Last week I gave up coffee. Well, caffeine. And deodorant.
Which leads to my profession of new-found love for essential oils. A couple adoptive-mamas gifted me with a Doterra set at my recent baby shower for Little Brother, which I had secretly been coveting but didn’t want to spend the money on. (See: Funding An Adoption.) I knew my pseudo-Hippie lifestyle would make great use of them so, logically, I avoided the local classes offered on their uses for fear I’d fall more in love. It was a blessing to receive them as a gift- free is my fravorite- and they are even more wonderful than I had thought.
Regarding caffeine: My first job, as a Barista, had me consuming countless straight shots of espresso with coworkers “for fun” at the tender age of 15. Through my teen years and into adulthood, a quick morning stop at the local coffee drive-through was as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth and applying deodorant (more on this below). Yet along with ripping off my acrylic nails for fear that the chemicals would surely leach into my bloodstream from my nailbeds and harm my unborn child, I promptly gave up caffeine when I learned I was pregnant with our first baby. Then I breast-fed her for a year and a half and surely didn’t want her to ingest it that way, either. And then I got pregnant with our second daughter, then breastfed her, then got pregnant again. By the time my child-bearing/birthing years were behind me I had lost my tolerance to caffeine, completely. I could always tell when the coffee gal would mistakenly concoct my Americano with regular coffee beans versus their decaffeinated counterparts; I’d start talking even more rapidly, my heart would race, and I’d be riddled with unwarranted anxiety.
Allllll that to say that for ten solid years I my life was devoid of caffeine. Not coffee, mind you, just caffeine… UNTIL I started home-schooling this fall. Since I wasn’t en route to the girls’ school each morning (and was making an effort not to shell out the cash but rather save the money and apply it towards our adoption- duh) I started making my Choc-icanos (Americano w/chocolate, yum) at home- with Handsome Husband’s REGULAR coffee grounds. It wasn’t more than three weeks before I was completely hooked and my first thought each morning was a resounding plea for COOOOOFFFEEEEE.
I don’t like to be dependent on things. I’m the girl who fasted from chocolate for an entire year because my consumption had gotten out of hand. I also abstained from alcohol for ten years after being convicted of some similarly unhealthy patterns. Cold turkey seems to work well for me. Plus, it’s probably good that I quit caffeine before Little Brother comes home and I’m daily chasing around a toddler again… I can always go back to it if need be and it’s much more effective when I’m not addicted. So, I’m back to tea. And now I’m adding drops of lemon essential oil to my tea to keep me on my A-Game– You know, since the quality of my children’s education lies squarely on my shoulders, and all. I still add the occasional gratings of fresh ginger or dollop of local honey, but most often it’s just organic tea & lemon. Already, I feel like a new person.
I’ve also started supplementing vitamin D, since it is freaking dark up here in Montana. I read this article from an American living in Copenhagen, where the sunlight is even more elusive, and identified with her seasonal hints of depression that crept up each winter. I can honestly say I’ve seen a marked difference in my outlook since taking them. I have learned that a lot of folks here are on prescription depression medication, and can’t help wondering if perhaps a deficiency in this essential vitamin is contributing to their gloom. (Though I confess I’m no expert in this arena!)
Now, about the deodorant: We’ve all read how antiperspirants have been linked to breast cancer since it blocks toxins from being released naturally from the body’s primary sweat glands. Yet, what’s a girl to do about it, short of relocating her entire stinky family to France? I read this post about using lavender essential oil in freshly shaved (I’m not THAT crunchy) armpits to control odor. Since I’ve never been much of a sweater, I decided to give it a whirl and am happy to report that Handsome Husband still loves me and no offensive odor has been reported. I’ll likely pack a stick of deodorant with me on our upcoming trip to China, though, as I’d certainly prefer not to offend the powers that be.
***One more bit of news regarding our adoption: Our family has been selected to be featured on the fundraising site Give1Save1 in a couple of weeks, check them out here and be sure to watch for our family video!