Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From the Bottom of My Heart: Thank You, Veterans

Happy Veterans Day, all! I am enjoying a day off, and I am grateful to all of those who have fought for the freedoms that I now enjoy.

Here's a little history regarding Veterans Day, from the VA website:
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

For more information, check out http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp.

Special thanks to my dad, my stepdad, my brother, my stepsister, and Tony Ulrich for your service. I love you all!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Notable Quotable: George Bernard Shaw

“A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.” 
George Bernard Shaw 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ten Ways to Use Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is sometimes referred to as "liquid sunshine" - for a good reason! It is one of the most versatile essential oils, it is quite inexpensive, and it is an aromatic powerhouse. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and mood enhancing properties. Read on for 10 every day uses of lemon essential oil.
  1. Cooking. Add a drop of lemon oil to add flavor to baked goods.
  2. In your water. At home and especially when dining out - never mind adding a slice of lemon that may be teeming with pesticides. Carry your lemon oil with you!
  3. Lemonade. No fresh lemons, no problem. Mix 2 drops of lemon oil, 2 tablespoons of agave nectar, and 2 cups of water. 
  4. Air freshener. Put several drops in a squirt bottle with water to use to freshen any room.
  5. Spot cleaner. Use 1-2 drops to remove gum, grease, or oil from surfaces.
  6. Countertops. Add 2-3 drops to water and spray counters to sterilize.
  7. Dish cloths and sponges. Soak your dish cloths and sponges overnight in a bowl of lemon-infused water to disinfect.
  8. Public bathrooms. Rub 1-2 drops on your hands after using a public restroom.
  9. Varicose veins. Rub several drops on varicose veins to improve circulation and decrease pressure on the veins.
  10. Mental clarity and mood. Diffuse in your work or study space to promote a positive mood and enhance cognitive ability.
These are just a few of the many uses for lemon essential oil. To learn more about doTERRA essential oils (the best quality oils on the planet), check out my doTERRA store or feel free to contact me!

How to Kick a Cold Naturally - in About a Day!

Since I switched to a vegan diet three years ago, I haven't been sick very often. In the past few months of working in a new office environment, I've been exposed to several bugs. While my co-workers suffered with them for days and weeks on end, I implemented my "kick a cold's ass" protocol at the first sign of a sore throat. And guess what? It works! 

I recently traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah for the annual doTERRA conference, and people on the plane were coughing and hacking all the way back to Cali. I should have implemented my protocol as a precautionary measure when I got home, but I didn't. I woke up yesterday with a sore throat around 4 a.m. I started my regimen as soon as I was up and today, I woke up feeling almost back to normal. 

Here's what I do - and here's my disclaimer: this works for me. I am not a doctor and am not giving you medical advice. (I am a lawyer...thus the disclaimer, lol.) This is a testimonial regarding what consistently works for me. And when I say consistently...I mean every time. I have not had a full blown cold or flu in several years (she says, as she knocks on wood!).
  1. Drink fresh citrus juice. I don't mean the pasteurized stuff - I mean fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice. You can find it at a health food store or at some high-end grocers. Juice it yourself if you have to - it is worth the effort. Use organic fruits, of course, because you don't want to add toxins to your already compromised system. 
  2. Take your vitamins. Quality matters. Be sure you are taking high quality vitamins every day. Again, I believe in all natural and vegan supplements, so I take doTERRA's vegan Lifelong Vitality Pack. It contains everything I need to stay healthy, and when I miss it for a day, I feel it.
  3. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. As soon as I feel that tickle in my throat, I stock up on dark leafy greens and organic strawberries, as well as other fruits and veggies. Strawberries actually have more Vitamin C than oranges, so I like to make a salad with fresh berries, nuts, and a good dressing featuring Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. All of the food I ingest when I am fighting a cold is organic, most of it is raw, and all of it has healing properties. It will help your body do what it does best - heal! (I admit that I'm a sucker for Amy's No Chicken Noodle soup when I am healing.)
  4. Drink herbal tea. I love hot herbal tea when my throat is bothering me. It is soothing, and herbs also have healing properties. Chamomile is a favorite of mine, but choose any herbal tea that you enjoy. I like it unsweetened, but feel free to add a bit of lemon and some agave nectar if you need more flavor and/or sweetness.
  5. Take echinacea (optional). I don't generally keep this at home, but my favorite smoothie and juice place has it as an optional add-on. When I go there, I have them add it to my "Booster" apple/lemon/ginger juice for some extra ammo.
  6. Stay hydrated. In addition to fresh juice and hot tea, drink LOTS of filtered water. It will help flush all of the nasties out of your system. I add a couple of drops of doTERRA lemon oil to my water for flavor and its cleansing benefits.
  7. Do NOT take OTC drugs. I quit taking anything for colds a long time ago because the drugs seemed to do  nothing more than prolong the symptoms and my recovery. Plus, if you can get a handle on the cold early, it is unlikely to get to that point where you really feel like you need meds. The natural remedies that are available are plenty to empower you to heal yourself without relying on pharmaceuticals.
  8. Use a neti pot. These things are magic, truly. I bought a plastic drug store version years ago and upgraded to a ceramic one last year. I LOVE this thing. I don't spend money on fancy mixtures to go in it. I just dissolve some salt in filtered or distilled water and voila. Done. It's a little awkward using it at first, and you have to figure out the precise angle of the head tilt to make sure you are maximizing the flushing effect while keeping the salt water from running down your throat - but the practice is worth it! There are even YouTube videos to help you out if you're nervous about using it at first. It works, plain and simple. You know that wall of congestion feeling, where you just can't breathe at all? I haven't had that since I started using a neti pot.
  9. Promote respiration. I do this with essential oils - and I only use 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) oils from doTERRA. You can use them in several ways. I use a respiratory blend called Breathe; I put a couple of drops in my hands, rub them together, and inhale deeply. I do this several times a day, and I take several deep breaths each time I do it. This week, I'm also using a new doTERRA product called Breathe lozenges. The oil blend in the lozenges is different from the blend in the oil, and the lozenges seem to be working! They don't include any ingredients I can't pronounce, so I like that. I also diffuse essential oils to help me get to sleep. I do this every night, actually, with a  variety of oils, but I make sure I use the Breathe blend when I am battling a cold.
  10. Rest. Take it easy on your body while it is healing. Getting enough sleep and not over-stressing yourself is crucial.
Try these tips - you'll be amazed at how much power you have to take care of yourself and your family, naturally. Do you have any other tips to help stave off a cold? If so, please post in the comments below! Be well, and if you have any questions about any of these tips or want more information, feel free to contact me.