How to make a healthy breakfast

How to make a healthy breakfast

How to make a healthy breakfast

An easy, fast and nutritious way to start the day is with a green smoothie. Green smoothies are a blend of leafy greens and fruit that are designed to give you more fiber, vitamins and minerals in a delicious concoction. The fruit are sweet and full of fiber, which helps to remove toxins from your body and help your skin glow (Snyder, 2013). Green smoothies contain up to four servings of greens and three servings of fruit, which according to Dr. Michael Greger (2015), is more than the daily recommendation.

Green smoothies are fast to make in the morning. It is important to alternate the greens and veggies so that each time you make one, you're getting a new delicious flavor and beautiful nutrients entering your body. This simple habit in the morning will help you lose weight, improve your health, get glowing skin, prevent disease, nourish your family, get fit, and feel happier.

Green smoothies give you more energy because you're getting the sugars from the fruit fast into your system giving you a fast pick me up. The leafy greens and fiber help flush out toxins, your skin clears up. It's a great way to combat acne from the inside out. Green smoothies help you focus more due to the high fiber in greens. They help strengthen your immune system and go to the restroom more regularly. This may seem odd to read, but having regular bowel movements is a sign of great health. Finally, green smoothies help you lose weight in a safe and healthy way (Hansard & Sellner, 2015).

There are a couple of options when drinking your green smoothie. Some people only drink a green smoothie in the morning and are satisfied. Others need to eat a small meal along with the green smoothie in order to feel more satisfied.

It is up to you on how you decided to create your meal. Remember to listen to you body and adjust accordingly.

Option 1: Drink a green smoothie alone or complete your breakfast with an entree of your choice. Only add an entree if the green smoothie alone doesn't fill you up.

Option 2: If the green smoothie fills you up, then consider drinking only the green smoothie for breakfast and having oatmeal or a coconut yogurt parfait as a mid-morning snack.

Over time you're going to see how your body craves a green smoothie and this habit will be engrained in you. You won't have to sit and think about what to eat and you will feel more full and satisfied as well.

To get more information, download my FREE eBook and start improving your meals today!

I hate going to the gym

Do you like or hate going to the gym?

Do you like or hate going to the gym?

I know, I know…I’m a health coach and fitness coach and I should be more excited about going to the gym…but I’m not. The fact is, is that it’s just such a drag to have to get dressed, then get my girls ready, walk to the gym (I live really close to it) and workout. Going to the gym may interfere with their nap schedule and going to child care isn’t going to guarantee that they’re going to get in their nap.

Beachbody Coach_Mirley

Not to mention that I live on the 2nd floor, by the stairs not the elevator, and have to plan ahead for a possible fit on my way to a gym class. 

When I’m at the gym, I’m not always sure what I’m doing. I mean, I have purchased some programs that allow me to workout in the gym and sometimes I go a class. But every now and then then I have to deal with waiting for people to finish using up the equipment, which can lead to time waisted and that’s is just a huge pet-peeve of mine.

However, I have found a solution to my problem. I workout at home! I love to workout at home because I can do when my girls nap. I have all the weights I need and the workout videos include a warm-up and cool down, which is essential to all workouts! Plus I can do a workout challenge and see the progress I make each time I do the workout.

So, if you also struggle to go to the gym but want to workout with guided videos that include a nutrition plan, comment below and let’s schedule a time to chat! I want to discuss with you all of the amazing options to help you get back on track of your fitness and health.

Exercise Affirmation

Hello, World!

5 Ways to Save on Groceries

5 Ways to Save on Groceries

5 Ways to Save on Groceries

Groceries are expensive. Even when you're eliminating fancy foods, it can still be pretty expensive. The fact of the matter is that we need to eat, so grocery shopping is not an option. And if we're looking for optimal health, food can be a little bit more pricey.

However, we can still save on groceries by implementing 5 habits. These habits will not only save you money, but reduce stress, which is always a plus.

“Yes, getting yourself costs money...But doctor and hospital visits cost more.” - Anonymous

“Yes, getting yourself costs money...But doctor and hospital visits cost more.” - Anonymous

  1. Use Cash: Budget out how much money you're going to spend on groceries per month and place that money in an envelope and paper clip how much you'll need per week. . This is a trick that is taught by Dave Ramsey and is perfect for grocery shopping.

  2. Look for sales: This trick I learned from Ruth Soupkup, author of Living Well Spending Less (2014), where she suggests to look out for grocery store sales. This is perfect if you're not into couponing. What's interesting about sales is that if you pay attention closely, you will see that each grocery store has a sale on different produce or meats per week. So you can avoid store hopping.

  3. Clip Coupons: Couponing helps you save lots of money when you make it a habit and become an expert at it. I'm not saying to become a contestant at TLCs Extreme Couponing show but that there are tricks to this game that can help you save lots of money. You can visit websites like www.coupons.com or collect the weekly circulars and cut out from there. If you spend about 30 minutes a week looking for great deals, you can save up to $40 a week!

  4. Avoid purchasing fancy ingredients: Unless you're going use exotic foods regularly, avoid purchasing them. Those foods are expensive and not always necessary for a healthy life. Also, if you find a recipe that has an ingredient that you know you're only going to use once, substitute it for another ingredient. This will keep your grocery shopping simple, which means more money in your pocket.

  5. Meal Plan & Make a List: I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to meal plan and make a list. You will save so much and money when you do so. Keep in mind that you can also have someone else do the shopping for you, if you’re too tempted to shop more than you intended too.

Try out these tips and let me know which tip has worked for you!

Resources:

  1. Ramsey, Dave, and Sharon Ramsey. Financial Peace Revisited. Viking, 2003.

  2. Soupkup, Ruth. Living Well, Spending Less A Dvd Study; 12 Secrets of the Good Life. Zondervan, 2016.

5 Benefits of Laughter

Do you love to laugh?

Do you love to laugh?

Do you love to laugh? I personally, love to laugh. In fact, when I say these words, I’m reminded of the song on Mary Poppins, when Uncle Albert sings this song with so much glee.

Laughter Brings Me Joy

I recently found a program on TV called the Impractical Jokers. They’re seriously hilarious. I watch their video on YouTube and laugh like 10 minutes a day in the morning. After a while I started noticing how much more relaxed and happy I was to take on the day!

Laughter is good for your health. It makes you healthy and younger too! Have you noticed how people who have joy in their lives smile more and age gracefully? It’s because they have so much to be thankful for. Be ready to find reasons to laugh.

  1. Reduces Stress: Laughing stimulates many organs and brings oxygen into your lungs, and muscles, thus helping reduce stress and lower your blood pressure.

  2. Works Out Your Abs: Have you ever laughed so hard that your abs are sore the next day? Those laughing moments are seriously the best. Turns out that when you’re laughing, you’re activating your abdominal muscles and making them contract and expand.

  3. Laughing is Contagious: Have you ever laughed just because everyone else is laughing but you don’t know why? Turns out that laughing is contagious. The good humor and happiness in the environment makes everyone want to be a part of it. Spread the Joy!

  4. Reduces Pain: Laughing releases endorphins, which is a natural pain killer. Laughing makes your feel good all over and helps you forget your pain.

  5. Improve Your Mood: Laughter is amazing medicine for reducing depression and anxiety. It helps you forget what’s bothering you and helps you look at life with grateful eyes.

Don’t forget to laugh for 10 minutes a day!

References:

  1. LaMeaux, E. (n.d.). 7 Health Benefits of Laughter. Retrieved October 01, 2018, from https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/7-health-benefits-of-laughter#

  2. M. (2016, April 21). Stress relief from laughter? It's no joke. Retrieved October 01, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

How to Plan Your Weekly Meals

How to Plan Your Weekly Meals

How to Plan Your Weekly Meals

Meal planning is important because it helps support your health goals. When you have a quality meal plan, you're more than likely going to eat healthier. Meal planning also helps you make a quality grocery list that will keep you from going to the grocery store more than once a week. You also waste less food because you aren't just buying whatever looks good at the moment. Finally, meal planning keeps you from wondering what you're going to eat that day, which may in turn lead to eating out. Now that we know the benefits of meal planning, let's talk about how to do it.

1. How to Prepare

Begin by scheduling a time when you will meal plan. Next, check your calendar to see if you have any dinners or lunches coming up during the week. This way you don't purchase extra food for those days. Finally, go through your cookbooks and plan out your meals.

2. Make a Grocery List

It is absolutely important that you make a grocery list to avoid purchasing any ingredients that you don't need. After you've written down all of the recipes that you're planing on making check your refrigerator to see if you have any of those ingredients. It is a waste of money to purchase ingredients that you already have at home. Once you've written down your meals and looked in your refrigerator and pantry, begin writing down your list of groceries.

3. Grocery Shopping

Now that you've meal planned and made you're grocery list, it's time to go shopping! The best part about being prepared is that you only have to shop for groceries once a week. This saves you time, money and energy. This also keeps you from wasting food. Choose to either go grocery shopping yourself or have a delivery company do it for you like Amazon Prime or Shipt. Know yourself, if you know that you spend more going to the store, then have someone else do the shopping for you. It will save you time, money, and keep you accountable.

4. Time to Eat

I love to cook. I love the smell of spices and herbs in the home. Cooking is just wonderful. Set aside 30 minute to 1 hour to make your meals. I make them daily. However, you can make them on Sunday and save them for the week. It's really up to you. Enjoy the process and enjoy your meal!

Once, you make meal planning a habit, it’s easy eat healthy on a daily basis.

What to avoid in sun-care products

Do you know what’s in your suncare?

Do you know what’s in your suncare?

Hawaii became the first state to pass a law banning chemical sunscreens that use harmful ingredients. Conventional sunscreens contain one or more of the three major ingredients listed below that are not good for our health.


  1. Oxybenzone: Oxybenzone is linked to allergies, immunotoxicity, and organ system as well as  developmental/reproductive toxicity. 


  2. Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate): Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) is linked to biochemical or cellular level changes, cancer and organ system toxicity. 


  3. Added insect repellents: Added insect repellents can be irritating to the skin when the improper ingredients are used.


None of these ingredients are good for you or your health and it is best to use some form of safer sunscreen. In addition to these ingredients, you want to stay away from SPF above 50. That’s more of a marketing tool and not necessary, plus the ingredients to get more than SPF 50 have a tendency to hazardous. Also stay away from powders, since the SPF doesn’t really stick to your skin. Sprays are great, but you want to make sure the SPF is actually on your skin after spraying.


What to Look For in Sunscreens

When purchasing sunscreens look for ingredients like zinc oxide, avobenzone, and mexoryl SX, which are safe and effective to bounce or reflect the sun’s rays away from the skin!

Use creams, broad - spectrum protection, water-resistant, and SPF between 15 and 50. These SPFs will give you the protection you need without hurting your skin.

Some of my favorite sunscreens

There are three sunscreen brands that I like. They’re harmless, some claim to harmless, and they are effective.

  1. Coola: Coola is a mineral and organic suncare brand that specializes in making safe sunscreen. They make suncreens in creams, tinted moisturizers, sprays, and so much more!

  2. Josie Maran Cosmetics: I love Josie’s products and have been using them on and off for 11 years. Seriously, since Josie Maran began her company. She makes two SPF creams, one is a tinted moisturizer and the other is not. Both are SPF 47 and they include UVA/UVB protection and “unique blend of antioxidants, skin-soothers, and hydrators”

  3. Beautycounter: Now I must fully disclaim that I’m a Beautycounter consultant and I love their mission to create safer, better beauty. Beautycounter creates sunscreen that uses Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which actually bounce or reflect off the sun's rays away from the skin! Their sunscreen is mineral based, which is also great for babies and kids. 


Switch to Safer

If you haven’t joined the movement to switch to safer beauty, I invite you today to do so. There are many brands that are fighting to create safer and better beauty products for the whole family. Safer skincare and beauty is better for your health and the health of your family.

Make the Switch today!

xo, Mirley

www.beautycounter.com/mirleygraf



Resources

  1. “Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47.” Josie Maran Cosmetics, 2018, www.josiemarancosmetics.com/collections/bestsellers/products/argan-daily-moisturizer-spf-47-with-sunboost-atb.

  2. “Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 – 6.7 Oz.” Beautycounter, 2018, www.beautycounter.com/product/countersun-mineral-sunscreen-lotion-spf-30.

  3. “ EWG’s Guide to Safer Safer Sunscreens Sunscreens Be Safe in the Sun This Summer.” Environmental Working Group, July 2017, www.ewg.org/sunscreen.

  4. “Our Story - Our Ethos - COOLA HQ.” COOLA Suncare, 2018, coolasuncare.com/pages/about.

7 Benefits to Using Essential Oils

7 Benefits to Using Essential Oils

7 Benefits to Using Essential Oils

Essential oils are a big thing now. So many people are using them as part of their everyday lives. However, there are many more people that are not using them, or using them incorrectly. In addition, there may be others that don't know the benefits of using essential oils. Essential oils are a great addition to your health and wellness lifestyle. 

The benefits of using essential oils are great! Essential oils can improve your life so much even if you eat well and exercise. Essential will add even greater benefits to your healthy lifestyle.

Benefit #1: Improves Sleep

If you're having a hard time getting to sleep at night using essential oils can help. One can add 1 drop of lavender oil along with 1 TSP of a carrier oil and rub it on your tummy because your tummy is one of the most absorbent parts of your body. Of course you can also place up to 5 drops in a diffuser and let it run while your sleep or you can diffuse doTerra's Serenity: Restful Blend oil. Lastly, you can take a detox bath using 1 cup of Epson salts, 1 TBS of jojoba oil and one 2 to 3 drops of Serenity blend. 

Benefit #2: Reduces Stress & Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are a very common part of our society. With so many things to do, so many deadlines, so many interruptions, and not enough time in the day one can get stressed out and with stress, anxiety can build up. In fact, studies have shown that high levels of stress can lead to illnesses like high blood pressure. Essential oils can help keep one calm. There are a variety of oils that can help reduce stress like ylang ylang, neroli, Roman chamomile, orange, and frankincense. You can breathe in the aroma straight from the bottle without applying it, or you can diffuse up to 5 drops from one or more of the essential oils mentioned. You can also diffuse dōTERRA Balance: Grounding blend, which helps you stay calm during moments of tension. 

Benefit #3: Improves Mood & Energy Levels

Essential oils are great for improving your mood. Smell can bring up so many happy memories or allow you to think positive lovely thoughts. Some oils can actually increase oxygen to your brain. Oils to diffuse include bergamont, grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary , and doTerra's Elevation: Joyful Blend. You can also get a massage home using doTerra's AromaTouch® Massage Blend.

Benefit #4: Reduces Brain Fog

Brain fog affects people of all ages. Unfortunately, the food or non-foods, as I call them, that are in our processed foods affect our body chemistry, which aside from leading weight gain it also leads to brain fog, and ADHD. Although one may stop eating such foods, you may still experience brain fog just due to all of the shiny objects around us. Diffusing essential oils while working or applying them to your wrists may help you stay focused. Try diffusing vetiver, peppermint, frankincense or a blend of the oils I just mentioned. You can also apply doTerra's InTune to your wrists to help reduce brain fog. 

Benefit #5: Helps Balance Hormones

Essential oils do not have hormones but they do help balance them. Oils, like clary sage, geranium and thyme, are known to help to balance one's estrogen and progesterone levels. These oils can help improve hormone conditions like infertility, PCOS, PMS and menopause symptoms. In addition, doTERRA® Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex, which is a supplement made with plant-based phytoestrogens, flax seed extract, and pomegranate extract. The purpose is to work with hormone deficiency or decrease the affect of harmful metabolites or block xenoestrogens. Also, during your menstrual cycle you can use ClaryCalm, which helps ease the pain.

Benefit #6: Improves Skin & Hair Beauty

Adding essential oils to your skincare or purchasing skincare that contains essential oils will improve your skin's texture, reduce acne, reduce signs of aging, and brighten it's appearance. Many conventional skincare products are full of toxic chemicals that can affect our hormones in a negative way. In addition, studies have shown to help one's hair grow. The best oils for your skin and hair include, lavender, Roman chamomile, frankincense, tea tree, geranium, myrrh, helichrysum, rosemary and clary sage. You can also try doTerra's skincare and haircare products. All of which have safe and effective ingredients as well as using their very own essential oils. 

Benefit #7: Reduces Pain

Essential oils are great to reduce minor pains and aches. I personally use peppermint oil on my temples to reduce headaches. You can add the following oils topically lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile, rosemary, majoram, thyme, frankincense, turmeric, ginger and myrrh depending on where the pain is. Make sure that you apply with a carrier oil so that you don't burn your skin. ClaryCalm, for example, is a great ready made blend from doTerra to help reduce menstrual cramps. 

All in all, essential oils are a great addition to your health and wellness. However, I must note that essential oils do not replace eating health and exercising. Essential oils just completes one's wellness journey.

Resources:

  1. Axe, Josh. “101 Essential Oil Uses and Benefits.” Dr. Axe, Dr. Axe, 5 Mar. 2018, draxe.com/essential-oil-uses-benefits/#.

  2. “DoTERRA Serenity | DōTERRA Essential Oils.” DoTERRA Fact Sheet | DōTERRA Essential Oils, 16 May 2018, www.doterra.com/US/en/p/doterra-serenity-oil.

  3. “Elevation Joyful Blend | DōTERRA Essential Oils.” DoTERRA Fact Sheet | DōTERRA Essential Oils, 16 May 2018, www.doterra.com/US/en/p/elevation-oil.

  4. “Women's Hormonal Health: Finding Balance | DōTERRA Essential Oils.” DoTERRA Fact Sheet | DōTERRA Essential Oils, 16 May 2018, www.doterra.com/US/en/brochures-magazines-living-winter-2013-2014-womens-hormonal-health.

  5. Zielinski, Eric. The Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, Prevent Autoimmunity, and Feel Great in Every Way. Harmony Books, 2018.

5 Essential Oils Safety Tips for Children

5 Essential Oils Safety Tips for Children

5 Essential Oils Safety Tips for Children

We can never be too cautious when using essential oils on children. Essential oils are very potent and safe but nevertheless must be used correctly to avoid any mishaps. Remember that although essential oils are safe, applying it to children needs to be done carefully because they are very delicate. It's best to test one oil at a time every 24 hours. 

Safety Tip #1: Learn How to Dilute Essential Oils

Just Breathe.png

Only apply 1-2 drops of oil diluted with a carrier oil on a child's skin every 24 hours. Make sure you read the label on the oil. Each oil is different. Applying one drop of lavender topically feels very different than applying one drop of oregano. If diffusing essential oils, only diffuse them 20 minutes a day and no more than twice a day.

Safety Tip #2: Do Not Ingest Oils

I personally don't like the idea of ingesting essential oils. They're very potent and can leave your tummy feeling uneasy. I'm an adult and if I feel uneasy, then I know that giving essential oils to your child will cause more harm.

Safety Tip #3: Avoid Sensitive Areas

Remember, a child's body is more sensitive than an adult's body. For this reason, it is important that you avoid applying essential oils around the eyes, broken skin, irritated skin, inner nose and ears. Also, an adult should be the one to apply essential oils.

Safety Tip #4: Beware of Sunlight Sensitivity

Not all oils are meant to be applied topically with the intention of going outside. One must read the labels of all essential oils. Some oils are prone to sunlight sensitivity. Citrus oils have a higher probability of creating sunlight sensitivity when worn outdoors. Some labels will clearly say to stay out of the sun or UV rays for up to 12 hours. 

Safety Tip #5: Keep Your Essential Oils Safely Stored

Essential oils need to be placed in a medicine cabinet or far away from the reach of little ones. Because essential oils are so potent, they should be not be played with or taken internally. It is important that you supervise your older children when applying essential oils and only an adult should apply essential oils to younger children. 

Knowing these five tips will help you use essential oils wisely when applying them to your children or diluting them around your children. Also, remember to ask your doctor if you want to apply essential oils on your child, especially if your child is under 18 months. 

Resources:

  1. https://www.doterra.com/US/en/promotions-class-powerpoints

  2. https://ultimatebundles.com/sale/heo2018-expert-panel-watch/

Eat the Rainbow

Eat the Rainbow

Eat the Rainbow

The thought of eating the rainbow can be difficult to think of. I mean, how do you eat the rainbow throughout the day? Not to mention that putting together a meal can be very confusing because of all the information that is out there. Some people say to load up of animal protein, others on greens. However, many nutritionists, medical doctors and registered dietitians nutritionists agree that it is important to eat the rainbow. This means, to eat foods of all colors and not just stick to one color. All foods that come from the earth have something very special to offer. 

Eat the Rainbow

Eat the Rainbow

Red Foods
About 74% of Americans don't eat enough red foods. Red foods help DNA health, protects against heart disease and cancer, supports your urinary tract and prostate. Red foods are full of antioxidants and help strengthen your immune system. Red foods can be found in berries, red fruits and vegetables and red beans. You can eat a cup of berries as a snack or as part of an afternoon smoothie. 

Orange and Yellow Foods
About 80% of Americans don't eat enough orange and yellow foods. Orange and yellow foods support your vision, strengthen your immunity system and are part of your overall health, growth and development. They are also full of antioxidants that help strengthen your immune system. Yellow and orange foods include pineapples, potatoes, corn, yellow zucchini, bananas, oranges, persimmons all of which are easy to include in your daily meals by mixing them up. You can add a banana and pineapples to your smoothie or eat oranges and carrots as a snack.

Green Foods

About 69% of Americans don't eat enough green foods. Greens help support our eyes, liver, clean out our arteries, cell turnover, promotes gum health and wound healing as well as keeps our bones strong, improve body odor, help speed up healing process. These are foods like spinach, kale, lettuce. You can make green smoothies as well as salads with these foods. We should eat 1 cup of cruciferous greens like broccoli, arugula or kale and 2 cups of leafy greens like romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce or red lettuce. This will help us get all the quality greens in our system. You get all of your daily greens in my Fountain of Youth Smoothie.

Blue, Violet and Black Foods
About 79% of Americans don't eat enough blue, violet or black foods. These darker colored foods help support our brain, bones, heart and artery health. They also are full of antioxidants and help boost our memory and help protect us against cancer. These foods include black beans, berries and eggplant. You can make dinner meals with black beans or include blueberries and black berries into your smoothie.

White and Brown Foods
White foods are easy to overlook and or be overeaten. White foods foods are great anticancer and anti-inflammatory foods. They also support your immune system, help lower blood pressure and help control your cholesterol. These are foods like grains, nuts, soy and mushrooms. You can make dinner meals with these foods. They should never be overlooked or seen as bad foods. Eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of nut butter and 2 to 3 cups of a whole grain. 

Eating the rainbow and getting foods from different categories will help you get a well balanced diet as well as optimum health.

Resources

  1. Greger, M. (2015). How not to die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease. New York, NY: Flatiron Books.

  2. Hever, J. (2014). The Vegiterranean Diet. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.

  3. Olien, D. Superlife: The 5 simple fixes that will make you healthy, fit and eternally awesome. New York, NY: Harper Wave.

  4. Talib, N. (2016). Younger Skin Starts in the Gut: 4-week program to identify and eliminate your skin-aging triggers - gluten, wine, dairy and sugar. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press.

Essential Oils Safety During Pregnancy

Essential Oils Safety During Pregnancy

Essential Oils Safety During Pregnancy

Although essential oils are natural, pregnant women need to be extra careful with them. Not all essential oils are safe during pregnancy because they can mess with your hormones. First thing you should do is speak with your doctor or health care provider and see if using essential oils is right for you. So before you or someone you know that is pregnant wants to start incorporating essential oils into their routine, please read this article first. 

Essential Oils that should NOT be used during pregnancy are the following: 

  • Angelica

  • Aniseed

  • Basil

  • Birch

  • Black pepper

  • Cedarwood

  • Camphor

  • Cardamom

  • Cassia

  • Cinnamon

  • Citronella

  • Clary sage

  • Clove

  • Cumin

  • Cypress

  • Eucalyptus

  • Fennel

  • Fir

  • Geranium (during the first trimester)

  • Horseradish

  • Hyssop

  • Idaho tansy

  • Jasmine

  • Juniper

  • Lemongrass

  • Manuka

  • Marjoram

  • Melissa

  • Mugwort

  • Mustard

  • Myrrh

  • Nutmeg

  • Oregano

  • Pennyroyal

  • Roman Chamomile (Debatable. Ask your doctor.)

  • Rosemary

  • Rose

  • Sage

  • Thyme

  • Wintergreen

The following essential oils are considered safe during pregnancy:

  • Frankincense

  • Geranium

  • Ginger

  • Grapefruit

  • Lavender

  • Lemon

  • Orange

  • Peppermint

  • Roman Chamomile (Debatable. Ask your doctor.)

  • Sandalwood

  • Ylang Ylang

Roman Chamomile, lavender, geranium and grapefruit are great essential oils to dilute and diffuse to encourage restful sleep. Inhaling ginger can help with nausea. And applying carrier oils like rosehip oil and coconut oil on your tummy can help minimize the looks of stretch marks. 

If you know someone who is expecting, please forward them this blog so they are more informed about which essential oils to avoid. 

Resources

  1. Axe, Josh. Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine. Destiny Image Publishers, 2016.

  2. Babcock, Jillian. “CHEAT SHEET: How to Use Essential Oils Safety.” Dr. Axe, Dr. Axe, 7 May 2018, draxe.com/essential-oil-safety/.

  3. Snyder, Mariza. Smart Mom's Guide to Essential Oils: Natural Solutions for a Healthy Family, Toxin-Free Home and Happier You. Pgw, 2017.

How to Safely Use Essential Oils Topically

How to Safely Use Essential Oils Topically

How to Safely Use Essential Oils Topically

Our skin is the largest organ on the human body and it is for that reason that we need to take care of our skin and treat it well because it is very delicate. When we place essential oils onto our skin, the oil literally is absorbed into our bloodstream. 

To make the most of your oils, make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil. If you just place it on your skin, it can literally evaporate into the skin while if you dilute it with a carrier oil, you can spread the essential oil and allow it to do more for you.

The best places to place your oils are on the head and neck region, the chest, stomach and back, your arms including hands and fingers, and your legs including your toes and feet. My favorite place to add essential oils is to the head and neck, tummy, and legs and feet. 

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Again, it is very, very important to dilute them. One of the more popular carrier oils is fractionated coconut oil. However, there are many carrier oils out there that are great for diluting your oils. 

Essential oils are very potent and can cause a negative reaction if you're using them improperly or if your body's chemistry doesn't react well to that essential oil. You may get rashes, bumps, sores, which is why using essential oils directly on the skin is not the best way to use essential oils. In addition, if you apply certain essential oils like bergarmont and citrus oils directly on your skin and then go outside, you can have extreme burning and skin sensitivity. 

Lastly, if you're going to use essential oils on children, it is especially important to dilute the essential oil because children can be especially sensitive to essential oils. And for any children under two do not apply essential oils just dilute them and remember to have a window opened or a fan blowing.

Remember that essential oils are great to increase your health and wellness but not diluting them can cause a negative reaction. Make sure to dilute them before applying them directly on the skin. 

P.S. If you are new to oils and want to learn how to use them safely and effectively, join my How to Oils Facebook group. I would love to have you there! 

Resources:

  1. DoTerra Essential. DoTerra Essential.

  2. Zielinski , Dr. Eric. “Essential Oils for Abundant Living Masterclass: Lesson 3.” YouTube, YouTube, 9 Jan. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYp-MviY6Mk.

4 Ways to Enjoy Essential Oils Smell

4 Ways to Enjoy Essential Oils Smell

4 Ways to Enjoy Essential Oils Smell

Do you ever get headaches from certain smells, even if they're very "subtle"? I absolutely do. Especially strong potent smells. Most of the smells that give me a headache come from synthetic fragrances. These are chemically made fragrances that are meant to mimic a natural scent.

These synthetic fragrances have been linked to autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer's disease, dementia and even cancer. Although it's difficult to get away from synthetic fragrances all together, it is possible create a lifestyle to minimize one's exposure to synthetic fragrances. 

Inhaling different essential oils can improve one's mood and purify there are of unwanted smells and odors. It's also the safest way to use essential oils. Listed below are just a few examples of how essential oils can help:

  • Inhaling peppermint oil can help boost energy levels

  • Inhaling lemon oil can help decrease nausea

  • Inhaling orange oil can help with depression

When creating blends, rotate the essential oils. You can make calming blends as part of your night time routine or invigorating blends as a wonderful way to start the day. To fully enjoy the experience of essential oils, try one or more of the four ways to enjoy the smell of essential oils:

  1. Diffusers: Add water to the fill line then add 5-7 drops of oil in the water. Place the diffuser on a cloth of some sort to absorb any oil and to not damage your furniture.

  2. Opening up a bottle and smelling the scent.

  3. Cupping: put a drop in your hand, rub your hands and place by your nose and take a deep breathe. Great for anyone who needs support with nausea, anxiety and stress.

  4. Spritzer: You can create hand sanitizers or create personalized perfume by mixing oils with a carrier oil.

Safety tip:

If you have children or pets, make sure you always use a diffuser in a ventilated room. You don't want to lock the smell in a room because it can agitate them. 

These are just a few ways to enjoy the smell of essential oils. Let me know below, which way you want to try next time.

P.S. If you're interested in learning more about essential oils and learning how to use them safely and effectvely, join my How to Oils facebook group. 

Resources

  1. “Safety and Usage.” DōTERRA Essential Oils, 20 Mar. 2018, www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-for-kids-safety-and-usage.

  2. Zielinski , Dr. Eric. “Essential Oils for Abundant Living Masterclass: Lesson 2.” YouTube, YouTube, 9 Jan. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_D4iNnUJnM.

Three Reasons Why Simple is Better

Three Reasons Why Simple is Better

Three Reasons Why Simple is Better

Have you ever been to a spa and felt relaxed and alive. There is something about going to a well put together spa with the right colors, furniture, smell and aura. It makes you feel like you’re walking in the clouds.

The reason why these spas have such an inviting aura is because they are simple. Their colors are light and airy. They don’t have a lot of furniture but just enough. Their furniture is of high quality but it’s not overpowering.

Having a home that has that aura may be challenging but doable. I personally try and keep that fresh aura in my home by not having too many things. It is challenging when you have kids, but I’m working on teaching my girls that their playroom is where their toys go. It is messy…but there is something sweet about it too, in my opinion.

Last week I talked about simplifying your kitchen. If you haven't read that article, you can find that article here. I mentioned all the places you can find clutter and what stuff you can get rid of. Even now after I did my decluttering, I still find things that I could have gotten rid of. 

This week I want to talk about the benefits of decluttering your home. The fact is that simple is better. Although I love museums and go to one every chance I get...but I honestly don't want my house to look like a museum but a resort. 

Here are the benefits of having a clutter free kitchen: 

1. It's safer

I have a toddler and having too many sharp utensil can be dangerous. Fortunately I don't have a climber but nevertheless I need to make sure everything is in it's place. When one has too many sharp objects, it can be very easy to forget about them and accidents can happen. It's always best to have what is necessary to avoid any kind of dangerous accidents. 

2. It's beautiful

We all love those magazines with the beautiful kitchens. If you notice, the one common theme in all of the kitchens is that they don't have a lot of things. Those kitchens have what is necessary. The kitchen looks spotless and inviting. Just having a kitchen with less things is also stress free. There is something about more space that brings peace to the mind.

3. It's easier to clean

I know many of us love clean rooms, homes and things...but we dread the cleaning process. However, when you have less stuff, it's a lot easier to clean your space. Too many things makes the cleaning process that much worse. 

If you haven't decluttered your kitchen yet, make sure to schedule some time and remove all the items you don't use. You'll see how much more you'll love your kitchen and home.

Mirley xo

Reach Your Goals One Step At A Time

Reach Your Goals One Step At A Time

Reach Your Goals One Step At A Time

Goals can be tricky. We all want to achieve our goals, but sometimes we get overwhelmed once we're done writing them down. We don't know where to start. Continue reading the following posts to figure out how to reach your goals, one step at a time.

First, begin by brainstorming all of your goals. This could include eating healthy as well as exercising or any other project you want to accomplish. Write them all down. 

Second, highlight the ones that you can accomplish in the next month. Try to only highlight between 3-5 goals. 

Third, write down the steps you need to take to get to your overall goal. These steps include:

  • Write down everything you need to do less of (i.e. buy "fun" foods at home, eating out)

  • Write down things you need to do more of (i.e. cook more at home, purchase more whole foods)

  • Write down everything you need stop doing completely order to reach your goal (i.e. stop eating out for lunch and bring my own lunch to work)

  • Write down things you need to try this month (i.e. new ingredients that make my cooking healthier, new recipes, etc.)

  • Write down what do you want to feel/look when you accomplish your goal (i.e. healthier, lighter, stronger, more energy, etc.)

Reaching your goals doesn't happen over night. It takes time and effort. It takes consistency. It's not easy, but the journey is fun and worthwhile. You learn something new about yourself everyday. Everyday is a challenge you can improve on...even when things don't go as planned. 

Let me know in the comments below, is this blog post helps you look at your goals with ease rather than stress.

Mirley 

Resource

  1. Johnson, Chalene. SmartLife Push Journal. SmartLife, Inc, 2017.

How to Make Simple Healthy Meals

How to Make Simple Healthy Meals

How to Make Simple Healthy Meals

I've been asked many times how do I eat healthy. I didn't know to answer the question because how I ate just just natural to me. All I could think was, “You know, the way my mom taught me.” It wasn't until I started learning about nutrition and paying attention to my habits that I learned how explain to people how to eat healthy. 

Before I became a simplicity wellness coach, I ate the way I ate without giving any thought to it. But then when I made the commitment to eat healthier, I became overwhelmed with all the different takes on eating healthy.

Part of it was because of all the different approaches to eating healthier but also it was because I was trying to change my habits way too fast. I wanted to improve breakfast, lunch and dinner all at the same time. Although I was making some improvements, trying to change all meals overwhelmed me and I wasn't going anywhere with it. 

I finally decided to simplify the method and change one meal at a time. My dinners were pretty good. I needed to improve breakfast and lunch. So I decided to start with breakfast, then lunch and finally snacks. The Meal Makeover Boot Camp follows a simple application to eating healthy every single day and every single meal without stress and guilt.

Start by improving the meal you have the most difficulty eating healthy. Then move on to the next difficult meal. This way, you just focus on improving one meal and making a habit to eat that meal healthy even when you go out to eat. Don't worry if your other meals need improvement. Just focus on one meal and everything else will fall into place. Eating healthy will come easy once you tackle one meal. 

Once you've made a habit to eat healthy for breakfast, for example, then go on to your next difficult meal. 

Look over the sample below to understand how to put together a healthy meal.

  1. Breakfast: Breakfast should start with a 16oz - 32oz green smoothie and followed by an entree like oatmeal or an entree of your choice. Now keep in mind that many people will feel full after drinking their smoothie. So the breakfast entree can be their mid-morning snack

  2. Lunch: Lunch can be a number of meals. The key is to include a salad with a homemade dressing (I like mine the best) or a soup (the soup can be creamy or hearty), or veggie sticks with your entree. The entree can be a burrito or wrap or leftovers.

  3. Dinner: For dinner, always being with a salad or soup. Then go on to your entree.

  4. Snacks: Snacks can be fruit veggies and a healthy dip like hummus or guacamole.

Once you apply these simple tips, you'll see how eating healthy can be such an easy routine. 

Going Deeper

Beyond putting together a healthy meal, is balancing out your micro and your macros. For this method I use the portion control containers. Learn in the video below how you can put together a meal using these awesome containers.

Watch the video below to learn more.

6 Benefits to Making Green Smoothies a Part of Your Daily Routine

6 Benefits to Making Green Smoothies a Part of Your Daily Routine

6 Benefits to Making Green Smoothies a Part of Your Daily Routine

Green smoothies has become a trend that, I believe, is here to stay. There are all kinds of green smoothies and all kinds of formulas. Committing to drinking green smoothies daily is a lifestyle change. It's not meant to be a temporary fix but a part of your daily routine. 

Green smoothies are easy to make. You just get some greens, a tablespoon of lemon and some fruit. And voila! You have a delicious, nutrient filled drink!

Here are the benefits of drinking a daily green smoothie

  1. Green smoothies help increase your energy. The fruit in the smoothie gives you sugar and breaking down the food in the blender helps your body absorb those nutrients faster.

  2. Green smoothies give you glowing skin. The greens in the smoothie helps clean out your system from toxins. These toxins clog your pores and ages you. The chlorophyll replenishes your skin giving it a healthy glow.

  3. Green smoothies give you clarity. The fiber in the fruits and leafy greens gives you energy and the ability to focus. This helps a lot with getting rid of brain fog.

  4. Green smoothies help strengthen your immune system. The fruits and leafy greens in your green smoothies contain vitamins K, A, C, all which helps you fight viruses and infections.

  5. Green smoothies help give you regular bowel movements. Having regular bowel movements is very important to help you flush out toxins that are giving you acne and unnecessary weight gain.

  6. Green smoothies help you lose weight. When you drink green smoothies, you're body automatically stops craving "fun" food. You will still eat "fun" food but not regularly like in the past. Furthermore, green smoothies are filled with fiber and healthy fats that keep you full and energized while reducing cravings.

Make green smoothies a part of your daily morning routine and see how your body will change and improve.

Mirley xo

P.S. Leave me a comment below about your thoughts on drinking green smoothies. 

Resource:

Hansard, Jen, and Jadah Sellner. Simple Green Smoothies: 100 Tasty Recipes to Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Feel Great in Your Body. Rodale, 2016.

3 Benefits to Eating Outside

Do you love to eat outside?

Do you love to eat outside?

So, my husband and I bought a beautiful table for our balcony. I really wanted a table for our balcony because I love eating outside. Eating outside is just such a different experience than eating inside. 

I remember going to my grandparents house in Uruguay and eating outside often even during that awful winter. I loved every time we ate outside. It was as if everyone was happier and enjoying the moment more. 

Here are 3 reasons why I believe eating outside is so beneficial to you. 

  1. You Eat Slower: When we eat outside, we naturally eat slower. I don't know what it is...if it's the fresh air, the weather or the calm of the outdoors that allows us to eat slower. In fact, there have been moments when my husband said, "Let's eat inside, we don't have a lot of time." Now my husband and I eat slow but we eat even slower when we eat outside.

  2. No Digital Distractions: What's great about eating outside is that we don't have distractions...unless you take your cell phone. For whatever reason, we just don't take our electronics outside. We actually talk about things rather than just stare at a screen.

  3. You Stay Present: When we eat we are present. There is something about mother nature just keeping you grounded. There is so much to see when we eat outside. The trees, the sky, people walking...so much! This allows us to stay present, which is good practice for other moments of your life.

So, if you don't have an outdoor table, I totally encourage that you get one. Or if you don't have room go to a park or find a place to eat outside at least once a week. Your eating experience will change and you will enjoy your food more. 

Until next time!

Mirley

Why I Hate Diets

Stop Dieting!

Stop Dieting!

Hi Friend!

Do you love to eat? I mean seriously...do you love to eat?

I honestly do. It's so relaxing to sit down and eat my meal. It's honestly one of my most relaxing times of the day! I love to sit down and either hear the wind outside, have a conversation with my husband or whomever I'm hanging out with and just taste the food. Eating, is a pleasurable moment but somewhere in history we lost touch with the yumminess of food. We made it bad and then we gave it bad labels. 

Dieting is actually what I believe what made eating so stressful for many in our society. I don’t believe in diets and they are not my thing. In fact, dieting actually makes you gain weight! Here is why...

1. FAT TUESDAY:

Create healthy habits not restrictions

Create healthy habits not restrictions

I'm just going to call the day before starting a diet, Fat Tuesday like the holiday before Ash Wednesday, when people binge on their favorite foods or bad habits before they give it up for 40 days.

The day before a diet begins is very similar to Fat Tuesday. People binge on their favorite foods before they are forced to give them up causing them to deprive themselves even more.

2. I CAN'T EAT MY FAVORITE FOODS!

Not eating our favorite foods, whether it be ice cream, donuts, fries, pasta or whatever, actually causes us to crave those foods even more! Suddenly eating our favorite foods becomes a "sin" and we feel like we need to sneak these foods in and furthermore, we feel guilty for eating them! Whoever said food is supposed to make you feel guilty!

3. DIETS MAKE YOU FAT!

Yes this is true! That fact of the matter is that after having been deprived of our favorite foods, the first thing to do after completing a diet is go straight to those forbidden foods and binge on them. This causes seriously damage to your metabolism. Now your metabolism is starving for food for weeks and then suddenly it's fed HUGE amounts of low quality food! Our metabolism does not like extremes.

In conclusion, diets are seriously not something you ever want to adopt or fall into. No matter which of your favorite celebrities is doing that one diet that gave her great results. We've all seen the evidence of these celebrities bouncing up and down when they're on and off a diet. It's not healthy and it's not worth it.

So let me know in the comments below, what are your frustrations with diets?

Lessons from my babies

What have children taught you?

What have children taught you?

Five months ago I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. She is a handful but seriously so much fun! Over the last 5 months I've learned so much from her and continue to learn. Here are five lessons she has taught me.

1. Wake up Happy
Every morning when my daughter wakes up, she wakes up with a smile. She is so happy to start a new day. So happy to see the sun and to make the best of the day. 
In this same way, we should wake up with a smile. I know we are sometimes tired or don't want to wake up so early but every day is a new day to make the best of. A new day to make change and do something new.


2. Be excited about life
My daughter is starting to explore everything. She is so excited by all the new things that are around her. Everything is exciting, everything has life and everything is worth smiling about. 

If there is something I haven't lost is getting excited about new things. Whether it's new soap, new book or something I've just never seen. This excitement over things makes life worth living. I don't necessarily go out and look for new things, I just spot them. Try looking for new things and getting excited about it. Trust me, it makes life a lot of fun. 


3. Be present
Guess who is teaching me to keep the phone out of my bed? Yup! My daughter. In the morning when she wakes up I feed her in my bed and let her hang out there. She does not like it when I have my phone out. She'll be telling me a baby story and smiling and I'll have my phone behind her head. She'll stop her story and look at the phone and stop smiling. I've noticed that this phone does not make her happy. 


My daughter wants me present. She wants me there attentive to her stories. I'm learning to put my phone away when I'm with her...except when I'm taking pictures. That said, being present is very important. Every day with her brings something new. I don't want to miss it because I was on my phone.


4. Move
My daughter loves to move around. She has a lot of energy. If she could, she would run around everywhere. She is very happy when she is active. She smiles, she giggles, she is alive. 

Moving, exercising, doing something out doors is a great way to bring back life into your body. It's a great way to pump blood into your system and make those endorphins come alive! Moving makes you happy :)


5. Eat
Eating for adults and babies is a different. However, I'm learning somethings from her that I think apply to us all. Whenever, my daughter is hungry she eats. When she is full, she stops. She does not eat more than she can handle and she eats what her body needs. 


In this same way, we should listen to our bodies and only eat what we can. Over eating does nothing good for our body. Listen to your body and when you are full stop. 
 

Now it's your turn. In the comments below share what lessons have they taught you? 
I can't wait to hear from you! 
 

XOXO
Mirley