Monday, July 30, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
I personally love using it as a moisturizer each day. It's so soft and I can really feel it nourishing my dry skin. I keep a bottle of unrefined organic coconut oil in my shower so as soon as I get out and my body is warm, the chunky oil (well, the oil gets thick in the winter and oily in the summer) melts right into my skin. Every once in a while, I do a deep conditioning treatment to my hair using coconut oil. I comb it through my hair with my fingers, let my hair dry naturally and sleep with it in. The next day I shampoo it out. I also use it for an eye makeup remover before bed at night. Of course I love cooking with it because it can tolerate HIGH heat and always brings a rich, sweet taste to my meals that I can't resist!
About Coconut Oil
Unrefined, organic coconut oil is a rich, buttery, slightly sweet superfood used for centuries in the tropics. Boasting a high smoke point of 350 degrees, it can replace almost any oil in baking or cooking. Naturally cholesterol free, coconut oil contains healthy medium-chain fatty acids, most notably antibacterial and antiviral lauric acid. Unlike long-chain fatty acids in animal-based saturated fats (which clog arteries and get stored as fat), coconut oil’s good fats get burned for energy and actually lower the risk of heart disease. Sold in jars in the oil or baking section, coconut oil is solid at room temperature; when warmed, it quickly becomes a clear liquid. Great for people with nut allergies, it keeps for years unrefrigerated!
Skin Care: Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Best part is, your skin actually absorbs all of the oil's health benefits and brings them right into your blood stream, so you don't even have to eat it to reap it's rewards!
Immunity: Coconut oil is great for the immune system! It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.
Bones: Coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis.
Dental Care: Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil is also known to stop tooth decay.
Energy: Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. It contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.
Heart Diseases: There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils.
Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
Digestion: Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and can help prevent various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. I love adding some to my morning shake, baking with it, or sauteing up my dinner with some!
Suggestions in the Kitchen: Instead of butter, stir a tablespoon of coconut oil into hot oatmeal, or spread on toast. Blend it into a smoothie. Or coat your pan with coconut oil when making French toast; it adds a lovely scent without overpowering other flavors. Substitute coconut oil for sesame or olive oil in your next stir-fry.
Recipe: Sweet Popcorn
Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 1/4 cup popcorn kernels to a pan set over high heat; cover. When kernels start to pop, keep covered and shake over heat until popping slows. Pour popcorn into a bowl; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or salt. Enjoy!!!
Keep it Fresh!
Information above adapted from Organic Facts.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Paying close attention to the foods we eat can enhance the vitamins that nourish the skin. A good way to remember what to eat and ways to help nourish your skin is to say your ABC’s!
A is for avocado. They contain the best kind of fats that add emollients to the skin. They also help to block absorption of the "bad" cholesterol and aid in eyesight by their high lutein content. They are also unbelievably delicious!
B is for beets. They are rich in beta-carotene and high in phytonutrients that protect the skin.
C is for vitamin C, the vitamin that enhances the skin cells' ability to fight free radicals, the primary cause of skin damage.
D is for vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. We all realize that we get less of the beneficial effects of sunlight during the winter months. However, with Springtime here there is no excuse for not getting outside for at least 15 minutes of (unprotected) sunshine each day!
E is for vitamin E. A rich source of antioxidants and rich in emollients for the skin. Eggs, nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E.
G is for green tea. Green tea can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light (such as the rays of the sun), and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Skipping to O, omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds, walnuts, beans, olive oil and fish such as salmon and Coho contain the most omega fatty acids.
P is for plums. Plentiful plums are packed with antioxidants, which are healthy for the skin.
R is for rub. Rub your skin beautiful! While in a hot shower, take a washcloth with no soap and scrub your entire body until its uniformly rosy. As you scrub each day, your skin will release toxins trapped under it leaving you with soft, smooth skin within a few months! This improves your circulation, helps your digestion and allows your skin to glow.
S is for smile. A happy face is a healthy face. The act of smiling increases production of endorphins, the "feel good" hormones. When you smile, people smile back. Spread the wealth!
W is for water. Water, water everywhere! Hydration is key to moisturizing the skin. Water keeps the cells hydrated, while helping cells move nutrients in and toxins out which automatically leaves the skin looking better.
Z is for zzzzz's. Sleep, rest and refreshment are essential to healthy, radiant skin. This element is one that you cannot buy in a supplement or eat for dinner. Taking time to be conscious of your lifestyle and making the choice to rest and refresh yourself is your gift to yourself.
Keep it fresh!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Taste the Chocolate
Chocolate is a complex food with over 300 compounds and chemicals in each bite. To really enjoy and appreciate chocolate, take the time to taste it. Professional chocolate tasters have developed a system for tasting chocolate that include assessing the appearance, smell, feel and taste of each piece.
Go for 70% Dark Chocolate
You should look for pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other flavorings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate. Be sure to look for a brand that contains at least 70 percent cocoa.
Skip the Milk
It may taste good but some research shows that milk chocolate, or washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or used by your body.
But On The Negative Side...
1. Chocolate may trigger headaches in migraine sufferers. Sorry guys.
2. Chocolate is considered dangerous to animals because it contains a stimulant called theobromine, which they can't digest. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are even more dangerous because they contain higher concentrations of the substance. This applies whether chocolate is in candy bar form, or an ingredient in cake, cookies, puddings or ice cream. If a pet becomes ill after eating chocolate, take it to the vet immediately.
3. Even though it may be healthy, dark chocolate can be very caloric. Savor and enjoy a piece a day, not a bar!
Keep it fresh!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
• Avoid skipping meals earlier in the day. Skipping breakfast may lead to overeating later in the day when you become famished and have tons of foods at your disposal.
• Get an adequate amount of sleep the night before. Lack of sleep will leave your body searching for energy, making it harder to resist fattening foods.
• Drink plenty of water. This will not only fill your belly, but help curb cravings. Limit alcohol to avoid too many extra calories. If you choose to have a few, alternate alcoholic beverages with sparkling water with lemon.
• Avoid carbonated beverages. These will bloat you, interfering with your body's ability to signal when you are full. The carbonation will also interfere with proper digestion.
• Prepare baked foods or fattening dishes using natural sweeteners or lower-calorie and lower-fat versions of ingredients.
• Eat slowly and wait at least 15 minutes before going back for a second helping. This gives the body enough time to feel satiated.
• Commit to working out the next day by signing up for a class or a run the next morning. You will be less likely to over do it if you know you have to get up early and run a 5K. The workout will also balance over consumption and burn calories!
• Enjoy your food! We spend so much time avoiding certain foods or viewing food as the enemy that we forget it can be pleasurable. We may worry that once we eat a food that brings us pleasure we won't be able to stop. The answer is controlled eating rather than out-of-control eating. Slow down and be aware of the taste, texture, temperature, and smell, and savor every bite!
Keep it Fresh!
Saturday, January 28, 2012
What YOU can do:
Take a good hard look at what you are drinking each day, figure out where the sources of added sugars are and think about how to cut back on that. Plan ways to substitute sugary foods in your diet with things like sweet vegetables, fruits or herbal teas.
1. Put down the can. Soft drinks are the biggest culprit! Soft drinks by far, followed by candy, cakes, cookies and pies. With about 8 teaspoons of added sugar, a regular 12-ounce soft drink will put most over the recommended daily limit. Keep in mind, it DOES NOT make it ok if they are diet drinks. Artificial sweeteners (such as Splenda, Equal, Sweet & Low, etc.) are even more toxic than the refined sugars that are in regular sugary drinks!
2. Drink water. Replacing carbonated soft drinks with water will cut a lot of your sugar intake, and the benefits don't stop there. Drinking two glasses of water before a meal may encourage the stomach to feel full more quickly, so you don't eat as much. Lots of the time you may have a sweet craving because your body is dehydrated, so drink up!
3. Drink real fruit juice. Juice can have as many calories as soda, but it has far more to offer in the way of nutrients. This presents a dilemma -- you want the vitamins and antioxidants without all the extra sugar. The safest bet: Look for 100% fruit juice. Steer clear of juice drinks that have added sweeteners. Look for the percent of real juice, noted on the nutritional label. You can also slash sugar intake by drinking water with a splash of juice. Feel free to squirt some lemon, lime or orange slices into your water for a healthy, yet flavorful drink!
4. Try coconut water! Sports and energy drinks are sugar bombs like soda. Although they contain electrolytes which are great for hydrating the body, its still smarter to stay hydrated with water rather than sports drinks. A wonderful alternative to sports drink is coconut water. It's a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It contains more potassium than most sports or energy drinks and has less sodium. It's the fluid of life, so to speak!
5. Enjoy a cup of tea. Herbal teas can be not only delicious, but hydrating at the same time. There is a wide variety of flavorful herbal teas that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Right now I’ve been enjoying Yogi Tea’s Mayan Cocoa Spice made with cinnamon bark. It has low caffeine and plenty of rich chocolate flavor! It’s a must try!Keep it fresh!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I encourage you to celebrate the new year by taking the time to think about what you are grateful for and express that gratitude. Be truly thankful for the bounty of food before you and recognize that it should not be taken for granted. Be thankful for the people around you and celebrate with family, friends or neighbors. Be thankful for your health and your body’s ability to heal itself. Be thankful for all the things in your life that make you happy and take the time to reevaluate those that don’t.
There are so many things that nourish our bodies, aside from what choices we make concerning food. When all the different aspects of our lives are in balance, this is when our body, mind and soul thrive and we are at our healthiest. Think about all of the different areas of your life…. your relationships with friends and family, your romantic relationship, your career path, your home and physical surroundings, the amount of physical activity you make time for….. and recognize imbalances. What areas would you like to change, where is there room for improvement? How can you create the exact life that you want to live, in the exact world that you want to live it in?
We have the power to create the life we want and we have the power to change the things in our lives that we are unsatisfied with, but we all too often let fear hold us back. All year long, be thankful for the areas in which you are satisfied, but also take steps towards changing the rest. Set goals for yourself. Write them down and hold yourself accountable for reaching them.
- Take out a piece of paper and write down your life goals for where you want to be or what you want to accomplish 1 month from now, 6 months from now, and 1 year from now.
- On another piece of paper make three lists of the steps you need to take to make each of those goals attainable.
- Use a journal to keep track of your goals and your progress. Check off each step as you accomplish it and update them as your goals change.
- Express gratitude towards the people or opportunities that helped you reach each goal. Below, you will find ten tips on how to do just that!
10 Ways to Express Gratitude
Wake up with gratitude. Before you even get out of bed each morning, say one thing that you are grateful for.
Write a quick "Thank You" note or card to someone who has done something nice, or simply been there for you.
Be generous with affection. Everyone loves hugs!!
Practice random act of kindness. They will make you feel good and put a smile on someone else's face as well.
Give back. Donate time, money,
goods to those less fortunate.
Acknowledge jobs well done. Even something as simple as letting a manager at your local coffee shop how great your favorite barista is, can make someone's day. Who knows, maybe he/she will receive a bonus as a result.
Write down 10 things you like about yourself. Write down 10 things you like about someone else and send it to them.
Let go of anger and resentment and forgive someone towards whom you hold a grudge.
Pray or meditate. Taking the time to collect your thoughts will help you find balance and be more aware of the things that you are grateful for.
Make someone a healthy meal. The way to everyone's heart is through their stomach. A delicious homemade meal full of love and gratitude will be warmly accepted.
Keep it Fresh!