It’s Time For A Lifestyle Cleanse

Hello Friends! Do you need a healthy RESET button? In October, (coming up really soon!) I will be joining a Lifestyle Cleanse with my business partner and I would love for you to join us!

Week 1: Nutrition + Exercise

Week 2: Reducing Toxic Load

Week 3: Green Cleaning

Week 4: Stress + Mindset

My business partner will be providing you with free training and product giveaways! Email me today at contact@inspirationforwellness.com so that I can get you the products that you need. Let’s work on our health together!

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DIY: Foaming Hand Soap

In a previous article entitled Toxic House, I wrote about the harmful chemicals that are lurking in our homes. My family has been using safer, eco-friendlier products since 2012. To save money this past year, I started to make some of my own products. Here is a very easy recipe for foaming hand soap!

Here’s what you need:

  • Soap Dispenser with Foaming Pump 250 mL/8.5 oz
  • Castile soap: 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable glycerin or olive oil: 3 generous splashes (optional)
  • Essential oils: 5 drops (optional)
  • Water

Here’s where you get:

  • Soap Dispenser with Foaming Pump 250 mL/8.5 oz: Amazon
  • Castile soap: Thrive Market
  • Vegetable glycerin or olive oil: Thrive Market
  • Essential oils: Email me at contact@inspirationforwellness.com for the highest quality oils!
  • Water: Use filtered water if desired

I used to buy body care and supplements on Amazon, but I don’t do that anymore because I can’t be sure that I am getting what I am paying for. I ended up in the hospital with a bad allergic reaction and I think it was due to tainted products that I bought on Amazon.

Here’s what you do: 

Pour the castile soap, vegetable glycerin and essential oils into your dispenser. Fill the rest of the bottle with water, but do not fill it to the top because you need room for the pump. Shake the ingredients. You’re done!

The vegetable glycerin is optional, but I have found that the soap dries out my skin without it. You can use olive oil, but if you do, be aware that the soap dispenser will have a very noticeable yellow substance floating around inside of it. Also, if you use a plastic soap dispenser with essential oils, please note that the essential oils might degrade the plastic over time. If you are using essential oils for your soap, I recommend ylang ylang or geranium. Ylang ylang contains beta-caryophyllene which is soothing for the skin and geranium contains citronellol which is also good for the skin. Many people also love lavender which contains linalyl acetate and linalool. These chemical compounds provide a calming aroma.

Do you make your own hand soap? What ingredients do you use?

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This post was originally published on December 13, 2018 and updated on September 12, 2019.

Manage Your Stress Before It Manages You

Are you constantly under stress or continuously on the go? Many health experts say that acute or chronic stress is usually a precursor for autoimmune diseases, cancer, and other diseases. I have been struggling with a very painful and itchy psoriasis (psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder) flare on my hands for more than a couple of months now. This has forced me to slow down and find ways to alleviate some stress in my life. In addition to prayer, reading the Bible and spending time with loved ones, I started doing a few other things to alleviate stress.

I am trying not to be in a hurry all the time.

I started taking five deep belly breaths when I am anxious about my to-do list. This automatically forces my body to calm down. Also, I recently noticed that I am always rushing around everywhere. I came to the realization that it is not okay for me to constantly tell my daughter to hurry up, just so that I can save one more minute in an effort to feel a tad more productive at the end of the day. She takes time to enjoy life and I never want her to lose that!

I started to diffuse essential oils more often.

Essential oils help me to sleep better and they help me to relax. Even when I cannot get my seven hours of sleep, essential oils help me to feel more rested and energetic throughout the day. If you haven’t tried essential oils yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!

I started to schedule joy into my daily routine.

I started watching episodes of I Love Lucy with my daughter. Laughing out loud helps my body to relax and calm down. I am also trying to get outside everyday while the weather is still warm. It’s relaxing to breathe in the fresh air, gaze at the green leaves on the trees, and feel the warm sunshine on my skin.

I started making sleep more of a priority.

I was listening to a podcast of a popular personal development coach who said, put in extra time to meet your goals, even if it means that you lose an hour of sleep. I respect this personal development coach, but I don’t really recommend this for anyone unless it is for a short period of time. Sleeping allows our body to recover from the stress of the day. If we skip sleep, we might get more done in the short-term, but eventually we will crash—either emotionally or physically. I aim for at least seven hours per night and nap when I can. This is difficult with three small kids, but I try my best.

I started asking for more help.

In the past, I was hesitant to ask my husband to help more with the kids because I know that he works hard and is already under stress. The inflammation in my hands has forced me to ask for more help. I know that we will have to continue to tweak our weekly routine so that we can both find time to rest. Sometimes we need to ask for help from additional people as well.

I started doing yoga again and I started to work-out as much as I can.

One of my hairstylists is a lean, muscular yoga fanatic that studied yoga in India. In his own words, if he could use one word to describe why he loves yoga, he would use the word Efficiency. Yoga can build muscle and flexibility; it can help the body heal itself; and it can help with managing emotional stress. During my last pregnancy, prenatal yoga was one of the few things that helped to alleviate my crippling morning sickness. When I do yoga now, I can tell that it helps me with my stress and my psoriasis because it is good for my circulation and helps to decrease inflammation.

I was having a conversation with a co-worker about my self-induced (I say self-induced because I cause myself a lot of stress by rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off!) stress and we started talking about yoga. She said that she didn’t have time for yoga.

Friend, you might not have time for yoga, but you need to make time for something—you need to find some way to de-stress. Look at it this way. Imagine that your kidneys were failing and the only way that you could live was to have hemodialysis three times per week. That would take you about 12 hours per week, not including the time it would take you to commute to the treatment center. Would you find an extra 12 hours in your week so that you could stay alive?

I hope that you would put in that time. And if you could somehow find 12 hours in a week to save your life, you can surely find a small amount of time every week to manage your stress level—I will be so bold as to say that managing your stress level might be the thing that saves your life. So, I give you permission to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, consider these five reasons.

Five Benefits of Lowering Your Stress Level

  1. You will save time because you won’t have to spend as much time in recovery from being sick.
  2. You will save money because you won’t have to spend as much money on expensive health treatments.
  3. You will be more productive because your brain and body will be working better.
  4. You might enjoy life more because you will have less stress and be less sick.
  5. You will be able to serve your spouse, your kids, your elderly parents, your friends, your pets, and/or your co-workers better.

And, think about it—relieving stress is enjoyable! If you don’t like yoga, pick something else. Go to a massage therapist, go watch a funny movie, have coffee with a best friend, take a bubble bath, or go for a walk. Just find what you love to do. Don’t wait until you get to where I am—don’t wait ’til you can’t wash the dishes, cook, or take care of your kids without constant burning, stabbing pain on your hands and an intolerable itch that wakes you up at night. Don’t deprive your body of the rest it needs. Start taking better care of your body today so that you won’t have to worry about more serious ailments tomorrow!

I need more tips on stress management. What’s your favorite way to relieve stress? If you like this blog, consider liking the Facebook page as well!

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Natural Medicine vs. Modern Medicine

A couple of weeks ago, I had a really high fever and chills. It was sweltering hot outside and I was burrowed under my comforter—I was also wearing a sweatshirt. My six-year old came to my rescue! She brought me water, ice, and helped me take care of the baby.

That night, after trying some natural remedies, I finally broke down and took some synthetic medication. Two hours later, I felt much better and started to throw off my sweatshirt and blanket. This is probably not a big deal to you, but it is to me! I am a fan of all things natural, and hardly ever take any drugs (you might find this ironic since I am a nurse and I work in the pharmaceutical industry). But this time around, my symptoms were concerning enough for me to want to take them—I also wanted to avoid going to the hospital.

This whole incident made me think about how my perspective on modern medicine has changed over the years—it made me think about how my confidence in natural health became so strong that I was about to chuck modern medicine out the window. Thankfully, this incident taught me that modern medicine can and does help people—it taught me to appreciate the value of modern medicine!

Do you lean towards natural medicine or modern medicine?

Why I Love Essential Oils

In 2012, I read the book, Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home which motivated and empowered me to make some major health changes in my life. This is where my passion for natural wellness started and it was this passion that led to my recent discovery of essential oils. I was a skeptic at first, but I later became a daily user of essential oils for five main reasons.

The history. Essential oils have been used by many cultures throughout history. I have read that they have been used in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Iran, India, China and France. Also, there are more than 300 verses in the Bible that reference essential oils!

Beauty. When I switched to natural skin care, I tried three new brands. The first brand caused irritation to my skin. The second brand was not effective. The third brand was very effective, but it was very expensive. Unlike the other brands that I tried, I discovered that skin care with pure essential oils is nourishing to the skin, extraordinarily effective, and affordable.

The aroma. Admittedly, I don’t love the smell of all the essential oils, and I avoided all of them while I had severe morning sickness. However, after my morning sickness passed, I gave the oils another chance. It took awhile, but after I began to add oils into my daily routine, I started to love and savor the aroma of these precious plant oils. The last oil that I tried was clary sage. When I open a bottle of clary sage, I feel like I am being transported to a world of captivating beauty, similar to the world created by Monet, in his painting, The Artist’s Garden at Giverny. To me, clary sage smells alluring and intoxicating. Please note that everyone’s body chemistry is different and that your response to a particular oil might not be the same as mine. For example, I don’t really appreciate the smell of lavender oil, but you might enjoy it as many others find that that the smell of lavender oil instantly promotes calming feelings.

Physical health benefits, emotional health benefits, and the science of essential oils. If you look on PubMed, you will find numerous articles related to essential oils and their amazing health benefits. I encourage you to take a peek at some of the current research and ongoing clinical trials with essential oils. I bet you didn’t know that these oils are slowly being integrated into hospitals across the U.S.! Each time you open a bottle of a pure essential oil, you are potentially improving your overall wellness. There is an essential oil for almost every ailment and problem!

It took me about two years to give essential oils a chance. Have you tried them yet? If not, I hope that you don’t wait two years like I did. Email me at contact@inspirationforwellness.com if you want to learn more!

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This post was originally published on October 14, 2018 and updated on July 6, 2019.