Building a Community Through Oils

 

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If you are 'meeting' me here for the first time, you can catch up on some of what I am currently going through here, but this is a quick breakdown: I am a 29 year old Mama of two beautiful girls, a prenatal yoga teacher, doula and placenta encapsulation specialist. Life felt like it was going really well in business and in general until then I was suddenly diagnosed with acute meyloid leukemia in the beginning of this year. Treatment for my fast-acting cancer began immediately and my community rallied around me and my family. My husband was forced to stay home with our children and to become my caretaker, and we thanked the gods for our savings, because money would not be coming in. And that is what brings me to this blog.

Let me be honest with you... we have been living fully from our savings, and it is frightening. For reasons out of our control, we are ineligible for any kind of assistance or income. So there is that. My gratitude for our community and the ways the people around us have gifted us, blessed us and helped us is too big to put into words. This experience has shown me that we all truly do take care of each other. But I had a realization just a few days ago about a way that we can all help each other, and I like this idea a lot. Tell me what you think...

 

The first time I was introduced to essential oils was when my youngest baby was just a wee little diapered one. She had caught a bad cold and I was beside myself with young mom worry because I did not have any way to relieve her. I reached out for help and an acquaintance offered to bring me some essential oils, so I happily agreed and she drove them right over. I still remember the hope I felt when I saw the sandwich bag full of tiny bottles and a sheet of paper with instructions. She had included OnGuard, peppermint, lemon and lavender. I used oils on her feet and spine as directed and just a few hours later I saw a huge difference. She eventually drifted off to a happy sleep and I was amazed! Essential oils were a small part of my life in some way from that moment on.

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She is 5 years old now. Over the years after trying many brands of oils, I have settled on DoTERRA as the oils that give my family the best results. I had been propositioned many times by many different people to sell the oils, but I never felt any desire to do so, until one day a dear friend who I highly respect and adore mentioned that she was building her DoTerra team. I had a strong desire to join her because of who she is as a person, and I did! I decided to join her team on a budget (I will explain how I did that later in this post) and was really excited about the idea of building a team and utilizing the oils in my business... and then I found myself in the hospital.

Fast-forward to now, and we have accepted donations through our GoFundMe and my PayPal account from friends and strangers. But asking for help in that way is hard! I am so aware of the struggles and financial strain that all of us are living day-to-day and brings up conflicting feelings. I'm sure most of you can imagine what I am talking about. And then I wondered... what if I could receive and accept love and support from my community, while also providing my community with love and support? And I feel like I can do that through DoTerra! This would give me the opportunity to provide my family with some much-needed money (it does make the world go 'round, as they say), but also the peace in knowing that I would be sharing a gift that will benefit those who are taking part- whether they are purchasing oils and enjoying the plant medicine, or even creating their own side income by becoming a part of my team, it feels like a win-win.

So if you have been oil-curious, are already an essential oil lover or have a desire to explore the business aspect of DoTerra, or if you simply want to help me and my family while also getting something fun for yourself, here's your options~

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You can buy individual oils and products (if you didn't know, DoTerra also sells supplements and household items) really easily. Just go to my special link, and shop at home! The oils will be shipped to you, and I get a small commission from each one.

You can become a Wholesale Customer. If you do this, you do not sell oils, you simply benefit from the 25% wholesale discount, which is so worth it! Similar to buying a Costco membership, all you have to do is pay an annual fee. For your first year the fee is $35, and every year after that you can renew for $25 PLUS get a free peppermint essential oil for renewing. This is a great if you want to buy oils at your leisure, don't want to pay full price and have no interest in sharing them.

You can become a Wellness Advocate. One of my favorite things about signing up as a Wellness Advocate with me is that you will have access to some really great resources! I will be one of them, but my knowledge is limited to my own experience. Elena Brower is a yoga teacher and very knowledgeable oil lover, and because she is a part of the network of advocates that I am under, you get access to a private website where she shares all things oils. This resource alone is so exciting! You would simply sign up, pay the same annual fee as the wholesale customer, and both the wholesale customers and wellness advocates have the option of purchasing an enrollment kit at a hugely discounted price. Then from that moment on you can make money while sharing oils!

 

If you are feeling wary about signing up to sell essential oils because you have been told that you have to purchase oils monthly, let me clear the air. You do not. DoTerra has a loyalty rewards program that rewards you with points to use toward purchasing oils and products. If you make large monthly orders, it is a great program! But when I signed up as a wellness advocate, I knew I would not be making these large monthly orders and I decided to sign up on the cheap. If you want to help, sign up and enjoy doterra on a budget, here's what I did:

i. Sign up as a Wellness Advocate at my.doterra.com/jasminerosedoula and pay the $35 enrollment fee.

ii. Decide which oils you want or need the most, how much they cost, and weigh that cost against the enrollment kits. The enrollment kits are a GREAT deal! I highly recommend them because they are very discounted, IF you will use the oils in the kit. But if you find that you don't need half of the oils in the kit, you don't anticipate sampling them, and you want to save money, then you can spend your hard-earned money on only the single oils that you need.

iii. Skip the loyalty rewards program to avoid monthly orders 

And that's that! Make wellness fit into your lifestyle and budget. If you feel financially strained because of a purchase that is supposed to benefit your health... well, that's not very healthy.

You can follow my journey as I heal beyond cancer on Instagram @jasmine.rose.doula and if you have any questions about oils, doterra, how I use them in my life or any other topic, please feel free to comment below or get in touch with me at mommymeditates@gmail.com

 

((Donating blood, platelets and bone marrow are all easy things that you can do to save a life. If my story has touched you in any way, look into where you can donate locally, and think about becoming a bone marrow donor! The process is not as scary as it sounds.

You can donate to my family through our GoFundMe here

Visit DoTerra and purchase oils that will support me here))

 

 

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Intuitive Eating - my thoughts and experience

   I have something I want to share with you, because I am becoming more and more fascinated with my body's own process, and how different my diet looks than how I would have imagined if you had told me I'd be dealing with cancer at any moment before all of this. I believe that it is a true testament to listening to our wisdom, our intuition and our body at all times, but especially in times of great change.

   Way back in my other lifetime (or when I was 19 if you want to be less dramatic) when I was knee deep in my Natural Chef training, I was completely absorbed in what I was learning about cooking for and feeding people with cancer. Before applying for that training I had already been obsessed with the idea of food as medicine for treating cancer, and I soaked up the knowledge that was available to me at the time like an organic, Eco-friendly sponge.

   Fast-forward to now. Ten years later and I am actually staring in to my fridge, making the decision of what to put into my body that is dealing with cancer. Wow.

   The decision felt huge at first. Heavy. Crushing, really. What if I chose the wrong thing? Would cancer grow? Could I hope to irradiate this disease with my food choices? All of my training and reading and knowledge I have gathered over the years began to flood back to me, and surprisingly, not a lot of it resonated. There are foods that shrink tumors... I do not have any tumors. There are meals that I learned to make for patients who couldn't eat because of chemo sickness, but my appetite is fine. Nothing felt right. The information I had learned all of this time suddenly felt... just kind of wrong.

   That isn't to say that I threw all of my health-conscious ways out of the hospital window. I powerfully believe in the body's ability to heal itself, and I know that the fuel we put into the body plays a big part in that. Not just food, but what we watch, listen to, who we interact with on a day-to-day.. we are digesting all of it, and it can heal or hurt us.

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   To my great surprise, as I allowed myself to get quiet and make my food decisions from a centered and intuitive place, I didn't lean toward a cleansing, light and plant-filled diet like I would have imagined. You may have seen some of the same documentaries I have, so maybe you know what I mean. Green juices are delicious, but not something my body cries out for on the daily. Instead, I am gravitating toward these 4 things. Big time! And what I've found is that they are more on the grounding side.

All the fats, all the time!

It makes sense to me in some ways, but I'm still surprised by how often I am craving healthy fats, and how great I feel as I honor that desire. My favorites right now are coconut butter, avocados, coconut milk in the form of the delicious Rebbl drinks, and olive oil. Every single day, multiple times a day, I eat fats.

Processed food is a no go.

This seems like something to obviously cut out of any healthy diet, but I feel almost a repulsion to heavily processed foods. Tonight my kids and husband will be eating veggie hot dogs, and I can't think of anything that I'd like to eat less. The way I am honoring my body these days, is that if it isn't a 'hell yes', then it's a no, and processed and fried food is a big fat Hell No.

All the green food!

If it's green, I want it. I have suddenly become obsessed with matcha tea, anything with chlorophyll, green smoothies (heavy on the kale and spinach please!) and roasted broccoli. It just sounds so damn good! Most recently I bought a Matcha Latte from Kreation Juice in Pasadena, and it tasted like absolute heaven in a glass. The thing that is weird about this, is that I used to have to force myself to eat green food. I knew it was healthy for me, so I would make an effort, and it was a grand effort. I have never been a fan of salads and green smoothies were something I gulped down because I knew I wasn't going to eat anything else leafy or green for the rest of the day.

Collagen. (Don't hate me)

Lastly, this is something I hesitated to share, because I love our plant-based lifestyle. I am not a vegan, as I do eat eggs from my mom's backyard chickens on occasion, but my whole family is pretty damn close. Especially my husband and youngest daughter, who hate eggs. Collagen is decidedly not vegan, or even vegetarian, and it is having its moment in the spotlight these days. I was very drawn to collagen powders and had read about the possible healing effects this current superfood could have on leaky gut. Curious, I started to take a small amount every day. Soon, I noticed an improvement in my digestion and in my skin. An improvement in my skin was a huge deal, because chemotherapy had really done a number on the skin all over my body and I was struggling with painful peeling on the palms of my hands, flaky painful peeling on my face and dry skin on my cheeks that even the heaviest moisturizer couldn't do anything about. And now... all gone!

The way I drink this powder these days is by making a morning tonic of a packet of Four Sigmatic mushroom powder (I switch it up), collagen powder by Vital Proteins, a dollop of coconut butter, a little bit of raw honey to taste, and that's it! It's so easy, especially with one of these milk frothers to really mix it all up and incorporate the ingredients.

 

Every time I am going to feed my body, I do so with a lot of awareness and a lot of love. I am incredibly mindful of what feels good, and this is what has worked for me in these months while dealing with my diagnosis and finding healing. My hope in sharing this is that you will see, first of all, how sometimes when we follow our intuition it looks nothing like what we would have imagined! It might not even make a lot of sense to us intellectually, but let your higher self guide you and see what unfolds. If you are going through a difficult time, similar to mine or totally different, maybe some of what I am eating and using to heal my own body might help you. Maybe not! But in sharing I hope that it gives you a small nudge in the right direction for you.

Much love to you on your path!

xoxo

Where in the World is Jasmine? An Update...

   How much can change in a month? Nothing feels the same around here!

   The day after Easter I was expecting a phone call in the morning. It was the hematologist who was going to call with the results from my bone marrow biopsy and blood work.

   When my phone rang I was still sitting in bed, sipping tea. When I answered, the doctor immediately asked me if I was sitting down. Were my kids around? Was I home alone? Did I have support nearby?

   I didn't want to hear anymore after that. I wanted to hang up the phone and resume my normal life. The homechool plans I had for that week and the grocery shopping. I felt a cold sweat break out all over my body and waited for her to say what I now knew she was going to say. I had cancer. And I had to start treatment right away.

   The next few days were terrifying. My diagnosis was Acute Meyloid Leukemia- something I had never heard of before. I wasn't given much information at first except that it is a fast-acting cancer and I needed to have my butt in a hospital bed sooner than later. I couldn't look at my kids without the threat of tears. I looked at the wall and told them to pack a bag- they'd be going to grandma's for a few days.

   I had clients emailing me. Placentas to pick up for encapsulation, a podcast I was going to be interviewed for, potential business opportunities waiting on the sidelines. I didn't know what else to do besides awkwardly email everyone and let them know that I was going to be in the hospital. I didn't know when I'd be out.

   Everything felt surreal. Over the course of a few days I had more procedures and tests done than I had ever had in my entire life. I cried silently when I was told that my IV would be placed directly into my heart.

 

   It has been a little over 6 weeks since those first scary days, and a lot has changed. Externally I am minus 15 pounds and some hair. Internally I could have never anticipated the changes that are continuing to take place. I also could have never anticipated that many of the changes would feel so good! Cancer became my mirror and gave me nowhere to hide. I was forced to shed old habits and beliefs, stare my bullshit in the face and confront the things in my life that were no longer serving me or the people around me. It was an intense process, and one that continues to unfold.

   All of this to say, that if you've noticed my absence, had an email or message go unanswered, or have been curious as to my whereabouts... this is what has been going on! My treatment continues and I will be hospitalized for another extended period of time. I obviously won't be working for the next several months, and I'm already missing it terribly. But I hope to update my blog more often as I find a new sense of normal in all of this.

   If you are local to us, the meal train that has been set up by Phil and Sandrine from Inner Evolution Yoga has been such a blessing for my husband and kids. You can sign up for a day that works for you here.

   And if supporting us financially is available to you, I'm sure you can imagine what that means to us these days. You can donate to us here.

 

   After working through the initial fear of hearing "the C word", I've found myself in a good place. Somehow I've found peace (I'm sure yoga and my meditation practice has something to do with it) and a sense of calm as I navigate this phase of my life. You can follow me on Instagram (@jasmine.rose.doula) where I try to update as often as I'm able to!

Much love to all of you!

xoxo

 

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Recipe Share~ Steamed Cod or Tempeh and Veggies

This meal is great for your digestion, full of healthy protein and a wonderful dish for pregnancy and the postpartum period that the entire family will enjoy. This is a recipe adapted from my days at Bauman College Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Institute. Print this recipe out and give it to a friend or partner and have them make it for you, or put this together for someone in your tribe who is pregnant or just had a baby.

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One of my favorite things about this meal is that it contains dandelion greens. You can replace the dandelions with any leafy green, but I highly recommend giving the dandies a go! This underutilized green has so many health benefits. According to the Dr. Mercola website, "folk medicine claims the dandelion plant is a powerful healer, used to purify the blood, settle digestion and prevent piles and gall stones, among other maladies. The fact is the greens of the humble dandelion provide 535 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which may be the most important source of any other plant-based food to strengthen bones, but may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer's disease by limiting neuron damage in the brain." Vitamin K is also an important nutrient in the weeks leading up to giving birth for you and your baby.

 

Steamed Cod or Tempeh with Veggies Recipe

You can click here for a printable version of this recipe!

Everything You Need For A Minimilist & Natural Medicine Cabinet

   The first time my oldest baby got sick I had never felt so helpless. She was tiny and I was brand new at just about everything. I have always leaned toward natural remedies for myself, but when it came to my tiny baby sneezing and burning up with a fever the fear and helplessness was so strong that I was willing to do just about anything to take her pain away. I dosed her with the tylenol that the pediatrician had given me every few hours per the instructions I was given and waited...

   It hadn't occurred to me that I could actually feel empowered and take charge of my family's health. Especially with the pressure and judgement I felt from those around me, "natural remedies" felt a little too uncertain. Until one day I read that tylenol was actually terrible for growing baby brains, and many pediatricians were recommending that parents stop using it completely. And it made me think... why not try to treat my kids with things that have no side effects? Fear had thrown me off my "crunchy" path, but I realized I had missed the mark.

   Now I don't fear illnesses and we rarely get sick to begin with! But I remember the uncertainty and the fear, and it took me years to confidently build our home first-aid kit. So today I am sharing with you the things that I have found to be the most helpful and effective.

   Books

- NATURAL BABY AND CHILD CARE by Lauren Feder, MD

Simple but incredibly effective treatments such as the old-fashioned sounding "wet sock treatment", hot and cold compresses, and easy to understand home remedies are all laid out in this reference book and guide. It has been essential to my family.

- HERBAL FOR THE CHILDBEARING YEAR by Susan Weed

- HERBAL HEALING FOR WOMEN by Rosemary Gladstar

- HERBAL HEALING FOR MEN by Rosemary Gladstar

The Basics

- MUSLIN CLOTH for compresses

- HOT WATER BOTTLE is an underutilized and effective means of breaking up congestion and treating ailments during a cold or flu

- THERMOMETER for obvious reasons. But don't panic if a higher temperature arises! Fevers can be functional.

- BAND AIDS for the little boo-boo's that just won't stop hurting without a cartoon, colorful bandage

- GAUZE

- MEDICAL TAPE

- WITCH HAZEL

Kitchen Must-Have's

So many natural remedies can be found in the kitchen, and they work! Before you roll your eyes at me, keep these simple things stocked and try them the next time you catch some cooties.

- DESIGNATED BOWL FOR HOT/COLD WATER

- EMPTY GLASS JARS OF VARIOUS SIZES WITH LIDS for herbal decoctions, teas and infusions

- LEMONS speed up healing when ingested, and can be used in a wet sock treatment for fevers or fast recovery

- RAW HONEY

- CAROB is not commonly known as a treatment of illness, but it can be a fast-acting and safe treatment for diarrhea, which can be dangerous for small children because of dehydration

- ONIONS for compresses, fevers and killing bacteria in the air

- POTATOES for coughs and congestion when used as a compress

- GARLIC is an effective and natural antibiotic

- VARIOUS HERBS (see the herbal books for specific herbs to treat everything from fertility issues to headache)

Essential Oils

There is so much information on the internet about using essential oils, that I almost hesitate to try to add to it. They are potent and effective, and a major part of my arsenal.

- LAVENDER is so simple, but so full of uses, it would probably be the oil I would choose if I could only have one. Especially for small children, it can treat everything from cuts and scrapes to fever. Plus, you can't beat that smell.

- LEMON similar to using fresh lemon in a wet sock treatment to speed recovery, lemon essential oil can be used on the bottoms of the feet for faster healing

- PEPPERMINT is a must for nausea. I diffuse peppermint when anyone is feeling queasy and it perks us all up immediately

- ONGUARD is just pure magic. A little goes a long way and it has proven to me time and time again that this is a must for the medicine cabinet. I even used it to successfully treat my mastitis, along with the age-old trick of cabbage leaves in the bra.

To shop oils or sign up for your own wholesale account, you can visit here~

Homeopathic Remedies

I LOVE homeopathic remedies! But they can be a little bit more time-consuming. Meaning, the remedies are very specific, and require you to monitor symptoms carefully so you can choose the right remedy.

This kit is the one I purchased when my kids were little, and it was worth every single penny. It includes a booklet with dosing instructions so there is never any confusion, and the remedies work quickly. They are safe, natural, and they never expire.

Preventative

Part of living a healthy lifestyle is preventing your family from getting sick in the first place. I've had people actually ask me directly how I keep my kids so healthy. It is our daily life habits that keep the cooties away!

- THE FAMILY SMOOTHIE is an easy daily ritual where you can hide all of the crazy powders and foods that your kids normally wouldn't touch. Spirulina, powdered mushrooms, leafy greens, healthy fats and antioxident-packed berries are some of my favorite add-in's.

- PROBIOTICS for the whole family are a supportive daily ritual

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- SO. MUCH. WATER. I am always reminding my kids to drink more fresh water from our Berkey

- MUSHROOMS and mushrooms and more mushrooms. I am a huge fan of Four Sigmatic and their easy to use packets of various superfood mushrooms. I give my kids reishi and chaga mushrooms during cold and flu season

- ELDERBERRIES forever and for always. Depending on my schedule and my mood I toss back and forth between making my own syrup from scratch and buying elderberry sprays and syrups from the store, but we take this daily.

- HERBAL TEA is a daily occurrence in our house. Nettles, red raspberry leaf, chamomile, mint... tea doesn't just taste good, it is plant medicine and I love it

 

 

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