Repercussion for choosing a more natural lifestyle

God gave us what we need on this Earth. We have plants and foods that contain nutrients with the power to maintain and heal our bodies. That is something I’ve become much more aware of and appreciative of since choosing a more natural lifestyle.

A few years ago, I really started learning more about using more natural products in our household. One of the first changes I made was in our cleaning products. The warning labels on products I used to clean my kitchen and bathroom were appalling. These warnings weren’t new. I just grew accustomed to thinking “that’s normal.” What brought the dangers of them to my attention was a local news story about a mother dying while cleaning her bathroom. I looked into natural cleaning solutions and began cleaning our home with vinegar and baking soda.

I didn’t stop there though. Making that switch opened up a whole can of worms: personal care products, beauty products, processed food, and even modern medicine. I continued my “ditch and switch” little by little throughout our home. I ditched the most toxic products and switched to healthier options. I began using essential oils and buying less junk food. I became one of “those people” (you know, the ones who read labels).

Gasp! I went crazy! Well, at least that’s how some people started to treat me, friends and family. I feel like I had it coming. I suppose it’s deserving for the way I treated my dad for so many years. People thought he was crazy talking about toxins and treating our bodies with vitamins instead of running to the doctor for every cough or sore throat. I thought he was crazy. I scoffed. I rolled my eyes. And the worst part of all, I learned to tune out my father’s advice.

Fast forward, and it turns out my dad was right all those years. The studies he was reading about and the people he was listening to turned out to be right. Our everyday products for cleaning house, bathing, and cooking contain toxins that eventually show up in our bodies as health problems.

I wish I had listened to my dad then. Now I know what he felt like when people scoffed at him and gave the argument that we’ve been using all this stuff for years and we’re doing just fine. I used to think if all these products were so harmful then they wouldn’t be allowed to sell them. Ha!

Now I get scoffed at and watch friends and family roll their eyes when I choose not to use a certain product or food offered to me and explain why. I watch it happen to others as well. It’s even gone as far as fellow Christians treating some of us like we don’t think God can heal us directly or miraculously anymore.

Um, excuse me? Say what? I don’t recall myself or the others I know saying anything about not believing in God for healing. I can’t speak for them, but I absolutely believe God can heal. I also believe in miracles. I didn’t realize that choosing a more natural lifestyle canceled out my belief in God’s ability to heal. I’ve just become much more aware on how I can be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to my health.

Let me put it this way. Would you expect God to heal your lung cancer while continuing to smoke a pack a day? I wouldn’t. Part of trusting God is doing our part too. If we are able to do something, we should be doing it. You don’t pray, “God, change my life,” and continue with the exact same routine every day.

I get that those of us who are passionate about using healthier products and eating better foods come across as way too pushy. Sometimes, we get a little too passionate. And sometimes you get a few who have that pushy nature with everything they do. We, unfortunately, also get labeled due to several of the natural product companies being multi-level marketing companies. Whether it’s a healthy shake, essential oils, or a vitamin infused coffee we use, we receive backlash just by the type of company.

Since making the change to more natural products and less processed food in our home, my husband and I have been healthier. I know those who drink their natural shakes and maintain a healthier weight and higher energy levels and have family who experience less pain and more energy by drinking their vitamin infused coffee each morning.

Nature isn’t new. As technology progressed, so did man’s ways of making his own food and medicine. Society became accustomed to the modern food and medicine, even if it wasn’t better for us. Once health problems started rising and some started speaking up, we began to turn back to what was there all along.

So, if you want to roll your eyes, go ahead. If you want to ignore us, go ahead. But I will not be quiet when it comes to questioning my relationship with my Maker because somebody else doesn’t believe that the resources He gave us can do more for us if we use them correctly.

Again, I can’t speak for others, but I am working on educating while being less pushy. I can’t help if some people are just defensive in general when it comes to opening their minds and trying things a different way. And by no means is my household 100% natural, but it’s a lot better than it use to be. Contrary to what some may think, even changing out a few things is better than changing nothing. It all adds up.

So, makes some changes or don’t. I’ll love you anyway, even if you choose to scoff at me.

Be healthy!

Be blessed!

Be brave!

xoxo

Ash

Essentially Energized

Did you know that you can use essential oils to help you feel energetic? Aromas can have a strong impact on your limbic system (the part of your brain that controls emotions).

Do me a favor and play along for a minute. Picture yourself holding a fresh cut lemon. Imagine the smell of it. Imagine tasting it. Close your eyes and actually try this. Does it make your mouth water?

Maybe a lemon doesn’t do it for you. Maybe imagining your grandma’s cookies fresh out of the oven makes your mouth water. Thinking about that warm cookie smell and how good they’ll taste.

Just imagining smells and tastes like that can affect your mood. So, think about what the real aroma can do.

There are many oils that can help lift your mood with stimulating and invigorating aromas.

Here are some different categories of oils you might like to try out:

Citrus Oils – Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine

Spice Oils – Cinnamon Bark, Black Pepper, Ginger, Rosemary

Minty Oils – Peppermint, Spearmint

I enjoy the aroma of citrus oils in the morning. I like to diffuse them to get me in the mood to clean house as well. In the afternoon, I prefer to diffuse the mints and spices to keep me alert.

And I really like to mix some of these.

Here are my favorite diffuser combos right now:

Black Pepper and Lime

Cinnamon and Orange

Cinnamon and Peppermint

So, next time you need a pick-me-up, try reaching for that bottle of lemon oil or peppermint oil and see what it does for you.

Happy sniffing!

Be brave!

Be happy!

Be oily!

xo

Ash

Sources:

Essential Oils Pocket Reference, Life Science Publishing, 2016

Moodtopia, Sara Chana Silverstein, 2018

The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia, Carol Schiller/David Schiller, 2008

4 Ways I Use Thieves Household Cleaner

How many different household cleaners do you have? I used to have a kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, floor cleaner, and window cleaner. Plus, there were various other cleaners under my sink to tackle specific areas, like the stove or toilet.

Now, I use Thieves Household Cleaner in the following areas:

1. Kitchen – I use a capful of the concentrated Thieves Cleaner in a glass spray bottle and mix with water. I use this bottle to spray down the counters, the sink, and the stove.

2. Bathroom – I use that same spray bottle from the kitchen in my bathroom to clean the bathroom sink, toilet, and tub.
3. Floors – I mop our kitchen floor, bathroom floor, and entry way with a capful of the cleaner in my mop bucket with warm water. To clean our carpets, I add a capful of cleaner into our carpet shampooer (lol, is that a word?). For stains, I use the kitchen spray bottle to spray down the area and use a toothbrush to scrub it.
4. Windows/Mirrors – I use the kitchen spray bottle, again, when it comes to cleaning the windows and mirrors around the house.

What used to be done with a handful of bottles, is now done with one bottle. I had a bottle of Thieves Household Cleaner (14.4 oz size) last me an entire year. Gasp! Seriously, are you gasping???

Some people go through it a bit quicker…. maybe I need to clean my house more? I don’t know, but still, even if it only lasted me 6 months, that would be pretty awesome.

Using this one bottle of cleaner in place of maybe half a dozen others saves me time and money. Oh, and bonus… It’s safe for you to use and breathe while you clean.

Think about this for a second. Has a cleaner made you gag or feel like you needed to get fresh air after using it? My former bathroom cleaner was so guilty of that. It was awful and so were the warnings on the label.

There’s a healthier way to clean friends. So, check out the oil-infused Thieves Household Cleaner.

Be brave!

Be clean!

Be healthy!

xoxo

Ash

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A Typical Oily Day

Welcome to Oily October! My posts for the rest of this month will be about essential oils.

This week I’m going to take you through a typical oily day with me, from oils I use aromatically, internally, and topically to oil-infused products around our home.

I start out my day with a drop of Peppermint Vitality in my hot morning beverage (water, tea, or coffee). I currently apply the blends Endoflex and Progessence Plus daily.  And I often wear the oil blend Joy as my perfume.

Everything I use in the shower is oil-infused. My bodywash is Castile soap with lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil that I add in. (I make a separate one for my hubby.) I wash my face with ART Gentle Cleanser. It’s a smooth-feeling foamy cleanser that contains multiple oils, which include Frankincense and Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood. I also switch between using Mint Satin Facial Scrub and Charcoal Bar Soap for exfoliation. I use Lavender Mint Daily Shampoo and Lavender Mint Daily Conditioner to wash and condition my hair.

I use several moisturizers. Sandalwood Moisture Cream is what I use on my face. I also use Lavender Hand and Body Lotion and I like Kidscents Lotion. I’m a bit of a chronic moisturizer given the climate we have here in Missouri, especially during winter.

I wear natural makeup. I use Savvy Minerals powder, eyeshadow, blush, bronzer, lip gloss, and mascara. This makeup does not contain any talc, bismuth, parabens, or synthetic dyes or fragrances.

I wash my dishes with Thieves Dish Soap. Our hand soap is Castile soap with whatever oils I choose to add, generally lavender. I wash our clothes with Thieves Laundry Soap. I clean our house with Thieves Household Cleaner (counters, windows, floors, bathroom, etc.). No more cabinet full of harmful cleaners for me.

You’ll find several oil-infused lip balms around my house. I keep Lavender Lip Balm in the front room. Vanillamint is in my purse, and Cinnamint is on my night stand. (Again, Missouri winters…)

I diffuse different oils throughout the day depending on what I feel like. I like to diffuse lemon or other citrus oils in the mornings. With fall starting, I like to diffuse cinnamon bark oil with either orange or peppermint in the afternoons and evenings. And my go-to for bedtime is the Stress Away blend. I either diffuse it or put some on before bed.

So there’s my oily lifestyle in a nutshell! I don’t go a single day without using multiple oils in various ways.

I encourage you to let go of some of the synthetic harmful products in your home and give oils a try!

Be brave!

Be bold!

Be oily!

xoxo

Ash

My MLM Experiences

I have been a part of two MLM companies. I thought they were all pretty much the same. They may be structured the same when it comes to the basic business model, but one company can still be extremely different from another. After a very bad experience, I was extremely hesitant about having anything to do with that type of business model.
Here are some differences I’ve noticed since becoming a member of another MLM company.

The Pushy Upline

With the first company, I had an extremely pushy upline. I joined with a friend, and we were constantly pushed to hold events, sign people up, and buy inventory. Many of us in the same office at work joined. It got so bad at the office that a memo was sent out that no brochures or products were allowed.

Our Director for our group was only concerned with meeting her sales goals in order to move up another rank. It was made very apparent how badly she wanted it and how much she needed us to help.

With the company I’m involved with now, it’s nowhere near as bad as that was. We are offered encouragement and support (and sometimes incentives) for holding classes to educate friends and family on the products, lifestyle, and member benefits. I have not been pushed or harassed to hold a certain number of events or buy inventory.

Feeling pushed to sell, sell, sell all the time is one of the reasons MLM companies get such a bad rap.

(Additional note: Sometimes you’ll come across people who are only focused on growing the business instead of promoting the lifestyle. With either company, the type of upline you have can make a huge difference.)

Inventory

With the first company distributors were pushed to have inventory, and there were incentives for buying a certain level of inventory. I knew a few who bought more inventory than they could afford and ended up selling it back to the company at a loss. Luckily, I didn’t buy that much and was able to make back what I had spent.

With this company, I don’t keep inventory on hand. Actually, most of us don’t. This company is set up to where both customers and members get shipments directly from the company. You can keep some inventory on hand if you wish, but it’s not encouraged.

That has been such a perk this time! I’m not going around collecting orders or delivering orders. If one of my customers wants something, they simply order online, and I get a small commission for it.

Product vs Lifestyle

With the first company, it was all about pushing those products, whether you used them or not. We knew very little about the products or what was in them. When asked what was in a facial product, a sales director answered, “As long as it works, I don’t care what’s in it!”

Um, what????? That was a huge red flag to me. At the time I wasn’t as concerned about what was in my skincare products as I am now, but her response really hit me. Not caring at all or saying that just to sell a product…Um, that just doesn’t sit well with me.

When I joined this company, it wasn’t to sell products. It was a lifestyle change. I was searching for something healthier. I was searching for safe and natural alternatives for the harmful products I wanted to kick out of my home.

So, when I tell others about products now, it’s not because I just want them to buy the product for me to make a buck. It’s because I want to educate others about healthier and happier alternatives. Do I like getting a commission? Of course, who wouldn’t? But, if they stopped paying us tomorrow, I would still be using these products and sharing the benefits of them with others. To me, that’s the big difference.

Whatever your current opinion is of MLM companies, I just want you to realize that they are not all the same, and they are not all schemes like they so often get accused of being.

It’s okay to be a part of one if you believe in the product and that company’s values. It can be what you choose for it to be. If you don’t want to be sellsy, then don’t. If you just want to enjoy the member benefits, then do just that.

It’s okay to be a customer too. Don’t automatically shun a product just because of the type of business structure the company uses. There are plenty of MLM companies that produce great quality products. And generally, your purchase helps a friend, family member, or stay-at-home mom. Remember that next time you consider buying the lower quality item from the big chain store because it’s cheaper.

If you stuck through all of this, thanks!

Be brave!
Be blessed!
Be educated!

xoxo
Ash

5 Reasons I Chose Essential Oils

I’ve been using oils for over a year now. Here are 5 reasons why I chose to start using essential oils.

  1. Cleaning House

One of the first ways I stumbled across essential oils was in looking for ways to clean my house with natural non-harmful substances. Lemon oil was one of the first that came up with that topic.

Then I learned about Thieves Household Cleaner, which contains lemon oil and several others. That is what I use to clean around my house now: kitchen, bathroom, mirrors, and windows.

No more breathing in harmful chemicals. Have you read the warnings on your kitchen and bathroom cleaners? Seriously. We shouldn’t be breathing them in or using the surfaces we are spraying them on, especially for food. I no longer have a variety of nasty cleaners under my kitchen sink.

  1. To Replace Candles

Confession time: I used to be a candle junkie. I loved scented candles. Then the wax cubes came out and I was head over heals for melting those. I didn’t know breathing in those fake scents was bad for me.

Now I diffuse essential oils to make our home smell good. There’s even a bonus to diffusing oils because they can provide physical and emotional support as you breathe them in.

Wax cubes: See ya! Wouldn’t wanna be ya! (I may have just shown my age there…)

  1. Physical health support

Essential oils can support your physical health. Different oils support different systems of the body: immune support, respiratory support, digestion support, etc.

We have become so accustomed to reaching for synthetic fixes when we have health problems instead of using the nature that’s been used for centuries or even using those natural substances to help prevent the problems in the first place.

I got tired of reading side effects of all those synthetic fixes…how about you?

  1. Emotional support

Do you know that aromas can be quite powerful when it comes to affecting your mood? Citrus oils are great mood up-lifters. Breathing in lavender can create a calm and relaxing feeling. Frankincense is very popular to diffuse during prayer and meditation.

I love Aromatherapy. I’m currently digging deeper into that field of study.

  1. For Safe Natural Everyday Products

I no longer use soaps, shampoos, conditioners, bodywashes, detergents, deodorants, makeup, or toothpastes that contain harmful substances such as parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, and mineral oils. Some of these may cause hormone disruption and cancer.

You can make natural soaps, shampoos, and detergents and add oils yourself or buy them already made. I do both.

 

So, there you have it.

Essential oils aren’t new. They are referenced in the Bible and were used by the ancient Egyptians.

Over the years, as technology has progressed, we have gotten away from using nature as our ancestors did. I think many of us are finally seeing the cost of it, and we are trying to get back to nature both in our food sources and household products.

I used to think there was no point in even trying because it seems impossible to avoid all harmful chemicals in today’s mass-produced world. Every step counts though. Every product you switch out makes a difference. Every choice you make for something healthier…it matters.

Be healthy!

Be happy!

Be brave!

xoxo

Ash

Working Yourself Sick

Working Yourself Sick

Do you hate your current job? If so, it could have a negative impact on your health.

At one point in my life, I was going into work sick to my stomach because I was already dreading the e-mails waiting for me before I ever set foot in the door. I was wondering what would get pushed on us because some other department dropped the ball, what snarky comments certain co-workers would have to say, and which customers would be pushing back because they didn’t like the rate, the payment terms, or the verbiage in their own contract. Welcome to corporate life and all its misery.

Corporate life may be your dream, but it’s no longer mine. The truth is it doesn’t really matter where you’re at or what you’re doing if you don’t like it. If it eats at you day in and day out it’s not good for your health. I worked that job until I physically couldn’t continue typing under the current demands. That’s what it took for me to wake up and realize that job was harming my well-being.

Don’t let it get that far. As scary as it is to start over, it is possible. You can change your life.

Learn something new. You may not have to go back to college. There may be a certified course you can take to do something different. Or, you may find something that doesn’t require a degree that’s more rewarding than what you’re doing now.

Do you have skills you’ve forgotten about? Have you considered free-lancing and starting your own business?

There are other options. I encourage you to open your mind and get out of your comfort zone.

It isn’t healthy to continue working in a place where your time or input isn’t valued, or you are being disrespected.

You have a choice. It may not be easy. It may mean you sacrifice in other areas in order to take care of your overall well-being. But, it is your life and your choice to make.

We weren’t put on this earth to work ourselves into misery.

Choose health. Choose happiness. And may you choose a better environment for yourself.

Be brave!

Be blessed!

xoxo

Ash

What Are You Eating?

Fat-free. Sugar-free. Calorie-free. Healthy?

Eh, not so fast.

If what you are eating or drinking is free of fat, sugar, and calories then what has been put in it instead?

Oftentimes the “____ -free” label means you’re just swapping one thing for another, and that trade-off may be a less healthy choice.

Fat-free products typically mean you end up getting more sugar or more carbs that turn into sugar. To still have a decent taste, fat is replaced with artificial sweeteners and flavorings which provide no nutritional value. Real fats can help you feel more satisfied and help with the absorption of vitamins. You don’t have to completely avoid them.

Sugar-free products have artificial sweeteners instead. Again, artificial sweeteners and flavorings do not provide nutritional value. And these artificial additives can be toxic to your body over time. Aspartame is not your friend, and neither are any other artificial flavors or colors. People tend to eat more and drink more when something is labeled sugar-free also. I was a car hop in high school, and it used to surprise me how many people would order a 44-ounce diet soda several times a day. Sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Several European countries don’t even allow many of the synthetic flavors, colors, preservatives, and other additives in their foods or products in general for health reasons. So why do we?

There are American companies that remove banned additives from the products they sell overseas. And I have noticed that a few are starting to remove certain artificial flavors and colors here too. Show them you care about what’s in your food, and we’ll have better options.

Packages are labeled the way they are to get your attention quickly. Don’t make your decision quickly. Flip over that package and look at what they aren’t showcasing.

I know the easy thing to do is just roll your eyes, brush it off, and say you don’t care. I used to do that. I didn’t want to know. If it tasted good and it was allowed on the shelf, I figured it was okay. I know better now. So, I choose better now.

It doesn’t mean I never eat a candy bar or processed food. I just do so sparingly. I choose more real foods, and I avoid certain additives like the plague.

Please, worry less about the calories and more about the chemicals. Do your best to kick the synthetic additives to the curb and eat real food.

Be brave!

Be blessed!

Be healthy!

xoxo

Ash

Don’t Waste Them

Are you using your essential oils?

If you have quality essential oils, please don’t waste them.

Oils are precious. It takes about 50 lemons to make one 15mL bottle of Lemon Essential Oil. Do you want to waste that many lemons? It hits me a bit more when I think about it that way.

You can’t benefit from them if you’re not using them. For example, if the doctor gives you a prescription to get rid of something, do you expect to get anything out of it by letting it just sit on the counter? If you are hungry does simply cooking the food and not eating it make you feel full? Not for me. Likewise, you can’t expect to benefit from your essential oils if they’re just merely sitting on the shelf or still tucked away in the starter kit.

If you have good oils and you aren’t using them, why? Are they out of sight and out of mind? Then get them out where you can see them. Are you unsure of how to use them? Look up ways to use them or ask others. There’s plenty of helpful groups out there for essential oils. Have you really tried connecting with the group you are a part of?

Now, I’ll admit that I have a few oils that sit. This is because there are some that get used more often than others. I’m not saying you have to use all of them every day, but at least use some of them frequently. And, the more you use them the easier it becomes. So, just start using them.

I have oils that I use daily. I diffuse them. I wear them. I add certain Vitality oils (oils that are safe for culinary and dietary use) to foods and beverages. I use my oils. And the more I use them the more I love them.

So please, friend, don’t waste precious oils.

Be brave!

Be blessed!

Be oily!

Xoxo

Ash

Healthy Hair

I don’t like changing my hair care routine. I have fine hair with some natural curl to it, and it tangles easily.

Anybody else out there struggle with fine tangly hair? I get quite frustrated with it.

Since I began using Young Living Essential Oils, I have focused on cutting toxins out of my life. I had gone through my household cleaners, moisturizers, and makeup. But, I was still holding on to my shampoo and conditioner.

Do you know about the chemicals in your average shampoos and conditioners?

Don’t worry. I’ll keep the science stuff short.

Your normal everyday shampoos and conditioners contain parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances.

Parabens and synthetic fragrances have been known to cause hormone disruption. Your shampoo is supposed to be cleaning your hair, not disrupting systems in your body.

Sulfates are what produce the lather which helps strip the dirt from your hair. However, this also strips your hair of its natural oils, causing it to become dry and brittle.

My hair had become so dry and brittle that I finally gave in to trying Young Living’s Lavender Mint Daily Shampoo. I had been putting it off because I was afraid my hair and scalp would feel too oily, and it doesn’t suds up since it doesn’t contain sulfates.

I have been using the Lavender Mint shampoo for a few months now. It took some time getting adjusted to it not lathering up, but my hair has become softer and shinier. My scalp doesn’t feel all oily like I thought it would. And I have added the Lavender Mint conditioner to my routine, which helps when it comes to coming out my hair.

I encourage you to ditch and switch. Ditch the harsh chemicals and switch to a safer product. Let your hair be healthy!

Be brave!

Be blessed!

Be oily!

xoxo

Ash