Antioxidant support from Essential Oils

I have been wanting to write a blog about DDR Prime Softgels for ages, but I just haven’t felt like I understand the product deeply enough.  doTERRA created DDR Prime to help promote repair to damaged DNA.  Research and studies have shown over and over again that essential oils work on a cellular level, meaning they can penetrate the cell walls and work within the cells, and one of the most fascinating abilities of essential oils is that they can differentiate between a healthy cell and a bad cell.

DDR Prime is meant to reduce oxidative stress, an imbalance between the production of free radicals and our body’s ability to counteract them. It’s a  natural process, but it can greatly influence our overall well-being.

When I first started taking DDR Prime I had never heard of oxidative stress.  I read that DDR Prime was full of antioxidants and I’d heard of those! (Antioxidants are molecules that are present in cells. These molecules donate electrons to unbalanced free radicals in order to balance them and stop the cycle of cellular degradation.) While antioxidants are found in abundance in many whole foods, it is often difficult to get the amount and specific types of antioxidants our body needs for peak cellular health.  I also knew my chronic anxiety had taken a toll on my health physically as well as mentally, and this was enough for me to give them a shot.

The proprietary blend of essential oils in DDR Prime includes CloveThymeWild OrangeFrankincenseLemongrass, Summer Savory, and Niaouli, because they offer antioxidant support for protection against oxidative stress.

Frankincense, Thyme and Lemongrass are chosen to prevent against DNA damage because of their preventative processes.  Lemongrass, Clove and Niaouli (a form of Melaleuca) are chosen for their ability to destroy unhealthy and irreparable cells. Lastly, doTERRA looked at oils to guard against oxidative stress. These included clove, wild orange and summer savory. Clove essential oil is particularly powerful because it has the highest level of antioxidant properties ever known in a substance, making it a powerful support to anyone’s daily health routine.
DDR Prime Softgels make it easy to get your daily serving of free radical fighting essential oils for optimum well-being.

If you’d like to learn more from doTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hill, watch the following:

From the doTERRA Blog:
“What Makes DDR Prime Softgels Unique?
The power of DDR Prime Softgels is in the proprietary blend of essential oils. Alone, all of the individual oils have been shown to provide support of cellular integrity, but the synergistic effects they provide when combined together is even more powerful.* FrankincenseWild Orange, and Clove oil have all been shown to promote a healthy response to free radicals.* Thyme and Niaouli essential oils support cellular immunity and overall cellular health.* Summer Savory has been shown to support our body’s natural mechanisms to deal with oxidative stress.* Lastly, Lemongrass oil can protect against environmental threats.* Combined, this exclusive combination of essential oils offers unparalleled support of the body’s natural free-radical defense systems.*
DDR Prime Softgels Uses and Benefits

  1. As mentioned, the support of healthy cellular integrity is important for overall well-being. DDR Prime Softgels help support cellular immunity and cellular health.* The proprietary combination of essential oils in DDR Prime Softgels promotes healthy responses to oxidative stress for optimal well-being.*
  2. DDR Prime Softgels are also known to promote a healthy response to free-radicals.* The disruption of free radicals can cause a myriad of negative health effects. The essential oil blend contained within DDR Prime Softgels supports the body’s own defense mechanisms against free radicals.*
  3. DDR Prime Softgels provide a simple, no-mess, convenient way to get the benefits of DDR Prime Cellular Complex, anytime anywhere. Simply place a bottle in your purse, travel bag, or on your desk at work and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of DDR Prime Cellular Complex when you are crunched for time, away from home, or in a hurry.”

So here began my journey with oxidative stress! I have since become a self-proclaimed mitochondriac. It’s like most of today’s common complaints can be brought back to the health of.our cells. All cells need three primary things in order to stay healthy: energy, primarily metabolic energy, protection from outside and internal threats, and resiliency.

In today’s world our diets do not provide the nutrition we need to provide the energy our cells need. Our cells are under attack from electromagnetic waves and toxins. Providing our cells with daily protection, while we reduce the toxins and threats in our environment, is a great way to enhance our body’s natural defense. The third way we can help our cells and maintain great health is to support the resiliency of our cells, so that whenever they are under attack,  they can bounce back to where they should be. DDR Prime is a great place to start!

Talk to me today about how to get DDR Prime at a discount or buy now from my doTERRA store. This is not a blend you can go another day without! To learn more about oxidative stress and it’s impact on your body, click here

Much love x x x

Gestational Diabetes – Understanding Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Eden, I was handed the diagnosis of “borderline gestational diabetes” after I did the ‘sugar test’ and was told to watch my diet.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, Jade, right from the very outset I was told to “watch my diet”.  My midwife helpfully talked about the Glyceamic Index and proteins and reducing processed foods because these are bad to our general health and thus bad for our pregnancies.  This nutritional counselling gave me a whole different outlook on my pregnancy.  Much in contrast to the stereotype of sit back and eat all the foods that you like because your body craves it, and give up exercise because you can, my body became my temple and when it came round to the gestational diabetes test, firstly I was told I had the choice whether I wanted to take it or or not, and secondly reassured that should I get the diagnosis, it didn’t really matter because I should be eating the kind of foods that were low on the Glyceamic Index anyway because high GI foods lead to higher levels of glucose in the blood and these can be passed onto baby.

Recently I came across a wristband that is soon going to be reading sugar trends in our blood.  It already reads blood pressure, which has been incredibly helpful to me because I’ve always had quite low blood pressure and suffer for it.  I realised this would be a very useful tool in pregnancy, both for blood pressure and blood sugar and could even rule out the sugar test completely, because right from the get go of your pregnancy you would be able to see how the foods you are eating are affecting your sugar level trends.

I checked in with my beautiful Midwife, Glenis Paulette, to guest blog on Gestational Diabetes from her perspective and the nutrition that can prevent it, so you can make your own minds up as to the best way for you to manage your levels of glucose in the blood.  Ultimately, the levels of glucose in your blood are what is passed on to baby.

Read on for Glenis’ Guest Blog to understand more, it was very eye opening to me.  You can read her bio and see her contact details at the bottom of the page.  She is also a great Homeopath and Acupuncturist, who has been of great support to me and my girls up to this day!

If you’re interested in learning more about the wristband to read sugar trends in the blood (non-invasively I might add!), please contact me.  You might also be interested to read my Homebirth Story with Jade and Glenis and/or learn more about Essential Mum!  If you have any questions for me or Glenis, do not hesitate to drop them in the comments below.

Much Love x x

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis in Pregnancy

The test for Gestational Diabetes (GD) in pregnancy is often considered routine and offered to women without counselling, explanation or consent. Many women are not even aware that they can refuse it. The diagnosis of GD is made by evaluating the level of a blood result taken from the woman after she has fasted for 8 hours and then given a sugary drink. Her blood is tested one and two hours after she has been given the drink to see how well she has been able to metabolise the sugar. If the woman fails the test she is then labelled with GD and her pregnancy is treated as high risk. The levels above which the woman is considered diabetic are arbitrarily defined by different health bodies and there is little consensus throughout the world what this level should be.

Studies show that the tests are unreliable and often give significantly different readings when repeated a week apart. Women who already have a good diet with minimal sugar in it also probably have difficulty metabolising such a sugar hit when it vastly exceeds what they are used to consuming. Also the same sugar load is given to all women irrespective of her weight, meaning it is much more of a load for a 60kg woman than one who is 85+kg.

There is also little evidence to show that this classification and the resulting treatment actually prevent the supposed risks of harm or mortality to the baby. Babies of GD mothers are at risk of being larger and at slightly increased risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition where a baby’s shoulders become stuck at birth preventing their body from being born. These babies can also suffer from low blood sugar levels after birth and be more at risk of being overweight and suffering from diabetes later in life. However, if they are medically managed by a hospital diabetes team they are more likely to be induced and subjected to the resulting cascade of interventions, more often resulting in a caesarean section. The resultant stress on the mother of having a ‘high risk’ classification also impacts negatively both on her and the baby. Obesity and excessive weight gain in pregnancy are more likely to lead to adverse effects for the mother and baby than a diagnosis of GD, although the two can go hand-in-hand.

GD is in fact a mild condition, without symptoms, that develops in the last few months of pregnancy. It is not the development of a serious disease. The level of glucose in the blood may remain higher for longer in pregnant women so that the developing fetus has an adequate and stable supply of nutrients to optimize their growth and well-being.

Managing this increased demand by the fetus can be optimised by giving the same practical advice to women diagnosed with GD as to all pregnant women.

Nutritional counselling should focus on the quality of carbohydrates they consume rather than the quantity. The most useful way to rank carbohydrates is according to their glycaemic index (GI). Pregnant women would do well to avoid or reduce those foods high on the GI as their metabolism leads to higher levels of glucose in the blood. These foods include simple sugars and honey, soft drinks, many processed breakfast cereals, white rice and white bread. Chemical sweeteners are also not good for the body. Many processed foods include excessive sugar, low quality carbohydrates and oils. A healthy diet is one containing fresh whole foods and complex carbohydrates because they are digested more slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy and also more fibre. Examples include wholemeal breads and pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and breakfast cereals based on oats, barley, nuts and seeds. Adequate oils and protein are also important.

Regular exercise is also advised as this helps the body burn up glucose and increases the effectiveness of insulin.

The best thing to prevent low blood sugars in the newborn is to ensure that they are breastfed early and regularly.

glenis bio.PNG

 

Cassia Baked Oatmeal Heaven!

I haven’t shared a recipe in a while.  And seen as though the air is cold, the mornings are dark and seasonal threats are rife, I thought this was a good choice!

Cassia essential oil used internally can help support healthy immune function.  Cassia is a powerful commodity in protecting the body from seasonal threats!

You’ll need:

• 2 large eggs

• 1/3 cup coconut sugar

• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

• 1 drop Cassia

• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1 1/4 cups rice milk

• 1/4 cup cacao butter, melted

• 3 cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk eggs together, then add cocosugar, baking powder, Cassia, vanilla and salt, and then whisk until no lumps remain. Stir in milk and melted cacao butter then mix in oats. Pour into a prepared 8×8 baking tray and bake until firm and ready!

What is a TERRAfit Challenge?

Want to lose weight, get fit or both?  Through doTERRA I discovered an amazing health challenge called TERRAfit.  It was such a game changer for my health that I decided to become a coach!

This was me in 2014…

kickboxer

A muay thai LOVING mum at the peak of fitness, about to try my first amateur bout in the ring after a few novice fights.  Then I unexpectedly fell pregnant!  I lived off cheese sandwiches and marmite on toast for 9 months whilst battling debilitating morning sickness and basically felt YUCK.  In total I gained 17 kilos.

I started TERRAfit because I needed HELP to get back to reasonable eating and workout habits.  I was daunted by the idea of kickboxing again and unmotivated about the idea of eating clean.  I don’t like fad diets or extreme exercise programmes and I don’t believe they work in the long-term.  I need to be motivated and I like achieving as part of a team.  The fact I could have both these things to help me lose weight and get fit again was what attracted me to TERRAfit!

TERRAfit provides support across 12 weeks to eat less and better and exercise more, as part of a team supported by a certified TERRA coach.  You eat from a healthy food list, exercise 5 days a week and there are daily challenges to educate and inspire/motivate.  An added bonus is the potential to win cash prizes at the end of the 90 days!

tflogo-sm

TERRAfit works on a point system that tracks your nutrition, hydration and exercise.  You have to try and hit 100 points every day.  Points are taken away for skipping exercise, meals and eating unhealthy foods.  You get bonus points for supporting your progress with essential oils and supplements.

The motivation this challenge has given me is almost indescribable.  It couldn’t have come at a better time either.  I was a new mum, struggling the juggle of having 2 children instead of one.  I guess my diet and exercise should have been the last thing on my mind, but as a mum need to be fit and healthy, just as much as you need exercise for the self care that protects mental health! Going to a gym is a lot more difficult though, when you have an entourage of small people! The GREAT thing about TERRAfit is that the workouts are streamed through your laptop/PC/tablet/phone; I do mine whenever I get my hands free and the support the first team I took part with gave me helped me in many more ways than just losing a few pounds of baby weight.  The fact that TERRAfit focuses on nutrition and exercise and the support system provided is definitely its point of difference to all the other diet and exercise programmes out there on the market.  It has also helped me improve my family’s health, as we are all eating better and enjoying real food!

If you’re thinking about joining or wanting to join a Terrafit team here’s what you’ll need:

1. A desire to form healthy lifestyle habits. Show your commitment with a $38.50 registration fee and clear your pantry of unhealthy foods!

2. Be committed to working out 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes a day (with rest days on Wednesdays and Sundays).  Think of a time when you can slot these workouts in before you start.

You can stream the TERRAfit workouts for an additional monthly fee (this is called TERRAfit Advantage and costs $16.50 with your first week free).

You don’t have to do the TERRAfit workouts if you are happy with your existing exercise programme, but I really recommend them for their structure and effectiveness.  Exercises are targeted to lean muscle development and weight loss.  Workouts employ 4×4 high intensity interval training and believe me, it works!  I couldn’t believe the difference in me across just 4 weeks and the essential oils and supplements I used in addition to eating really good, clean food really made me feel great and even improved other things, like my skin!

3. So a willingness to investigate the doTERRA products that can help you in your weightloss/fitness journey is preferable, but there is no obligation!  I can help you discover the products that are right for you and introduce you to a way to purchase them economically across the 12-weeks.  You get 10 extra points a day for using doTERRA products such as Deep Blue for muscle recovery, Slim and Sassy to support your metabolism and curb cravings, Lemon oil to detoxify, and the Life Long Vitality Pack of supplements to provide you with potent levels of essential nutrients and powerful metabolic factors for optimal health, energy, and longevity.

The registration fee, plus TERRAfit Advantage and an Athlete + Starter Kit costs jst $37.50 for the 12 weeks.

So, have I whet your appetite for change?  Are you keen to realise your own transformation?

Check out the progress I made in just 3 weeks of my first challenge at the start of 2016!

Screenshot_2016-02-03-09-14-21_1

Using the TERRAfit nutrition and fitness system I lost 15kgs, learnt how to eat clean and feed my family to boost their health as well and I got back in the ring as a Muay Thai Fighter.

Experience this amazing transformation yourself over 12 weeks with me and TERRAfit.

Gain access to workouts, products to support your weightloss, health and training, weekly progress calls, a Facebook support group, meal plans, recipes and discounts on coaching.

Carrie Harman, TERRAfit Participant, after 1 month in her first 12-week Challenge:

“I have two ‘exciting’ milestones as such…. 1. I am coping so much better with the exercise regime than I did my previous two sprint challenges… and
2. I am getting fuller easier. I am not finishing a whole plate of when my hubby dishes (bigger than I do), and not feeling that I should either. I am avoiding unwise food choices, and often not even tempted by them a lot of the time. I still have a wee way to go, as if I am not organised I find myself struggling on decent snacks – not ‘bad’ ones just not as energy boosting as they could be.  I’m so excited to keep pushing myself as we head into month two! I still have things I want to improve and work on (mummy tummy, energy levels, fitness for my 10km run) and am glad to be doing this challenge with the three of you!!”

If you are ready to register for the next 12-week challenge to become the best version of you, email me now at nzessentialmum@gmail.com.

Here are my before and after pictures!

front-and-side

best version of you

What it’s like to live anxiety free… and the things that helped to me get here <3

I’ve seen a lot of posts from friends and acquaintances recently about their personal struggles with anxiety.  I also have many people come by my market stall to ask which oils can help. Chances are you are one of them and you may or may not have read this far because I know when anxiety was an integral part of my life I would have felt terribly bitter reading a title like this one, from “one of those people” who finally kicked their anxiety for good; because at the time that felt impossible.

Looking back now to the way I felt day in day out, I’m not sure how I survived it. From the minute I opened my eyes in the morning I felt this nonsensical feeling of urgency and fear. I couldn’t lie in bed and ignore it, but getting up to face the world felt unbearable. My hands would shake and I would feel nauseous. I distanced myself from friends because I thought they’d think me crazy if I explained how I was feeling (and didn’t have the words anyway). Normal things (and when at my worst this included opening the curtains) would get me into a terrible state – a few too many people in the supermarket, the bus, a meeting. The commonality was people, but that didn’t explain why I’d wake up in the middle of the night anxious or begin to hyperventilate when walking alone. One day at my lowest point I almost ran my car off the motorway to escape from what I was feeling. My hands started to turn the wheel, but I came to my senses, took my foot off the accelerator and careered to a stop on the hard shoulder. I can’t remember exactly when my anxiety started, I do understand why it manifested, but boy I remember the day I realised it wasn’t there! It was only this year. I was sat breastfeeding Jade, tv was off, it was quiet. Usually in this instance I would turn the tele on to distract myself from the anxiety biting at my throat and basically be unable to just sit, but this day was different.

I was relaxed, fully relaxed, present and I felt in control. You see, the best way I can describe living with anxiety is like a cup almost filled to the top all the time. It only takes the tiniest of things to tip the cup over, whereas ‘normal’ people, those without anxiety can take a lot more before they tip.

So, what had changed?

  1.  The first step was to take myself off the medication I was on – beta blockers for the anxiety. I also chose to come off my contraception pills and take a much more natural approach to illness
  2.  I then made a life changing choice to move away from some of the triggers of the anxiety. I don’t believe this has to be as dramatic a move as I made, but disconnecting yourself from obvious triggers is worth it, in my experience
  3. Something that followed this step, although it wasn’t an intentional recovery step, was some gut healing. Simple things like probiotics. dōTERRA do a great one called PB Assist.
  4. When we moved to New Zealand it was much easier to access holistic resources and solutions and it was here that my real journey of healing began. My advice to you would be to reach out to a holistic doctor and talk to them about what’s going on. I learnt all sorts of things and techniques, like the importance of sunlight and fresh air, using a simple walk somewhere green and exercise as relaxation anchors, how to breathe into the depths of my belly instead of my chest that was causing me to hyperventilate, meditation and more
  5. In 2016 after I’d had Jade I undertook a dōTERRA Challenge called TERRAfit to lose my baby weight and it really changed the way I was eating, which I think also helped. I don’t think we place enough focus on how the fuel we put in our body helps and hinders our mental health. TERRAfit is all about eating clean, so no heavy metals, pesticides, sugar and other things that play havoc with our system.
  6. In 2016 I also branched out with the essential oils I was using to help with my anxious feelings. Lavender was always my go to, but with dōTERRA I discovered a blend called Balance. It contains Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Osmanthus, Blue Chamomile; all the grounding oils, which helped me to start the day in a place of calm and focus. I applied 2 drops to my feet every morning and reapplied to my wrists as I needed throughout the day. When I felt suddenly panicky I would apply Wild Orange, which I felt stopped that first domino of anxiety in its tracks, so the other dominoes didn’t spiral out of control. I also used another blend called Serenity to help me relax and sleep and Bergamot to help my emotional healing journey. Essential Oils became part of my daily routine and for a while I was glad to have dōTERRA’s loyalty rewards to help pay for so many oils!
  7. The turning point from managing my anxiety to taking control of it was life coaching. I guess a big part of my anxiety was wanting desperately to make changes in my life, but lacking the confidence and self-esteem to make them happen and so sitting there feeling anxious that they weren’t happening! The coaching helped me reframe my anxiety and its symptoms and change my perspective of stored memories. I also created more integrated beliefs, improved clarity and confidence and decluttered my physical space because, heck that clutter was adding to my anxiety!
  8. The final step has been supplements, as certain deficiencies can really worsen anxious feelings.
    • The B vitamins help with nervous system functioning, and being under a lot of stress can deplete your levels.
    • Magnesium is a nutrient that plays a part in more than 300 of the body’s biochemical reactions, and regulates the release of stress hormones.
    • Studies on both humans and mice have shown a strong connection between magnesium levels and depression and anxiety.
    • Tryptophan isn’t a vitamin or mineral, but rather an essential amino acid. It is the number 1 supplement purchased for stress and anxiety.
    • Tryptophan converts into a compound called 5-HTP, which then converts it to serotonin (the “feel good chemical”), which plays a huge role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep.
    • Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because its main source is sunlight.
    • Research has shown that individuals with depression and anxiety disorders also commonly have low levels of Vitamin D.
    • Calcium. The nervous system needs calcium in order to operate properly, so mood issues and anxiety very often result from not getting enough calcium.

My journey with supplements began with the dōTERRA Microplex VM, which is a balanced blend of vitamins that includes antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; an energy
complex of B vitamins; and natural vitamin D3. It also contains a bioavailable blend of essential minerals, which includes bio-available forms of the bone nutrients calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, manganese, and chromium. Finally there is a blend of essential trace minerals for cellular metabolism, communication, and regeneration and a great blend of polyphenols such as: grapeseed extract, quercetin, pomegranate fruit extract, resveratrol, and more for their great antioxidant power.

The tryptophan I took from natural sources and pea protein.

In the last 2 months I have added dōTERRA’s omega mix and cellular vitality mix, plus a blend called DDR Prime.

DDR Prime contains frankincense, wild orange, summer savory, niaouli, lemongrass, clove & thyme to help protect the cells in our body from oxidative stress.   When there is an imbalance in our body between the creation of free radicals and the neutralization of them via antioxidants, our cells become stressed and age.  DDR Prime supports the body’s process of the cell’s destruction or repair, rather than just having it hang around impaired causing other issues. I really do feel exponentially better with these last two supplements on board and I’m keen to get my bloods redone this week to see whether DDR Prime has improved my thyroid and adrenal function, which have suffered from years of ‘fight or flight’.

There’s a lot here, I know. If you’re struggling, please do reach out to me. I offer a free 30 minutes to see how Life Coaching can support you. To book, click here.

Or, to understand the potential of using essential oils for your emotional balance better, and to get started <<click here>>

Believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if you want to talk to me, just shout.

Much love 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!”

Yummy, fudgy, sticky pumpkin protein choc brownies

If you are looking for a brownie that has a hit of veggie AND protein, is refined sugar free, full of energy and tastes GOOD, this is the recipe!

I would describe these dollops of delights as fudgy, sticky, satisfying and rich.  Have a go at making them yourself:

  • Just over cup cooked pumpkin
  • 11 dates
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • Just over 2 cups of almond meal
  • 1 cup choc protein powder
  • 1/4 cup coco oil, melted with 3 tbsp cacao mixed in

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180c / 350f / gas 4 and line a 21cm x 21cm (8.5inch x 8.5inch) baking tin
  2. In a blender / food processor blitz the pumpkin and dates together to form a puree. Add the peanut butter and spices and mix until combined
  3. Add the almond meal, protein powder and coco oil/cacao mix into a large mixing bowl then add the puree and combine
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and flatten
  5. Bake for 20-25 mins

Enjoy!

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.

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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

 

Warming Winter Wellness Recipes!

My daughter has woken up with a hacking cough this morning and that coupled with the darker skies of today and yesterday is an urgent reminder that winter is on its way!

Did you know that you can use your essential oils for their health benefits in food?

doTERRA’s essential oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which means they have undergone rigorous in-house and third-party testing to ensure they are free of fillers, synthetic ingredients and harmful contaminants and can be therefore ingested, if stated on the product label. Examples are ginger, oregano and rosemary and coincidentally, these are great oils for body-strengthening as we come into Fall and then Winter and are also useful when it comes to healing from common winter illnesses.

Make sure that you print out these 3 warming, nourishing and health-boosting soups and add them to your winter recipe book!  You can stock up on the essential oils that you need here

Borsch picBorsch ingredients

Borsch instructions

Moroccan beef tagine

costa rican black bean soup

Enjoy!

Much Love x x