Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Essential Oils

Camp

Take me back to last weekend, the long weekend, the first weekend in a very long while our little family got to escape the city and go bush! As we were packing on autopilot and as we relaxed into a simpler rhythm of camping I reflected how things have changed for the better…

  • Camp meal planning no longer involves packet rice and packet pasta but a whole heap more vegetables and knowing your butcher
  • The night before camp now includes meal prep like this amazing roasted spicy capscium dip

Happy hour around the camp fire

  • Husband did the last minute camp shopping and was horrified when he reached for the some of the foods we used to pack only to turn it over to read the gazillion numbers and non-food ingredients. Safe to say they went back on the shelf.
  • Husband was so proud when he got home from shopping with the water pack being fluoride and additive free. Next time we will double the water as we all drink it in greater quantities than last camp trip.

Fresh water

  • Making quick green smoothies for breakfast on the go rather than drive through Maccas (I use banana instead of mango)
  • Pit stops for a toilet break at Maccas confuses Master 4 ‘Isn’t this yucky food?’
  • Snacks for the road trip are no longer bags of lollies but a box of bliss balls and some mixed nuts & seeds.
  • Energy for the long road trip is fuelled by the car diffuser wafting Energy and Vitality
  • I had massively over-catered as we no longer eat many snacks and our meal sizes are smaller as they are so much more nutrient-dense
  • Setting up the campsite Master 4 remarked ‘Where is the TV?’. We were only one of two groups camping on the unpowered sites, everyone else was connected to power either camping or in caravans.
  • I discovered not 1 but 4 packs of pain-killer tablets in our camping gear, I used to have a pack or two everywhere I went. Now I rarely need them and if I do get a headache or tummy ache I reach for my peppermint oil.
  • Everyone is happy with bacon and eggs for breakfast everyday
  • I found a jar of Vegemite and a pack of gravox in our camp cooler bag and husband and I both laughed as we no longer eat these! In the bin they went!!
  • Sharing amenities with other people is an assault on the senses with the toxic personal care products people use. Waiting for shower with a row of teenage girls washing I felt myself holding my breath.
  • Preparing much of our food at home cut down on the waste we threw away, with only a shopping bag of rubbish over the long weekend and a few plastic items to recycle (any cardboard got incinerated on the campfire!)
  • Master 4 got some nasty insect bites on his hand that turned into welts and I was able to soothe the sting with lavender oil. One night I tucked him into his sleeping bag and zipped up the tent to then hear a wail of ‘Mum, I NEED my lavender!’
  • How convenient we have set our lives to be and how little we move our bodies. Walking to the amenities or the camp kitchen or the kids activities multiple times a day you certainly feel exhausted at the end of the day. Go-karting takes the exhaustion to a whole new level!
  • Being outside all day and all night exposed to the sunlight and moonlight as well as the fluctuations in temperature is a great way to reset your circadian rhythms and recharge your mitochondria. I made a conscious effort not to wear my sunglasses all weekend!
  • Total disconnect from social media and reconnecting with family was the ultimate recharge I needed
  • The realisation how light saturated we have become when you go bush and gaze up into the clear night sky to see a spectacular sight of stars.

Starry, starry night!

Already planning the next camping trip…Do you have any tips for camping while keeping in tune with a healthy lifestyle?

 

Jammed Up

The start of 2017 has not been the greatest with a few health expressions to slow me down. The first week I endured a 3 day migraine with the second day resulting in a blood shot left eye; not a particularly great look on the first week back to work. Last week I took sometime to slow down and listen to my body with another health expression. I spent time bed napping and resting with body aches, stuffy nose and a smashing headache. Soothed my razor blade throat with Zesty Mumma ginger lemon-aid (I only had oranges). I had my diffusers pumping with Twenty8 Immune Boost, body boosted with this blend as well as added a few drops to my detox Epsom salt bath. Immune Boost blend is a potent combination of Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, Cedarwood and Pine is perfect for strengthening the body’s immune system as well as a powerful decongestant with anti-bacterial properties. Took the edge off the headache with Twenty8 peppermint EO.

With all these headaches I was having recently I really was wanting to see my chiro. 12 months ago this notion would not have even crossed my mind. I have started to see a chiropractor in May 2016 after attending the MINDD Forum and ACNEM which really made me think more about how the postural alignment impacts the state of our health. After the first few sessions my fog of fatigue lifted, the clarity of thought was remarkable, and my chiro was able to pin point areas of concern without me saying a word. My chiro noted the sore spots base of head = adrenals, spot just below my right rib cage = food intolerances, stomach = gut issues, all linked via the vagus nerve (more about this another time).

My chiro worked with my body to promote healing, ironing out the kinks, releasing the tension in my neck and shoulders and discovering a lot of tension was located at the very top of my spine, the seat of much emotion for me. With regular chiro sessions, we got my body to a physical point of wellness, and a place to be able to start working through some of the emotion that had been brought to the surface.  I started to stretch the sessions further apart as life became busy. My body soon told me what it thought of this with the return of headaches. Over the Christmas/New Year I let my sessions slip too long and I unravelled into a health expression. I was grateful for my chiro Living Health Care to see me last week and un-jam me. Now to work out what is going on in my neural tree.

Keeping up the fluids and EOs has helped with a quick recovery, as well as booking in a follow up appointment with my chiro. What tips and tricks do you do when you have a health expression?

Green shampoo

My girlfriend Katie (@John and Kate’s Plate) and I were recently chatting all things shampoo and it reminded me of my greenwash shampoo experience last year.

I have always had oily hair as long as I can remember. Every time I went to the hairdresser they would comment that my hair is oily, that I am using the wrong shampoo and that I should try this *insert sales pitch*. Personally I thought that my hair has improved since changing my lifestyle but still on the oily side.

Last year I went to the hairdresser and an older lady cut my hair (usually I get a one of the young ones). She looked at my hair and could tell how long it had been since I had hair cut just by the length, so I figured she knows what is talking about. I got the usual your hair is oily response and said that I washed my hair this morning (I don’t like getting my hair shampooed at the hairdresser with all those nasty products). Hairdresser wasn’t impressed.

Any way, she insisted on a complimentary shampoo to show me what my hair would be like with the right shampoo, that my hair would be ‘free-er’; in my head I kept thinking sales pitch. She was talking about a mint shampoo and that the mint stimulates the scalp to increase circulation and help with the production of oil, which I could understand from my understanding the properties of peppermint essential oil. Not knowing what the shampoo was until it was all finished I checked the shampoo. DNA Organics mintiscalp shampoo; I was totally green-washed.

Despite the organic ingredients and essential oils it contained top nasties like PEG and EDTA. On top of this she blow dried my hair which I dislike too (because of how it makes my hair feel dry) but I really didn’t want wet hair whilst shopping.

So how do I know what nasties are lurking in my shampoo? I refer to my Twenty8 Ingredients Card I keep in my wallet (Contact me if you would you like one for your wallet!). Other great resources are Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group SKIN DEEP online database allow us to search ingredients and products and make our home a safer place. This is one of the best places I trust to find out about the products you put on to your body and is designed to help fill the safety gaps left by the unregulated cosmetics industry. You can also listen to this The Wellness Guys podcast with Twenty8’s very own Kim Morrison talking about what is in our personal care products.

Shampoo RedList

From Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

After my greenwash my hair went whispy, felt less oily like squeaky clean, and I was not convinced that I liked the change in my hair. Husband came home and noticed my hair straight away and laughed at the difference at first then wasn’t happy, so definitely a difference that isn’t just in my head. So was my hair feeling like this because of the

a) using a more appropriate shampoo that I am not used to

b) using a shampoo with nasties that have stripped the natural oils from my hair

c) drying out my hair from the heat of the blow drier

or

d) need to investigate further?

I chose d) investigate further, so I asked the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educators brains trust. Questions swirled around – how often do you wash your hair, how hot is the water, to do tie your hair up and have you tried ‘no-poo‘? Fellow HLE Sparkler Alix suggested:

The less you wash your hair, the better for its natural oils. Warm water, rather than hot, is much better for natural oil production. Under the water, before you shampoo it, comb your hair really slowly to help disperse the oils from your scalp to nourish the rest of the length of you hair. If you try and wash your hair once a week, shampoo twice and then only apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends. Obviously the more products you use in your hair, or ‘generic’ shampoo/conditioner, the more it strips your naturals oils so your scalp over produces.

– Track2Health

I tend to wash every 3 days or so and not overly hot showers. I only use shampoo and conditioner (which were not the greatest low-tox options at the time) and am not one for haircare styling products. I loved this tip from Alix of combing my hair before shampooing to disperse the oils, which worked for the next hair cut I had as no comments were made on how oily my hair was.  I don’t think I am ready for no-poo yet.

Many of the HLE Brains Trust recommended trying Everescents, so I made the switch. With the Everescents Organic Rose shampoo my hair has never looked so good, I have never used a shampoo that smells so divine, I get ringlets without even trying and many people make lovely comments about my hair. I love the philosophy behind Everescents:

  • Australian owned & made (even the bottles & labels!).
  • Plant based ingredients.
  • Transparent about the ingredients they choose and avoid
  • Contains pure Certified Organic ingredients.
  • Contains no Palm oil.
  • No animal testing.
  • 100% Renewable Energy.
  • Supports Camp Quality

What shampoo do you use? Do you know what is in your shampoo? Found a no nasties shampoo that works for you?

 

Strength to move forward

This week I lost my crazy, vivacious Aunty and though we were waiting for the phone call any day, any hour, it still was hard knowing it was her time to leave us so young. Knowing she is now at peace and no longer in pain gives me strength as I process this sad news.

As I received that phone call, with tears streaming down my face and the well of huge sobs about to burst from my chest I look up. ‘What’s the matter mum? Can we do some baking now mum?’. The words of a 3 year old snaps me back into reality. ‘Do you need a face cloth mum? Are you not feeling well mum?’ Toddlers are great reminders to be present in the moment. Hand in hand my son takes me to the bathroom to wipe my face. I look down at my little man fathoming how I need to be strong, not just for me but for him as well.

This moment is the first moment that has rocked my world since I became a mother. Dealing with grief and loss is a very different experience once you have young children around. In our family I see myself as the rock, the person that keeps it all together when times get tough. This mentality has lead to my downfall in the past as I have not taken good care of myself, taking on everyone else’s emotions. This time I have another little being who depends on me and I need to look after myself.

This week I have stepped my self-care rituals. Immune Boost vaporising constantly, being mindful of the state of mind I am in, taking time out just for me and being aware of not taking on others emotions. I strengthen myself with a spritz of Rose oil before I walk out the door and face the world. For me the best medicine is the laughter of my son. Husband took me out for lunch and time at the beach to slow down. I took a day off work as my body took the stress to the next level and I had a health expression telling me to slow down.

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Day at the beach

There were days I didn’t want to get up from bed, nights when I didn’t want to go to sleep, times I didn’t feel like eating and other times I emotionally ate things that didn’t respect my body. I am so grateful for having my rituals of self-care as part of being a mother to cope with challenges. Having my son around kept me in my daily rhythms and kept me focused on the present moment. Having my husband show his love and support gave me strength to move forward. Having my essential oils gives me the courage to face this dark time. My essential oils and the wisdom I have learnt on my journey of self-discovery so far is what is getting me through the second phone call in five days of another family loved one passing away.

Tomorrow as my family gathers to farewell my Aunty I will remember the happy times we had together, singing this song at the top of our lungs, you will always be glamorous in my eyes.

 

 

Mrs Wishy Washy

Since first reading Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel I have wanted to give it a go in making my own laundry liquid. I thought it would be hard, time-consuming and fiddly. How wrong I was!

I made my first batch just before Christmas and this has lasted just under 3 months including many washes for night time toilet training. No longer washing day or night cloth nappies gave me a great opportunity to start to make my own laundry liquid. For laundry powder and liquids suitable for cloth nappies look here.

Laundry Liquid

Laundry Liquid Step by Step

There are only 3 ingredients to homemade laundry liquid, 4 if you count the water. Soap, washing soda, and borax. The recipe I started off with was Rhonda’s blog Down to Earth Have you tried homemade laundry liquid, and Homemade laundry liquid revisited. However I was not keen on the borax, as I think ant poison straight away and I am unclear of the environmental impact. Rhonda’s blog posts have some great comments and tips at the bottom from many of Rhonda’s readers.

The recipe I choose to use was Melissa from Frugal and Thriving, a borax free recipe. This week I made my second batch.

My product cost:

  • 7.95 soap
  • 3.99 washing soda 1kg
  • Half an hour of my time

Cost of Ingredients:

  • 7.95 1 bar of soap
  • 1.00 1 cup of washing soda

Total for 10 Litres = $8.95, that’s less than a $1 a litre!

Many of the recipes I found on how to make laundry liquid or powder recommended using any old soap, or sunlight soap, or lux flakes for ease of use. Soap ain’t soap!

  • Lux flakes Ingredients: Soap, Perfume.
  • Sunlight Soap: Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Etidronic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 11680, CI 16255, Potassium Hydroxide.

Sure this may be the cheap, standard option but I want my laundry liquid to be safe to use with no nasties like fragrance, perfume or EDTA. I refer to my Twenty8 Additive card when I am out shopping to check what ingredients to avoid in my personal care products. You can also refer to Chemical Maze or Skin Deep to look up the ingredients and check for yourself what is safe for you and your family.

I went looking for soap and I choose Dr Bronners Pure Castile Unscented bar soap; safe ingredients but compromising on palm oil, sorry orang-utans.

I choose the unscented soap so that I can add my own essential oils and know the quality of the essential oils that are being used with my laundry. I choose what is safe for me and safe for the environment, nothing synthetic or adulterated. I add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to each load as a stain remover as well as its high anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. Every few loads I will add 3-5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a load for its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.

Tips

  • Use a pot just for soap making – just to be safe. I share my soap pot with my mum.
  • Best made when children are not around.
  • Washing soda can be found in most supermarkets, look on the top or bottom shelves.
  • Have enough containers handy to store more than 10L of liquid as you need space in container to shake before use.
  • The liquid is more like gel and will separate, it is still good to use.
  • Have a scoop to store with your liquid. I choose to re-purpose my plastic 1/3 measuring cup dedicated to laundry. (I have stainless steel measuring cups for cooking).
  • Have a smaller working container for everyday use and decant as needed out of the larger containers. I use a large 10L ice cream tub from my local cafe.
  • Any of the first aid oils would be a great choice to add to your laundry liquid and will give a beautiful and fresh aroma to you clothes and linen.

If you are more a powder than a liquid person, check out Stuart’s recipe.

If you are not keen on making your own laundry liquid, Jo from Down to Earth Mum has some great tips on how to choose the best laundry liquid or powder. My favourite store-bought eco-friendly laundry liquid is Kin Kin Naturals. Some other great laundry options can be found here and here.

Mrs Wishy Washy was a popular children’s book from my 1990s school days which I can still picture in my mind when I do the washing! Have you tried making your own laundry liquid?

A journey of healing and self-discovery

This week I am a guest blogger on Changing Habits. So excited and proud to see my first guest blog! The past three years has been a journey, and Changing Habits has been a huge part of my recovery. Check it out here A journey of healing and self-discovery by Sarah West.

Here is my story…

Journey of healing and self-discovery – Sarah West

Like so many of us it took a health crisis for me to awaken to a new way of eating and living. Three years ago in 2012, two weeks after the birth of my first child I developed Postpartum Psychosis. This is an acute mental illness that occurs after having a baby, a loss of contact with reality that includes mania, confusion, strange beliefs, hearing and seeing things, racing thoughts and is a psychiatric emergency. Despite having a background in Psychology and Brain and Mind Sciences, I had never heard of this postpartum mood disorder. Like many I only knew of Postpartum Depression, and I was struggling to comprehend what had happened to me, why did it happen and what triggered it. I was not only struggling to care for a newborn, I was also struggling to work out who I was as a new mother. I was struggling to work out how best to look after myself and heal from the darkness of my mental illness.

In times of unknown I seek out answers, I research and educate myself. In searching for a reason for Postpartum Psychosis happened to me I had a theory that it had something to being deficient in nutrients as the pregnancy had drained what little I had to begin with. I had ignored my body whispering Ketosis Pilaris to me for years, a fatty acid deficiency, which I knew from my university studies that Omega 3 plays a major role in mental health disorders. I have grown up on the Standard Australian Diet, a low-fat diet which I have now realise that is not compatible with a fatty acid deficiency, processed foods with all the chemicals that add toxins to my body, and lacking nourishment for my gut-health. Throughout childhood I was chubby, and as I got older I continued to put on weight, no matter what I seemed to do or try the weight kept creeping on into adulthood. The pregnancy and anti-psychotic medication tipped me to the heaviest weight I had been in my life.

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A year along in my journey of recovery I began to research to seek answers to my questions and as I researched I stumbled across the Changing Habits Website in November 2013. Everything I read made sense, and I began to realise that my nutrition and nourishing my body was key to my recovery and healing. With the expectation that I have nothing to lose I threw myself into Changing Habits. I began to listen to the Up For a Chat podcasts from the beginning which gave me huge support and motivation, many ahas along the way and three vivacious ladies who made me feel that I wasn’t alone on this journey of healing. I heard that Cyndi was doing a workshop in Sydney in March 2014 it was a glimmer of hope for me. I took mum and myself along to the workshop for a day packed with nutrition-focused information. From this workshop I came away feeling that I can change one small habit at a time, I began to work out what my body needed in order for it to heal. Meeting Cyndi at the end of workshop was a highlight, she was so genuine and down to earth, supportive, and happy to chat and listen. I still remember her advice to me was “You need to meet Mel”, as in Mel Kent, the Changing Habits Healthy Living Club Coach.

With the ‘Changing Habits, Changing Lives’ book in hand I devoured every chapter of knowledge and began implementing small changes into our family lifestyle. When weaning our son off bottles, we weaned our family onto full fat milk. I started to scrutinise the back of every pack, scanning the ingredients and reducing the numbers of additives. I began cooking and baking at home making food from scratch, starting with making our own bread. I began to reduce the amount of refined wheat and sugar our family were eating. The more changes I made the better I felt mentally, which gave me the resolve to take on another change, which the weight began to fall off giving me more energy to take on more changes. The biggest change I made was adding in the good fats, this was a huge change of headspace for me after growing up with the notion that fat is bad for your health. Instead of focusing on what I had to take out, I slowly added in the good, nourishing foods which crowded out the not-so-healthy foods that I had grown up with.

I heard that Up for A Chat was holding retreat on the Sunshine Coast, the Awaken the Change Within retreat in November 2014. Along with mum we jetted off to Mooloolaba for three action packed days with Cyndi, Kim from Twenty8 and Carren Smith. At this point of my journey I had released 15kgs since the Day with Cyndi in March and I was touched that Cyndi remembered me, though I did look different! I had many break downs and break throughs over the retreat but it gave me the strength to continue on my journey of healing. I picked up another key to my recovery: self-care. It was up to me to nurture myself physically, mentally and spiritually.

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In May 2015 I attended the MINDD Forum in Cyndi and caught up Cyndi, who once again did not recognise me. I looked different having released another 15kgs, a total of 30kgs in 14 months. In May I also attended the Day with Cyndi 2016 and was able to connect with others who were also on this journey of change. I love how Cyndi is always educating herself and sharing her research with her tribe. From attending the MINDD Forum to the Day with Cyndi workshop, Cyndi was passionately speaking about how we need to get back in the kitchen to feed our families to heal the nation. Being in the kitchen was instrumental in healing myself and I was seeing changes in not just my own health but also my husband and son’s health.

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Over the months I continued to seek out more knowledge and education. In 2015 I began the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Education Program with Kim Morrison, learning the power of essential oils and daily self-care rituals and how important they are in my journey of healing and self-discovery. I also heard that Changing Habits was starting an Education Course too, which I was so keen to be a part of. I got the opportunity in the July 2015 Intake of the Changing Habits Online Nutrition Course. I am empowered being a part of like-minded tribe of incredible souls, sharing knowledge together and working towards changing the world to be a better, more nourished and healthy place for us all.

People would ask ‘How did you lose the weight?” Nourish my body and nurture my mind. “Do you exercise more?” No, if anything I exercise less to reduce the stress on my body and allow it to heal. “Are you doing Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and the like?” No, I am changing my habits and biohacking what is right for my body. “So what do you eat?” I just eat real food. For those who were aware of Changing Habits, “Have you done the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol?” No, I read the book ‘Changing Habits, Changing Lives’ and imagine what the possibilities are when I do start the protocol! I changed one small thing at a time; there are no quick fixes, no diets, no magic pills, just working towards being the best version of myself. To date, November 2015, I have released 38kgs over two years, I am discovering who I truly am and I am healthier than I have ever been in my life!

Inspiring you to nourish yourself towards healing and self-discovery!

Changing Habits

 

Morning Ritual

My daily morning ritual is to wake up, open the blinds to let in the sunshine and open windows to let in fresh air. Turn off the bedroom diffuser from the night before as I use my diffuser on intermittent all through the night, generally with Instant Calm. I make the beds and spritz it with a few bursts of lavender to make the bed feel fresh (credit to Happy Mama with Amy for this wonderful idea).

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My bedroom diffuser

I walk into the living area and the first thing I always do is turn on my salt lamp diffuser and add my essential oil of the day for the home, generally Celebrate and Uplift. I prepare for the morning, fix breakfast, and tackle one big chore like hanging out the washing, washing up or a quick tidy up of a room putting things back to their homes.

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Energy in a bottle!

I have my shower followed by my body boost choosing a blend like Energy & Vitality if it is one of the days I work or go to the gym or Focus and Clarity on the days I go to work.

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Focus for the work day ahead

Husband can always tell if I having a flat day if the blinds are still closed and I am still in my PJs when he gets home from work. The simple act of opening the blinds, making the bed and having a shower all help to invigorate me to tackle the day, and these acts are made all the more powerful with the incorporation of Twenty8 essential oils into small and simple rituals.

What rituals help you to start your day?

 

Missing in Action

Wow, the past few months have flown past and things have been pretty quiet here on the blog, but I can assure you it has been far from quiet for me. So much has been happening. Here is a snippet of the whirlwind:

May – The MINDD Forum and Day with Cyndi were action packed. As a family we enjoyed the Vivid Light Festival in town.

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Vivid at Customs House, Sydney

June – From the MINDD forum I was in a spin with some new found direction on healing my body, finding a new piece of the puzzle to work on. I found a couple of Integrative doctors and started working on improving my health in a new way. My mind was racing with the new knowledge and how it has impacted on my life, even since high school. What kept me grounded was my focus on Twenty8 HLE and my fortnightly webinars with my Sparklers.

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Double rainbow in June

July – End of July was a very eventful time with the graduation of Twenty8 HLE Program in Mooloolaba Queensland, I commenced the July Intake of Changing Habits Online Education Course plus I also commenced a TAFE course. I have a love of learning, a passion to expand myself and a tendency to keep myself busy. 

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With Kim Morrison at the Twenty8 HLE Graduation Dinner

August – I began to realise that I had a bit too much on my plate and the stress, anxiety and sleepless nights began to creep back into my life. Not good timing considering it was also the time of my son’s birthday and the time of year where I reflect on the journey I have been on with postpartum psychosis and bringing up a lot of emotions for me.

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My son’s birthday cake (sans lollies)

In the craziness of August I won tickets to the Wellness Summit in Melbourne! Wow, this was definitely an experience not to pass on, so my husband and I had a quick weekend away in Melbourne. It was amazing to be surrounded by almost 700 people who are wanting to be the change in their wellbeing.

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A multitude of speakers at the Wellness Summit, Melbourne

To top off August I did my first market stall at my local gym!

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My display of Twenty8 essential oils and skincare at Fitness First Sylvania

September – A hard slog of long nights and strung out days completing the TAFE course; I am so grateful it was only a 9 week course. TAFE consumed all my spare time meaning little time to share my story with you.

Well September is almost at an end and it is time for me to slow down a bit. My mind has been racing a lot trying to work out my health issues, wanting to do so much as a new graduate of Twenty8 HLE, as well as juggling the family, the household and work. My head hurts just looking at what I have been up to lately. So you may be wondering, how did I cope? How did I manage to take on all these bits and pieces?

To be honest I have struggled a lot in the past few months trying to keep it all together. I overstretched and overwhelmed myself attempting to do too many things all at once.  When I overstretch some things suffer; when I am overwhelmed I suffer. Unfortunately these tend to be things that are most important to me like my wellbeing and my relationships with those close to me. Thankfully the universe is looking out for me and has sent in supports to give me strength and keep me moving forward, with friends contacting me just when I need it most (Thanks Christin, Henry, Maria and Stuart!).

There have been two crucial things that have kept me from falling apart recently; self-care and simplicity.

Self-care – my daily rituals of self-care have been my anchor on days when things seem tough. My rituals have been my way of checking in with myself and showing myself some compassion, that I am doing enough, I am enough and I have enough. Twenty8 Peace and Meditation has been my go to a lot lately in my daily rituals as way to calm the chatter in my mind and ground me to the present moment.

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Peace and Meditation

Simplicity – I have simplified and slowed down my life in the past 3 years, resulting a simple rhythm I follow day to day. I have de-cluttered over time, reducing the amount of possessions I have to care for and clean. Each day I have one chore to achieve like Monday is the day I wash the towels, and if that is all I get done for the day, that’s ok. I have slowed down our schedule, not over committing ourselves on the weekends, which allows us opportunities to go with the flow like go on a bush walk to ground ourselves again and disconnect from the world. 

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Recent bushwalk to Karloo Pools

Have you had a lot on lately too? What way some of the ways you cope when you are overstretched and overwhelmed?

 

Changing Habits

Garlic

Did you know that if you rub garlic on your feet that you will taste garlic in 30 minutes? This is a cool fact I learnt in Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program (HLE).

A few months ago I noticed a red, raised, rash-like patch the size of 20 cents on my armpit. I had no idea what it could be and it proceeded to get extremely hot, irritated and itchy especially being located in my already hot, sweaty armpit. It only got worse as rashes to began to appear on my other arm pit as well.

At first I thought it might have been an unusual way of detoxing as lymph nodes, which are part of your immune systems that help fight infection and disease, are found in the arm pit area as well as many other areas in your body. Then I saw on a low-tox Facebook group a number of other people were asking about rashes in their arm pits. I was not alone! However, it turned out that most of these people had made a recent switch to natural deodorant like Black Chicken. In my case I had made the switch to a natural deodorant months prior and it didn’t contain bicarb.

Not knowing what I had I asked my Mother-in-law. One look and she said ‘ringworm’. Great I have worms! Actually I had a fungus tinea also known as athletes foot. Ringworm thrives in wet, moist areas, particularly if you sweat a lot, and is highly contagious. Ringworm, like candida, may be caused by my ongoing issues with gut dysbiosis. One Google search mentioned “GAPS Diet along with antifungal herbs, supps would be great help. Fungal infections also are indicators of low immunity. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell, fungus overgrowth wouldn’t clear up until mercury/heavy metals are gone from the body. She says fungus is there to protect you from heavy metals. …B vitamin deficiencies, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E, D all are immune boosters. When they are low, body won’t function the way it should.” This particularly interesting as healing my gut is a work in progress. After the MINDD Forum listening to Dr Natasha in person I am looking into GAPS and I am currently getting tested by a holistic doctor following up some of ahas about my health, particularly around vitamin deficiencies and heavy metals levels.

I started treating the ringworm with over the counter anti-fungal creams, the heavy duty strength version where they recommend no longer that 2 weeks usage. Not particularly encouraging to use especially when you are applying this to your highly absorbent arm-pit area. I even tried a natural version of a over the counter anti-fungal cream. Creams didn’t really have an effect.

2015-06-21 008 Lavender

Twenty8 Lavender

Dr Google wasn’t much help as there as so many ways people recommend to treat ringworm, some even saying its difficult to treat or incurable despite it being so common. I was confused on what to do and reluctant to go to the doctor to get prescription medication. So I turned to my trusty essential oils. Lavender and Tea tree essentials oils have great anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties and these two oils in particular are safe to apply directly to the skin. Not having a pure therapeutic grade tea tree essential oil that I could trust I used my Twenty8 Lavender essential oil. Every first aid kid should contain Lavender.

Over the next few weeks the redness and itchiness subsided and the initial patch began to heal. But other rashes persisted and were starting to drive me bonkers. In my Twenty8 HLE course I started to learn the different properties of essential oils. I thought a synergistic effect of a combination of anti-fungal oils would be more effective than Lavender alone. I started to do a mini-massage on my arm pits with half a teaspoon of sweet almond oil and 1 drop of Twenty8 Immune Boost. This had the desired effect and slowly my arm pits started to recover slightly, but the ringworm still persisted. The tea tree oil I did have on hand I used as an anti-fungal laundry rinse aid by adding a few drops (or perhaps a drizzle) to each load of laundry as ringworm can be extremely contagious and spread easily in a household. Tea Tree essential oil certainly made our clothes, sheets and towels smell amazing!

2015-06-21 005 Calm kids

Calm Kids by Jennifer Jefferies

I was at the stage of seeking medical advice to combat the ringworm that had plagued me for months now. I had hoped with the advent of the winter months and the cooler weather this would help settle down my skin. I was sick and tired of having itchy, irritated armpits. Whilst reading Calm Kids book (recommended reading in Twenty8 HLE) I read that garlic can be used on older children to treat ringworm.

I decided to try the garlic option as it seemed easy enough. A sliver of raw garlic rubbed directly onto the skin. You may experience a slightly burning sensation if you get the garlic on unaffected skin, but the relief from the itchiness is almost instant. Its the caprylic acid in garlic that is anti-fungal and which is also found in coconut oil, another recommended option to treat ringworm. What I discovered after the fact was that it should have disclaimer on the numerous sites claiming garlic is an effective treatment. After I treated myself with garlic I Googled an explanation as to why I became so ill. A side effect of garlic can be diarrhoea, stomach issues, nausea, gas in some individuals like this and this website mentions. I got all these symptoms in spades along with loss of appetite not surprisingly, and this was most likely caused by the toxins excreted from the fungal die-off.

However, within three applications of raw garlic onto my armpits over three days my ringworm has almost cleared completely. It took over a week to start to feel like my stomach was happy with me again and to be able to eat without wanting to gag. I continue to apply the anti-fungal creams and essential oils now that the ringworm appears to under control.

Have you tried any natural remedies for ringworm? Or a natural treatment for skin conditions?

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