BLOG

One of the amazing things to happen in my wellness journey over the last 6 months is that I no longer crave sugar.

I broke my addiction to sugar around month 2 of my wellness journey.

This freedom gave way for a healthier lifestyle,gut, immune system, weight, mindset and ultimately gave me back the reins to my wellness.

Getting the reins back to my wellness gave me freedom to shift my mindset from unhealthy patterns to healthy habits and thinking. Unhealthy habits for me looked like going into a grocery store to shop but not reading the labels to the products I put into my cart to make meals, driving through Starbucks for a drink that was more of a treat, hitting up Sonic for a diet soda way too often for happy hour, and then telling myself I needed to work out so I could eat something sweet after dinner but rarely working out. This is slightly embarrassing, but all true.

A few of the ways my mindset shifted was to desiring to know what was going into the flour to make the bread in my pantry, understanding that most yogurts sold in stores are horrible for our bodies, coming to terms with the reality that “diet anything” means “full of chemicals”, needing to understand how sugar inflames the body – causing damage that may prevent the ability to lose weight amongst many other scary things, I needed to know where my food was coming from, I no longer needed a treat every week let alone every day, my body craves veggies, water and proteins over sweets (seriously pass me eggs and roasted veggies), and I have an excitement to work out because it is improving my wellness and its fun! Not to mention the endorphins released that give your mind and emotions amazing benefits of peace, happiness, and calm. 

I don’t workout so I can eat what I want, I eat well to fuel my body so I can work out.

The purpose of exercise isn’t to make me thin it is to make my body healthy.

Never did I imagine to have this kind of freedom over food, my weight, with my body or in my life.

Throughout high school, college, and some of my adult years my understanding of food and my body image was so off. I did not educate myself on food, the body, and the purpose of exercise. Instead I spent years counting calories, watching fat grams, and starving myself from time to time to stay at a certain weight or to drop weight.

So how did I break my addiction to sugar?

The three ways I broke my addiction was by embracing Bone-broth, starving the addiction to sugar, and using young living peppermint and lemon oils to support my body in curving my cravings.

I fully believe that breaking our addictions to sugar/pre packaged foods/processed foods is our only hope of pursuing and sustaining wellness.

Understanding the amount of sugar and chemicals in pre packaged foods, refined flour, dairy products, sweeteners etc. made breaking the addiction easier because I was fully aware of what I was doing to myself. All my efforts to lose weight were in vein if I was continuing to harm it but filling it with harmful “foods”.

I do not believe going out for a treat is bad or buying ice cream is horrible. Nope. I don’t believe its wise to deprive myself of all sugar. Instead for the most part – I have no desire for it anymore. My idea of a sweet treat isn’t what it use to be, I’ll share more about that later.

Bonebroth- yes I use to be a vegan, then vegetarian, and no I currently don’t eat much meat BUT that doesn’t mean I am unable to see of the benefits of bonebroth for my health. Bonebroth has amazing benefits that can help you burn fat, heal your gut problems, make your skin glow, help you lose weight and feel better because it will help kick your sugar cravings. Y’all I embraced the creepy bone broth and it works!

It did all of those things for me! 

I purchased a book called, Dr. KellyAnnes Bone Broth Cook Book and committed to 21 days cooking meals from it and following her plan to detox from sugar. Which does include two days a week of mostly fasting. I created my own versions of meals and made some of hers. Not all of what I cooked with at that time was clean because going clean is a process – unless you are rolling in the cash and can go overhaul your pantry/fridge at one time just for you. I also bought Dr. Axe’s Organic Bone Broth Powder. You can get it online, at health food stores, and some HEB’s carry it too. Its a great source of protein and full of all the goodness that bonebroth offers without the need to make meals for one person, instead you can throw it in the blender with almond milk & some fruit. My family now eats what I cooked from that book but in the beginning they wouldn’t so this was a great option. Also, the powder is a great way to eat clean on a busy schedule.

I have a ton of food allergies that I’ve had almost my entire life but I just assumed that the way my body reacted (hurting, bloating, gas, pain, puffy red face, acne & more) was all normal. Nope, when you eat you are not suppose to have these reactions. These are all indicators that something you put into your body is in fact not suppose to be there. However, with healing my gut and immune system I have been slowly reintroducing some foods I thought I was allergic to but can now eat because I’m at a much healthier place. Now of course foods like bluebell ice cream and queso will cause me to have stomach pain because dairy does not sit well with me and if I drink a soda my face will swell up because of the sugar and sodium along with the other chemically substances in it. Those things are not good for my body and my body is telling me that by reacting with pain and puffiness. 

Honestly, it was a hard pill to swallow. Making huge changes was not easy. But I can confidently say that I wont go back to living and eating like that again. For me, I had major reactions to chemically filled, sodium filled, sugar filled foods – my reactions weren’t just in my red undertone on my skin, occasional acne, foggy brain, but those foods literally made me sick to the point I felt like I may die. So for me, making changes was something that I had to do because I could deal with the skin issues and foggy brain/headaches BUT I couldn’t be incredible pain. 

In a few days I’ll be back sharing more about Bonebroth, some of my favorite meals I eat daily, and a list of what to do and what not to do when coming off of sugar! 

Follow me on Instagram at @happyoilyheart because this week in my stories I’ve talked about oils and next week will be all about food/meals/how to kicksugar in my stories! 

Happy Friday Friends! 

 

Alright Alright Alright, lets jump on into how I began this journey of wellness that I am on!

My story is that six months ago my mindset shifted to a place that has lead me to a healthier immune system, a healthier gut, a life free of headaches, and a land where energy flows. The number one thing that snowballed my wellness journey was diving into a clean lifestyle while simultaneously working hard to improve my gut health so that my immune system would become healthier. A healthy gut gives your immune system a great shot at being healthy while boosting your ability to drop a few pounds. A poor immune system and poor gut health make working on your wellness quite difficult.

The two things that I did to kick start my wellness journey after my mindset shifted was get myself some Bone-broth and I invested in a Young Living Starter Kit. (click here to check it out) Yep, you read that right, Bone-broth & Young Living Oils.

Please don’t stop reading. I promise I’m not crazy. Keep reading, pray for an open mind.

These two things changed everything for me! I realize you may read this and like me 6 months ago think this is crazy talk but hear me out. More than likely if you are reading this you are interested in how I lost weight. Maybe you too want to drop a few lbs or perhaps you have some of the issues I had – a bad gut, poor immune system, low energy, sugar cravings, brain fog, headaches, unable to lose weight, or maybe your kids tummies always hurt or they are constantly getting sick. Stay with me.

Tomorrow I’ll share all about how this once vegan fell in love with Bone-broth but for today lets talk about Young Living. I’ll also be sharing what I’m eating these days after moving towards consuming clean and real foods. Eating this way was wonderful for my gut but I was slowly understanding how many chemicals were all up in the products I put on my skin daily or ingested in my home.

You might be thinking, what on earth are you talking about Brittany? What was full of chemicals?

Honestly, nearly everything. Seriously. I had no CLUE what I was doing to my body. I was blissfully unaware that one of the key reasons my body would not let go of the weight, headaches, fatigue, etc was because of the toxins I put into it until I began researching brain fog. I was eliminating all kinds of toxins from my foods, going organic, buying non gmo, ditching sodas, creamers & syrups which was great for my gut – but I was still filling up on chemicals through my makeup, lotion, shampoos, face wash, creams, soaps, candles, and more. Also, my sugar cravings were STILL so bad. Little did I know that there was a connection to all in all of this until I began doing personal research on the links found between brain fog and toxic products.

I knew something had to change but I didn’t know how to get to that change.

Enter the Young Living Starter Kit. Y’all I was such a skeptic when it came to oils. Like, I just didn’t get it! I have known people over the years who used them, I thought they were a little weird but whatever we all have our quirks right? Right! 

Nearly two years ago a precious lady knew our family was struggling with constantly getting sick and she kindly mentioned oils to me. This lady sweetly gifted me a diffuser and 4 oils. I was so thankful but my plate was so full that I couldn’t fathom taking anytime out of my schedule to educate myself on the benefits of oils. I was scared of using them at first because I didn’t know what to do with them. Sadly, those oils sat in my closet until I was in panic mode when the kids fevers were elevating fast and I heard that peppermint could support their little bodies. Constant sickness in our family continued for another year and my personal problems became even worse. My gut health was out of control, nearly everything I ate made me deathly ill and my weight wouldn’t stop compounding, my migraines left me crippled and I was exhausted. About this time I started following a few ladies on IG that I knew from a conference I attended. They gushed about how oils supported their families from immunity, emotions, gut health, feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, pms, and so much more. I thought they were a little crazy but I also knew they loved Jesus and the Holy Spirit, so I trusted they that couldn’t be totally wrong or lying about oils. 

I was desperate for a change in my health and after extensive personal research on brain fog, inability to lose weight, mental clarity, low energy, etc and the connection to toxins, I knew for me I had to go chemical free in my daily products. After visiting a store to buy non toxic lotion, deodorant, cleaning supplies etc I waltzed right out of there empty handed and beyond frustrated. Clean living felt impossible on our one person income. 

Change felt impossible.

Then I began researching how to make my own non toxic products. Most of the recipes I found for non toxic diy products were made with Young Living Oils. Quickly I learned that Young Living Essential Oils would give me the financial freedom to go clean with my products. There was something called a “starter kit” that came with all the oils I needed to make my products from lotions, to face serums, pain creams, anxiety relief, cooking, etc and to to top it off this starter kit came with an oil called Thieves that could support a healthy immune system. I was SOLD. 

Initially Johnny shared my same feelings of “well this is crazy hippie talk” but we were both so desperate for me to feel like me again that he said yes. Yes lets purchase a starter kit and I would commit to going clean for a few months to see if it helped me out. After 4 months of slowly eliminating non toxic products from my life was making a huge difference. Finally, I was headache free, not popping pills for headaches and my mental clarity was back! Plus I had finally seen the scale MOVE DOWN. I cried. 

So why Young Living Oils? Why not the ones I use to like to smell at HEB or the ones on amazon? I needed to go chemical free in making my products at home – I needed to be able to put them on my face, rub them on the bottoms of my kids feet to support immune systems, and use them for a body spray – so the oils from HEB, amazon, or the health food store could not give me that peace of mind of being free of any fillers or additives. I needed real 100% pure therapeutic plant oils. Then I learned about Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise 

So what is Young Living? Young Living is the worlds leader in essential oils and have been around for more than 20 years. They have a seed to seal promise  (let me translate what that means because 6 months ago that was foreign to me) basically this means they take the liquids from plants, distill them and make my favorite little bottles of oils! Unlike most oils on the market, they do not put any other chemicals, additives, of fillers into these bottles – so this makes them 100% pure therapeutic grade oils. This is the only way I have been able to go clean with my daily products in my home.  [Click here to read more about this process at Young Living] I am not an expert on Young Living but I have fallen in love with their products because of the support they offer my family.

Now does rubbing oils on your wrist make you lose weight? Um, no. That’s not what I’m saying as I talk about Young Living Oils in the context of wellness. Instead Young Living has supported my decision to move towards a clean lifestyle. A clean lifestyle promotes wellness. Wellness promotes healthy living. Healthy living translates to a healthy immune system, healthy gut, healthy heart & body, as well as a healthy weight. Oils support my family and I in so many ways everyday, from morning to night. This week on my IG on @happyoilyheart I’ll be sharing how we use oils throughout our day.

 After making the decision to purchase the kit I knew I needed to educate myself on oils but didn’t have endless time to research and I didn’t want to spend money on classes to learn. I knew I needed help in understanding how to use oils to support mine and my families overall wellness – meaning our emotions, feelings, immune system, gut health, and so much more. Doing it alone wasn’t an option for me. I decided to join a community of ladies who were using Young Living, a large group of women who love Jesus fiercely, value others, and support each other in moving towards wellness. I bought my kit from someone in this community which gave me FREE access to ALL of the classes, resources, giveaways, encouragement, and more.

If you are interested in getting started with a kit send me a message to join my community and immediately get connected to free classes and resources that will help you understand your oils, offer you support in the areas that you need, share ideas, and encourage you as you get your wellness on track. This community I joined has been a huge blessing to me on my journey.

If you have any questions about oils send me a message. If you want to join my community (get access to so many free classes and daily support in your wellness journey) sign up under my enrollment number as a wholesale member, get 24% back off of future orders, and grab yourself a  Young Living Starter Kit here.

Next lets talk Bone-broth & kicking sugar cravings. 

*DISCLAIMER I AM NOT A PHYSICIAN, DIETICIAN, OR EXPERT ON WELLNESS. I AM A MOTHER, WIFE, AND WOMAN DOING HER BEST TO EDUCATE HERSELF TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR HER FAMILY. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN BODY SHAMING, FOOD SHAMING, OR  LIFESTYLE SHAMING. I DO NOT BELIEVE MY WAY IS THE WAY, BUT THIS IS WHAT HAS BEEN WORKING FOR ME. THIS IS MY STORY.I AM NOT CLAIMING THAT YOUNG LIVING OILS WILL CURE OR TREAT DISEASES I AM SHARING MY STORY OF HOW THEY SUPPORT MY BODY.*

Hey again! Before jumping into sharing how I began my wellness journey today I want to be very clear about a few things. Tomorrow I’ll post the two ways I kickstarted this journey but for now – hear me out.

First, I am not on a “weight loss journey” yes I have lost weight, but for me it is not about the weight it is about my overall wellness. It’s about the way I feel today, tomorrow, and how I will feel 30 years from now. It is about being able to go for a 2 or 3 mile run in the morning pushing my 4 year old daughter in an 8 year old baby jogging stroller that was Noahs, going home making breakfast, cleaning my home, making lunch, running errands, picking up from school, going for a long walk with my kids, making dinner, doing homework, and not feeling like I’m about to pass out or die of exhaustion. For me, it’s about my wellness more than anything.

My ability to achieve my personal goals of loving well, living fully, being active, and feeling great.

Now, has the weight loss been an awesome perk of this wellness journey? Well, obviously! Who doesn’t want to fit into their favorite jean jacket from High School, put on their favorite red dress from their college days, or wear the jeans they did on their honeymoon? I sure never thought I would wear any of those things again, but in the back of my mind when I donated most of my clothes a few years ago I held onto these few pieces for hope.

Hope that I could one day get to a place of feeling truly happy about my wellness the way I feel happy about myself, who I am as a person. My happiness is not found in the number on the scale – my joy comes from my relationship with Jesus and the beauty that rest within my family and life.

Now have there been struggles of self doubt and self hate over the years about the number on the scale or the size of my shirt? Yes. I am human, but I am also a believer in Jesus. The Holy Spirit was never far while the the battles of self hate raged within me when I looked in the mirror on some days with disapproving eyes. He was right there with me. Tending to the tears behind my eyes and the hurtful words in my heart about myself. He was there.

Second, I want to reiterate (just incase a random person finds my blog) I am not a dietician, physician, or fitness guru – I am a wife, mom, and woman educating herself and doing what is best for her body and her family’s life. I am a believer in Jesus and want to honor the body God gave me to the best of my knowledge and abilities. Does this mean I’m striving for a perfect life? No, it means I’m striving to walk close to the Father in a body that he can fully use – mind, body, and soul without my lack of wellness getting in the way of what he calls me to do.

Third, I’m all about encouraging one another in our individual journeys. Maybe you don’t feel that a chemical free life is what works for you, thats totally fine. Truly, there is not one ounce of judgement in my heart towards you. Please, do you and I’ll do me! Lets be friends! But maybe you are trying to consume less sugar and workout a little more, so maybe we can encourage one another in that? Lets do it! Join me! I am only a month into working out consistently – meaning – I don’t work out two days then don’t work out again for a week – like I was accustomed to. Ya with me? Perhaps, you are 5 years into clean eating & living and you got a better handle on all of this and you can share your tips with me – lets encourage each other!

Just be kind to everyone. Life can be hard. We are all walking different journeys with all kinds of things in our lives that most are unaware of. Don’t judge or speak harshly. Encourage. Be gentle with your words. I promise its the best thing ever to encourage someone instead of making them feel badly about themselves so you can feel better.

Okay, tomorrow lets talk Bonebroth & Young Living. Yep you read that right, see you tomorrow!

Hi! This will be will be one (of many to come) of the most honest posts you’ve read from me, ones I never thought I’d share because of how incredibly personal this topic is to me and so many – but I’ve been receiving messages asking about some changes people have noticed in my life. In particular regarding how I’m losing weight, so in the hopes of encouraging one another or answering some questions I’ve decided to just be honest. I debated for a few weeks about posting this and about posting a before and after picture, I even asked my mom and husband their thoughts, so with both of their encouragement I’m about to hit post on a very difficult post. Be kind.
Over the last 6 months I’ve made major lifestyle changes that have produced tangible results (including 40 lb. weight loss) to work towards a goal for my life; to love well, live fully, be active & feel great!

For me a clean lifestyle is what has made this possible. Please don’t scroll on by after reading that let me say this as a disclaimer I still enjoy a Starbucks treat, my kids eat bluebell & not every meal|product is clean in our home. I’m working towards a “cleaner” life not a perfect one. So when you see us enjoying Chuy’s don’t stone me 😬

There are many reasons that I felt the pull towards a chemical free life but to be honest the main reason, I just wasn’t feeling my best. I felt as if I was walking around in a fog. Basically I just felt off, sluggish, constantly tired, and my head literally felt foggy at times. I thought it was just “mom brain” or a result of a very busy life with honestly way too much on my plate but after a lot of research about “brain fog” I learned that I could be causing this to happen with the products I used daily & the foods I was consuming. I realized how many chemicals were in my foods, chemicals were all up in my daily hygiene & beauty routine and so on. I had been having migraines weekly for 3 years & I always had a headache. I just learned to deal with it. 

Before I continue, let me back up to when my daughter was born 4 years ago and I had major health complications – post eclampsia, mini stroke, nerve damage/loss, in and out of hospitals for months, I lost a lot of weight fast, suffered extreme anxiety from the trauma of nearly dying several times, which lead to some depression, being informed I could never become pregnant again or it would most likely take my life, followed by immune problems which led to medication which gifted me weight gain that I could not for the life of me shake – no matter how strict my caloric intake was, how few carbs I ate, if I cut out this or that – Y’ALL the weight wouldn’t budge. Two years ago I learned I had a leaky gut (it’s a thing-google it). I was in severe pain that pretty much crippled me for a few days at a time. There were several nights that Johnny almost had to take me to the ER because I thought for sure I was gonna die of extreme gut wrenching pain. To top things off my family was getting sick constantly, every few weeks one of us was at the doctor. Which at the time we didn’t have traditional insurance so it was roughly $165 p/visit with meds a person. #nofun 

(The picture in the middle is before I began clean living/eating. The pictures on the sides are my current after 5/6 months of a clean lifestyle)

I wanted a change for my personal health and for my families wellness.
The problem, I was so overwhelmed by all the oily talk, paleo plans, keto diet, whole 30, & dairy free lifestyles etc! AUGH!

Y’all, my brain was fried! Too much info and I just felt it being shoved in my face from every direction. Just being honest. Many times I have been on the receiving end of conversations that left me feeling like a bad mom or a less than human being because I weighed more than some deemed acceptable and I didn’t drink the green juice. Hurtful comments and opinions I never asked for were hurled my way. 

Anyone else? 🙋🏼

Why am I telling you all of this? I’m crazy. Jk.

I’m sharing all of this because I know I’m probably not the only one whose been there.

It sucks, it’s hurtful & it’s unacceptable.

 

  (side note – If you are saved by the grace of Jesus and you often find yourself making others feel less than to make yourself feel better, shame on you. Please, grow in Jesus, its time. There is good news – God forgives. Jesus is merciful. Praise God through Him, I’ve long forgiven you. Hallelujah!)

Now back to what I was saying.

Y’all, I could NOT DEAL!!! 

I tuned it all out, prayed,did a ton of research & ultimately came to the conclusion that a chemical free life was the most promising direction for me to go to be fog free, remove headaches, drop weight, have energy, and help my family with their wellness. My kids and I HAD to stop getting sick every few weeks year round! 

I had taken several classes online about holistic wellness & clean living then I began researching clean living|eating and the potential impact it may have on the ability to lose weight, have energy, & attain a healthy immune system.

Although clean eating was great and helped move my gut to a healthy place, the products I used daily were packed full of chemicals that were seeping into my body. Eating clean began to feel almost pointless to me because I wasn’t treating my whole body the same way I was my gut health. I wasn’t fully moving towards my goals by simply eating cleaner.

Then, I DECIDED TO GO ALL IN!

 

I had already been eating cleaner but I decided to clean up my everyday cleaning & beauty routine.

Six consistent months later of both clean eating & clean living I’m headache free, down 40lbs, “fog free”, sleeping like a baby, have energy, & my gut is healthy!Also our whole family hasn’t been sick since February except Olivia one day last week & myself one day this summer. Our immune systems & guts are much healthier so if we do get sick we seem to bounce back faster and so far without meds or a doctors visit. Does this mean I believe we will never get a cold again in our life, um – no – but I know we are at a better place to fight off sickness if it lurks around.

Over the next week I’ll be sharing how I started moving towards clean eating & living.

I’ll also share how affordable it truly is & how it saves us money!

I use to think that “clean living” was really expensive. Y’all, initially it appears to be a little more expensive but overall no – no it’s really not. I promise! As far as groceries & food – it averages out because your mindset changes along with cravings so you’re not buying the groceries you use to at the store & you’re not grabbing takeout a few times a week. Honestly, you save!

The only way I have been able to afford going chemical free with our products is with Young Living. Purchasing non toxic products sold in stores is expensive & not happening on our families one person income. Instead I invested in a Young Living starter kit & began making nearly ALL of our products from face wash, lotion, pain creams, replacing over counter meds, soaps, shampoos, candles & more.There is no way I could afford a clean lifestyle without Young Living Oils. They are 100% pure therapeutic grade oils and free of fillers & additives. This is everything because it makes clean living a reality! 🙌🏻🌿  I even use them for baking, cooking, and flavoring my water.

At first clean living was incredibly overwhelming. However, baby steps is the only way to do it. Going to the grocery store to try to shop clean for food felt like a cruel joke lol. I was so lost. Young Living would have been overwhelming too without the support of others in the community I joined. (If you want to join my community let me know! You wont be disappointed)

Several have asked where & how I started so I’ll be sharing more here & on IG @happyoilyheart over the next week weeks.  I’ll share what helped me stop craving sugar, sodas, what I eat instead, how I began working out, what is clean eating, and everything I’ve learned so far about foods & how they fuel or hurt our bodies. You will hear about Young Living Oils too bc it’s the only way I can afford to move towards a clean lifestyle. They have a seed to seal promise that I need to afford to go chemical free. 

Let’s encourage one another. Be each other’s cheerleaders. Building one another up. I don’t have all the answers but I’m really good at saying when I don’t know something. I’m always willing & ready to learn. 

This journey takes will power & leaning into the Holy Spirit makes it much easier. Walking hard things out, like lifestyle changes, is done better with a community and not alone. 

I’m not a dietician or a doctor and I’m only 6 months into a lifestyle overhaul so obviously there’s no way I know it all. So I’ll never pretend to. Instead I’m just a wife, momma & woman giving her best for her body and her families wellness. Feel free to comment or private message me if you want to talk. I am a work in progress with many goals I am working towards. Everyday I learn  a little more about nutrition, health, and wellness while pushing myself a little more in physical fitness.

This truly is a beautiful life when we put ALL of our hopes and goals in the hands of Jesus. Asking him to see us through.