Monday, June 19, 2017

Can everyone benefit from the use of Essential oils?

Photo by @verophotoart


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Through my health reset, my way of eating is now at a happy place with a Paleo Autoimmune/ Nutritional Ketosis approach,  so now I am exploring other useful tools to support my wellness. 

In this post,  I will be telling you why I chose Young Living Essential Oils amongst all the other companies out there and how I support my body's major systems with them. 

I know,  I am probably only one of millions of people using essential oils to support their health, so why should my post be any different?  Because,  as an IBD ( Inflammatory Bowel Disease ) warrior who is currently in remission,  I humbly remember what rock bottom means.  I still recall the windy curvy road to recovery and I know the fear of never being able to live a normal life is real.  For these reasons,   I will continue to do everything in my power to prevent myself from getting back to that dark and scary place and spread encouraging words to anyone trying to discover their wellness. 

A month ago,  I was honoured for being one of 19 most uplifting IBD bloggers for 2017 picked by mytherapyapp,  I am SO grateful for this recognition and THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart for your support.  Knowing that my blog is reaching out to people on a similar journey, I am motivated to break out of my comfort zone and open up to share more of my beyond food resources.


I am passionate about encouraging people to conduct their own research so that they can find the right resource they truly need


How I got started with Essential oils

Let start by going back to my 20s. Like many young adults, I was going to school full-time, enrolled in an exciting but demanding arts and design program, working early opening shifts at a fast pace, well know coffee shop, and hanging out with friends in between it all. Sleep wasn't a priority, my diet was better than most students because I was living at home but I often indulged on the free flowing coffee and staff priced pastries from work and always kept a bottle of Pepto Bismol in my bag. Eventually, my body had enough, I started having excruciating stomach pains and knew that something was not right. After visiting a naturopath,  I started on an elimination diet. This diet consisted of white rice, chicken, zucchinis, pears, salt, pepper and thyme for seasoning. I used to carry a little rice cooker to school with my pre-cooked meals in them. Needless to say, my taste buds were very deprived.  Around that time,  one of my friends got a job at a new little aromatherapy shop in town. She introduced me to essential oils which filled the void my senses were missing from a restrictive diet. So I have been using essential oils on and off since then for emotional support but never imagined I would experience the supportive effects I do now with the highest quality essential oils on the market. 

A couple years ago,  a friend of mine told me about a really high-quality essential oil she is using,  Young Living.  She says that they are of highest therapeutic grade and I should try them out.  Since I already had a pretty good stash of essential oils from years of collecting them,  I tucked her offer way in the back of my mind. 

Through my friend's unwavering stand towards this brand of essential oils,  I was intrigued and finally bought myself a Premium Starter Kit.  It took me over a year to be convinced that the Young Living brand is unlike any other brands I have come across before but I had no idea how the simple kit of 11 oils,  a diffuser and a few of their other product samples can open a world of wellness tools I wish I have discovered earlier.


Why Young Living?


Not all essential oils are created equal

Through my on the fence time about Young Living,  I did some investigating on the company and their products.   I learned that they are one of the pioneers in the field and have been in business distilling essential oils for over 20 years.  Some of the factors that set them aside from the rest are owning their farms and running vigorous in-house and third party testings on all their products.  Their Seed to Seal promise is what sold me.  Starting with heirloom seeds collected from previous premium crops,  Young Living only plant on virgin soil,  never been touched by any pesticide.  To top it all, all their fields are hand weeded.  Basically, they take what they do VERY seriously while keeping a transparent profile for anyone who wants to learn more about their passion.

Beyond Food

Increasingly,  people are definitely paying attention to what they put in their mouths,  but why are most of them still turning a blind eye when it comes to what they put on their skin, the largest organ of the body, and what they allow to circulate in the air of their homes?

A Simple System

Removing as many synthetic chemicals as possible out of your home is the first step in reducing the toxic load in your everyday lives.

If you are like me, you must have been bombarded by too much information telling us what are the "safer" alternative products to use.  There are lots of " green " products from cleaning to personal care that toots a "safe" label on them,  but if you read the ingredients on these high price products,  they may include many chemicals the average person cannot pronounce.  It sure makes you think twice before buying them.  Once I dug deeper into the Young Living line of products,  I found that they already have ALL NATURAL plant derived products formulated for household cleaning.  My favourite is the THIEVES ALL PURPOSED CLEANER. It is in a concentrated form and can be diluted 1:15/ 1:30/ 1:50  to make a whole lot more cleaners.  For personal care,  you will love to hear that I make my own amazing and cost effective skin serums and shaving oils simply by adding my favourite essential oils to a carrier oil.  That's it!  No more super long and complicated chemical names.  Just two main ingredients - plants and oils. 

Click HERE to learn how to open your personal Wholesale Account and get some THANKYOU goodies from me 


Supporting MY body


I am still exploring the over 300 oils Young Living has to offer,  amongst the many I have tried, here are a few examples of ways I use my oils to support my wellness. 

Digestion

Digize is one of the top oil blends for supporting the digestive system.  It contains Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint and Fennel as the main ingredients.  I like to inhale from putting some in the cup of my hand or to rub diluted with a carrier oil on my stomach for a soothing experience especially when I encounter questionable foods while eating out.

Essential Oils for Digestion support from Astrid Fox on Vimeo.


Mood

As a pick me up mood enhancer,  I turn to my citrus oils for their uplifting properties.  Tangerine, Grapefruit, and Bergamot,  to name a few are in my "happy" collection.  JOY is a blend that does exactly what the name says.  It contains citrus and floral essential oil that bring smiles to my face everytime I smell it.  I like to add these oils to my diffuser earrings so I can smell them when my earrings sway around. 


My Happy Oils
My Happy oils



Hormonal Support

Ah,  this is a big one!  Many women in my age group maybe experiencing unpleasant symptoms from Hormonal changes,  I am pleased to add Essential oils as one of my tools to support this natural transitional phase in life.  I use Progessence Phyto Plus, which was formulated to support women's health for a grounding yet uplifting effect.  This blend has White Yam Extract, Vitamin E,  Frankincense,  Rosewood,  and Bergamot. 

Clary Sage is another great hormone support oil.  I use to make my own skin serum and my latest favourite is a blend of Clary Sage, Grapefruit and a carrier oil for a no nick shaving oil. 

Before I wrap up on my experience with Young Living Essential oils,  I want to point out that 
my goal is to encourage people to conduct their own research so they can find the right resource they truly need.  Essential oils have transformed my entire wellbeing to a whole new level by supporting the major systems in my body, specifically my emotions, digestive and endocrine system.  Even if you are not interested in the support essential oils can provide the human body, SERIOUSLY consider reducing the toxic load in your everyday lives by swapping out your cleaning products. 
Thieves Products
Why is it important for me to share my experience?  The more I learn about essential oil,  the more I realize there are still a lot of myths and resistance in using these potent plant products.  As an IBDer and a wellness advocate,  I want people to know their options on how to support their health.  Can everyone benefit from Essential oils?  My answer is YES.  Everyone can benefit from the fundamental and straightforward practice of using essential oil as a powerful wellness tool that is as simple as the life blood of plants. 

Are you ready to get your hands on this Simple Tool to support yours and your family's wellness? 
If your answer is YES, Click HERE 

Please reach out if you want to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils. 


Monday, June 12, 2017

AIP/ Paleo Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing


No secret that our go to dining out usually lands in a Japanese restaurant. The kids love sushi and I can almost always find something satisfying and compliant to order with my own homemade salad dressing. But everytime I ask the server to hold the dress on my Sashimi Salad, I miss the original Japanese dressing that comes with my meal. What am I to do? Recipe hack it! This simple Japanese inspired tangy dressing will jazz up any salad of your choice. 

Makes 4 servings     Prep time 5 mins      Cook time 10 mins  

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c minced onion
  • 1/2 c avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 Tbsp minced  celery
  • 2 Tbsp grated carrots
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey optional

Instructions
  1. Put all ingredient into a blender and blend until smooth
  2. serve over your favourite vegetables or salad
Enjoy!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Can grief make your sick?

Photo by  Christian Newman

What is grief? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, "to feel or express great sadness, especially when someone dies." Everyone grieves differently, most people are sad, others get angry, some might even show little to no emotions. Whichever way you express your emotions, know that this difficult time too shall pass.

Grief is an intense emotion, which can often cause stress to the body and trigger a flare for those of us with an autoimmune condition. I used to grieve quite differently before I knew about the connection between grieve and wellness. I hope by sharing my new found way to grieve, along with my tools to aid this transition which are journaling, self care and essential oil, I can help ease your passage smoothly into the" life goes on" phase without doing much damage to your body.

As most of your know, the AIP and IBD community lost an amazing woman, Martine, the blogger behind Eat Heal Thrive last week. Like many people, I was shattered by the news.

It was in the very beginning of my healing journey, shortly after I started following a Paleo way of eating but still desperately trying to get rid of all my Ulcerative Colitis symptoms when I met Martine over at Instagram.   Following Paleo had helped calm gut, but I was still controlled by many symptoms IBDers are familiar with. I was physically weak and trying to recover from the drastic weight loss that comes with IBD. That's when I learned about a positively charged blogger with Crohn's, who also happens to be Canadian,  known as the Paleo Partridge back then. She shared about a protocol she was following called AIP (Paleo Autoimmune Protocol) and gave me hope that I could have a future that is less trapped in between the four walls of my IBD symptoms. Besides looking into this healing protocol, AIP,  I began practicing gentle yoga and immersing myself in art to distract my mind from my consuming health. Martine and I connected through our mutual love of yoga,  I was immediately drawn to her contagiously positive energy. Seeing someone who also battled IBD with her enthusiasm was so encouraging. I was inspired by her spirit, her cleverness and her brilliance with words. She was such a great writer.  Martine showed me a different world about IBD, her firm mantra says it all, " I have Crohn's. It doesn't have me".  So I decided to model my healing after this remarkable woman. We chatted over IG comments mainly about yoga and art. Our brief conversations sparked me to create a fun project of legging designs, mainly to take my mind off of my limitations. Leggings were just starting to trend then, so I went with the flow and transferred some of the floral paintings onto the leggings designs. I was so excited when Martine supported me by being the first to buy a pair.

As I got more into blogging, I would cross paths with Martine here and there about recipes and yoga. She always brought a smile to anyone she interacted with and that is no exception for me. We might not have been close, but we were friends, and I felt her support alongside me on my IBD journey.

A new way of grieving

Martine's passing shocked and devasted me. Naturally, I fell into my old way of grieving which was to be sad, be very very sad. I cried and wanted to be consumed in sorrows. I always thought that the longer I stayed in sadness means the more I cared about the person I am grieving for. This is how I watched my mother grieved when my father passed away, 10 days after our wedding, so I recognized that to be the way to show your love. As it turns out this was a very unhealthy way to grieve. When my father died unexpectedly, my mother and I felt completely destroyed. I held on the grief far too long because that was what my mother did.  As a result, I helplessly watched her neglect her health through grief. I remember my then new husband asking me "how long are you going to grieve for?" and my thought was "how insensitive of him?" But now I know how lucky I am to have married someone who can be up front with me.

Now I have finally learned that unhealthy ways of grieving got me in big trouble with my health. My prolong period of grieving was probably part of the cause of my autoimmune disease. Why? Because grief is a stressor, stressor raises cortisol. Read more about this HERE

After a week of teariness and moping around, something lit up in my head,  I was reminded of Martine's mission, her essence, and how she always empowered people. She made them feel Good! So I thought,  Heck NO! I am not going to bury myself in my old habits and go against everything Martine stood for.

What did Martine teach me even after she left this earth? She taught me to look into my approach to grieving. There are different stages of grieving. Anger and Sadness are the ones most people are familiar with, the important thing is not to dwell on it for too long. Give yourself the time to BE with it, then RELEASE it and move on.

As for the tools I used to help me through these heavy times, here they are.

Journaling

I wrote and wrote and wrote. Sometimes, I wrote so fast that I did even know what words or letters were pouring out of the pen. This is how this blog post began. The pen to paper action was very therapeutic and freeing for me. If you are used to typing, I encourage you to try the old fashion way of writing and see if it makes you feel more connected with your feelings.

Self Care

I really stepped up my self-care. I guess it is a way of honouring the emotions and being with it.  Beside sleeping more and taking Epsom salt baths, I took full advantage of the freshly finished backyard with the hammock my husband built. I think everyone needs hammock time often, it is quite magical to be wrapped up like a baby and feel completely safe and secure.

Essential Oils

For emotional support, I pulled out my Young Living essential oils blends like Release, Valor, Believe to focus on my intentions. I liked putting drops of Believe on my head to diminish doubt,  Release on my heart dissolve tension or pain and Valor on feet for the courage to move forward. All of Young Living's blends are specifically created with the frequency to match their purposefully chose names. And Yes they work!

Through exploring essential oils as part of the process, I learned about a fascinating healing technique that uses the oils to facilitate an emotional transformation called Aroma Freedom Technique. You can read more about it HERE but I plan to dedicate a blog post in this technique in the near future.

So, whoever you are grieving for, cry if you want to but don't dwell on the sadness for too long. Honour your loved ones and keep their legacy alive. #herworkliveson because so will ours. I hope by sharing how I grieve and using journaling, self care and essential oils as support,  I can offer some comfort in easing yours during a time of need so that this necessary process will not secretly harm your health.