Healthy Living, Young Living + iTovi

After being in vacation mode for most of the summer, I’m feeling the need for a reset so I’m jumping in on the September Whole 30, and focusing on intentional self-care for the next thirty days. Part of that for me is supplements, emotional support, and essential oils. That’s why we broke out our iTOVi scanner last night to get a feel for how to best support our bodies right now. The iTOVi works based on frequencies and bioimpedance to show areas that may need a little extra TLC.

I’ll admit, I was super skeptical about the theory of frequencies until I started looking into it more. Has your spouse, child or loved one ever walked into the room and you immediately feel your emotional state change? Have you ever gone to a concert or large sporting event and immediately felt the rush of energy in the stadium? It’s because we all carry energy around as a frequency.

 
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Your heart is a complex electromagnet that works by constantly emitting electronic frequencies to tell your body to pump blood, bring in oxygen, get rid of carbon dioxide. "The heart muscle itself, because of its electrical activity, creates its own endogenous EMFs" (electromagnetic frequencies)." In fact every living thing has a frequency. A healthy human body operates around 62-72MHz, and as our frequency lowers as our bodies work harder to maintain balance. How do we help our bodies maintain that balance? With plants! We can consume them or apply them in the form of oils. One of my go-to oils is lavender, which has a frequency of 118MHz!

“Every biological or nonbiological thing has a unique energy signature that vibrates at certain frequencies. A frequency is the number of times a wave repeats itself within a second, called an oscillation. iTOVi has measured and recorded each unique frequency of essential oils and supplements for each product company. Through the electrodes on the iTOVi scanner, these frequencies are sent into the skin, inducing a measurable response from the body.

"The scan report is the heart of the iTOVi experience. Each report is personalized to you the moment you are scanned. Products are then sorted from the top down by which ones your body had the strongest response." - iTovi website. You can read more of the research here and some of the science behind how it works here.

 
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After scanning, I started back on Mindwise (an amazing Vitamin D, healthy fat supplement that supports healthy adrenals and this mama mind!), Endoflex Vitality (endocrine system support), and SuperC (a healthier alternative to EmergenC). I also started using Purification oil over the liver, Release over my heart, and we have been diffusing Orange + Gathering. While using these emotionally supporting oils, I'm focusing on releasing control, being fully present, and practicing the discipilne of rest. (For more on emotions + oils, I love this book.) If you've been following along on Instagram you've seen that I also started back on one of my favorite workout programs last month, so I'll be continuing that as well. 

Your health is really a complex circle of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and when any one area is out of balance, we feel it in all others. Finding balance is a constant journey, but one that has gotten much easier for us with our essential oils and our iTOVi scanner.


 
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If you want to get an iTovi scanner of your own, you can do so here. I love ours because it provides us with a road map for our health and is just so easy to use. It's super portable, works with your smartphone via Bluetooth and is easy to use with kiddos! Simply hold it against their back while they color or play. I love how empowered I feel as a mama with these tools! #winning

Book Review: Oola for Women

I've been a fan of the Oola principles since they released the "Infused" essential oil line with Young Living. As a full-time employee, full-time mom and entrepreneur, their mantra of focus on balancing faith, family, fitness, friends, finances, field and fun definitely grabbed my attention. And though my life has changed drastically since I read their original book, the Oola for Women was still as relevant. When one area of our lives slows down with responsibility, another inevitably ramps up, and all of us want that sense of balance. Hearing stories from other women (real women, some of who I actually know!) was encouraging and inspiring. (Psssst.... head over to Instagram to enter to win a copy of your very own!) 

The things that resonated the most with me were the Oola blocker and the Oola accelerators. I find my heart often needs a reset and reminder to let go of fear, anger, envy and self-sabotage and instead focus on love, gratitude, discipline, wisdom and passion. I also love a good pen and paper vision casting, writing out where I/we want to be, then working backwards to create practical, tangible steps towards achieving that big vision. "Goals are milestones to your dreams." Amen to that. Setting pen to paper to write out goals, big and small, makes them more real and more likely to be realized. 

So pour a glass of rose (or some kombucha if you're Whole 30-ing like me!), set up a warm bath with a lavender bath bomb and dive into this book. Really look at your life to find the sources of discontent, dream about what it is you want your life to look like, then write down practical steps to get there. Because creating that daily action plan will ultimately result in living the life of your dreams - your Oola life. 

Paint it Black (or White)

Ever since we moved into our home over five years ago I've been wanting to pain our oak trim white. It's one of those projects that no one really wants to tackle because it's just so huge, yet it would make such a dramatic difference in the look of our home. Well, a couple weeks ago I finally got my wish! We ended up hiring someone to do the work because #life, and I could not be happier. We also painted the built-in bookshelves in our living room which as really opened up the whole space.

I love the crisp contrast of black and white, and despite how common it's becoming, we love the modern farmhouse feel. Always have, always will! Next on our list for our living space is painting the interior doors (I vote black, my man says white but he will come around!) and the front door (mint green? turquoise?). Then we will tackle the windows. Deciding between painting the slats black or replacing the windows with full-pane. Our last project is wood floors! Here are some of my inspirations (find them all here!):

I love the giant glass door because our living room, dining room and foyer are open but lacking in natural light. However, I am a little concerned about having our front door be completely see-through.... 

The windows are another source of debate... black slats or full pane? We have full pane windows in our master, and they let in so much more light! But again, I love the contrast of the black and white. 

I'll definitely be mixing it up with our front door, and will most likely go with something more green like the top image. The exterior of our door is currently grey, so a little bit of color will help spruce up both the front porch and the entryway which now contains a vintage piano (that will shortly be painted white, ha!). More updates this summer! 

Bookshelf: Currently Reading

I love a good book, especially the hard bound, paper and ink type. There's something about the tangible pages, the time and work it took to create the content and compile it all in one place. While I love a good story or memoir, lately my reading choices have mostly been books on personal growth, relationships, leadership and motherhood. We are all trying to keep all the plates spinning with careers, families, relationships, health and all the extras that sometimes it can seem like too much. Reading is my escape and my sanity all at once. I'm super excited to start Oola for Women: How to Balance the 7 Key Areas of Life to Have Less Stress, More Purpose, and Reveal the Greatness within You (ummm who can't use that?!!) and review it for you guys soon! Until then, here are some current favorites on my bookshelf:


+ All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth: I'm a total Edie fan girl and I love that we both have a healthcare background (she was a family practice physician!) and love oils. Her story is a beautiful one that you will love to read. History, family, tragedy and redemption.

+ Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist: If you follow along on Instagram you know I love me some Shauna. Her books are so honest and relatable, and it is just so refreshing. She says, "I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything."

+ Soup by Jon Gordon: This book is so insightful and critical for any type of team relationship - your family, marriage, church, business, small group. Who is stirring the pot matters ;) It is an easy read and is applicable to so many areas of our lives! Same another favorite by this author, The Energy Bus, these tools are applicable for every area and relationship. Think of it as a "How to Win Friends and Influence People" in a relatable, story format. 

What are you currently reading? Any good favorites for a beach trip?

Strawberry Einkorn Crumble

We have been following a wheat-free, largely plant-based diet for over ten years now, and anytime we made a treat, it was always gluten-free or paleo. When I heard about Einkorn flour, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try to see if it bothered me the way that traditional flour does. 

Einkorn is the original “staff-of-life” grain, the oldest variety of wheat and dates back to the beginning of time. Even more natural that sprouted grains, Einkorn wheat's natural genetic code and low gluten levels make it naturally compatible with the human body compared to the modern hybrid wheat of today. Modern-day wheat has been modified and hybridized, making it more resilient, but changing the way the wheat fibers grow. These modifications make the wheat stalks harder to break, but that in turn makes it hard to digest and creates inflammation in the digestive system. Einkorn grain is easier to digest, so nutrients are better absorbed.

Turns out that both my husband and I do great with Einkorn flour. No headaches, no bloating, no discomfort that traditional flour typically produces. Plus, it tastes great and is toddler-approved! We love this fresh and easy berry crumble with Einkorn flour. The simple ingredients that fit together perfectly and taste just like summer! Plus, it came together in matter of minutes with the help of a three year old.

Strawberry Einkorn Crumble:
{Recipe adapted from this one by Tastes Lovely.}

Berry Filling Ingredients:
4 cups frozen, organic strawberries or mixed berries, not thawed
1-2 T organic granulated sugar (to taste - we like a slight tartness to ours, so we do 1T)
3 T Young Living Einkorn flour (or GF flour or all-purpose flour)
3 drops Young Living lemon essential oil
A pinch of salt

Oat Crumble Topping:
1 cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
Just under ½ cup organic brown sugar
6 T Young Living Einkorn flour (or GF flour or all-purpose flour)
4 T grass-fed butter, cold, cut into small cubes

How-to:
+ Preheat your oven to 350. In a medium size bowl, make the berry filling by combining all ingredients and tossing to combine. Set aside.
+ In a separate medium size bowl, make the oat crumble, then use your fingers to pinch the butter and incorporate it into the dry ingredients until evenly combined and crumbly.
+ Pour the berries into a pretty pie dish or a square baking dish, and top with the oat crumble.
+ Bake uncovered until the berry filling is bubbling, and the oat crumble is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

This would also be lovely with coconut whip on top! Simply refrigerate a can of coconut milk upside down in the refrigerator overnight. Remove, flip right side up, and open. The cream will be on top, so scoop it out and whip it with 1T organic vanilla extract + 1/2-1T organic honey or agave to taste. Whip until it is light and fluffy. And feel free to substitute whatever frozen berries or other fruit you have on hand. This is a perfect, simple but show-stopping dessert for your Easter gatherings, Mother's Day, to take to a summer cookout or just because! 

Gardening for the Soul

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I remember our gardens growing up... the smell of the dirt, the watering of the plants, the pulling of the radishes and beets. I remember my mom giving me a tiny pair of gloves and showing me how to place the plants in the ground. Those times in the garden with her are some of my sweetest memories. I feel at ease in the garden, and there is a sense of simplicity to the tasks that make even the most complicated things seem simpler. But I would argue that there's something about gardening that appeals to most everyone, even if we don't really have a green thumb. 

There's a positive energy that comes with connecting to creation, seeing growth right in front of you, making a tangible difference in your surroundings. Whether we recognize it or not, gardening touches part of our souls. "From dust you have come and to dust you shall return." But the benefits of playing in the dirt aren't just spiritual and emotional. Gardening is good for our bodies too! Here are a few reasons why I believe (and science suggests) that gardening is good for your body + soul:

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+ Stress relief: In a world where we are constantly pulled in a million directions with something always demanding our attention, the sights, smells, and sounds of the garden can promote relaxation and reduce stress. Our brains have a finite capacity for attention directed at cell phones, computers, etc.  and when that capacity gets used up we tend to become irritable, error-prone, distractible, and stressed out. Luckily this fatigue appears to be reversible! We can replenish ourselves by engaging in "involuntary attention," an effortless form of attention that we use when enjoying nature.

+ Improves depression symptoms: similar to the stress relief, time in nature allows our brains to disconnect from all the distractions, stress and screens trying to grab our attention and focus us on something tangible. I also believe it connects us back to creation, which brings us to a grounded place emotionally and naturally improves our mood. 

+ Good for the immune system. Playing in the dirt exposes us to good bacteria in our environment. Kind of like nature's probiotic if you will. ;) 

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+ It can be exercise: The days after we plant our garden are some of my sorest days! Hamstrings, triceps, biceps, abs oh my! It's because digging, planting, weeding, and other repetitive tasks that require strength or stretching are excellent forms of low-impact exercise! 

+ It's good for your brain! Some research suggests that the physical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia. 

+ Good nutrition is good for mind, body and soul! The vegetables, herbs and fruit grown in your backyard are ideally organic and are super fresh, so the nutrients, minerals and enzymes are still active. Feeding your body the best is good for you physically, mentally, and emotionally!

Be outside, grow your own food, connect to nature, relieve stress and anxiety, boost immunity and brain health and improve mood all at the same time? Sign me up. Honestly it sounds like a commercial for the perfect pharmaceutical medication, except with gardening there are no disclaimers or side effects. Just some good old fashioned dirt under your fingernails. 

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I loved oatmeal raisin cookies growing up (still do!), so when I asked my son what kind of cookies he wanted for his birthday and he told me 'let's maaaaake.... oatmeal and chocolate... and raisins!' I was all in! We turned on a little Judah + The Lion and got to baking. Elliot love to help stir the batter and pour in the ingredients, and I love having him in the kitchen with me. This recipe is so simple but oh so good and customizable. Raisins, walnuts, cranberries, chocolate, pecans....  whatever you want!

GF Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies depending on size.)

You will need:
1/2 cup coconut oil
6T grassfed butter
1/2 cup firmly packed organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic fair trade sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups Gluten-Free rolled oats
2 cups total toppings: I used 1 cup raisins + 1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl or stand mixer beat the butter, coconut oil and sugars on medium until creamy. Then add eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, then add to the wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in the oats, then the raisins and chocolate.

Drop 1 tablespoonful of dough onto a cookie sheet sprayed with olive or coconut oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool and enjoy!

Friday Favorites: Travel

Tis the season for jet setting, and we are no exception! We are headed out of town in a few weeks on an exciting trip, and I'm in full on planning mode! Here is a peek at some of my favorite things for making the most out of travel. 

For planes and car rides:

+ A really great book (or five!) on my Kindle. I love actual books but the convenience of a Kindle for travel! Currently loving Getting Noticed (love me some LTM!), Soup, and All the Pretty Things
+ Cheeky journal for writing notes, lists, brainstorming ideas, all the #bossbabe things! 
+ Motivation oil for tapping into those feelings of action and accomplishment. I like to apply a few drops behind my ears and inhale while I work! Smells dreamy.
+ Earbuds, natch
+ A great travel scarf for keeping warm on the plane & looking fabulous at the same time!

 

You know I never leave home without oils ;) 


Stress Away roller because.. #AtlantaAirport. Instant vacation!
Deep Relief roller along the neck and shoulders after lugging around those bags + sitting all day. 
+ Lavender & Northern Lights Black Spruce oils for sleeping in unfamiliar places! Helps wind down & relax.
Lemon vitality for staying hydrated, just add a drop of two to your water! 
Digize Vitality because travel food. I like one drop of Digize with a drop of lemon in a glass of water. 
Thieves hand purifier for clean hands, because #airports ew.  

 

A few other things:

+ Nena and Co. tassel so I can identify my bag eailsly & backpack tote which is a perfect daily bag and travel companion. Would also make a great diaper bag! I have my eye on a weekender bag as well... in case anyone is searching for a Mother's Day idea. #justsaying
+ A great pair of shades for adding a little sophistication to your look and because you know... sun. 
+ My favorite Tarte lip stain for looking put together even in the coziest travel outfit. Also some other favorites here. 
+ Lavender lip balm for moisturizing under a bold lip color or use alone for a natural look! 
 

Oh, and four of those oil faves come in the starter kit that I'm always talking about on Instagram! Interested in learning more about oils? Check out the Golden Drop Society website, find me on Instagram or send me an email! 

Green Home 01 I Cleaning

When we found out we were pregnant with Elliot one of the first things we did was switch out our Clorox Cleanup for a green cleaner. We had already switched out our soaps and shampoos to "green" options (read: popular brands that we thought were chemical-free but were really just synthetics based on plant components...), but we realized that we needed to start creating a truly chemical-free home. I knew that I didn't want our babe to be exposed to harsh chemicals... on his clothes, in the air. We also learned that our plug in air fresheners were laced with formaldehyde which totally blew me away and made me even more passionate to find healthy alternatives! I'm a researcher by nature so you know I scoured the internet for other options, DIYs and the best of the best for what we should use.

Fast forward three years later and we have achieved our goal. Zero chemicals, all plants, and a super clean home and great smelling home all at the same time. We use plant-based cleaners to clean the whole house, including the sink after we prepare food and meats. And yes it gets it super clean!! Added bonus is that our cleaning supplies are delivered directly to my door and I get $75 back every month to spend on whatever I want. (Insert praise hands emoji!) I love me some Target, but they've never given me $75 just for buying stuff I use every day anyway. And my house smells like a chai latte instead of harsh chemicals and bleach! #winning.

Here are some of our chemical-free cleaning favorites!
+ Thieves Household Cleaner: We use this for the ENTIRE house! Counters, floors, bathrooms, stovetop, showers, commodes, literally everything. This is super affordable because you use 1 capful per 16oz spray bottle for the majority of cleaning. If we really need a heavy degreaser we use 2 capfuls. 
+ DIY Counter Cleaner: Sometimes I also use a DIY version with Thieves essential oil, Lemon essential oil and a little bit of castille soap on our glass cooktop when it gets sticky!
+ DIY Mirror Cleaner: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner, 5 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil blend, 1 tsp white vinegar, and 3 cups water in a glass spray bottle.
+ Thieves Dish Soap and Dishwasher Powder: I also mix a bit of the dish soap with a little of the Thieves cleaner and water in a roller ball to spot treat stains on our clothes (helloooo little ones starting solids)!
+ Thieves Foaming Hand soap (kitchen) and Lavender Foaming Hand soap (bathrooms)
+ Thieves Laundry soap: This super concentrated laundry soap is my favorite! It gets our clothes super clean without chemical surfactants and artificial scents, and it is safe for HE washers! You only need 1/4 capful, so it lasts forever. Added bonus is that it is safe for cloth diapers! 
+ Wool dryer balls: We use these instead of dryer sheets and add essential oils to make our clothes and linens smell great! They help cut the static (use more dryer balls for loads with lots of fleece or static-prone fabrics) without adding crazy chemicals to your clothes. Peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are some of my favorites to add to the dryer balls.

So basically we clean our whole house with Thieves essential oil, ha! The Thieves oil is a really amazing blend of oils named after a band of thieves who robbed plague victims during the Black Plague. They were perfumers by trade and were forced to reveal their 'secrets' when apprehended. The Thieves blend contains cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils that smells amazing and cleans all the things!  Plus, it is Gwyneth Paltrow recommended ;) We love to diffuse it with orange and black spruce or balsam fir, with orange and RC for respiratory support (great for after school!), with lemon and peppermint for a fresh and clean home. 

Click here to find out more about why we love essential oils and to start creating a chemical-free home of your own! 

 

Images by Morgan Blake for Golden Drop Society

Celebrating Easter

When we became parents we said we wouldn't get involved with things like Valentines or Easter baskets. We said that lunch with our families and any little prizes from them would be enough. And while that is definitely true and our son doesn't need for anything, I can't help but get pulled into his excitement over the littlest things. Seeing him enjoy the little things in life makes our hearts soar, so we've landed at an in between place of celebrating in small ways. We like to mix in books with art supplies and a few little treats, sometimes even "tickets" to an event like a camping trip. Here are some of our ideas for a healthy + fun Easter basket! 

 
 


To play:
+ A watering can, garden tools & a few packs of seeds (my son LOVES helping us out in the garden!)
+ Eco Dough and play tools
Eco Paints with a pad and fun paint brushes
+ Melissa & Doug Clay Set w/ Stamps
+ Nontoxic Sidewalk Chalk (always a hit!)
+ Melissa & Doug Water Wow (also great for travel!)
+ Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad
+ Lego Duplo sets (We sometimes even find these at consignment sales!)

To read:
+ Duck & Goose
Ada Twist, Scientist
Iggy Peck, Architect (Our current favorite. Thanks Jodi!)

To wear:
+ New pajamas (Anyone else's kids get super excited about pjs?? Just mine?)
+ New kicks. It never fails that E needs new shoes this time of year and he loves Chucks!

To eat:
+ Coconut butter cups (SO much better than Reese's!)
+ Go Raw's Choco Cruch Sprouted Cookies
+ The GFB Gluten Free Bites - we love the chocolate coconut and the peanut butter

To do:
+ Homemade "vouchers" for things like camping trips, Daddy + Elliot canoe trips, fishing trips, hiking trips, lunch dates, anything that E likes to do. He loves being able to come cash them in!