Insulin and the Weight Loss Connection

In December of last year I was diagnosed on the low end of prediabetes. It was a wake up call for me that it was now or never on losing weight and getting control of my health. At 40 years old and 80 pounds overweight, I was eating your typical American diet of high carbohydrates and low fat, thinking that was a “healthy” diet. I knew that I should eat less sugar and had heard that eating less carbs was better for diabetes, but I wanted to know why. Why was it so “hard” for me to lose weight and why did I struggle with intense food cravings? So I started to research and dig deeper into the world of insulin and how it affects the body. Google soon gave me this information…

Insulin is secreted in response to a type of carbohydrate called glucose … Insulin tells muscle, organs and even fat cells to take up the glucose and use it for fuel. It also tells fat cells to store fat for later use. As long as insulin levels remain high, fat cells retain fat, and the other cells preferentially burn glucose (and not fat) for energy

Basically when you eat carbohydrates, they spike blood sugar (glucose). A high level of blood glucose, often due to excessive carbohydrate intake, causes insulin secretion. The insulin in turn then delivers the glucose in your body to cells which it uses for energy. This process is what becomes broken in diabetes as the insulin in your body either isn’t used properly or you are not producing enough. My prediabetic state meant my body wasn’t using this energy source well. I was constantly bloated, my feet hurt and I had nerve pain. And the weight? I just kept gaining.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

To lose excess body fat, according to this view, carbohydrates must be restricted and replaced, ideally with fat, which does not stimulate insulin secretion.

This research lead me to try the Keto Diet, which has helped me shed almost 30 pounds so far. I truly believe that fat does not make you fat. Carbohydrates (and processed food and inflammatory fats and lack of sleep and exercise) makes you fat. If your goal is to shed body fat and you struggle with carbs like I did, the recipe is quite simple – limit carbohydrate intake and make healthy fats your preferred source of energy.

Want to learn more? I highly recommend Mark Sisson’s book, The Keto Reset Diet. I also love listening to the podcast The Natural State, by Anthony Gustin. The more you know the more empowered you will be to improve your own health!

Keto Diet Progress

In January I decided it was now or never with losing weight. I was tired of being tired. I hated that my feet hurt constantly. The prediabetic diagnosis scared me. I was and am determined to change the course of my health.

But how? I always believed what I learned growing up. That fat was bad, that you need to eat “good” carbs and low fat. That all you have to do is count calories. And lord I tried! I have tried so many diets over the years. So the fact that the keto diet is working for me after so many others have failed still is amazing me.

In January I read the book The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson. I started listening to popular keto podcasts and started unlearning everything I had ever been taught to eat! Seriously eye opening.

Like I never knew that the body doesn’t need carbs. Your body can actually produce its own glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis. And that your body can run on two types of fuel. Carbohydrates or Fat. I decided that for 40 years I was not doing too well as a carbo so why not try fat?

And here I am. 25 pounds lighter and still going. You know what frustrates me though? That I had to do all this research to “unlearn” all the nutritional guidance I had ever been given. When my doctor told me I was prediabetic in the fall all she told me was to “eat less” and maybe try to eat less carbs. That’s it. No clear guidance. No maybe you should try to be a fat burner instead of a carb burner. No you have to overhaul your relationship with food. Just a “let’s just see what happens” attitude. Ugh.

I guess I just wish the medical community would research nutrition more. It is obvious with the current obesity epidemic in this country that we don’t have it right. And it is not just junk foods fault. Let’s start with the fact that the government subsidizes farming to help with the food supply. That’s great right? Sure. All those wheat, corn and soy plants make people grow. And grow we have. In all the wrong places!

I am not saying everyone should be keto. There is no one size fits all diet. I personally think nutrition probably has more to do with your genetics and current health than anything else. And for me, as a person with family diabetic and obesity history, getting rid of the sugar and carbs is the answer.

I used to think there was something wrong me. Why was dieting so “hard?” I seriously struggled with near constant hunger. I “had” to eat every few hours else I would feel like I would pass out. I was always looking for that next snack or meal. With keto I finally have control over my appetite. I get hungry yes but it doesn’t have that frantic yo yo feel to it. It probably is what “normal” is and I just never had it.

It has been quite the journey these past few months as you can see. I encourage you to research the diet for yourself if interested. Now more than ever our health needs to be protected. Feed your immune system don’t suppress it!

Rewild Your Life

There’s a trend that’s been building for a few years now, one that looks as though it’s here to stay. It is called Rewilding – the trend of wellness, of natural living, of caring for and connecting back to nature. Read on to learn more about how to Rewild.

LIVE CLEAN

Switch to natural products to improve your health. You would be surprised at how many so called “pure” and “natural” items in your home are filled with components that are literally toxic to humans, and it’s totally legal! Being well-informed when purchasing home and personal care products is so critical to your long-term wellbeing.

LIVE CONSCIOUS

Kickstart the habit of mindful living. Don’t just live on auto-pilot or worse still, stuck in the trap of “it’s just what I’ve always done.” Become aware of your consumption, your routines, your impact on the world around you and make changes – not just your eating habits, but your whole lifestyle – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It’s incredibly empowering to know that the life you live was CHOSEN by you, not just something you consumed. Rewild yourself, your way.

LIVE CONNECTED

For me, this is the most important thing. I need to get out into the wilderness as often as I’m able. Reconnecting with the power and beauty of nature is by far one of the best ways to improve your mood, your health and your overall quality of life. If you don’t already, find ways to escape to nature as often as you can. Spend a day at the beach, head to a local creek or waterfall, go for a hike, or even just lay in the grass in your back yard if that is all you have. Feel it, breathe it all in and stay connected. You won’t regret it!

LIVE CONTENT

Prevent illness, don’t just sit around and wait for it. Start by incorporating daily practices and natural products that support your wellness. My absolute must-haves on any given day are sunshine, exercise and essential oils. Once I started to incorporate these things into my everyday routine, I noticed a massive shift in my physical and mental wellbeing. I feel better than I have in years!

Fruit and Veggie Soak

Let’s be honest, here. When we buy produce from the store, do you wash it before using it? If so, how do you know you’re washing it in the best way you can?

Freshly bought produce (yes, even organic), is FILTHY. It may not look like it, but oh my – it needs a serious bath. Between the many hands of others that have touched it, to people breathing and coughing and sneezing on it, to being sprayed for preservation on the farms and in the warehouses, to being loaded and packed and shipped and coming in contact with all kinds of other invisible culprits, I’ll say it again – our store bought produce is filthy.  The most contaminated fruits and vegetables are some of our favorites – peaches, strawberries, pears, lettuce, apples, cherries, bell peppers, spinach, nectarines, grapes, celery, and potatoes!

I bet that’ll make you think twice before you just do a quick rinse and take a bite out of your new apple, huh? 

Look how dirty my water is after washing strawberries!

WHAT IS IT?

Young Living’s Fruit & Veggie Spray safely and effectively washes produce with the cleansing power of three exclusive essential oil blends—DiGize, Thieves, and Purification. When combined with the other naturally derived ingredients, produce is easily and conveniently cleaned.

Ingredients:
Water, Decyl glucoside, Glycerin, Citric acid, Sodium citrate, Artemisia dracunculus† (Tarragon) oil, Zingiber officinale† (Ginger) root oil, Mentha piperita† (Peppermint) oil, Juniperus osteosperma† oil, Foeniculum vulgare† (Fennel) oil, Cymbopogon flexuosus† (Lemongrass) oil, Syzygium aromaticum† (Clove) bud oil, Rosmarinus officinalis† (Rosemary) leaf oil, Cymbopogon nardus†(Citronella) oil, Pimpinella anisum† (Anise) seed oil, Citrus limon† (Lemon) peel oil, Pogostemon cablin† (Patchouli) oil, Cinnamomum zeylanicum† (Cinnamon) bark oil, Melaleuca alternifolia† (Tea tree) leaf oil, Lavandula hybrida† (Lavandin) oil, Eucalyptus radiata† oil, Myrtus communis† (Tunisian Myrtle) oil, Myrtus communis† (Moroccan Myrtle) oil
†100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil

Thieves for the win!

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Considering all the horrific things that may be atop our produce that are grossing us out big time, wouldn’t you want to wash that off with the purest, most natural, healthy, safe, and effective product – especially one infused with powerful essential oils? YES. And that is exactly what this wash can do, and so much more. It is the best choice for you because it:-Utilizes plant based ingredients 
-Cleanses produce back to the way nature intended them to be 
-Naturally removes residue safely and powerfully with the help of concentrated and genuine essential oils
-Does not effect the taste of produce after soaking
…and so much more!

HOW DO I USE IT?

When using Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak, it’s simple! 

-Get a clean bowl or sink, and fill it up with clean water
-Add 1-2 capfuls of Thieves Fruit & Veggie Wash, and pour into the water (depending on how much produce you’re washing, the bottle will specify how much you should use)
-Put your fruits and veggies into the water
-Let them soak for 1-2 minutes (I let them soak for longer sometimes)
-Take them out and rinse under clean water
And, WHALLA! Perfectly clean produce, with no more residue, and without effecting the taste. 

All Clean!

To purchase Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak for 24% , click here

Young Living Starter Kit Updated!

Young Living has launched a BRAND NEW starter kit!  They have added Valor, Peace & Calming, Thieves Hand Purifier, and an extra fitment for only $5 more! The Desert Mist Diffuser kit is now only $165!

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This kit still has all your favorites: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Thieves, DiGize, Citrus Fresh, Raven, Frankincense, Stress Away, and PanAway.  But now they have added Valor and Peace & Calming  to the oil lineup. They are also throwing in a Thieves Hand Purifier to the bottom of the kit with your Thieves Household Cleaner sample and Ningxia Red samples. Oh and did I mention you get a diffuser too?!

Look what you will get when you join Young Living! Valor and Peace & Calming are back in the Starter Kit and everyone loves our chemical-free Hand Purifier!

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Young Living PSKs are full of carefully selected products meant to provide a range of aromatic, topical, and dietary experiences for those who are new to essential oils. There’s a diffuser for every style in these PSKs, so getting started is fun and easy! The brand-new PSKs cost only $5 more than our traditional kits but have more value than ever with all the new updates.

Prices:

Desert Mist™ and Dewdrop™: $165
Rainstone™: $210
Aria™: $265

Purchase a Kit Here.

goo.gl/1onX2U 

STARTER KIT OILS

Here is more information on the oils that come in the kit.

Lavender: Support healthy and glowing skin. I use it in my homemade facial serum as it is moisturizing. Also great for burns and cuts. Just apply a drop straight on it! A lot of ICUs use it to help with occasional anxiety with their patients before and after procedures.

Peppermint: Support and maintain a healthy digestive system and energy levels! Great to apply on your temples when you have a headache and this is my favorite to diffuse to help stay alert.

Thieves: Promote a healthy immune system. Replace: Emergen-c, household cleaner, hand soap, Orajel, bleach, etc. with this. University tested to actually kill airborne germs when diffused!

Citrus Fresh: Remove stinky odors and great refreshing smell! A blend of citrus oils along with spearmint.

Lemon: A powerful detoxifier & antiseptic. Great for alertness & mental clarity. Replace: products that support a healthy complexion, good cleanser for body and home, smells fresh, can help with occasional nausea, immune system support, appetite suppressant…add to water

PanAway: Add it to coconut oil to create a DIY post workout salve to help sore muscles. Replace your Icy Hot with this and don’t look back.

Stress Away: I love this one to wear as a perfume which plays double duty to help reduce daily stress

Frankincense: It promotes a sense of calm and security, Replace your expensive wrinkle serum. This is all you need! I rub a drop straight on my skin at night before moisturizer.

DiGize: It supports normal, healthy digestion! Also helps heartburn and stomach upset. Rub on your tummy or take via veggie capsule.

Raven: One of the best essential oils for decongesting the airways, total respiratory support. Diffuse or apply to your chest.

Valor: This blend was formulated to balance energies and instill courage, confidence and self-esteem. It helps the body self-correct it’s balance and alignment.

Peace & Calming: This blend promotes relaxation and a deep sense of peace and emotional well-being, helping to dampen tensions and uplift spirits.

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Ningxia Red

Ningxia Red

A powerful antioxidant drink that contains a super blend of wolfberry, blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices, natural stevia extract, grape seed extract, pure vanilla extract, and orange, yuzu, lemon, and tangerine essential oils.

Ningxia Red is special because it contains the puree from whole Ningxia wolfberries. Young Living uses all of the valuable parts—the juice, peel, seeds, and fruit—to ensure that each bottle contains the optimal blend of nutrients offered by this extraordinary fruit. You can see this before you shake the bottle.

We’re not talking juice, guys. We’re talking about a whole food supplement which is why you don’t see the blood sugar spikes and other issues commonly associated with juices.

THE FACTS

-The Ningxia wolfberry contains ALL essential amino acids AND is one of the most protein dense fruits on the planet (it contains 13-16% protein by weight!), so not only are you getting all amino acids, but you’re also getting them from a RICH, DENSE source!

-the wolfberry is the highest WHOLE FOOD source of potassium of any known food on the planet

-the wolfberry has been used in traditional Chinese medicine & has been a part of the Chinese diet for over 2000 years.

-Ningxia Red is JAM PACKED with antioxidants…antioxidants fight free radicals that you are exposed to. Ningxia’s ORAC score? Ningxia scored over 30,000. That is one of the highest scores that you will ever find in a supplement!

DID YOU KNOW

Declining potassium levels may be directly connected with increased signs of aging. A multi-year longitudinal study on aging conducted at the University of Missouri measured the potassium levels in 650 subjects over the course of nearly two decades. Researchers found that between age 40 and 60, potassium levels in the body drop by over 13 percent. Ningxia wolfberries are one of the richest known foods in potassium. You may want to research the many benefits of healthy potassium levels for the body to determine if this is something that could have a huge impact on your health!

BEST WAY TO ORDER

The best way to order is to purchase a Ningxia Red Starter Kit for $170.  You will get everything in the graphic pictured below plus a lifetime Young Living Membership.  Click here to purchase.  If you are already a Young Living member order through Essential Rewards and you will get 10-25% cash back on your purchase!

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Ningxia Red Starter Kit -$170

Own Your Life

I have been thinking a lot recently about how people achieve large scale success. I am talking Oprah.  Richard Branson.  Elon Musk.  Deep down I know they are no better than any of us.  But yet they have innovated a life that has defied all expectations. They are leaving a legacy that will last generations.  And it all started with the belief that they could.

Maye we truly are what we believe.

Let me tell you a personal story. When my dad died when I was 19 and my mom fell into grief and would lock herself in the bedroom for days at a time leaving my sister and I to fend for ourselves I thought I was alone. That NO ONE had been through what I was going though. How could I graduate from college and live my life when I had been through so much loss? How could I deserve to pull away from my family struggles in order to better myself? Guys, it was hard. I had to BELIEVE my life could be better. That I deserved to live my life even though it meant leaving the life I knew.

I want to tell you today – don’t let your past OWN you. Step in and own the full progress and trajectory of your life! You have no idea what your legacy will be. There is nothing that anyone who’s living on earth has ever felt or known or experienced on a soul level that hasn’t been felt or known or experienced by someone else.

One of the most difficult things in life is feeling that you are the only one. That you are the only one who’s traveled this path, who’s felt this way. But it is those people who rise above those feelings and know how to course correct, how to keep going and never quit.  They have faith in the bad and aim for the future.  They are the ones that change the trajectory of their life.

You can own your life. Till the day you die you are growing. You are creating. Don’t sell yourself short because of self-limiting thoughts. When you keep inputting positivity, there is no room for negativity.

Own your life.

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The Joy of a Quiet Mind

I am naturally a quiet person. I remember as a kid the teacher going to my mom “she is bright but prefers to eat and play by herself.”  And I did.  It wasn’t till middle school and hormones that I realized there was a gender called boys, and that social norms dictated I hang with girls and talk.  It was a hard stage for me.  Thank god you only have to live through high school once.   College hit and I found my balance of socialization and internal solitude. I learned how to balance both.

But with today’s digital age we are so afraid of the quiet. We fill every waking moment with noise or light.  We stay more connected then ever with those around us through social media.  We like to tell everyone we are “too busy” because we put our kids in after school activities and sports that in turn invade our weekends.   We are plugged in more than ever to the news and pinterest has made our cooking endeavors into an Olympic sport.  And what is all this gaining us?  We are all more tired than ever!

Why are we so afraid of the quiet? When I drive I normally don’t turn on the radio.  No audiobooks or podcasts either.  I love the few minutes of stillness (other than your daily traffic) that my car provides me.  I use the time to think and process my day or just let my mind wander.   I find my creativity increases the more time I am able to spend in these quiet solitudes.

Back in 1999 which happened to be a year after my dad died, I had the opportunity to travel to South America and visit Machu Picchu in Peru. It was magical.   In the quiet of those majestic mountains my soul was able to truly rest and heal.  To just be.  A great vacation can do that.  Soothe your soul and body and rejuvenate your spirit.  How do we bring this ability home?

I say embrace your quiet! You can meditate yes, or start yoga.  But it doesn’t even have to be all that in the beginning.  Just be.  Sit and turn off the noise around you and try and live in the moment.  There is so much strength and wisdom to be gained in the quiet.  You see, stillness allows your brain to process all that “noise” that blankets us during the day.  Your body and mind in turn will clear and your joy will increase!

Try it. Practice just “being.”

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Sacred Mountain Essential Oil Blend

Last month I bought an oil blend I had never tried before – Young Living’s Sacred Mountain.  It is a blend of conifer essential oils that evoke feelings of strength, empowerment, grounding, and protection that are a result of being close to nature.  I have loved diffusing this oil and I can indeed feel a difference in clarity and mood since using it!  It smells so good!

It contains:

  • Spruce
  • ylang ylang
  • Balsam fir
  • cedarwood

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These 3 conifer oils have been traditionally used by the North American Indians symbolically to represent the umbrella they create in protecting the earth and bring energy in from the universe.

Ways to use this oil blend:

  1. Fear of failure/empowerment:  We are our own worst enemy.  Fear of failure oftentimes prevents us from moving forward.  Sacred Mountain can help empower you to take that first step.
  2. Public speaking/strength:  A very common fear and one that is not easily overcome.  Sacred Mountain can help you get the courage you need to take that stage with more confidence.
  3. Social situations/strength:  For me, social situations are scarier than any stage ever was!  Sacred Mountain (combined with Valor for an extra punch) help me overcome my fears and put myself out there more.
  4. Loss of a loved one/strength:  When a loved one passes, the whole family grieves.  Be the support your family needs while managing your own grief as well.
  5. Resisting temptations/empowerment:  What tempts you?  Sugar? Smoking? Gambling?  Sacred Mountain can shore up your defenses and allow you to strengthen your resolve.
  6. Controlling emotions/grounding:  You can’t always control how you feel, but you can control how your act on your feelings.  Using Sacred Mountain may prevent you from doing or saying something you’ll regret
  7. Dealing with conflict/empowerment: Conflict is never easy and never comfortable but sometimes it is very necessary.  Sacred Mountain can help you steel your resolve for that conversation no one wants to have.
  8. Self care/strength: If you are like most women, your needs are subservient to the needs of your family.  Sacred Mountain can give you the emotional strength to take care of yourself without feeling guilty.
  9. Leadership/empowerment:  Give your confidence the boost it needs to be a more effective leader.
  10. Asserting oneself/strength:  Sometimes letting others know that you are displeased is a very uncomfortable thing to do.   Let Sacred Mountain help you get the courage you need to speak up.

I would definitely recommend that everyone try this blend!

Want to purchase? Click here to do so!  To learn more about Young Living Membership, click here.

Choosing Joy

Lately I have found myself in the why vortex. You know, where you question all the “wrongs” in your life. We all do it at some time or another. And I know from grieving the deaths of both of my parents that in order to move on you have to graduate from that vortex. Because in the end you either choose to be happy and celebrate what you do have or you will forever be stuck in that pit of “why.” I came across this quote yesterday and it hit me hard. I needed the reminder that I can choose joy. That joy is always an option.

Celebrate Life

See a few weeks ago I got to visit some friends from college in the city I moved to when I graduated – Philadelphia.  It has been 8 years since I had last been there.  It was so much fun seeing friends and eating delicious food (seriously Philly is a foodie heaven – I could spend DAYS eating my way through Reading Terminal Market.  I literally ate the biggest Pastrami Sandwich ever for breakfast and it was divine).  But what I didn’t anticipate was the flood of memories and emotions from my childhood.  I grew up in South Jersey.  We used to come to Philadelphia for this or that and honestly I think just being in such close geographical proximity to my childhood home opened in me a jar of emotions that I try to keep buried.  Regret that my parents are dead.  Pain that I missed my grandmothers funeral due to life circumstances.  Mad that life was not turning out how I wanted.  Painful memories I had buried for so long were fighting to come to the surface.  I stood on the lid and tried to hammer it back in but it wasn’t working too well.   And then I came home to a child sick with the stomach flu.  Talk about cortisol levels spiking!  I started to feel myself sinking into that pit of depression I fight so hard to stay out of.

So these past two weeks I have been consciously choosing joy.  Getting back into a rhythm of life that brings me happiness.  My essential oils help immensely of course.  Read here how they have helped my anxiety and depression the last two years.  In the end though it is mindset.  I am choosing to celebrate my life with all its dents and scratches.  We are all works in progress.

So choose joy today people. There is always something to celebrate.

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