Today is a bittersweet day. Some of you know my mom passed away on November 15, 2017. The official diagnosis was advanced melanoma which was diagnosed in December 2015. I say official because as we learned along her journey, disEASE of the body and imbalance begins many, many decades before. Of course once that dysfunction in the cells turns to cancer, especially an aggressive one like melanoma, you have a tough battle ahead and my mom was one hell of a warrior! She would have been 79 years young today. I miss her every day and I get really sad when I think how she isn't physically here with me, although I feel her spiritual presence daily. Some days the oddest things will get the tears flowing.
Renewing my Costco membership last week was one of those odd things. As you may know, they allow one additional person on a Costco membership. My mom was my additional person so when they asked to confirm she was my extra account holder it hit me very hard that she is no longer physically here. I had to work hard to prevent the ugly cry while standing in the customer service line. I laughed (and cried) about it when I got home to tell my family because they all knew how much my mom loved going to Costco at the last possible moment... right before closing...usually on a Sat. Sorry Costco employees but thank you for always allowing her in the store to shop.
Anyone who knew her always commented on her endless energy & vibrancy but here's the thing...my mom was often VERY tired but she had such a feisty spirit that she usually found a way to battle through the fatigue and take it up a notch or 10! That’s how she would show up at Costco right before closing plus the million other things she would get done for herself and others. Some days she'd fight that fatigue with only a few hours of sleep- which clearly isn't a wellness principle she would want to promote and it is something she struggled with her entire adult life. Call it a strong work ethic, perfectionism, feisty, amazing or I think it was just good ole resiliency and a desire to live fully.
My mom's feisty personality was such a paradox to her life because rest is clearly vital especially when recovering from illness. BUT, I also truly believe if she wasn't so feisty she would have died decades earlier. That high vibrant life force is what kept her going for as long as she did but as with most things in life, balance is key.
Most of her friends & family were shocked when she was diagnosed with cancer saying, "She is so healthy & followed a healthy lifestyle. How did this happen." (Which she did compared to most Americans especially once she quit smoking in her 40's) but my mom also had a lot of chronic illnesses starting with thyroid and digestive problems occurring in her 20's. She smoked for many years which clearly added insult to injury. She did work hard at adopting new healthy living principals each year and I'm still in awe of her tenacity. She truly did the best that she knew at the time.
As I'm sure many of you experience, it's sometimes hard to know which "healthy living principals" to incorporate.There is so much conflicting info! It's frustrating to learn that we were flat out lied to regarding food recommendations and of course the cigarette companies misleading marketing. I won't hash out all the lies here but here's a few articles about sugar and cigarettes to remind you that sometimes the recommendations for our health is made with a very big influence from big food/big business/big pharma and not our best interest.
I LOVE learning about this stuff but I get overwhelmed too. I remind my family and myself, there is NO "ONE" " RIGHT" diet or lifestyle choices for ONE person. The human body is complex and although it would be nice to have a simple answer (a magic bullet) that will never be possible because once you figure out what diet or healthy living principles work for you, then your bodies needs change. I think a big key is to be in tune with your body and to follow a few "Common Sense Principals" (you knew it was coming right) ;)
I try to focus on the common themes that most of the wellness experts do agree on and not so much the conflicting view points:
My mom's body had some subtle and not so subtle messages over the last few decades and of course hindsight is 20/20. She would want me to tell you, do everything in your power to promote wellness in your body and the earlier the better because it's really hard to turn things around once disease sets in. If you have a serious chronic condition I encourage you to check out www.Chrisbeatcancer.com or Gerson.org because then you do need to get into the details of things and do some extensive research and soul searching. There is a steep learning curve with Gerson Therapy that honestly we didn't hit very often and we didn't start it until almost a year after her diagnosis. That's a whole other post but we absolutely heard and saw amazing results with Gerson for many folks with many chronic conditions not just cancer.
My mom really had a full life and I'm so grateful for my 50 years with her and the journey was epic even it it was cut a bit short. Unfortunately though, every day, daughters (& sons) lose their mom's (& dad's) way to soon and even worse parents lose their young children/babies to complex diseases. There are no simple answers. There will always be some debates about what foods, exercises, products are best but do step into your common sense corner and listen to your body, decrease your toxic load where you can and most importantly focus on a fun and love filled journey.
Happy Birthday Mom. I love you and miss you. #EPICDAYSAHEAD, xoxo, Lisa
I've never been great at thinking of unique gifts especially when it comes to hostess gifts. Sure it's nice to bring a side dish, a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers but why not pair one of those gifts with a bottle or two of amazing essential oils from Young Living? They are gorgeous, smell good & they promote wellness and who doesn't need a little extra help with wellness this time of year? There are plenty of oils to chose from because Young Living offers over 150 singles and blends of oils! There are several oils that are perfect for the Fall. My favorites are: Peppermint with Orange or Tangerine, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Bark & a favorite to many folks any time of the year...Thieves.
Thieves is a popular blend of Clove bud oil, Lemon peel oil, Cinnamonbark oil, Eucalyptus leaf oil, and Rosemary leaf oil. Not only does Thieves smell amazing but it is a powerful blend of oils to support our immune system. So if you imbibe in a little too much acidic foods and beverages, a little Thieves oil blend after dinner will be a welcome guest!
Let me know if you have some unique gift ideas that promote vibrant living in the comments below. Contact me if you want to learn more about these amazing oils & products so you can order at a wholesale price.
We wish you and your family and friends a peaceful and love filled Thanksgiving.
If you have questions on how the Promos work, please send me a message. You don't want to miss out on these amazing freebies! Bring on #thanksgiving #Christmas #holidaygatherings #frankincense
Last week I was in a yoga class & the instructor said something that summed up exactly what I've experienced in my wellness journey. "If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won't have to hear it scream."
YES! This is exactly what I have experienced but unfortunately I learned it the hard way (I waited for the screams) & I bet many of you have taken a similar path. It's not the easiest path but it is the one many of us travel.
Let me explain why this spoke so LOUDLY to me with a little different twist to this concept. Obviously, prevention is key (& a lot easier) but many of us (or people who we know & love) are going down the all too familiar path of "chronic" illness or what we think is "normal" midlife ailments so we think, why bother at this point? AND as you detox the junk, you often feel worse. Who has time for that?!
This is called the Herxheimer Reaction (aka: HELL), but as you detox the junk from your life you also tolerate them a lot less so you never get this huge build up of junk hopefully again. Your body is stronger & standing guard & not just laying dormant for every toxic assault. It really hears the whispers!
Well this kinda pissed me off early in my wellness journey. I ate some crappy onion rings at Six Flags (old habits die hard & I didn't bring enough of my own quality food) & within minutes I had a migraine headache. This was before I knew anything about Young Living essential oils so I was on my own for this little lesson. I'll spare you the fun details but the next several hours were a challenge especially since I was the only adult to drive home my mortified teenage daughter and her 2 friends. Good times. ;)
Later I thought, well that sucked...I use to eat like crap a lot & I could handle it. Or could I? My body had been whispering for a few decades but I ignored it so finally it YELLED with high blood pressure, weight gain, insomnia, shingles...the list goes on. I tell you this not to discourage you, but to remind you how awesome our bodies are and if we listen to the whispers (&/or the screams) & we decrease the toxic chemical load we expose it to daily, it will whisper back "thank you".
Unfortunately we are exposed to TONS of toxins daily. Some of them we can control easily but many may be out of our control. Let's focus on the ones we can control. Eating organic food as often as possible and purified water are two really important steps but sometimes that is harder than it sounds. We can however control the toxins we let in our homes & the products we put on our skin! Our skin is our largest organ so let's protect it very carefully!
I've been pretty "green-living" for my home cleaners & pest service for decades but oddly enough I just started paying attention to the toxins I was putting on my skin (including my make up) in the last few years. Lots of common sense I know. ;) We trust what is sold in a store is safe but often times it is not. Read more here from the EWG- Environmental Working Group.
You can make many of your products & cleaners with DIY ingredients & the amazing Young Living essential oils but if you are not a DIY person (or are short on time), YL has released many new amazing products. Here's the link to all the new products. The make up line is AMAZING!!
Prevention is much easier than dealing with the affects of toxic overload. At some point your body with scream at you if you continue to let toxins in so I invite you to be pro active and start taking steps to live a less toxic life. Contact me if you want to learn how to incorporate Young Living's Essential Oils & products into your wellness routine. You and your family's health is worth it!
Brace yourself Mama's...it's almost May! It's gift giving time for all the special moms, teachers & graduates in your life and the schedule ramps up with end of school year activities. Make the gift giving easy, practical & AMAZING with a few of these gift ideas.
Give the gift that keeps on giving! A wholesale membership with a Premium Starter Kit for your Mom, Grandma, Aunt, or Special Friend! I'm glad to do a virtual class for them if they live out of town.
Young Living just released 2 new products just in time for May gift giving. The bath bombs are amazing & come 4 to a pack...with no yuk chemical toxins. The coconut-lime body butter would be a special treat for anyone on your May gift list.
Stress Away Roll-On
This makes a super nice gift because the 10 ml roll on comes in a super cute gift box. It smells amazing & makes a natural perfume replacement.
Swell Water Bottle with a Vitality Essential Oil or 2
Who doesn't like a Swell bottle? Plus their founder, Sarah, seems pretty cool too! Well it will be doubly nice with some Young Living Vitality Essential Oils! Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Citrus Fresh all come in the Vitality Line which means they are appropriate for internal use & they come in the economical 5 ml size. Cute & useful!
Diffuser + Starter Kit
Dorm, sweet, dorm will be a lot sweeter with a diffuser. Give your favorite graduate a healthy start to their new independence with their own diffuser and premium starter kit. A little peppermint will help them to get to their 8 am classes & lavender can help them get a good nights sleep. Purification blend...well because it's a dorm room and mom isn't there to tell them to clean their room! Any graduate will be grateful for the amazing 11 oils to get their first semester off to a great start.
Guest post by Diana Schwarzlose
It's so easy!! I knew I wanted to try to make my own sunscreen because there are some active ingredients in most sunscreens on the shelf today that I would like to avoid. Some of them mess with your estrogen levels, and y'all...I do NOT have time for that! No one has time for that, seriously.
I'd like to share this article with you if you're wondering what ingredients I'm referring to and why I don't need them in my life.
After looking at several recipes online, I finally settled on one from Wellness Mama, and I'm so glad I did! I appreciate how she outlines the natural SPF in each ingredient and explains why getting a certain amount of sun exposure if necessary and good.
After ordering a few key ingredients off of Amazon, I texted my dear friend, Lisa Embree at www.commonsensecorner.org, to see if she already had shea butter and carrot seed essential oil, which she did. She is an essential oil guru, so feel free to contact her if you are curious about them. I decided she was going to invite me over, so I could use her stuff and we could make this together.
The outcome (ie, texture and effectiveness) of this sunscreen is divine!! Y'all, I can't reiterate to you enough: If I can do this, you can do this. For real. I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old that I stay home with, and I'm starting up this new business now. I tell you that, so you can't make any excuses like, "I don't have time for that," or "I'm not a DIY girl." I will stare at you blankly...for several awkward seconds.
Just buddy up with a friend because that always makes it more fun (and cheaper), get these simple ingredients, and try it! You'll love it!
Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
It's been one month since I attended the amazing Raw Food Institute's Immersion Program with my mom and two of my daughters in Simsbury, Connecticut. The experience exceeded my expectations! My head is still spinning with so much amazing information that it has been difficult to sit down and choose what to say about the experience. I want to make sure I do it justice! But I reminded myself tonight that I preach to myself daily, "progress not perfection" and just get something down! This may be my rough draft and if you revisit this entry there might be some changes but I did want to get something on "paper" now about the experience.
So you may wonder why a girl from Austin, Texas went all the way to Connecticut to attend a Raw Food Program when there are plenty of programs closer. Two words...Lisa Wilson. Lisa is the founder of The Raw Food Institute and from the moment I met her I knew she was special. She did not disappoint!
I had a "chance" meeting with Lisa two years previously when I was at another wellness conference with my mom. In 2014, it was my mom's 75th Birthday so as a present to her we attended the Longevity Now Conference in California. There were a couple thousand people at that event which is hosted by David Wolfe. During lunch breaks, as often happens at big conferences, the restaurant ran out of seating. Lisa was there with her adorable daughter, Harper and they asked if they could join my mom and me at our table. Thank God we were eating salads and not hamburgers when this amazing Raw Foodie sat down next to me! LOL! In hindsight, maybe she asked to sit with us because we had salads! Either way, I'm glad they sat down. We had a lovely conversation and I wrote down her website.
When I got home I checked it out and immersed myself with her content and gems. I "stalked" her Facebook and started interacting with her and after awhile I knew I wanted to visit her raw food program some day. My oldest daughter also started following Lisa's blog and videos. We put it on our bucket list.
Then on a whim during the Christmas Holidays I decided that I wanted to give myself and my mom another Christmas and January birthday gift "experience" vs. things. Since my oldest daughter also has a January birthday I decided we should include her too. Then we added my youngest daughter as well because why not have 4 people in a hotel room and save some money on the program. I also thought it would be good to have them along to help learn how to "not cook" our meals! They both love "cooking" and luckily for me they have a passion to learn everything they can about wellness and how we can continually improve our health.
The 7 days went by in a flash! The first few days of a cleanse are always "painful" but getting to the other side is amazing. I've done plenty of cleanses before but never something this extensive. Thank goodness we have been on a healthy living journey for a few years now or the discomfort would have been even greater. It's always worth it but sharing a hotel room with 4 people during a cleanse can be even more challenging. Did I mention there were enemas? Yep, we didn't know that part either. We laughed a lot and got over it. Like the cleanse, all the information Lisa gave us was not brand new to us but this was also a whole new level! She brings in amazing speakers and holistic healers who provided some treatments we were familiar with but some we were not. And of course the food!!!! Yes we ate raw food for 7 days and it was amazing! No I will not be going 100% raw yet. I do believe it is the healthiest way to eat (especially if you are in a healing crisis) but it is not sustainable for my family and me at this point in our journey. However, we will be cooking our foods at a much lower temperature and including more raw and less cooked. That is totally doable for us!
In addition to the awesome treatments that were available to us and the yummy, nutritious foods we also got to meet some amazing people that I'm happy to now call friends. From the other attendees to the volunteers who come back to help serve. The program is intimate in nature so by the end of the week we felt like we had known these people for months. I can't wait to go back and volunteer and have the rest of my family go through RFI! What an amazing community Lisa Wilson has created!
When another social media platform pops up I usually ignore it because I'm not the most tech savvy individual and who knows if it will be around next month. Facebook has been my go to for the last several years for keeping up with family & friends and for amazing resources for healthy living. I'm comfortable with it. However, when Pericope hit my radar I found it pretty intriguing. I started connecting with other like minded individuals re: healthy living. You can really get a sense of who they are in a short amount of time. Like many people, I'm also a very visual learner, so pericope really comes in handy from that aspect.
It is a bit intimidating when you are first learning all the intricacies of it and if you are not a natural on camera (clearly I am not) it takes putting your fears and nervousness (& perfectionism) aside. My children have found it great entertainment in critiquing my scopes. There have been a few that have been so embarrassingly bad that I took them down for their sake and mine. The ones I've collected on my katch.me account are not going to win any awards but maybe you will learn a thing or two that might help you live a more vibrant life or at the very least give you a good chuckle. Here's my collection: on Katch. My periscope is @ commonsensecorn because somehow I messed up and the corner wouldn't fit (LOL) and now I'm having difficulty updating. Did I mention that I'm tech-challenged! https://www.periscope.tv/commonsensecorn
Update March 2016: I finally made the change to my periscope name because I just could not stand being Common Sense Corn ;) so I'm now at LisaAnnEmbree on periscope & here is my Katch channel: https://katch.me/lisaannembree Please join me on periscope & give me some hearts. Thanks!