Clean Skin Routine

The past year I have simplified my skin care routine dramatically. When I decided to try something new, I was coming from a place of disappointment and frustration. I already wasn’t impressed on the chemicals I was using to address my skin care issues, and I felt like I was wasting money on so many products and systems. Sadly, many of our skin care products are filled with chemicals and toxic ingredients that can be harmful for our bodies. Here’s a look on my journey for a clean skin care routine.

Rewind about a year and a half ago. I was pregnant with our baby girl, and breaking out all the time. So “naturally” I turned to the grocery store, looking for a face wash that claimed to get rid of acne and promote clear skin. This was just a habit I had from my teen years when I dealt with acne so I thought it was the way to go. What I found was disappointment after disappointment.

On top of that, my skin was really dry. I found that any moisturizer I tried just left my skin feeling heavy and greasy, and I’d have to reapply the moisturizer just a couple hours later because dry spots would return to my skin. I never thought at 30 years old that I would have more skin issues than when I was 13 years old.

I continued to struggle with this even after Sarah was born. I was casually chatting with one of my sisters about it, and she mentioned that when she eliminated diary completely her acne cleared up. At this point I already wasn’t drinking milk, but decided to get rid of the cheese and yogurt too. I also added some doTERRA essential oils to my routine and ditched the typical store bought face wash.

My routine now looks like this:

*Wash my face with bar of soap (I’m not specific on this. Just any bar of soap where I know all the ingredients) once a day.

*Use (diluted) doTERRA Immortelle as my moisturizer twice a day.

*Limit my dairy intake. I still eat cheese occasionally, but instead of diary every day, it’s more like once a week.

That’s it y’all. Now I’ll go into more detail about the specific benefits of doTERRA Immortelle in my next post, but a few basic benefits are: anti-aging, fights blemishes, and combats age spots and wrinkles. It comes in a roller bottle, undiluted, but I get the most bang for my buck by diluting half of it and putting the other half in an empty roller bottle and dilute it as well. So it’s like getting 2 bottles of Immortelle for the price of one! I’ll be posting a YouTube video on this soon, so if you’d like to see the process be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: Amanda Gerber.

I highly encourage everyone to simplify their skin care routine. Even if you’re not struggling with acne or dry skin, I urge you to be aware of what you’re putting on your skin every day. When you start the process, just know that your skin may need to detox and it could take a few weeks for your skin to adjust, but your body will thank you in the long run.

I know everyone’s skin is different and responds to different things. I’d love to hear from you: How do you naturally care for your skin?

Essential Oils for Gardening: Pest Control

Confession Time: I had neglected my garden for a week, y’all. I didn’t water it, didn’t go out and give it any love for a week. When I came back to check on the progress, I found a few disappointing (but inevitable) issues. My cucumbers were not doing well. It looked totally dead, and it was covered in ants. My zucchinis were turning yellow and there were a LOT of squash bugs covering the plants. Surprisingly my tomatoes and bell peppers still looked vibrant. So, if you want to plant something hardy that doesn’t need a lot of attention, plant tomatoes and bell peppers. I knew I had to do something to address all these problems. The first thing I did was water the garden to bring some life back to it. Then I started doing some research on a natural alternative to pest control.

So, I did a quick Google search. “Essential oils for gardening pests.” Lots of results popped up. I scanned different searches and came up with a concoction based on what I had in my case. I grabbed an empty 8 ounce spray bottle and started filling it up with various doTERRA essential oils.

I went out and sprayed my garden, I used the whole bottle on my entire garden. I came back the next day pleasantly surprised. The squash bugs were completely gone and the ants in my cucumber bed had decreased. Ants are a pretty constant problem here in South Texas, so this wasn’t too surprising that they weren’t totally gone.

I’ve gone out this week and continued to lightly spray our plants every few days, and I am so pleased to have found a natural solution to my garden pest problem. Bonus: I’ve still seen ladybugs and bees happily flying about, so it still allows for the good bugs in your garden to do their thing. Are you ready for my recipe?

doTERRA Gardening Pest Control Spray

7 drops doTERRA Basil

7 drops doTERRA Eucalyptus

7 drops doTERRA Peppermint

Fill the remainder of your bottle with water.

Feel free to adjust this recipe based on your needs. If you’re seeing a lot of pests, you may want to add a few more drops of essential oil, or spray more often. You can also take additional measures of pest control, like planting marigolds or various herbs around your garden to deter pests.

I’d love to hear from you! How do you naturally provide your garden with pest control?

Simplify Food Choices: The End or the Beginning?

I had multiple people ask me why I gave myself a clean eating challenge. My main goal was and is this: for my health, and for my family’s health. I didn’t do it to lose weight or fit in a certain dress size. I didn’t do it with hopes to fit back in my pre-kids jeans (those days are long gone. A 30 year old who has had 4 kids does not need to be in a size 0 blue jeans). I did this for my health, and from there flowed different objectives I wanted to accomplish.

I wanted to be more mindful of what I put in my mouth. Many times I felt like a hypocrite (as I should) because I would deny my kids ice cream, but then bust out a pint when they went to bed. I noticed there were times I just drifted towards the pantry, not even because I was hungry, but just to see if something caught my eye… almost like I was treating food like entertainment. I realized I wanted to change my mindset about food: I want food to be enjoyable, but I also want it to serve a purpose. I want food to fuel and heal my body.

I wanted to create better habits. I mentioned in the beginning, so much of what goes in my mouth does so out of habit. What I also realized was so much of what I make is also habit. I’d like to think of myself as a pretty healthy person, but I have to admit I got a little lazy when it comes to preparing lunches. Most days when I pack my kids’ lunch it’s a peanut butter sandwich and a piece of fruit. Not terrible, but not amazing. I realized I need to work on lunch, and plan on buying a few containers that would be conducive for them to take veggies and hummus to school instead of relying on breads to fill them up. Please help! What are some of your favorite containers for your kid’s lunch box?

So, the results… Do I feel better? Sure, but I can’t say I notice a drastic difference. Now, this could be because I ate healthy about 70% of the time, or maybe I need to do this for 90 days or longer to notice a huge shift. But, I do feel better. It’s easier for me to wake up in the mornings (mostly) when my alarm goes off at 5:00AM (another habit I’m starting). I’m also pooping more. I go about twice a day without any effort, so that’s nice. I did lose about 4 pounds, also nice. I’m convinced I’m still addicted to sugar and bread because I still think about both often. Although, I don’t miss dairy… which is kind of funny because I used to tell myself I think I could easily go vegan if I didn’t have to give up cheese.  

What’s next for me in my food journey? I honestly am not sure. I’m doing more research, which mainly means watching a ton of YouTube videos (my favorites right now are Kris Carr and Dr. Axe which is kinda funny because they have 2 different views) and Netflix documentaries (Hungry for Change and Food Matters will rock your world) while I’m washing dishes and doing laundry. I do think I’ll be vegan one day. I’ve already made small steps in that direction, and I think that’s how it will happen: one small step after another instead of stopping all animal products cold turkey (I had to add that pun in there!).

Ok, I need some feedback while I’m still on the fence about where to go from here. What’s your food philosophy? Why did you choose your path?

Cooking with Essential Oils: Sweet & Salty Popcorn

I’m back! Thank you for your patience while I made some adjustments to my blog. I appreciate all the love and support you have shown. Now, let’s get to it!

Last week I went over to my friend Amy’s house and she served an amazing homemade popcorn. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Best of all: it is composed of all natural ingredients and made with essential oils for an extra dose of awesome.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup un-popped popcorn kernels (preferably organic & GMO free)
• ¼ cup butter
• ¼ cup pure maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup, go get the real deal!)
• 4-5 drops Protective blend essential oil
• Cinnamon powder and salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Place the kernels and a small amount of butter (a tablespoon or so) in a pan or pot with a lid, turn on medium high heat and get popping!
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and maple syrup and incorporate together.
3. Once the popcorn is popped, pour the butter and maple syrup mixture on top. Put the lid on and shake it really well to evenly coat.
4. Once coated, add a sprinkling of salt and cinnamon powder and enjoy!

Notes:
• When I was eating this popcorn, I kept thinking about Cracker Jacks, and thought, Next time I’ll add nuts! So if you love Cracker Jacks throw some peanuts or almonds in and you won’t regret it.
• The Protective blend consists of: wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oil. This blend is formulated to support your immune system, and is great to use on a daily basis. It tastes like a Thanksgiving day celebration!
• Any kettle corn lover is sure to inhale this popcorn, but a note of caution: pregnant women should use the Protective blend sparingly, so if you want to you can always leave it out for them.
• Again, I only trust one brand for internal use and to find out more information on the brand of essential oil I adore, you can email me at info@amandagerber.com.

Who’s making this popcorn for their next movie night?!?