Recipes

My favorite color

Green has always been my favorite color. I think I can trace it back to when I was about 3 or 4 years old. My father’s favorite color has always been green, I think, in part, because he was a huge JETS fan. I had heard him say it before so, naturally, when someone asked me what my favorite color was, I shrieked “Green!” before I even had time to think about it. I was so easily influenced as a child…

Anyway, green now symbolizes a lot more than the color that makes me happy. In our society, green represents health and wellbeing and an overall feeling of positivity. Even though it’s always been a fave of mine, I’ve never been one to be eager to try a green drink. I think that I had one too many bad juicing experiences, and the fact that I’m not a fan of cucumbers or celery was not very helpful for my attempts at being a green goddess.

Cut to a few months ago. I was in a new smoothie bar and decided to take a chance on the green smoothie. One sip in, I was hooked. It wasn’t at all like the green juices I had held my breath while chugging in the past. This was nutty and refreshing, and made me full in the best way. The only thing that wasn’t a fan of this smoothie, was my wallet. If you’ll recall a few posts ago I shared that my blender had broken. I decided that it was time for a new one, and used my credit card reward points to order a pretty standard blender. Nothing fancy, just practical. I know, shocking for me. Practical? Amanda? But yes, a super simple blender with an option for making smoothies is really all you need for this simple recipe.

Here’s the skinny on my new favorite lunch.

Going Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 handful (or two, if you really want to up your green intake) organic spinach
  • 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood (chocolate flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon (or 2 if you really want the peanut butter flavor) PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 (or 1 depending on preference) frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

Step 1:

Put your spinach in the blender.

 

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Step 2: Throw your banana in on top.

 

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Step 3: Put in one level scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfood (I got mine at Target). I’m sure another superfood powder would work fine as well. I just love the boost this one gives me and the fact that it comes in chocolate really works nicely with this recipe.

 

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Step 4: Put in a tablespoon (or more if you’d like) of PB2 powdered peanut butter.

 

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Step 5: Pour in one cup of unsweetened almond milk.

 

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Step 6: Blend, blend, blend!

 

The great thing about this smoothie is that you can feel free to put in as much or as little of something as you’d like. Make it to fit your taste. You can add in other fruits such as frozen blueberries or strawberries if you’d like to change it up. Throw some matcha in for added benefits or take out the PB2 if you’re not a fan. The possibilities are pretty endless but the finished product is sure to be great. The calories in the recipe above total about 240, and if you were to break down the price per smoothie, it’s closer to $2 than $10. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely going to continue to splurge once in awhile and go pick one up at the nearest smoothie/juice bar, but making them at home is something that is fun, quick and easy. So why not give it a shot, right?

Happy smoothie making!

 

XOXO
Amanda

 

 

Lifestyle

Organization nation

I remember hearing a motivational speaker a few years ago say something along the lines of: “If there’s clutter in your physical life, there’s sure to be clutter in your mental life.” They definitely put it more eloquently, but I think you can catch my drift. It’s pretty accurate if you think about it. When you’re surrounded by things that are messy and out of order, it’s hard to stay on track and easy to get distracted by those same things. I remember when I moved into my current apartment. It was my first time living completely on my own. I had total reign over my surroundings. I could put the pots in this cabinet or that one. I could put the table in the kitchen or the living room. I could buy the white plates or the blue ones. At first, I was excited. That excitement quickly turned into being overwhelmed.

I was taking dishes out of my dishwasher one day, when a thought dawned on me. If I took just an extra minute or two in the moment, and was  a bit more mindful of my belongings, I would never really have to do a huge apartment cleaning. If things had a place and I always took time to put them back where they lived, I wouldn’t be stressed out faced with a piled of those things. They would already be taken care of. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am far from perfect when it comes to cleaning up. Sometimes I leave dishes in the sink for days, or don’t make my bed. Shhhh! Time occasionally gets away from me and, yeah, once in a blue I’m a little lazy. But, the fact is that it’s important to take time to tidy up your surroundings so that you can breathe a little easier and live in a space you love.

This post comes at a pretty perfect time. I’m currently on spring break – yeah, I know, the life of a school employee – and spring is always a good time to get some cleaning done. Also, I’m moving in a little over a month and I’d like it to go as smoothly as possible. That’s where being organized is key. So, even though I’m kind of already an organized person at heart, I enlisted the help of my good friend Stephanie to give me some tips on other ways to make my life a little more streamlined.

Stephanie owns an organizing business, Optimally Organized, and is amazing when it comes to getting things done quickly and efficiently. She loves going into people’s homes and putting systems in place that help fit each clients lifestyle. I always try to channel my inner Stephanie when getting things in order. The following three tips she gave me recently are little ways to make your space less of a headache and more of a place to rest your head easy!

 

Tip #1: The old hanger trick

Stephanie suggests looking through your closet and turning all of your hangers to face the opposite direction. Next step? Forget about them for 6-12 months! Literally just go about your normal clothes hanging routine. Take out whatever clothes you’re going to wear and hang them back up when they’re clean, making sure to rehang them the correct way this time.

At the end of the 6-12 month time period, assess the situation. Do you still have hangers hanging the wrong way? That means you haven’t worn those clothes (the hanger would be turned back to the normal position otherwise). Toss them in a bag and donate your old clothes to a cause, such as Goodwill. If you haven’t worn them in nearly a year, chances are you won’t miss them!

 

Tip #2: Basket o’randos

You’ve seen it before. You’re sitting in your living room minding your own business when you notice that you have a random piece of mail on the table and then out of the corner of your eye you see a t-shirt on the floor and on the other side of the room is a bobby pin and hair tie and then your mind is going crazy with the Jaws theme song swimming through your head.

For these very reasons, Stephanie recommends keeping a small basket or container of some sort in each room of your house. Every time you notice something in the room that shouldn’t be, just throw it in the basket. At the end of the week, look through the basket, toss the junk and put away the rest. Your clutter-induced anxiety will thank you. And, hopefully the theme song that’ll be playing in your head next time you’re sitting on your couch is from the Game of Thrones episode playing on your TV and not the doom and gloom in your head.

 

Tip #3: Be your own mail carrier

 As soon as you get your mail everyday, be proactive. Head to your kitchen counter/dining room table/wherever you’ve designated as your mail sorting spot and sort it ASAP. Make a few piles based on your need, but some ideas are:

  • Junk
  • Coupons
  • Bills

Or

  • Toss
  • Save for a few weeks then toss
  • Take care of this week
  • Take care of today

Feeling a little less overwhelmed is totally worth taking a bit of extra time. I hope that those tips helped you – I know that I’m about to put them into action!

If you have some heavy duty organizational needs, I definitely recommend getting in touch with Stephanie and seeing if her services would suit your needs. Spring cleaning, we are coming for you. Allergies and all…
XOXO

Amanda

Lifestyle

Health awakening

I apologize for this post in advance. For some reason, I wasn’t as inspired as I usually am. That’s why it took me so long to write. I’m going through the motions, but my usual wit and charm is pretty lacking. Sowwies! Enjoy anyway 🙂

I’m pretty sure that if you ask most people in my life if I’m a healthy person or not, they would say yes. And, in general, I am. I work out consistently, I try to get my veggies in (salads for lunch, a sensible dinner…I sound like a Jenny Craig commercial…), and I am obsessed with going to doctors. Name a type of doctor and I’ve probably been to them. Some may call me a hypochondriac. I just like to say I’m proactive. Has a nicer ring to it.

Anyway, what they (you?) don’t see, are my dirty little secrets. I’m a girl who likes to snack after dinner (chocolate. any and everything chocolate. please.), adds sugar and creamer to her morning coffee (I can’t help it!), and hasn’t been switching up her workout routine nearly as much as she should be (shame on me). I try to find the balance in everything in life, and nutrition and working out is really no different. I don’t necessarily live to eat – I would never classify myself a “foodie” – but I don’t like depriving myself either. This is where I often run into some problems.

So, last week I tried to change up my routine a bit. Trick my body. Test it. Make it happy. And hurt. And then happy again. I have a few tips I’ve learned over the week…and years, really…that I’d like to share if you’re joining me on this quest.

  • Tip #1: Start sssllllooooowwwww        

    When you’re looking to be a little healthier, I think that it’s good to start slow. The crazier and more intense the goals, the harder they are to achieve and the bigger the blow when you veer off course. So, what I did was look at the areas I knew I could improve upon just by making slight tweaks.

    The first change I made was to my morning routine. I am fueled by coffee. When I don’t have it, I’m a headachey mess. I’m grumpy and tired and just not a happy camper. But, I know that my large (or sometimes extra large) coffee with creamer and sugar is not the healthiest option for someone looking to improve their nutritional intake. So, I switched things up a little bit.

As I was browsing Trader Joe’s for some fresh ideas, as I often like to do, I found cold brew coffee concentrate and got an idea. I could keep my caffeine but reduce my sugar and dairy intake by blending it with unsweetened almond milk and some cacao that I had recently purchased to give it a little bit of a mocha kick. I brought my ingredients home and tried it out. The first take went well, but it was missing the sweetness I crave from my morning coffee, so I added a packet of stevia and a touch of vanilla extract. Sure it isn’t as tasty as my usual sugary hazelenutty brew, but it gets the job done! *a little note: a few days into doing this, my blender broke and I went a little crazy. I’m currently in the process of getting a new one, so I followed my own advice and I’m not beating myself up over it!

  • Tip #2: Learn what your body needs

    As I get older, I’m really learning more about my body and what it craves. Like, I’m tuning in to the way I feel when I need more protein or carbs or the feeling of needing water versus being hungry. It’s really kind of interesting and cool to grow in body awareness. One of the things I was noticing lately, was that my stomach tends to bloat really easily after eating. It’s like as soon as I ate lunch, I would have a bowling ball in my stomach for the rest of the day.  gutinstinct.png

    After seeing a bunch of advertisements all over social media for Hum Nutrition, I decided to look into their products. I was going to write up a few paragraphs on the supplements I’ve been using and their affects so far, but then I decided that would be better left for another blog post soooo you’ll have to wait in suspense to know all about my experience. I will tell you, however, that I’m obsessed with their probiotic, Gut Instinct, and the supplements Flatter Me and Daily Cleanse. I feel like I’m doing something good for my body when I take them, and my stomach is noticeably flatter, so I’ll definitely keep this up. I encourage you all to check out Hum Nutrition’s website and take their quiz that helps you figure out which supplements will be best for you.

    And if you decide to order, use my referral code! 10F03E

  • Tip #3: Keep it guessing                       

    Working out is my favorite form of therapy. When I find a “soulmate workout” I tend to stick with it, which is exactly what happened to me with barre3.  I love the way it makes me feel and the fact that it’s low impact so much that I’ve put other forms of exercise on the back burner. I know that if you want to see a change in your body, that you need to change up your workout routine every now and then. Makes sense…change = change!

    I’m slowly starting to mix it up and, last week week, enlisted the help of hot yoga and running to give my bod a little run for its money.  I’m not the best runner, but I downloaded an app called “Running for Weight Loss” and it’s pretty amazing. You can choose between several different training plans, like 5K, for example. Then, you just put on your headphones and hit “Go” and the app tells you exactly when to walk, run and sprint. It’s really helpful for someone like me who will turn around and go back after 10 minutes unless someone is pushing me along.

    Hot yoga is also a great way to stretch and strengthen your body. I find that I can get deeper physically and mentally when I do yoga in a heated room. I definitely think that any fitness plan should incorporate some form of stretching and mindfulness, and yoga is that for me.

 

Along with the things I’ve done above, I’ve also stopped drinking during the week (not as hard  as I originally thought it would be) and have steered clear of the chocolate bowl at work. Nobody’s perfect, though. And I haven’t been an angel. But when I have a little setback, I don’t let it ruin my day. And I don’t let that mean I give up completely. Life is meant to be lived and food is meant to be eaten. 

Lifestyle

Spring awakening (no, not the musical, but how amaze is it though?)

Spring is a time when the weather gets warmer, the days get longer and there’s just a little more happiness in the air. You guys can feel it, can’t you? I know I’m not making up the fact that things seem a tiny bit sweeter once March 20th hits. And, even though we had a monster of a snow storm last week here in Jersey, I think we can officially say goodbye to winter (please don’t kill me if I just jinxed us!).

With my newfound giddiness, I’ve decided to try and make this spring one of the most productive and happy I’ve had in awhile. And one of the best ways I know to be both of those things is not to stuff my face with thin mints while watching every Leonardo DiCaprio movie (although that does sound pretty sweet). Oh no. It is much more lame and adultish than that. When I want to be productive, I make lists. 

Errands I have to run? There’s a list for that. 

People I have to catch up with? There’s usually a mental note for that. 

Appointments I need to schedule? I love to have Siri remind me of those…even though sometimes she swears I say: “Siri, call the fire department,” when I really said: “Siri, remind me to call the gynecologist.”

I don’t think I’m alone in my obsession with writing down my to-do’s. Fess up, you know you have a notepad on your fridge and another in your purse (and maybe one in your car and on your work desk and at your best friend’s house…) and the LIST GOES ON! A list of lists?! I’m going a little crazy. So, anyway, let’s make a list together, shall we? What do you vow to do this season? Here’s mine.

This spring, I vow to…

1. Get a little healthier – and no, reading about the latest superfood craze is not a substitute for cooking up some quinoa burgers

2. Get a little more organized – I’m not the best  at this, so I’m going to be enlisting the help of my organizationally savvy friend, and hopefully she can share some tips with us

3. Get a little more outdoorsy – I’m sick of being inside! Get me to a mountain, STAT! 

4. Get a little more educated – I have about 20 books to read and am severely behind on my podcast listening. Let’s get nerdy.

5. Get a little more creative – Keeping up with my current trend of letting my creative juices flow will be a big priority. Can’t. Stop. Thinking. About. Soap. Scents.

6. Get a little more mindful – I’m slowly becoming a lover of all things holistic, but I still struggle with meditation. I’m ready to get down and dirty with it. 

And, because I’m all about accountability lately, I’m going to use this blog to talk about my very own spring awakening.

For the next six weeks, I’ll be making small changes everyday that I’m hoping will have a pretty big impact. I’ll write about them each week, with the first week focusing on health. I’m going to encourage everyone reading this to do the same. Spring is a time for growth (and allergies), and I think it’s a perfect excuse to mix it up.

Let’s do this!
XOXO

Amanda

chitchat

The thing about hobbies

“I NEED A HOBBY!”

I remember flopping down on my bed a few years ago, wracking my brain trying to think of ways to occupy my time other than eating, drinking and taking bubble baths. When you’re in your late 20’s and don’t have anything to do with your time outside of work other than think about work or think about how depressing it is that you’re thinking about work, you know it’s time to make some sort of lifestyle change. At the above-mentioned moment, I decided that my new hobby was going to be…dun dun DUN…fitness.

I followed all the right Instagram accounts, downloaded meal prep plans and spent far more money than I would like to admit here on a personal trainer. A few months and thousands of dollars later (yeah, I’m not kidding, I said thousands…), I was no more fit or happy than I had been that day on my bed. Lifting heavy was just making me more hungry and, although the meal plan was pretty delicious, I would come home from a workout and carbo-load like it was nobody’s business. Also, for two weeks straight I couldn’t lift my arms past shoulder-height. I decided that the personal trainer was hurting me more than he was helping me (physically and monetarily). This wasn’t the soulmate fitness regimen that I was looking for.

OK, so maybe that attempt at a hobby was a bust, I told myself. But the world was my freaking oyster and I was determined to find more activities and interests that made me happy.

Over the years, other obsessions have come and gone. There was that one time I tried to learn how to read Tarot cards, or that other time I went on a month-long hot yoga binge (I still love you, hot yoga, just not everyday), and then there was that time I thought that one-stroke painting was going to be “MY THING!”. All of those things were fun for the moment, but not something I felt any passion to stick with long-term. I learned little bits here and there that I keep in my back pocket, but I’m pretty sure that I haven’t picked up a paintbrush or done a Celtic Cross spread in years.

And that’s something I’m realizing about hobbies.They’re not always just these things we can decide on a whim we want to do and automatically be good at. They’re skills and activities that we have true, vested interest in that we need to take time to hone. To really put our all into and not worry about how good or bad we are at it. Hobbies are things that we do because we love them, not because they’re what we excel at. If that were the case, then my only hobbies would be shopping on Amazon, eating cheese and blowing out my hair (#noshame).

Instead, a lot of my hobbies now are things that I have really grown to love over the years and don’t truly get tired of. I mean, of course working out everyday can be a drag, and sometimes I find it difficult to come up with a topic to write about, or other times the soap I make crumbles to bits and I have to start over again, but that’s OK. Because at the core of it, a hobby should be something that fulfills you and makes you feel like a more well-rounded version of yourself.

I look around at the people in my life and am in awe of some of their hobbies. Those amazing chefs and those musical souls are what make me strive to follow my dreams. I know it may sound cheesy, but without seeing how devoted my boyfriend is to music and getting some encouragement from him, I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now.

So, here are some things about hobbies.

  1. They come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t be ashamed of what your hobby may look like. (YES, binge-watching Netflix can definitely count as a hobby!)
  2. They bring you happiness and fulfill a little piece of you that you may not have even known needed fulfilling.
  3. They’re there for you when you need them and give you a sense of purpose. If not purpose, then they at least give you a sense of life beyond the four walls of your workplace or home.
  4. Whatever it is, you have to keep at it because when you do more of what makes you happy, you get *surprise surprise* happier!

So get out there, or stay in if that’s where your hobby lives, and have FUN. I know that I’m going to spend this snow day getting some much-needed soap making time in. ‘Til next time!

XOXO
Amanda

Favorite things

Even more essential essentials

*Note: the following information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure , or prevent disease or illness. As is the case with most supplements, statements regarding the potential benefits of essential oils have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult with a physician before using essential oils on your young child, if you’re pregnant, or if you’re nursing.

~~~

Welcome back to Essential Oils 101. If you didn’t read Part 1, go do that first!

Last we left off, Donna, Jenn and Bonnie were teaching us all about what oils are and the different ways they can be used. Now that we have some of the basics under our belt, it’s time to use them. If you’ve never purchased an oil at all or already have some oils and don’t know what to do with them, it can be kind of intimidating to use them in the beginning. When I first began experimenting with oils, I had no idea that they could be used for so much more than just aromatherapy. Although I was super skeptical at first (Could one of these oils seriously replace my trusty Advil?!), I was intrigued enough to purchase a kit that included several oils that could be used for everything from cleaning, to relieving heartburn, to helping ease sore muscles.

“But Amanda, I really just want something that smells pretty.” You might be thinking (or saying aloud if you’re one of those kinds of people that likes to talk to themselves).

Sure! That’s totally fine. Donna says: “You can start out using essential oils as aromatherapy if you’re hesitant. Try diffusing some lemon or any citrus,” she explains. “They bring down stress levels.”

“But Amanda, I don’t even own any essential oils, so this is all pointless for me to be reading about.” OK sassy pants, let’s get your few oils to start with.

Bonnie listed dōTERRA’s Top 10 must-have oils to start your collection:

  • Lavender – calm and relieve stress
  • Lemon – cleanse, purify and energize
  • Peppermint – energize, promote healthy respiratory function, help relieve upset stomachs
  • Melaleuca – (aka Tea Tree Oil) cleanse, soothe and rejuvenate skin
  • Oregano – cleanse, enhance immune support, promote healthy digestion
  • Frankincense – (aka “The King of Oils”) enhance immune support, promote feelings of peace, aid in overall wellness
  • DigestZen – aid in food digestion and soothes upset stomach
  • Deep Blue – soothe sore muscles
  • Breathe – maintain clear airways and breathing
  • OnGuard – support healthy immune function

The ladies also recommend adding two additional oils to your starting collection:

  • Purify – replace unpleasant odors and protect against environmental threats
  • Wild Orange – uplift the mind and body

*Remember, you can check out Jenn’s Wellness Advocate page to place an order.

So, now that we know the top must-have’s what oils can you not leave home without? I asked while we sat around Bonnie’s dining room table surrounded by dōTERRA products.

Donna shared first: “OnGuard and Peppermint beadles, definitely. As for oils, Peppermint, Deep Blue, Whisper, Motivate, Passion and Bergamot.”

Bonnie agreed with the beadlets. Pop one little OnGuard beadlet in your mouth and help shield yourself from all those snifflers that share your workspace. Peppermint beadlets are a great gum replacement and are amazing for freshening breath. Bonnie also added Lemon and Lavender to her must-haves, and for good reason. Lavender is known to help ease tension and promote relaxation, definitely helpful to survive the craziness that is 21st Century living. Lemon can be used for everything from cleaning to energizing, so having that on hand can be extremely useful throughout the day.

Jenn loves keeping DigestZen, Melaleuca, Peppermint and a citrus oil on hand at all times. She also carries veggie caps so she can easily ingest oils when needed.

The ladies stressed to USE WHAT YOU HAVE! Oils come in handy for so many different things, so before you reach for that hand sanitizer or allergy pill, check out some of Bonnie, Jenn and Donna’s favorite DIY essential oil recipes.

doterra3

 

Seasonal Allergy Relief

Help ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies with the following recipe.

  • 5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 1 Veggie Cap

Drop each oil into a Veggie Cap and take with a cup of water.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Use this anywhere you would normally use a multi-purpose cleaner.

  • 16 oz. glass spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 & 3/4 cup water

Once you add the vinegar and water to your spray bottle, you have a few options of oils you can use. No matter what blend you use, the rule of thumb is 30 drops of essential oil to 16oz of water.

Recipe 1

  • 15 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
  • 15 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

Recipe 2

  • 10 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

Recipe 3

  • 15 drops of Grapefruit Essential Oil
  • 15 drops of OnGuard proprietary blend

Recipe 4

  • 30 drops OnGuard proprietary blend

 

Hand Sanitizer

  • Empty 15ml bottle
  • 15 drops of OnGuard proprietary blend
  • 15 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil

Drop the oils into the bottle, top it off with fractionated coconut oil, and shake. Place a drop or two on your hands, rub together and you’re good to go!

 

For even more DIY recipes, check out the doTERRA Essential’s Facebook page!

I really hope that these posts helped you learn a little something about using essential oils. Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned pro, essential oils are amazing additions to your  health and wellness arsenal.

Until next week!

XOXO

Amanda

Favorite things

Let’s get oiled up!

*Note: the following information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure , or prevent disease or illness. As is the case with most supplements, statements regarding the potential benefits of essential oils have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult with a physician before using essential oils on your young child, if you’re pregnant, or if you’re nursing.

~~~

You may have never tried them, but unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three years or so, you’ve at least heard someone you know rave about them.

“They cure my headaches!”

“My acne’s completely cleared up!”

“They help me sleep like a baby!”

“I’m not a crazy person anymore!”

I know that I, personally, kept seeing and hearing about them everywhere, but was afraid to give into the hype lest I become even more hooked on a new trend.

Have you figured out what I’m talking about yet?

Give up?

OK, fine, I’ll tell you.

Essential oils!

I’ve purchased a few here and there for purely aromatic purposes over the years, but I never knew the true power of them until my friend Jenn invited me to an information session about dōTERRA essential oils last summer. As you can probably guess since I have a whole blog post about it, I’ve been hooked ever since. Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Jenn along with Donna and Bonnie who are all dōTERRA Wellness Advocates, to talk about all things oil for this very blog! I’ll probably be splitting this entry into a few parts since there’s a heck of a lot of information to share, so let’s get rolling, shall we?

doterra2.jpgBonnie was kind enough to invite us over to her lovely home on Presidents’ Day. Her dining room table was covered in products – everything from face wash to supplements to cough drops – all made with oil…it was a homeopathic paradise! See the OnGuard products to the left? Those are made using dōTERRA’s proprietary blend for healthy immune function and cleansing. And yes guys, that’s laundry detergent! Anyway, we got to talking about our love of dōTERRA and sharing stories right off the bat, but I quickly backtracked us a bit to talk about some basics. Incase anyone reading is not even sure what an essential oil is, I figured I had to get that out of the way first.

“So ladies, tell me in your words…what is an essential oil?” I asked.

Donna started by explaining that essential oils are derived from plants and are made using everything from seeds to the bark of trees to leaves to petals. Oils have been used for their health and beauty benefits for a very long time. Jenn got sciencey on me and explained that the oils have a known impact on the body at the cellular level. Now, I’m not totally sure what this means, but it sounds fancy and I know that the oils I use haven’t let me down yet, so I believe her.

Not to sound like an add for dōTERRA, but they’re a pretty awesome company. They get their oils directly from their natural habitat.

“They’re indigenously sourced,” Donna said. “This means that the oils come from the areas of the world that they’re naturally grown in. Not on the side of the road in a country that they’re not local to.”

dōTERRA has amazing ties to the farmers they work with, and it just seems like they have really healthy relationships. Built on trust and support with the common shared goal of producing pure products with wonderful benefits.

Now, I don’t want to go on and on about how dōTERRA uses a third party to test their oils for purity and all that awesome jazz that may make some of you roll your eyes. Instead, if you’re interested in learning more about the company itself, check out the website DōTERRA.com! Moving on…

“How did you get into essential oils?” was my next question to the ladies. I knew how I got to be sitting here at this table, but I was curious to see what made them beliebers…oh wait, wrong blog post…

Every story has a beginning, and this one starts with Bonnie. Her husband has an annoying little habit of being a snorer and her sister-in-law introduced the couple to essential oils to help combat some of that. dōTERRA makes a blend called Breathe which includes Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, and Lemon, among other oils that have respiratory benefits. It worked wonders for Bonnie’s husband, and she was on the essential oil bandwagon right away. “I second the Breathe blend for snoring!” Jenn raised her hand after hearing Bonnie’s story. It’s the real deal!

Donna got into the mix next. One day, Bonnie overheard Donna talking about how her daughter, who had just started college, was having some issues sleeping. Bonnie recommended she try Lavender essential oil, a blend called Serenity (which I personally take in capsule form for those nights where sleep is a little harder to come by), and a diffuser. Donna’s daughter loved it and that was her in to this community.

Jenn was introduced to essential oils by Donna. The oil that hooked her was DigestZen, a blend that helps with digestion and settles upset tummies. Jenn explains: “The blend allowed me to continue eating my mozzarella sticks, burgers and fries!” And she lived happily ever after. *Cue the butterflies and bluebirds*

doterraOK, so let’s say I have these oilsyou may be thinking, how the heck do I use them? Do I just smell them and they make my troubles disappear??

There a few different ways to use oils. There’s the method of diffusing – you place some water in a diffuser, add a few drops of your oil of choice, and inhale the good stuff; ingesting – if you’re going to ingest your oil, avoid using styrofoam or plastic as your cup to mix with oil with the water because this stuff is so pure it will eat through your Dunkin’ cup; or applying topically – my favorite places to apply oils are the bottoms of the feet (super porous and gets into your body quickly) and behind my ears. A word of caution though: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR BOTTLES! Some oils can’t be applied topically without a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil is a great one!), and some may be harsh to ingest without putting them in a capsule. Point is, do your homework. Oils are amazing, but a bad experience may deter you, so be prepared.

I’m going to end this post here as it’s getting a little lengthy and I want you all to really soak this stuff in and look up some information for yourself. If you’d like even more 411, which I highly recommend, check out Jenn, Donna and Bonnie’s Facebook group, dōTERRA Essentials, or visit Jenn’s Wellness Advocate page.

I’ll post Part 2 in a few days so be ready to learn all about Jenn, Bonnie and Donna’s “go to” oils, what they recommend newbies start with, and some DIY tips and tricks for oil use!

XOXO
Amanda