How To Heal: Essential Oils with Jodi Dwyer

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This week, I met with Jodi Dwyer, a very passionate Young Living EO representative, to discuss essential oils! We talked about why essential oils have so many benefits, how the body absorbs them, the importance of oil purity, and how to use essential oils to get the best benefits!. Warning... you may spend your entire paycheck on oils after this interview!! Enjoy! 

Carolyn: Hey Jodi! I'm SO excited to connect today to talk about essential oils! I've been following you on Facebook and I'm pumped to have you share your knowledge with us. So please - go ahead and introduce yourself!

Jodi: Thanks, Carolyn! Hi, I'm Jodi Dwyer. A Boston gal, MS advocate, travel enthusiast, Young Living essential oil educator, oncology social worker and sangria fanatic!

Carolyn: Hahah, I love it! How did you first get involved with essential oils? 

Jodi: I followed a blogger for about a year and she shared a lot about her lifestyle with Young Living Essential Oils. I was always intrigued but skeptical. Then a real life friend shared about them and she is a no nonsense kind of girl, so I knew then that Young Living was the real deal and reached out to her with some questions. She got me started with Young Living's Premium Starter Kit and the rest is history.

Carolyn: It always helps to know someone in person who can back up your intuition! I'm happy you had that friend! So, what has been your personal experience with oils over the years? 

Jodi: I've been using Young Living Essential Oils for over 3.5 years and my overall experience has been exceptional. I share about them because I've had such positive results with living a healthier life and want others to have similar experiences. I have more energy, sleep more restfully, feel more balanced emotionally and just feel better overall. 

Carolyn: I was really impressed at how much essential oils balanced my mood! I know they have a bunch of benefits, can you tell me what some of the main benefits of essential oils are? Why should we use them? 

Jodi: Oh yeah, there's a lot! Essential oils are the most powerful part of the plant. Many provide support for every body system: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, endocrine, hormones, respiratory and immune system. 

Tests have shown that they reach the heart, liver, and thyroid in 3 seconds when inhaled. They were found in the bloodstream in 26 seconds when applied topically. Expulsion of essential oils takes 3/6 hours in a normal, healthy body. 

Carolyn: Oh wow, that's so interesting! So it helps a little bit of everything. How do you know if you're getting a quality product?

Jodi: It's really important to use essential oils that are pure. You get what you pay for and not all essential oils are created equal! I trust Young Living due to their Seed to Seal process (http://seedtoseal.com/en). They are the global leader in essential oils and have been in business for almost 25 years. I was able to visit the Mona Farm in Utah this past September and it was a fascinating experience. I saw the process first hand, met the farmers, talked to the scientists and even planted some seeds!

Using essential oils to support our body just makes sense - they have been used since biblical times and worked for 15th century thieves to avoid the plague while robbing from bodies of the death and dying! Authentic essential oils are 100% pure with no added synthetics which means no toxic ingredients. 

Carolyn: Makes sense to me! There are so many different kinds of oils and blends, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. What is a good way for someone to get started if they don't know what oils to buy? 

Jodi: Good question! I felt overwhelmed when I started too but I had a great teacher who showed me the ropes. Additionally, there are many reliable resources out there that I shared with my members and I'm there to teach and guide them as much as needed. I started my oils journey with Young Living's Premium Starter Kit. It includes 11 bottles of oils (the most popular) to help you get started along with a diffuser and other samples. It is sold for half the price of its value and if you are like me you like knowing you are getting the best deal! 

Becoming a "wholesale member" with Young Living is similar to getting a Costco membership. It simply allows you to purchase future oils/products for a discounted price but their is no obligation to purchase again or sell! 

I also teach classes both online and in person so if you are more of a hands on learner don't worry. We'll set something up that works for your style! I could talk about oils for hours so you'd never be bothering me as you're learning!

Carolyn: Clearly you feel very passionate about Young Living! How did you get started with your company? What drew you to work for them? 

Jodi: When looking into different brands of essential oils, I did a lot of research. I don't want to put crap on my body!  I was drawn to Young Living's Seed to Seal process. They are the oldest essential oil company in the world so they must be doing something right. Their transparency is like no other company's and to me that just felt right. The more I learn about their global mission work and how much they give back to the community the more impressed I am with not only their products but their generosity.

But I NEVER intended to "sell" essential oils or work for a MLM company. I had such amazing benefits from the oils and products that I couldn't help but share with my friends and then these oils sold themselves. Next thing I knew I was doing the business and loving it! Anyone who knows me knows that I would never share about a product that I didn't love just to make a buck. It is not about that for me. I try to be as authentic as I can be. Ask me anything! 

Seeing how many friend's lives have been positively impacted by Young Living blows me away. I continue to work this business because I love helping people. I'm also an oncology social worker so my life revolves around helping people both professional and personally. I love the balance of these two jobs and how I get to use different skills and expertise for each but also find so much overlap too!

Carolyn: I'm so happy that you've found something that aligns with your personal mission. It truly is a gift to share different ways to heal that can positively affect people's lives! Tell me more about your classes.

Jodi: I teach classes, both online and in person. I teach the most basic class, "Intro to Essential Oils" most frequently but also teach more specific topics like removing toxic products from your home, using oils "in the bedroom" (if you catch my drift), supplements, oils and emotions, oils and pets, etc. 

Carolyn: Oh yeah, I didn't even think about cleaning products! Why is it important to clean with oils instead of store-bought cleaners?

Jodi: Store bought cleaners are filled with a lot of harmful chemicals. Even the "cleaner" options are often "green washed." These products are disrupting our hormones, endocrine system, and leading to many health issues like asthma, cancer, learning issues, etc. It is scary stuff! I always say "know better do better." If you know something is bad for you then try to do better. Make small changes in your home and I promise you'll start to feel better! 

Carolyn: Sweet! And what advice would you give someone who’s just beginning to learn about the power of essential oils?

Jodi: If you are just starting out I would strongly recommend that you do your research. Choose a company that you trust. Purity is the most important thing. If you've tried cheap oils in the past and they didn't work it is likely because they were not pure. Let's chat! I'm happy to teach you more.  

That being said, I am not a doctor and the information found here is not in any way meant to take the place of professional medical advice. This is for education purposes only based on opinions and facts that I have found to be true in my own experience and with research. Please consult your doctor before using essential oils if you have any questions about your medical situation. 

Carolyn: Awesome, thanks for being so open! I'm sure people will want to connect with you, Where can they find you?    

Jodi: If you would like to chat more please feel reach to reach out by email, text - 617- 420 - 8551, or on my website

Interviews by Carolyn from Without The Weight, Inc. are meant to share all the different options available to heal your mind, body, and spirit from a holistic lens. Any advice or recommendations are meant to work as complementary therapies alongside any treatment provided by your medical practitioner and are not suggested as a replacement for medical care.

How To Heal: Eating Clean with Kristen Ciccolini

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This week, I met with Kristen Ciccolini of Good Witch Kitchen, a certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and Holistic Nutrition Coach, to talk about all things food related! We caught up on how she got involved in nutrition coaching, how food connects to emotions, and some tips and tricks to choosing healthy foods for a healthy lifestyle! Let’s dive in!

Carolyn: Hi Kristen, thank you so much for meeting with me! I’m SO excited to hear about your journey through proper nutrition and how you’re sharing that message with the world! So first and foremost, tell me a little about yourself. What made you want to become a nutrition coach?

Kristen: Hi Carolyn! My story is mood and energy related. I dealt with mood swings and low energy for a long time. I just never put it together that it was connected to the food I was eating! In college, I would go through bouts of eating only goldfish and Hershey’s Kisses. I was really depressed, but a few years after college, I took a class that included a workout and a nutritious brunch after and I learned so much. The teacher explained the ingredients and what benefits each ingredient offered, that’s what made everything click! She helped me understand the reason why our body needs certain foods and the changes I was making made me feel better. Once I started feeling so much better, I realized that I wanted to share that message too! Depression still comes and goes, but it’s usually a sign that I’ve fallen off track.

Carolyn: What an amazing opportunity! So that’s why you started your cooking classes?

Kristen: Yes! I knew I wanted to teach because when I started learning, it changed EVERYTHING for me. I remember I got so excited, I just wanted to tell everyone “Hey, did you know food can make you feel good?!” I felt compelled to spread the word!

Carolyn: I love that energy and I know the feeling all too well! Your classes sound fun, can you walk me through a typical cooking class with you?

Kristen: Absolutely. My cooking classes are focused on healthy eating. We tend to make gluten free and vegan recipes to keep it all inclusive and it gives people a way to see that they can eat that way and still have an abundant, delicious meal.

Carolyn: That’s so important! I constantly hear people say they don’t want to eat that way because they’d be depriving themselves of the foods they really want. Truth is, they’re craving tastes and flavors instead of specific foods themselves.

Kristen: Yes, it’s my favorite thing when someone can’t believe the recipe is vegan! There’s so much you can add to get in a variety of nutrients and flavors. It just teaches them different ways to eat and shows them that healthy foods can be just as enjoyable.  

Carolyn: That was a huge realization for me in my own journey so I love to hear that you’re creating that wave for others as well!

Kristen: It’s important because a lot of people think that eating healthy means deprivation. I come from a place of abundance and want to show people that there’s no deprivation in eating gluten free or plant based. There are so many things to eat and knowing about the ingredients will help students bring what they learn from our class to their kitchen.

Carolyn: Girl, you are so on point. Feelings of deprivation leads to cheating, bingeing, and mood swings and most people only feel that deprivation because they don’t know how to make healthy food taste good! Do you have a favorite “go-to” dish?

Kristen: There’s this really easy to make salad that I love because it reminds me of my grandfather’s garden. Tomatoes, artichokes, romaine lettuce, any other veggies I have laying around, and oil and vinegar. I also really love black bean chili. Honestly, I could eat those every day, all week!

Carolyn: Mmmmm with the weather starting to turn, black bean chili sounds AMAZING right now. Cleary nutrition is your calling, why do you call yourself “the good witch”?

Kristen: Witches were and still are known as healers. We use natural remedies and through my work I give people the tools they need to manage their health naturally through whole foods and nourishing rituals.

Carolyn: And what a gift that is… so, if you had to give someone who is just starting to transition to a healthier lifestyle one piece of advice about food, what would you tell them?

Kristen: Drop the processed foods. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Making healthy foods at home can be really simple and it’s actually really therapeutic and satisfying to make your own meals! I understand that life can get hectic, which is why I also offer educational workshops at the BCAE and through corporate wellness to give busy people immediate strategies and takeaways to make healthy eating more convenient.

Carolyn: That’s really great advice! I’m gonna pick your knowledgeable brain just a littttllleeee bit more since I have you here. Can you give me 3 tips on how to begin?

Kristen: Of course! First, you want to figure out what you’re looking to get out of eating well. Giving it an emotional connection helps you stay focused when things start to get tough. I’d also suggest paying attention to how certain foods make you feel. Everyone deals with different foods in different ways so you want to pay attention to brain fog, achy joints, or gas and bloating. Notice what you ate beforehand and then try cutting it out for a while to see if those symptoms go away. Lastly, don’t forget to HYDRATE! In order to get the nutrients to absorb properly, you need to drink water. It circulates through the system and helps you digest properly, so even when you’re eating well, it won’t process well in the body if you don’t have enough water. I recommend half your body weight in ounces per day.

Carolyn: Wow! I’m so glad I asked that last question, those tips are really helpful and so simple! Your classes sound amazing and you’re clearly so well informed, how can people find you?

Kristen: I teach classes all around Boston and do private nutrition consulting as well. Finding me on Instagram and my website are the best ways to connect!

Interviews by Carolyn from Without The Weight, Inc. are meant to share all the different options available to heal your mind, body, and spirit from a holistic lens. Any advice or recommendations are meant to work as complementary therapies alongside any treatment provided by your medical practitioner and are not suggested as a replacement for medical care.

How To Lose Weight Through Stress Management

Is the secret to weight loss something that can be done without ever getting up from your chair?

I know it sounds weird. Let me explain.

You’re most likely reading this post because you’re tired of always trying to lose weight. You’ve got the gym membership. you know the diet, heck, you may even have all the foods stocked up in your fridge. Yet, something always gets in the way

Cravings, invitations to events where you don’t want to seem difficult, or even just boredom or a bad mood can come into play and mess up all your weight loss plans. Before you know it, those margaritas from happy hour on Thursday extended to a weekend bender that leaves you bloated and disappointed all over again.

You get mad at yourself for being “weak” and then resolve to start all over again…. on Monday.

Sound familiar?

I’ve been there and through my journey of talking about it, I’ve found that it’s extremely common for other people to go through it too.

But why?!?!

I genuinely thought it was about the food. I thought that there was just something about me that was hyper programmed to want to eat massive amounts of salty, sweet, and delicious (but ohhhhh so bad for you!) treats, but when I look back at what gets in the way… those cravings, invitations, or emotions…. it made me realize that I was wrong. DEAD wrong.

It doesn’t actually have much to do with the food itself and everything to do with what’s going on in your mind.

I know, I thought it was crazy too, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made!

Weight loss comes from diet and exercise, but if you can’t get yourself to do it, how can you ever be successful? Every action comes from a thought first. Your thoughts talk to the cells in your body and tell it what to do and it doesn’t matter if you’re going vegan or paleo, taking dance classes or doing cross fit, if your thoughts don’t match your goals, your body won’t know how to get you there!

That’s why I focus with all my clients on stress management over weight loss.

We look at slowing down our thoughts, becoming aware of the story line that goes on in our mind, and then using specifically targeted mindset exercises to help shift that thinking from negative to positive.

The truth is, in order to be successful, you have to think successfully. It starts in your head and once you learn how to manage your thoughts, your health, happiness, and healing will naturally follow.

What do you think? How has your mindset impacted your journey? Comment below and share what you’re struggling with and what tools you’ve used to overcome it!

How To Maintain Motivation

It’s Monday.

You’re pumped with energy and ready for the week. You got everything together this weekend, making sure you had healthy food in the house, meals all prepped, and that the gym membership that you’ve been paying for (and not going to) for months was still active.

Motivation is just flowing through your veins as you go through the day, excited that surely, this will be the last time you ever have to start over.

Monday through Wednesday are great! You snuck a few m&m’s on Wednesday but that’s nothing compared to the king size bag you used to scarf down every day. That’s all in your past now.

But then, on Thursday, that cute coworker tells you that they’re all going out for happy hour after work and you should come.

Anxiety hits.

You brought your meal prep, but you’ve been working so hard all week and you really want to be social. In fact, it would be bad business not to go and one night out with coworkers couldn’t be that bad. You’ll just have one drink and jump right back to your diet tomorrow.

You go out and somehow, one margarita turns to three. Soon you’re splitting nachos and wondering if anyone is down to order another plate for the table.

The next morning, you wake up with a hangover and bloat.

You’d be happy to start over today, but you didn’t pack your lunch last night and all you can think about now is how good a cup of coffee and a piece of lemon cake from Starbucks would be. You’ll get a salad for lunch.

But then lunch comes around and the office ordered pizza to celebrate that it’s Friday. You think about your bank account and opt for the free lunch and gossip with your coworkers about last night’s escapades.

By the time you get home, you’re exhausted and opt to order Chinese food. It’s the weekend now and you’re absolutely beat. For sure, on Monday, you’ll start over one more time.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. In fact, this is the cycle most of us live in.

We start a new diet or exercise routine with gusto but soon, as external situations pop up, we lose motivation and fall off track.

Really, all we needed was to know was how to stay motivated, but instead, we let our goals fall to the wayside and put it off, just for one more weekend.

Enough is enough.

If you have goals that you want to hit, making the decision to hit them is the first step.

Second step is understanding why that goal is so important to you. What will dieting bring you? Weight loss to fit into your old jeans? Better health so you can heal your chronic illness? A calmer and more focused mind so you can excel at work? Whatever the end goal is, get clear on it and keep that image in your mind.

The third step is to surround yourself with motivation. According to Zig Ziglar “Motivation doesn’t last, but neither does bathing. That’s why we suggest it daily.” Fill up your social media feeds with pages that remind you of your mission, keep notes around your bedroom and office to keep you focused, bring yourself back to the reason for your goal as often as humanly possible.

By doing this every single day (multiple times a day) you are filling your brain with that motivation. Truth is, it’s in the action of constantly bringing it back to your attention that will keep you motivated, not the actual motivation itself.

Motivation is yours in abundance if you keep your mind on the goal. Position yourself for success and it’s yours for the taking!

How To Achieve At Anything

When I was a kid, I used to watch True Life on MTV.

Have you ever seen it? It’s this documentary show where they find 3 people who all share a common obstacle and then record their life as they struggle with it. The intention is to give viewers an insight into other people’s hidden struggles. For me, I just thought it was entertaining.

Some memorable episodes were “True Life: I have Epilepsy” and “True Life: My Parents are in Porn”, I mean honestly, this show had everything! But then one night, as I laid curled up on my couch in PJs, “True Life: I’m Going To Fat Camp” came on the screen.

I immediately turned the volume up. Three people were up to go to fat camp. One that really wanted it, one that was being forced to go by her family, and a third. I don’t remember much about the third, but I’ll never forget how emotional I got over the other two.

The one who wanted it, let’s call her Mary, saw fat camp as an opportunity. She worked her butt off just to get the money to be able to go and, when she got there, she utilized everything they had available to her. She saw fat camp as her path to better health and happiness and she wasn’t going to waste it for anything.

The second girl, again let’s make up a name - Jenna, didn’t want to go. She knew she needed to lose weight, but the idea of going to a fat camp upset her. Jenna wanted to do it on her own, even though she hadn’t been successful on her own, and her parents insisted she go. She was miserable and didn’t want to participate in anything at camp. She saw it as if it were a prison that she couldn’t stand to be in. She ended up sneaking out and getting candy bars with another girl and getting kicked out of camp.

I cheered at the TV when her parents had to come get her.

I tell you this story because these two girls both had the same goal and the same opportunities available to both of them, but only one had success. The only real difference between these two were their mindset, and that was the main driver of success versus failure.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you know or how much opportunity you have, it’s how to choose to use it. Every action comes from a thought first.

When you have a goal in mind, start to notice how you feel about that goal. Do you think you’ll hit it? Why or why not? Once you start to understand your thoughts around your goal, then you can start to shift your actions.

The opportunities, tools, tips and tricks are all available to you in abundance, but if your perspective sees them as negatives, then all you can get from the situation is negative.

If you want to find success in your journey, to achieve at anything, become aware of your mindset and start shifting your thoughts to gratitude and positivity. That energy will always lead you down the right path to health, healing, and happiness.

Because, True Life: Perspective Matters.