Hi, if we haven’t met yet, my name is Nicole Graber, and I’m the creative mind behind nikkygraber.com, A Higher Quality of Life, and essentialoils.life websites. You wouldn’t know it now looking at me now, but I spent 8 LONG years in my 20s battling a chronic autoimmune and neurological health crisis that left me homeless, and needing to use a wheelchair and crutches to get around, while spending 20 hours a day sleeping to recover from my average of enduring 6 seizures each day.
My doctors told me I’d be dead by 30, and that making any lifestyle changes or leaning in on the natural wellness regimens would just kill me faster. Feeling reckless, and determined to end my suffering, I tried it anyways… only to experience a very dramatic healing season.
By the time I was 30, I had endured my very last symptom… on September 19, 2013 I endured a Grand Mal seizure… not even experiencing a migraine since then. You can read more about my health story over at: www.nikkygraber.com/but-you-dont-look-sick where I talk openly about my health horrors and recovery process.
Now… I’m walking proof what a natural wellness lifestyle can accomplish.
I’ll never forget the moment I was in the rhumetology department being fitted for my crutches. I saw a 350lb man being bicycled by a machine with tears in his eyes watching me walk. Finally he worked up the courage and told me that reminded him just how he looked not 5 years ago shortly before his legs stopped working. This crushed me. I left the VA hospital crying, praying to any God who would hear me, begging to end my life or guide me through healing. I couldn’t live like that anymore, and my “other side” of my health crisis couldn’t be sitting on a machine to move my limbs. I promised that through my healing, I would use my life as a megaphone, shouting my story to the world, and prove to other people that recovery is possible. Then it happened. 2 years later, I endured a very dramatic healing season.
As part of my promise to God and the Universe, I’m here to share my story and inspire hope for other people suffering autoimmune and neurological disorders, shining the light towards healing and embracing a higher quality of life.
On this page, you’ll see several topics that lead towards healing:
- Products That May Be Harming Your Health
- Why You Should Try Essential Oils
- The Most Overlooked Missing Link To Turning Around Your Health
- How I Can Help You
Taking on simples healthy lifestyle choices, most of which didn’t impact my overall lifestyle at all, is what caused my dramatically fast healing journey.
There Are Products In Your Home That May Be Negatively Impacting Your Health!
Did you know there is no government regulatory body in the US that is responsible for ensuring the safety of personal care products or cosmetics?
Did you know it is LEGAL for companies in the US to use harmful ingredients in their products?
This is true… as long as it doesn’t involve using the 32 chemicals banned by the FDA (11 of which hasn’t been in production since the 1990s).
Not only is it legal for companies to use harmful ingredients and not test for human or animal safety, but they can LEGALLY advertise their products as being “green” and “100% natural”… even “organic” if they also meet other requirements.
My personal experience ditching toxins:
After spending a month on the Paleo diet, and significantly improving my health, I started down the rabbit hole jumping from prepackaged food ingredients and effects of pesticide and herbicide spraying to a whole new rabbit hole wondering: “could anything else in my home be counterproductive to healing?”
The answer shocked me!
6 Seconds… is all it takes for something slathered ON your skin to be absorbed INTO your body… less than a minute later, that same something is coursing through your blood, having touched every cell in your body.
The problem: the mass majority of products purchased at your standard department store, drug store, Amazon, and even smaller specialty shops contain chemical ingredients known to disrupt your:
- Neurological Functioning
- Heart and cardiovascular system
- Reproductive abilities (including fetus development)
- Muscle, joint, and skin health
- Endocrine System (including adrenals, hormones, and thyroid)
- Eye sight
- And more…
It didn’t take long for me to want to rid everything in my home that contained any potentially harmful ingredient.
To my surprise… ALL my “high end Green” cleaners were trashed. As was my shampoos, conditioners, body washes, soaps, cosmetics, skin care items, laundry supplies, lotions, candles, air fresheners… everything. It all went straight in the trash.
I wanted nothing to do with those chemicals being in my home, on my body, or contaminating the air I breathed.
I cringed at first, noticing we filled up 2 entire 13-gallon kitchen trash bags. I was throwing away a cleaner for everything. Window cleaner… kitchen cleaner… bathroom cleaner… floor cleaner… stove cleaner… oven cleaner… toilet cleaner… soft scrub… tub and shower cleaner… heavy duty cleaner… carpet cleaner… laundry detergent… laundry fabric softener… stain remover… dryer sheets… I threw out several shampoos and conditioners… deep conditioners… hair masks… hair spray… body wash… soap bars… liquid hand soaps (bye bye triclosan!)… lotions… face creams… deodorant… and a drawer full of makeup.
I felt anxious, like I was throwing away money. I’m sure that was several $hundred that sat there in the trash can outside. I only made $974 for my Veterans Disability, and had just escaped homelessness. To me, that felt like a fortune. Easily $200-300 worth of product sitting outside literally being thrown away. Talk about some serious financial anxiety!
However, I also knew replacing those items could potentially do so much for my health that was finally starting to regain after 8 years of pure misery. And healing my health crisis was priceless.
Then… I watched the can be lifted into the truck, and set back down empty. And all I felt… relief. Turns out it was the best thing I could have ever done!
Switching To Safer Options
There are many products out there being sold under the impression that they are safe, nontoxic, and “green.” Unfortunately this simply isn’t always true. In fact, more often than not, the “Safe,” “Nontoxic,” and “Green” options are just marketing ploys that are legally lying to you.
They get away with this style of deceptive marketing because by definition, there is no such thing as “natural” and “nontoxic” as long as it doesn’t contain one of 32 banned chemicals if you’re in the US (if you’re in Canada or Europe there are 1500 banned chemicals). There are over 2500 chemicals known to cause harm to human health that are still being used… in “natural” and “green” products.
Thankfully, there are a few companies out there that provide healthy alternatives to common harmful products. There are also many DIY recipes that are just as effective as store bought options.
My team is ready to help you on your journey to transitioning your home and/or office to embracing healthier options that will honor and uplift your health and wellness.
If you aren’t looking for personalized help, I have a full Healthy Home Happy Life Online Course about how to do this with a curated list of all my favorite DIY and non-DIY options that you are welcome to check out. ** This course is available at no cost to all my members and clients as a benefit of working with me, in addition to receiving a customized plan based on your needs and lifestyle.
Using Essential Oils
Essential oils can enhance your life in unique ways that you truly must experience for yourself
What are essential oils?
An essential oil is the aromatic, volatile liquid that comes from distilling flowers, shrubs, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. Many people refer to essential oils as the lifeblood of plants because they carry oxygen and nutrients within the plant, are considered the plant’s immune system, and are part of the regenerative process of the plant.
Because our bodies instinctively recognize the constituents in essential oils, we are able to use them for boosting our immunity, relaxation and better sleep, stamina and boosting energy, and for uplifting our spirit.
Why use essential oils?
Other than smelling amazing, essential oils have many properties that help you feel better without any nasty or toxic chemical additives that potentially could produce annoying or dangerous side effects… as long as you’re actually using real, high quality essential oils (unfortunately the mass majority of oils on the market are fake or diluted with harmful or questionable solvents).
You can use essential oils to make everything from healthy bath and body products to chemical-free household cleaners to chemical-free perfumes… and to make your home smell fantastic (one of my favorite uses)… and so much more.
It is so important to provide our bodies with boosters that support healthy functioning in a world where we are constantly bombarded by toxins everywhere!
Essential oils truly have been a blessing to use everyday, helping my family heal from exposure to toxins, instead of just applying another “band-aid” over symptoms, and I know you can have similar results!
Why I Personally Use Essential Oils
While I was on active duty in the Navy, I entered into an autoimmune and neurological health crisis that left me unfit for duty and unable to work. I was plagued by seizures, chronic pain, chronic weakness, digestion troubles, a compromised immune system, migraines, low blood pressure, fainting, massive confusion, memory difficulties, strokes, depression, self-doubt, and suicidal desires.
So, after 18 months of research, I started the Paleo diet. And life backfired! My seizures slowed from 6+ a day to 2 each week. My migraines slowed down too. I also noticed I felt more physically capable, which was super impressive. I went from not being able to stand long enough to cook a meal, to actually being able to stand up while cooking and washing dishes. AND I was actually suddenly able to cook 3 square meals a day PLUS wash all the dishes in the same day!
That by itself was quite eye opening, and had me thinking… if removing prepackaged foods with questionable and toxic ingredients, what would happen if we kept the theme going and did a major overhaul to the personal care and cleaning products we use??
I spent the following week looking through every item in our home, and ditched everything with a questionable ingredient, a toxic ingredient, and also every item with insufficient labeling.
We based most of our findings off of The Environmental Working Group‘s databases. That website is incredible at helping you figure out product and ingredient safety, and gives ratings on the safety of products. We stick to items rated 0-2. I also have a list of common personal care toxic ingredients I avoid too.
This journey also sparked my family’s interest in helping your family succeed in reaching your wellness goals.
Items We Replaced with Essential Oils:
- Air Fresheners “Fragrance” is a scary ingredient. According to the FDA, “fragrance” can be any combination of natural or synthetic chemicals (300+) to create a desired scent. The chemicals used in “fragrance” do not have to be disclosed on ingredient labels because of “proprietary secrets.” Many of these ingredients are carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxic. Many air fresheners even cause respiratory ailments too!
- Cleaning and Laundry Supplies Cleaning supplies really anger me. Many of them are guilty of “Green Washing,” which is where they claim to be environmentally friendly and “nontoxic,” but they aren’t. Check out the EWG databases and see how your cleaning products measure up! It was a massive eye opener to me that products I grew up using was actually poisonous! I find most cleaning product labels to be very misleading and dishonest. If people truly knew what was in their cleaners, popular companies would be out of business or executives jailed for false marketing and public endangerment!
- Personal Care Products and Cosmetics You wash your hair, your body, your face, with the intention of cleaning. Surprisingly, if you get your personal care products from local department stores, like Walmart, Target… etc… chances are, they contain dangerous or potentially dangerous ingredients.
Disturbing fact: Since WWII, there have been over 80,000 new synthetic chemicals created. 10,500 of those are regularly used in the cosmetic and skincare industry. 10% of those have safety data available, not all have fully sufficient safety data. 1,500 have safety data that indicate they are toxic to humans.
It only takes 22 seconds for your skin to absorb what you put on it. From there, it is absorbed into your bloodstream. From the time you slather a lotion or cream on your skin, it takes less than a minute for the components to reach your brain.
After purging everything in our home that had questionable or harmful ingredients, I replaced everything with essential oils and essential oil-infused products.
- Instead of air fresheners, we diffuse essential oils.
- Our hair care items (shampoo, conditioner, hair spray) were switched to a fully natural, truly nontoxic products that are infused with essential oils.
- Our cleaning product (just one) replaced the plethora of cleaners I had taking up the entire sink cabinets in both bathrooms and the kitchen. Who would have thought… you really only needed ONE cleaning item!!! Now, that ONE cleaner (sometimes mixed with some baking soda when I need a soft scrub) manages ALL my cleaning needs.
- Our laundry detergent is infused with essential oils, and void of toxic or potentially hazardous ingredients. I use vinegar instead of fabric softener, and I use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
- Our skincare is all fully natural and nontoxic (some is homemade) and is infused with essential oils (which are magnificent for promoting healthy skin).
Then… Something Unexpected Happened…
Not only did my seizures and migraines completely stop a month later, but my husband and I were able to conceive a child, after being told for years that I was unable to and if by chance I was miraculously able to, my health condition would kill us both. That boy is now 2 years old and the healthiest and happiest being I’ve ever met.
- We began to feel incredible.
- Emotionally, I felt hopeful. I felt lighter. I felt happier. I felt competent.
- Mentally, I felt clearer. I was able to think without massive confusion.
- I was healthier. My immune system improved, so I wasn’t feeling sick all the time.
- I felt more energetic, and was actually able to start going for family walks with the dogs – AND keep up.
- I felt more capable, and had a renewed sense of purpose.
- I felt like I was just given a second chance at life!
So much changed so quickly. I went from laying on the couch all day for years on end, wishing to take a nap and not wake up… to THRIVING, and all in a relatively short amount of time. All because of seeking a nontoxic lifestyle that I once thought was a hoax, along with my doctors and family.
I can honestly say, we’ve been healthier and happier since making the switch. This is absolutely the best decision my husband and I have ever made. It enabled us to have our son; it allowed me to regain my health; it gave me a reason to live. Without family and health, there wasn’t much for me to live for.
This alone changed everything.
Now, I’m a believer. I believe the body is miraculously designed to heal, when given the proper nutrients, and starved of constant toxin bombardment.
How To Find A Good Essential Oil Brand:
This is a controversial topic in the Essential Oil world. Mainly because most people want to believe that all essential oils are the same.
Unfortunately because of a lack of legal definition and regulation in both manufacturing and education, there can be major differences between brands. I have a blog post you’re welcome to check out that outlines exactly how to find a quality essential oil brand.
Basically, you want to choose a company that is openly transparent on their farming practices, quality standards, distillation practices, and bottling techniques. Quality is everything when it comes to essential oils, and ultimately your health. There is a lot of shady stuff happening in the essential oil industry, so definitely check out the article. I’d hate to see you spend your hard earned money on substandard stuff pretending to be an essential oil.
Saving Money With Essential Oils
Instead of using products containing toxins, you can actually SAVE MONEY by switching to a safer lifestyle that also offers many therapeutic benefits! If you were to add up all the money spent on household and personal care products each month, how much do you think you spend?
- Buying a 15ml bottle of lemon essential oil, for example, can replace your laundry stain stick, goo-gone, artificiallyand “naturally” flavored water, grease cutter, vinaigrette, and candles… for $11.25 – AND it will last you longer than a month! (My last bottle of lemon essential oil has lasted me 6 months and still is not in need of replenishing)
- What if you could let your KIDS do the cleaning with you because Thieves Cleaner not only is plant-based and pure, but simply because they also love how it smells? Both my children started cleaning with me at 18 months old.. they LOVED and often INSISTED on cleaning… and we were thankful to have safe products to allow it.
- What if the same oil that fragrances your home is able to be sprayed on your sheets before before bed to help you sleep, AND is also able to help you focus and help your kids stay on task during the day as well?
- What if that same oil that deodorizes your trash can also safely repel mosquitos?
- What if you could sleep well, and solidly, without having any kind of nasty toxin or dependency for assistance?
- What if using essential oils in a variety of methods could actually help you save money while also enabling you to live happier, healthier, and wealthier?
If you’re looking for quality essential oils and oil-infused household products… and finding out how you can save money or make an income through using them… I can absolutely help you with that.
3 Most Overlooked Keys To Turning Around Your Health
As a result of modern lifestyle, most of our bodies are burdened with toxic waste and slow metabolism. Often these toxins come from our food, but also can burdon our body by absorbing through our skin, or through the air pollution we breathe in. Often we assume these toxins pass through our bodies and are deposited into the toilet, but that isn’t always the case. Often when your liver becomes congested with these chemicals and isn’t sure how to process them, they start to burdon your kidneys. When the kidneys become overburdened and don’t know what to do with them, they end up stored in your fat cells.
This may cause a variety of issues, including:
- Autoimmune Disease
- Unexplained Exhaustion
- Weight Gain
- “Stubborn Weight” that won’t decrease with diet and exercise
- Candida Overgrowth
- Difficulty thinking, focusing, and concentrating
- Mood swings
- Thyroid problems
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Lack of Motivation
While we can’t always control what our bodies are exposed to, we can work on improving your gut health that can reverse these issues, allowing you to live a higher quality of life.
There are three specific supplements that everyone benefits from:
A specially formulated Magnesium compound with Oxygen Enhancement, Vitamin C, and Bioflavonoids may help with:
- Oxygenating your entire body
- Help cleanse your gastrointestinal tract and arteries
- Energize your body
- Enhance your ability to lose stubborn weight
- Support collagen production
- Relieve constipation
Probiotics. A high quality probiotic adds beneficial bacteria to your digestive tract. Taking a quality probiotic may help with many health ailments, including:
- Improving bathroom habits
- Improving some mental health ailments
- Reducing overall stress
- Reducing inflamation
- Improving heart and cardiovascular health
- Reducing allergies
- Improving skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema
- Improving gut-ailment symptoms, including colitis, IBS, and Crohn’s.
- Improving your overall immune system
- Reducing weight, including belly fat
- Reducing occurance of UTIs
Prebiotics. A high quality prebiotic feeds the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Taking a quality prebiotic may help:
- Increase calcium and magnesium absorption
- Develop stronger bones
- Strengthen your immune system
- Reduce triglyceride levels in your blood
- Reduce “emotional” eating
- Decrease sugar and junk food cravings
- Balance your gut flora to promote the health and abundance of beneficial bacteria
- Improve bowel regularity and comfort
- Reduce intestinal and urinary infections
- Reduce inflammation within your digestive tract and body
- Reduce your anxiety
- Improve your stress response
- Balance your hormones
- Improve your energy
A quality vitamin C with magnesium supplement paired with probiotics and prebiotics are a huge help to improving your overall quality of life with helping your body’s natural detox processes, supporting your gut flora balance, and all the benefits that occur within your body and mind through the process. For help finding quality supplements and finding simple ways to add them to your routine, my team can help you.
How I Can Help You On Your Wellness Journey
Please schedule a 20-minute consult or send an email (scroll down for more info on how to connect with me) so we can determine your needs, and customize a plan based on your lifestyle and wellness goals. My initial 20-minute consults are free.
**Please Note** I do provide complimentary ongoing individual and group support to my clients who actively purchase products through me. I do charge a consulting fee after the initial consult for any client not actively purchasing products from me.
What I need from you… before I can help you on your wellness journey:
When you email me, let me know what is most important for your to get started with:
- Essential Oils
- Safe Cleaning Products
- Healthy personal care, skincare, and/or cosmetic products
- Healthy Supplements (including vitamins, probiotics and prebiotics, and other gut-health needs)
I’d appreciate knowing a bit about you too:
- What your current wellness goals are
- Which goal is your biggest priority?
- What you would like to achieve in the next 6-12 months
- Your initial budget
- An overview of your overall lifestyle
Please also let me know if you’re interested in hearing about products I’d recommend for you, or if you’re looking for assistance with products you’re already using.