Easy Healthy* Peppermint Brownies!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! or in this case yummy Gluten-Free Peppermint Brownies! I have been looking around for a somewhat healthy recipe. But most of the “healthy” brownie recipes that come up on a google search include semi-sweet chocolate chips which would make them too sweet for my liking; or Gluten-Free Flour which isn’t as healthy as you think (it is highly processed). So I decided to improvise by replacing some of the ingredients with a healthier alternative and skip the chocolate chips. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out! not too sweet yet still tastes like a treat!

Here’s my recipe –

1 cup organic coconut flour (or buckwheat)
3/4 cup organic cacoa powder (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup organic coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups organic coconut sugar
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
3 large organic eggs (room temperature)
3 drops Young Living Peppermint Vitality essential oil (add more if you like a stronger peppermint taste)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Method:

1. Prepare pan by oiling with coconut oil or butter.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cacoa powder and salt.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
4. Once combined, add eggs one at a time and stir until combined.
5. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir until just mixed.
6. Add 3 drops of peppermint vitality oil into the mixture. Blend in a little, don’t overmix.
7. Pour batter into pan.
8. Bake for 20-25 min or until brownies have formed nice slightly crispy edge.
9. Check middle is set by inserting toothpick. It should come out moist with no sticky residue.
10. Be patient as it cools… then dig in!! Mmmmmm!

*Healthy – if you manage to not finish the whole lot in one sitting 😉

How to make your essential oils less effective.

Essential Oils are high in antioxidant properties. They also contain many other system supporting properties. Each oil has a purpose, but they do have a varying ratio of each of these properties. I use them daily to help me detox/chelate/neutralise my body of any free radicals and build up a strong immune system. I believe it has the potential to be the most effective modality when it comes to supporting our immune system.

However…. how effective the oils are at carrying out it’s multi-faceted capabilities will depend on many factors. For e.g.: how is my diet? do I eat a lot of fried food full of saturated omega 6 fatty acids? am I drinking too much alcohol or sodas? is the air I’m breathing clean (internal and external air!!)? am I using products laden with toxic chemicals on my skin and in my mouth? Fun Fact: an average home has more indoor air pollution than the outside.

If we are bombarding our bodies with undesirable chemicals, then much of the oil is being used up to neutralise those chemicals. And as it is doing this, it is depleting it’s ability to do other functions in other areas of the body. So you have to increase your dose of essential oil to increase it’s functions and effect on your body.

Every day we are exposed to toxic chemicals whether we like it or not. Thankfully, most of the time we are in control of the choices we make. What’s in your deodorant, haircare, body wash, air freshener, toothpaste, cleaners?

Learn what chemicals are damaging to our bodies. Learn to look out for endocrine disruptors in the ingredients list – these are toxic chemicals that disrupt your endocrine system (the system responsible for hormone production) creating an imbalance in your hormone levels, which can then lead to many diseases.

 

The body’s inability to purge toxins fast enough (toxic burden) lead to a compromised immune system that cannot keep up with the repair work needed to keep the body healthy from free radicals and cell mutations.

Go to EWG’s Dirty Dozen List – https://www.ewg.org/…/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors…

If you’re one of our members, ask how you can get yourself added to The Essential Switch group in Facebook, to learn what to avoid and how to make the switch to clean products that YL has! this is a support group created for you.

I don’t walk down the cleaning aisle or the personal care aisle in the supermarket or pharmacy anymore. I have replaced all those with what YL can provide that are clear of endocrine disruptors. They have a huge range of products for your every day needs – nothing but clean, safe  ingredients. I have saved myself a lot of time and I’ve invested that money in my health.

Just remember, antioxidants of all forms are SOOOO important!! Fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Oils and Ningxia Red daily too! because they have very high levels of antioxidants and you just can’t get it all in food these days. And get rid of the things that challenge the body in it’s restoration and repair.

What conscious changes are you going to make next to give your immune system a chance?

If you want to learn more about the science behind essential oils and why YL’s oils can’t be beat, you can visit my friend Dr Doug’s group. He’s trained in biophysics and biochemistry and does a great job at explaining things in terms we can understand. This is a great place for those of you who love learning the science behind YL’s oils!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sheddinglightonessentialoils/

 

 

RevOilution is 6 days away!

RevOilution is in it’s 3rd year running. It is a free event held by Young Living at Suntec Convention Centre. It is a holistic revolution created with the intention to educate and empower people to lead a life of wellness. There will be activities for both for adults and kits; lots of free workshops on different topics and fitness sessions held by experts in their field; Ningxia Red bar which will fuel you with energy and vitality; and an opportunity to purchase the products. I’m going to be there for most of it as the learning (and fun) never ends. I have booked myself into a Raindrop Therapy Session in the morning and I’ll be attending Sheila’s gentle yoga flow session later in the afternoon! In between I’ll be exploring the booths and the talks.

Check out the activities, program and more here – http://revoilution.sg

We hope to see you there!

xoxo Audrey

How to have a chemical free home and life!

I recently returned from Young Living’s 2017 Convention “Fulfill Your Destiny” in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was extremely informative, enlightening and loads of fun! I couldn’t soak up the information fast enough. One of the talks I attended (Chemical Free Home) inspired me to write this piece. Some of the content are notes/slides I took down from the speaker and some I gathered from my own research. I hope this will help you to understand the urgency of moving away from conventional off-the-shelf products to plant-based products.

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Fragrance is the new second-hand smoke. It is insidious and pervasive (like cheap perfume!). Like the frog-in-the-pot parable, many of us will not notice the danger until it’s too late. What you put on your body or inhale into your body is as important as your diet and exercise routine.

If you’re using scented candles, dryer sheets, fragranced sprays, air fresheners, perfume, scented hand and body wash, conventional household cleaning products then you are practically exposed and awash in fragrances 24 hours a day!  It is absorbed through our skin and into our blood stream, settling in our organs and accumulating over time.

Fragrances (and parfum) are made up of hundreds of synthetic chemicals – many of which are endocrine disruptors. Thousands of scientific peer review studies have linked these chemicals to diabetes, obesity, liver and breast cancer, hormone disruption affecting fertility and development, ADD/ADHD and Autism, asthma, allergies, and so many other health issues/disorders.

 

A few links to scientific backed evidence of chemicals found in cosmetics and the effect on humans –

Lotion ingredient paraben may be more potent carcinogen than thought

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/09/links-between-health-problems-and-endocrine-disrupting-chemicals-now-stronger-statement

http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/8473

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21790316

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524022/

Asthma in Inner-City Children at 5–11 Years of Age and Prenatal Exposure to Phthalates: The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health Cohort

Just because it’s sold in a shop does not make it safe! Fragrance secrecy exists because there is a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973. Companies are required to list cosmetics ingredients on the labels but exempts fragrance! As a result, there is no way for a consumer to know what ingredients are really present – hundreds maybe thousands of endocrine disruptors!

The European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients from cosmetic products alone, while the FDA has only banned or restricted 11. The US works by the premise innocent until proven guilty. Personally, I don’t want myself or my family to be the guinea pig. Do you?

There are currently around 80,000 chemicals that exist on the market. Only the first 90 have been tested and removed. It will take literally decades to test them all!

Women use on average 12 products every day. It adds up over time. This is what we term bioaccumulation. You’re fine until one day something suddenly happens….

Did you know that the chemical DDT is still found in Americans’ blood after it was banned 40 years ago?! Seriously!

What can we do then?

You can’t do better unless you know better! Become aware. Focus on the chemicals you can control such as body lotion, toothpaste, deodorant, bath/shower gel, shampoo, household cleaners.

The Dirty Dozen – Avoid at ALL cost. Use the Think Dirty App to become aware of which products are dirty. Use the EWG website to educate yourself on products and ingredients.

Take note of what you use frequently and replace those products first. Choose 3 this month. Replace those first. Repeat this every month. Start with the kids. Take a look at Young Living’s Kidscents or Seedlings baby range of products.

Conventional synthetic-laden cleaners make indoor air 5-7x worse than outdoor air! In fact 80% of pollution we’re exposed to comes from INSIDE our homes!

Just removing all products with fragrance as an ingredient will immediately improve air quality in your home.  Take charge of your family’s health and wellbeing – ditch and switch!

We use the Thieves plant-based oil-infused household cleaner and product range. Free from toxic chemicals, it keeps my family safe and gives me complete peace of mind. Who has time to read all those labels out there?! Go with a company you can trust.
 
 

 

Did you know that absorption in your mouth is way faster than through the skin?! You want to be sure to use a toothpaste that is free from fluoride, dyes, synthetic perfumes and SLS!
 

Make sure you wash your produce well! The speaker shared with us a story about a truck driver. He shared how he transported animal manure on his truck followed by fresh produce immediately after without cleaning or disinfecting the truck in between!  Yikes!

Will changing out my cleaners to a plant based cleaner make a difference? YES YES YES!

A study was conducted on people who switched out personal care products for 3 days. In that time they found a 30-40% drop in the chemicals found in their body!

After 1 year on plant-based products like the Thieves range, I know you will have a huge change in your health as a result.
 

Wishing you a healthy, happy, blissful life!

Love,

Audrey

Why is Brand Integrity so Important in this Day and Age

As our world gets smaller, we become more and more overwhelmed with information. We are spoils for choices. Or are we?

Image from http://notsalmon.com/

The global essential oil market size exceeds USD6.0 billion in 2015 and it is expected to reach USD11.67 billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.

Many new companies are cropping up, jumping on the opportunity to cash in on the world’s demand for essential oils and natural products. Many existing companies are suddenly launching an essential oil range that they have never had before.

How do we sift through all that information and know what we’re paying for is legitimate? – Genuine, unadulterated, and free of harmful synthetics. We could try brand after brand after brand, like many of us have done over the years. Some of us may research to the death, afraid of making a decision in case it’s a wrong one! And then there are some of us that are lucky enough to be educated by friends and family members that we trust, who have already experienced the products for themselves and who have our well-being in mind.

What it comes down to is integrity. Both that of the people we trust and the company those people trust to supply the products. Integrity is the backbone of any company.

The demand for essential oils will continue to fuel demand in the upcoming years. Here are just a few reasons for the growing demand –

  1. There is more awareness and growing consumer preference for natural products as well as health foods
  2. A growing need for spa and relaxation applications to escape the stress of daily living
  3. Higher consumer spending power
  4. Pure natural oils have no side effects like conventional products
  5. Demand for more food and beverage has lead to an increase in production for food-grade oils

Several major companies have products that cut across all essential oils industries – pharmaceutical, chemicals, and food or household products. How do they make enough essential oil to do this? Demand and the supply of genuine oils just don’t add up.

An exorbitant amount of plant matter is required to create a single ounce of oil. Sustainability is a major concern. As one might expect many manufacturers will resort to different kinds of methods to overcome these challenges. This could mean rushing the growth of plants which result in poorer quality plants; using fungicides and insecticides to ward off pests so that crops have a better yield; using cheaper or synthetic ingredients in the bottle to substitute the more expensive pure essential oil; uncontrolled distillation temperatures to get a oils faster which result in therapeutic components being destroyed. The list goes on.

 

Image from https://plantcaretoday.com

Let me give you a couple examples of what I mean by cheaper ingredients. Corn Mint. It is the 2nd highest produced oil in the world (supplied to various industries). It smells exactly like Peppermint but is a lot cheaper to grow and distill. Although it has some benefits, it does not have the same potent, therapeutic benefits as Peppermint. Yet it has been sold under the guise of Peppermint by well known companies to their unsuspecting consumers who think they’re getting Peppermint.

Another example of a cheaper ingredient is the hybrid Lavender called Lavandin. This is found in most commercial body and beauty products. The Lavandin plant is hardier and produces more oil than the other higher quality Lavender plants (like the Lavendula Angustifolia which Young Living uses) making it much more profitable for companies. The world production of Lavandin oil is 1000 metric tons per year – 5 x that of high quality Lavender.

 

Image from http://www.massagesupplies.com.sg

What’s worse than cheaper ingredients? Synthetic substitutes! Using synthetic substitutes is very common. In fact many fragrance/cosmetic quality oils/products will even list it on their ingredients list. What’s more insidious though is the fact that there are companies selling adulterated essential oils as “pure” essential oils. They may do it knowingly or they may not even be aware of it if they procured their oils from a broker. The majority of essential oil companies do this as they do not have access to any farms. Advantages of creating synthetic substitutes include lowered production costs, stable pricing and a constant supply. The problem with this is there are no therapeutic benefits and can actually do a lot of harm to your health.

Since there is no regulatory body governing how essential oil companies should label their bottles, it makes it very difficult for the layman to determine how pure an oil is.  100% Pure may sound attractive but it could mean that only a small % of the content is 100% Pure.  “Pure” these days don’t mean much. In the U.S. only 5% real oil needs to be present to be labeled “100% Pure”!!!

When it comes to constant supply, Young Living may disappoint. When a crop does not yield the right therapeutic components for the oil, or the distilled oils tested do not meet the stringent criteria to be sold, Young Living WILL NOT release it. They will not compromise. They would rather lose millions of dollars than sell a lower quality product and risk a product recall. You simply cannot produce the real thing in a laboratory. Sustainability and Stewardship of the planet is vital to Young Living. That is why Young Living continues to create new farms and also work with partner farms across the world to ensure sustainable supplies of plant material. But it cannot promise constant supply. And that is ok with me. They have many alternative oils to choose from.

Young Living has built a wellness business based on integrity. Something they have done consistently for over 24 years. What started as a home built essential oil distillery by Founder Gary Young (creating essential oils for his own use), is now a billion dollar company supporting the wellness of millions of people around the world. Try it and you’ll feel the difference. Each product is carefully created for a specific purpose. They were never created for the sole purpose of making a profit.

It is pretty hard to match Young Living’s 30+ years of knowledge, research and experience. Their seed to seal promise to families is what sets them apart. They have an open door policy where you are able to visit their many farms and distilleries around the world and see for yourself what goes into that promise. Players come and go. Those that thrive do so because of Integrity.

Here is the Young Living Seed to Seal Promise.

Finding a company with integrity is getting more difficult these days. Knowing what further questions to ask will help you in your quest. Reach out to us to find out what you should be asking.

 

Toxic Free Home – Workshop

I can’t say it enough. We are so blessed to work along-side some amazing women in this business. Where it’s ‘bring your kids’ to work day everyday. The biggest perks is that we get to work with products that are SO beneficial to our homes and families. We can’t express how much we enjoy sharing the great news about Essential Oils and the lists of benefits we get from it.

If you have not noticed from our previous blog posts, we have been gearing up for our first ever Toxic Free Home – Workshop which took place last Sunday hosted by the gorgeous Kim in her gorgeous studio. We shared about what toxic chemicals to look out for and how to slowly eliminate them from your home. They are lurking everywhere! Awareness is the first step.

Join us for the June workshop! 10% off Thieves PSK at the workshops plus promo gift. We will update you with venue details soon. If you would like to be informed of our next Toxic Free Home event. Be sure to sign-up for our Essential Droppers Newsletter below.

All About Thieves!

Thieves Essential Oil – Young Living’s most popular blend of oil. The one that has inspired many companies to recreate their version of it.  Because of it’s powerful properties, it made sense for Young Living to create an entire line of Thieves house-hold and personal care products.

Our families have switched out all the commercial, toxic chemical cleaners and personal care items. Toxic-free, plant-based and essential-oil infused. Easy. Safe. Effective.

A Young Living Thieves Story – https://youtu.be/6rwoCPYJCNw

Check out the newly launched Thieves website for more details – www.thieves.sg