Top 10 Healthy Christmas Gifts

You’ve just finished decorating the Christmas tree, digging out the decorations from the attic and making your shopping list.  If you’re anything like I used to be you’ll have great intentions to buy meaning gifts this year, but as the days drift on that enthusiasm inevitably turns into stress which can lead to last minute crappy purchases that no one wants or needs.  Thankfully I’m over that and now feeling much more prepared this year.

With that in mind here’s my Christmas Gift Guide. I hope it helps you get some gifts in an easy, meaningful way and gives you the opportunity to share self-care, positivity and wellness.

In the list below you’ll find a variety of ideas for all budgets.All from doTERRA’s range of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.

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Spa Gift Set (€29)

Start the day off right with the fresh, sweet scent of Citrus Bliss Hand Lotion and the invigorating aromas of CPTG™ Bergamot, Grapefruit, and Cedarwood in the dōTERRA SPA Refreshing Body Wash. Citrus Bliss Hand Lotion is a light and silky lotion that absorbs quickly, while natural surfactants in dōTERRA SPA Refreshing Body Wash provide gentle yet thorough cleansing without irritating the skin. The Spa Gift Set comes pre-packaged in a drawstring bag making it an easy gift idea for everyone on your list.

 
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Lip Balm Trio Boxed Set (€23)

Perfect for keeping your lips hydrated and protected this winter; the Lip Balm Trio is now available in a festive boxed set and makes a perfect stocking filler for everyone on your list.  dōTERRA SPA Lip Balm is a natural formula containing plant oils, botanicals, and essential oils to hydrate and soothe lips while delivering the unique scent and taste of essential oils. Set includes 1 Herbal, 1 Tropical & 1 Original.

 
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DIY Bath Bar Gift Set (€32)

The best gifts come from the heart, so indulge your loved ones with handmade, essential oil bath bombs using this do-it-yourself set. We’ve made homemade gift-giving easy by combining the basics needed to whip up a batch of therapeutic bath bombs in no time. Using a few simple ingredients, a couple drops of Eucalyptus essential oil and a little effort, you can make heartfelt, oil-infused gifts for everyone on your list. Set includes silicone bath bomb tray and 15 ml Eucalyptus.

 

Christmas Memories Trio (€89)

The Christmas season is a time of peace, joy and cheer.  We’ve captured the essence of the season in a collectable tin to help set alight the Christmas spirit. The inspiring scents of Holiday Joy, dōTERRA Cheer and dōTERRA Peace will help uplift the mood and create a festive ambiance all season long.

 
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Citrus Ice Gift (€72)

Staying hydrated is crucial for good health, especially during the cold and flu season. Adding essential oils to your water can enhance the flavour and is a great way to help you meet your daily water requirements. Now we’ve made it even easier to stay hydrated with the Citrus Ice Gift Set so you can make essential oil-infused ice cubes at home. This set includes citrus oils of Lime, Grapefruit and Tangerine that add a fresh, vibrant flavour to any drink. 

Use one oil at a time or combine them to make fun, flavourful mixtures. Set includes 15 ml Lime, 15 ml Grapefruit, 15 ml Tangerine and a silicone ice cube tray.

 

doTERRA Favourites Trio (€38)

We’ve made it easy to keep your favourite dōTERRA essential oils on-hand by combining three of our most-popular blends in an exclusive, collectable tin. dōTERRA Air, dōTERRA Balance, and dōTERRA On Guard are must-have oils, especially during the winter months.  Add to your own essential oil collection or gift it to those you care about to introduce them to the power of essential oils.

 

Floral Pouch Set (€144)

Whether you are shopping for yourself or a loved one, this sleek and compact floral pouch is a beautiful yet functional accessory. It is paired with Geranium, Clary Sage & Ylang Ylang, three feminine essential oils that give a personal touch to the holidays. The floral pouch has slots for three 15 ml bottles of essential oils plus an extra pocket and centre compartment with space to store additional oils or other personal belongings. When clasped shut, it holds the contents snugly in place making this ideal to toss in a handbag or rucksack and take with you on-the-go. Set includes floral pouch, 15 ml Geranium, 15 ml Clary Sage and 15 ml Ylang Ylang.

Savoury Cooking Set w/Utensils (€75)

Savour the season and stir up some Christmas memories in the kitchen with the flavours of Oregano, Lemon, Black Pepper and Dill essential oils. Also included is a silicone spatula and mixing spoon to help you whip up something delicious. 

Sweet Cooking Set w/Measuring Spoons (€77)

The popular essential oils of Peppermint, Cinnamon, Wild Orange and Lavender come together in one convenient gift box just in time for Christmas baking. This collection will help you create a tempting assortment of treats that even Santa won’t be able to resist. Also included is a set of silicone measuring spoons along with 5 ml Peppermint, 5 ml Cinnamon, 5 ml Wild Orange and 5 ml Lavender in a giftbox plus a set of silicone measuring spoons.

Seasonal Clay Ornament Set (€26)

Adorn your tree and enjoy the scent of Christmas all season long with an elegant clay ornament that doubles as a diffuser for your favourite oils! Simply place a few drops of essential oil on your ornament and hang it on the tree to enjoy a fresh, lasting scent. Paired with a 15 ml bottle of Siberian Fir, doTERRA’s Seasonal Clay Ornament Set will fill your home with Christmas cheer. Set includes 1 clay diffuser ornament and 15 ml Siberian Fir. Utensils sold separately.

The Ultimate Gift of Health – The Family or Home Essential Kit (Small kit €142, large kit with diffuser €276.75)

Whether you want to treat yourself or give a loved one the ultimate gift of health then this is the one for you.  Both kits contain the top 10 essential oils that are ‘a must’ for every home.  If you’re thinking you wouldn’t even know what to do with them.  No worries, I’ve got you covered. Both kits come with full access to my new online program ‘Low Tox Living Made Simple’ which is packed with videos lessons and downloadable cheatsheets so you can get started straight away.     

Both kits also come with 2 private in-person classes to help you or your loved one on their journey to the ultimate in self-care.

If you want to learn more about these 10 oils before taking the plunge download Lorna’s free guide – How to Create a Natural Medicine Cupboard here.   

HOW TO BUY

I love these gift sets and I bet they’d make the perfect gift for your loved ones.

To purchase these gifts contact Lorna McCormack by email lorna@lornamccormack.com or phone 0872464817.

10 Dead-Simple Ways to Decrease your Exposure to Hormone-Harming Endocrine Disruptors

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Hormones. They drive us crazy. We blame them for anything to do with PMT, pregnancy or teenage tantrums. Other than that, we mostly just ignore them.

But did you know that just about everything you do is dependent on hormones?

Hormones are like little messenger carriers dictating how much energy you have, how well you sleep, your weight & even how well you can fend off illness.  

Like most people my journey to better health began with food – we are what we eat after all. But it wasn’t long before I released that my skin was also ‘eating’ whatever I put onto it.

After all your skin is your biggest organ and absorbs about 60% of whatever you rub onto it. 

This pushed me to step outside the world of nutrition. That’s when I discovered a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors.

Today I’m going to talk about what these are, where they are and easy ways to reduce your exposure to them (without driving yourself crazy!)

What are endocrine disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mess with our hormones.

They work by mimicking hormones and can make our own natural hormones go a little crazy. They can keep your body from using or absorbing a particular hormone, interfere with the messages your hormones are trying to deliver, or even hijack your hormone producing organs. 

Why should you care?

Most of us use personal care products every single day, whether its shampoo, deodorant or foundation, without thinking about what these chemicals might be doing to your body, specifically your hormones.

Women use an average of 12 personal care products per day, exposing us to 168 unique chemicals from cosmetics alone.

Men aren’t far behind with their usage of products like toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, shower gels and lotions.  This exposes men to 85 unique chemicals every day from cosmetics alone.

All that before you even leave your house. 

What’s most concerning is that most of these ingredients have never been assessed for public safety. This led to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) creating a database called Skin Deep.  Here the EWG analyse the ingredients in thousands of cosmetics. Here’s what they found;

  • 34% of the first 60,000 products studied contained chemicals that are associated with cancer.

  • 45% contained chemicals that are associated with reproductive & developmental toxicity.

  • 60% of the products contained estrogenic chemicals. These are synthetic chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen (I’ll explain why that’s not good further down).     

In 2004 the EWG did a landmark study that found out that industrial chemical pollution begins in the womb. This study looked at the umbilical cord of newborn babies and found PCB and DDTs - chemicals banned over 30 years ago! They also found lead and mercury, along with components found in cosmetics such as parabens, phthlates, and synthetic musks.

Another study by EWG looked at teenage girls who now use an average of 17 personal care products per day. They tested 20 teens for 20 different cosmetic ingredients. They found 16 chemicals all  known to alter hormonal levels.

What does this mean for your health?

Let’s look at the effects of two classes of chemicals commonly found in cosmetics; phthalates & parabens.

Phthalates are used as a plasticizer in nail polish and preservative in shampoos and moisturizers.  Because of it’s estrogenic affect these chemicals have known to damage sperm in men, alter sex hormones and alter thyroid hormones in adults.

But the most worrying trend we are seeing today is the lowering of the average age of puberty in girls. In 1920 the average age of a girl getting her first period was 15.5 years, today it’s 10.5 years. 

It’s now considered normal for 6 year old girls to show the first signs of puberty. This is seen in 10% of Caucasian girls.

As someone with two daughters this bothers me. 

There are all kinds of health effects associated with early onset of puberty. The obvious ones are depression, unwanted sexual attention & increased risk of risky behaviour. There’s also an increased risk of diabetes and obesity.

Also, the increased exposure to estrogen over the lifetime of a woman means that there could be an increased risk of breast cancer.  1 in 8 women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime.

The good news is that there’s growing awareness of the damaging effects of the toxic synthetic chemicals in personal care and household products. 

In 2010 President Obama’s Cancer Panel (April 2010) found that

“The percentage of cancers caused by toxic chemical exposure is grossly underestimated.”

“Americans are facing grievous harm from largely unregulated chemicals in the air, food and water.”

We hear so much about over-regulation when it comes to the government in every aspect of our lives but not when it comes to cosmetics. Infact companies (that are legally bound to make profits for their shareholders) are deciding what is safe for us.

Common endocrine disruptors

Here’s a quick rundown on some of the most common hormone disrupters and where you’re likely to find them.

  • Atrazine: This herbicide is sprayed on crops to control weeds and grass. It can be found in drinking water.

  • Bisphenol A (BPA): Despite improved labelling due to public outrage over its use, the supermarket shelves are still loaded with BPA items. It’s common in all kinds of hard and soft plastic including plastic bottles, baby pacifiers and toys, the inside lining of some canned foods, the coating on receipts you get in stores, recycled plastics, dental sealants and in the water, dust and air.

  • Dioxins: Found in fish, seafood, meats, eggs and cheese, this byproduct of industrial processing gets released into the air and settles on the soil making it’s way into our water and plant life.

  • Fire Retardants: A class of chemicals used to make household and commercial goods less flammable such as fabrics, plastics, surface coatings, furniture and baby products.

  • Parabens: Used as a preservative in personal care products, such as deodorants, creams and shampoos.

  • Perchlorate: This industrial chemical is in rocket propellants, fireworks and road flares, and can end up in drinking water.

  • Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs): A class of chemicals used to repel stains. It’s also found in food packaging and non-stick cookware.

  • Pesticides: Used  in farming and food production to kill insects or organisms that harm or eat the crops.

  • Phthalates: Chemicals found in scented personal care and household products such as perfumes, nail polish, household cleaners, carpeting and in plastics.

  • Banned substances: Arsenic, DDT, glycol ethers, lead, mercury, PCBs have been banned since 1980, but are still present in our food chain.

Easy ways to reduce your exposure to hormone-harming endocrine disruptors

  1. Eat organic. Where possible choose food that has been grown organically and not sprayed with endocrine disrupting pesticides and fertilizers.

  2. Wash all of your fresh produce. Yes, even if it’s organic produce (although organic is going to be a damn sight better than non-organic, it doesn’t always mean 100% free from chemicals and you don’t know where cross contamination has occurred). I make my own produce wash using; 1 part water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tbsp of baking soda and 20 drops of any citrus essential oils. Here’s more about the brand of oils I use.

  3. Take care of your thyroid and liver. These are your frontline endocrine organs. Eat plenty of enzyme-rich food (enzymes are destroyed by cooking at high temperatures) and try adding a liver detox to your seasonal healthcare routine (you’ve got one of those, right!)

  4. Use essential oils to support your endocrine system and keep those hormones in check. Here’s my favourite hormone-balancing, stress-busting rollerball blend: 12 drops sandalwood essential oil, 10 drops clary sage essential oil, 8 drops bergamot essential oil, 8 drops lavender essential oil, 4 drops ylang-ylang essential oil, carrier oil of choice (fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil).

  5. Clean your drinking water. Filters like a simple activated carbon jug filter or reverse-osmosis (which is what I use) will get the most of the nasty stuff out of your water.

  6. Eat more plants (& less animal foods). A lot of chemicals end up in greatest concentrations in meat, fish, seafood and other animal products (even organic ones). Limiting these will greatly reduce your intake of endocrine disruptors. On the other hand increasing your intake plant foods that will help you flush toxins from your body–not add to them.

  7. Swap out harmful cosmetics & household cleaners for home-made or low-tox options. Detox your home & skincare routine by getting rid of mystery chemicals and cleaners, dangerous plastic containers, pesticides, sprays, and fragrances lurking in your cupboards. You can make your own (this is easy if you have essential oils) or opt to buy something more natural.   You can refer to the EWGs skin deep database to see how your favourite cosmetics score on their toxicity scale. If you can’t find your product, there’s a nifty feature where you can enter all the ingredients yourself, hit the button and the EWG calculator works it out. 

  8. Vacuum your home. Many endocrine disruptors are found in dust. Use an air filter to catch them and eliminate the rest with a HEPA filter vacuum.

  9. User fewer plastics. Most plastics are at risk of leaching  out chemicals, including not only drinking bottles, but children’s toy, plastic wrap and various recycled plastic items. Store food in glass containers and opt for wooden or cloth toys for kids where possible (I find      this one the toughest, last time I checked I didn’t see too many wooden toys in Toy R’Us! But #progressnotperfection)

  10. Avoid non-stick cookware. Instead opt for stainless steel, cast iron, titanium or ceramic pans.  

I hope you now feel empowered to make some changes.

Remember my favourite motto PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.

While it might be true that we live in an increasingly chemical world, it is also true that there are more and more non-toxic alternatives available (and it’s never been easier to start making your own, it’s cheaper too.) Every time you put your money into a buying a safer product you’re casting your vote for more!  

Your turn; What one thing will you change after reading this?

4 Ways to Use Essential Oils to Rid Your Home of Toxins

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Essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree and just one drop can have powerful health benefits. Essential oils are typically created through the process of distillation that separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming. They are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma.

By concentrating the oils of these plants you are literally extracting some of the most powerful compounds of a plant into a single oil.

For instance, in order to get one pound of lavender essential oil, it takes 150 pounds of lavender flowers! So essentially (pun intended) you can receive 150 times the beneficial properties from lavender essential oils than you would from using straight lavender.

These natural oils in plants protect the plant from insects, shield the plant from a harsh environment and help them adapt to their surroundings. By taking essential oils, you are harnessing the protective and health-promoting powers of a plant.

Essential oils are truly the most potent form of plant-based medicine.

HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS

There are four main ways I recommend using essential oils: inhalation, topical, internal and personal care.

1. AROMATICALLY (INHALATION)

Our sense of smell influences many physiological pathways including the stimulation of hormones and other metabolic processes. Aromatherapy is founded on the body’s predictable response to specific olfactory stimuli.

Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy applications. Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be very stimulating while others can be calming and soothing.

Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify the air of unwanted odors. Low or no-heat essential oil diffuser’s are recommended as they do not change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. Simply use oils in a diffuser, or put a couple drops in the palms of the hands rub together and inhale.

2. TOPICAL

Due to their natural molecular composition, essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically. Application of essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the target area of application.

They have restorative and calming properties and can be used effectively with massage and beauty therapy.

The chemical structure of essential oils also allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefits throughout the body. Simply apply to the area that is causing discomfort. 1-3 drops is perfect for topical application. Please always dilute with a carrier oil of coconut oil, jojoba oil etc to test the sensitivity of the skin first before applying neat.

Some oils are “hot oils” and should always be diluted. Clove, cinnamon, oregano are a few “hot oils.” When in doubt apply essential oils to the bottom of the feet and cover with a pair of natural fiber socks for several minutes. Oils applied to the bottoms of the feet hit the blood stream within 30 seconds and service every cell of the body.

3. INTERNAL

Research suggests that many oils are more effective when taken orally supporting a variety of health conditions.

doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Oils are the only essential oils approved for internal use.

Dosage and dilution are dependent on age, size and health of individual. Oils bought off the shelves are not considered safe to take internally. Simply use a couple drops in a glass or stainless steel cup of water or beverage. Do not use plastic as citrus oils leech out the harmful chemicals found in plastic.

2 drops of Frankincense under the tongue can help support healthy cellular function in the body, whereas a couple drops a day of a citrus oil like Lemon can help to naturally cleanse the body and aid in digestion.

Both are great for daily maintenance and used to promote a healthy immune system.

4. PERSONAL CARE & HOUSEHOLD CLEANING

Essential oils can be used to make your own personal care products — like homemade toothpaste, deodorant and body lotion - and household cleaning products – like surface antibacterial spray, toilet cleaners, carpet fresheners, and stain removers.

Making your own skin & haircare products, and household cleaners is an easy, cheap way to protect you and your family from the bombardment of chemical concoctions we see today.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on how you can use essential oils for supporting your health and well being. There are literally 1000’s of ways to use them for your home, your mood, supporting your immune system and assisting your body back into homeostasis.

Your turn: Have you tried essential oils? What’s you favourite use?

4 Beliefs That Are Preventing You From Making Lasting Change

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Do you ever have trouble achieving your health & fitness goals?

Whether you want to eat more veg, take up running, start a yoga class, lose some weight or anything else, if you're not able to cross that finish line, chances are you’ve got some limiting beliefs standing in your way.

These limiting beliefs rear their ugly head as the sneaky little lies (aka EXCUSES) we tell ourselves about why we can't move ahead until we have more time, more resources, more support, etc.

But here's the deal.

We all have beliefs that stop us from making lasting change or keep us from even trying. 

Our beliefs are like directions from our subconscious.  They tell us what we’re capable of, which is all well and good when you believe in yourself.  But what if you don’t and your beliefs are trying to keep you small and safe and in your comfort zone. These beliefs or thoughts become your limiting beliefs. 

People often ask me how I was able to make so many changes in my life while working a demanding job, raising 3 kids and attending college.  People are amazed when I said it really wasn’t that difficult.  The reason is simple -- I wanted it.  In fact I had a burning desire for it!

This is the secret to making lasting change: you have to want it. 

Next, your beliefs need to back you up, then comes the time for action. 

When your desires, beliefs and actions are all in alignment, there is nothing you can’t achieve.   

Let’s explore the top four limiting beliefs (ahem….excuses) that I hear over and over. 

Limiting belief #1: My family and friends are resistant to eating healthy

The journey to better health can often create resistance amongst loved ones, especially when it comes to food.  Sometimes this resistance is about their vulnerabilities, but other times it’s just because healthy food has a bad reputation. People hear “healthy,” and they think, yuck.  But the days of having to choose between delicious and healthy are over.  The truth is, you need to do this for you.  It’s your time to step up and take care of yourself regardless of anyone else.

And then an interesting thing happens, when you lead by example your loved ones see the change in you.  They see your joy.  They see your glow.  And you just might find them asking how they can get a little bit of that too. 

Limiting belief #2: I’m too busy

Many of you are busy professionals, globetrotters, caregivers for your parents, your children or both.  Whatever the case, there are lots of demands on all of us.   The truth is, we all have the same number of hours in a day.  And it’s your job to choose how to use them.

I sometimes find myself apologetically saying to people ‘I just don’t have the time’.  But the truth is I make time for the things that I want to do, the things that I believe are important, which means other things don’t get done, but less important things. 

So, make your boundaries and stop over-committing to friends, family and colleagues. Don’t be afraid to say no. 

Then ask yourself, are you watching too much TV or surfing the internet for hours?  Can you wake up a little earlier and get to bed sooner?  Can you ask for help when you need it?   

If you let the excuse of not having enough time stand in your way, a year from now you could be in the exact same place you are today or worse. 

Limiting belief #3: But will I meet all my nutritional needs on a plant based diet

This is a great question and ironically one that most people only ask when confronted with a healthy eating plan!

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, the first one is about protein.  The truth is the plant kingdom is full of protein rich foods.  Protein is abundant in vegetables, beans, grains, seeds and nuts. As long as you’re eating well balanced meals like the ones in my recipes blog, you’ll get everything you need. 

Another common myth is about calcium.  Most people believe that cow’s milk is the only source of calcium. But did you know that leafy greens like cabbage, kale and collards contain a huge amount of calcium.  Think of elephants and other powerful animals that rely solely on plant foods for complete nutrition. If they can do it, we can certainly add more veggies to our plate.  When you do, you’ll also be getting a huge dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.   

Limiting belief #4: Fear of failure

Sometimes the biggest obstacle standing in your way is YOU and your fear of failure. You may feel overwhelmed with your health goals.  But do not overthink this or let your past control your future.  You must believe that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.  You only need to take one small step in the right direction.  You don’t need all the answers today.  You just need the willingness to try.

Know that the energy and health you’re seeking is already inside of you.  You just need to unleash it.

Now, tell me what are your limiting beliefs?

What a Whole Food Plant Based Day Looks Like (in pictures)

I am always asked but, Lorna, what do you eat? In this post I want to show you what an average day for me looks like on a whole food plant based 'lifestyle' (with pictures). Read the full post here; https://www.lornamccormack.com/education-blog/what-i-eat-in-a-day

Sunshine Citrus Salt Scrub (for body & face)

Natural & non toxic skincare; A beautiful body scrub made with only natural ingredients. Non-toxic skin care, natural skin care, skin care tips, essential oils for skin, Holistic health business, health coaching business, yoga business, essential oil business.