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 Fact vs. Fiction | Busting the Toxic-Free Lifestyle Myths Part I Ep 3

Iva 1:33

Hi and welcome to a new episode of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. And I am here today with one of my favorite people in the planet. My partner-in-harmony, business bestie, Desiree Gonzales and today's episode is all about busting the toxic-free lifestyle myths. So Des, it's always a pleasure and always so much fun to be here with you on this podcast.


Desiree 2:18

Thank you so much. It is so funny and a little bit surreal as well to kind of be on the other side of the microphone now. But I think it's really nice. I always look forward to talking about the things that we do and the things we do together. 


Iva 2:38

Yeah, yes, yes, because this time, we're switching gears and we're putting the spotlight on you. And so, before we begin, let me share a little bit of Desiree’s background. So besides, co-hosting this podcast, Des is also the creator of Oily Essentials, with a community that spreads over more than 20 countries on this platform. She teaches others about natural, Young Living Essential Oils, and how to transition to a toxic-free lifestyle. She also inspires other moms to regain their identity, find their purpose and lead them towards financial independence by doing something they absolutely love and are passionate about. So we're so happy, I can't wait to get started.


Desiree 3:34

Yes, I think it's so funny for the ones that are listening to this podcast you know us as Des and Iva as co-hosts of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast, but what we don’t mention on occasion but some of you may not know, is that actually Iva and I we both have our separate businesses as well, which we also collaborate with together. But we do want it to give some space as well to kind of share about what we do.


Iva 4:08

Yes, yes, it's true. And you know, we started off this podcast and season one, you know, talking a little bit like one on one with each other about topics and issues that are close to our hearts and putting our own perspective and real life experience on them. And then we started to expand the community wanting to share the expertise, knowledge, gifts and inspiration from other mom bosses out there that are growing their business, raising a family. And so as we are now gearing into season three, we definitely want to bring back a little bit of that magic of Des and Eva, you know one-on-one having conversations as well as showcasing our gifts to the world because we also have gifts that we are passionate about and we love sharing them with others and this i is one of those moments and opportunities so Des, to get started, can you share how do you get on this path of natural living?


Desiree 5:33

That's always really interesting that you asked, at what point do I start to answer that question but I guess I was always passionate about sort of the more natural lifestyle even when I was growing up, you know, my parents always rather reached for the natural and homeopathic remedies as opposed to you know any prescription medication or any toxic things. Yet our generation really does grew up surrounded by a lot of these toxins, that we're talking about. But so, there's two sides of where I sort of started. And the one part of it is because of a health issue and our family and us as usual, finding a different modality to help. And so, I got introduced to the community that I'm also currently a part of, and I've witnessed first hand what amazing benefits just this tweak and lifestyle, you know the natural remedies, the essential oils, the supplements, all did to our family. And only then did I decide you know what, I need to try this out for myself. And I am German, part German so I am always quite a skeptical person. So I need to see the results right until you take it a little bit further and that same goals as well for men and our lives are like okay, what is she bringing home now? But this essential oil kids, you know, what does she want to do? But it was really also then when my husband saw like, wow, we haven't been sick and we haven't you know, like, we just feel better. We sleep better. We have more energy during the day. Wait a second, there's something about it. So we kind of dabbled in it. We started around with it. But it wasn't until I got pregnant with our first child that was five years ago when I was pregnant and I said ‘you know what? It's not only me anymore that I'm responsible for but I'm actually growing another human person in my body.’ And that is the point where I mean a lot of moms start asking questions. Is it still safe to put this cream on my body? Is it still safe to wear this? Shall I wait till after the baby's born? I'm going to stop going to the salon for manicures, pedicures. So you know a lot of moms actually are conscious that what they do is often not so beneficial while you're pregnant for the baby inside of you. But that also poses another question: then why do it at all? Aren't you important enough? Don't you have enough self-worth to also not do it to yourself with or without baby? But this is really the eye-opening experience where I said ‘you know what? I’m slowly gonna switch out all of the products that I have and just try to replace them with something more natural. And another part of this this whole natural living was as an expat. We live in countries often where we do not understand the language at all. We cannot even read the language


Iva 8:58

you need Google Translate, and even then you're still not even sure if you're getting the full story. 


Desiree 9:05

Right, exactly. It's like so open to interpretation. And so now when you use the Google Translate camera onto a packet of medicine, like how do you really know that you're gonna buy the right thing? How are you going to explain to a doctor or a pharmacist? What you're looking for right? So what do you do as an expat? You go and travel home you buy all of the things you're familiar with, you stock your suitcase up, you bring it at home in case of any situation comeing in, you get sick, you reach for the medicines, you turn the packet around and it's expired.


Iva 9:41

Murphy's Law, right.


Desiree 9:43

So that was another thing where I was all of a sudden, so happy to have these essential oils on my side that when they're kept the right way they don't expire. They can be used for a multitude of purposes. I mean, it's endless. And so I had all of a sudden felt like I had my own personal medicine cabinet with me the entire time. And I felt a new sense of security, if that makes sense. Knowing I'm covered no matter what happens I have tools at home that can help us


Iva 10:22

And that is a very, very strong feeling for any mom to know. What do we want to reach out for in moments of need, right? Because pain doesn't wait. And if it comes to our kids, even less right and when they're in pain, when they are not feeling well, we want to get them, you know, straight into feeling much better immediately and we'll do whatever it takes, right? If we have to go out in the middle of the night to get whatever we need. We'll do it. So knowing that safety it's within my reach, and I can always have it on hand and it's not something that is going to expire on me. It's a huge sense of relief. Like it takes a huge load right off our mental work. Mom load if you will,


Desiree 11:21

The mom load, I love that. Yeah, and it's when that moment comes, you move to another country and otherwise you'd have to do that whole exercise over again finding your personal care products, even your shampoo, your conditioner, your makeup remover wipes, you know, let alone the medicine every time you move. I can't you know. It's really hard and then so I was really, really glad I had these products that are available all over the world and I can just continue with whatever I'm doing no matter where we moved to. And a lot of people were asking. Started asking questions, and I really wanted to help and so I could only share from my experience what had worked for me. But when a new question came up, I was kind of like oh, what do I answer now? So, the beautiful thing is that we are part of a community with healers, with clinical aromatherapists, so you can ask questions, but you know sometimes I don't want to wait for the answer. So I became even more curious. I started doing my own research and eventually it led me to actually becoming certified as a Metaphysical And Clinical Aromatherapist myself so that I can help others around me just experience what I'm experiencing and having that security blanket that I was having. And so yeah, that's kind of how I how I started doing what, what I do.


Iva 13:03

And that's fantastic because as we know, when you're able to guide others from a, you know, a really like grounded baseline that you are certified, you know, you're at Clinical Aromatherapist, you have all the knowledge that goes way beyond just the basics that you can google right or, or research on but that you really understand, you know how things are put together. And that is invaluable because you are such a great_ you love to come from the spirit of helping others and yes holding their hands and and knowing that you have all this wealth of information that backs it up right. It's not just sometimes we tend to be_ an I fall also into this bucket that we want to help others right. But without the proper skills or requirements to do so, we might end up unwittingly doing more harm than good, right? Not because we're set out to do that. But because, you know, unknowingly we don't we don't know, we err on the side of saying ‘oh, I think this’ but we're not really sure. So having on your end the ability to say ‘I love helping people. And I also know how to help them out,’ it's fantastic.


Desiree 14:39

But I have to also say that it's absolutely not a necessity to have this type of certification. I mean, you know, a mom's experience with anything right, goes a long way and really is sometimes so much more valuable than what any textbook can tell you. So you do not need that, but for me, my natural career,  little bit more. So yeah, exactly. 


Iva 15:04

Yeah,of course and you know, whoever is not on the path of, of this type of work and passion that you do have, they can always reach out to you for support and help. I love your two stories and I can always reach out to you to offer me support and help but so do you want to share with us a little bit how do you help others get into this lifestyle?


Desiree 16:25

Yeah, so I love that it's all about networking, as well. It's all about in the first line touching the people that are closest to you. It starts with your family. It starts with your friends, then your children's friends and the moms of those kids. You know it's really it kind of trickles out into waves. But also, the community that we've created through this platform is truly international. So there's also people that have been allowed to help who I've never met before on the other side of the world. So that's also beautiful and we are all connected, these modalities connect us together. And so what I tried to do then is I hold regular classes and forms of webinars which especially over the last you know, two to three years that's been super helpful. Anyways, everyone's so used to being online but me being an expat and you know, creating communities wherever I live, like I started one in when I was in China and then when I was in Singapore and then now I'm in Japan, but then I tend to move again after a few years but it doesn't matter because our community is truly online and will always be connected. So, I hold regular classes. If not in person than online. I create a lot of content and also in collaboration often with other leaders within the community such as yourself as well. And that we just have this this really large net of knowledge that we give and that we pass on to others. And we have started to have support groups in different regions as well. We've got an international sort of WhatsApp support group. We have a German-speaking one. We have an Indonesian one. We have a Japanese one, you know where we can just target a little bit more in the regions with a translation help or, you know native speakers with local offers and everything and support like local support with ordering or anything so that's really helpful. And what I also do is, I do actual consultations that people can book a consultation with me and we look at the full spectrum of their life situation you know, their health situation, whether it is something they want to target like health issue that they have that we want to look at, or really just looking at the entire lifestyle and see where can we integrate some natural ways where can we maybe ditch some of the more toxic ingredients or cleaners in their home or the medicine and replace it with something more natural. So I do these kinds of one-on-one consultations also.


Iva 19:43

And I just want to say that first, it's amazing the reach that the community has because it is true, right? Language is not a barrier at all. You can find your groove, you can find you know the people that are having these conversations in your native language if you feel so inclined, and feel comfortable with and that is fantastic because sometimes I don't know, language does something to us, right? And if we hear something in our native language, it reaches us a little bit differently. So this is a great platform to have and also just want to point out that if you haven't done so already, please start following Desiree on her social media accounts, because really what she shares is such a wealth, not only of knowledge, but it's like so much fun, like how she shows how to integrate this into your daily life and you see it. It's not just putting something that is written but showing how. Like I see your kids’ hands helping out when you share recipes as well. And all these like really, healthy ways that we can nourish ourselves. And you say, ‘Wow, I can do that with my kids too.’ And so I also get a sense of inspiration of like, ‘oh, I want that recipe and you share it. You show the little hands, how they can help so you're like ‘okay, so it's an easy afternoon activity that I can also use to entertain my kids.’


And let me tell you it's it's lovely, my youngest, she loves to prepare a yogurt concoction. with essential oils and she has that and she is really immersed in the whole process of I want to mix it, I want to add the drops. I want to you know, enjoy it. And I couldn't be happier because it's such a healthy snack. I know that it's completely safe and that it's much better than anything that we can get, from like a fast service type of place. So it also ticks so many boxes,  you feel like bonded with your child, you feel that you're being a good mom, you feel that you're looking after their health and their nutrition all in one go and it's just amazing. So if you really if you want to get more inspiration, please check this her social media account. She really has a lot going on there. But let's go quickly to this other part of there's so many myths around what it is to be in a toxic-free lifestyle or toxic free living if you will, and essential oils as well. Can you share what are some of the main things that you have gotten along the years where you say ‘no, let me debunk that myth straight away’?


Desiree 23:00

Yeah. So the first one that I often get is kind of this, and it goes usually with someone rolling their eyes, ‘oh, it's just another trend’ But it's not you know, it's really, I mean natural remedies and essential oils they've been around for ever, maybe in a whole different form like the whole land, the bark of the tree, the flesh of fruits, you know,


Iva 23:28

Like people used to, like people used to do back in the days right?


Desiree 23:33

Exactly. There was no men with lab groceries


Iva 23:37

Or on the shelves 


Desiree 23:41

Yeah, exactly. And then creating these, you know, synthetic things that are anyways inspired by the natural remedies. Yeah, it just made a cheaper format faster, with faster accessibility and everything. But let's stay with nature. And so, it's not just another trend and that's why it's also important probably to mention the company that there it is very easy to fall in the trap and all of the marketing schemes of some of the essential oil and natural product companies that are out there, but I did my due diligence. I am again, I am part German, I think it is engraved for me and it's not so bad to be skeptical at first, but I really wanted to research a little bit. Why am I choosing the company that I'm choosing to partner with? That company is Young Living and they are truly the pioneers in the world of essential oils and what I love is their philosophy of doing it all for a purpose. It really also came out of necessity and trying to help cure something that had happened. And so really bringing this hope and these tools to people around him. So that was from the founder, Dr. Gary Young. And what I love about the philosophy, it's not about profits, it's about purpose. You know, it's just a goal to introduce this to as many people as possible because we want to genuinely help them lead a healthier life. So, again, I dedicate a lot of time to research. I wrote an article about it and everything about why I chose this company, but it's really truly nature. It's been around forever and what the company does is it makes it so easy that they actually bottle these plants I always say bottle the plans for us for easy use, right? All of the distillation, all of the testing everything. Absolutely no fillers and all of that. So it can't get any more natural than this. What happens which is what is a trend indeed is then these luxury brands out there maybe even the cosmetic brands or these nature brands or I don't want to name any of them but you know when you go to shops or even high end stores with the very expensive price tags, and you're so sucked into that marketing as well of you know, have the best skin that you can or do this for your children. It's so healthy and that for me is a trend, right, because it's something they've come up with and are marketing to you for a specific purpose. But we need to look beyond that and see what is there and what is sustainable also nowadays for our planet. Yeah, right but what can we do? How can we help them reduce this carbon footprint as well. But you know when I clean something in my home I have the peace of mind that when I pour that bucket of like my mopping water back into this thing, it's actually biodegradable, right, it doesn't harm the planet. So, there's so many aspects to it. And so staying true to nature, I think is one thing that we all need to keep in mind a little bit more


Iva 27:16

Well, yeah, of course. I mean, when we start to become more conscious about what, how we're showing up as the generation and what we're leaving behind as a legacy to our kids, it comes into the conversation like how are we contributing? Yeah, we cannot go and you know, go and save the forest in the Amazonia, right? We sometimes cannot just buy a plane ticket and go down there and chain ourselves up to the trees and do protests or whatever, right? But we can do it in other ways, and as I said, how about if we stopped dumping chemicals, and more plastic into the oceans or into the trash? How about if, as you say, the products that we're using, once we discard them, we're creating 10 new problems, instead of just solving one. 


Desiree 28:14

Exactly. There's so much to be said. I feel like I have to stop myself sometimes saying too much about it, but it's definitely a space for another conversation. But the second myth, I think that's out there, is when you're trying to live a toxic free life is that it's really expensive, right? That's the pushback I get from so many people, when they look at the price tag of let's say the products or a bottle of essential oil or something. They're like, ‘but it's so expensive.’ So okay, but let's think about it for a second. It is also an investment in your health and the health of your children. And we have to think of it as long-term because the money you spend now is the money you save on doctors and hospital fees later when you're actually able to you know avoid illnesses or diseases when you choose to live a more conscious, healthier life today. So it's that whole thing about the investment in yourself and going back to self-worth and all of that.


Iva 29:25

Well and also yes, as you say, preventative measures tend to be a little bit. I don't want to use the word boring, but they seem to not do anything, until actually something does happen, right? So we tend to forget and it goes in line also with sometimes practicing gratitude. We sometimes forget to be grateful until something actually does happen. And we come out on the other side and we're like, ‘Oh, I'm so thankful right? But why does something negative needs to happen for us to pay attention and and you can see it you know, in people that you reading the news or I don't know, people that you are coming in contact with or you hear about that really have very scary experiences. And they turn around their lives and they start seeing the world very, very differently because they were in in a crisis. And now they're realizing ‘oh my God, a lot of things that we give for granted or that we take for granted’ we can actually work towards maintaining the long-term health that you mentioned. And so what is that worth to us, right? How much is your health worth to you? It's a very legit question.


Desiree 30:57

Yeah. And like the next portion here goes out to all the moms. Have you noticed that when you go to the baby aisle in the supermarket or anything that's labeled for kids automatically becomes more expensive? Yet we don't shy away from spending that extra dollar on something that is for our children because we want to protect them. We want to do what's best for them, right? By the content of these things may be exactly the same as something else but only because they put a special label on there and say it's for kids they charge more. That's ridiculous, right? And often I have become some of my friends say that I'm a label ninja as well, because I do. I don't love it. But I do it. I read labels, because there's so many hidden things there. So you can't be fooled by that. Oh, 100% natural, is it? Turn it around, I can circle for you exactly what is not natural about this. So you've got to be really apprehensive about that too. And go back to what do you have at home. What are the natural things. They're going to be much better for your children than any of these synthetic products that you're about to buy off the shelf? And then another one is they're scared like, ‘Oh my God, but okay, I'm gonna do this. I want us to embark on this more conscious lifestyle. But I don't know where to start, right. And it's overwhelming.’ 

So instead, people don't do anything or they delay it. But what I always say is: do it step by step. For me honestly, you know how long it took me till I was fairly comfortable but where I was about two years, it didn't happen overnight_ it was a gradual ride is and it's kind of like okay, I finished my toothpaste instead of going to the store to buy a new one. I'm going to switch to the natural one from Young Living because I absolutely love all of their products and I can stand totally behind the quality of that. So I don't look any further and it saves me as a busy mom loads of time. as well. Right? Then my skincare, my face cream or something is finished. Instead of buying that. I'm going to switch it over. So it's a gradual process. And there is no harm in saying hey, ‘I do want to finish it’ I mean, the more you know about how bad things are, you probably going to speed up that process a little bit. There's also it's okay, if you say I'm going to finish that, but once that's finished, I'm going to switch that particular item over. So that's the switch approach that we often that be used together and that's how I help to guide the members as well. And I've also put, 


Iva 33:54

Yeah, this is this is exactly the journey that I have taken with you. You have taken my hand so yes, I really resonate with everything that you've said about preventative approaches to our health, our well being looking after the health of our children, but also what legacy we're leaving behind, you know for them in terms of how responsible we're being with the planet and all of that. So, there's so many things that I resonate with when I got started on my own journey of ditching and switching. You also took my hand and I can say you were never, you know, pressuring me, you were never on this like speed train like ‘oh has to happen tomorrow.’ It was it was actually very organic. It was very allowing me to discover things, allowing me to experiment and see, you know, and little by little I started to gain more knowledge and always referring back to you, back to your advice, back to like, all the experience that you have, and it's been great, you know I feel so much better when I look under my kitchen sink. If you follow this Desiree, you'll know what I mean. But yeah, and seeing that all I have is just like one cleaning product. And it's safe, right? It's safe for my family. It's safe for myself. I feel I so much better already doing that.


Desiree 35:00

Oh, that's so nice to hear. That is so fulfilling, you know, being able to have helped someone else and to 


Iva 35:03

To help my family because we tend as women, we tend to be the ones that are more in charge of what gets bought, what brands come into the household. Who do we allow in at the end of the day, and our families go along because they trust that we have their best interest at heart, which we do. But sometimes, as you say, sometimes we don't have all the time in the world to do all the research and so I trust your judgment, because I know that you are you know, not only in what you do, you're passionate, you're authentic, but also, you're coming from the best place because you also want the best for your family. So, you're not going to give me a bad recipe so to speak, right? You're going to give me a recipe that you liked and that your family enjoyed and therefore I'm going to want to make it myself and for me to enjoy. Thanks so much for that I am always thankful. And I know that you also have a freebie for everyone for everyone listening and can you tell us what it is and why we need it?


Desiree 36:47

Yeah, so I actually because one part that we haven't quite touched on today, but maybe we can do so on another episode is how you can actually start turning this all into a business as well, because it's about, you know, doing something you're passionate about. But for today, I think what I'd really love to share is one of the most frequently asked questions I get: Can you use essential oils for your kids? Is it safe? What do you do? So I've created a freebie and a guide that's full of recipes. It's got a dilution guide in there. And that really explains what you can do with the sort of basic oils that you're gonna have at the beginning and how you can turn that into an entire medicine cabinet. And you can find that under on my website where you just go to


Iva 37:50

Oh, that is so helpful. It has really saved my life a couple of times. And yes, please go check it out. And try it because it is true. And now I also don't go anywhere without certain oils in my toiletry bag that I know that are there in case of you know, kids-  so what are you currently working on?


Desiree 38:18

So I'm actually really excited about this because another question that I get asked is also the ‘I want to know more I want to learn more. So I've actually become a certified trainer as well with NAHA, which is the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. And I am part of a school that is certified to teach this program which is applied metaphysics school based in Singapore, but I am able to certify people to become an Aromatherapist as well. So I'm going to be launching the certification probably towards the end of this year and I will keep you updated when that's happening. And I'm also working on a digital course that helps moms to generate income just by sharing what they love with a proven system and ready-made tools and it's exactly targeted to those moms that always say ‘But I don't have time’.


Iva 39:27

Most of us don't. So it's always good to know that there are ways to maximize the little time that we have. I love putting the spotlight on you and what you do, I'm always inspired. And I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because this journey, this podcast would not exist if it weren't for you and you know your great friendship, your great advice, your great insights and support always. So it's  wonderful that well, you know that I speak from my heart, and I also say this because I really want to invite our listeners to get to know you a little bit better, to follow your journey and to see for themselves, all the amazing value and guidance that you provide your community in the different platforms that you're in. So thank you so much Desiree for for letting us put the spotlight on you today. And if you want to join her community, you can go to up. And if you want to connect with Des, you can find her on a lot of places: her Instagram @desiree_oily essentials. You can also look her up on Facebook. She has a Pinterest site. She has her website and LinkedIn and we are going to be sharing all of that in the show notes. So go and check it out. And as always, it's so much fun to record this episodes with you and looking forward to doing more in the future as we move up the seasons, and we do more and more collaborations together.


Desiree 41:40

I can't wait! We have so much up our sleeves the two of us together as well that I can't wait till we can share a little bit more with everyone about that too.


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Do you want to better support your child's development at home? Are you a fan of fostering independence for your child, but how do you even prepare the environment? And how do you prepare yourself for it? I used to have all of these questions and more when my son was little so I have put together a course to speak to a trusted Montessori educator on how you can implement tried-and-tested Montessori techniques at home and how to navigate around your child's development periods, all while integrating natural solutions and essential oils into your routines. If you want to do the same for your child, then visit to read more about the essential parents course. It's suitable for ages zero to seven. Design Your Own manual that works for your family and your child.




Desiree Gonzalez

Besides hosting this Podcast….Desiree is also the creator of Oily Essentials, with a community that spreads over more than 20 countries. On this platform, she teaches others about natural living, essential oils and how to transition to a Toxic Free Lifestyle. She also inspires other moms to re-gain their identity, find their purpose and leads them towards financial independence by doing something they love!


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