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Health & Wellness

Be Well: A Grounding Essential Oil Rollerball Recipe

A calming blend that enhances focus, relaxes the mind & fuels creativity
Filed Under > Everyday

"Be Well" calming essential oil blend recipe on Waiting on Martha

As many of you know by now, I’m deep into essential oils.  And by deep, I mean if you’ve got a problem, I’ve got an oil for it.   I find myself reaching for oils for just about anything these days; think immunity support, mood balancing, sinus issues, energy and creativity boosts, household cleaning…the list goes on and on. 

That’s why I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my love for the oily life down at 30-A this week during The Southern C’s Watercolor Wellness Retreat.  I’m dishing on social media and digital strategy to small business owners and creative entrepreneurs, but I’m also sharing my journey with essential oils and why I launched The Well Code, WOM’s sister wellness brand. 

The cat’s out of the bag on this one, but we’ll be sharing our favorite DIY essential oil rollerball recipe with all of the retreat attendees.  We dubbed it “Be Well” because its many benefits pretty much sum up our entire mission over at The Well Code: to keep your “well full.”  This special blend of essential oils includes lavender, cedarwood and orange, and it is incredibly calming, grounding and relaxing.  It’s perfect for the bosses and dreamers out there—hello, creative friends!—because it enhances focus.  The lavender and cedarwood work together to help relax the mind, while the orange really reinvigorates and enhances creativity. 

Like all DIY rollerball recipes, when making this blend yourself, pick up some 10-ml dark glass rollerball bottles.  The dark glass helps preserve the beneficial properties of the oils inside.  You’ll simply mix the essential oils in the bottle, and top off with a carrier oil of your choice.  If you’re new to all things oily, you can use whatever oil you prefer here; I used organic grapeseed oil in this recipe, but I also like to use fractionated coconut oil and jojoba oil too. 

If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils—or just have questionsdon’t hesitate to email us at hello@thewellcode.com, leave a comment below, or DM on Instagram at @thewellcode.  We’d love to help you get started on this holistic path to well-being and answer any questions you may have.  Truly, MKR

P.S. Looking for custom labels like ours? You can order them HERE. xo 

"Be Well" grounding rollerball recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 15 drops lavender essential oil
  2. 15 drops cedarwood essential oil
  3. 8 drops orange essential oil
  4. top off with carrier oil of choice, I used organic grapeseed oil
Instructions
  1. Combine the essential oils in a 10-ml glass rollerball bottle.
  2. Top off the mixture with a carrier oil (you can use fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, etc.)
  3. Apply to wrists, temples, etc. when in need of calming, yet energizing support. If you experience skin sensitivities at all, be sure to do a skin patch test (place 1-2 drops of a diluted essential oil on your inner forearm and take note if you have any reactions).
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

Starting the BBG Workout by Kayla Itsines

An Honest Take on The First Few Weeks of The Program
Filed Under > Everyday

Starting the BBG workout

Have you heard of BBG?  It’s short for Bikini Body Guide, and it’s a high intensity interval training workout program that’s sweeping the planet one body transformation at a time.  It was created by aussie Kayla Itsines, and it’s a super effective 12-week program that’s built of short, concise exercise circuits.  I’m talking 28 minute workouts that focus on arms, abs, legs, and overall body.  And the workouts can be done just about anywhere.  

I have actually tried BBG a couple of times in the past.  But both times I fell out of the routine, lost motivation doing it by myself, and ultimately returned to group classes.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an avid ClassPasser.  The app allows me to try a good variety of fitness classes to keep my workout routine interesting and it caters to me if I’m in a strength training mood or a zenned out yoga mood.  

Since I had had a taste of BBG before, I was thrilled when MKR recently proposed the idea of starting BBG as a team.  I thought to myself, this was finally the time I’d stick it out and see the results I know that so, so many have seen!

I mean, it’s hard to not be impressed with the before-and-afters on Instagram.  Everyone on the team agreed that starting BBG workouts would be an exciting thing to do together, and well worth our time to get into gear and feel stronger.

After getting everyone on board, 11 team members to be exact, we decided on a few ways we’d keep everyone accountable and excited.  We settled on a group text chain, and a Google Doc form that took inventory of everyone’s exercise habits, fitness goals, body type, ages, etc.  We then created a weekly form via Google Docs that would collect everyone’s responses to the previous week’s workout. The form included questions about soreness, motivation levels, thoughts on the specific exercises and overall accountability for following the week’s recommended circuits.  This seemed to be a promising way of keeping everyone on the same page with progress.  

Our baseline survey taught us that our ages range from 20-37, with the majority of us 27-29 years old. Most of us regularly exercise 3-5 times per week, and are in moderately good shape. We have lots of yogis, runners and barre-lovers in the group, too.  Lastly, we all submitted fitness goals of becoming more confident, stronger, and more toned.  It was refreshing to see so many responses about strength rather than weight and lbs! 

So how has it been going?!  Everyone was really gung-ho about the program in the first two weeks.  We encouraged each other on our group text thread, sent photos and videos for a quick laugh and support, and really just felt like we were going somewhere with the workout plan. It was unanimous that burpees were the worst exercise imaginable, though jump lunges and commandos were up there too. We were all sore, but we also reveled in the feeling of comradery as we suffered together. 

But ever since the first few weeks, we’ve definitely had fallout.  Responses in our weekly progress Google Doc have lessened, and the group text is almost all crickets these days.  I personally suffered a minor injury and fell out of routine as I rested before a 10-day hiking trip.  And I know I can speak for the group in saying that it was difficult to adhere to the exact schedule that’s laid out in the guide.  The guide leads you to do at least three HIIT sessions throughout the week, with recommendations for cardio exercise on other days.  Since we had a group doing it together, we all felt a little guilty whenever we’d miss the workout that day.

So why the fallout?  People didn’t have enough time.  Some of us had minor injuries.  Some of us attended other workout classes and wanted them to “count” for the BBG workout that day.  Some of us just really preferred other ways of working out!  Whatever the reasons were, it felt like life in general just got in the way of the very specific schedule.  And after missing one or two of the workouts, it was ridiculously easy to throw the towel in and quit altogether.

From seeing the team’s responses, and in talking to everyone, I think the hardest struggle here is in consistency and the battle we all have in our minds with ourselves.  There were times when we made ourselves feel down, discouraged and guilty for not sticking to the schedule.  But after reading posts by BBG loyalists and many success stories, I think the main thing we need to keep in mind is that the program is flexible. We just need to do the three HIIT workouts sometime throughout the week.  And sometimes it may be harder than others, but we just need to get it done.

A few of us are still hanging in there.  We’re feeling stronger overall, but a lot of us haven’t seen any dramatic results just yet.  As we approach Week 6, we’ll admit that may have missed some workouts but we still DO want to stay strong and complete the guide.  We’re trying to fight the temptation to quit because we want to tackle this challenge.  We’d love to know: any BBGers out there?  What struggles have you faced while doing the program?  Do you have any tips or suggestions for our team?  Thank you!  Cheers, Kat

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Photography, Haley Sheffield for Waiting on Martha

Understanding Food Intolerances with Pinnertest

An easy, at-home food intolerance test you'll want to try
Filed Under > Everyday

Understanding food intolerances with Pinnertest, Waiting on Martha

I’ve spent a lot of time in my adult years wondering what the heck is making me feel so bad.  I’ve struggled with debilitating migraines, low energy, poor digestion and occasional weight-gain with no clear concept on “the why”. 

As you read last week, I’ve gone back and forth between being vegetarian and eating meat.  And like just about everyone out there, I’ve self-diagnosed and claimed possible intolerances to certain foods without the actual correlation to prove the causation.  I knew it was probably time to try a food intolerance test, and I had my eyes on Pinnertest

But let me back up; you may be asking: what are food intolerances exactly?  How are the different from food allergies?  According to Pinnertest, “food intolerance occurs when your body cannot properly digest and convert the foods you eat into the necessary nutrients that fuel your system. This maldigestion causes inflammation, which leads to many negative food intolerance related symptoms including fatigue, migraine & headaches, eczema, bloating, gas, congestion, weight gain, brain fog, joint aches, acid reflux, food cravings, diarrhea, skin rash and more.”

Man.  I could raise my hands to several if not all of the symptoms listed above, and I couldn’t explain why!  It was actually driving me crazy, to be honest.  So the more I thought about it, I knew I wanted to get the legitimate proof about how my body was reacting to certain foods.  

It took me a long time to pull the trigger with ordering a kit.  I don’t know about you, but getting testing for food intolerances sounds like it would be an intrusive, intense, and potentially expensive experience.  Fortunately, Pinnertest claimed to be a next generation blood test that can determine your individual food intolerances, all from the comfort of your home—well, and them in their lab!  It included an easy, at-home kit that was sent to me within 3-4 days of ordering.  And all I needed to do was prick my finger for two drops of blood to be sent off to their lab with a prepaid return label.  

I eagerly awaited the results in the mail, which came a little less than two weeks later.  The results were SHOCKING and so fascinating!  As stated above Pinnertest is all about intolerances that your body currently has basically meaning you’ve overdone it so much on certain foods your body can’t handle them or digest them properly anymore.  Which is completely different than being allergic to specific foods.  Because of that they specifically stress that if you know you’re allergic or intolerant certain foods to keep that information in mind regardless of what your test results come back saying.  A great example of that for me is dairy.  I became severely intolerant to specific types of dairy, mainly heavily processed dairy, in my twenties so regardless of what my test results were I knew dairy wasn’t making its way back into my every day diet.  The other thing to note about Pinnertest is it rates your tolerance level from a 1-3 and it does state that you may be able to eventually bring these intolerant foods back into your system, stressing that this test is all about what your body can digest currently.

So back to the results…I tested to be intolerant for grapes, avocados, salmon, canola oil and egg yolks.  As many of you know, I’m a huge wino, and the news about the grapes was absolutely disheartening, but not shocking.  I had been recently getting massive migraines and ill from only a glass or two of wine so I knew something was up.  Equally as devastating  was the news about the avocados!  I can only think that the intolerance to the canola oil and the egg yolks is a result of years and years of baking.  

I don’t know if I’ll give up wine for good—ha!—but I’m so grateful to know that these triggers are affecting me so I can make sound decisions about when it’s worth it or not.  While Pinnertest is not meant to act as a diagnostic tool, it definitely served me as sound advice for my everyday wellness because it pointed out the foods that I should avoid.  

And just a little FYI; this post is in fact not sponsored.  I just knew I wanted to share my experience with you in hopes that Pinnertest can help you, too!  I’d highly recommend ordering the easy, at-home kit to discover what may be slowing you down.  Has anyone else struggled with unidentified food intolerances?  Have you been tested?  I’d love to know!  Truly, MKR

P.S. I’m getting a lot of questions about the cost.  I’m so sorry but I don’t remember exactly…I believe it was around $400 which is much more reasonable then getting your bloodwork done for these sort of tests at a doctors office.  I do suggest signing up for a free account because they do send out really great promos to get the test at a discounted rate.  Truthfully, I’m super thankful I got the test done and plan to do it again in a year after eliminating or seriously cutting back on my intolerances.  

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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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