The Dirty Truth

The Dirty Truth
For me, it’s personal.

My mother was a two-time breast cancer survivor. Her mom had vaginal cancer before she later died with brain cancer, and her dad died of lung cancer. My other grandparents died with varying degrees of Alzheimer’s disease, and this only scratches the surface. I have other family members and friends who have similar stories that aren’t mine to tell, and I’m weary of hearing about yet another person close to me who has a life-changing illness that did not have to happen.

That may sound like a bold statement: it did not have to happen. But it‘s the truth. Each day we put hundreds of synthetic chemicals on and in our bodies and on our children, from the foods and medications we consume to the products we inhale, clean with, and slather on our bodies, not even realizing that they may be causing us harm. So many of these toxic chemicals can cause a laundry list of issues for our families, from lethargy, brain fog, and focus issues, to infertility and sexual dysfunction, to heavy hitters that no one wants. All because we want a clean home, soft skin and hair, and to smell and look pretty. 

But friend, it doesn’t have to be this way—there’s a better way to live this life. We can make the choice for it to be different for our families and take steps to change the trajectory we’re on. 

The first step is to stop the onslaught of harsh chemicals coming into your home by simply finding out what to look for and where they are hiding in plain sight. The next step is to replace the products that contain those toxins with healthy, harsh-chemical-free alternatives.

I want to help you take those steps! I have a free healthy home makeover guide in which I’ll walk you through each room of your home and help you dig a little deeper.

Our homes should be a place where we feel safe, a place where we can go to take refuge from the world around us. The products we bring into our homes should not threaten that safety.

Like I said, for me it’s personal. Get my free guide, and then let’s chat.

Be well,
Nicole
In memory of my mom, Patsy Sharp
1950-2021


If you’d like to get more wellness tips, join my Facebook group How to Be a Modern Hippie here.  


Romantic Rose Bath Soak

Romantic Rose Bath Soak
Long winter nights are perfect for romantic and detoxifying bath soaks. Organic bentonite clay, rose petals, and essential oils are an amazing infusion!

If you love DIY recipes, then read on for one of my absolute favorites that will give you that spa escape relaxation without the price tag!

Fun Facts:

Organic rose petals are an amazing addition to your favorite DIY essential oil-infused creations such as hot tea, face masks, and of course, detox baths. Healing bentonite clay is also a wonderful addition to detox bath salts to increase the therapeutic and cleansing benefits.

I hope you enjoy this detox recipe as much as I do, and remember, this DIY is perfect for gifting, self care, or adding a touch of beauty to your bathroom.






Serenity & Sea Rose Rose Detox Bath + Foot Salts

Ingredients:

•    Geranium Essential Oil
•    Frankincense Essential Oil
•    Epsom Salt
•    Bentonite Clay
•    Organic Food-Grade Rose Petals
•    Baking Soda (optional)

If you don't have those essential oils on hand, some other excellent options to choose from are Young Living’s proprietary Seed to Seal Premium blends Stress Away, Lavender, or Valor essential oil.  It's totally okay to change it up to fit your desires. My rule of thumb is: the best oil to use is the oil you have. 

Directions:

1)    Pour Epsom salts into a medium-sized bowl. (Pro-tip: Choose a glass or wooden bowl/spoon, not metal.)

2)    Add essential oils to the bowl. I recommend 3-4 drops of oil per cup of Epsom salts.

3)    Mix in bentonite clay. (Use ¼ cup of bentonite clay per cup of epsom salt.)

4)    Sprinkle in organic food-grade rose petals.

5)    Mix all ingredients together until blended well.

6)    Use 1 T. - 1/2 cup in a bath and store the remainder in a pretty jar.

7)    Fill your tub as hot as you can tolerate, add detox bath salts, and soak for at least 20 minutes.

8)    Enjoy a large glass of water before and after a detox bath to make sure you stay hydrated.

*This is not a medical recommendation. Consult your doctor if you have a medical condition before taking a detox bath.

I’d love to hear how much you love this recipe! Share your comment below.

Be well,
Nicole

If you’d like to get more recipes like this along with other wellness tips, join my Facebook group How to Be a Modern Hippie here.  

It’s Time to Take Control

It’s Time to Take Control
2020 has taught me a lot . . . about myself, about others, and about the world. 

And some things I know for sure after this year of uncertainty and change are that my own health and wellness is my responsibility and my outcomes are often the direct result of the choices I make. I am in control of my life. 

If we are unhappy with the way we look and feel, we can decide to change it.

If we are lacking energy and motivation to do the things we want to do in life, we can take steps to change it.

If we aren’t experiencing health, wellness, and vitality, it’s up to us to change direction. No one can change that for us . . . no one BUT us. Others can help, but it’s up to us to take control.

If you’re feeling like you need to make some changes and maybe even experience a real transformation, I’d love to help! I have a free 28-Day Transformation Program that will guide you on making simple and effective shifts to implement in everyday life for sustainable change.  You’ll get tools to improve your health and wellness so that you’ll feel more energized and self-confident and look your best.

Are you ready to ELEVATE your mind and body in 2021? Get all the program details right here.

You can do this, friend. There’s a better way to live this life!

💚 Nicole

What I Learned About Antidepressants

What I Learned About Antidepressants
Once upon a time, I had a nervous tic.  And when I say once upon a time, I mean for nearly 40 years.

For as long as I remember, I’ve had long bouts with compulsive, hard blinking. Sometimes the tic changed to wrinkling my nose or clicking my tongue, but it was most often blinking. At times it would go away for a year or so, but it would return again overnight and stay with me for years at a time. Did I say this went on for 40 years? Yeah . . .

About eight years ago, it came with a vengeance.  And this time, it began to seriously affect both my personal and professional life. I felt like everyone noticed . . . all eyes were on me and my freakish, incessant blinking. No matter how hard I tried to focus, I couldn’t stop. I was ashamed that I couldn’t control such a seemingly small thing. Just. Look. Normal.

I was at my wit’s end, so I decided to finally put it out in the open and talk to my allopathic doctor about it. He quickly diagnosed me with OCD and prescribed an antidepressant. I was desperate, so I took it. When the first medicine didn’t work, he prescribed another. After several different versions for a year with no dramatic change in my tic but with a dramatic change in the way I felt, I decided to stop taking them with the help of my doctor.

I was determined to find another way to get rid of this tic once and for all and hoped I could do it without the use of prescription drugs. After a lot of research into alternatives, I decided to give hypnotherapy a try. It seemed a little—okay, a lot—weird, but again, I was desperate. And since no one except my husband and my best friend knew about my venture into hippiedom, I figured all I had to lose was a few hundred dollars and some pride. To my surprise, after three visits in one week and $400 later, the constant blinking that had plagued me for 40 years was gone!

What I Learned

1) According to Harvard Medical School, nearly 25 percent of women in their 40s and 50s are walking around with varying degrees of numbness due to their use of antidepressants. Often, the side effects of these medications are worse than the original reason they started the drugs, leading to a second medication to combat the side effects of the first. As one of those “one in four,” I hated the way they made me feel, but trying to stop them was nearly as bad, which leads me to lesson number 2.  

2) Trying to come off the medications can be extremely difficult. I recall moving to a different medication that was easier to wean from, then that dosage was lowered over time. I dealt with brain zaps, balance problems, and dizziness for months. Some days were worse than just taking the meds. The New York Times published an article that sums it up perfectly. 

3) Hypnosis rocks! I wish I had known YEARS ago that I could get the results I did. I just had to let go of my preconceived notions of losing complete control of my actions while “going under.” It was NOTHING like I thought it would be. I’m not an expert on hypnosis, but in simple terms, it was simply going into a state of complete relaxation and allowing my subconscious mind to open up and hear the words that were being said.  I felt different after the very first session!

I’m certainly not a doctor, and I’m not saying there isn’t a place for pharmaceuticals. If you are suffering from depression or if you are thinking of harming yourself or someone else, please see a medical professional immediately. But knowing what I know now, I would beg my sister or best friend to try a natural alternative before resorting to these drugs for anxiety or an obsessive compulsive disorder like mine. I’ve heard amazing stories of ladies who have been successfully treated with natural supplements like zinc, Vitamin B, 5-HTP, and more. I would highly recommend partnering with a naturopath or integrative doctor who can help you find a natural solution.

Friend, there’s a better way to live his life!

Be well,
Nicole

If you’re interested in more healthy living tips, check out my free guide for Three Easy Ways to Detox Your Home. You can also join my healthy lifestyle Facebook group, How to Be a Modern Hippie, here.

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy School Year

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy School Year
2020.  

If the past six months are any indication, this school year could be especially tough. Our kids have been home in our protective bubbles, likely with little routine, a slower change of pace, less pressure to perform academically, and and now it’s time for new experiences, new routines, new exposures, and new challenges. 

No matter if your kids are heading back to in-person schooling or hanging out at home to complete their schoolwork, they still need us to help them care for their bodies. It’s possible for our kiddos to stay vibrant, strong, and living above the wellness line this school year by adopting a few healthy habits that will boost their immune system naturally.

Health Starts in the Home

One of the biggest contributors to negative health is the large number of synthetic chemicals in our homes. Our homes are our sanctuaries, our place of safety and refuge. But sadly, the products we buy often contain ingredients that endanger them. 

We are marketed to and led to believe that even the “all natural” products are safe for our families when in reality, they aren’t. Many common household products can lead to health problems like eye and throat irritation, headaches, respiratory issues, allergic reactions, worsened asthma, focus issues, and possibly even cancer. These chemicals such as formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, ethanolamines, triclosan, and synthetic fragrance are wreaking havoc on our immune system at a time when we NEED it to be working at its best. 

It’s important to use truly harsh-chemical-free products when cleaning and disinfecting our homes. That also applies to what we’re putting on our bodies for personal care and on our clothing when we do laundry. I encourage your to read the back labels on your all-purpose cleaners, shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and laundry supplies.  If one contains any of those chemicals shown above, ditch it and switch to a safe, plant-based product that you can feel good about.

Synthetic chemicals aren’t limited to cleaning and personal care products.  I also want to encourage you to ditch those toxic air fresheners, plugins, and candles and switch them out for a much safer solution - an essential oil diffuser. Inhaling an oil can be greatly beneficial for kids! Breathing in essential oils directly influences the control center of the brain, the hypothalamus. This area sends instructions through our body concerning sleep patterns, mood, behavior, appetite, and the release of certain hormones. You’re not only making the air smell better, you’re supporting your family’s bodies! How cool is that?!


Morning Nutrition

Wake up, sleepy head!! It’s time for school. Whether they’re headed to a school building or just the living room, it’s important to fill that tummy with some good nutrition. 

According to kidshealth.org, “Skipping breakfast can make kids feel tired, restless, or irritable. In the morning, their bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. Their mood and energy can drop by midmorning if they don't eat at least a small morning meal.” 

Try to offer options that contain protein, fiber, or whole carbohydrates like fresh fruits, veggies, eggs, nuts, lean meats, or healthy grains. And since a spoon of sugar can suppress the immune system for several hours, sugary cereals and toaster pastries probably aren’t the best options.

It’s tough for our kiddos to always get the nutrients they need, especially if they’re picky eaters like my daughter. She takes a multivitamin that that includes a full range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that deliver whole-food multinutrient support for general health and well-being. Its important to us that it be free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors too.

A few other daily supplements I recommend:

  • Vitamin C - Because our bodies cannot manufacture vitamin C, we can benefit by consuming this powerful antioxidant daily. It plays an important role in normal immune and circulatory functions, helps to strengthen connective tissues, and promotes overall health, vitality, and longevity.

  • Vitamin D - Vitamin D helps support bone growth, healthy muscle, mood, and hormone regulation. It also plays a key function in respiratory health, and through its innate and adaptive defense mechanisms, supports the body’s respiratory immune system. 

  • Probiotics - We can all benefit from a daily probiotic to promote healthy digestion, support gut health, as well as maintain normal intestinal function for the overall support of a healthy immune system.

Nighty Night!

Getting adequate sleep is uber important for staying healthy. According to Rachel Dawkins, M.D., with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, “Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine and an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression.” 

You might be surprised to learn that children from ages 6-12 should be getting 9-12 hours of sleep a night, and children from ages 13-18 should be getting 8-10 hours a night. 

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important, ideally starting at the same time every night. Here are some tips to establish this healthy routine.

  • Stop use of electronics/screens at least an hour before bed
  • Read a short book or excerpt from a book
  • Limit caffeine 
  • Take a warm bath
  • Dim the lights
  • Use calming essential oils topically or in the diffuser


Below the Wellness Line

Unfortunately, falling below the wellness line is a fact of life.  However - it is how our bodies learn to “fight.” According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Once the body has come into contact with a disease-causing germ for the first time, it usually stores information about the germ and how to fight it. Then, if it comes into contact with the germ again, it recognizes the germ straight away and can start fighting it faster.” This is why it’s so vital that we continually support our immune systems, especially if they have been threatened and are in a weaker state. 

One of my favorite things to do when anyone in our house is showing signs of going below the wellness line is a detox bath. This can be a great way to help restore the body, thanks to the ingredients within. Himalayan pink salt removes toxins from the body through a process called reverse osmosis. It also contains very high levels of minerals - like magnesium, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc. Activated charcoal is  powerfully detoxifying. It also deodorizes, purifies, and is anti-bacterial. Add in some essential oils and it’s a mix made with love that you and your kids are sure to enjoy. Be sure to drink plenty of water after a detox bath to help your body replenish and stay hydrated. 

 
Detox Bath

  • ½ cup Himalayan pink salt
  • ½ cup activated charcoal
  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Frankincense essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl or jar. When ready to use, add 3 TBSP to ¼ cup to a hot bath. Soak for at least 20-30 minutes. 


Oil Up, Buttercup!

Whether your child needs help with focus and concentration, wellness support, sleep, or emotions such as fear, anxiety, excitement, etc., we have access to some amazing tools — essential oils.  Essential oils can play a HUGE role in supporting our bodies when used regularly. Apply them or diffuse them while your family is getting ready in the mornings and during bedtime routines. You can even send rollers to school or apply oils to a diffuser bracelet or fidget spinner. If you’re doing school at home, have oils at the ready to apply or diffuse while the kids work. There are so many ways to use them to support a healthy lifestyle.

Obviously, that wasn’t a conclusive list of healthy back-to-school habits, but it’s a great start for many of us.  For those of you reading this now, I’ve prayed that your family will experience great health, little fear, and comfort with your decision about where you‘re educating your children this school year.  You’ve got this, mama!

Be well, 
Nicole


If you’re interested in more healthy living tips, check out my free guide for Three Easy Ways to Detox Your Home. You can also join my healthy lifestyle Facebook group, How to Be a Modern Hippie, here.








 
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