Intro to Essential Oils Class in PDX

If you live in the Portland area and are interested in learning more about essential oils, I am hosting a FREE class on Sunday, February 1st at 1:30 p.m. The class will take place at Studio Blue in NW Portland. Arsy of Rubies and Radishes and Katja of The Savory Lotus will be presenting the class. If you want to come, please RSVP at the link below. Also, you are welcome to bring guests — just be sure to add them to your RSVP please! The class will last 90 minutes to two hours. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Hope to meet some of you there!

RSVP here:

On another note, if you don’t live in the Portland area, but are interested in getting started with essential oils, please visit here for more details. You are also welcome to email me at

EO class flyer

Holiday Highlights

Family Christmas photo

First off, I hope you all had a lovely, relaxing and fun holiday. Ours was wonderful and lots of new memories were made. We spent Christmas Eve with friends, did our own thing on Christmas day (and talked to family back home in Michigan), and went out with another friend to celebrate the day after Christmas.

On another note, Penny D. was the winner of the Paleo Eats giveaway, which I announced last Tuesday morning. Penny, I still have not heard back from you, so please email me ASAP with your mailing address at If I do not hear from you by end of day on Wednesday, December 31, I will be picking a new winner.


Anyway, here are some random photos from Christmas. I didn’t take too many, but thought I’d share the handful that I did take. We enjoyed pork tenderloin with apples, onions and a hard cider sauce for dinner, along with cauliflower/parsnip mash and kale sautéed with chanterelle mushrooms. Oh, and we made French toast with the sweet bread from Paleo Eats for breakfast that morning and it was incredible! We ate ours with butter and a little raw honey on top, and a side of bacon. Sadly, I didn’t snap any photos of it…or really any food for that matter.

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a happy New Year! Jesse’s birthday is New Year’s Eve and he’s planned some fun festivities during the day — climbing, go-carts and a shooting range (this part is still TBD). That night, we’ll go out to dinner with some friends. Aside from that, I have a recipe in the works that I plan to make on New Year’s day. Hopefully, it’ll turn out well, so I can share it with you all. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted one!


Getting a last minute gift for our kitties on Christmas Eve.
Getting a last minute gift for our kitties on Christmas Eve.
Amazing honey toffee shortbread cookies. Made these last year too.
Amazing honey toffee shortbread cookies. Made these last year too.
Opening presents on Christmas morning.
Opening presents on Christmas morning.
In addition to their new scratching post, the kitties enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.
The kitties enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper. They love their new kitty condo too.
The beautiful necklace Jesse gave me. I gave him lots of hints about this one!
The beautiful necklace Jesse gave me. I gave him lots of hints about this one!
Our tree, which is only decorated on the top third.  You know…cats.
At the Multnomah Whiskey Library the day after Christmas. Incredible place!
At the Multnomah Whiskey Library the day after Christmas. Incredible place!


Young Living Essential Oils

updated everyday oils

I’ve become hooked on essential oils. Only recently did I really start diving into them and now, I look forward to trying more, adding to my collection and spreading the good word. I use them on a daily basis for all different things, and my husband uses them too. We choose to use Young Living essential oils, which are high-quality, therapeutic grade.

Young Living sets the standard for essential oil purity and authenticity by carefully monitoring the production of their oils through their unique Seed to Seal process. Read more about the Seed to Seal process here.

Young Living farm field

How to get started:

You have two options for getting started: as a wholesale member or as a retail customer through the Young Living website.

Your best bet is to join as a wholesale member because this allots you a 24 percent discount on every product offered.  Keep in mind, becoming a member is NOT signing your life away and you have no obligations to sell, place orders every month, have a minimum order or even buy more. But, to maintain your member status and get your discount, you have to purchase $50 worth of product per year. This isn’t much at all!

To start as a wholesale member, you first need to purchase a starter kit. There are three options to choose from, but your best bet is the premium starter kit and I highly recommend it. You get 11 essential oils and a diffuser — all for 50 percent off the retail price! It’s the kit of all kits and no other starter kit contains this many oils. This is the kit I started with and it’s been fantastic. You really do get a lot of bang for your buck.

The Premium Starter Kit is valued at over $300. As a wholesale member, you get this at 50 percent off for $150!

updated premium starter kit

The Premium Starter Kit includes:

  • Ten 5 mL bottles of essential oils including: Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Frankincense, PanAway, Melaleuca Alternifolia, Thieves, Purification, Stress Away and Joy
  • A home diffuser (retail value of this alone is $96)
  • 5 mL bottle of Citrus Fresh
  • Aroma Glide roller fitment (to turn any oil into a roll-on)
  • Two sample packets each of Lavender, Peppermint, Peace & Calming, Lemon and Thieves (for you to share with friends and family)
  • Two NingXia Red 2-oz. samples

How to sign up as a Young Living wholesale member:

1. Click on the sign-up page. You will need a sponsor in order to start. My member number should appear on the page, 2225243.

2. Choose, “Sign Up As: Young Living Wholesale Member.” This will make you a distributor (really, you’re just a member, unless you decide to embark on the business side of things). If you select retail customer, you will not receive the wholesale discount.

3. The “Enroller ID” and “Sponsor ID” boxes should already be filled in for you (enter 2225243 if the boxes are empty).

4. Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address and contact info. You are asked to enter your social security number for tax purposes. If you make over $600/year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 in the mail, which is required by law. Young Living will never share this info with anyone and this is protected just like in an employer/employee relationship. You do have the option to use a tax ID instead or you can call customer service and give the info over the phone: 1-800-371-3515.

5. Create a password and pin, which you will use to log into your account and order product. Make sure to write this down!

6. Select your enrollment order. This is where you specify which Starter Kit you want. Again, I recommend the Premium starter kit. Remember, you must sign up with a kit to become a wholesale member. To maintain your 24 percent discount going forward, you only need to spend $50 each year on any product in the Young Living store. You will have no monthly obligation to buy or sell ever and there are no additional fees!

7. If desired, set up your optional Essential Rewards Program. ER is not a requirement to sign up as a wholesale member. This is a rewards program you can opt into to start earning money back to help pay for your oils. You can skip this step by selecting, “No, thank you. I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later.” Read more about essential rewards here.

8. Agree to Terms & Conditions.

9. Confirm your order and enrollment info. To confirm, the tool will log you in and show you your order again, and will make you enter in your payment information again.

10. Add any additional product that you would like with your starter kit (capsules, other oils, etc.).

11. Check out and you are DONE!

Hooray, now you’re a member! Remember, your membership will renew each year as long as you spend $50 in a calendar year. Trust me, this won’t be a problem! The kit is a one-time deal and you do not have to buy another one each year to continue.

While you’re waiting for your kit to arrive, I recommend checking out this free eBook, 100+ Uses for Everyday Oils. This is a great way to start learning about the oils that come in your kit and how you can use them.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also join my closed essential oils Facebook group HERE!

It’s the Holiday Season!


I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving and long weekend! Jesse and I did our own little Thanksgiving again, which we always enjoy. We had an invite to a friend’s house, but had already started planning our meal and decided to stay home. I had to help coach the holiday class at the gym and wanted to Skype with my family in Michigan anyway, so staying home made more sense.

Anyway, about the food: I made a pasture-raised turkey the same way I did the last two years — brined for two days (I use New Season’s homemade brine — just chardonnay, bay leaves, sea salt and pepper) then slathered it in homemade herb butter, and stuffed it with fresh lemon, onion and herbs. To go with the turkey, I made cultured cranberries, cauliflower/parsnip mash, paleo green bean casserole and my crustless butternut squash pie for dessert. Everything was so delicious and we’re still enjoying the turkey leftovers.

During the afternoon, while the turkey was roasting, we enjoyed fresh roasted chestnuts (that’s what Jesse is prepping in the picture below) and wine.

Chestnut roasting prep

Turkey, fresh out of the oven

Carving the turkey. The house gets hot!

Thanksgiving side dishes

My Thanksgiving plate

The rest of the long weekend included a little work, brunch with a friend, a little shopping (bought two things), decorating for Christmas and getting our Christmas tree. We did the tree thing legitimately this year and went to a tree farm where you cut the tree down yourself. It was fun and cold!


Tree hunting

Cutting the tree down!

Hauling the Christmas tree

On Sunday, we decorated the tree a little more and then picked out things to do for 24 Days of Togetherness. We did it last year and enjoyed it so much that we decided to do it again. Like last year, we picked out 12 things together and then each picked six on our own to be a surprise. Our day one pick of, “go out for a meal” put us off to a good start. We had lunch at our paleo restaurant, Cultured Caveman that day. Since then, we’ve picked watch a Christmas movie and wildcard. Today’s is still TBD.

My Cultured Caveman lunch

Jesse at Cultured Caveman

Jamaica Wellness Retreat Recap


You may recall that I went to Jamaica last month for a wellness retreat with Synchronicity Wellness and ePhysiologix. I was fortunate to have won the retreat, which was truly meant to be. The retreat was called, “Optimizing Your Awesomeness,” and took place at an all-inclusive resort called, the Grand Lido in Negril, Jamaica for 4 nights and 5 days. I felt very blessed to be given this opportunity and it still blows my mind when I think about it. I was able to take Jesse with me as well and we both had a wonderful time. We met a group of amazing like-minded people, learned some valuable things, got plenty of R&R and enjoyed visiting a new place. It was transformative, introspective and an experience to remember. The retreat was led by Dr. Dan Stickler, Dr. Mickra Hamilton, Dr. Warren Walsh and Kim Smith. Below is a group shot of all of us  striking our, “power pose.”

Jamaica power pose


Some of the topics covered during presentations and discussions included stress, sleep, heart rate variability (HRV), strategic eating, nutrition and food intolerances, breathing and meditation, fitness, living optimally and more. Each morning started with yoga and meditation outdoors, which was led by the lovely, Kim of the PaleoYogaMom. After yoga, some of us weight trained in the resort gym and then, we normally ate breakfast together. Lectures started shortly after and lasted a few hours. The rest of the day was ours to do as we pleased, but most of us all hung out together on the beach during the day.

Oh, one day it started pouring in the afternoon (literally buckets of rain!), so we had a dance party and played a classic Jamaican game (see next two pics):




Jamaica dudes

If you’re curious, it was not hard to eat paleo on this trip at all. Breakfast and lunch was always a huge buffet, and dinner was at our choice of on-site resort restaurants (they were very accommodating with substitutions and dietary needs). One of the nights, there was a giant dinner buffet though, which had so many great foods to choose from (fresh fish steamed in coconut milk was my favorite that night). My breakfast of choice was always bacon, eggs made to order (which they’d cook in butter for me), steamed greens (which I’d put butter on) and black coffee. Lunch was usually more steamed veggies, curry or stew of some sort (one day was even goat, which I tried for the first time and enjoyed), fresh fish and maybe a little salad with olive oil. Most of my dinners were fresh fish (often snapper) with veggies, but I did have a delicious beef filet one night as well.




Anyway, here are some interesting points or things to think about that I took away from the retreat:

  • Humans are the only beings that can think themselves into stress.
  • About 90 percent of physician visits are stress related.
  • With stress, you have to treat the brain, not the adrenals (the brain sends the signals).
  • Constant chronic stress has you constantly on guard, ready to jump.
  • 20 minutes of meditation is equal to 2 hours of sleep on the body.
  • The time of your sleep is crucial. Going to bed from 12-8 is not the same (quality-wise) as 10-6. This is because our circadian rhythm is most active from sunset to sunrise.
  • You need 8 REM cycles for adequate sleep each night. To get all 8 REM cycles every night, you need 7.5 hours of sleep minimum. Only about 1 percent of the population is efficient and needs less.
  • Memories make life epic, not material things!
  • Happiness is a choice; only YOU can make YOU happy.
  • Lucky people will pick up on opportunities or details that other people miss or overlook.
  • Practice more autotelic living. In other words, do something solely for the purpose of doing it and not for its goals or consequences. Pay attention to an activity for its own sake. This is the idea of getting into a flow state.
  • Keys to balance are: 1. Sleep, 2. Stress management, 3. Sound nutrition and 4. Smart exercise. It is imperative to keep it in this order!
  • Nutrigenomics is the combination of food, environment, genetics and epigenetics.
  • 95 percent of us is subconscious. We use only 5 percent of our brain.
  • We are conditioned by our experiences. We have a love lens and a fear lens.
  • You can un-pattern your conditioned responses via breath-work and meditation.
  • To change our lives, we must change the way we think, feel and behave. Break up your habits, take another route, do things differently. You can’t change anything by fighting what exists.
  • Use your breath to get out of an unhealthy reaction or situation (excuse yourself for a few minutes if you need to). In doing so, you’ll realize there’s never really a need for conflict.
  • 70 percent of people live in the past. Come back to the present! There’s also no need to stew about the future. The present is all you have and there is no stress if you’re in the present moment.
  • Ask fear why it’s there. Move from illusion to truth.

The ePhysiologix and Synchronicity Wellness team is leading another retreat in May 2015, which will take place in Sedona, Arizona. Jesse and I are hoping to go, but can’t commit financially at this point. If you’re interested in attending, please check out this link for more details. I guarantee it will be epic! Plus, I’ve heard Sedona is pretty magical.


What I’m Loving Lately

Hi everyone, I’m still here! I know it doesn’t always seem like it sometimes since I post sporadically now, but I’m around and still care about my blog and all of you. As most of you know, I post when I can and when I have something I deem share worthy.

Meanwhile, I’ve been really enjoying my summer so far — crazy hot temps and all! Luckily, it’s supposed to start coming back to normal summer temps now. Anyway, you really can’t beat summer in Portland though. It’s kind of the best. My mom is coming to visit me in less than two weeks and will stay with me while Jesse goes home to Michigan for a visit. I’ll be going back home at the end of September for my cousin’s wedding and didn’t want to go back twice in a such a short period of time. Jesse did and had the funds to do so though, but I’ll be here working and hanging out with my mom. I’m totally good with that and am happy to stay here!

Anyway, with summer in full swing, I thought I’d share some things I appreciate and am loving lately. Here goes:

  1. Fresh-picked blueberries: Jesse and I did our annual blueberry pick this past weekend. You may recall my blueberry picking post from 2013 and 2012. Anyway, we picked a whopping 21 pounds in the mid-day heat. They are the best blueberries and so plump! We kept a big bowl in the fridge and froze the rest. Sadly, we did not make it to Besaws for breakfast this year before our annual pick. I did miss that part.Jesse picking blueberriesBeautiful blueberries
  2. Walks around my neighborhood: I walk all year round, but it’s wonderful not having to bundle or cover up in the summertime. I get a good dose of vitamin-D and take in both new and familiar surroundings. I love exploring and walking with no destination and finding the unordinary in the ordinary. Sometimes, I challenge myself to find 10-20 things I haven’t noticed before. The other day, I found this and thought it was a gem of a find and totally Portland appropriate.Random find in my neighborhood
  3. Kombucha “cocktails”: squeeze of fresh lemon, kombucha (I like this with GT’s Gingerade or Trilogy), ice and splash of sparkling water for extra fizz. If you wanted to make it an adult beverage, you could add a little vodka, which mixes pretty darn well with kombucha.Kombucha "cocktail"
  4. Ham lettuce wraps: fresh green leaf or romaine lettuce, New Seasons fresh sliced honey ham (good quality and no junk), yellow mustard, cucumber and thin slices of grass-fed cheddar cheese. Sometimes avocado too. This has been my favorite lunch lately. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture to share, but I think you all get the idea, right?
  5. Jasmine Primal Pit Paste: this new Jacked-Up Jasmine scent reminds me of my late grandma. She often wore floral scents and I can’t help but think of her when I use this. It’s an added bonus to a product I already love. The smell is fresh, feminine and lovely. It works pretty well too, at least the strong does.

Jacked-Up Jasmine Primal Pit Paste


Poop Like a Pro: Step and Go™ Product Review

Photo Credit: Step and Go
Photo Credit: Step and Go

First off, I was really excited when someone from Step and Go™contacted me to test their product. I had been wanting to try a toilet squatting stool for a while now, so jumped on the opportunity when it was presented. I actually had to laugh at the subject line of the email – “Poop like a paleo.” It definitely caught my attention! 

Please know, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own and even though I received a free Step and Go™ to test out, I was not compensated in any way to write this review.


Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of talk floating around lately about proper elimination and bathroom posture. Squatting to poop is nothing new, but our modern day toilets don’t allow us to squat when going to the bathroom. If you visit other countries though, particularly in Asia, you can walk into a bathroom and still find a hole in the floor in which to poop. Traditionally, it’s the way we’ve always pooped and anatomically, it makes a lot more sense. If you ask me, it’s more comfortable too.

So, what’s the deal with squatting and why is it a more natural pooping position?

Well, for one, squatting allows for “a more complete and healthier elimination,” as stated on the Step and Go™ website. A squatting position opens the colon completely, whereas sitting causes it to break or kink. Forcing the rectum into a kinked position causes the need to strain, which can then lead to other problems such as hemorrhoids, constipation, fecal stagnation (major cause of colon disease), bowel herniation, etc. The website also states that most colon cancers develop in areas which can’t be fully emptied in the sitting position. Notice the difference between the two images below. The first shows the anorectal angle in the sitting position and the second shows it in the squatting position. Notice the kink in the first and the straighter line in the second. See how fecal matter could get stuck in that kink in the sitting position? Pretty gross and no wonder it causes problems!

Photo credit: Step and Go
Photo credit: Step and Go

So, how does the Step and Go work?

In a nutshell, it acts as a little step stool for your feet, so you can find your squat. It is designed for use with the modern day toilet and fits right at the base of the toilet bowl. When you need it, just slide it out and place your feet on top to find your squatting position. While going, you can comfortably rest your arms or hands on your knees. When finished, slide it back along the base of the toilet for easy storage.

My Experience

Jesse and I have both been using the Step and Go™ for about two weeks now and based on our positive experience, prefer to always use it for elimination from now on. Before even trying the product, I knew I was going to be a fan and notice a difference because the whole concept made sense to me. Even after trying it just once, I already felt a greater appreciation for it. I didn’t really have any trouble going before trying the Step and Go™ (I did before paleo though), but using it seems to make everything that much more easeful and natural. Without getting too explicit, I’ll just say that I’m left feeling much cleaner and emptier when the duty is done. It’s comfortable, simple and works well.

I highly recommend getting a Step and Go™ for your own bathroom(s) at home, so you can start pooping better and improving your elimination health. It’s easy to use, affordable and appropriate for everyone, even kids. Lucky for you, the folks at Step and Go™ created a promo code just for Paleo in PDX readers! Enter the code PDX10 at checkout for 10 percent off your entire purchase! The code is good now through October 1, 2014. Go to the Step and Go™ website to get yours ASAP!

For those of you that currently use the Step and Go™ or a similar product, what do you think? Have you noticed a difference? Also, if you purchase a Step and Go™ report back and let me know what you think!