Growing up, my parents forced us to eat healthy. We had to eat our vegetables, grown in our garden. When we ran out of the fresh, we ate the produce stored away with vengeance with my mom’s S&H-Stamp-purchased Seal-a-Meal. My dad made us eat Roman Meal bread (we’d occasionally brave a lie that the Magic Mart was out of Roman Meal so we could get Autumn Grain — which tasted more like bread and less like a bucket of horse-feed). The only cereal we ate that had a commercial on Saturday morning, and targeted at the adults, was Raisin Bran — a special treat and concession from Dad’s Quaker 100% Natural, with Raisins and Dates. Uggh, I still shudder at the thought of scooping up a date from under pool of milk (they always sunk to the bottom – and stuck to your teeth). The whole cereal did, come to think of it. Lucky Charms? Frosted Flakes? Not a chance. And my brother and I have lasting emotional scars from Mom’s fixation with Prevention Magazine, particularly being force-fed orange peels (because that’s where all the flavonoids are! My brother and I were convinced she made up that word). Each issue of that subscription brought us more digestive horrors.
We swore we’d never do that to our children! You know, look out for what was best for them and try to raise them as healthy as we could. And then I had kids. In the softer, child-centered ’90s. Even though I’m strict, I just can’t compete with societal norms in order to hold the absolute sway my parents had over us. It is (one) of my parenting failures that I cannot make my kids eat healthy. The best I’ve been able to do is to hold dessert ransom for the consumption of their veggies. Or half of their veggies. And then the oldest 2 became teenagers and all bets were off. The thin facade of parental control became transparent.
I’m sure my Dad would appreciate the irony of my juxtaposition. My mother is still finding it hard to believe that her eldest, and most vocal at decrying the unfairness of our childhood deprivation of sugary treats and child labor when it came to shucking the corn, shelling the peas, and snapping the beans, is rapidly becoming so …. crunchy. But the older I get, the more I see how our processed foods and convenient lifestyles are sickening, and even killing, us. Getting rid of toxic chemicals in cleaning products isn’t much of a stretch. Everyone knows that ammonia, bleach, Draino, etc. is dangerous and to be kept away from small children — even if they don’t know finer points of how much damage they do even when used according to direction. Getting rid of plastic? Perhaps extremist, but again, everyone has heard the evils of plastic (again, even if just the tip of the Lucite iceberg. Aluminum cookware? Yeah, remember hearing something about that. Take them altogether, I’ll give you it would appear somewhat obsessive-compulsive. (But, let’s be honest, it’s been a journey of several years. I didn’t wake up one morning and start ditching everything in the house. I’m just not really preachy about my personal choices and I didn’t share my blossoming interests, much, until I decided to make a career out of creating Safe Havens). Essential Oils, my latest adventure, is bordering on New Ageism. And aromatherapy — (even for me, a bit still) is just downright cultish hooey. Even over the phone, I can tell Mom’s thinking I must have drunk the lavender kool-aid. Or maybe it was those flavonoids…
A few years back, my dental hygienist and I found common ground with cloth-diapering and natural baby products. She told me about essential oils and how her family was using them exclusively for maintaining their health: staying healthy, treating colds, bumps, and bruises. She invited me to an event to learn more, but I got stranded at home with a toddler and no vehicle and missed out. Flash-forward a couple of years to last month… My 2 1/2-year-old daughter and I returned from a working visit to Florida (home for me) in time for my regular dental cleaning. This time I told my hygienist about starting my Norwex venture. She’s a big fan — it combined well with her essential oil lifestyle. She mentioned they were having an Informational Session that very evening. This time I made it.
We opted for the least expensive enrollment kit, The Family Physician Kit + Slim & Sassy and I was eager to put the oils to the test. The rub (har, har) being that we’re blessed to be a pretty healthy bunch, not taking many medications or requiring any special doctoring, so I floundered a bit at first. I’d had a nagging sore throat since returning from Florida that I’d normally have just toughed out, but since I had it, I tried the Lemon Essential Oil — a couple of drops in a spoonful of honey added to a cup of hot water. I’d used this same treatment using fresh squeezed lemon (and sometimes a jigger of whisky) and it offered relief just for the duration of the beverage — the hot water being the soothing element. But the essential oil remedy provided instant and lasting relief. All it took was the one “dose”. Not too bad.
A couple of nights later, my back (which had gone out shortly after my 15-year-old was born and a few times since) was groaning about the amount of time I’d spent on my laptop (trying to get this website up and running). So I tried a couple of drops of the Deep Blue Blend massaged into my lower back. By the time I’d changed for bed, the pain was gone. Completely gone! The husband, the skeptic, told me it was all in my head. And I’d allow for some placebo effect — though I tend to be pretty skeptical about most things in order to avoid false positives.
After treating my sore throat, I gave the Slim & Sassy Blend a try. I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to do, but since I’m no where near slim and hadn’t been feeling sassy for several weeks, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I added 4 drops to an 8 oz. class of water, 3 times a day. I quickly learned to add the oil first as otherwise you get an oil slick on the top of the water and it does cling to the lips and mouth when drinking. It’s a strong flavor but after the initial surprise, it’s not unappealing. The oil leaves a residue in the glass so that the next 2 refills of the same glass provide the flavor (and effect?) without adding additional oil. I found this more pleasant that plain water, so for me it’s a perk. I did notice my appetite diminish greatly in the week that I used it. I decided then to shelf the remainder of the bottle until I could make a serious weight loss commitment — something I’ve been putting off for way too long. I’ve several canisters of Almased that I have found to be very effective still waiting to be used. I could see how the Slim & Sassy would help with the cravings I have to battle at the beginning of an Almased Fast. And then beyond my stock pile of Almased, I’d found the Slim & Sassy Daily Program that I plan to try (if I still need to) in order to compare results of the two programs:
My husband suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, but will not medicate. (At times it’s difficult to tell the difference between ADD and IDD (I Don’t give a D@mn), with 2 teens in the house and all of whom are challenged with remembering and staying focused.) I can’t WAIT to try some of the oils in a diffuser — since they are unwilling to let me put the oils on them. I’ve been reading up with excitement about Vetiver, Cedarwood, and the Focus Blend — unfortunately none of these in my Family Physician Kit. (It’s become apparent I needed the Family Psychologist Kit (Joke. There isn’t such a kit. But hey, what a great marketing opportunity!)
As mentioned, I’ve not been feeling very well in general for several weeks, since before returning from Florida. I’ve said several times to my husband that I am concerned that either my liver function is further declining or else I’m having a flare-up of the Auto Immune-related issues. Or I need to increase my Wellbutrin dosage. I’ve been dragging myself thru each day, not sleeping well, aching all the time, more than 50 lbs overweight, too tired, and in too much pain to go walking, let alone resume my running. None of which helps my Atypical Depression. It all works like a vicious cycle. But all very amorphous – a generalized malaise.
I ran across this Daily Regimen for Health when surfing the net about Essential Oils to acclimate myself:
And this for fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder specifically and Depression in general:
I figure I’ll start my EO journey with some combination of these two protocols and see how my health improves. I’m awaiting the shipment of the items not in my initial supply, but I’ve begun right away with the oils I do have. Four days in, I’ve already noticed a VAST improvement in my energy and I don’t hurt all the time. Moods been pretty good of late too. I’ve managed to go for a 3 mile walk each day AND make some headway in my weed-beds.
No change in weight, alas. And it must be noted that the weather has eased up on the stifling heat which was bothering me more this year than any other. But I’m very optimistic about implementing the full regimen and will of course post a follow-up after a decent amount of time has passed.
Assuming you have a passing interest in essential oils, otherwise you’d not still be reading, I’ll share that I finally got around to attending a webinar by Dr. Josh Axe after reading his free e-book, The Kings Medicine Cabinet (get your free copy too: http://draxe.com/kings-medicine-ebook). I highly recommend the webinar — it gave more detail than his short e-book. I found the historical references he provided in his e-book quite interesting and will be looking to read more on the subject as it fascinates me. I’m also eager to get my hands on a copy of Modern Essentials after perusing it at a training session last week. I want to learn more about the chemistry behind essential oils.
Wouldn’t you know it! Mom was right, it IS the flavonoids!