#Camperlife Must-haves

#Camperlife Must-haves

I get the question often from those who recently took the LEAP into RV livin’:

 “What do I need? What do you recommend?” 

Well, here ya go!


Get your Colon Rollin' - 5 Easy Steps

Get your Colon Rollin' - 5 Easy Steps
Ever notice when your bowels are not moving regularly, you feel more sluggish? Even a bit foggy?

Did you know that ancient yogis always eliminated their colon before meditation because it was easier to meditate, stay alert, and have a clear mind?

Regular, easy, healthy bowel movements (we will get more into detail about what that literally 'looks' like in just a bit- oh boy- get excited!) ideally should happen 2x's a day. When it doesn't we are literally reabsorbing toxins sitting in our colon that our body is waiting to expel. 

So what can we do about it? Whether this is a regular issue or comes up during stress or travel, there are some simple ways to support your Digestive System as well as the quality of your bowels. Yes! Quality matters! We are going for #4 on this Bristol Stool Chart. Ideal, you'd like it to float too! This may all sound weird and ridiculous at the moment, but once you make some changes and FEEL the energy that comes with these signs of a Healthy Digestive System, you may just find yourself cheering and congratulating yourself when you produce your first floaters!

Now, let's get to it!
5 Ways to get your Colon Rollin'!
(Feel free to sing "Rollin' Rollin' Rollin', Get your Colon Rollin' to the tune of the old Western 'Rawhide opening theme song')

1. Hydration (all highlighted words are links should you want more information- except these! Hahahaha!) 
Drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces per day is a great rule of thumb, but you also want to be sure that you have a proper Electrolyte balance and clean water source. Clean filtered water not stored in plastic is ideal. My favorite filtering systems are the Living Water Filter and Berkey Water System. And I certainly notice when I am properly hydrated and use Trace Mineral Supplement, Mineral Essence, in my routine!
Carrying water with you through the day is a sure way to drink enough as well; If we wait until we are already thirsty, we may already be getting dehydrated! It is important to choose water bottles that are free of plastic, especially when the water bottles we carry (and sometimes leave in a hot car) go through big temperature changes. You also want to be sure a metal water bottle is free of aluminum (often cheap ones advertised as stainless steel have plenty of cheap aluminum in them that can seep into your water) and glass ones are free of lead! Our favorite brands that we trust are Hydroflask for high quality stainless steel and Lifefactory for glass water bottles (glass is best if you're also infusing with ingestible Young Living Vitality Oils- a great alternative to artificially colored and flavored waters!)

2. Movement I apologize for the ad at the beginning, but this video put out by the Himalayan Institute on how to do the simple yoga practice of Agni Sara is THE BEST! The benefits are incredible for everything from digestive health to lymph flow to energy and even youthfulness. It's best done on an empty stomach first thing in the morning! You can even do it as you wait for tea water to boil! Breath of Fire as well as regular Diaphramic Breathing also massages the colon and can support peristaltic movement. I have instruction for both of these breathing exercises & more FREE in the Self-Care focused  Member Area "Fill your Cup" on my website-enjoy!
In addition to the power that deep breathing has for the health of our entire system- mind and body. Regular exercise as simple as 20 minute walks are wonderful too! If that isn't possible - for example if one is in bed- the stretch of bringing one knee the chest at a time (10-20 rounds a few times a day, even if assisted) will help put pressure on the ascending and descending colon and encourage movement as well!

3. Diet Lots of processed foods, sugars, and artificial ingredients can wreak havoc on our digestive system and microbiome. Having lots of whole foods, organic vegetables, and healthy fibers in your diet is what makes magic happen (see that #4 on the above Bristol Stool Chart!)
A good probiotic is a phenomenal diet addition and so powerful for our gut microbiome health and balance..
Life-9 Life-9 s our probiltoc of choice! Be sure to refrigerate after opening and if you are taking and antibiotics or a strong antioxidants, take Life-9 between/opposite of them in your schedule. Digestive Enzymes are also a powerful addition to our diet. What is the use of eating great, whole high quality food if we are not properly digesting, absorbing, and utilizing its energy? As we age, the amount of digestive enzymes we produce is exponentially decreased (it's cut in half between our 20's and 40's and continues to decline. Many natural doctors recommend a good digestive enzyme even before a multivitamin!) My favorite digestive enzymes are Essentialzymes for vegetarians and Essential-zymes-4 for omnivores, Check out this FUN VIDEO we did in our Facebook Group using Essentialzymes in an experiment with whole oats!!! 

4. Di-Gize This takes up a whole category because its so easy to add to your daily routine and was such 'digestive support' game changer personally for me! 
If I could only choose one essential oil when traveling, it's Digize. (although I never travel with just one!!) Below is alittle video on how to use Digize topically and/or internally and the safety around it. 
The regular 15ml DiGize is exactly the same oil as the smaller 5ml Vitality Di-gize labeled for internal use, the labeling for topical vs internal is the only difference. 
*When ordering any Young Living products, be sure and purchase directly from the company. That is the on;y way they are guaranteed for purity & potency. Unfortunately many 'sellers' on other platforms dilute or replace contents of the packaging.

5. Supplements High quality Supplements can definitely take you to the next level of microbiome and digestive health support! Check out two supplements that can work wonders when used consistently together!
Comfortone and ICP Daily (or as I like to call it "I see poop"!) are part of my microbiome support that I use regularly!
Comfortone I use as needed to help 'keep my colon rollin'" (everyone kind of has to find what works best with them when using comfortone. Some people take 1 a day and some take 2 in the morning and 3 at night! When determining how many are best for you, I suggest you 'start low.... wait (notice I said WAIT- like 12 to 24 hours before you take more... lol... and increase slowly) 
ICP "bulks up your stool." It's psyllium husk and essential oils and acts as a gentle intestinal cleanse that I use daily or at least every other day. *Be sure when you mix it with water to drink it right away as it thickens.

*with both of the above supplements, of course, be sure to be drinking plenty of water!

Would you like to explore the digestive enzymes and supplements we discussed in this blog more deeply?

Burning your Boats, Guest Blog by Sheilla Dare

Burning your Boats, Guest Blog by Sheilla Dare

Centuries ago, conquerors who wanted to take over new land were told by their captains to burn the ships in which they arrived, giving them no other options but to succeed at conquering. Today, the metaphoric term “burning your boats” means no turning back.

Three years ago, Melissa Russo, age 39, decided it was time to burn her boats. After attending a powerful 4-day Tony Robbins personal development seminar, she realized she was not living the life meant for her. She felt as though she was living on auto-pilot as she sat comfortably in her house in Pennsylvania. “Ten years went by in the blink of an eye,” Russo said. “I was very comfortable, but I wasn’t growing and becoming the person I really wanted to be.”

That realization caused Russo to explore the idea of traveling more. She started taking small road trips to see if she was comfortable driving long distances.  She quickly knew she was ready for a cross country road trip to explore life’s possibilities. Russo purchased an R-Pod camper and a new car to tow it, but she realized her self-exploration and cross country travel would only be successful if she burned her boats. The next day she called her realtor and put her house up for sale, trading her 1350 sq. foot home for the freedom and adventure of a 160 sq. foot camper.

Shakti Pod became the new name for Russo’s R-Pod camper. “Shakti means life force and empowerment,” Russo said. In the spirit of letting life unfold for her, she embraced the uncertainty of her new adventure. She became open to plans changing and veering off course, which has led her on an amazingly beautiful, unexpected journey. “I’m being embraced by the life force and letting it carry me forward and letting life unfold for me,” Russo said.

Russo is now in her second year of living the full-time RV life. Back in Pennsylvania, she considered herself to be an introvert. However, this adventure has caused her to open herself up to more people than ever before. During her travels, she has met incredible new friends. She has cultivated enriching relationships that she never would have had if she had stayed in her comfort zone back home. “It’s reaffirmed my faith in humanity and helped me see more of what’s important in life,” she said. Russo has learned that people are more important than any place.

When Russo finds herself slipping back into the need for certainty, she reminds herself of the beauty and flow of the uncertain moments of letting life happen for her. This has been the grandest adventure of her life with no particular end in sight. She enjoys being able to dream about the life she wants to create and the freedom to make it happen. Russo said, “finding the comfort in the dance is the gift.” Burning her boats allowed Russo to achieve her goal of personal growth and become the person she desires to be.

Essential Oils for your Pets: are they safe?

Essential Oils for your Pets: are they safe?

Let’s get right down to business on this subject. I hear or am asked the following regularly when the subject of essential oils comes up:

Are essential oils safe for my dog? 

I’ve heard I shouldn’t use essential oils around my cat. 

I heard essential oils are not safe to use around my pets.


My answer: This issue is Quality.


Most essential oils are purchased from third party vendors. There is no information regarding the quality of the oil, what conventional or organic herbicides or pesticides have been used, what other plants could have been harvested with the plant material the oil was made from, the distillation process (which could produce a LARGE amount of powerful smelling oil but with little therapeutic compounds – kind of like overcooking broccoli. The whole house, or camper in our case, could smell like broccoli after boiling it on high for 10 minutes but the nutritional value is null.), how many times the plant material was distilled, and if the oils was tested for not just purity, but also potency- which will determine not just its safety but IF it could have a therapeutic benefit- whether that be for muscular skeletal relief or for creating a more peaceful environment for your four-legged family members during 4th of July fireworks or a long car ride.


The facts are that most essential oils are labeled 100% pure and even organic and that neither case is true. We are still working with the perfume/cosmetic industry and not only are there no checks and balances, a company can basically say ANYTHING they would like on the label. This has led to well-intended consumers being misled and thinking they had a pure and safe product, basically using harmful chemicals on or near their beloved pet. And yes, using harsh, toxic chemicals could have fatal outcomes, but more often these harmful, everyday products (that are hiding in most of our homes) cause more subtle damage to the integrity of our health, and that is one reason I am so grateful that this subject comes up. It is an opportunity for all of us to dive deeper and open our eyes to the chemicals we may unknowingly expose our beloved pets (and ourselves) to on a daily basis.


Yes, we will discuss shortly how to choose essential oils that ARE SAFE for your fury family members but, first, let’s take a deeper look at everyday products that could be harmful, maybe not right away, but there is a toxic load of bioaccumulation over time of many household and personal care products. We think because a product is on a shelf that it is safe. Did you know that in Europe over 1300 chemicals have been banned and of those only 11 have been outlawed in the US? I have had many newly pregnant friends whose doctors have advised them to change laundry detergents, certain cleaning products and to even stop wearing certain perfumes. 

Our homes are often FULL of endocrine disrupting chemicals and our dogs and cats, small children, and those with compromised immune systems are even more sensitive.


The MOST EMPOWERING thing you can do for you and your pets health is to switch to safe, plant based personal care, cleaning and household products. Some of the most toxic things in our home are our laundry supplies and air fresheners. Have you heard that “fragrances are the new second hand smoke?” Fragrances are NOT pure essential oils. They are synthetics made in a lab! Often essential oils that are labeled 100% pure or even organic are synthetics as well, or cut with synthetics of toxic additives or fillers. How do you know how to choose an actual pure and safe essential oil? Keep reading! But I couldn’t NOT take the opportunity to share the importance and power in reducing toxics in our homes.

Take the ‘Switch to Safer’ Challenge with me! I’m happy to lead you through changing everything from toothpaste (does your toothpaste have a label on the back of it that if you ingest more than a tablespoon to call poison control?), to deodorant (does your deodorant have aluminum?), to your makeup, (check out www.ewg.org to explore the chemicals you may be using daily in your beauty regimen!),to clearing out any cleaning products that would be worthy of one of those Mr. Yuk Stickers from the 80s! I invite you to check out ‘All things THIEVES!’ Thieves products are not just plant-based but they are safe and actually beneficial to your immune and respiratory system!

Even if you never use therapeutic grade essential oils that are safe and can be SO beneficial for you and your pets, just ‘Switching to Safer’ Household products can be a game changer for you and your pets wellness!

So, let’s get down to the question at hand! How do you know that your essential oil choices are any different than some of these household products you may have already discovered are misleading yet labeled at ‘natural’ or ‘pure?’ You must do your own research and most companies are not transparent. I choose Young Living Oils because they have a 26 year history of integrity, their OWN farms and distilleries, as well as testing equipment and no other company has. They call it the SEED TO SEAL standard.   All of this makes THESE essential oils SAFE and beneficial for your WHOLE FAMILY, including fury family members. 

Why is it important to have that kind of transparency? Their own farms and distilleries? Let’s take Lavender oil for example. Lavender is probably the most well know essential oil and quite beneficial for skin support when used topically and creating a calm environment when used aromatically, however, if you don’t know how the plant was grown and harvested, there could be problems. As you learned above if you looked more deeply into the Seed to Seal process, Young Living doesn’t even use organic herbicides or pesticides, grow on soil that isn’t virgin or free of conventional farming for at least 50 years (to be considered organic the conversion time is less than 5 years, and that is not enough time to clean the soil!) Young Living is therefore ‘Beyond Organic’ if that’s a question you have, but let’s go further using Lavender as the example. Lavender, bought from a third party, can actually be Lavadin. It smells similar, is a different species, and is TOXIC to small dogs. Even if the farm is growing lavender, and even if it is organic, it most likely is growing with camphor. Camphor is also toxic to small dogs! Young Living hand weeds camphor from their lavender fields.

That is just ONE example of how important quality and transparency is. Young Living has been using essential oils safely for over 25 years. Now that we have found a quality that is safe, the rest is easy! Let’s discuss how to use essential oils safely not just aromatically and topically, but –yes- even internally! I told you these are NOT perfume oils! 

 I believe that animals have an innate ability to know what they need for health. When working with essential oils, we use their natural instinct and allow the animal to choose what products they prefer. This method is safe, effective, and simple, and it strengthens the bond between you and your animal. Simply allow the animal to choose by keeping the lid on the essential oil and let them smell it. I stress ‘by keeping the lid on’ because having them smell it directly can be TOO STRONG! The average dog’s nose is 1000x’s as sensitive as humans. A domestic cat's is about 14x’s as strong. Introduce SLOWLY. Believe me, they can smell the oil with the lid on! 

Their "choice" or a positive sign looks like prolonged sniffing, interest, or even licking indicates they like the oil and it can be used. I often have dogs and horses licking my hands after I’ve applied essential oils! (That’s a positive response!!) A negative choice will be completely ignoring it, barely giving it a sniff, or actual avoidance. Never force a product on an animal.


Using Essential Oils* Aromatically

If you are diffusing or using oils for yourself while your pets are around, make sure there is an open door or window so they can leave.  Do you know any cat that will stay put when it doesn't like something going on? I didn't think so. With all the hype going around about essential oils and cats, I understand people are very sensitive and cautious. Good, I'm glad you are.

The three most important things when being cautious on behalf of your pet while using oils are to check the QUALITY of oil (not all are created equal*), letting your pet CHOOSE, and providing an OUT.


1. Let them come to you & let the first oil you introduce be a gentle oil like lavender

2. When diffusing, be sure there is ventilation and the animal is not confined. 

3. Start diffusing in short segments and gradually increase the time.

4. If you don’t have a cold-air diffuser, try a cotton ball or unbleached coffee filter! They can easily be hung in a stall or car vent 

5. Placing an oil on their favorite toy is a great introduction! 

6. Placing oils on US is aromatherapy too!


Topical Application Dilution Ratios for our Furry, Feathery and Scaly Companions

When using essential oils topically, dilute with a carrier oil to a ratio dependent on their size. A carrier oil is any organic vegetable oil such as coconut, olive or grapeseed!


  • Cats, Ferrets, Rabbits, Reptiles: 75-90%
  • Hamsters, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, etc: 85-90%
  • Birds, Amphibians : 90-95%
  • Horses, Cows, and other large animals- Neat (undiluted) Except for ‘hot’ oils like oregano or cinnamon
  • DOGS

            Small dogs: 75% (1-25lbs)

            Medium dogs: 50% (26-50lbs)

            Large dogs: 25% (50-75lbs)

            Extra Large: 0-25% (76+ lbs)

  • CATS 

Because of the special nature of cats, use Essential oils only as needed for acute care and on a daily basis only in chronic cases. Cats who live in environments where Eos are used are already getting plenty of beneficial molecules on a daily basis!


            Spread a small amount of EO dilution on your finger and allow the bird to perch or spread a small amount diluted on the birds perch inside the cage. A gentle floral midst of oils like lavender, orange, lemon or grapefruit is like home for birds! A toothpick may be dipped in a diluted EO and very gently used on the bottom of birds feet


Where is the BEST place to apply topically?

Applying to the bottoms of feet, paws, hooves are great options! 


Oils can also be applied to the tips and auricular points of the ears. This application is known as ‘tipping.’ **Only apply to the backs of FLOPPY EARS as to not get Oils iN the animals eyesdog ears.jpg



Now that we know how to introduce, use, and apply..... let’s talk Oils! 



Everyone has heard of Lavender. It is frequently referred to as "the Swiss army knife of Oils."

Well, just as lavender can be calming to you and me, it can be to your animal as well. It’s also wonderful for skin support!


DIY hack

Make your own Skin Soothing Essential Gel Recipe for your animal!

- approximately 50 mls of water-based gel (aloe vera)

- 5-20 drops of essential oils (max of 5 different oils)

- whisk together and you are done!

Apply this calming gel to underbelly or any sensitive skin areas when needed. 

Cedarwood & Geranium & Frankincense

Cedarwood → Can be calming and grounding.

Frankincense → Incredibly grounding. Calming. Soothing to the skin.

Geranium→ Mix with Cedarwood & Lavender for an outdoor spray. Supports healthy skin. Can be balancing and grounding.

DIY Collar for Dogs

1 cup of water

5 drops Lavender

2 drops Citronella

1 drop Cedarwood

2 drops Geranium

Mix in a bowl, put in your pet's collar, soak for 5 minutes, remove from liquid, and then let it dry before using.

***Make sure you listen to your animal and that they approve of the whole concoction first.



Citrus Fresh™

Citrus Fresh is relaxing and calming and it smells SO good. Think citrus with a hint of mint.

Ever tired of that "dog" or "cat" smell?

To help with pet odors, diffuse this blend around the house or wherever the litter box is located. You can also create a spray and use it on your furniture. If you notice your pet is avoiding the Citrus Fresh spray, you can either use that to your advantage (to keep the cat off the couch) or switch to a different oil to freshen the air such as Purification, Lavender, or anything else you enjoy.  

To create your room freshening spray, add 20 drops of Citrus Fresh or your oil of choice to distilled water in a 4 oz glass spray bottle.


Single oils contained in this blend:

- Orange brings peace and happiness to the mind and body.

- Tangerine is calming to the nervous system.

- Mandarin promotes happiness. It is also refreshing, uplifting, and revitalizing.

- Grapefruit is balancing and uplifting to the mind.

- Lemon promotes health and physical energy.

- Spearmint is uplifting to one’s spirit.


Would you like more information? Enjoy this Pets & Oils 101 Class and learn more about introducing your cats, dogs and even horses to essential oils and some of the oils that can become such beneficial household favorites for you and all your fury family members! You can also learn more about Young Living’s Animal Scents line, specifically formulated for our fury family members in their catalogue.







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