a mix of lavender and Rosemary from my shampoo because I find the lavender soothing and rosemary oil is wonderful for promoting hair growth, soothing dry scalps, and adding volume to your locks.

5. Replace your air freshener/wax melt/any synthetic frangrance with a diffuser

For all of the reasons above, synthetic scents to freshen the air in your home have to go.  Did you know indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air??  This is because of all of those chemicals emitted from the products we use every day and also the electrosmog emitted from our mobile devices.
I’m really passionate about helping people to move away from synthetic scents and other chemicals because they can cause a myriad of problems, including migraines, skin problems and asthma attacks, and our babies just deserve better.  They emerge from the safe, controlled environment of our wombs into a world that is fraught with risks.  Chemical scents are one we can protect them from, and according to the Breast Cancer Fund, when it comes to the prevention of cancer, avoiding synthetic fragrance is one of the main ways to help yourself and them!  (See article here.)
According to Dr. Axe, there at least 3,000 ingredients that could possibly be used to form a product’s scent and they don’t necessarily have to be listed on a product’s label. So with an essential oil you are just getting one, pure, natural oil that comes directly from the bark, stem, flower mother nature created for us.  I encourage you to take a look at the following list, derived from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, to see just how many fragrance chemicals you can start replacing today, and as always, I am here to help!
Much Love,
Clare

Essential Mum | Non-Toxic Mama

Life after laundry detergent and fabric softener

Nobody can deny how utterly scrumptious a laundry smells when you walk past and your favourite fragrance wafts up your nose. I actually connect laundry smells to different memories – of friends I had in the past, of university rooms, of loved ones who I have held close. It came as a shock to read that the laundry is one of the most carcinogenic places in a house!

In 2008, scientists reported on the toxic chemicals in laundry detergents and other laundry products and it wasn’t good news. A single fragrance can contain multiple toxic chemicals that have been linked to asthma, dermatitis and even cancer.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied top-selling laundry and air-freshening products and found that they emitted dozens of different chemicals. All of them gave off at least one identified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws in America. What’s worse is that because of current labelling laws, none of these chemicals were listed on the label.

Among the products tested were a dryer sheet, a fabric softener, and a laundry detergent, as well as spray and plug-in air fresheners. Results showed nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the six products, and none were on the label. “Five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic ‘hazardous air pollutants,’ which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level,” said study author Anne Steinemann.

A later 2011 study by the same researchers found that air vented from machines using top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets contained hazardous chemicals, including two classified as carcinogens.

For the study, researchers ran a load of laundry once with no products, once with a leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent, and once with both the detergent and a dryer sheet. They captured the exhaust from the dryer vent with a canister.

An analysis of the captured air showed more than 25 VOCs, including seven hazardous air pollutants. The two carcinogens were acetaldehyde and benzene.

“These products can affect not only personal health,” said Steinemann, “but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies.”

You can Google for more information on the toxic chemicals in laundry products. Look for Fragrance (this is where multiple chemicals are used to make the desired smell), surfactants, stabilizers, bleach, 1,4-dioxane, brighteners, phosphates & EDTA. It’s scary stuff. Check to see if these are included in the laundry products you use too.

Thankfully, there are alternatives!

  • You can make your own laundry detergent. Wellness Mama has a great recipe, and you can find others online as well. You can add your favourite doTERRA essential oil for Fragrance
  • You can buy doTERRA’s On Guard laundry detergent, which I absolutely love! Read about it here.
  • Then you can skip the fabric softener completely and use woollen dryer balls or, if you’re going to dry outside, half-cup of vinegar added in the rinse cycle will produce the same results without the toxic chemicals.
  • Please do dump the dryer sheets! They a toxic shitstorm, if you’ll excuse my French! Dryer alls will also reduce static cling. I love my dryer balls, hence the title of this blog! (I literally did curse when I realised my favourite scents were so harmful and BALLS literally were my solution!)  Again, I got mine from doTERRA and I add geranium essential oil every few times I use my dryer. Geranium is such a beautiful scent for laundry.  It’s sweet, but not sickly, and it’s really calming.  Great for your bed sheets!  You can make your own using ( see DIYnatural) or if you don’t use a dryer you can even make a spray with 1 cup white vinegar to 3 cups of water and 30 drops of essential oils to spray on the washing when it is on the line ready to dry in the sun.

If you’d like to go chemical free in your laundry TODAY, and would like to have a look at the doTERRA products available and different essential oils you can use for scent, click here to be redirected to my webstore. Any questions, give me a shout!

Much Love x x x

Sources:

University of Washington, “Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners,” Science Daily, July 24, 2008, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723134438.htm.

Anne C. Steinemann, Lisa G. Gallagher, Amy L. Davis, Ian C. MacGregor, “Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products,” Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 2011; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-011-0156-1.

Mindful [fill the blank]

I am sat here, well, sick as a dog actually. I’m aching for a nap, or at the very least just to kick back and do absolutely nothing, but my mind is being pulled towards the work I have to do, the fact I should be doing anything more soul nourishing than this with my two year old and now I’m typing this blog on my phone.

On Saturday I took part in the Auckland Mama Markets up in Milford and had a wonderful conversation with Trish Martin Baby Coach.

She was looking at the Biozen and we were discussing the risks of EMF to children and babies and she mentioned how she had never seen as much technology as we use today, often inches away from a babies head. She also mentioned how she often sees mothers breastfeeding with their focus on the phone and this really resonated with me because that is exactly what I used to do too.

I decided to dig into this phenomenon because it is truly unhealthy. Why can’t we breastfeed and focus on breastfeeding alone? Or be present playing with our children? Or be present in anything? Why do we feel compelled to check social media or chat to a friend when our beautiful creations are lay in our arms. Why is the washing more important than play? Aren’t our children the most beautiful things we have ever seen? Don’t we want to treasure each moment like it were our last? Why is what is happening on Facebook grabbing our attention?

If I dig into my own experience it was the feeling that something needs to be done that pulled me out of most moments. And the feeling was that it needed to be done now because my to do list was never ending. I had way too much on my plate. I recognize right now that my plate is overloaded again. We are moving house, my business is booming and clearly my immune system and mind has taken a hit. What are you feeling as your attention moves from baby to your phone (or whatever)? Identify that feeling because its roots have control over your mindfulness and you can take the control back. I like to think of it like becoming the boss of your own thoughts and I’d like to teach you how to do it in simple steps because doing it myself has changed my life.

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.

Buddha

Of course, I still have my bad days like today, and it’s important on those days that I look at what has changed. My lack of mindfulness is my mind’s way of telling me to take stock. So the first thing I can do is listen and respond. If I keep ignoring the signals my body is giving me I will end up in a worse place (I have done that too.)

So if we go back to the example of the mother breastfeeding and on her phone, what is the need being filled here? It could be something as simple as boredom, or it could be something deeper like a need for connection. I can help you discover those needs if you get stuck. My need was for order in my life. I thought constantly “doing” would bring that when in fact I needed to declutter my life.

The next thing to identify is what is keeping your mind from being at peace? What emotions are at play? In my experience it was stress and anxiety caused by the lack of order in my life. For you it might be sadness, or worry. Start to observe your emotions in the moment that your mindfulness slips, just as you are observing your body’s signals to take stock. From here you can begin to retrain your mind and rewire your brain.

 “We are what we repeatedly do.”

We are also what we repeatedly think. Over long periods, our patterns of thinking become etched into the billions of neurons in our brains, connecting them together in unique, entrenched patterns. When certain brain pathways – connections between different components or ideas – are frequently repeated, the neurons begin to “fire” or transmit information together in a rapid, interconnected sequence. Once the first thought starts, the whole sequence gets activated.

We can change that sequence. We can literally take control of what we think.  We can replace negative beliefs with positive affirmations, we can change our environment so we are surrounded with positivity to support positive thoughts and we can give up habits that negatively influence us, like excessive amounts on Facebook at all. Over time, we can begin to change the wiring of our brain so our prefrontal cortex (the executive center, responsible for setting goals, planning and executing them), is more able to influence and shut off our rapidly firing, fear-based amygdala (emotion control center). And, this is exactly what brain imaging studies on effects of mindfulness therapy have shown.

Loving ourselves deeply and nurturing our needs is a big part of the puzzle.

My schedule was out of control because I was knee deep in the emotional suffocation of not paying myself enough attention – period.

It took me a long time to understand self love, my limiting beliefs holding me back from it and what it actually means in terms of tangible actions I can take every day, but when I figured everything out I found this unbounded space in my head that allowed me to be present in a way I had never experienced before.

I also rediscovered my true authentic self, became physically healthier and emotionally stronger and found my purpose outside of #beingmum.

If self love is something you need a little help with I run a programme over 16 days, which costs just nz$16 and it will help you take a big step forward from where you are now. That’s just a $1/day and it’s all done online through email or Facebook messenger, whichever you prefer. To get started, click below:

 

16 Days of Self Love

NZ$16.00

If you’re having trouble being mindful you might also enjoy this blog by Spiritual Alchemist, Debbie, with a 1 minute meditation you can do anywhere at any time.

Much love x x

Why I can’t wait to have another baby

You live and you learn, right?

Both my pregnancies have given me big insights into my health. What we went through with Eden taught me that my gut health was screwed. There was no other real reason her gut would have been in such a state, apart from the fact I had heavy antibiotic use and a history of symptoms that pointed to compromised gut health. I’ve talked in a previous blog about how I used to get recurrent, debilitating UTIs and found after having Eden and healing my gut that they cleared.

After having Jade I felt tired and flat all the time. I’d had periods of feeling like this all the way back to my time at school. My compromised gut health was definitely something to do with it, but I was tired of feeling tired. I paid for a special hair test to have my micronutrients checked and there was a big clue as to why I was feeling so tired in the results! I was depleted in many ways and the naturopath talked me through why this would be making a big impact on my health. (There’s an image at the end of this blog from Dr. Jockers website that is a good summary of our micronutrients’ role in health [it’s big!])

There would have been many reasons why I had gotten depleted. Chronic stress depletes key nutrients and leads to micronutrient deficiencies; I had suffered my fair share of that! Bad git health means nutrients aren’t absorbed and our soils are also depleted of nutrients. Add onto that I had been breastfeeding for 2 years, which would have had an impact as well.

I decided to give doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality range of supplements a try, mainly because I could get them at a 55% discount with my wholesale account and I’d tried many supplements previously that quite clearly hadn’t worked, according to my results! (Read about what’s in doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality here and why need them). I also started their probiotics and I started using Pure Oxygen, as it can help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and can boost our cells’ function as well. The results have been transformational for me. I feel better and more energized than I have ever been. They even supported my recovery from anxiety as well!

And now I have my new best friend, my Helo 😍, which tracks my blood pressure and my mood and will soon track my blood sugar as well. I feel like I have the trifecta of health ammunition to finally give me a pregnancy that doesn’t make me want to curl up and die! You see I have had crippling hyperemesis gravidarum in both my previous pregnancies. It was horrible and it definitely prevented me from just enjoying my growing baby inside. Moreover, when I think forward in my life I see our big family. Siblings hanging out together, friendships and diverse personalities, challenges, but also enough love to sink a battleship, or maybe in our case to keep us afloat. So I would love to finally have an uncomplicated pregnancy and enjoy the journey to meeting our last sprog, and I believe I may finally be in the perfect state of health to do it.

I believe adding Helo into my pregnancy will be a gamechanger. I’ve already written about how I see the upcoming blood sugar trend monitoring as a great way to both identify, but more importantly prevent gestational diabetes.  I also believe the peace of mind Helo provides is second to none. Blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, breath rate, mood and energy are all tracked by Helo and you can set your midwife up to remotely monitor your data, and be alerted if any of your bioparametres go out of their ranges of normal! Low blood pressure was another thing that was a drag on my previous pregnancies. I also read that balancing blood sugar can prevent morning sickness and the great thing about knowing our mood, energy levels and sleep is that you can change anything in an instant and change them. Knowledge is power and pregnancy is scary. It feels sometimes like there is all this crazy stuff going on in your body that you have no control over. Helo gives you insight and the power to control your health.

So there you have it. I am broody as £#!& for our third child (that was the sound of my husband’s heels as he legged it down the street 😉)…

I think I knew straight after Jade was born that I wasn’t “done”, but it has taken me some time to decide whether another baby is right for us. What about you? Did you know you were done after your last baby? How many children do you have? What has been your experience with pregnancies? Have you been well or have you suffered like I did? Have you had the same experience across all pregnancies or did you have one that surprised you in some way? Do you think I’m into anything with the health-morning sickness link? Would love to read your comments!

Much love as always x x

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