after alaska.

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our trip to alaska was a learning experience.

we realized a lot about what we need to exist.

number one on that list:

our car = our freedom. without it we were trapped in a cycle of bad food choices, nothing to do that didn’t rely on the shuttle schedule and ultimately a scary health moment that led us to the decision to leave. isolation is one thing, but being hours away from medical care is a whole other ball of wax when you have a chronic illness.

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number two:

good friends can be made everywhere you go. we met a handful of people that we will definitely stay in touch with. and then we met a few people who became close friends. being in the same situation; living, working, eating, playing together builds strong friendships. that was a positive. that was something we wouldn’t change.

number three:

alaska is just alaska. so on the bus ride (the torturous, five hour bus ride from anchorage to healy) I kept waiting. waiting for the “WOW!!” moment when alaska would knock my socks off. that never came. I mean, it was pretty and it had trees and mountains and more trees…but it wasn’t like, OH OK THIS IS AMAZING. it was just, *shrug* alaska.

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number four:

I never saw a bear: in fact in the months we were there the total wildlife I saw amounted to three moose and a handful of sea gulls. seriously.

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(ok I did get to see this, which was pretty freaking cool. the bus they used in the filming of into the wild which was an inspiration for coming here in the first place.)

number five:

we really just need each other. (I know, right?) but for real. life is about the people you choose to share it with. and then making that time the healthiest, happiest time possible.

stay tuned. we’re moving this party east 🙂

 

 

All images © 2013-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

 

finding life in death valley.

my son needed a little break from the winter doldrums back in grey-skies-will spring-never-arrive-cleveland, so we sent him a ticket to fly into las vegas and planned a few days of camping and a visit to death valley national park.

now the name death valley conjures up a desolate, barren wasteland of nothingness. a mad max-like expanse of desert as far as the eyes can see, with nothing growing, just the occasional blowing dune, or skeleton of the tourist before you who didn’t bring enough water. (always bring enough water)

so, we were pleasantly surprised when we found that death valley had really more life than death. and just as many highs as lows.

one of the most spectacular highs being dante’s view.

I mean, come on.

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from the top you could see 360 degrees for miles. and on the way up there (you climb a mile high over 13 miles of winding road) was so much green, and wildflowers…..no death anywhere. 

stunning.

and the sunset from there, well, it sure takes the mind off dreary cleveland weather.

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there were lots of opportunities to climb things.

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and climbed they both did.

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this is called the artist’s palette: it’s mounds of colorful mineral-rocks left after volcanic activity. it basically looks like a melted ice-cream sundae.

the lowest point of the trip (get it, lowest) was badwater basin: literally the lowest place in the western hemisphere. we got there before 9am and it was already climbing above 90 degrees. it’s the craziest place I’ve ever been, will probably ever be. the smell in the air is like sulphur/salt; the “ground” crunches beneath you and the silence (once you get away from the other tourists) is deafening. you’re almost 300 feet below sea level, and surrounded by mountains that reach a mile into the sky that are topped with snow. 

insane. 

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view from above:

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there’s 250 square miles of the white stuff; looks like snow from up here, it’s basically table salt. 

my favorite part was hiking through mosaic canyon. the boys left me to do their own climbing of the walls instead of just hiking the path, so I enjoyed the cool canyon walls and the silence all by myself. 

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(hikes in a skirt)

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even though it’s name is intimidating, and some of the days were hot and tough, I think we conquered death valley. it is now one of our top five national parks; it is park number 25 (if you’re keeping track) that we’ve visited since december (including national monuments, not including national forests) *btw: national monuments, like white sands, are not “national parks” merely because it takes an act of congress to make it so. death valley didn’t become a national park until 1994; it had been a monument since the 30’s. your history lesson for the day 🙂

onward, we go!

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 All images © 2013-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

lucky.

it’s been a while. updates are hard when the internet is spotty. it’s not that we haven’t had things to update!

we’ve been to many places since my last post:

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california 2.2016

we left the california area and headed back through nevada. but not without seeing some fabulous graffiti and abandoned things along the way.

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fresh jerky / 2.2016

stopping at the hoover dam for a quick tour (can you say breathtaking?) we decided to camp at lake mead for a few days.

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hoover dam / 2.2016
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lake mead / 2.2016

we ventured in to las vegas, although avoiding the strip completely, we managed to stay in a casino/hotel, have a crappy buffet…

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vegas night lights / 3/2016

oh.

and adopt a rescue dog. who we named Lucky.

Lucky Scout Sparkles, to be more precise.

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lucky, at her first state park, valley of fire / 2.2016

we’re pretty happy with her.

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today we’re in sedona, arizona.

we’ve done a little zig-zag, avoiding rain and visiting some old friends. the scenery here is stunning, the internet is slow, but I’ve managed to crank this post out in a starbucks while listening to some ladies discuss energy healing.

we woke up to this taking place right outside our car window as we made coffee and stretched out our morning bodies:

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I’m beginning to think that our new doggie friend isn’t the only lucky one.

 

 

All images © 2013-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

spring.

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supposedly it landed here in ohio a few weeks ago, but we’ve only had a smattering of warm days in which to get us in the mood. we’ve also now entered the rainy month(s) “april showers bring may flowers” usually means it won’t stop raining until somewhere around June 1st.

so it’s time to be thinking about what you can do to nourish yourself if you’re stuck inside a little while longer waiting for the clouds to clear.

starting the day with an organic protein drink is a good beginning:

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I make mine using Orgain Organic Protein Powder as a base (but any protein powder that you like would work, mixed with your milk of choice: almond, coconut, soy…..etc)

in a NutriBullet:

8 oz. milk of choice

1 scoop protein powder of choice

4 chunks raw coconut (about 4 ounces)

4 drops turmeric oil

1 capsule royal jelly (open cap up, dump powder into liquid)

blend on high, pour in glass and drink!

The turmeric oil helps with pain and inflammation you may have, the royal jelly is an amazing energy boost.

enjoy and happy spring!

🙂

sunset. lake erie.
sunset. lake erie.

 

cold turkey: day four.

or: how to quit nicotine in four (easy) days.

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by the time you wake up on day four, you will be feeling worlds better. nicotine has been given the express train ticket out of your body and is just about all gone. 

*here’s what’s happening physiologically in your body, over the past few days and what you have to look forward to in your smoke free future:

++12 hours after your last smoke, the carbon monoxide in your body decreases to lower levels, and your blood oxygen levels increase to normal.

++48 hours without a cigarette, your nerve endings will start to re-grow, and your ability to smell and taste is enhanced

++After a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to exercise and perform physical activities without feeling winded and sick; this is because your circulation will improve, and your lung function will also improve significantly.

++After two or three weeks without smoking, your lungs may start to feel clear, and you’ll start breathing easier.

++Starting about a month after you quit, your lungs begin to repair. Inside your lungs, the cilia—the tiny, hair-like organelles that push mucus out—will start to repair themselves and function properly again. this will help to reduce your risk of infection, and with properly functioning lungs, your coughing and shortness of breath may continue to decrease dramatically.

++After a year without smoking, your risk for heart disease is lowered by 50 percent compared to when you were still smoking! GO YOU! ❤

++After five to 15 years of being smoke-free, your risk of having a stroke is the same as someone who doesn’t smoke. (amazing!)

++Ten years after you quit  you’ll no longer be at a higher-than-normal risk for a wide range of conditions like heart attack, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, angina, infections of the heart, or conditions that affect your heart’s beating rhythms.

(*taken from healthline)


 

day four will bring a surge of energy, a feeling of being “out of the woods”, along with a slight antsy feeling. this was a good time to get out of the house–go for a hike, your senses will start to be heightened….new smells, a sense of almost “out of body” as your brain adjusts to the lack of nicotine.

helpful tips: fresh air, exercise, activity….keeping busy.

continue with lemon oil + water as frequently as possible, and take two more Zendocrine tablets today to continue flushing your liver of the toxins.

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take

a

deep

breath

of that fresh air.

you

made

it.

xoxo

 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

for information on purchasing doTerra oils, or for other inquiries, comments, questions or for a health consult please click the links above; I’d love to hear from you! 

* * * * * * * * * *

**these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.**

 

 

cold turkey: day three

or: how to quit nicotine in four (easy) days.

(posting this a day late–work got in the way…..)

teamwork.

by now you’re experiencing the worst of the symptoms, and believe me….they’re ending soon…. it’s important now to keep doing the things mentioned in day one and day two as far as drinking fluids, eating healthy foods, drinking juices and taking the morning and evening  Zendocrine pill.

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*symptoms that are peaking on day three:

fatigue, brain fog, lack of concentration, itchiness, panic, craving, frequent urination, sense of loss…if you have access to a sauna or a hot tub, leeching or sweating out toxins can help, and if nothing else act as a great place to meditate. exercise at this point also helps keep your brain busy while it’s on the ‘final rinse cycle’ of getting out the nicotine.

get as much rest as you can, and drink, drink, drink!

remamber…..the key to success here is doing all the things, to reduce the severity of the symptoms, therefore eliminating the possibility of giving in.)

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the third day will be the hardest. 

but when the sun comes up tomorrow, you will be virtually nicotine free…and feeling so much better.

pat yourself on the back, you’re almost there! 🙂

tomorrow: day four! 

* * * * * * * * * *

for information on purchasing doTerra oils, or for other inquiries, comments, questions or for a health consult please click the links above; I’d love to hear from you! 

* * * * * * * * * *

**these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.**

xoxo

cold turkey: day two.

or: how to quit nicotine in four (easy) days.

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day two is much like day one, only with a peak in the symptoms.

continue with lots of fluids (remember, this is how the nicotine leaves the body. and the sooner we get that unwanted guest out, the better) 


 

healthy breakfast:

16 ounces water + 8 drops lemon essential oil

1 Zendocrine Detoxification Complex Tablet (supports healthy cleaning and filtering functions of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs and skin) 

mild sausage patties, scrambled eggs, multigrain toast and a tangerine or navel orange* in segments.

*citrus in whole fruit form or in essential oil form helps to boost your metabolism and relieve stress, important when you’re going through this trying period.

coffee

diffuse citrus oils: wild orange, citrus bliss, bergamot…..or a favorite combination to lift your mood.

healthy lunch:

tuna salad on lettuce, side of raw broccoli and fresh fruit of choice

green tea

lemon oil + water

fresh carrot juice

nutritious dinner:

grilled meat of choice, spinach (high in folic acid) fruit salad, low glycemic carb of your choice (sweet potato, acorn squash)

*the key being not to activate any triggers–in my pal here it was/is sweets….your trigger may be salty things, so modify as needed*

water with lemon oil + another Zendocrine tablet


 

*let’s talk motivation for a moment.

the morning after the dude’s last smoke, I had to leave for work at 7am, so I left a few notes around the house, the biggest one being this declaration on our bathroom mirror:

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it’s important to keep reinforcing in your head that you are a NON SMOKER now!!

he took it a step further by putting notes around the apartment that were little motivators to himself:

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these were posted in various eye-level locations, some with motivating quotes, some with our future goals, others with reminders not to even think about going out on that balcony…..his smoking perch….

when I asked him about them today, he said they were really mostly therapeutic when writing them out, he hadn’t really looked at them much since. the physical and mental act of preparing them, posting them, was the preparation he needed to start down this road.

do what you need to help with the mental aspect, visual reminders are very helpful with reaching any goal.


 

 

*key things to remember:

–the lemon oil water and the Zendocrine are going to speed up the “flushing” process. you should be urinating 2-4 times an hour by the end of day one, and this should continue until the end of day four.

–carrot juice: rich in vitamins A, C, K and B, that are proven to be efficient in removing the nicotine from the body.

–again: sugar/sweets may be a “trigger” (they were for my dude) so we learned really fast: no sweets until this passes!

–replace the “habit” part with another habit. this one is up to you, personally. day one might be too soon to figure that out. I bought essential oil inhalers that are white plastic and have a filter that can be filled with black pepper oil for him to use at work if (when!) the cravings hit….he can’t smell them yet, but I’m sure when those sensations return he will use them.


 

*symptoms you may (or may not) experience on day two:

fatigue, brain fog, lack of concentration, itchiness, panic, craving, frequent urination, sense of loss…possible headaches can start, although that was not the case here. the second day sleeping as much as possible is helpful, along with massive fluid intake.

get as much sleep as you can, and drink, drink, drink!

(personal note: he was really surprised, at this point at how “easy’ this was going and kept waiting for the “other shoe to drop”…..the key to success here is doing all the things, to reduce the severity of the symptoms, therefore eliminating the possibility of giving in.)

tomorrow: day three and you are soooooo close to being nicotine free! 

* * * * * * * * * *

for information on purchasing doTerra oils, or for other inquiries, comments, questions or for a health consult please click the links above; I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

* * * * * * * * * *

**these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.**

xoxo

cold turkey: day one.

or: how to quit nicotine in four (easy) days.

IMG_6424_2this guy. smoker for over ten years. has tried repeatedly to break the habit, and failed each time.

each time he has relied on using a nicotine replacement patch to ‘ease’ symptoms, but didn’t do much else.

this time, with a whole new mental attitude in place, we decided to approach it from a whole body angle, and after a little research I came up with a four day plan to get him through kicking the habit cold turkey.

day one.


healthy breakfast:

scrambled eggs, multigrain toast, raw broccoli (great for escorting the nicotine out of the body) a citrus fruit or drink.

16 ounces water + 8 drops lemon essential oil

1 Zendocrine Detoxification Complex Tablet (supports healthy cleaning and filtering functions of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs and skin) 

diffuse black pepper oil into the air: (black pepper has been shown in many studies to aid in recovering from tobacco addiction) 

use lavender on the feet for calming properties, citrus oils such as wild orange to encourage.

*repeat the water with lemon oil 6-8 times throughout the day*

this is the key element to flushing the nicotine from the body–it leaves in the urine (stay close to the bathroom) 🙂

rest. rest. rest.

healthy lunch:

turkey sandwich on multigrain bread with avocado, mustard. more raw broccoli and a tangerine.

green tea.

more water with lemon oil.

carrot/orange/ginger juice for snack

healthy dinner:

grilled chicken breast with roasted red peppers

baked sweet potato with butter

green tea

water with lemon oil and another Zendocrine tablet


*key things to remember:

–the lemon oil water and the Zendocrine are going to speed up the “flushing” process. you should be urinating 2-4 times an hour by the end of day one. carrot juice is another great detox beverage.

–sugar/sweets may be a “trigger” (they were for my dude) so we learned really fast: no sweets until this passes!

–replace the “habit” part with another habit. this one is up to you, personally. day one might be too soon to figure that out. I bought essential oil inhalers that are white plastic and have a filter that can be filled with black pepper oil for him to use at work if (when!) the cravings hit….he can’t smell them yet, but I’m sure when those sensations return he will use them.


symptoms you may or may not experience:

fatigue, brain fog, lack of concentration, itchiness, panic, craving, sense of loss.

get as much sleep as you can, and drink, drink, drink!

tomorrow: day two! 

* * * * * * * * * *

for information on purchasing doTerra oils, or for other inquiries, comments, questions or for a health consult please click the links above; I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

* * * * * * * * * *

**these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.**

xoxo

magic potion. (ok, lotion)

winter is especially hard this year (we say every year?) I think it’s part of getting old, the toll that the cold weather takes on your body and skin.

I have a simple, I mean completely MAGICAL remedy for even the driest-of-dry chapped skin, and the great thing is that the components of it will support healing as well.

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magic lotion:

1/2 cup coconut oil (room temp, solid not melted)

1/4 cup chapped skin cream (I use Buckler’s)

12 drops doTerra melaleuca oil (anti-bacterial properties, promotes healing)

12 drops doTerra lavender oil (soothes, antioxidant protection)

10 drops doTerra frankincense oil (fights infections, heals, reduces inflammation)

5 drops doTerra cedarwood oil (antiseptic, tonic, astringent)

blend together until smooth (add more skin cream if the coconut oil is too soft) store in a covered container at room temperature.

enjoy!

xo

oh! this recipe was originally formulated for a little fella with eczema and it worked wonderfully on his itchy little body. for information on purchasing doTerra oils, or for other inquiries click the links above; I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

———— 

**these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.**

 

 

let’s talk about ginger.

I’m sitting here sipping a delicious cup of tea/bourbon/ginger infused simple syrup, (mainly because I was feeling the tinge of a cold starting, but also because I had made a jar of the syrup last night and needed a good excuse to use it) when I started thinking about how often I turn to ginger for its healing and soothing properties.

fresh.ginger1. fresh ginger can stimulate a lax appetite. snack on a piece right before meals.

2. ginger improves the absorption of essential nutrients in the body.

3. ginger is great at clearing sinuses.

4. feeling airsick or nauseous? chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.

5. ginger helps reduce gas flare ups.

6. cramping or bloating–munch on ginger.

7. ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief to joint pain flare ups. mix some ginger essential oil in a roller bottle with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil works great) and roll on as needed.

8. chewing ginger can help overcome nausea.Ginger.essoil

9. stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion.

10. the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties…so try infusing ginger oil in the bedroom….

so many uses. I feel my *cold* melting away already…..

xo.