How I Healed My Gut – Lemon Tonic

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I have to start out by telling you flat out that this tonic is pretty darn amazing.  I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops because my results after drinking this tonic for about 6 months have been pretty life changing.  In my opinion, it’s a miracle drink – I can say that since I’m not trying to sell it to you. 😉

I’ve had gastric issues for about 6 years now, and nothing ever helped me.  I saw so many doctors and did so many tests to see what was wrong with me – I’ll be paying off those bills for quite a while!  What a waste – the results didn’t tell me anything helpful.

I had a laundry list of symptoms that were unexplained, so I started going to a nutritionist.  I went to her monthly for a couple of years to gently detox my system from heavy metals and other environmental toxins.  She taught me about making healthier food choices, and why whole foods and whole food supplements were important.  I felt somewhat better, but still had many unexplained symptoms.

When I first started making this drink, I only used warm water with a fresh-squeezed lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar.  I drank it every morning before my breakfast for a couple of months.  At first, I wasn’t sure if it was helping my gastric issues.  But since I had read so many wonderful things about lemon water, I knew that if I kept drinking it I would benefit from it eventually.  I learned that raw, unfiltered honey has the most health benefits, so I started using that instead of the cheap-o kind I was using (think plastic bottle in the shape of a bear….horrible).  Then, I read that adding baking soda to lemon water has even more health benefits, even cancer prevention, so I started adding that to my drink.

All I can say is WOW!  I sure noticed some changes.  I no longer had excessive gas after every meal.  I wasn’t bloating as often.  I wasn’t burping as much throughout the day (I would literally burp every couple of minutes).  I also noticed that I didn’t have explosive bouts of diarrhea (sorry, TMI?) after eating ice cream or pizza.  My skin is clearer (but I also use Arbonne’s anti-aging skin care, which has something to do with that!), and I haven’t gotten sick in a while.  (UPDATE:  It’s now 3 years later, and I finally got a sinus infection…BUT!  I’d stopped drinking this for a few weeks prior!  I don’t think it’s a coincidence.)

I also now take digestive enzymes with every meal, to help my stomach break down the food.  And I take exemplary supplements from a company I represent.  I know that everything I’ve said have played their own part in my current wellness vs. 7 years ago.

I always recommend this lemon tonic to anyone who tells me that they have digestive issues.  I will probably drink this tonic for as long as I live.  Even if you don’t have stomach issues, there are so many other health benefits (listed below) that it doesn’t hurt to try it for yourself.  If you are consistent and drink this tonic every single morning before breakfast, you will notice changes eventually.  Still a skeptic?  Google “lemon honey water” and read on!  There are so many great articles by doctors and health and wellness practitioners praising lemon water.

So, you’re probably wondering, “Why lemon, honey, baking soda and apple cider vinegar?  What makes them so special?”  I have gathered some information and compiled it all here:

Lemon Goodness

Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which enhances beauty by rejuvenating the skin from the inside.  It helps in weight loss, and is a very alkaline fruit (once it is in the body – otherwise it is acidic).

Lemons are a great source of polysaccharides, organic acids especially citric acid, lipids, carotenoid, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, bitter limonoids, potassium, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C.  Lemons also include volatile oil (in the peel – where the lemon essential oils come from), limonene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-pinene, citral, coumarins, mucilage, pectins, and bioflavonoids (pith and peel).

Honey Goodness

Honey is a great source of good carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids.  Honey contains small amounts of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.  It also contains vitamin C, and the minerals calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, chromium and manganese.  The darker the honey, the greater antioxidants.  Honey also contains organic acids such as acetic, butanoic, formic, citric, succinic, lactic, malic, pyroglutamic and gluconic acids, and a number of aromatic acids.

Apple Cider Vinegar Goodness

(This will knock your socks off!)  I use Bragg’s organic ACV, which says “With the Mother” on the front of the bottle.  Seriously…you must use Bragg’s – it is the best.  All others I’ve tasted are disgusting.

“With the Mother” means that it still contains all of the good stuff, unlike other apple cider vinegars that are void of it.  ACV contains pectin, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and small amounts of minerals like potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.  It has a wide range of benefits, such as it:  helps stomach troubles, cures hiccups, soothes a sore throat, could lower cholesterol, prevents indigestion, clears a stuffy nose, aids in weight loss, gets rid of dandruff, clears acne, boosts energy, cuts down on nighttime leg cramps, banishes bad breath, whitens teeth, fades bruises, helps control blood sugar.  Amazing – and it’s only about $8 for a large bottle at the grocery store!

Baking Soda Goodness

Baking Soda isn’t just for baking cookies!  When consumed, it works by immediately kicking stomach acid in the face, which then helps relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain.  When consumed in a lemon tonic, it gets your digestive juices flowing, and will help your stomach in digestion.  If that wasn’t enough, it is also known to alkalize the body and help with kidney disease, cancer, athletic performance, skin conditions and can be used in homemade deodorants (RECIPE HERE) and toothpaste (RECIPE HERE).

In Summary, here’s a list of health benefits of this tonic:

  1. Enhances metabolism.
  2. Aids digestion.
  3. Cleanses the intestines, which improves the absorption of nutrients.
  4. Boosts your immune system.
  5. Cleans your urinary tract.
  6. Balances pH levels.
  7. Clears skin.
  8. Promotes healing.
  9. Freshens breath.
  10. Hydrates your lymph system.
  11. Aids in weight loss.
  12. Boosts energy.

I am sure this isn’t even an exhaustive list.  But it is a very good start!  I feel that everyone should drink this daily, and I hope you will give it a try.  If you don’t have all of the ingredients, make sure you at least have water, honey, lemon and ACV.  Those are good enough in themselves for boosting your immune system.

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LEMON WATER TONIC

  • 8 oz. warm water
  • 1 fresh-squeezed lemon
  • 1 tsp raw, Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs raw, unfiltered, organic honey (the darker the better)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (aluminum-free)
  • Essential oils of choice (see note in red below)

First, heat up the water in either a glass or ceramic mug, for 35-40 seconds in the microwave.  Next, stir in the honey until it is dissolved.  Then you can add in the ACV and baking soda.  (**you can toss in some of your favorite essential oils if you’d like!)

The last part is a little tricky.  Before you add the lemon juice to the mixture, be forewarned!   It can get messy if you don’t slooowly add it in.  The baking soda reacts to the acid in the lemon juice and foams up quick!!  I’ve had mine spill out onto my counter a few times.  If you slowly add the lemon juice, but use a spoon to break up the foam as you continue to pour the lemon juice, you should be alright.  I drink it with a stainless steel straw because the acid from the lemon can eat away at your teeth.  If you don’t have one, just sip it, but rinse your mouth with water from the faucet after you finish your drink.

So, if any of you start doing this daily, and notice some changes in your health, please come back to tell me about it!  🙂

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oil company I purchase from gives full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and extremely potent.  If you would like more information on how to get them, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.


Blessings

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BEST Homemade Deodorant – Better than Tom’s!

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This is by far THE BEST deodorant I have ever used.  No joke – and it comes from my very own kitchen.  I’ve tried so many natural deodorants, regular deodorants, etc., and they all make my pits smell funky.  I used to always think homemade products weren’t as effective – that was until I found the magical world of essential oils. 😉

First, some info:

Antiperspirants:

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past decade, you already know that antiperspirants contain aluminum salts, which stop you from sweating.  This may sound great to you, and give you confidence at a sweltering mid-summer BBQ party, but it is actually not a good thing.  Your underarm sweat glands are there for a reason – to release the sweat and toxins from your body to keep you healthy.

Did you know that whatever we put on our body is absorbed through our pores, and enters our blood stream within approximately 26 seconds?  Many products out there contain formaldehyde, parabens, mineral oils, petrolatum, etc., which soak right into your pores and swim around your blood stream looking for organs in which they can attach themselves and eventually mess up your body.

Not only do antiperspirants contain aluminum, they also irritate sensitive skin.  Even “all natural” brands can give people rashes or contain ingredients that aren’t 100% pure!  It’s just so hard to find real natural products, you know?

Deodorant:

Deodorant is a completely different product altogether.  Deodorants do not contain aluminum, so they allow you to sweat.  But they do somewhat mask the scent of your body odor – so at least you don’t stink!

Years ago, after going to a nutritionist, I learned that aluminum has been linked to many health issues, and that I would be better off making my own 100% natural deodorant.  To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of using only a deodorant, and letting my sweat flow freely (Update: been using this now for a couple years and will never go back to store bought deodorant).

I first started out with drugstore deodorant.  Then, I learned more about harmful chemicals in our products, so I began using Tom’s natural deodorant from the health food store.  Tom’s didn’t mask the odor at all.  Maybe it’s worked for you, but as for me, not a fan.  Then, I joined Arbonne, and started using their all natural Pure Mint deodorant.  I love the smell of their deodorant, like sweet mint gum, but it was a little too pricey for my budget.

I ran out of my last stick of Arbonne deodorant yesterday morning, so I decided to make homemade organic deodorant last night.  I am happy to say that it works like a boss!  It has been almost 9 hours and no pit odor.  All you need are a few ingredients and 5-10 minutes to make your own.

I chose lavender, melaleuca (tea tree), wintergreen and/or peppermint oils.  The lavender and melaleuca have odor-masking properties.  Wintergreen is cool and has that minty/cooling scent that I loved in my old Arbonne deodorant.

Below is a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make this deodorant.  The full recipe will be posted at the bottom of the page.  It makes an invisible-solid deodorant, that should last up to 3 months!  I had enough to fill up 2 deodorant sticks, and a 4 oz. glass jar.

First, I collected all of the materials I would need.  Small pot, measuring cup, all-natural beeswax, organic cold-pressed coconut oil, arrowroot powder, aluminum-free baking soda and my essential oils.  That’s it.

Next, heat up a small pot on the stove at a very low temp for a couple of minutes.  Once the pot is heated, drop in the coconut oil, add the beeswax and melt together at very low heat.  Once they have melted together, turn off the stove.

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Next, whisk in arrowroot powder and baking soda.  Once smooth, let it cool for about 15 minutes so that it isn’t hot.  Then, you can stir in your essential oils (so as not to be damaged by high heat).

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Take an empty deodorant stick container, or a small glass tub, and pour in the mixture until it tops off.

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Replace the lid and place it in the fridge to cool for a half an hour.  That’s it!

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Store your deodorant in a cool, dry place so that the coconut oil doesn’t melt during the day and leave you with a mess!  The bathroom is fine, unless your home is very warm.  In the summertime, storing it in the fridge would give you a nice, cool application.

You can experiment with your own oils.  Just be sure to have some oils with cleansing and odor-masking properties, such as melaleuca or lavender.  The one I made doesn’t have a strong scent, which is great for those who usually buy unscented deodorants from the store.

DIY DEODORANT RECIPE:

1/2 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil
1.5 Tbs of organic beeswax pellets (I bought these)
1/4 cup Alumimum-free baking soda (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or food grade Diatomaceous Earth, if allergic to arrowroot)
15 drops of melaleuca essential oil (see note in red below)
15 drops wintergreen, spearmint or peppermint essential oil
6 drops lavender essential oil

Heat up a small pot on the stove on very low heat.  You don’t want it bubbling, just warm enough to melt your ingredients.  Drop in the solid coconut oil, and beeswax pellets, and stir until melted together (the beeswax helps keep the deodorant firm, so that it doesn’t drip down your sides).

Stir in arrowroot powder and baking soda.  Let cool for about 15 minutes so that it isn’t hot, and then mix in your essential oils.  Pour into an empty deodorant stick tube, or in a glass jar with a tight lid.  Place in fridge to cool for 30 minutes.  Store in a cool, dry place so that the coconut oil doesn’t melt.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oil company I purchase from gives full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and extremely potent.  If you would like more information, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

If you need to purchase glass jars, roller ball bottles, deodorant sticks, etc., you can do so here:  www.aromatools.com or www.bulkapothecary.com.  Both are great stores.

Please let me know if you try this recipe and if you liked it.  Also, if you use different essential oils, I’d love to know which ones so that I can try it too!

 

Frankincense Oil – When in Doubt, Use It!

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A boswellia frereana tree, from which frankincense oil is originated.

One of the most precious of all essential oils is frankincense.  Before learning about essential oils, I never imagined I would actually get the chance to smell this ancient oil.  I had only read about it in the Bible and heard about it at church.  It was one of the gifts brought to baby Jesus.  It always seemed to me to be such an out-of-reach, ancient oil.  To my surprise, it was being used in the present day by many people around the world to promote wellness.

Like myrrh (another one of the gifts presented to baby Jesus!), frankincense is a resin (dried tree sap), and has been considered precious and valuable for many years – even “sacred” by some.  It is used for many reasons, such as:

1.  Helping build and maintain a healthy immune system.
2.  Promoting cellular health.
3.  Reducing the appearance of blemishes and rejuvenates skin.
4.  Supporting healthy immune system function.
5.  Promoting feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness.

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Dried tree sap from the Boswellia frereana tree.

In 3000 BC, frankincense had more value than gold and was sometimes referred to as “liquid gold.”  Now, in modern times, frankincense is in the spot light again due to it’s wellness and relaxation properties.

Frankinsence

Frankincense is difficult to source, which makes it one of the priciest oils (among others like rose, neroli, jasmine, myrrh, helichrysum, Melissa, etc.).  The frankincense I use comes directly from the indigenous region that the plant is from.

How to Use Frankincense:

1.  Topically – Can be applied neat directly to the skin (neat) (or diluted in a carrier oil to spread the oil across a wider space on the body).

2. Aromatically – When diffused, frankincense promotes clarity and focus.  It also helps with nervousness.

Essential oils are best diffused with either an ultrasonic or a nebulizing diffuser.  Here are a couple of diffusers that I like:  This one, and this one.

3.  Internally – Can be taken in gel caps or with honey.  Also, a drop can be placed on the thumb and pressed to the roof of your mouth to help with tension and nervousness, or 1-2 drops under the tongue to promote cellular wellness.

I use frankincense on a daily basis under my tongue and on the bottoms of my feet to promote general wellness.  I also throw in a calming and grounding oil blend (comment below for the brand I use), for uplifting my mood and maintaining relaxation.  I tend to be a more hyper, intense person by nature, so this really helps me not scare people away!  Sometimes…

One great characteristic of frankincense is that it is an “intensifier” type of oil.  Meaning that it intensifies whatever oils you put on before you apply it.  It helps the other oils work better.  Amazing!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oil company I purchase from gives full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and extremely potent.  If you would like more information, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

 

Homemade Toothpaste with Coconut Oil

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Have you ever looked at the ingredients in your store bought toothpaste?

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Yeah, I didn’t either until I started caring more about what I put in and on my body.   The ingredients listed below that I am most concerned about are the sodium laurel sulfate, carrageenan, “flavor,” and sodium hydroxide. According to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002487.htm, sodium hydroxide is found in many industrial solvents and cleaners, including flooring stripping products, brick cleaners, cements, and may also be found in certain household products, including:  aquarium products, drain cleaners, hair straighteners, metal polishes and oven cleaners, etc.  Sooooo, why is it in our toothpaste?!

So, over the weekend, I ran out of toothpaste.  I need to save money, so I figured I’d make my own toothpaste.  I found a recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a little bit to my liking.

You simply mix all of these ingredients in a bowl, scoop it into your container, and you’re done!  Tada!  My, my, that is some tasty-looking frosting toothpaste.  It is about the same consistency as store-bought toothpaste.

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Peppermint Toothpaste

1/4 cup + 2 TB coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup aluminum-free baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp bentonite clay (I used liquid bentonite)
½ tsp liquid pure stevia
10-15 drops peppermint essential (see note in red below)
5 drops thyme essential oil
5 drops of myrhh essential oil

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut oil and baking soda.  Mix thoroughly.  Add in the remaining ingredients and mix.  Store in a jar or a squeezable bottle.  (Note: When mixing bentonite clay, please use a wood or plastic spoon.  Bentonite clay should not come in contact with metal because it deactivates the clay’s detoxifying properties.  Bentonite clay isn’t necessary for this recipe, it is an added benefit).

So, how simple is that?!

UPDATE:  Since I started using this toothpaste, my mouth and teeth feel cleaner, my teeth look whiter, and my lips aren’t so dried out.  Usually, I apply chapstick as much as 20 times a day!  But, I feel that the coconut oil provides the needed moisture.  I am loving this toothpaste – my husband even loves it!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oil company I purchase from gives full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and extremely potent.  If you would like more information, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.