health

DIY Body Beautiful Butter

image12I wish I was one of those women that had a stunning pregnancy- barely looked pregnant except for a perfect, round belly…. no swelling, no 1/2 shoe size bigger feet, and no stretch marks.

But I’m not.

I was bloated, swollen, my feet grew out of all my 8.5 size shoes- all those shoes, those beautiful, too-small shoes…. and with this second pregnancy, I got MAJOR STRETCH MARKS!!! And not, like, just one here and one there…. no, its like Wolverine attacked my belly, my sides, and my thighs.

So, I decided I needed to find some sort of solution for these battle scars to make them less noticeable so that one day, when my skin shrinks back and I’ve lost the baby weight, I have the confidence to wear a bikini again without fear of my stretch marks dissuading me from showing off all my hard work at the gym! I’m a doTERRA lover- totally believe in the magic (or voodoo as my husband calls it) of essential oils (EO). Also, they smell pretty! Well, most do. I tried making a roller bottle of a nice blend to start, but it became clear VERY quickly that that was not going to cover enough square footage fast enough to be an easy bedtime routine. What I really wanted was a luxurious-feeling body butter in a pretty jar by my bedside.

Enter, Pinterest.

After looking at several recipes and watching some youtube videos, I decided to jump in and concoct my own potion based on what I already have and what would be easy to get without special ordering. Mostly, because I’m impatient.

Alright, so here it is… my first foray into bath products, and my guinea pig concoction!

Body Beautiful Butter
Post Baby Belly Cream

Ingredients:
1 C Unscented Shea Butter (Same Here)
1/2 C Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 C Olive Oil
7.5 tsp Arrowroot Powder (can be found in bulk at Wholefoods)
10 Drops Patchouli EO
10 Drops Clary Sage EO
10 Drops Geranium EO
10 Drops Helichrysum EO
20 Drops Frankincense EO
30 Drops Lavender EO

Supplies:
Mixer (handheld/immersion/stand)
Glass jars
Spatula
Labels

Directions:
1. Melt shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil in a double boiler to combine. You can use jojoba or almond oil instead of olive- it’s just what I had on hand.
2. Once all have melted, remove from heat. We’re not trying to boil or cook these, just get them melted so they blend evenly.
3. Add Arrowroot, mix in with a fork. **A Note Regarding Arrowroot**

Initially, I tried making this recipe without arrowroot because I didn’t know where to get it and was too impatient to wait to start until getting some, but after making the whole thing, it was FAR too oily/greasy to leave as is. I researched and most people recommended arrowroot (you could use cornstarch powder or tapioca powder alternatively). One person recommended 1 tsp to every 4 oz. My recipe made, roughly,  20 oz whipped, so I added 5 tsp, then used the rest when it still seemed greasy, which was about 7.5 tsp total in the end. You can add more or less but I might even use more in my next batch- at which point, I’ll report back here with a note.

4. Add Essential Oils.

**I added so much lavender to hopefully cover the more pungent scents of the less pretty smelling oils.                               **You can add more or less of each oil depending on your preference/need. I chose those that were most praised for skin health and repair as my aim is to shirk my belly skin and fade/erase stretch marks.

5. Place in refrigerator until it becomes cloudy in color and a film begins to form around bowl edges.
6. Whip with hand mixer or stand mixer for 10 minutes (it’ll start looking like vanilla pudding).
7. Place in refrigerator again to firm up some more (another 5-10 min).
8. Whip again for 5-10 minutes or until stiff peaks form. It should look like cool whip.
9. Place in air tight glass jars, slap on a pretty label,  pass the extras out to other mama friends, and enjoy!

And now, for some photos of my process:

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Here is what it looked like after melting all the butter & oils together (basically like olive oil):image8Mixing it up after it started to appear cloudy:image9

Mixing it an additional 10 min after setting in the fridge once more:

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I ended up leaving it out on the counter last night to let it set some more and then finished mixing in the morning… here’s how it looked before placing it in the jars:
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And there you have it: Body Beautiful Butter for Post Baby Bellies!
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30 Days to Healthy

Below is my plan for a 30 day dash to being more physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally healthy… but before I lay it out, lets take a look at what led to this decision…Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 1.27.46 PM

After having 2 babies back to back, I’m not loving what I see in the mirror. I had always planned on losing the baby weight from my first pregnancy but once I started actually trying, I got pregnant the next week and gave up. So when I realized my self esteem was dropping at the same pace my pant size was climbing, I knew I needed to somehow find the drive to make a real change once Harlow was born. Enter 10 year high school reunion: As soon as I was reminded it’s been 10 years since graduating high school, I started praying it would be after Harlow was born by a few months so I wouldn’t be pregnant or be huge from having JUST popped her out. Thank the heavens, it was scheduled for 5 months after she was due! Enough time to hopefully get into some sort of acceptable shape. But, me being me, 2 months went by and I hadn’t done anything… until one day my husband mentioned wanting to do some sort of detox or cleanse. I found SkinnyMe Tea– seemed like a doable detox- just a tea in the morning and one at night which you’re supposed to accompany with a healthy diet and exercise- and it had great reviews! I picked the 28 Day Teatox and bought one for each of us.

The reunion was drawing close and I finally kicked into gear! It was just the purpose I needed to find that drive to make a change… I can’t quite explain how my mind changed in the next few weeks to turn that drive into what felt like habit. but it’s starting to feel more and more like a lifestyle quicker than I expected.

My husband agreed to giving me a reward every 10 lbs I lose- small goals along the road to the main goal: I’d like to be down 30 lbs by the reunion, and a total of 70 lbs by the time Harlow turns 1.

I started implementing a workout plan and diet for the days until the teas arrived to get me going. I decided I’d work out 3 days a week and use protein meal replacement shakes for 2 meals a day and have something low in carbohydrates for my remaining meal each day. Soon I started to shed pounds- in one week I was down 6 pounds. I had a long way to go still, but seeing the change in my face and body, feeling more energized and confident, I stopped craving 90% of the foods I was avoiding. I suddenly started to feel guilty if I didn’t work out one day… this was something VERY new!! I have always hated working out and never felt too bad about missing workouts when I was on some exercise/diet plan- I only ever felt bad if my husband asked about it, but never felt guilty on my own. Until now. So on nights where I wasn’t able to make it to the gym all day, I have started doing a 20-30 min Yoga & abs routine.

Now, nearly 2 weeks into it, I had hit a plateau. For 5 days I hadn’t lost any more weight. Then suddenly Sunday I was down another 2 lbs! But I know I need to shake things up to keep the weightloss going. So I figured some sort of cleanse might be good. The teas arrived and since they’re for 28 days, I figure doing a whole 30 days of an all-encompassing fitness plan would be fun! Not just physical fitness, but spiritual, emotional, and mental too.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.28.36 PMPhysical

I found a 2 day cleanse plan (thanks, Pinterest) to get things going again. Then I’ll start the SkinnyMe Teas on Tuesday and go back to a general healthy diet & exercise plan for the remaining 28 days. I’ll plan to workout 6 days/week- 3-4 at the gym, 2-3 at home. I’ve got a checklist on my fridge to make sure I’m meeting my criteria for each day…. lemon water, a metabolic supplement, morning tea/night tea, workout, consume enough water, weekly detoxifying bath, etc.

Spiritual

A friend recommended a book a few months ago and I have been really wanting to read it! So for my Spiritual fitness aspect, I’m reading The Power of a Praying Wife & praying for my husband every day.

Emotional

…I haven’t quite figured this out yet. Thinking of getting a mentor to meet with monthly…. Making sure I’m getting quality social time in with friends whom I can talk with about the important things in life… and also drink wine with 😉

Mental

Daily- either reading a novel or doing some sudoku, or other mind puzzles. And also studying my Russian books in an effort to catch up with what I’d learned before getting pregnant with my son and forgetting all the Russian I’d learned in the months before!

So, there it is…. all laid out in plain writing…. Hopefully putting this out there publicly will keep me on my plan!

Want to join me? Check out my personalizable checklist printable below:

Get Fit Checklist Printout

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