Self Care Series: Sleep

I’m sure many of us have heard this before: You need to take better care of yourself. This may sound surprising considering my passion is health and wellness, but it was something that was coming up a lot for me lately. I was still providing my body with good foods, quality essential oils, and amazing supplements, but there were some key elements I was missing. I am just a few weeks into this, and I already feel a difference. So, I decided to share my personal experience with y’all, and start a self care series.

Today’s focus will be on sleep. Sleep has always been something I could easily sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean I should! When I was 12 years old I developed insomnia for over a year, so I was normally running on 2 or 3 hours a night. In high school and college pulling “all nighters” to study for exams or finish writing essays was the norm for me. Once motherhood came along, a lack of sleep had just become a part of life. I would throw phrases around, like Sleep when you’re dead… Sleep is for the weak… 10:00PM – 1:00AM are my office hours. I normally would stay up super late, and then just crash at midnight or 1:00AM. Y’all, my kids are up at 6:00AM, and 5 hours is NOT enough sleep for this 31 year old mama. I may have been able to function on that 10 years ago, but that is just not the case anymore.

Eventually, your body will show signs of wear and tear. (And please here me out on this, all you achievement driven people like myself: THIS IS NOT A WEAKNESS. Good grief, when did I start believing if I got 8 hours of sleep I wasn’t being productive enough? What a load of crap! Our bodies were designed to sleep for 8 hours a day.) If you are looking for a natural solution to help your body get a good night’s sleep, try using doTERRA’s Serenity (Restful Blend) products. You can find them at mydoterra.com/amandagerber.

Are you wondering what a lack of sleep actually does to your body? Well, let me tell ya:

  • Brain Fog & Memory Retention: When we sleep, we are giving our mind a rest. Just like our muscles need to rest overtime, so does our brain. If we aren’t giving our brain enough time to rest, then metal fatigue and brain fog sets in. You can also become forgetful, and your short term memory may suffer. For additional support, consider dropping 1 drop of doTERRA’s Frankincense under your tongue to promote a optimal brain health.
  • Weight Issues: If you’re someone who is trying to lose weight, then you definitely need a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that an inadequate amount of sleep can prohibit your body from shedding pounds. For additional support, consider using doTERRA’s Slim & Sassy products to support a healthy blood sugar and metabolism.
  • Aging: Too little sleep can increase signs of aging. This can include fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and circles under your eyes. Many times, what is happening on our skin is the reflection of what’s happening internally as well. For additional support, use doTERRA’s Immortelle (Anti-Aging Blend) to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Emotional Suffering: If you’re not getting enough sleep for your body, then you will probably be quick tempered, moody, or suffer from mood swings. Now your lack of sleep is affecting everyone around you, especially your family. For additional support, try out some of doTERRA’s blends of oils that support your mood and emotions: Peace, Balance, Elevation, or Cheer.
  • Weakened Immune System: A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, and make you more likely to catch various colds, or viruses that are in your area. For additional support, use doTERRA’s OnGuard (Protective Blend) and Melaleuca to support a healthy immune system.

I decided recently to make a change. I recognized how my lack of sleep was affecting not just me, but my family as well. So, I decided to get 8 hours of sleep a night. For the most part, I have been sticking with it. Have I noticed a drastic change? No, but nothing ever happens overnight. (See what I did there?) Plus, I was already feeling pretty good, so this is something I’m implementing for the long term benefits. Although, I have been noticing I am able to stay on task more without being distracted, so I am enjoying that!

Bonus from ME!

For those of you curious about the doTERRA essential oils I mentioned, here is what I am offering when you choose to start your doTERRA journey with me (and this month only doTERRA is throwing in $50 in FREE essential oils with any starter kit!):

•Welcome gift (personalized roller bottles, recipes, and other oily goodies)

•Private access to my team’s Facebook group (a wealth of oil knowledge)

•Free Wellness Consultation (a chance to really dive deep into your health goals)

•Continued Support (to answer your questions in real time from a real person— ME!)

Simply go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber and click “Join & Save” to get started.

Which one of these promos are you taking advantage of this month? Share below in the comments!

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.

I wanna know! How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

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doTERRA’s Mother’s Day Collection

Ok friends, I am going to real with y’all: I am putting this blog post together way last minute. I almost didn’t write it, but this deal is too good not to share. So, just a heads up: this will be quick and to the point!

So, doTERRA has released their limited time Mother’s Day item this year, and I love it! It’s called, Harmony: Aroma Handcraft Collection. It features three rare essential oils: Green Mandarin, Pink Pepper, and Star Anise. It also includes 2 empty roller bottles, 10 pipettes, and a recipe booklet with write on labels. Look how cute it is!  Get yours before it sells out.

Green Mandarin essential oil is distilled from just that: green (unripened) mandarins! It can be taken aromatically, topically, and internally. It can help soothe the nervous system, promote healthy immune function, and is known for its cleansing abilities. It has a sweet citrus aroma that can be diffused for an mood or energy uplifting boost.

Pink Pepper essential oil can be used aromatically, topically, and internally. Its known for supporting a healthy metabolism and immune system when taken internally. It can also calm the nervous system, and promote healthy cellular function.

Star Anise essential oil has sweet and spicy aroma. It can help promote feelings or relaxation and support a healthy digestive system when taken internally. You can use this oil internally, topically, and aromatically as well. Star Anise can also promote a healthy cardiovascular  and immune system.

Y’all, don’t these oils sound amazing? I just ordered mine today, and I can’t wait to try them out. You can order yours at mydoterra.com/amandagerber and click “Special Offers” to see the kit. If you are currently not working with a doTERA Wellness Advocate, and would like some help ordering and getting education on doTERRA’s products, I would love to help!

Bonus from ME!

Just to sweeten the deal, here is what I have to offer when you choose to start your doTERRA journey with me:

•Welcome gift (personalized roller bottles, recipes, and other oily goodies)

•Private access to my team’s Facebook group (a wealth of oil knowledge)

•Free Wellness Consultation (a chance to really dive deep into your health goals)

•Continued Support (to answer your questions in real time from a real person— ME!)

Simply go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber and click “Join & Save” to get started.

Which one of these promos are you taking advantage of this month? Share below in the comments!

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.

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: Not So Simple

Simplifying food choices is proving to be not so simple. I was pretty strong until now. I’ve stocked my pantry with rice cakes instead of bread, I hadn’t wanted sugar in days, I don’t even think about dairy anymore… And then Valentine’s Day happened.

My two oldest boys came home from school with a bag full of goodies. Today all 3 boys came home from church with another bag full of candy… and chocolate. I do miss chocolate, y’all. And then I did it. I bypassed my usual routine I do to fight sugar cravings, and I ate a pink heart shortbread cookie. Then I ate a chocolate candy (to which I thought, These aren’t as good as I remember), and then I ate another chocolate candy hoping it would be as good as I remembered. It wasn’t.

chocolate

Then I was mentally beating myself up the rest of the evening. Y’all, I can’t do that anymore! And I’m not talking about the chocolate candy here… I’m talking about beating myself up for eating the chocolate candy. I am not a failure for eating the cookie and candy. I made a poor choice. So what? Move on, sister. By all means, don’t degrade yourself for it!

Why is it so easy for me to criticize myself for making the wrong choices, and yet it’s so difficult to give myself a pat on the back for making the right choices? Geez, I conquered the temptation yesterday of eating all the sweets, I haven’t had a flour tortilla in 17 days (which is a miracle in South Texas. Tortillas are life, y’all), heck even making the choice to eat fruit this morning instead of the cookies that were mocking me. I didn’t give myself a thumbs up for that. I need to do that more often. Focus more on the positives, and less on the negatives.

As I get ready for bed, I am excited for a new day. A new day where I can make one healthy choice after another. That’s how change happens. One step at a time. One choice at a time. One small action at a time. This time I will recognize the change taking place, and I’ll give myself a mental fist pump, high five, or chest bump with each nourishing bite. Because I’m worth it.

Let’s encourage each other. What changes are you taking to better your health?

Fredericksburg Fun

So, there’s this little gem in Texas in the form of a town called Fredericksburg. My family decided to “camp” there over the weekend with our kidos in my dad’s camper. I put the word camp in quotations, because to me camping should be done in tents. That’s real camping. Camping done in an RV or travel trailer is pretend camping (but still fun and actually a great option for a family with really young children).

Warning: Lots of pictures to come.

As my husband and I are driving there on Thursday, I entered in the park in good ol’ Google. Search: Jellystone Park in Fredericksburg, TX. Well, what came up was a Jellystone Park near Fredericksburg, TX in Canyon Lake, TX. I figured that was it so I plug that address into my iPhone, which only took me about 15 minutes. You should know I’m terrible with technology and have had a smartphone for less than a year… so there’s a learning curve.

By this time we are in San Antonio and I’m giving my husband directions. He seems leery of these directions, but I just assure him, “It’s what the GPS says!” Needless to say, after ending up in Canyon Lake (an hour away from the Jellystone Park my dad was at with his camper) I was lovingly fired from being the navigator. We laughed about it later. Much later.

P.S. This is a great park for young children. They have sites for RVs or travel trailers, cabins on site, and also sites for tent camping. They do fun activities on weekends that are family oriented, and have fun things on the campground, like a playground, a swimming pool, and walking trails. Here is what you should enter in Google to get an accurate location: Texas Wine Country Jellystone Park. Good to know.

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Once there I fell in love with the scenery. Trees, hills, and Texas wildflowers lined the highways. My boys just wanted to walk around and explore, so that’s what we did. We explored the park, played on the playground, Noah went swimming, we caught grasshoppers… and we caught a stomach bug. One by one everyone got sick throughout the weekend, except for baby Isaac and myself.

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Friday we went to Wildseed Farms, and if you love plants, you’ll love this place. It’s a huge nursery with little shops filled with merchandise, wine tasting, and restaurants nestled in. They also have a walking trail highlighting the Texas wildflowers in season, so we went that route. Y’all, I could stay at that place all day long and just drink in God’s goodness through nature. The boys loved the small wildlife they could interact with: snails, frogs, squirrels and hummingbirds.

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My dad and I went about half a mile down the road on Highway 290 to Bariloche Farm and got some peach cobbler with a side on homemade Mexican vanilla ice cream. The peach cobbler was good, but the vanilla ice cream was divine, y’all. It was so incredibly smooth with the flavor of real vanilla (none of that imitation stuff!) with a little bit of a warm spice. If you ever go to Fredericksburg and you’re a fan of ice cream, go here. I wish I could have tried other flavors. With blackberries and various peaches in season, they had those flavors too that use fresh picked fruit from their farm to make it. Is your mouth watering yet? Because it should be. Ok, I’m done with talking about the ice cream, but seriously, go there and get some.

Saturday (which we decided would be our last day since this stomach bug was quickly invading ,every inch of the camper) we went blackberry picking at Marburger Orchard. This was by far, my favorite activity of the weekend. We arrived early and after a short introduction by Gary, we chose our row and started picking. Despite the thorns on the bushes, the boys dug right in. It was a great opportunity to teach the boys about fruit ripening, because you could see all stages of the berries. Honestly, we probably could have stayed longer, but we had already filled our box holding 6 pounds of blackberries.

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Despite the fact that almost everyone got sick, we had a blast last weekend. My heart beats a little faster in the country. The idea of having my own year round garden makes me smile. I love watching my boys get excited about God’s creation. It was such a sweet reminder to take things a little slower, linger outside a little longer, and appreciate nature’s playground.

What’s your favorite thing about nature?