Green Washing and Truth on Labels

Americans are getting wiser, more interested in health and wellness. We want safer, healthier, less synthetic goods. Manufacturers know this. Look at how things are labeled. How many of the following sound good?
  • Low Fat
  • Fat Free
  • Fragrance Free
  • Unscented
  • Sugar Free
  • Low Fat
  • All Natural
  • Made With Natural Ingredients
These terms often hide the truth of what is REALLY in the product. It's a type of greenwashing - a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization's products, aims, and policies are environmentally friendly and therefore ‘better.’

The term "greenwashing" came about in the late 20th Century; there is much documentation about the lengths to which companies go to distract the public from truth. Now the term is used for the practice of using a half-truth to hide and deceive.
  • Unscented: generally it means that the product may contain chemicals that neutralize or mask the odors of other ingredients. No thank you!!!
  • All-Natural: may contain preservatives, be injected with sodium,  or contain high fructose corn syrup. (Research HFCS! That stuff is  ubiquitous, yet has caused me all kinds of trouble!)
  • Sugar-Free: These products often contain artificial sugars (Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharin) or sugar alcohols (Mannitol, Xylitol, Sorbitol). note: Sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea so don’t consume a lot in one sitting.
  • Fat-Free: fats are responsible for much of the good taste of foods. To compensate, sugars (or worse) are added. In essence, we trade one evil for another.
  • Made with Real Fruit: While companies must list the amount of nutrients they contain, such as fat and cholesterol, they do not have to disclose the percentage of ingredients, such as fruits and whole grain. So that photo of yummy strawberries might be on a product made with pears and lots of food dye.
Another way labels deceive us is with benign words like "fragrance"  or "parfume" - a cocktail of mystery ingredients, often comprised of toxic ingredients (including hormone disruptors) and linked to almost everything from fertility, to weight, to acne. 

So what are we to do? How do we protect ourselves? How do we know what is safe and what isn't? In a word, research
  • Read every label of everything you allow into your home. Whip out your phone right there in the aisle as you shop and look up those ingredients. (I say this knowing full well that if you have a toddler or infant with you, it won't be easy. But look at those sweet faces. Are they worth taking the extra time to keep them safe?)
  • Join a like-minded community like my Facebook Group
  • Shop for one ingredient foods where possible.
  • Know the difference between nutrients made in a lab and nutrients made in plants.
I'll leave you with a verse from Proverbs: The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

Wellness Tracker - Free Download

Keeping Track of Your Wellness Protocol - What's Working? What Are the Results?

A Number Not Tracked Doesn't Grow
This quote has served me well: as a student, a teacher, a mother, and as a businesswoman. Let's face it, unless we're paying attention to numbers, there is no way to know if they're going up, going down, or staying the same: bank balance, weight, grade averages, etc. I joke all time that I have number dyslexia; I just can't seem to hold numbers in my head! So I need help. Keeping track of anything that's a number is a challenge.

Supplements Need to be Tracked Too 
Now that Adron and I are fully invested in living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle, we need a way to keep track of our supplement use and document how our bodies are responding. Some of our Young Living products have immediate effects: Peppermint Essential Oil soothes my painful knuckles immediately. Digize EO under A's tongue immediately quells his burning stomach. But we didn't realize that Ningxia Red was giving us more energy and overall wellness until we had used it for a month and, thinking it wasn't doing anything, stopped drinking it.

I Devised a System to Help Us 
Now we have a system to track what works. We can keep track of how much is the optimum amount of a particular supplement to use. For example, A needs 3-4 Sulfurzyme a day, I need 2. 
(Unless we've worked hard and then we add another 1 or two capsules.)

Diffusing Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint EOs worked for our seasonal issues for 2 years. Then it wasn't as effective so we switched to RC or Raven or Eucalyptus or a number of other respiratory supporting oils. Having a record of what we used and how our bodies responded is very helpful.

Some YL products take up to 3 weeks to make a noticable difference. It can be so gradual that we don't notice it. Tracking when we start a new product, how we use it, and what we notice is very beneficial.

You're welcome to download the tracker and print as many copies as you want. I hope you will let me know if it helps you.

How to Choose Which Essential Oils to Use

Young Living has so many beautiful, powerful, adaptogenic oils that it can seem overwhelming to get started with confidence.

There are endless essential oils to choose from, so how do you choose which ones to actually use?

I love to just stand in front of my oils and intuitively choose. But if you want a more systematic way to choose, perhaps this list will help.

Heart opening. Try lavender, frankincense, geranium, rose, abundance, harmony, inner child, helichrysum, or jasmine. These oils are all associated with the heart, helping you open up your center of giving and receiving unconditional love.

Grounding. Use frankincense, pine, vetiver, cedarwood, black spruce, cypress, or any other tree oil you like. These earthy, tree-based oils help connect you to your roots in the earth, bring you out of your head and into your body. (Are you a navel gazer? I work hard to break that self-sabotaging habit!)

Connecting to God. Opt for frankincense, palo santo, sandalwood, ginger, or basil oil. (Yogis say these oils open your crown chakra, your center of connection with your highest self and with the divine.)

Enhancing creativity. This is one of my favorite themes and one of my favorite things to use essential oils for! A few oils for creativity are citrus fresh, tangerine, orange, peppermint, believe, highest potential, and clary sage. These oils help open your center of creativity, emotion, and sexuality.

Enhancing intuition. Experiment with clarity, envision, frankincense, rosemary, or sage. (Yogis call this your third eye chakra.)

Cultivating gratitude. Try lemon, bergamot, release, grapefruit, clove, harmony, acceptance, white angelica, or orange oil for gratitude. Their scents help elevate your mood and open your heart.

Surrendering. Opt for northern lights black spruce, surrender, peace & calming, stress away, Roman chamomile, or ylang ylang, all oils that help release control issues.

Self-confidence. Use Valor, lavender lemongrass, neroli, jasmine, believe, or eucalyptus to open your center of speaking your truth, being seen, setting boundaries, and expressing yourself.

Promoting good sleep. My favorite oils for sleep are gentle, calming oils like lavender, stress away, peace & calming, sleepyize, vetiver, and neroli.

I have found that when I set an intention when using oils, my results are much better. For example, before Bible study, applying Frankincense to my forehead and then cupping my hands and breathing in deeply while praising God and asking Him to bless me in His presence, I am able to focus better and feel a stronger connection to Him.

So just grab one and try it. Add a drop to your skin or a few drops to your diffuser and take note of what happens.

Do you have a go-to oil that serves you well during a particular time or theme in your life?

We share lots more good info like this over in our open Facebook Group. Click HERE to join.

How Do We Realize Our Dreams?

How Do We Realize Our Dreams?
When our children were young we took them to Disneyworld in Orlando, FL. Last week we went with our son, Benjamin, and his family. What a difference 20+ years have made in the place, the experience, the rides, and the technology.

Despite all the change, the brilliance of Disneyworld is still in place. It was fascinating to watch as thousands of people were guided through line after line after line. We were moved from place to place orderly and efficiently, with minimal reason to feel "herded" or de-valued. Genius!

I was also amazed at the attention to detail on display everywhere. The artistry of the place is fascinating. At the Rise Of the Resistance area in  Universal Studios we felt like we were on a distant, foreign world. Every inch was utilized to perpetuate the fantasy.

That feeling carried throughout the park. No matter how large or how small the area, it was obvious that everyting had been carefully and meticulously planned and executed. 

And that got me to thinking about how we live our lives. Are we paying attention to the details? Do we plan ahead? Or do we fly by the seat of our pants?

The trip has lit a fire in me! I want to travel more. I want to expand my circle of influence. Not because I'm anything special, but because God has commanded us to "go into all the world" with The Gospel. He has given us all the tools we need to do just that. So... I'm going to focus on the details as I reach for the big things. 

While we were in The Animal Kingdon, watching elephants lumber across the trail in front of our vehicle, I was reminded of this quote: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.  

I have a big dream. A dream so big that I get scared thinking about it sometimes. A dream that requires consistent, focused doing. I have an action plan and resources to help me get there, but I've been stalling... I've been afraid. Of what I'm not even sure. I know it's a self-sabotaging procastinaton mechanism.

So I'm going to break down my big plan into individual steps required to get there. Focus on one thing at a time. Of course it's important to look at the big picture, but that can sometimes be overwhelming. It can seem to be too big, require too many steps to get there, and we can be discouraged or start to believe that it's an impossible dream. Why do we allow ourselves to fall into that trap?

I came up with this action plan while power-walking behind my grandchildren:
  • Fine-tune my WHY - Why do I want to meet this goal?
  • Utilize information and resources I already have - That means I need to stop researching, stop buying programs and books to educate me and just start doing the things I already know to do!
  • Map out an overall strategy to the goal - What are the big actions needed to get there?
  • Break up each big action into doable smaller actions - Start with one thing, then the next, then the next.
  • Put those small actions on my calendar - A schedule will keep me accountable and ticking those things off my to-do list will give me gratification and incentive to keep going.
I'm so thankful we were able to join Ben and Kelli and the kids. Now I'm reaching for my notebook to start putting the plan into action. What's your Big Dream? Share it with me and let's hold each other accountable.

12 Things I've Learned About Living With Alzheimer's

12 Things I've Learned About Living With Alzheimer's
1. Put your shoes on before you leave your room. You can throw your shoes away. You can't throw your feet away. I can't tell you how many times I found bathroom substances outside my bedroom. 
2. Grow thicker skin. It isn't personal and it isn't about you. Your loved one is doing the best she can do. Her former self would be mortified to hear the things coming out of her mouth. Or know that she would disrobe and sit in all her glory in the living room.
3. Others will be happy to give you advice on how you can do better or how you should be doing things differently. But not time. They can't or won't give you time. Perhaps it's because they genuinely don't have the time to give. Maybe they think you're doing a better job at giving care than they could. (Please don't believe this lie.) Maybe they feel inadequate. Maybe you haven't asked for help. (PLEASE ask for help!)
4. Telemarketers provide essential opportunities for adult conversation. Utilize them. There's a short window of opportunity to talk to telemarketers, so make it count! 
5. Nobody wants to hear about any of it. Tell it to the telemarketers.
6. Modesty is a foreign concept: nakedness will be the new norm. Bathing is perceived as extreme torture. Grow a thick skin and remind yourself that you are now the adult: she is the child. Tough love is TOUGH!
7. Words will fail. Sentences will be unintelligible. Your loved one will speak in a totally random language with no available translation. But if she loved music, she'll be able to sing her favorite songs. In English. In tune. And it will make her happy. Be thankful. Sing with her.
8. Greet each day in gratitude. I can't stress this enough. Be thankful. Keep a gratitude journal. See blessings everywhere.
9. Forgive often. Forgive completely. Let past hurts go. Holding on to that hurts you more than anyone else. Let It Go.
10. Remember it's still not about you... until it is. You'll need time away from the chaos, the heartache, the day-to-day insanity, so make it happen. Make. It. Happen. You can't give from an empty well; take time to refill your well.
11. You're not alone. It just feels that way. Find a support group that understands what you are living. If you can't get to an in-person group, find one online. And don't just lurk! Interact. Post comments. Ask questions. Be a helper and receive help.

12. People move on. Find the energy to maintain outside relationships or be prepared to forge new ones when you're no longer the caregiver. You'll probably have to reset your mindset. Your tendency will probably be to stay isolated, but don't do that. Find opportunities to be with people again: church, communtiy functions, school functions. Call a friend that you've lost touch with and go to lunch. It get's easier. I promise.

Want to know what else I've learned? Click here
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