Ordinary People

An ordinary people… that’s what I am.

*WARNING: transparent post ahead*

Todd and I were talking this morning, about many things … well, about everything, really. It is one of my most favorite things to do… to just sit in the stillness of the morning and spend time with one another discussing life.

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is my little side hustle with Young Living. To be honest, I truly don’t like referring to it as ‘my side hustle’ because it has become a lifestyle for me. Actually, it’s not even a lifestyle but rather a large part of my life. I have incorporated this wellness lifestyle into my life journey so much so that it is just the ‘norm’ for me and my hubby.

Having said that, one of the thoughts that has plagued me recently is that there are so many ‘oilers’ I’m connect to or follow that are doing so well building their businesses, and it just seems effortless for them. (‘Seems’ being the key word.) Many are already well-known bloggers or influencers who already have such a large following that it appears to be so easy for them to reach so many people and be able to touch and educate a vast group about the benefits of these natural, 100% pure products. That is truly wonderful, seriously, because I feel that as many people as possible SHOULD be informed about these God-given remedies.

However, this is an area of discouragement for me because I can’t reach that many people. I feel like I am stuck in my own little IG community with an open door that leads to nowhere.

I am one person.

I don’t have a vast following.

I am not an influencer, per say.

I am a blogger (part-time) but I am not successful, per say.

Do you know what ‘per say’ means?

It means ‘by itself.’

I am not these things I mentioned above, per say, but with God, I am. Todd reminded me of that this morning.

When I mentioned my discouragement, he immediately responded without hesitation, “God used ordinary people to be His disciples and do great things.”

*drop the mic 🎤

Let’s face it… these successful bloggers and influencers that I speak of are most likely those ordinary people whom Todd spoke of that God is using for His glory!!

How quickly I have forgotten why I wear my mustard seed bracelet 24/7… I never take it off! (Purchased from Marianne at Gracefully Wrapped.) My ‘faith as a mustard seed’ should not be compartmentalized and practiced only in certain areas but it should consume every area of concern in my life.

No… I am not all these things, but with God, I am.

I am what HE calls me to be for such a time as this.

I absolutely CANNOT take my eyes off of Him for one minute, because when I do, I make it all about me.

It’s not about me but rather about the God I serve.

I am not… but I know ‘I Am.’

Thank you, Todd, for that reminder.

Go out today and be ordinary, but allow yourself to be open to God and do great things for His glory.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

The Turtoise Testimonial

Let’s travel backwards for a minute, shall we?

  • PIC 1: MAY 2019
  • PIC 2: EASTER 2018
  • PIC 3: JUNE 2011
  • PIC 4: MY WELLNESS STATION

There are some who know I use essential oils and have commented “You better not share that you’ve stayed above the wellness line anymore” whenever I’ve ended up below the wellness line from time to time.

I get it… I claim to use these ‘awesome’ oils & end up getting sick??

*Guys… these oils HAVE kept me above the wellness line, no doubt about that, and I’ll always proclaim that because it’s not just words I’m speaking… it’s my real life I’ve been living!

I’ve never claimed that they are “cure all – end all” remedies.

Scripture says it rains on the unjust AND the just! Likewise, even when using these oils, I will get sick at some time or another because that’s just life. I’m around people… people have germs… I’m in the environment… I’m not in a bubble; But if I can do something to help prevent an illness or reaction or to support my mental, emotional and physical health or remove things (toxic products) from my life that are endocrine disrupters, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to do it.

And let me just add that I am not against modern medicine. I still consult with my doctor whenever I add a new Young Living supplement into my daily regimen just to make sure that it doesn’t have an adverse reaction to the modern medicine that I HAVE to take on a DAILY basis! I have the best doctor in the world; he has more knowledge in his big toe than I would ever know what to do with if I possessed it! I trust him fully and completely and I will always seek his medical advice. 

But… if I don’t HAVE to take modern meds and can combat issues with the plant-based remedies that God put here on earth for us to use, I’m all about it!

I have this one life to live. God has given me this one temple to use for His glory, so I am (in the words of my dad) determined to do my part here on earth and let God take care of the rest.

I am beyond thankful for my Young Living products… I can’t even put into words how grateful I am. I don’t want to push them on anyone… but those things I love, I love to share with others.

I started this wellness journey circa May 2018 incorporating an AIP diet as well as implementing the ‘ditch & switch’ lifestyle which includes mostly Young Living products and essential oils. I’m still progressively making the switch as it takes some time, and I, myself, am still a work in progress learning as I go.

But just look through the pics …  see the progression of how my wellness journey is going … and tell me I’m crazy.  It may be a slow progression, and I may be in turtoise mode, but slow & steady runs the race! 

Purpose over Profit

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” 

Proverbs 31:8-9

I mentioned last week about being a part of a teaching on Wednesday nights at church called ‘Counter Culture’ by David Platt.

This past week was a teaching/discussion on ‘human life’ which covered abortion, sex trafficking and the like.  Todd, my husband, facilitates the class so he is reading more material than that required of the participants.

After viewing the video and reading the material covered in this particular session, he was overwhelmed at the statistics and facts he discovered, especially in regards to sex trafficking.  Not only was he overwhelmed at the statistics, but his heart was breaking for those children who were made slaves to this devastating practice.  I can’t remember the statistics, but most of the children made slaves to trafficking are around the age of 9 years old. This fact alone, not to mention all the other ugly details, was one of those things that was so devastating to Todd.  He is a PE teacher for classes Pre-K through 4th grade. His 3rd graders are around this age. To imagine this kind of debauchery forced upon these innocent children was just too much to bear.

Right before class on the evening of this particular lesson on human life, I was going through some Young Living materials.  If you know me, then you already know I’ve recently fallen in love with essential oils and Young Living is the brand I chose.  I chose YL based on the longevity of their company as well as the purity of their oils and their ‘seed to seal’ promise.  In reading this material, however, I found even more reasons to love Young Living. The Young Living Foundation provides “wellness and education opportunities to underserved communities” through seven different projects, one of which is the ‘Hope for Justice’ project.  The mission of ‘Hope for Justice’ is “to end human trafficking and slavery, in our generation.”

Now, I do not think it is a coincidence that I found this material on the same night that we were to discuss this very issue, and this is just one more reason to love Young Living even more.

I try to do as much research as I can when taking a plunge as big as the one I took when I became a part of the Young Living family of essential oils.  I felt as though I did enough research to justify choosing Young Living over other reputable companies, but having learned of their projects to help empower underserved communities has now made me even more sure of my decision.

Of course, anyone who is in business HAS to make a profit in order to survive, but Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, says this: “I don’t make a product for a profit, I make it for a purpose.”

Young Living - purpose over profit
photo shared from onebreathatathyme.com

Dory from onebreathatathyme.com breaks down the YLF purpose beautifully by giving insight to each of its projects.  Click here to read not only about the YLF purpose but also her backstory leading her passion for it as well.

I’ve shared one of my favorite Bible verses with you before, but I deem it fitting to share it again now:

  ” … he who waters will himself be watered.”

(Proverbs 11:25)

Pic for 'Purpose over Profit' blogIf you’ve been interested in essential oils but aren’t quite sure about pulling the trigger at this point, click here to learn more about them.  You can also ask me any questions and I will help you any way I can.  If I don’t know the answer, I will find out!

If you know you are ready to get started with essential oils, click here!

 

Blessings to you today,

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My New Journey with Essential Oils

.HOW I STARTED WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

So, I’ve actually been interested in essential oils for over a year now but just started doing a little bit of research on them back around March or so of this year.  This is when I began focusing on cleaning up my food lifestyle and mainly started trying to eat those foods that God created and focusing especially on eliminating foods that trigger my tummy issues, as well as joint pain, that I’ve dealt with for so long.  If you’ve been following me, then you know that about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that destroys the thyroid and ultimately causes hypothyroidism in approximately 90% of hypothyroid cases.  Hashimoto’s causes so many issues, for which I am the poster child!  So basically, I just wanted to start living a healthier more natural lifestyle as much as possible.  I am taking baby steps, but already I have seen so many benefits from it.

 

My 1st baby step was to clean up my foods. My 2nd baby step was to dive into essential oils!  I work full time and have a very active family, so I’ve not had as much time to swim in the pool of essential oils as I prefer.  I may not ‘get there’ as quickly as I’d like, but I’m gonna get there! I have fallen in love with every aspect of it, and am surprised daily at the number of benefits essential oils offers! You can basically use essential oils for EVERYTHING!! –> cleaning your home, beauty products, your immune system, for colds, for muscle & joint pain, to eliminate odors in your home, stress relief, relief from headaches, for your pets, and there is even a line of products for your baby!  Young Living offers so much, and I am excited to be on their team! 

WHY YOUNG LIVING

My research kept drawing me to Young Living essential oils.  I decided to go with Young Living over other oil companies because all the research I did keep drawing me back to their Seed to Seal promise and their high-quality standards.

Seed to Seal - step by step

They have all their own farms and they personally distill their own oils.  (You can actually visit the farms for yourself!) Their oils go beyond just being organic … even the soil in which they grow the plants has never been treated with pesticides or chemicals. I absolutely love this fact because I am trying to get away from everything that is toxic and unnatural as much as I possibly can.  This means you’re using an oil with just one ingredient.  If there is anything that I’ve learned recently, it’s that you cannot depend on a label’s claim to be organic or all natural…you have to be sure to look at the ingredients.  The fewer ingredients there are on the label, the more likely to be organic.

With Young Living, there are no fillers, no additives and no chemicals whatsoever.  Many oils that are more budget friendly (especially over the counter oils) are full of pesticides and toxins that begin from the initial start. There are companies out there that cut corners to save money so they can offer a cheaper oil, which is disheartening, especially to those who do not know what to look for. Many essential oils are sold more cheaply because companies cut corners, but not Young Living. Their products are purely organic with the seed to seal purity promise!

Seed to Seal Purity Promise

HOW TO GET STARTED

The most affordable way to get started with Young Living is by purchasing any starter kit and enrolling as a member. The benefit of being a member is that you get a 24% discount on products forever and always. I personally chose the Premium Starter Kit and I LOVE it.

It comes with 11 of the most commonly used oils–including Digize for tummy issues (one of my favorites!),  your choice of diffuser (I chose Desert Mist), and lots of samples including the Thieves household cleaner, which is amazing. This really is the best bang for your buck (it’s the only thing on the Young Living website that is HALF OFF!) and it saves you a ton of money compared to buying each thing individually.  The Desert Mist diffuser is around $80 if purchased alone! So, you can see why ordering a starter kit can be so beneficial to your budget. You can also order as a retail customer, but you won’t get the 24% discounted pricing.

How to Order:

  1. Click here and enroll as a MEMBER when you choose your Starter Kit. In order to be on my team make sure my sponsor ID number 16228899 appears in the “Enroller” and “Sponsor” fields. {And just to clarify, being a member does NOT mean you have to sell, it just gives you the discounted prices!}    **(To see a video to help you in the enrollment process, click here.)
  2. Decide if you’d like to enroll in the monthly rewards program known as Essential Rewards. (This is completely optional.) This is an automatic shipment program that you can completely customize to include anything you want from Young Living delivered to your door each month. You can choose from the Thieves cleaning products, makeup, baby products, vitamins, oils and so much more. You definitely don’t have to enroll in the monthly program, but I highly recommend it because you can earn free oils, points back, reduced shipping cost, and other perks too.
  3. After you enroll I’ll send you a welcome email to fill you in on everything you need to get started with your oils!

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED NOW!

Premium Starter Kit

You don’t have to purchase the oils to get started as a member.  You can also purchase ANY starter kit. For example, they offer the Thieves Starter Kit, as well as the Savvy Minerals Makeup Starter Kit!

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THE COMMUNITY IS KEY!

Once you join Young Living, you’ll be able to join an amazing team of women (and even some men)  and families that are all on this same journey.  I joined with one of my favorite bloggers who I’ve loved & trusted for a long time now.  After receiving my starter kit, I immediately  joined the most amazing team one could every want to be involved with.  I  have dug deep into the team’s resources, watched tutorials, been involved with video calls, and kept my eye on social media posts, and I am learning sooooo much!!!  There is ALWAYS something to learn about these oils, and as the team will tell you — there are endless possibilities!  There is so much support from my team, and having the support of a great team makes ALL the difference in the world when it comes to getting started with oils.

Once you join my team as a member, you are welcomed into that tribe as well. You’ll get full access to our support groups that will teach you how to use your oils, free classes, business mentorship (if you ever choose to go that route!) and so much more. Our team is AMAZING!!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I am happy to help! Also be sure you’re following my Instagram wellness page @alifeblessed or my Facebook page Dana•A Life Blessed to follow along with me on this journey! I look forward to the journey together with YOU!

Blessings,

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Smooth(ie) Operator

After deciding to go dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free, the first huge item I gave up was milk.  Well…actually, the first item I knocked to the curb was refined sugar.  Sugar is bad altogether.  It feeds infection and lots of other stuff, but that’s another post altogether.  But to give up milk… that was extremely hard for me. I love milk so much…always have…and I probably always will.  But more than I love milk, I love the way I feel when I stay away from milk and dairy products.

The next big item I gave up was bread…any and all kinds of bread (except homemade biscuits, for a minute). We’d gotten to where we’d have breakfast for supper almost every week, and we love homemade biscuits!  All good things must come to an end, I guess.  I’ve tried – one time – to make biscuits out of coconut flour, and the texture and taste both were like a block of sand.  No lie.  I shall try again, but next time I’ll use almond flour!

The next big change I made was incorporating a green smoothie into my daily diet.  The recipe I follow comes from Dr. Izabella Wentz, author of Hashimoto’s: The Root Cause, and The Hashimoto’s Protocol, among others.  These two books are extremely full of so much information.  I have not finished either one of them, and I keep going back over those chapters I’ve finished.  I am really so very thankful to have stumbled upon these  gold mines of resources.

                                                 thyroidpharmacist.com

The base ingredients of this smoothie are as follows:

  • super greens (spinach, kale, chard)
  • basil
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • coconut milk
  • avocado (for a creamier consistency)
  • sea salt (to help the adrenals)
  • Pea Proten
  • OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
    • blueberries to sweeten it a bit (I use frozen)
    • cilantro

The recipe calls for the Rootcology pea protein, the star ingredient, but I have not yet added the protein, for it isn’t in the budget at the moment.  But for those with Hashimoto’s, this particular pea protein, as well as the Al Paleo Beef protein, are key because they both created just for the purpose of helping those with food sensitivities (such as dairy, gluten and soy) be able to get the protein they need without the adverse affects that other protein powders can have on the body.  Other protein powders use fillers that have dairy, soy or whey, and that is a no-no for those with Hashimoto’s.  I have a lack of energy most days, and I’m sure it has everything to do my not getting the amount of protein I need in order to fuel my engine.  I’m anxious to see how the protein affects my energy levels once I’m able to incorporate it into my budget.  Click here to read about these particular protein powders, as well as other supplements made available for different needs and deficiencies.

This smoothie is definitely a green smoothie, but be warned:  once you add blueberries, it turns brown.    The more blueberries you add, the more brown it becomes.  It can end up looking like baby poo! – Very aesthetically pleasing to the eyes! ha  I’ve never had a problem drinking this smoothie; it tastes really good, and I actually look forward to drinking it every day.  The fact that I don’t have any adverse reactions from it is always a plus! It truly does help your gut operate so much better, and I am still amazed at the difference!

Click here to find the recipe for the green smoothie on Dr. Izabella Wentz’s website at thyroidpharmacist.com.  She suggests optional boosts to include in your smoothie, as well as some taste hacks should you not like the creamier consistency of the smoothie, or should you want it to be a bit sweeter.  She gives so much more helpful information that it truly would be beneficial to hop on over and check out her website.

What have you recently given up for better health, and what other food have you put in it’s place?  I’d love to know!

“This is the day that the Lord has  made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” ~Psalm 118:24

“Joy is the serious business of heaven.”  ~C.S. Lewis~

It’s Not Easy Being Clean

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Trying to change to a diet that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, caffeine-free, and refined sugar-free is not easy!   I thought I was gonna die when I first started changing my diet … no more milk (which I would drink tons of every day, not to mention the daily bowls of cereal I looked forward to!), no more cheese (which I cooked with almost every meal), and no more breads (which I love way more than sweets)!  As I’ve stated before, I felt like the only thing allowed was air & water!

But actually, the feeling of deprivation didn’t last too long, especially when I started feeling (not seeing, but ‘feeling’) how my body reacted to eliminating those triggers from my life.  I actually felt as if I started living again because I began to feel better almost immediately.

This change has been difficult, but it has actually been rewarding.  It is exciting and fun learning what works for me and what doesn’t.  It is amazing to see how much a good food works ‘for’ me, and how much a bad food works against me (it’s almost immediate).  There are days where I’ll not feel so great and have to back track and figure out what I’ve eaten that has caused some ill effects on my body.   Today was one of those days.  I’m a rookie at trying to heal my Hashimoto’s, so I’m still a major work in progress trying to figure it all out.  But lucky you! ☺ – You guys are going to see me work my way through this journey until I see, hopefully, optimal health!

I haven’t even tried to master being caffeine-free yet, for I so love my cup of Java with Jesus in the mornings!!  As I stated earlier, today was one of those days where I’ve had to back track, and I think I’ve determined that I’m still going to be able to ‘Java with Jesus’, but it’s going to have to be unleaded from now on. (boo hoo hoo!)  I’m hoping that I will be able to eventually incorporate caffeine back into my diet, but … we shall see.

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This is what a typical gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, clean meal looks like for me at dinner time.  Grilled chicken (seasoned w/ sea salt, garlic & onion powder), baked sweet potato with coconut oil and sunflower seeds, sliced avocado, oven roasted brussels sprouts (w/ olive oil, garlic & onion powder), and a salad consisting of power greens (spinach, kale, chard & mizuna) with cucumbers, topped w/olive oil & vinegar for the dressing. I can’t have tomatoes, which makes me extremely sad, because they are considered a nightshade (along with eggplant and peppers), and nightshades have a negative effect on the health of the gut.  But as you can see, I get plenty to eat.  I get hungry during the day, but that is only because I’m still trying to figure out the ‘easier’ foods I can eat at work that will still give me the protein and the nutrients my body needs.  I don’t want to have to warm up a whole meal and try to eat that at my desk, so it’s going to be trial and error for a while until I figure it out.

I only drink water (with lemon) with meals now.  There were times I’d phase in and out of making sweet tea, thinking I was doing my family a favor by decreasing the sugar from 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups.  If no tea, then I’d almost always drink a cold glass of milk … I so miss this!  However, the ill effects and the caloric intake is just not worth wasting on a beverage, and I love water, so it’s no big deal for me.  At this point, I actually prefer water as my beverage of choice.  As a matter of fact, I’m trying to intake at least 1 gallon of water a day.  Some days I do, some days I don’t; and my body feels the difference.

There is so much to consider when making a lifestyle change as big as this, and what works for me may not be what works for you. You may not have to eliminate from your diet as much as I have.  This, so far, has just been what is working at themoment for my Hashimoto’s (or as Todd calls it, my ‘Kung Fu-itis’ ha!). But once again, I just started not too long ago, and I’ve got a long way to go, so I’m a sponge trying to soak up whatever knowledge and wisdom I can for the road ahead.

Later on this week, I’ll give you the deets on one thing in particular that has made its way as a staple in my daily menu.

Keep it real – keep it simple – and enjoy your daily blessings!

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The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. ~Mark Twain

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  ~1 Cor. 10:31