The Natural Bud

Blossoming into a Healthier Lifestyle


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3 Healthy Habits

Health Changes photocredit: foodtrients.com

Health Changes
photocredit: foodtrients.com

For me, changing our lifestyle was overwhelming at first – especially since I had waited until extreme measures were necessary.  I hope that isn’t the case for you 🙂  For those who want to get started on a healthier path, I recommend choosing only one area to change and committing to that for a month.

Workout with Your Dog photocredit: ruffwear.com

Workout with Your Dog
photocredit: ruffwear.com

Here are three suggestions:

  1. Drink 2 liters of water when you wake up, before eating or drinking anything else. (Food Matters)
  2. Exercise 20 minutes a day, at least 3 days a week. The energy boost from exercise comes between 11-14 minutes. (Dr. Sue Lawton).  Personally, I’ve found that exercising is most effective in the morning, before other distractions crowd it out; plus it gives me a clearer focus for the day.  Make it a priority and you’ll notice the difference.*
  3. Incorporate 50% fresh food with every meal. (Food Matters). Smoothies are a great way to do this. A veggie tray. Salad. You’ll find a few recipes on our new blog http://www.theallergyconsciouskitchen.com Pinterest also has tons of attractive recipes.

    The Research  photocredit: micrometrics.co

    The Research
    photocredit: micrometrics.co

I posted out of order, but this entry is the follow-up to my green living post. Here are a few links on research for those who wanted to learn more.  I’m only including a few links in order to keep it simple:


“EAT FRESH,” “EAT ORGANIC,” “ELIMINATE TOXINS”

CUT OUT SUGAR

REBUILD YOUR SYSTEM

  • http://www.vimeo.com/39384616 (This is 17-minute webinar by Dr. David Hill, doTERRA’s Chief Medical Advisor. He talks about the effects of omega-3’s for healthy brain and heart function. He particularly discusses the supplementation product that I am currently using for increased energy etc.; email if you’d like to know more about this.)

*You can also incorporate exercise into your daily routine: If you have somewhere to go that is nearby, walk there.  Play tag with your kids or take the dog for a walk.  If you’re married, walking with your spouse is a great way to improve your marriage. (I don’t know about you, but my husband talks more when he’s outside and moving :).

This is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease.


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DIY Air Fresheners

This was my fun project for the week!  It doesn’t take long, except that you leave it out to dry for a few days.  I had never used silicon molds before, so I was nervous about how they would turn out… but I’m so excited about the results!!

The recipe is for Refrigerator Refreshers, but you can use them as air fresheners in many different locations.  Click here for the recipe I used:http://doterrablog.com/diy-fridge-refreshers/  The only modification I did was to add about 10-15 drops of doTERRA lemon oil along with the purify.

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(Had to include a picture of my husband’s special Star Flex (sp?) also. It’s a retired part of one of the helicopters he worked on.)

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Great addition to a gift basket for your crafty or natural-minded friends.

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12 Things You Can Never Pack Too Much Of- From a Mom

photocredit: blog.clicktale.com

photocredit: blog.clicktale.com

Lately it seems our rate of travel has doubled. (Not that our rate was high in the first place :))  I grew up in Africa, so traveling isn’t really new to me (in light of that, you’d think I’d be more skilled at packing!)  – but traveling with a baby, that’s a whole new realm!
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Even with a two-year-old, I feel like I’m just now getting better at it.  I’ve tried learning to pack light, and in my effort to do that, we’ve had some interesting predicaments – “what? out of diapers already?”  So, I’ve come up with a list of things that are ALWAYS worth packing, and sometimes packing a little extra… Nothing really new here, you experienced mothers will laugh at these.

1. Diapers; Baby Wipes (homemade, of course)

2. Tissues

3. Blankets: Even in the summer, I find myself wishing I had a blanket to hang up and shade the sun from baby’s eyes while he’s in the carseat.

4. Toys & Books for the road; bath toys.

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5.Baby clothes for all different types of weather (e.g. a sweater/rain jacket even in the summer – gets chilly sometimes!)  At least 3 extra outfits…more for a newborn. 🙂

6. Pajamas.  For both warm and chilly weather.  Funny how you can forget these things.

7. Comfortable evening social wear.  Maybe even some bedroom slippers.

8. Food!  Lots and lots of food.  Not only because it keeps the baby entertained and happy, but also because I’m hungry every two hours as a pregnant and nursing mother.

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9. Hand Sanitizer (homemade, naturally. 🙂 here’s the recipe I used: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer/)

10. A Water Bottle (maybe even some gallon jugs)

11. Essential Oils/Diffuser

12. My Spray Bottle of Natural Disinfectants along with Paper Towels.

photocredit: howdoesshe.com

photocredit: howdoesshe.com

And then there’s other basics like toiletries, razors etc… Oh audio books are great too.

Well this is from the mom of ONE toddler.  I’m sure I’ll have more to add after our trip this weekend, but I’d love to hear input from all of you!  What have you found useful while traveling?  Maybe even from a different stage of life or those who have multiple babies.


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A Special Easter Gift

As both a Christian and a wellness advocate, it’s important to me that people feel our genuine concern for their needs.  While sharing essential oils is a source of income for us, we should always focus on others’ needs, not what we can “get” from them.  One thing I love about this business is the new opportunities it has given us to show kindness- God has provided more income to reach out to others, the ability to meet many physical and emotional needs, and creative new ways to give gifts.

photo credit: doterrablog.com

photo credit: doterrablog.com

Last year, my mom developed a beautiful new gift to share, relating the essential oils of the Bible to the account of Easter week.  It is the Easter Roll-on, a blend of essential oils that produce a grounding, calming effect.

Here are the specific oils, with their correlation to Easter Week and a few of their benefits.  (See the source link for more benefits of each.)

Myrrh & Frankincense
Correlation: Given to Jesus as gifts at His birth.
Benefits: Immune Strengthener, Skin Care, Go-To Salve

Gifts for Jesus' Birth  photo credit: atouchofhealth.biz

Gifts for Jesus’ Birth
photo credit: atouchofhealth.biz

Vetiver
Correlation:
Aroma smells like the ground. Reminds us of the burial of Jesus Christ.
Benefits: Calms Anxious Feelings, Enhances Circulation
Also used as a base for many colognes/perfumes.

Sandalwood (“Aloes”)
Correlation: Used along with frankincense and myrrh to anoint Jesus at His burial.
Benefits: Immune Strengthener, Skin Care

Orange & Lime photo credit: eofamily.com

Orange & Lime
photo credit: eofamily.com

Wild Orange & Lime
Correlation: Reminds us of new life & Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Benefits of Lime: Calming, Respiratory Support.
Often used to help those who are grieving.

Benefits of Wild Orange: Invigorating, Uplifting.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live [again in Heaven].'”
photocredit: createdforamission.com

“[….]that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“’O Death, where is your sting? O [Grave], where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin […] But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved […], be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-58

photocredit: pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com

photocredit: pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com

 


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Birth Story: A Few Reflections

In my birth story there wasn’t space to share the resources that helped us to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually for this marathon!  So I thought I’d share those here.

1) Bradley Class- the Bradley class was one of the biggest influences on us in deciding what birth we wanted.  (I appreciate that our instructor, Regina Paleau, knows the balance as her first baby was born naturally and the second required a C-section).  Just knowing how my body works really helped mentally during labor.  It was also a tremendous blessing as my husband had learned ways that he could be more helpful.

2) Dancing for Birth- Physically this was a huge help.  I took the first class because it sounded like fun, a great way to meet new ladies, and it was free.  I developed a friendship with the dance instructor, Dana Caulkins, and she was a great help, teaching why certain positions are more effective, the importance of exercise during pregnancy, etc.  However, during labor, I was surprised how much those dance moves really helped to ease the pain of contractions!

3) Essential Oils – I had been using essential oils before I became pregnant, and when I first became pregnant, I stopped everything because I didn’t know what was safe.  However, I was very excited to learn that there were several that I could use.  I have a book called Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth, & Babies by midwife Stefanie Fritz.  She outlines several of the ways she uses essential oils in her practice and shares testimonials from many of her patients.  Of course, I recommend that every woman does her own research, uses caution and talks to her medical caregiver with concerns.

By far, my faith was the biggest help during labor.  The freedom to call out to God and know that He hears and helps me, as well as comforting passages from Scripture, were a huge help.  My family and those supportive people around me were another tremendous blessing.  I’m so thankful for how God has blessed me with such supportive and encouraging people.


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The Best (and most fun) Toilet Bowl Cleaner I’ve Used

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Also a great way to get your older kids to help clean 🙂

Chemical cleaners were a huge contributing factor to the health problems I developed in college.  (My job at the time was cleaning bathrooms.)  I’m so excited now to see how many natural and DIY Cleaners are out there!

I found this toilet cleaner recipe in an essential oil magazine.  It’s so much fun!  I look forward to cleaning the toilet now!

1/2 C Baking Soda

1/4 C Vinegar

10 Drops Essential Oil

Sprinkle the baking soda around inside of toilet.  Add 10 drops of essential oil.  (I chose grapefruit and lime because they are antibacterial but I also love the aroma.  Grapefruit and wild orange together are also great.)  Add Vinegar and scrub while the combination fizzes up!  It’s so much fun and leaves the bathroom smelling amazing!


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Home Birth Part 3: Baby Arrives

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Stage 4: Push

Eventually I asked them when it was okay to push – Aunt Joan said push whenever I felt like it. She also said if I wanted to, I could try to feel for the head. I felt something – round and rubbery – “that’s not the head, is it?” (I thought it would feel harder; I guess it felt soft because the amniotic sac was still around it.) “Yes, it probably is.” So Aunt Joan came to check, and said it was the head.

Contractions were getting more painful and I was ready to push. I had already started pushing during contractions because they had become more intense and it relieved the pain a little. But at this point they were actively coaching and helping me with pushing. Jason and my mom got on each side of me, and Aunt Joan was in front of me to see the progress of the baby moving down. Whenever a contraction would start, they would encourage me, “Push.” I was standing up and squatting, with my hands on my knees. (The position with most pressure on thighs – apparently a lot on your arm muscles, too, as I found out in the next few days 🙂 Jason and my mom were also supporting me from each side.

I was groaning loudly as I pushed, which I thought helped. Aunt Joan said, “Push.” They were all telling me that I really needed to push during contractions. I felt so frustrated – “I thought I was pushing!”

“It’s okay, you can do it.” Aunt Joan explained that instead of letting the air out in a groan, I should keep the air in and use it to help me push. (She explained later that a lot of women do that during pushing – let air out in a shallow groan – where they expend energy that doesn’t help.)  My mom was saying to use the air to push down.

Soon I started holding my breath so I could push better – then my mom was saying “breathe,” but I was thinking, I have to hold my breath to push the right way. If I took the time to breathe I would just be groaning – which they told me wasn’t actually pushing. I did breathe after the contraction though.

“You’re doing good. That’s it.” Eventually, Aunt Joan said I could look down and see the head if I wanted.

Jason: “There’s the head. I see the head. I see the head!” (so cute)

It gave hope to see his head. I could only see part of his head, so it looked like his head was really small – too small for a body; it occurred to me – that is definitely not his whole head. We must’ve pushed for at least 30 minutes that way, because Aunt Joan said I pushed 30-45 minutes. Finally, Aunt Joan said to squat down (what she called the “high squat”? in her letter to Aunt Laurie). I knew I’d be more likely to tear if I delivered from that position, but I had also practiced that squat a lot during pregnancy. I knew I could stay in that position more easily… and I really wanted the baby to come out! It had started to feel like he would never come out (especially at the point where they were all telling me to push when I thought I WAS pushing). So I squatted down and pushed. Aunt Joan said, “You’re doing good. Just two more pushes.” That gave me hope!

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A few more contractions/pushing, and Jonathan slid right out. I know Aunt Joan was holding and maneuvering him before she set him on the floor, but I didn’t notice any of that. All I remember is this baby suddenly in front of me, lying on his back, flailing his arms and screaming. I immediately noticed that his lip quivers when he cries. Among my numb first thoughts was, Please help him to get cuter. But I knew we’d have to love and take care of him anyway; and we would love him – he was ours. As it turns out, besides being all wet, he was just puffy from birth!

I stared at him, not sure what I was supposed to do. Then I guessed I should pick him up, so I reached for him. Aunt Joan: “Careful with the cord.” Oh yeah, he was still attached to the placenta. I held him against me. I tried to nurse him, but he was screaming too much and didn’t care about nursing then. His lip was quivering; I thought he was cold. Someone covered us both with a towel (his lip was still quivering).

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After I held him a little, Aunt Joan had me set him back down so she could cut the cord. She asked Jason, “Do you want to cut the cord?” It was curly and a really pale shade of yellow, with some deep blue lines through it (looked kind of like an old-fashioned telephone cord). I only vaguely remember seeing Jason cut it – I remember hearing everything more than seeing it. Maybe I leaned back and closed my eyes for that part. Then Aunt Joan sat on the side of the tub, and gave Jonathan his first bath 🙂 Someone video taped it. After that, everyone left with the baby, except Aunt Joan.  She coached me how to deliver the placenta.

Eventually Jason and Aunt Joan helped me get to the bed.  I had a small tear so they brought Jonathan to distract me while Aunt Joan sewed me up.  He was upset so it helped to focus on comforting my new baby.  I finally could eat some soup and then slept.  It was only two hours before Jonathan needed to nurse but it was the best two hours of sleep I’ve ever had!

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