Haters gonna hate.

The phrase may be a cliché, but most clichés are overused for a reason: they’re true. Haters are always going to be waiting on the sidelines with their arms cocked, ready to throw their 2 cents in your face whether you asked for it or not. If you’re going to embark on an adventure that goes against the grain or isn’t quite traditional, naysayers are an unfortunate part of the package.

I learned that lesson very quickly when I began this journey. I’ve had a passion for fitness and health my entire life. When I turned my attention towards living a toxin-free lifestyle and decided to build a business around it, I received a surprising amount of push-back from those around me. It came in the form of backhanded compliments and “curiosity” but what I heard more often than not was negativity and closed-mindedness.


“When did you become such a hippie?”

“Everything causes cancer nowadays, why bother?”

“You’re going to die eventually, just eat and do what you want!”

“I don’t think this business with be anything but a hobby for you.”

“Do you really expect it to support you?”


 

In the beginning, hearing these things stung. I wasn’t sure how to respond in a way that would express my passion for what I was doing. With time, something changed within myself. I started to see what my family’s future will be like if I stay true to my dreams. It’s beautiful. And it’s achievable. With that clear vision my posture changed, too. When I hear these things now, I can smile and respond with confidence. I’m able to stand tall knowing who I am and that what I’m doing matters.

Everyone should be able to live their dream, no matter what that means. Settling for anything less is a waste of what you were put on this earth to do. So, I’m going to put my whole heart into my passion and run towards my goals. The people that are meant to be on this journey with me be there running with me. I’ve seen first hand that this business fosters relationships and brings wonderful people together. I’ve found my tribe and I’m sticking with them.

And as for everyone’s 2 cents? I’m pocketing it and taking it to the bank. (;

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http://essentiallybrie.foundyourtribe.com/index.html

Super Foods = A Super Life

Let’s talk nutrition today! I know for me personally, getting my body what it needs to function like the well oiled machine it was destined to be is not the easiest task. I’m busy, so the temptation to grab foods that are quick and not particularly nutritious is most definitely there. Every time I have a really healthy day, I find myself saying, “I feel so GOOD today. I won’t ever go back to eating the way I was before.” And then I inevitably get busy and find myself grabbing a processed granola bar for breakfast to eat in the car instead of taking the time to grab something with actual nutrition in it.

Everyone has heard somewhere that we need antioxidants to stay healthy, right? Okay, good. Antioxidants are found in fruits and veggies and are used by your body to protect against free radicals that are encountered in your daily life through foods, some medications, and pollutants. Free radicals are not something that you want an army of running around your body, as they tend to wreak a little bit of havoc on your cells. It has been found that high amounts of free radicals can cause cell damage and can be linked to a host of health problems. No bueno, my friends.

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No one likes a bully.

The daily minimum amount of antioxidants required by our bodies just to stay out of oxidative debt is 8,000-11,000 units. Most people don’t even come close to that amount from eating foods alone. Some turn to supplements to bridge the gap, but man-made nutrients can never offer the same benefits as the ones the earth makes for you naturally.

I’m sure you can guess that a granola bar (even if I buy the organic kind) is not offering me the wealth of antioxidants and nutrition that I need to start my day and help out my poor little cells as they battle free radicals for me. As much as I want to tell you that I’ve completely made a change and only eat nutritious foods, I’m not a very good liar. I do my best, but I don’t always get what I should every day.

Until I discovered my new best friend, that is. Enter Ningxia Red to save the day!

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I swear each bottle should come with its own superhero cape.

Ningxia Red comes from a natural source to help supplement your whole body with antioxidants. It is made from wolfberries, a special type of goji berry grown in China. These little berries pack a BIG nutrition filled punch and offer a host of health benefits. Ningxia is made with wolf berries, blueberries, pomegranates, cherries, and a combination of citrus oils to create a yummy, free radical killing badass of a drink.

One ounce of Ningxia red gives you the nutritional power of 100 oranges, 814 blueberries, 22 carrots, 10 pounds of spinach, 59 broccoli florets, 73 strawberries, and 93 apples. Giving you 3,472 units of antioxidants in ONE OUNCE. Take that, granola bar.

Since I added Ningxia Red into my daily routine about 6 months ago I’ve noticed an increase in my energy as well as an improvement in my skin, hair, and nails. And it’s easy. I can take 3 seconds to toss an ounce back on my way out the door no matter how much of a rush I’m in.

Clearly I’m amped up about this stuff, but I really feel like I’m giving myself a gift every morning. And the best part?  I don’t need my 3 coffees a day anymore to survive my hectic schedule, meaning I’m saving money by taking Ningxia. One ounce a day breaks down to about $1.07/day, saving me tons of money and time spent in a drive through line every week.

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I’m just gonna leave this here…

It seems like a win-win, huh? If you’re ready to give yourself this gift and fulfill your body’s destiny to be an ass-kicking, healthy, energy filled machine: Reach out. One conversation could change everything. Check out my website, leave your contact info, and let’s get this conversation started!

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Sources:

https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/ningxia-red

http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/12/04/how-to-get-enough-antioxidants-each-day/

http://www.ningxiawolfberry.net

 

 

The great deodorant experiment

 

I have been on the search for years to find an all natural deodorant that actually works. YEARS. I’ve tried every brand under the sun, made my own, and used some adventurous alternatives to save my armpits from the yucky chemicals in traditional options. I’ve had my armpits peel (literally) from a store brand, burned my armpits with too much baking soda in a DIY attempt gone wrong, and I’m sure I’ve spent a few days smelling less than flowery. I’ve rolled, scooped, swiped, sprayed, and brushed so much weird stuff onto my pits in the past few years I feel more than qualified to call myself a non-official armpit expert (ah, such an honor).

**I’m not going to be citing any sources in this post because it has come from a collection of information that I’ve gathered over the years and I didn’t reference any specific sources as I write today. I encourage you to do your own research and confirm what I’m saying however! 

So, let’s first talk about why I am so not okay with going to the store and grabbing ANY of the many deodorant options available on the shelf. Deodorants in the store are “antiperspirants”. This means that they are supposed to stop you from sweating. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t want that to happen. Before you start shaking your head in disgust, hang with me for a minute. Your skin is the body’s biggest organ of elimination and is used to rid your body of toxins and help maintain internal temperatures. Putting chemicals on your skin to stop that elimination just keeps all of those toxins and balancing properties stuck inside your body. Have you ever noticed that after a while of using the same brand of antiperspirant it becomes less effective? That’s because your poor body is kicking and screaming to adapt so that it can eliminate the toxins through the pores that we keep clogging up every morning. So, there’s that to think about.

And then there are the ingredients. Oh my gahhhhhhhhd. The things that pass for safe in this world are truly scary. Let’s first talk about the most popular and publicized bad guy: Aluminum. Aluminum is what makes a deodorant an antiperspirant by creating a temporary blockage in your pores. This lovely little ingredient has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. The research on this is somewhat sparse, but it’s there. The other key ingredients include parabens , propleyene glycol, TEA & DEA, and a host of synthetic colors and fragrances. Bad, bad, bad.


Now that that is out of the way, on to the fun part! Below I ranked some different kinds of all-natural deodorants from worst to best based on smell, longevity, texture, and overall effectiveness.

tisserand-tea-tree-plus-a-unique-blend-from-the-tea-tree-experts-deodorant-35-ml-roll-onTisserand Tea Tree: This one just sucks. I rolled it on and ended up with sopping wet armpits that got all over my clothes, and then it basically just absorbed into my skin as soon as it dried. It’s advertised as 24-hour protection, which is just not true at all. I literally felt like I smelled seconds after putting it on. Boooo.

 

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Tom’s of Maine: This was the brand that I used in high school and was a huge fan of! A few years ago they released their “long lasting” formula and things went downhill. I’m not sure exactly what they added to make it last longer, but it lead to my armpits peeling, burning, and overall being very uncomfortable. I tried the teen version recently and had the same effect after a few days. I’ve done some research and it seems that many people have this issue with the new formula. Womp, womp.

 

DIY-DEODORANT-STICKHomemade: Try as I might, I haven’t successfully made a DIY version that I’ve liked yet. I’ve tried a few different recipes but haven’t found one that has made the time and effort worth it. It seems to always come out too hard, making it really difficult to rub on, or too soft which leads to a mess. The upside here is that you can use some of your favorite essential oils to personalize the smell. If anyone has a recipe that they love, please share!

 

jason_deodorant_sticks_083.jpgJason: I’ve tried a couple different scents of this brand and have had varied success. Although they all smell really yummy, some of the scents just don’t cut it. My personal favorite smell was the tea tree. When using this one I made sure it came with me in my bag so I could reapply a few times, but I never felt like I smelled which is always a plus! It doesn’t leave much residue and didn’t leave any marks on my clothes either. I always have one in my backpack and car for a quick freshener when I need it.

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Young Living Thieves Toothpaste: So this isn’t exactly a deodorant per say, but someone recommended that I try it at a YL event and I laughed. But then a few weeks later I was out of deodorant and had no choice but to glop some of it on one morning before the gym and was pleasantly surprise. Besides the fact that I admittedly smelled like toothpaste, it lasted for HOURS. It was a little goopy (I mean, it’s toothpaste), but if you’re looking for a multi-tasker, this is your guy!

 

290542Young Living Deodorant: This brand seemed to last a little bit longer than the other options, so that definitely is a plus. This one gives the feel of a traditional deodorant more than the others which is nice, however it is a little bit on the solid side so I felt like I needed to work to get it enough on. It only comes in two scents that aren’t designated as for males or females, but I noticed that one of them does have a much more traditionally masculine scent than the other. They both smell good though!

 

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EO Spray: This is the most recent brand that I’ve tried and I’m really happy with it so far! It spritzes on, and therefore doesn’t leave any marks. It has a strong, clean smell to it that lasted for longer than I anticipated. And it’s USDA Organic. I did have to re-apply around midday, but that is the case for most all natural options that I’ve tried.

 


 

The verdict? There are a TON of options. I’ve had the best success using the Young Living and EO brands, but everyone’s body is different. One thing that you need to keep in mind when you switch is that you may actually sweat more than you would normally as your body detoxes from years of being blocked up. So don’t panic and run back to the chemicals, it definitely gets better. You will need to reapply at some point in the day, that’s also okay. It’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to this kind of thing. Luckily, all of the options I’ve tried have been very affordable which means I have no problem grabbing a few and stashing them in places for a quick reapplication.

The search for the perfect all-natural deodorant continues, but I encourage you all to make the switch and try for yourselves! It’s an easy change to make and your body will thank you!

Just be sure you keep someone around to let you know if start to get stinky just in case. (;

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March is for fresh starts

One thing that I’ve really learned from building a business in network marketing is that each month is a completely fresh start. Even the top 0.00001% in the company get stripped of their title each month and everyone starts again from the bottom together. It’s exciting to know that on the 1st, I’m right there next to some of the biggest superstars in my company. Not everyone thrives on this like I do, but to me there’s something really humbling about seeing whatever rank that I worked for the month before be reset back to zero on the first of each month. I think it’s the anticipation of what could happen over the next 30 days that really gets me so excited. I love to check my anticipated volume on the first day of a month, and then watch myself fly past it as the days go on. Okay, so maybe I’m a little competitive. It’s not a bad thing in this business, trust me. Good things come to those who hustle.

The great thing about the start of a month is that it can be a fresh start for everything in your life. If you messed up your diet, failed to clean your house all month, or didn’t touch your daily step-goal one time in February it DOESN’T MATTER.  It really doesn’t. March is here to save the day, with its crisp clean calendar boxes waiting to be filled with your future successes.

Last month I broke through a goal I’ve been working for in my Young Living business for 3 months: Breaking the 1K mark in my organization. It’s not the most massive of milestones, but one that needs to be tread over regardless as I climb to the top. I was excited, because I passed the 1K point on midnight last night as my last mostly order processed.

And when I woke up this morning, I got the opportunity to be back to zero and try to do it again. How awesome is that?! I get to take that excitement of knowing that I CAN do this, and start March off with the confidence and conviction to not only crush that goal again, but also set my sights on my next goal: The big 2K.

I hope that when struggling and hustling to hit these milestones are a distant memory that I can still find the same joy in starting over again each month. There aren’t many times in life that you get to start fresh, and I plan to enjoy this feeling of turning a blank page each month for the rest of my life. If I have something to thank Young Living for, it’s the gift of fresh starts.

March is such a big month. Not only does it have 31 days worth of room to grow, but it also marks the turning point of the year. The start of a new season can offer so much motivation and promise of change that it’s silly not to take the push the universe is giving us and run with it. So please excuse me while I do just that.

I have some BIG things planned for March in order to make my goal happen. And it is going to happen. Stay tuned!

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Choosing “Balance”

Now that we’re a few months into 2017, it’s safe to reflect back on 2016 with the eyes of an outsider and really be critical of how the year went. Are you happy with how you spent 2016? Do you feel content? Or do you wish you could go back and tell yourself to get your crap together and accomplish more? It’s okay if you have regrets…. it’s NOT okay to spend 2017 doing the same things so when you look back this time next year, those same regrets are still weighing you down. It’s time for some tough love here my friends. We may still have 10 months left of this year, but 2 have already slipped through our fingers while we complained about the snow and wished for summer.

I recently was introduced to the concept of picking a “word of the year”. This practice encourages you to pick a word that resonates with your goals, ambitions, and hopes for the year ahead. It is used to help guide you as you navigate through the next 365 days. This is my first year doing this, so it’s going to be as much of an experiment for me as it is for you.


Here’s what I was told as advice to picking my word:

  • Think about how you want to feel.
  • Use your intuition.. Does a certain word come to mind immediately? That might be it.
  • Choose a word that can be applied to all areas of your life.
  • It can be ANYTHING. If it feels right, it is.

 

I entered this year wanting to feel refreshed and rejuvenated…but really just felt tired. The past few years have drained me in every conceivable way. I moved out on my own for the first time. I lost two jobs because of my school schedule. My part-time night graduate program turned out to be a full time job on its own. My boyfriend and I worked opposite schedules and only saw each other to sleep. We struggled financially. I lost loved ones, both to distance and death. My dog broke his leg and the subsequent surgeries to save his leg put us in debt. It was just a lot, all the time. My retrospective word for 2015 is “rough”. The same goes for 2016. I don’t want my 2017 to be defined in the same way. Actually, I freaking REFUSE to let that happen.

I’d be willing to bet that you can guess what my word for 2017 is….

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Every decision and action that I take this year is going to be in an effort to find balance in my life. Without balance, the plates that I have spinning are going to continue to wobble until they eventually crash down around me. As someone who’s spent some time with a glue gun in the past, trust me that it’s much harder to glue back the broken pieces and get them spinning again than it is to keep them up in the air.

So in 2017 I’m going to find balance. I’ve already made a few changes to find it. School is not my primary occupation anymore, because it shouldn’t be all consuming. I’m doing more of what I love each day. I’m practicing self-care.  I’m looking for balance in my body.  I’m reading for the benefit of my personal growth. I’m trying.

So far, the plates are still wobbling. But I’m feeling much more steady on my feet as I watch them spin.

What’s your word for 2017? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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Take a break already, would ya?!

We spend SO much of our days doing things that we don’t want to do. We work, we exercise, we clean, we run errands, we take care of our families, we cook, we study. The list goes on and on and on. The world is full of people sprinting full speed through their day, just trying to get to the moment where they can crash into bed exhausted.  If you’re like most of the 20-,30-,40- somethings in our world today I’m sure you can relate to this on most days.

But, why? Isn’t that just so silly?  At this moment, I’m willing to bet that you’re probably sitting somewhere reading this, feeling guilty because you “should” be doing x,y, and z. Or maybe you’re on break at work, trying to frantically eat, scroll through your phone, and prepare for a meeting all at the same time. And you’re thinking that I’m ridiculous for even saying this because of course x, y, and z needs to happen and it’s unrealistic to think of doing anything differently because there’s just not enough time in the day.

Woof. My train of thought actually got a little frantic and shriek-y as I typed that out because it seriously hits way too close to home. I promise I’m not sitting on a high horse as I write this. Most days I’m right there with everyone, lacing up my running shoes and death gripping my to-do list like it’s my lifeline. (Translation: trying to keep my shit together until I get to be home to stress cry about what I didn’t make it to on my list and finally sleep.)

I’m going to get deep with you guys for a minute here. I used to take pride in not caring for myself. I’d brag; ” I only slept 3 hours last night. Ugh!” or, “I’ve been living on caffeine for days!”  or even, “Oh my gosh, I literally haven’t had anything with actual nutrition in it all week.” Because it’s normal, no, expected that you be exhausted, drained, and pulled in so many directions that your health actually suffers. I felt validated and worthy the more tired, stressed, and overwhelmed I was. It really does seem ridiculous when you see it in writing like that, doesn’t it?

Enter the concept of self-care.  It might be something that you practice every day or it might just be a word you see “trendy” people throwing around on Facebook. If you fall into the later category, you’ve come to the right place my friend.

It’s pretty easy when you break it down: Self-care is a necessary function of human life in order to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Simply put, people who practice regular self-care are happier. And yet for some people, the idea of self-care is like a unicorn. Beautiful, but not real.

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about how to get you to become one of those mythical Facebook friends who dare to talk about the fact that they take time for themselves each day. It’s time that people who practice self-care come out of hiding and be proud of the fact that they prioritize themselves. If you don’t do it, I promise you that you’ll have a hard time finding others who prioritize you either.

Everyone is busy, I get it. I’m personally writing this at 9PM after working all day because I didn’t have time to get to it earlier. But with that said, I won’t still be sitting here at midnight editing my grammar so that it’s perfect to post tomorrow. No one will notice if I post it an hour later than normal tomorrow, and I’ll be happier all day tomorrow because I’ll have gotten enough sleep to conquer my day. Self-care my friends. Self-care.

My point is it doesn’t have to take hours to give yourself a little love. Eat a salad at lunch instead of a burger. Take a walk on your lunch instead of working through. Listen to an audio book you’ve been meaning to read while you drive home. Put your phone on airplane mode for an hour. Take a bath. Meditate. Take your pups for a nice walk. Paint your toes. Be grateful. This list can go on and on and on too.

You deserve self-care. You are worth it. So take a damn break already, would ya?!

 

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Stress, Stress, Go Away…

…Come again…well never actually. Just go the hell away.

Life can be so stressful sometimes. Trying to balance family, friends, work, school, and taking care of yourself isn’t easy. And guess what? There will always be something waiting to throw a monkey wrench at your delicate balancing act right when you think you’ve got it down to a science. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s just life.

Being in grad school, my work-life-rest balance is looks more like work-work-collapse into bed at night. I’m a fairly stressed out person just like sitting in a chair, so I’m sure you can imagine that I can get a little bit unhinged when extra stressful things happen.

Did you know that stress is known as the “silent killer”? It literally changes your body on a neuro-chemical level. Stress can be linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, infertility, hair loss, premature aging, acne, weight gain, headaches, and reduced libido. Who wants all of that garbage in their life? I’m going to go ahead and assume that the answer to that is no one.

One of my favorite stress-busting tools is my StressAway essential oil blend. Just opening the bottle and breathing it in helps me to take a mental pause and breathe. Ahhhhhhhhh.

There are SO many ways to use this handy little bottle to reap the benefits and find some zen throughout your day. We’ve talked about how EO’s are multi-taskers and StressAway is no different (catch up here). I put a roller top on my bottle so that it’s ready to go in a pinch. My favorite places to put the oil is on my neck, ears, wrists, and elbows when I’m feeling stressed. I put a few drops into my water for a yummy burst to my hydration. I diffuse it while I’m doing homework and paying my bills.

I’ve found that if I study with StressAway on, and then put it on while taking a test I’m able to stay more relaxed and recall the information that I studied more easily. I’m not going to go into the science of that right now, but if you’re interested this is a cool little article that talks about your olfactory system and recalling memories.

I’m really hoping that once you know the facts and give StressAway a try, you’ll be happily diffusing it and recommending it to all of your stress-monkey friends before I can say “copiaba”.


So what’s in this little bottle of magic?

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StressAway is a blend of lime, copiaba, vanilla, cedarwood, ocotea, and lavender essential oils. These oils each offer specific benefits to help support your body’s respond to stress more efficiently. How you may ask?

  • Lime encourages mental clarity.
  • Copiaba historically is used to aide digestion and also helps the body to respond naturally to injury & irritation.
  • Vanilla offers a calming aroma and taste.
  • Cedarwood‘s woody aroma encourages relaxation.
  • Ocotea has high levels of alpha humulene, a naturally occurring compound that can help the body respond to irritation & injury.
  • Lavender is universally known as a calming element. It is an adaptogen, which can help to assist the body adapt to stress.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


 

My school friends and I joke that we all wish we could take a bath in this stuff. Little do they know I’m not really joking. (;

Until next time,

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