Citrus Essential Oils & Your Teeth: What You Need to Know

Citrus Essential Oils & Your Teeth:  What You Need to Know

Citrus Essential Oils & Your Teeth: What You Need to Know

If you know me then you know that I love my essential oils. I find this information about the pH comparison between citrus juice and citrus essential oils to be absolutely fascinating so just had to share it with all of you!!

“SEED TO SEAL SPOTLIGHT…Because citrus juice has been proven to cause tooth enamel erosion, there have been some questions about the effect of citrus essential oils on teeth as well.
As part of Young Living’s unwavering commitment to quality and safety, our Research and Development team — led by renowned oral care expert and former Section President of the American Association of Dental Research Dr. Michael Buch — performed a series of laboratory tests to determine if citrus essential oils, like citrus juices, significantly lower pH levels in the mouth.
Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, Orange, and Grapefruit essential oils and juices were all tested.

Each of the fruit juices was found to be at least 10X more acidic than its corresponding Young Living essential oil. In fact, the Young Living essential oils caused only minimal pH changes to the water (averaging less than 1pH unit.)

The bad news? Citrus juice does indeed erode tooth enamel over time.

The good news? It’s safe to continue enjoying citrus taste by adding Young Living essential citrus oils to beverages instead of drinking a glass of orange juice or by squeezing a wedge of lemon into water.”
Source: The Essential Edge, April 2016, Young Living Essential Oils

To learn more about Young Living’s Seed to Seal Guarantee, visit this website: www.SeedtoSeal.com.

How I Kicked My Antidepressants to the Curb…

I have been thinking about this post for a while, but I feel VERY compelled to share it today… not sure why today, but I will follow the leading of the Spirit!I almost hate to blog about this because there is such a stigma about antidepressants.  It is almost as if you are a “lesser” person if you need to use and actually take antidepressants; it is as if you are weak or just unwilling to “suck it up” through your circumstances.  I don’t think that is the case; I believe that antidepressants area a tool to help a person manage through a difficult time.  I don’t place any judgments on people who take antidepressants and I hope that you do not judge me for what I am going to share.

Hello, my name is Amy Strait and I have been on prescription antidepressants on and off for over eleven years; yes, you read that right, eleven (11) years.  Here’s my story:  My oldest daughter is nearly 13 years old and I suffered some pretty severe post-partum depression after she was born.  I didn’t seek medical help nor take an antidepressant then because I was way too proud to admit that I needed help.  In my mind I thought, “Medication is for the weak; I am not weak!  I will push through this.”  I did push through but I was pretty miserable both to myself and to my husband and new daughter.  I got pregnant for my second child when my oldest was just 9 months old and I was an overwhelmed, emotional mess.  At every appointment with my OB/GYN, he would ask me if I wanted an antidepressant.  I always declined.  Finally, near the end of my pregnancy, I just couldn’t deal with my anxiety anymore and decided to see if an antidepressant would work for me.  Much to my surprise, I felt like myself again!  WOW!!  Amazing!  I’m not sure how long I took them, but I did eventually wean off of them after my second daughter was born and I was through the post-partum depression stage.

Through my next three pregnancies, I pretty much repeated the pattern:  antidepressants during end of pregnancy and through the post-partum depression stage.  However, after my fifth child was born (five kids in eight years), I was having a very hard time weaning off of the antidepressants.  I tried to quit taking it but I was an angry, emotional mess each time I tried.  I was on a relatively low dose but I just couldn’t quit taking them.  That really frustrated me!  When I got pregnant with my sixth child, I was still taking the antidepressants and have continued straight through until just recently (she is now three years old).  I have tried MANY times to cut back of them in an attempt to quit taking them, but I was never successful.  What had once helped me was now taking my joy away!  I felt like a slave to those pills.  I knew that I wouldn’t be a nice, happy mom and wife if I didn’t take my pill at night.  I didn’t like it at all!!

Recently some things changed in my life that have made me more equipped to quit taking antidepressants.  First, I started feeling the need to get healthier.  Through 13 years of being pregnant and/or nursing nearly the entire time, I was a tired, sleep-deprived mom and I had given in to soda/pop to help keep up my energy… and I drank a lot of it.  I was also a carb/sugar addict, so I also consumed a lot of sugary, processed foods in an attempt to feed myself quickly while taking care of many little ones.  Over the course of 10 years, I put on nearly 50 lbs.  It was time to take charge of my health again.  I turned 44 this year and it seems like an epiphany year for me.  I have come to realize and understand so many things about myself this year.  Getting healthier and taking control of things in my life just seem the right thing to do…

The second thing that changed was that we started using Young living essential oils.  We have been trying to make some healthier changes such as eliminating many processed foods from out diet, cutting way back on fast food, and eliminating chemical cleaners from our home.  We knew that we wanted to keeping going along that path and changing out our over-the-counter medications and some of our general health and beauty products with more natural ones (including essential oils) just seemed the right thing to do.  I knew that the essential oils could help with my occasional bouts of depression, I just had to figure out how.

Fast forward to today, Sunday, July 27th.  I am pleased to announce that I have successfully weaned myself off of antidepressants and have not taken any since Monday, July 7th!!  Here is what I attribute this success to (I can’t say if all of these things were necessary but I have to believe that they have all worked together):

1.  I dramatically decreased the amount of sugar and carbs that I eat.  I once considered myself a carb-a-holic.  However, I started cutting back when I realized that foods high in sugar and carbs were also really high in calories and I was trying to keep my calories down.  Then I realized how much better I felt when I wasn’t eating those foods.  (There is a lot of research that shows how excess sugar and carbs in one’s diet can contribute to depression; obviously there is truth to it, at least in my case it is.)

2.  I am exercising!  I am amazed at how much better I feel (energized even) after I have exercised.  Those endorphins that are created when you exercise are amazing!!  Gotta love those happy hormones!!  WOOHOO!!

3.  I don’t drink pop anymore (I guess that goes with cutting back on sugar), but this was a big deal for me!  I haven’t had any pop in nearly 9 weeks (not that I’m counting) and I no longer crave it!! :-)

4.  When all else seems to not be working and I find that mean/edgy mom/wife start to creep in on me, I lean on my essential oils to get me through.  I can take a drop each of the Joy and Peace & Calming essential oil blends and put it on my wrists and over my heart; I would also inhale each from the bottle just to give the essential oils a jump start into my system.  If I am feeling angry, I also use a little Purification essential oil blend.

I am glad that I am no longer taking the antidepressants because I am glad to be off medications!  One positive side effect to not taking the meds anymore is that I feel like I have my emotions back.  While taking the antidepressants, I felt emotionally “flat”.  Now, I cry when a friend sends me a sweet, encouraging note on Facebook or when I see a tear-jerker movie or video clip; and I feel more able to sympathize with a sick or injured kiddo.  I am just generally happier and seem to laugh more as well.  It also seems like other people are friendlier as well (LOL!).  :-)   I feel like a person again and not a “mom zombie.”

I have no negative feelings towards antidepressants or people who need to take them. I think they are a good tool to help people who are in a difficult place in life.  I just want to encourage anyone who feels like they are stuck taking them because they have been unable to just “wean” themselves off, that there are things you can do to reduce or eliminate your dependence upon them.  I hope that my story can give someone else the hope they need on their journey with antidepressants!

** Added note to those that may wonder, I did NOT stop taking my antidepressants “cold turkey” (that is dangerous, don’t do it!).  I slowly weaned myself. I was taking a daily dose of 50mg, then went to 50mg on odd days and 25mg (half of a 50mg pill) on the even days and did this for a couple weeks, then I went to 25mg (half of a 50mg pill) every day and did this for a couple weeks, then I went to 25 mg (half of a 50mg pill) every other day for a little while, and finally I just quit.

*** What I shared here is not meant to be medical advise to anyone, it is merely my story.  You should consult your own physician or medical professional to help you make decisions that are appropriate for your situation.

June 2014 Recap

Here’s a recap of my progress and struggles for June 2014.  Overall it has been a good month.  I think I have a good momentum going and am enjoying the process.  I am also enjoying feeling healthier!!  My family is being encouraging each night when I take my walk as well as when I do my floor exercises (except the dogs who think I am on the floor to play with and pet them).  They are also patient with me when I can’t sit down with them at the start of a meal because I am weighing and measuring my food as well as when I sit at the table logging my food so that I don’t forget anything.  My sweet hubby, has even mentioned that he’s noticed that I am carrying myself differently (that I am standing straighter, walking taller).  I also feel very blessed by the encouragement I have received from all my friends.  Many, many thanks to all of you for making my journey that much nicer!!  :-)

So, here we go with the nitty gritty details (I still can’t believe I am sharing these facts on the internet for all to see)…  First, I am down a total of 5 lbs. for the month.  Here’s a summary of my measurements:

June 11, 2014   July 1, 2014    Net difference
Weight:                            217 lbs.         212 lbs.            -5 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″                    15″               none
Abs (at fullest point)   45.5″                  42″               – 3.5″
Waist                               44″                    43″               -1″
Hips                                 50.5″                 49″               -1.5″
Thigh                               27.5″                 27″               -0.5″

And here is my official picture for July 1, 2014:

I am the most amazed by the 3.5″ lost off my upper abdomen.  I know that I have been much more mindful of holding my abs in while walking (both just in general as well as when I am on my walks).  So, perhaps that is helping to tone up those muscles.  Also, my daily floor exercises focus on my core so that is likely helping as well.  I am going to keep working on this area because it is my biggest problem area in my opinion.  (I will feel a lot better in my clothes when this area is slimmed down!)

Things that appear to be working for me:
1.  As you may have read on my FB page, I have been eating more good protein, healthy fats and more veggies.  I have found that I feel better when I limit my carbs and sugars.  (I have also learned a lot about insulin and hormone-sensitive lipase, but I will share that in more detail later in a whole separate post.)
2.  I have been walking and exercising more.  Thanks to the MapMyWalk app on my phone, I have been logging all of my walking and exercising.  Since June 14th I have logged 21.25 miles walked (11 walks) and 2 hrs, 41 minutes of exercising (10 workouts).  Funny, I really do feel better since exercising more.  I never would have thought that.
3.  My sugar cravings are down.  It has been 5 weeks since I’ve had any pop/soda!  That is amazing for me!!  This has been a continual struggle for me; I was always craving sugar and pop.  I had a hard time making it through lunch time and the afternoon without a glass of pop (or two).  I have tried a variety of things in the past without success.  This time I did one thing differently:  each day I drink 1 ounce of Young Living’s Ningxia Red and take 2 drops of Ocotea essential oil.  The Ningxia Red is made from wolfberry puree from China’s Ningxia province as well as other super fruits and is good for a variety of health issues. (If you want to know more, click here. ) As far as the ocotea essential oil, it comes from a tree in Ecuador and is beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels.  (You can read more about it here, if you are interested.)  Can I prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these two things are what has cured my sugar addiction?  No, I most certainly cannot; but this is the only thing I have done differently regarding sugar and it seems to be working… and I am going to keep doing it!!

But, all isn’t rosy, there are still some things I struggle with:
1.  I have a hard time getting enough water.  I have tried a variety of things but I am still falling short of 107 oz. per day (that is half my body weight in ounces).  I know that I need more water, I am just having a hard time with it.  I’ll keep trying though!!
2.  The other day we had a family afternoon at the beach and on the way home we stopped for an ice cream cone.  I had a luscious scoop of double chocolate almond  (yum!), however, since then I am craving that ice cream; not all sweets, just this particular ice cream (there are other kinds in the freezer for the kids and I have no temptation for any of those  – go figure!).
3.  I need to work on finding local, affordable sources for grass-fed/pastured meat. I know that grocery-store meat is full of lots of hormones and other yuck that is not good for us, so I need to get better quality meat… that actually fits my budget.  I also need to commit to shopping more at the local farmers’ markets, especially for produce that is grown organically and not sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4.   I’m having a hard time getting to sleep at night.  I wonder if my nightly walk is too late in the day and my body is having a hard time settling in.  I need to do some research on this.

Well, that’s my update!!  I am making progress and that feels great!! Thanks again for all the wonderful encouragement; it means the world to me!!!

Stay healthy my friends…

Inquiring minds want to know: what am I doing to get healthier??? 

One question that has been asked is:  “It’s great that you are trying to get healthier, but what specifically are you DOING?”  So, here’s my current action plan and thought process:

1.  I am drinking more water; lots of water.  When I can, I add a couple drops of Young Living Essential Oils – usually lemon and/or lime, but grapefruit as well as orange are YUMMY too!!
2.  Along with drinking more water, I am drinking my water out of a glass (usually some kin of a fun jar) and a glass straw (great Michigan-made glass straws at www.Strawsome.com).  I don’t like the feel of stainless steel on my mouth (weird, I know), so I had to be creative.  I use a variety of canning jars and other jars with holes drilled in the lid for my straw.  I find that I drink more water when I use a straw.
3.  We are eliminating processed food from our diet.  For example, we no longer buying things like breaded chicken strips, poptarts, granola bars, etc.  Things that I haven’t been able to eliminate are macaroni and cheese, potato chips, hot dogs (although these are on the soon-to-be eliminated list), ice cream, etc. but we are working to clean up our diet as much as possible.
4.  We are making more things homemade – brownies, enchilada sauce, chicken broth/stock, ranch dressing (oh yum!), etc.  Homemade tastes so much better.
5.  We are not using aluminum foil or pans for anything!  Aluminum is so bad for our brain!  I find that I can use parchment paper in place of aluminum foil in most cases, and that my glass/pottery dishes work fine for baking instead of aluminum pans.
6.  We have eliminated chemical cleaners from our home!!  The toxins in chemical cleaners are the cause of so many health problems.  After being introduced to Norwex microfiber cloths (and their other products), it was much easier to eliminate spray cleaners.
7.  I have eliminated toxic personal care items – I no longer use shampoo, just baking soda and water.  I use a natural facial moisturizer and deodorant (still looking for the perfect combo for my skin though).  I use a castile soap blend for body wash and hand soap rather than the commercial soaps that are so full of nasty chemicals!!  bleh!  Oh, and I have also switched from regular toothpaste to Earthpaste (it is a clay based toothpaste and completely safe!).  I am still trying to get my family switched over to some of these things as well, but some of them are having a hard time accepting the natural products (they won’t have much choice when I just stop buying some of those things – LOL!).
8.  I am also eliminating plastic dishes from our food storage options!!  Just last night I bought a set of wide-mouth pint canning jars to store leftovers in.  I also have some bigger wide-mouth jars that I can use for larger quantities!!  This is super exciting for me as I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time but just found what I was looking for (a big shout out to Save-A-Lot for having these awesome jars).
9.  I am also using Young Living Essential Oils in place of a lot of commercial “medicines” that we once used.  I no longer need to buy pain relievers, allergy/cold/sinus meds, antibiotic “ouch cream”, itch cream, bug sprays, etc. as the essential oils have replaced all of those things for us!  I like that I am using completely natural items that have NO side effects or lingering effects!!

Well, I could keep going about some of the changes we have made, but these are the biggest ones.  I will share more as it fits in!

Until next time… stay healthy my friends!!  :-)