essential oils

3 Ways to Love On Your New Mom Bod & How to Drop the Baby Weight While You're At It

Oh the dreaded baby weight. You spend 9 months gaining the weight and 4 weeks after that precious bump appears in your arms, you’re looking in the mirror like, “Shouldn’t this fluff be gone by now!?” I know because I’ve been there. Actually, I’m there now.

I had my precious baby girl at home on Christmas Day and about a month into sweet motherhood, I found myself staring in the mirror wondering why all this nursing hadn’t eaten up the 30 pounds I gained. I swear someone said it would!?

They lied.

Post-BabyAloWellnessAnd the hardest part? Now that you’re a mama (of one, two, three or more), your time all of a sudden drops off the face of the earth.

Aren’t there 24 hours in a day?

Nope. Not after you have a baby.

Can I get an “amen”?

The struggle is real and if you’re a new or seasoned mama, you know the feeling. As a Nutritionist, I thought that getting back into the grind of meal prep and my usual fare (minus the added preggo carbs and such) would be a cinch and all would be well. I honestly thought the weight would fall off in the first few weeks and I’d be feelin’ like a million bucks in no time.

The reality, as many of you have experienced, is that taking care of a sweet little or young children takes a ton of energy, time, focus, etc., all of which we give willingly as our babes are our greatest treasures! This makes taking care of ourselves more challenging than ever. And that baby weight? Good night!

But, if there were ever a time in your life that you needed to take care of yourself, now is that time.

As mommies, we forget that taking care of ourselves is one of the best ways we can care for our families. And for a few reasons.

  • As a pillar of the family, everyone is watching and learning from you. What mama eats, how she talks about herself, how she looks at herself in the mirror, what she says, what she believes in, etc. Our kids are watching our every move (creepy, right!?) so our moves as mamas matter and can affect our children for the rest of their lives. Self-care is no exception to this.
  • It is hard work taking care of a family so if you are not taking care of yourself, your energy, focus, patience and overall wellbeing will be affected. When you feel like crap, often times you act like crap. Get it?
  • If you are like every other mom in the universe, you want to be around for your little ones for a long, long time, you want to feel good, you want to run and jump and play with your babes and even their babes (I know, I know. I’m getting ahead of myself on that one!). I find that most moms put themselves last thinking that they are doing the best for their family. But without you mom, life would be in shambles, let’s be honest.

3 ways to love on your new mom bod (and how to drop the baby weight while you're at it)...

1. Nourish that bod.

Question of the day. Do you want to get back to your pre-baby weight? “Um, duh!” you say? What you put in your mouth is key to dropping that baby weight, but keep in mind that every body is different. For me, doing Whole30 affected my milk supply in a bad way so doing something that strict is just not in cards for me right now. BUT! Keeping sugar off of my plate and focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods is definitely doable.

Elevated blood sugar and therefore insulin levels puts your body in storage mode rather than the desired fat burning mode. Take the time to nourish your amazing body with whole foods, making sure to include plenty of healthy fats and protein sources and making sure to avoid processed carbohydrates and junk food like chips, white bread, cookies, candy, soda, Frappuccino’s, etc. I'm not asking you to be perfect, I absolutely love to enjoy a homemade cinnamon roll or a grain-free chocolate chip cookie here and there, but the majority of your intake needs to be rich in nutrients and low in sugar.

Though you’d literally kill for a quadruple shot frilly Frap, these types of food items not only mess with your blood sugar, but can also have a negative affect on your gut health, hormones and cardiovascular system. Choose to reward yourself with non-food related goodies and fill up on whole foods.

After all, a healthy mama is a healthy family!

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2. Get your "me" time in with a detox bath.

What better way to reward yourself for all that hard mommy work than an hour of quite time, sipping on a big glass of champa…I mean, lemon water, while enjoying some much needed “me” time in a warm detox bath? Arrange for the hubs to hang with the babe(s) for an hour so you can get some much needed “mommy time”, at least once a week, where you can unplug and de-stress.

A detox bath is a great way to gently cleanse the body and just unwind from the busyness of the day. Emotions can often times be all over the place as a mommy so you can choose different essential oils based on the mood you are trying to achieve. Here’s how to make it happen: fill your tub with warm water, add 1 cup of Epson salt, ½ cup baking soda and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend (I absolutely love Balance and Serenity together and this combo helps to balance emotions and creates a calming affect naturally). Soak in the bath for 20 minutes. I know, I know. You’re welcome. [Details below on how to get the purest essential oils into your bath and wellness routine...I've got goodies to giveaway so scroll down!]

Detoxification is part of healthy weight loss. If your body has the opportunity to gently detoxify on a regular basis, it won’t need to store toxins in your adipose tissue (aka fat! Think of the fat cells like little jail cells for toxins!). When your fat cells are keeping your body safe from all these toxins, it doesn’t really want to let go of the fat. Give it a reason to by taking regular detox baths and exploring other gentle detox methods.

Breast feeding mamas...beware of detoxing...we don't want baby to get your junk. Gentle, everyday methods that encourage natural detoxification like dry brushing, rebounding, detox bathes, etc. are fine, but definitely stay away from intentional detoxification programs where you may be moving large amounts of toxins or heavy metals around your body.

3. Get out the house.

Get out of the house, even if baby is in tow. One thing I’ve heard from mamas who have suffered from post-partum depression is that getting out and about with other mamas or loved ones is a great way to help overcome some of those really difficult times. Figure out what brings joy to your heart, makes you laugh, gets you excited and do it! Often. And with others. By creating opportunities like this, you create a plethora of “happy chemicals” or neurotransmitters in the brain leading to more contentment and happiness in your life. When our neurotransmitters are stable, our mood, eating habits, blood sugar and so many more important aspects of life become balanced as well.

IMG_5736What are some ways that YOU love on that amazing mom-bod? What's helps you to feel nourished, rejuvenated and full of life? Please share!

xo,

Justine

Like what you see? Share the love! Then join our monthly mailing list here to receive tips for healthy living, real-food recipes and updates on Alo Wellness workshop + events!

Interested in working one-on-one with Justine? Check out the Alo Wellness Shop and all the ways she can help make real food and healthy living a reality in your life. 

Handmade Lavender + Lemon Essential Oil Candles

lavender + lemon essential oil candles One of the things I enjoy most about my field of work is the unexpected aspect of healthy and non-toxic living. Health and wellness is not just about what you put in your mouth or what foods you'd be better off avoiding, but also encompass what you put ON your body, the air you breath, the environment you dwell in, your stress levels and mental wellbeing. 

It has been quite a journey learning how to clean up my environment, switching to holistic and chemical-free beauty products, decreasing harsh chemicals in the air I breath, taking my thoughts captive to support my dreams and wellbeing and how I can inspire and educate others on how to do some of the same.

Because we only get one body.

And that body needs us to be an advocate for its wellbeing because sadly, the companies that are selling the many foods and products we consume each day are not. 

Don't freak out here. No need to go and spend $90 on a holistic facial toner or rose petal infused lotion. The beauty in non-toxic living is the simplicity of it. With a few base ingredients, some essential oils and a little heart, you can rock out just about any alternative to your current beauty regimen. 

This is an area I will begin incorporating on the blog because I feel that everyone who is anyone can benefit from it. We all use different beauty, house cleaning, air freshening, painting, [etc.] products so we can all stand to learn how to clean up our environmental toxins, why we need to for our health [and the health of our offspring] and how to begin incorporating clean, non-toxic living for everyday, real life. 

Awareness is key here. Ignorance may be bliss in the short term [maybe], but we know that the synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, artificial scents and colors, among others, can have serious effects on our health and if you're of childbearing age, the health of your future littles.

So, making a choice to live a non-toxic life has incredibly powerful effects on your health, both in the present and your many years ahead. That's pretty powerful, huh? 

Today I want to start this journey with a super simple recipe to make non-toxic candles. There are endless possibilities with these bad boys and I encourage you to have fun with this. You can change the essential oil combinations, the fruit or herbs you add to the candle, the size and shape of your jar and more.

 

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But first, why does it matter what candles you use? I'm not putting it on my skin or ingesting it, so how does a burning candle effect my health in any way? Ah, great questions my friend.

How Your Candles Can Be a Source of Toxins + What to Do About It

  • Aromatherapy candles often use paraffin, a petroleum byproduct which releases carcinogenic soot into the air when burned. This can aggravate those with asthma and allergies and those with other lung or heart problems. Burning a paraffin candle is like filling your home with diesel fuel and can be as dangerous as second-hand cigarette smoke. There can be numerous other toxic chemicals released from burning paraffin candles, many of which are found in other products like paint thinner, varnish removers and lacquer [that is some pretty harsh stuff!].
    • Look for vegetable based waxes like beeswax or soy which burn clean and do no release toxic compounds into the air you breath. Both options are great for making your own candles and can be found on Amazon. 
  • The American Lung Association says, "Refrain from using scented or slow-burning candles that have additives." The very reason most of us burn candles is to fill our homes with warm, sweet scents that remind us of baking cookies or being in our favorite spa, but these very smells we love an can be irritating to skin, lungs and eyes and can cause organ system toxicity.
    • Choose candles that are scented with essential oils or try your hand at making your own candles where you an use a variety of essential oil combinations that can actually work to purify the air with their antimicrobial properties. My favorite combo is lavender and lemon, obviously. See recipe below.
  • Toluene and benzene can be released into the air from the sooty residue of burning candles. The Environmental Working Group gives these two ingredients as 10 for their overall health concerns [based on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the worst]. Toluene is a potent neurotoxin and has been linked to toxicity of the immune system and blood cancers like malignant melanoma. No thanks.
    • Again, go for beeswax and soy candles that take pride in a non-toxic product or make your own! 
  • Candle wicks, especially from older candles, can be made with lead. A candle with a lead-core wick can release five-times more lead into the air than what is considered hazardous to children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air. Lead exposure is linked to hormone disruption, learning disabilities, behavioral problems and numerous other health problems. The good thing is that lead-core wicks were banned in 2003. There is an easy test to see if your wick contains lead- rub the wick on a piece of paper, if it makes pencil like marks, trash it. Also, you can use your fingers to separate the wick and look for a visible wire inside.
    • Look for wicks made of paper or cotton and have "lead-free" on the label.

For those individuals struggling to lose weight, I highly recommend starting to swap out your potentially toxic candles [and other beauty and cleaning products] as these chemicals and other compounds can accumulate in adipose [fat] tissue. This makes your body pretty apprehensive to let go of the weight, after all, those fat cells are protecting you from the dangers of those nasty chemicals! [Check out the Get at the Roots Program to learn how you can address this issue and many more that may be keeping you from releasing the weight for good!]

Candles are not the only ways to release warm, sweet scents into the air. Try some of the below tips to help bring clean scents to your home.

3 Tips to Scent Your World Without Candles:

  • Diffuser or nebulizer- use either to bring not only the wonderful scents of your favorite essential oils, but also the incredible benefits they harness.
  • Take a warm bath with Epsom salt and lavender, ylang ylang or geranium essential oils. If you do not have a whole house water filter, I would recommend purchasing a Crystal Ball Bath Dechlorinator to eliminate some of the chlorine from your water prior to you soaking.
  • Rub essential oils behind your ears, on your temples or on the bottoms of your feet to help relax or invigorate, whatever you're looking to feel. Make sure you choose pure oils and use a carrier oil for babies and children.

 

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Ok, now for the good stuff! I love these candles and I have them burning around our home. The first time I made them I couldn't smell anything so I made sure to add quite a bit more oil the next time around. You can adjust the oil combinations to your liking, skies the limit!

 

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Questions about essential oils or other whole food supplements? Please contact Justine Campbell, RD, NTP to learn more about the science behind these awesome compounds and how to make them part of your non-toxic medicine cabinet. 

Interested in working one-on-one with Justine? Check out our Shop and all the ways she can help make real food and healthy living a reality in your life. 

Like what you see? Share the love! Then join our monthly mailing list here to receive tips for healthy living, real-food recipes and updates on Alo Wellness workshop + events!