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Book Review: One Spirit Medicine by Alberto Vilioldo

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About the Author:

Alberto Vilioldo, Ph.D., is a Cuban-born psychologist, medical anthropologist and author, writing primarily in the field of neo-shamanism.1 Vilioldo has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and Andes for more than 25 years. In 1984 he founded the Four Winds Society, which offers extensive education in the philosophy and practice of energy medicine, training students to become modern-day shamans. He also directs the Center for Energy Medicine in Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment.2 Read more about the author on his Biography page.

Book Review:

This book is an interesting mix of general wellness advice and spirituality. Vilioldo presents a lot of information in this book about the connection that physical health has with the emotional and psychic well being of the body. If you’re a medical practitioner this book may blow your mind. If you’re a spiritual person you may find this book as interesting as I did. I never thought of my body the way that Vilioldo describes things. It’s a refreshing way to look at your physical health. The only thing I found frustrating was that Vilioldo would talk about the disadvantages of how life is often lived in the modern world and the ailments that arise from it. But he didn’t provide that many solutions in the book. I would read about all sorts of illness he’s talking about and think okay, that’s good to know. But how do I fix it? He would only provide solutions to some issues but not to the many, many issues he brought up. There is a lot of information that he presents in this book (see Table of Contents above). There are so many topics he touches upon so I’ve chosen just to do an overview in this review. One of the many topics are that everyone should make sure their digestive systems (gut brain) are working properly. He basically says that if your digestive system isn’t working at optimal levels it can seriously impact not only your health but your spiritual journey. It makes sense to me that a pure body helps to contribute to a clear, functioning mind. When our minds are clear then we have a greater chance of making the right decisions for ourselves spiritually and otherwise. Vilioldo characterizes each stage in the spiritual journey with an archetype: the healer, divine feminine, sage, visionary, etc.

I haven’t decided yet how seriously I want to take this book. Certainly, a lot of things he suggests the reader do for a more balanced life seem like common sense to me. For example, his 7 day detox plan sounds interesting. But for some people it would not be affordable to buy the amount of supplements he suggests for the detox. The dosage of the supplements seem high to me, but I suppose one would seek the advice of their doctor before embarking on such a detox. In any case, this book will open your mind to the possibilities of a dialogue between spirit, body and mind. I would suggest readers take this book with a grain of salt. While I think Vilioldo makes a lot of valid points I wouldn’t take his word as gospel, nor would I take any author’s word as gospel. For many people the best thing to do is accept the information that makes sense to you and leave the rest.

Rating: 4/5


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Spotlight on: Beekeeper’s Naturals


Note: Logo images are from the Beekeeper’s Naturals website.

This past March I attended the Yoga Conference with a friend and encountered Carly Stein of Beekeeper’s Naturals there. I got to sample the Throat Relief Spray and then purchased one to try. I’m loving it and if you’ve read the review from yesterday you’ll know that I’ve already repurchased three more bottles. Carly and I had a fascinating conversation about yoga, bees and reiki. I asked if Carly if she would allow me to interview her for my blog and she very graciously agreed. Here is the interview below. I hope you enjoy it!

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg   How did you first get involved with bees?

BKN Logo (new)   A few years ago, I was studying abroad in Italy and came down with a bout of tonsillitis. I was desperately looking for something to help and was stumbled across an Italian pharmacy, which introduced me to the wonders of propolis. Propolis helped me make a full recovery and avoid surgery. After this experience, I was eager to learn more about this seemingly magical product, which brought me to the door of a local beekeeper. After my first experience with the hives, I was hooked!

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg Did you ever think you would become a beekeeper?

BKN Logo (new)  Honestly, no. I did not know very much about the bees and was misinformed about their role. I saw them more as a nuisance – how wrong I was! Bees are such amazing creatures and play such a crucial role in our everyday lives and spending time with them gives you a much greater appreciation for just how important they are.

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg  What do you think is the most important thing the average person needs to know about bees?

BKN Logo (new)  The average person needs to know that bees (through all of their hard pollination work) are responsible for 1/3 of our food supply. In other words, every third bite of food we take is the product of the bees’ hard work. From almonds and apples to avocados and raspberries, many of the foods that we love would not exist (or at the very least be a lot more expensive).

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg  How else can people help the bees? Does planting bee-friendly plants help them?

BKN Logo (new)  Planting bee friendly plants is an easy thing that everyone can do in their own backyards (or condo balconies) to help the bees! We encourage people to plant a variety of local native flowers that bloom at various times throughout the year (so the bees always have something to snack on). Bees love bright colours and they will reward you by giving you an amazing garden.

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg What one product or ingredient would you never ever use and why?

BKN Logo (new)  Aspartame. I try to avoid chemicals and artificial ingredients at all costs!

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg Where do you hope to take Beekeeper’s Naturals in the future?

BKN Logo (new)  We hope to be the company that consumers trust for innovative and sustainably sourced bee products to improve their health. As our company grows, our goal is to continue to use our expanded platform and reach to raise awareness about the bees and truly make a difference for our buzzing friends.

My thanks to Carly Stein for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. The Throat Relief Spray is available for purchase on the Beekeeper’s Naturals site and select locations. You can follow Beekeeper’s Naturals on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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Beekeeper’s Naturals, Throat Relief

BKN spray and honeycomb

Ingredients: Bee propolis, non-GMO vegetable glycerin and purified water. Contains No: Dairy, egg, artificial preservatives, colours, artificial sweeteners, yeast, wheat, corn, soya or gluten.

My first time attending the yoga conference happened earlier this year in March. It was kismet for me when I saw the Beekeepers Naturals booth and got talking to co-founder Carly Stein about bees, reiki and natural products. I snapped up a bottle of the throat relief and it’s served me well since then! Anytime I feel a little froggy in my throat I will spray this golden elixir in my throat. It’s worked so well at helping me prevent any full blown sore throats and colds. Not only is bee propolis an antioxidant support, it is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t the only thing I use to prevent colds, but it is definitely a very useful and important part of my healthcare regimen. I’ve already bought three more bottles since I finished the original one I bought in March. One bottles went to my parents, one is kept in our bathroom, and one is kept in our kitchen. I will definitely repurchase more in the future. This would also be a product to give as a gift to those who often get colds!

Cost: $10.00 CAD, 250 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Beekeeper’s Naturals, Ambrosia Natural Foods, Other stockists
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Have you ever tried Beekeeper’s Naturals? Stay tuned tomorrow for my interview with the co-founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals, Carly Stein!


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Spotlight on: Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist


I have read and loved Joy McCarthy’s book: Joyous Health – Eat & Live Well without Dieting. It has a wealth of information I think everyone should know. You can read my book review here. Joy is a Holistic Nutritionist and the Health Expert to Global TV’s The Morning Show. I recently met her at the Total Health Show and she is such a lovely person. Read more about Joy on her website’s About Page. I asked if Joy would allow me to interview her for my blog and she agreed. Here is the interview below. I hope you enjoy it!

    I’ve been reading via social media that you’re working on a new book called Joyous Detox. How many months of work does it take to get a book published?

     Yes! I’m super excited about my second book Joyous Detox. My manuscript is actually due at the end of August, so I’m just putting the final touches on it now. It takes me a couple of years. First I come up with the concept, create an outline and then discuss it with my editor/publisher. Then I start writing. I started writing Joyous Detox last year and it will be published in 2017. I’m already thinking about book 3 and it will definitely have a joyous baby theme. 🙂

    I’m a real believer in people taking charge of their health. Do you think the average person is becoming more aware of how proper nutrition can prevent many health issues?

     Yes most definitely. I know this just based on how my blog traffic has grown over the years…also based on holistic nutrition being on mainstream TV.

    Your journey as a holistic nutritionist is a fascinating one. (Read about it here.) Do you ever look back and wonder what your life would have been like if you didn’t follow this path?

     For sure. I know that if I never followed my true passion I would still be working in a marketing job in an office and feeling completely unfulfilled. Feeling unfulfilled in one aspect of your life can unfortunately affect all other areas of your life. Following my dreams brought so much unexpected goodness into my life, including my husband Walker who is now my full-time business partner for almost two years now. I don’t look back often, but when I do it’s really motivating to see how far I’ve come both personally and professionally.

    What are your favourite personal care products?

     I love dry skin brushing, I do it every day. My growing baby in my belly loves it too! For shampoo I love Rahua. It’s a little pricey so I don’t use it every time I wash, just every other wash but along with eating protein and good fat, it keeps my hair shiny! I also use my own Joyous Natural Deodorant, body butta on my legs after shaving and I use my belly bump butta every day on my growing belly. So far…no stretch marks! Fingers crossed. I love lipstick and lipgloss and I’m totally addicted to the Ilia line. They have such pretty colours and they are a clean brand. Everything my husband and I use on our body and in our home for cleaning is as clean and toxin-free as possible. I feel good knowing that anything that flushes down the sink from facewash to toothpaste is not harming the environment. This is important to me.

    What one product or ingredient would you never ever use and why?

     Sadly, most mainstream products made by Uniliver, P&G and the like do not seem to care about the environment or the health of people. So I avoid brands like Dove, Johnson and Johnson etc. There is more than one ingredient I avoid, in fact there are multiple ingredients. So I just make sure that I read my labels of everything and only use products with ingredients I know.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! Do you think your next book will be called Joyous Pregnancy? And where do you see Joyous Health going in the future?

     My third book will definitely be something baby/pregnancy related. I’ve had an enjoyable pregnancy and I know much of this is because of my health before getting pregnant. As for Joyous Health, I will continue doing what I love – speaking and writing. As well, I will continue to develop new offerings on the website from ebooks to natural personal care products. Thanks so much for the interview. Really great questions!

My thanks to Joy McCarthy for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I know I’m definitely looking forward to reading Joy’s next book when it comes out. You can follow Joy on her website Joyous Health as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest!


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Pure Hydration Insulated Water Bottle

A friend and I got this amazing deal at the Yoga Conference for the Pure Hydration 500 ml bottle. It was two for $42.00. I was skeptical that this tri-ply insulated bottle would work as well as they advertised but it really does work! Learn more about the construction of the bottle here. I’ve used it for keeping my green powder shakes, to infuse water with fruit and to keep my tea hot. I took it with me once when I spent the day at the hospital while hubby had knee surgery. My tea stayed hot all day long. I was really impressed. It was so nice not to have to buy a drink at the hospital. My only complaint with this water bottle would be with the cover. It sometimes takes a little effort to screw on properly. But that is my only complaint. I like the two attachments that the bottle comes with. There is an ice/fruit strainer and a tea leaf strainer. You also have the option of the large and small opening. I wish they had a 1 liter bottle size but their bottles only come in three sizes: 280 ml / 9.5 oz, 500 ml / 17 oz and 750 ml / 25 oz. Oh well. I can keep dreaming.

 

Cost: $29.99 USD, 500 ml / 17 oz
Available at: Pure Hydration
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 4/5


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Free Thought Fridays: 8 Tips on How to Juice Effectively

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Ever since I got the Earth Diet book and started juicing I noticed some wonderful health benefits. I feel more energetic, my mind feels clearer, and my body feels cleaner. My skin and hair have improved too. My hair is thicker and my skin has a better texture and tone. I would encourage anyone who is contemplating juicing to do a little bit of research first however. I actually bought my juicer before doing much research and I didn’t fully realize the differences between the juicing machines. Once my current juicer burns out (a centrifugal juicer) I’ll get the kind that I want. Below are some things for you to think about if you want to try juicing.

1. Buy a juicer that fits your needs

What is more important to you? Quality, quantity, or cost? If you’re on a budget, the cheapest juicers are the centrifugal juicers. If you want high quality juice then perhaps a masticating juicer would fit your needs. If you want to squeeze the most juice out of your produce then a hydraulic press juicer would work best. Each type of juicer has its pros and cons. For example, centrifugal juicers are low cost but noisy and not completely efficient at getting all the juice out of your produce. Masticating (single gear) and triturating (twin gear) juicers are more expensive and take longer to extract juice. But they are also quieter and more efficient at extracting juice. The hydraulic press juicers are the most expensive of all (e.g. $2,000+) and works slowly as well, but produces the best quality juice that can be stored for longer periods of time. So think long and hard about what is important to you. Just as a general guideline, if you are a beginner you should start with the most affordable juicer. Then if you decide you want to become serious about juicing you can get a more expensive juicer later on. Read up on the different types of juicers here.

2. If you have time, juice once a day

It’s a good idea to drink fresh juice, especially if you have a centrifugal juicer which produces lower quality juice. The benefit of juicing is that your body can absorb the nutrients much quicker since the fibre is absent. But at the same time, the nutrients and enzymes in juice oxidize quicker once in liquid form. The optimal time to drink your juice is as soon as you make it. But if you don’t have time to juice every day, you can also juice once or twice a week and freeze your juice. Thaw the juice a day before you want to drink it. The nutrient value in frozen juice will not be 100% but at least you will still get a lot more nutrients into your body than if you were to try to eat all the produce you’ve used to make the juice.

3. Store your juices in an airtight mason jar

Having an airtight mason jar can help preserve the nutrients in a green juice. It prevents oxidization as well. More tips on how to store your juice. I like to make large batches of juice on the weekends and then freeze them immediately. Some juice snobs may sniff at this and chide me, but until I get a better juicer this is what I will be doing to keep my juice fresh. I find the frozen juice tastes almost as great as the fresh juice and I still get to experience the health benefits from juicing.

4. Juice leafy greens first, then soft fruit, then hard veggies and fruits

When I first got a juicer I just threw them in without any order. Using a centrifugal juicer, I found a lot of the produce was coming out in the pulp almost whole and not fully “juiced”. Then I read Vani Hari’s book which said the leafy greens should go first, then soft fruit and lastly hard fruit and veggies. The harder veggies and fruits will push the softer items through the juicer. Since then, my pulp doesn’t contain whole pieces of produce that didn’t get through. From The Food Babe Way by Vani Hari.

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This is the kind of juicer I have. A Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer. It’s a centrifugal juicer.

5. Don’t use more than 1 high sugar fruit per juice

Some fruits like pineapple and mango are very high in sugar. Although it’s a natural sugar it’s still a good idea to limit those fruits to one per juice. For example, you can do: kale, apple, ginger, lemon and carrot. The sweetness of the apple and carrot are balanced out by the rest of the ingredients. Here’s a very useful list of low sugar fruits. Plus an article on low sugar vegetables, fruits and what fresh juice does to your blood sugar.

6. Drink your juice on an empty stomach

The best way for your body to absorb the nutrients of juice is on an empty stomach. If you eat something before having juice you may experience stomach upset. If you want to eat food soon after having juice, Food Babe advises to wait at least 20 minutes. I have waited about 30 minutes before having solid food and not experienced any problems when I do this. Reasons why to have juice on an empty stomach.

7. You don’t need to use a recipe book

The great thing about juicing is that you can just go with the flow and follow the tastes you or your family like. Like it a little spicy? Add some ginger or garlic which adds a little zing to the juice. Recipes are good if you’re a newbie to juicing and want to focus on a certain goal like boosting your immune system or losing weight. But otherwise don’t feel you need to have a recipe book to start juicing. You can find tons of free juice recipes online and then change them to your tastes. I agree with the intuitive eating theory that the body knows what nutrients it needs. If you find yourself craving something then as Liana Werner-Gray says in the Earth Diet book, give in to that craving but get the most natural version of that craving that’s possible. Want some kale or broccoli but don’t like the taste? Juice them with some apple or carrots to help mask the tastes you don’t like.

8. If you want to do a long juice cleanse, make sure you speak to a nutritional expert

A lot of people jump on the juicing bandwagon very quickly. While I applaud that enthusiasm, you have to realize that if you’ve been eating junk food most of your life then doing something drastic like a juice cleanse will cause some major detoxing symptoms. I don’t know anyone who would want to feel lousy while trying to get healthy. Before you leap into a juice cleanse, take a look at your eating habits. If you don’t eat healthy then start to gradually eat better. You can always do a juice cleanse later on. Then before you do the actual juice cleanse, get a physical to make sure your body can handle it. If you will be doing a long juice cleanse (e.g. more than a week) then speak to a nutritional expert. You want to make sure that you’re not depriving your body of essential nutrients. Juice cleanses should be tailored to each person’s specific needs and body issues.

Some great resources on juicing:

Joyous Health

The Food Babe Way – Vani Hari

The Earth Diet – Liana Werner-Gray

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (a Joe Cross film – documentary movie)

More articles on juicing:

Juicing Basics – Juice for Health

Juicer types – Huffington Post

6 Things to consider before buying a juicer – Summer Tomato

Juicer Buying Guide – Reboot with Joe (He was the star of Fat Sick & Nearly Dead)


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Lotus Wei Mists and Perfume

I love aromatherapy and the results it can have on my psyche and body. As a person who is quite sensitive to my surroundings having things that are beautiful aid in keeping me calm and happy. Lotus Wei mists have become a part of my daily ritual and I love using them so much I thought I would share with you, my dear readers. Those who are very scent sensitive may not find these ideal but for me the mists are the mild since they are diluted with water. The perfumes much stronger since they use the essential oils suspended in grape alcohol.

Inspired Action Mist

Ingredients: Essential oils *Citrus aurantifolia (Lime), *Elettaria cardamomum (Cardamom), *Citrus Limon (Lemon), Schinus molle (Pink Pepper), Pimenta racemosa (Bay Rum), Pimenta dioica (Allspice), and hand-collected flower essences of Epidendrum radicans (Fire Star Orchid), Caesalpinia pulcherrima (Red Bird of Paradise), Kalanchoe tubiflora (Chandelier Succulent), Euphrasia nemorosa (Euphrasia), Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus), and gem essence of Fluorite in pure water. *Certified Organic.

This mist is great for getting rid of “mind fog” and helping you focus on the matter at hand. I like to start my day by misting myself with all the mists and this is the one I start with. It helps me jump start my day and wake up. On the weekends when I’m writing up my blog posts it helps me to get more done in a shorter amount of time. The smell is slightly citrusy with some floral notes. Dissolves: Procrastination, lack of follow through, feeling stuck, writer’s block, indecision, projects left undone, distracted mind.

Pure Energy Mist

Ingredients: Essential oils of Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit), *Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Cinnamon), Coffea Arabica (Coffee), *Piper nigrum (Black Pepper) and hand-collected flower essences of Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow), Trifolium pretense (Red Clover), Crassula ovata (Jade Succulent), Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus) and gem essence of Black Tourmaline in pure waterCertified Organic

When I’m feeling exhausted and need energy to get through the day I reach for this mist. The citrus-spicey smell helps perk me up and somehow gives me enough energy to get through practically anything. Dissolves: Fatigue due to computer & cell phone use, travel, or radiation; accumulation of energies that are not your own; ; vulnerability, whether physically or energetically; taking on others’ stress; feeling invisible, weak, or not clear about what you want

Joy Juice Mist

Ingredients: Pure essential oils of Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange), *Jasminum grandiflorum (Jasmine), *Artemisia pallens (Davana), Aniba rosaeodora (Rosewood),Tagetes minuta (Tagetes), *Citrus aurantifolia (Lime), and hand-collected flower essences of Spiraea tomentosa (Pink Spirea), Lotus corniculatus (Birdsfoot Lotus), Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate Flower), Osteospermum ecklonis (African Daisy), Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus), and gem essence of Red Garnet in pure water. *Certified Organic.

Some days I take things too seriously. Joy juice mist helps lighten the mood and reminds me to take things with a grain of salt and laughter. This is one of the sweetest smelling mists that Lotus Wei has. It’s also a softer scent and reminds me more of conventional perfume in the scent profile. But it’s definitely not a conventional perfume in any way. Conventional perfumes don’t affect your mood like aromatherapy does because most conventional perfumes are made from synthetic ingredients. Which is why I love aromatherapy: you get to smell nice and reap the benefits of using essential oils. Dissolves: Seriousness, feeling the weight of responsibilities, worry, overcomplicating things, repressing your inner child.

Quiet Mind Mist

Ingredients: Essential oils of *Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium), Coriandrum sativum (Coriander), *Eugenia caryophyllata (Clove), *Citrus deliciosa (Mandarin), *Citrus limon (Lemon) and hand-collected flower essences of Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise), Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower), Brugmansia arborea (Datura), Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion), Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus), and gem essence of Kyanite in pure water. *Certified Organic.

When my mind is racing and won’t shut up this mist helps to put a stop to the hamster wheel running in my brain. It’s like a pause button when I’m feeling stressed out! It’s not surprising that this mist contains a lot of citrus in it. The passion flower, lotus and bird of paradise help moderate the stimulating effects of the citrus essential oils so that your mind quiets but remains clear. Dissolves: Busy mind, mental chatter, restless sleep, physical tension (especially neck & shoulders), over-analyzing.

Infinite Love Perfume

Ingredients: Certified Organic *Vitus Vinifera (Grape Alcohol), essential oils of *Citrus deliciosa (Red Mandarin), *Pelargonium roseum (Rose Geranium), Monarda fistulosa (Monarda), Cymbopogon citrates (Lemongrass), Rosa damascena (Rose absolute), Rosa damascena (Rose Wax), and Apies millifera (Beeswax Absolute), and hand-collected flower essences of Bauhinia blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid), Epilobium augustifolium (Fireweed), Magnolia liliflora (Pink Magnolia), Hieracium aurantiacum (Hawkweed), Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus) and gem essence of Pink Tourmaline. *Certified Organic.

The scent is soft and sensual. It reminds me to be gentle with myself and to practise self-care when I’m not feeling well. I’m not normally a rose fan but I do love this blend. Dissolves: Irritation, being hard on yourself, hard heart, feeling attacked, resentment, anger, jealousy, codependency, giving away all your energy to others and forgetting your own needs, past trauma, breaking through old patterns.

Inner Peace Perfume

Ingredients: Certified Organic Vitus vinifera (Grape Alcohol), essential oils of *Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender), Coriandrum sativum (Coriander), *Juniperus communis (Juniper), *Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium), Cedrus atlantica (Cedar), and *Vetiveria zizanioides (Vetiver) and hand-collected flower essences of Lupinus arcticus (Arctic Lupine), Chorisia speciosa (Silk Floss), Sophora secundiflora (Mountain Laurel), Hibiscus rosasinensis (Hibiscus), Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus) and gem essence of Emerald. *Cerified Organic

This mist also helps me to cope when I’m stressed out but in a different way. After misting myself with this I feel like I don’t have to act like I’m the general manager of the universe. I remember to turn things over to God and relax. I don’t normally like vetiver either but combined with the other flower essences in this mist I can hardly smell it. Dissolves: High levels of stress and overwhelm; feeling a lack of support; anxiety, nervousness, heart palpitations, fear, lack of confidence, nervous about public speaking.

I’ve repurchased Lotus Wei‘s mists, perfumes, serums and elixirs many times before. After trying all the formats I’ve discovered I prefer the mists and perfumes over the serums and elixirs.

Cost: $40.00 CAD, 50 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Detox Market, Clementine Fields, Lotus Wei
Rating: 5/5

Note: There’s a new mist available only on the Lotus Wei website called Radiant Energy which is replacing the Pure Energy mist. I’m hoping it will soon be available in Canada!

Have you ever tried any Lotus Wei products?