For many, a new year means resolutions: Lose weight, make more money, or something else that screams ‘needs improvement.’ Loads of self-help and goal-setting materials are abound to establish the feeling of inadequacy.

I decided to be me this year. It might be a better version of me by the end of 2017, but nevertheless, it will be me despite a new job, my weight, my relationships, my haircut, or how much money I have in the bank.

Why? Because manifesting anything comes from allowing the universe to do what it does best. I’m tired of pushing for what I desire when I know the universe has an abundance of those things in store. Often, I need to look back and see what each year brings. And more often if I want to recognize all the blessings around me.

Reflection, not Resolution should remain our focus. Be grateful for what has come to fruition during the past year. An attitude of gratefulness sets the universe in action so we can receive the new things we desire in the future. Put intentions out there. Speak of them loud and clear. Aim for concise thoughts and allow the cosmos to work.

May 2017 be the year of manifestation in your life. Happy New Year! ūüćĺ

Cheryl

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2017

Berries

I recently found out that Bob Nielsen, a dear professor from my undergraduate years, and part of the reason I started this blog, passed away. He had struggled with prostate cancer for years, as well as diabetes. I remember watching as he checked his sugar during our independent study session that followed the lunch hour. One of the things he mentioned that his wife allowed him to eat for a snack or dessert was “graham crackers and cream cheese; oh boy”, he would say as he tried to drum up some enthusiasm. Prostate cancer is an inflammatory disease. A study done by Sfanos and DeMarzo (2012) provides some evidence that inflammation is to blame. “There are multiple different lines of evidence suggesting that inflammation is very common within the adult prostate” (para 4). One can imagine that inflammation has its hand in other diseases too, including diabetes. We have all had injuries when inflammation took over and helped us heal. Chronic inflammation moves in when the body’s immune system overloads because it cannot rid the cause of the initial swelling. Sometimes stress is a major factor in the inability to overcome inflammation. Known as the fight or flight response from our parasympathetic nervous system, our bodies gear up to escape from that bear or lion. These days, the bear or lion is replaced by sitting in the hot-seat of an office desk with loads of work, though it is not an immediate threat. If the perceived threat has no relief, the body has trouble eliminating the adrenaline and translates it into stress. That stress creates inflammation in the body.

Chronic stress is a terrible condition because when there is no outlet for the build-up, the body cannot help but create inflammation as its response to stress, whether real or imagined. The body only understands feelings. It cannot determine if the pressure is real or something we see on television as we sit in a theater watching gory or horror films. However, some adrenaline is good. We need it to get out of the way in traffic, for instance. But everyday stress from a job is detrimental to health.

Let’s look at some of the ways we can help our bodies cope with stress overload. Sometimes the help of a medical professional is needed; but you may want to try some of these remedies first.

Anti-inflammatory Foods:
Harvard studies indicate that certain foods will help fight inflammation. Certain foods should also be avoided. And if you have been paying attention to good health, that food list will not come as a surprise. Think about what your grandmother and grandmother’s mother would have eaten and follow those rules.

Foods that fight for you are:

* Green leafy vegetables
* Some fruits – berries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
* Nuts and seeds
* Fatty fish
* Olive oil
* Tomatoes

While Harvard lists tomatoes as anti-inflammatory, it’s one of those foods considered a night shade – think eggplant, potatoes, peppers – which may cause inflammation in some people. I react differently when eating them; I notice right away when my knee begins to ache. I feel better both in my joints and in my mood when I stick to these types of foods. Another thing that Harvard has left out is the importance of fermented foods. Improving the health of the gut can combat chronic inflammatory diseases with proven results. Gut health enables the body to eliminate toxins like pesticides common in commercially produced food today.

Herbs and Spices:
One of my favorite public figures, Dr. Mercola, has a terrific website with great deal of information regarding health. He lists clove, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric (curcumin) as the best herbs to use. Starting out slowly with these as a daily regime is a good way to start.

I take turmeric supplement for my aching knee. It has been one of the most beneficial herbs for me. It’s actually a root, similar to the ginger family. Check out your local grocer. You might find it there in its original form now that it has become popular. Funny how that happens.

Spices to use include:

* Cinnamon (ceylon)
* Jamaican Allspice
* Apple pie spice mixture
* Oregano
* Pumpkin pie spice mixture
* Marjoram
* Sage
* Thyme
* Gourmet Italian spice

Dr. Mercola lists these specifically to help us boost our resistance to inflammation by adding these to our own recipes. When it’s easy to do, people will do it. Start with one or two today.

Essential Oils:
Essential oils are also recognized to help combat inflammation. In a study of lab rats, rosemary, eucalyptus, and ginger essential oils reduced episodes of edema; the latter two reduced effects from the ingestion of carrageenan, a common ingredient in commercial yogurts and ice cream. You might want to scout out this ingredient and remove it from your diet. I found too many tests in my search that aim to fight its inflammatory side effects.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine comments that essential oils are used as therapies because the nose first detects the scents. The sensors recognize the chemical compounds of the oil, then work on the limbic system as effectively as a drug (PDQ, 2014). Certain combinations from fragrant plants demonstrate relief from stress and improve the quality of life. Two of my favorites are Stress Away and lavender from Young Living essential oils. Lavender is one of the most popular scents, often found in baby products since its affect is almost immediate. You can create your own uplifting scents like the combination of cinnamon bark, peppermint, and cedarwood that I use when I need to stay calm yet alert while driving in heavy traffic. You can breathe away the stress in your life too.

Grounding:
While not commonly known as grounding, using the effects of the earth on our bodies is an amazing way to de-stress. Countless studies and feedback are addressed in the book Earthing. The subtitle says it all. Is Earthing really a new heath discovery? Hardly. People have walked barefoot on the earth for thousands of years. But lately we have disconnected, so to speak. Our high-rise buildings and the invention of the rubber sole shoe promote the separation between us and the earth. The text demonstrates the electrical effects and relationship between humans and the earth, provides a list of the benefits of getting our feet back on the earth, and provides compelling thermal imagery after grounding. Page 63 shows a list of diseases caused by inflammation. It’s not surprising that other chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, lupus, and MS are on this list. Pain is listed too.

We all have pain of some sort. Think of it… just coming in contact with the earth on a regular basis can help us. You see, lowering the EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) is imperative. We are surrounded by constant waves of energy; over time, people who do not ground with the earth are susceptible to “infection, stress, and degenerative diseases” (Ober, Sinatra, & Zucker, 2010, p. 79). Earthing helps to move that EMF off of us.

Think of the last time you were at the beach and played in the ocean or other body of water. Recall the feelings of peace, relaxation, and regeneration. What about the last time you walked in the yard to feel the grass under your feet? Doing so is completely free, but so few of us do it. At the very least, Ober has invented a way to gain similar effects from placing a ground in the earth. Your kitchen and bathroom electrical outlets have a ground to the earth. By using this part of the plug, Ober created grounding mats, mattresses, pillowcases, and the like to help you absorb the earth’s ground as you work and sleep. The grounding mat is great when the air becomes dry in the winter months. Static electricity can wreak havoc when doing laundry or just walking on a carpet. I am using a grounding mat as I type. The sweat from the bottoms of my bare feet help create the ground and move the EMF off of me when I work. Aside from the turmeric I use, grounding has helped when my knee was so inflamed I had trouble walking.

BeachBest

Being pain free is something we all desire. Consider these methods to reduce the stress and inflammation in your life. Tell a friend.

Joy,
Cheryl

References

Ober, C., Sinatra, S. T., & Zucker M. (2010). Earthing:The most important health discovery ever? Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.

PDQ¬ģ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. (2014). PDQ Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. [PMID: 26389261]. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/aromatherapy-pdq.

Sfanos, K. S. & DeMarzo, A. M. (2012). Prostate cancer and inflammation: The evidence. Histopathology 60(1), 199-215. doi 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.04033.x

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Peppermint oilAh, peppermint. Where do I start?

You might have a love relationship with peppermint if you put it in some water to boost digestive health and relieve gas symptoms.

You might have a love relationship with peppermint if you rub it into your temples when you have a headache, or onto the back of the neck to boost athletic performance or to help relieve stress.

Do you diffuse it into the air to help with mental clarity? Or do you add it to your toothbrush for fresher breath?

Peppermint is so versatile.  I like to add it to homemade chocolate or chocolate brownies.

I like to add it to my natural homemade room spray. It pairs well with purification for a homemade bug repellent, another featured oil in this series.

My mother grew this plant in the yard while I was growing up.¬† I loved grazing on the leaves. Later, in my own yard, I was surprised to find out that it’s quite an invasive plant. Be careful to try to limit its root system to a contained space. It will take over. The oil, therefore, can be less expensive than the others. Aim to find the best quality available.

Peppermint tea has been around for years. Make your own by adding a drop of 100% pure therapeutic grade oil marked as a supplement to hot water for the best results.

Remember that in order for these oils to work in your favor, their use must be coupled with a healthy lifestyle.¬† Don’t expect to go out and eat fast food, then come home and try to remedy poor, unhealthy habits. You simply will not reap the benefits. And like many herbal supplements, oils must be used daily to enhance the great health you’re looking for.

Enjoy Earth Day.

Joy,

Cheryl

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Oh, my stomach…..
What did you eat last night at that unfamiliar restaurant that caused you so much discomfort the whole night through? Not sure? I’ve been there too.¬† Traveling in new places and dining out can expose your system to unforgiving foods, or just ways those foods are prepared cause tummy issues.

It’s essential to ask the server how your food is prepared; however, even the simplest item on the menu can cause indigestion. What do you do? When I was growing up, my mother gave me some disgustingly thick, pink fluid with a wintergreen flavor. I think that stuff made my stomach issue even worse.¬†Eventually, that same company had to reformulate their product because some children grew extremely ill from taking it. It’s best not to run to the nearest drug store; here’s why:

This is a list of the natural items those commercial companies based their products on but chose to take the chemical route instead:¬†Essential oils of tarragon, juniper, anise, ginger, fennel, patchouli, peppermint, and lemongrass make up Young Living’s DiGize, an all natural, non-toxic way to optimize your digestive system.

Most of you might know that ginger on its own is helpful, but often found in a sugary drink like ginger ale. Sometimes ginger tea is available.  Tarragon, fennel, juniper, and lemongrass are known for digestive and flatulence relief. Anise aids in irritable bowel syndrome. Historically, patchouli is a natural diuretic that enables the body to quickly move the problem out of the system. Peppermint helps to relieve the heartburn.

The combination in DiGize essential oil is unsurpassed by any over-the-counter drug you might find. Used regularly, one will find optimal, normal digestion. Use two drops in liquid in the evening after a meal, or in the morning. You may also add 1-2 drops to a vegetarian capsule and take with a meal. Use daily to prevent digestive mishaps at home or while traveling.

Joy,

Cheryl

As you have read through this series, I hope you’ve come to recognize the benefits of essential oils and how they can help you and your loved ones choose a healthier way.
To obtain your Premium Starter kit, and start to live a non-toxic lifestyle, go to http://www.youngliving.org/cheryl9059.

RC

Sometimes the air conditioning units in hotels just make my nose stuffy. That is when I reach for RC, Young Living essential oil. RC is a blend of oils known to help with allergies, sinus issues, and colds. Basically, RC stands for Respiratory Conditions. This blend of eucalyptus, myrtle, marjoram, and pine (among others) is the best oil to carry while traveling because it not only helps calm the muscles around the sinuses, it helps to open up the airways, a must for sleeping at night. I say it acts much like the commercial chest rubs without the petroleum oils that seep into our systems. The scent is much lighter too. Diffuse and apply to the chest and back for the best benefit. This oil can be applied to the bottoms of the feet of younger folks or added to a bowl of steaming water. Place a towel over the head and inhale for sinus relief.

 

Joy,

 

Cheryl

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Lemon!

One of my most favorite essential oils is lemon. It’s so versatile.

Because it tastes so fresh, it helps me get my daily recommended quota of water everyday. I don’t know about you, but there are days I just struggle to swallow 64 oz of the stuff. It can be outright bland.

Lemon, makes my water a treat. And, gosh, if you own one of those Soda Stream machines, you’ve got yourselves an amazing substitute for all that sugary soda we drink. When I want to get a little fancy, I will add a drop or two of lime essential oil¬† as well.

I don’t miss the sugar, and I stay hydrated.

I keep a small bottle of lemon in my purse, so whenever I’m out at a restaurant, I just add a drop of lemon oil, especially in places where the water doesn’t taste so good.

While less exotic as some essential oils, this one does have its perks. Besides its taste, lemon oil, and most other citrus oils, are invigorating. Lemon is known for its d-limonene content, 68%. Used daily, it can help dissolve gallstones, relieve heartburn and reflux, and counteract against different types of cancer (Sun, 2007). Lemon is a commonly used flavoring in food and juices. I add the essential oil to my freshly baked fish, baked goods, in salads, and my morning smoothie knowing I’m getting the added benefits of d-limonene.

Many people question whether this oil will have an adverse effect on sensitive teeth. The answer is simple. The oil is much different from the juice. It’s pH neutral. Lemon juice is acidic at about 2.3 pH which equals about 5% acidity. The oil, on the other hand is made strictly from the rind and skin.

75 lemons are distilled to make one 15ml bottle of Young Living Essential Lemon oil. The result is a highly concentrated oil and safe for consumption.

If you’re ready to ditch the chemicals for a toxic free home, lemon oil can help. You’ve probably already noticed that the commercial products for polishing furniture use the scent of lemon. The synthetic oil is not the same. Why not make your own? This is exciting – add one or two drops of lemon to a tsp of coconut oil on a soft cloth. Not only will the wood shine, but the house will smell incredibly clean. Don’t forget to diffuse the lemon oil to purify the air too.

A 15ml bottle of lemon oil contains 250 drops making this oil economical. Brace yourself.¬† The retail price of YL Lemon oil is less than $15.00. It’s included in the Premium Starter kit as well. Once you purchase the kit, your cost will be lower since members receive 24% off all products.
Think about the money saved here. You are sure to find so many uses for Lemon oil. It’s also a main ingredient in the immune building oil, Thieves.

Another great advantage to diffusing Lemon is its uplifting effects and as an aid in concentration. So much better than caffeine, I am more alert when working from home or while I’m at the office. Even if you’re not close to a place to plug in a diffuser,¬† just rub a drop into the palms of your hands and cup them over your nose while inhaling deeply for the same effect. Wow.

I don’t want to forget to mention that while it seems that detoxing is the latest craze in weight loss, the lemon oil does help flush the system effectively and aids with normalizing digestion. That’s really what detoxing means. The goal is to help your body do its job – eliminate the harmful toxins that are ingested each day. These toxins aren’t just what is consumed by mouth. Toxins are in the air we breathe and the stress we accumulate over time. Removing toxins is just one step toward weight loss and mental clarity. Who wouldn’t want that?

Yes, this post has a lot of information, but I hope you’re just as excited about using lemon oil as part of your daily supplemental routine as I am. For information on how to order, use http://www.youngliving.org/cheryl9059.

Joy,

Cheryl

Reference :

Sun, J. (2007). D-limonene: Safety and clinical applications. Alternative Medical Review, 12(3), 259-264. Retrieved from http:/ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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Travel with Frank РFrankincense, that is.

Frankincense (Olibanum) is one of the most widely known essential oils, and for good reason. Used as currency and trade for centuries, as early as 500BC, its original form was resin which was burned as incense in many rituals and ceremonies, and during embalming to cover the scent of the dead. Most people remember this oil from the Bible. It was one of the gifts the three Kings gave to Jesus at his birth (or shortly thereafter).

Grown in Oman, the people have used frankincense for basic necessities in the household, religious ceremonies, and medicine for centuries. Common uses in the home include driving insects away, as a toothpaste, a deodorant, and as a flavoring in food. Interestingly, its more common use was medicinal. I’ve heard it called the father of all oils. Perhaps it received the name because of the variety of ailments frankincense was used to treat.

On my recent vacation, I used frankincense on my toothbrush. It has a pleasant taste. I also added a drop in some water for indigestion. I was pleased with the results. If you have a high quality, pure essential oil, this one is considered safe for consumption and can be used as a dietary supplement. And if, according to Hippocrates, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, people can ward off many illnesses just by consuming natural herbs, food, and essential oils.

Hey ladies, I also discovered that if I rub some of the oil into my skin after shaving, I have less bumps near the bikini area. Men, you might try this oil as an aftershave.

Women have used the oil as an addition to cosmetics. In fact, I remember reading something about Cleopatra’s eye-liner coming from the burned resin. In modern days, it’s added as a main ingredient in products to help reduce wrinkles. I have been using it to clear an occasional bout of acne.

I don’t want to forget to mention that frankincense can be diffused into the air during meditation or yoga practice. Our senses connect the exotic fragrance of the Holy oil with the creator to uplift the spirit during the meditation practice.

The idea here is to do your research. Find the best quality oils available; look for 100% pure, therapeutic-grade oil marked as a supplement. Frankincense has never been cheap. If you find a 15ml bottle less than 30 or 40 dollars, chances are the oil is not pure. In this case you would only hurt yourself.

A common dose is 1 drop of oil to 1 Tbsp of honey or in 4 oz. of water or almond milk. Under 6 years of age is not recommended.
Used wisely, you will find this oil is a treasure. Invest in yourself and use frankincense. You will not be sorry.

Joy,

Cheryl

Reference

The story of Frankincense. (n. d.). Middle East Institute.  Retrieved from http://www.mei.edu/sqcc/frankincense

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Longing for a break?  Stress Away Essential oil to the rescue!

The stress that comes with the demands of the classroom and life can wreak havoc on the immune system. Chronic stress, the flight or fight response present without an actual physical threat, does more damage to the sympathetic nervous system than we think. Perhaps it’s too bad a real threat doesn’t show up on occasion; at least then we can expend that adrenaline for the cause. Without an imminent threat that is dealt with once and for all, we simply remain tense and stressed out to the point of exhaustion. This condition leads to inflammation and a weaker immune system.

Thank goodness there’s an oil for stress. Stress Away is the bonus oil in the Young Living Premium Starter kit.¬† The company even throws in a free roller-ball for use on the go. Just roll onto the wrists or the back of the neck and let it go to work.

Stress Away is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Ocotea, and Lavender. Each has its own job. The Copaiba relieves muscle aches and pains, helps with inflammation, and lifts the mood. Lime is uplifting and aids in feeling refreshed and lively. Cedarwood has a calming effect on the nerves. Ocotea balances emotions so you do not lash out at others. Lavender promotes well being as it relaxes the body. Simply, this oil blend brings us back a more relaxed state to enable the body to cope with moments of stress.

Since we cannot often control stressful situations, we can change how we respond to them. Keep a bottle of Stress Away on hand at school, at work, in the car, and just about anywhere else to ease the body through even the most stressful times. It’s like Zen in a bottle. Ahhh.

Joy,

Cheryl

Panaway

Today’s post will also focus on an essential oil you should not be without, Young Living’s Panaway.

The main ingredients in Panaway are wintergreen,  helichrysum, clove, and peppermint.
If you enjoy sports or outdoor activities,¬† don’t leave home without this essential oil blend. Its aspirin-like properties work well for muscle and joint pain.

My mother told me that when she was a kid, she had a lot of knee pain, so my grandmother would rub wintergeen oil into the affected area to soothe the pain. It works because wintergeen contains a powerful natural substance called Methyl Salicylate. Commercial products will use a synthetic form of methyl salicylate in its products. They are based on the natural remedy; but the natural oils are lost, or the product contains very low amounts of the active ingredient.

Panaway contains Helichrysum oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, along with Clove oil known for relieving the pain of arthritis. Anti-inflammatory agents help remove excess fluid away from the site so the body can begin to heal.

Peppermint oil is another anti-inflammatory oil. It, too, acts to remove fluids. But rather than add chemicals or capsaicin, a chili pepper ingredient that adversely affects some users, Young Living uses the menthol of peppermint to provide the warming and cooling effects in this essential oil blend. The combination allows for direct application without a carrier oil. It will not burn the skin.

The next time you find you have over-done your routine and need the aid of a quality essential oil blend, grab the panaway from your Premium Starter kit.  Its powerful ingredients will keep you invigorated instead of sitting on the sidelines.

Joy,

Cheryl