Hair…Part Two (get it?!?) Or How My Gray Hair Went Away

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TOO YOUNG TO BE THIS DAMN OLD

So it began. The tender sprouts of gray began to emerge in September of 2013, barely a shimmer of sparkling light as the sun passed over my bare scalp. I was on a trip with my son, just the two of us, when I shouted out in the hotel room one morning. “Come look. I think my hair is growing back!!” Sure enough, he confirmed that he too could see the tiniest spikes of hair emerging from the barren desert under my bandanna.

Now at first I was thrilled. I swore that those new locks were coming in a lovely silvery blonde. And I managed to keep deluding myself in this way for a few more weeks. But the reality dawned on me fast and furious. I was not going to be a Marilyn Monroe bombshell blonde, but a Meryl Streep “The Devil Wears Prada” grey. Yes, all those lovely blonde strands were silver!

I’M GONNA WASH THAT GREY RIGHT OUTTA MY HAIR..

At first, I toyed with the idea of keeping my new hair. I got a lot of compliments. But, as you know if you’ve ever endured cancer, you just want things to go back to how they were before you were a patient. Back to ignorant bliss, and some sense of normalcy. So…I mentioned to my mom that I had decided to color my hair. She found me a great stylist on a visit to Florida, and I was tickled pink with the result. There I was! Blonde and looking like my former self at last.

Now, I’m not known for being the most practical person in the world. It dawned on me after the glow wore off that it is next to impossible to find someone who does good color, especially over all grey. So, what did I do? You got it. I trekked back and forth to Florida from Asheville about every three months to maintain my new look. I joked with Mr. Gary that he was the most expensive stylist in the country!

Fast forward to September of 2014, which was the last time I was able to get to Sarasota to the salon. I’ve been meaning to do it, but my practice has picked up and there just hasn’t been time. I kept checking my hairline, just knowing that I would inevitably start to see the solid wall of grey appear.

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Meanwhile, I started using Young Living essential oils at the beginning of this year, both personally and in my practice, with phenomenal results. One of my absolute favorite products is the Ningxia Red super-antioxidant, essential oil infused drink that Young Living makes. Two samples came in my Premium Starter Kit, so I drank them and didn’t really give it much thought.

C’MON I KNOW THE GREY IS IN THERE SOMEWHERE!

If you’ve been following my essential oil series here on the blog, you know that my hair began to come in fuller and grow faster, especially around that front part area where so many “mature” women become follicularly challenged. In the past few weeks, it has occurred to me that it has been 7 months since I last colored my hair, and that wall of grey…well, it has yet to show up.

Growing in light auburn

Now I can still see some silvery strands woven throughout, but the most lovely shade of light auburn has started to appear at the roots. And that shade, my friends, has not been seen on this head since high school! What?

The longer I use these oils, the more I am blown away. The effects with me are more subtle than for some because I am in pretty good health to begin with. Oh yeah, except the whole cancer thing. But when I do get a sign, it shows up in a powerful way.

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What’s the mystery behind erasing the grey? I don’t believe it’s anything mystical or other worldly. It’s a matter of nutrition. Ningxia Red is made from wolfberry puree with berries sourced from the Ningxia province in China, which boasts the largest per capita population of 100 year-olds anywhere on the planet. It has the highest antioxidant score of any food or supplement you can buy.

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Ningxia Red also boasts a combination of Grape Seed Extract, blueberry, plum, cherry, aronia and pomegranate juices, along with orange, yuzu, tangerine, and lemon essential oils. These ingredients work synergistically to support:

  • normal digestive health
  • healthy immune function
  • normal brain function
  • healthy cardiovascular function
  • healthy joint support
  • sleep enhancement
  • improved insulin function

ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CANCER PREVENTION (SORRY, CHIPS WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE HERE)!

In addition, this powerful combination of ingredients works together to quench free radicals and prevent the cell damage that leads to mutations. And, it boasts a full and natural complement of key enzymes, vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed.

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The best part? Well, other than the giant dose of nutrition and the great hair. This is better than juicing! You heard me. I have a brand new juicer that has sat untouched since I started drinking this stuff. Why? Because I don’t like juice unless it has some fruit, and even though it’s healthy, it delivers a whopping dose of sugar straight to the bloodstream. This is exactly what I’m trying to avoid as a cancer survivor, feeding the cancer cells their favorite food, sugar. Ningxia Red is sweetened with stevia and has only 2 grams of sugar per serving!

If you’re ready to feel stronger, sleep better, and give yourself a brand new lease on life without eating 12 heads of broccoli (don’t yell, vegans, I love broccoli), click here to get started on your own journey. Warning, feeling good is addictive!

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What’s Tough Enough To Kill The Plague but Gentle Enough For a Baby to Touch?

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YOU’LL WANT TO LET THESE THIEVES IN

Our story today is set in France, during the dark mysterious times of the Middle Ages. Disease and famine were rampant, and a new killer emerged, “Black Death”, or bubonic plague. Within 5 years of its spread to Europe, over 25 million people had died, or roughly one-third of Europe’s population! Legend has it that a band of four thieves roved the countryside, stealing the victims’ possessions once they had succumbed to the illness.

plague doctorMiraculously, the thieves never contracted the highly infectious plague and this led to deep inquiry in court after they were caught and charged. The magistrate offered them a deal, their secret for a reduced sentence. Taking the deal, they told stories of herbal remedies with powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways. This specific herbal blend that they had created, concocted from aromatic herbs, was HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in killing all of the airborne bacteria. Some of the stories told speak of it in a vinegar form, while others talk about a blend that was in a mask over their faces.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GETTING SICK, WELL, NEVER?

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While we may never know if the story is true, we do know that the product born of the legend, Young Living Thieves Essential Oil (a blend of Clove, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus therapeutic grade essential oils) is indeed a force to be reckoned with. In 1997, Weber State University did a study that found the Thieves essential oil blend to have a 99.96% success rate at killing airborne bacteria.

I don’t know about you, but my house is like a giant petri dish waiting to attack me. With 3 kids in three different school environments and a husband whose office holds the flu record, I am constantly bombarded with the latest, greatest “plague” of my own.

I have been using Thieves faithfully since I started my oil journey in January, both in my aromatic diffuser, and on my feet at night. During that time, I have survived 2 cases of flu in my house, one case of pink eye, a stomach virus, and an unknown tonsil blowout that was possibly Strep. Needless to say, my family hasn’t been on my oily bandwagon to this point.

Now remember, I have a lower white blood cell count (those cells you need to fight germs) than most people due to lingering effects of chemotherapy and radiation. How many times have I been sick in that 4-month window? Zero. Nada. Zip. That’s right, this girl’s immune system comes out swinging! I now call my Thieves oil my “immune system bouncer”.

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Another fantastic thing about Thieves is its incredible versatility. Young Living has dedicated entire product lines to this little germ-fighter. You’ll find it in everything from their toothpaste to their concentrated Thieves Household cleaner. This super economical cleaner lasts forever and will replace the bulk of your toxic products with something you can feel good about exposing your family to.

Want some more practical uses for Thieves?:

  • Natural Pesticide: Add a few drops of Thieves to a small spray bottle and spray on plants and flowers. The scent helps to repel bugs.
  • Acne Spot Treatment: Apply neat (undiluted) to a treat acne and promote healing. The clove and lemon oils in the Thieves blend is particularly helpful in reducing acne.
  • Treat Fungus: Apply neat (undiluted) to feet to kill fungus and promote healing.
  • Soothe a Bee Sting: Apply neat (undiluted) to a bee sting to relieve pain and neutralize the toxin. Be sure to dilute with a carrier oil for children.
  • Disinfect the Dishwasher: Add a few drops of Thieves to the detergent container in your dishwasher and run a normal cycle (either with or without a full load of dishes).

And the list goes on and on…

ALL THAT AND A FREE RECIPE, TOO?

I recently started making my own safe Hand Sanitizer. Kids are obsessed with those little cutesy bottles, but they have harmful chemicals in them. Try this instead:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp aloe vera gel
  • 1 Tbsp filtered (or distilled) water
  • 1/8 tsp Vitamin E Oil
  • 5 drops Young Living Thieves Oil

Equipment::

You will need a small 2 oz. squeeze bottle – perfect for keeping in your purse or diaper bag (Amazon has them. Be sure to get #1 or #2 plastic.)

Directions:

Combine aloe, Vit. E oil, and Thieves in bottle. Thin with water until it is desired consistency (should be thin enough to coat hands but not drippy).

You’re welcome. Now get your own bottle of Thieves, germ warriors, but please don’t start robbing graves!

If you’ve missed any of the Essential Oils 101 series, please visit the “Essential Oils” category on the right side of the blog to catch up.

Joy To The World…Or I May Keep It All For Myself and Give You the Recipe!

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Joy. Such a simple word. Yet it instantly paints a complex mental picture of all that is good in life. The first kiss; a bride’s smile on her wedding day; a baby’s laughter. What power is found in those three little letters! So how do you take all of those intricate nuances and weave them together in a scent?

So far in our essential oil education series, we have focused on science and physical health. Don’t get me wrong, those are vitally important in any discussion of alternative medicine. But what is often overlooked is the emotional component of health.

As someone who has suffered off and on for…well, pretty much most of my life…with intermittent depression, the mental aspect of health is HUGE. It doesn’t matter if my lab numbers are perfect or I look great in my size 4 bikini if I can’t figure out what my mood will be from one week to the next.

I’ve looked high and low for the “thing”. That thing that will finally make my moods even and reliable. Ok, so that thing is called Estrogen! But, that one is out after having breast cancer. So, what’s left?

I’ve struggled a lot with the loss of my hormones due to chemotherapy. A lot. Not with the hot flashes that so many women experience, or the joint pain. No, my struggle has all been in my head.

For a week or so I feel absolutely fantastic, on top of the world, able to leap tall mountains. I finally think to myself “This is it. I’ve beaten it. I can pursue all my plans.” And then, just as quickly as it came, it’s gone. I don’t fall into a dark hole very often, thankfully. I just get a bad case of the “blahs”. I lose my ambition, I no longer want to socialize or make plans for my business. It still catches me by surprise, every month. It’s as if my mind has forgotten that my body is no longer capable of having a monthly cycle.

When I took my first class about Young Living Essential Oils and signed up for my Premium Starter Kit, one of my biggest hopes was to find an oil or oils to alleviate some of these monthly ups and downs. I was impressed with how inhaling the oils sends them straight to the brain within a matter of seconds.

After a little bit of experimentation with my free diffuser, I finally hit on a combination that does wonders for my mood. I told you about my love affair with Peppermint oil in the last post. But…when you add the oil blend Joy to the Peppermint, then you’ve really got something!

What’s in that little bottle of Joy? Are you ready? Joy contains:

  • bergamot
  • ylang ylang
  • geranium
  • lemon
  • coriander
  • tangerine
  • Roman chamomile
  • jasmine
  • palmarosa
  • rose 

Remember when I told you in a previous post that Rose was one of the absolute most expensive essential oils because it takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce one pound of rose oil? That’s right, it’s in Joy. And this comes as part of your Premium Starter Kit with 10 other oils to try.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big floral girl. Never have been. So, I wasn’t crazy about the smell of Joy at first. That’s right, I kind of poo poo’d the Joy. But let me tell you…it grew on me like ivy on Harvard! When that combo of Peppermint and Joy hits my brain, it doesn’t know what hit it! It is the best feeling I’ve had in a long time. It just plain makes me happier.

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So what is Joy good for?

  • sadness
  • sleep issues
  • emotional imbalance
  • hyperactivity
  • emotional pain/grief
  • defiance or occasional moodiness in children
  • bump up the romance (and I know a few ladies struggling with that one)

This smells so good to many people that they wear it for perfume on the wrists and over the heart. It is also great in homemade lotions and bath salts. Check out this recipe for an uplifting body cream:

HAPPY ALL OVER BODY CREAM

body butter plain

1 cup extra virgin unrefined coconut oil

1 tsp vit E oil (make sure it is not synthetic vit E)

5 drops Young Living Joy Essential Oil

10 drops Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil

Whip coconut oil with a mixer for about 3-5 mins until the consistency resembles icing.

Add in other ingredients and mix well.

Will fit in a half pint jar. Should last until it’s gone. Young Living oils never expire.

This smells Heavenly!!

To get started on changing your family’s health naturally and get some Joy of your own, check out this page.