It’s Complicated

When you’re navigating the online world looking for answers it’s probably more often than not that you’ll come across opinions. It’s what social media is made of, in fact, it’s what all media is made of. Whose opinion can you trust?

When we first started learning about the food industry and what terms like Certified Organic or Non-GMO meant, we were overwhelmed. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to make big changes to your life, impacting your overall health (body and mind). This commitment to better health and better understanding of where our food was sourced and what it was actually made, from became, what is now, a lifelong journey for just overall better-ness.

Let’s share how we went from the refining of our food to how we cleaned up every cupboard in our home and why. Colin was blaming his food intake for a common ailment for a long time but the culprit was much more complicated than that!

After we began substituting things like refined sugars for raw, unpasteurized honey it became apparent that this was the beginning of a landslide. Here’s what things looked like in the very beginning.

What we used to eat –> what we substituted it for

  • Refined Sugar –> Raw, unpasteurized honey
  • Butter/Margarine –> Organic Coconut Oil
  • Store bought bread –> Bought a bread maker
  • Meat in Sauces (spaghetti) –> Dried beans or Eggplant
  • Grilled Steak –> Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

These types of changes happened one grocery trip at a time after researching how to keep up with all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals we’d need to be cooking with in order to maintain healthy, optimally functioning bodies. Whole foods. Hot lemon water. Better quality produce. Then we added nuts, seeds and all that jazz to our diet too and we still sprinkle hemp hearts and flax seeds into our spaghetti sauce.


Once we got the hang of our new diet and started to feel amazing, Colin realized he was still suffering from headaches almost daily, which he had attributed to poor hydration or not enough nutrients in his diet. He went for blood tests to make sure we were feeding his body right – which was so amazing! When he went for this blood test we were fairly new to the vegetarian world (under a year) and were all self-educated. His results were amazing in all areas, which meant his body was receiving more than enough of everything he needed.

Then why the headaches?

When people ask us why we chose to ‘sell’ essential oils or why we joined a Network Marketing company, it was very easy for us to answer. They (the oils and the company we chose to align ourselves with) were a solution for us for so many things. One thing we really loved was that they had the plant based cleaner (one, ONE single cleaner for every surface in our home instead of a cupboard full of poisonous and toxic products each for a single purpose in which we needed to wear a mask and gloves to use), a completely natural toothpaste that doesn’t taste like cardboard or have the consistency of jello. Yuck. They were a solution to our need for natural remedies with minimal ingredients. They were our answer for almost everything we were looking for. We’d used essential oils for years and wanted a better quality brand. It was amazing that the one we found also offered so many other natural options.

Why were we looking?

Looking and disecting product labels for so long when it came to the food we were purchasing had us basically checking labels for everything now. We were cleaning with “green” products that actually weren’t green at all, we had just trusted that because the product had the word “Green” or “Organic” in the company’s name that meant as a consumer, I should be able to trust that the ingredients were in fact Green or Organic. Wrong. Our hearts sank, because, if manufacturers were able to be so misleading with their labels, what else were we oblivious to?

We threw out almost everything! This was not going to be as slow a process like it had been with substituting food over time. Nope. This was going to be now. Immediate. Everything. Must. Go.

And it did.

The toilet bowl cleaner (IS BRIGHT BLUE!! Why?!), laundry detergent (also bright blue?!), candles, glass and window cleaner, hair spray, make-up, toothpaste (bright blue, are you sensing a theme?) and so on.

We didn’t feel safe. We felt lied to. The products on the shelf for me and you to purchase so easily based on what catches our eye, or worse, what attracts our sense of smell; those are all things that are carefully determined by a team of executives who formulate the product itself or design the product’s label. What’s inside, a lot of the time, is harmful to our health and unless we’re educated on that subject and do our own digging – none of us – will ever know.


A lot of people ask us why we use essential oils, why we joined a Network Marketing company and why we’ve chosen this to be our career in business. When we eliminating all of this crap from our homes and started being conscious of what we were using, diffusing and cleaning with, Colin stopped getting headaches. When we threw out the candles and traded them for a diffuser. When we made our own deodorant and threw out the colognes. When we brushed our teeth with plant based ingredients. That’s when his headaches completely stopped.

If we don’t share all of this information with you, who will?

With Purpose,

Tonia & Colin



15 Comments on “It’s Complicated

  1. Pingback: DIY Dishwasher Tabs – Everything With A Purpose

  2. I think this is half the battle. There is so much conflicting information. I have been a member of slimming world for a year and to be honest I have lost 3 stone, but recently I’ve been looking a lot more into the sugar content of some of their “free foods”. Muller light yoghurts have about half you daily allowance in them, you’d be no worse off having a bottle of coke!


    • Hi David, we’re not quite sure what you mean when you say ‘this’ is half the battle? Are you referring to your own journey with attempting to do you best with food labels and understanding sugar? Our blog was more to the tune of making safer and healthier substitutions with food and personal care products while listening to our bodies and being more aware of the signs that we’re not using the right ‘stuff’ for us. You definitely are right though, there are many processed foods or pre-made ‘health snacks’ that have extremely high amounts of sugar (likely refined) which is terrible for you. There is plenty of conflicting information which is why awareness is really important in helping to make substitutions for your lifestyle.


  3. First off, I am inviting myself for dinner! ( I will bring the wine!) šŸ™‚ I agree with all the changes, however, people can do this baby steps at a time. And essential oils, say no more! I diffuse them, make my cleaners, gave X-Mas gifts of homemade salt scrubs and I use them on my dogs that have immune disorders.
    Oh, and my perfume (NOT) is all essential oils! Love them! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we took baby steps with our food changes. One thing at a time – and then when we felt comfortable enough to add a second, we did. And then a third and so on. Come for dinner anytime! šŸ˜ I’m so glad to hear about others making this same journey, and so nice to connect with you. Yes! All of Colin’s cologne is 100% essential oils now and since I just use oils all day, I smell like flowers and trees. Salt scrubs are amazing! You’ll have to share some of your favourite recipes sometime! We’ll swap.


  4. I’m such a sugar junkie but I’m doing everything I can to only eat natural sugar and I’ve discovered a brilliant cookie I can bake that is naturally nice and sweet to help with the cravings,


  5. I am such a sugar junkie but I’m doing everything I can to only eat natural sugar! I’ve come up with a brilliant recipe for some cookies that help my cravings which I’m going to put on the blog soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How interesting and I’m so glad he found a good way to alleviate his headaches. I’m intrigued by the idea of substituting butter for coconut oil – does it taste nice?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t even notice the taste anymore but at first we did. It made everything taste slightly sweeter and a tinge like coconut. We even use melted coconut oil on our popcorn with a bit of ground pepper – yum!


    • In our blog we talk about substituting refined sugar for raw honey or organic maple syrup – which is not where refined sugars come from. Refined sugars are commonly refined using chemical processing (among other ways), which not only changed the composition (removal of nutrients) of the sugars but also adds chemicals to the sugar we are consuming. Raw sugars are not processed, meaning their nutrients remain intact. It’s very simple to make this small step – and a family member of ours recently gave up refined sugars and switched to honey and realized that her refined sugar had been part of the culprit for her joint pain. She had been taking IBUprofen every day for years and realized a month after she gave up refined sugars, she hadn’t had to take any pain medication for a while. It’s something to look into if you’re curious!


  7. Pingback: Fresh Start – Tonia & Colin McArthur

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