Maintain or Regain Your Health with Probiotics

My Probiotic Salad aka 100% raw organic fermented vegetables is one of the most popular items on the Kelly’s Kitchen Farmacy menu and for good reason.

Canned sauerkraut is an absolute no for me and my clients.  Never mind the nasty chemicals that leach into the food from the can itself (hormone disruptors like BPA), but your pretty much buying dead salty cabbage soaked in vinegar.  It’s not so appetizing when I put it like that, is it?

Almost everything on the shelf in the grocery store now a days has been pasteurized in one way or another to kill bacteria. Pasteurization isBubbies basically heating food to high temperatures to destroy any pathogens.  Unfortunately heating destroys the good bacteria too.  The fermented vegetables in the glass jars found in the refrigerated section are a whole lot better than the canned stuff on the shelf.  My favorite brand is Bubbies.  This brand doesn’t pasteurized their cabbage, but they do Flash Heat their products  which destroys about 10% of the probiotics in addition to all of the beneficial enzymes, and all of the Vitamin C, but even then  it’s still so much better than the canned stuff.

My homemade fermented vegetables are 100% raw and organic.  They have not been heated in any way and do not require vinegar, which is very acidic and irritating to the body.   I only use ‘real’ salt and filtered water to make the brine.  I like to experiment with different recipes but my favorite is beets, carrots, jalapeno, cabbage, ginger, and garlic.

One Hundred Percent raw probiotic salad contains 100% of the beneficial organisms that help to heal and repair your body.  It is high in Vitamin C which aids in collagen repair for joint health and prevention of wrinkles, it also helps to brighten & tighten your skin.  Vitamin C is also extremely beneficialyou’re your health.  It helps to prevent many sicknesses and  helps to heal disease.  The enzymes in the 100% raw probiotic salad help us digest our food, are responsible for healing and repairing, and they carry out every action in our bodies.  Without enzymes we would not be living. Humans, animals, and plants all naturally contain their own enzymes.  However, the older we get the less enzymes our bodies have so we need to get it through food.  Only raw food contains enzymes because heat destroys them.  Raw organic probiotic salad is abundant in enzymes, unlike the store bought kind.

Although I recommend taking both a good probiotic supplement for insurance, eating probiotics in whole food form is more beneficial because it has a better chance of getting into your gut for recolonization.  You are also getting all the vitamins & minerals, fiber, and live enzymes, which you are not getting from a pill.

PROBIOTIC SALADI think it’s incredibly easy to ferment your own vegetables but I do understand that time is a factor and sometimes confidence in the kitchen can be a factor, too.  This is why I sell my homemade fermented vegetables.

I try to keep my prices very reasonable with consideration of the time it takes me to make the food and the intention I put into every batch.  During my research I’ve seen quality name brands as high as $25 for 32oz.  I considered upping my prices, but I want my meals to be affordable.

Unfortunately I do not ship, yet, but I do deliver within 5 miles of Marlborough, MA  and 5 miles of Wayland, MA or you can pick them up from me at my home or office.

The prices for my homemade 100% raw organic fermented vegetable salad are

16oz jar for $8

32oz jar for $14

Please contact me via email for more information: kney22@gmail.com

Has anyone had success making their own fermented veggies?  What are your favorite recipes?

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Protein Powders and Bars: The good, the bad, and the downright ugly

I often see people eating protein bars or drinking protein shakes after their work outs in order to gain muscle. I am guilty of this. Throughout20lbs high school I would have a processed protein bar for lunch every day. I worked out 5 days a week and I thought I was doing my body a favor. Little did I know that most of that protein was not utilized by my body and it was actually doing more harm and less nourishing. There are so many choices out there for protein bars and powders that it can be confusing to navigate through. A protein is a protein right? Not really. When it comes to protein, QUALITY is more important than QUANTITY. If you are eating poor quality proteins your body is going to age much faster and not be able to repair and recover quickly.

Be aware of what you put into your body after a workout. Essentially, with exercise, you are breaking down your body and what you eat is a huge factor in building it back up and recovery. You can either deconstruct or reconstruct your body with food. The better your diet is, the quicker you recover.

Let’s take a look at the worst offenders.

Protein Isolates

These can come as dairy sources: Whey protein isolate. Or Non-dairy sources: soy protein isolate. Either waysoy isolate steer clear of the isolates. These isolated proteins are just that. The carbohydrates, fiber, and fat have been removed, thus isolating the protein. They have been isolated using high heat, chemicals, and high processing methods and by the time they are put into our food they are so stripped and processed they contain zero benefits. Not only are they highly processed and heated but most often times they are Genetically Modified and create an acidic environment in the body which disease thrives in.

We have to stop thinking of our food as compartmentalized. Nutrients from whole foods interact with each other, speak to your cells, and do so in a way that benefits your body. Many foods contain lots of nutrients that help absorb one another. For example, Spinach contains both Non-Heme Iron and Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to absorb the Non-Heme Iron that the spinach contains. We do not want to isolate the iron from the Spinach because our body will have a hard time absorbing the iron without the Vitamin C.

You may be losing weight with these protein isolate shakes, but at what cost? You can have a muscular body but most likely you will look ten years older.

Whey Protein Isolate and Soy Protein Isolate are found in both protein powders and bars. Forget the nutrition facts and read the ingredients to let you know if your body will be able to absorb the nutrients in the “food”. The more processed the harder it is for your body to recognize.  One sure way to tell if your body will be able to recognize the food you are eating is the ingredient list.  Most times the more ingredients the worse it is.

We also have to be aware of the non-food like products that are in these protein supplements that don’t make the ingredient list.

According to the popular blogger Food Babe: Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening investigation that revealed several popular highly processed protein powders like Myoplex, Muscle Milk, Designer Whey and GNC brand all contained arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

These are heavy metals!  Your body cannot easily get rid of them, therefore they accumulate in your tissues.

What we want to aim for is amino acids found in unrefined protein aka its whole food form. This should be the body’s primary reconstructive food.

Personallypro smoothue, I use and recommend Raw Organic Hemp. This is a whole food that contains high quality protein with all the essential amino acids, fiber, chlorophyll, omega 3 fatty acids, and enzymes which help it digest clean & efficiently leaving an alkaline residue compared to an acidic one that the lower quality proteins provide.

There are other quality proteins out there you just have to know what to look for.

What to look for in a protein:

Has it been highly processed or is it in its natural whole food form?

Is it in raw form which contains enzymes to help us digest and absorb it?

Is it organic? If not, it might be Genetically Modified.


The Simplest Yet Most Effective Weight Loss Tips

Weight Loss Tip 1:

I always tell all my clients to start their day with a warm glass of lemon water. This is so simple that it’s often greatly under rated. But don’t be fooled my friends, lemon water is a powerful beauty and weight loss food. Lemons alemon h20re potent detoxifiers, regenerators, and beauty foods. These guys have more Vitamin C than oranges, live Enzymes, and tons of potassium that help to detoxify and clear mucus and other junk from your liver. Drinking it first thing in the morning, before putting other food/liquid in your mouth helps to clear out the digestive tract…. aka it helps you poop!

Here are just some of the things you can expect from adding a cup of lemon water to your morning routine

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Supports your liver
  • Clears mucus from your liver and digestive tract
  • Helps you go to the bathroom (#1 and #2)
  • Helps to lower your blood pressure
  • Cleans your blood
  • Aids in digestion
  • Prevents colds and flu
  • Kills Parasites (yes, we all get them)
  • Fights bad breath (especially important for those on a high protein diet!)

I often get asked if lemons and limes are interchangeable and the answer is No…but yes, kind of. The reason I say no is because Lemons have about twilemonsce the Vitamin C as limes. This isn’t a post about Vitamin C so I’ll keep it brief but this antioxidant has so many benefits. Two of my favorites include building collagen which prevents/treats lines and wrinkles, and brightens the skin (as well as prevents sickness, eases pain, prevents cancer, etc.) But if you absolutely can’t stand lemons and you like limes then their better than nothing.

I always say to start your day with lemon water, but you can also drink it throughout the day. I love warm lemon water first thing with a teaspoon of raw honey and raw apple cider vinegar. Make sure it’s room temperature or warm, not boiling. If it’s too hot you will kill the Vitamin C and Enzymes. Simply cut a lemon in half and squeeze its juice into a cup of water, about 8-10oz is good. Use the whole lemon or just ½.

Weight Loss Tip 2:

Water, just good old plain water, also has powerful weight loss advantages. Water is going to help flush toxins out of your body, keep your bowels regular, and keeps the cellular waste flowing (make you pee). Drinking half your body weight in plain water every day is the goal. If you are an athlete you’ll probably need more than half. You do get tons of water from raw fruits/veggies/green smoothies/juices, but you still want to make an effort to get plain water. Drinking it in the morning is the best time. I recommend having your lemon water, then drinking some plain filtered/purified water. Aim for about 16-20oz.morning h20

It’s important for your liquids to be room temperature so your body doesn’t have to work to warm it up. If you drink cold water straight from the fridge, your body has to work, which defeats the purpose. Also, drinking fluids with meals is not recommended because it dilutes your digestive juices which can make it difficult for your body to digest food. Always wait at least 20 minutes to eat solid foods after you drink lots of fluids.

Here is an example of my morning:

  • Oil Pull right when I get up
  • 10oz warm lemon water with honey and apple cider vinegar
  • Probiotic with 22oz of room temperature water
  • Green smoothie

Have you noticed any benefits of drinking lemon water in the morning?


Manuka Honey: The Magical Cure

My best friend, Tiffany, told me about this magnificent honey 2 years ago. She was using it as a face mask and she kept raving about how it made her skin feel nice and smooth, never mind the fact that it smells and tastes delicious. Like always, I did my own research on it and decided to get myself a jar.

Manuka Honey comes from bees that pollinate the Manuka bush in New Zealand.  All raw honeys contain health benefits such as antibacterial properties but it really depends on the potency of that particular honey. Manuka Honey is a little different than the mainstream kind you are used to.  It not only has a bit of a different flavor but it also has different properties than the conventional honey.

Manuka Honey has antimicrobial properties and also can help to

  • heal burns & cuts/scrapes
  • aid in digestion issues (ulcers, overgrowth of bad bacteria, parasite, and yeast infections)
  • ward off colds and even help prevent and treat sickness
  • treat skin conditions such as rashes or acne
  • heal/fade scars
  • great for chronic yeast infections or candida

Manuka honey has a special rating system called the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor).  This is based on the phenol-standard that basically tests how much non-peroxide activity is present in the honey.  This is found right on the label of the jar.  I know it can get confusing so let me break it down for you.  When you see a jar that has a UMF of 5+ this means there is 5% of the special antimicrobial (anti bacterial, anti yeast, anti parasite) activity found in that particular honey.  The typical UMFs are 5+, 12+, 16+, and 20+.  I’ve heard that anything over 16+ isn’t more effective than the 16+, however, it is more expensive.  Generally I tell people to look for the words Active 16+ because you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

manuka honey

Photo found at Wedderspoon

Personally I love the brand Wedderspoon.  They treat their bees ethically meaning they do not feed their bees white sugar, and they don’t treat their bees with antibiotics or spray the hives with pesticides.  You can find Manuka Honey in most health food stores and online.  I’ve seen Wedderspoon Manuka Honey 16+ at Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and you can purchase it on Amazon.com or their own website Wedderspoon.com .

honey face mask

Photo Credit: Suza Scalora

I recommend putting it in warm lemon water or tea every morning for internal healing, or putting it right on the skin for external healing.  I put 1 teaspoon in my lemon water daily, and I will use it as a face mask once or twice a week.  Just apply to the skin and leave it on for about 15-30 minutes.

Have you used Manuka Honey?


Yummy Goodness Trail Mix packed with protein, nourishing fats, and quick energy

trail mix

I am missing the hemp seeds here but this is a rainbow of chocolate chips, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dates, coconut shreds

Last night my mom came over for dinner and then my sister and niece showed up and surprised us! It was a good time! Kaylee, my 9 year old niece, asked if I had anything to eat so I gave her a bag of my homemade trail mix. She loved it!  My mom and sister loved it too. They couldn’t stop saying how yummy it is so I figured why not share the recipe with everyone?

This trail mix I made up on the fly. I ran out of my protein/endurance bars and needed something quick so I threw some great things that I thought would taste good together in a Ziploc bag and BAM there you have it. Now I alternate between this trail mix and my bars. These are a great snack if you need something filling or sweet, and they are also great for after a workout.

Ingredients:

  • Almonds (soaked, chopped) – contains calcium, plant protein, good fats, fiber and is alkaline forming,
  • Pumpkin seeds (I buy mine sprouted) – contains zinc, copper, plant protein, good fats, iron, fiber, anti-parasite properties
  • Coconut Shreds (unsweetened) – contains medium chain triglycerides for quick energy (boosts metabolism), lauric acid which is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral
  • Dates (chopped) – quick energy, fiber
  • Dark Chocolate Chips – antioxidants (the higher the cacao percentage the better)
  • Hemps Seeds (or *walnuts can work) – omega 3’s, complete plant protein, fiber, very alkaline forming *if you can’t use hemp seeds for whatever reason walnuts are a good replacement because they too contain omega 3 fats, fiber, and protein, but I personally like hemp better

I never measure anything out. I usually just take what I have and use it up. If I had to guess I would say to use about

  • 2 dates per bag
  • 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup of almonds
  • 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate per bag
  • I usually just pinch some coconut shreds in my fingers and put them in.
  • Use your on best judgment!
soaked almonds

Almonds soaking in water.

Always soak your almonds in filtered water to break down the enzyme inhibitor aka phytic acid. Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts but to get their delicious nutritious-ness they must be soaked. Some grains, nuts, and seeds, contain phytic acid naturally to protect themselves from predators and when we eat them our digestive tract is not able to break down this inhibitor, especially those who already have a weak digestive system.  The phytic acid bind the important nutrients such as calcium, zinc, iron, and protein so they are unavailable to us and we end up pooping them out.  Almonds contain more bioavailable calcium than milk, protein, good fats, and are one of the only alkaline forming nuts. Soaking ensures you will be better able to absorb all of these wonderful qualities.

I buy my pumpkin seeds already sprouted, it’s easier that way. If you can’t find sprouted ones just soak these bad boys too, no need to sprout.  Hemp seeds don’t need to be soaked (walnuts do)!

How to soak:

  • simply put the nut/seed/grain in a bowl and cover with filtered water
  • leave on the counter (you can cover with a paper towel if you want, I don’t)
  • when time is up, strain and rinse thoroughly
  • if you have a dehydrator you can dehydrate the nuts/seeds to dry them off, if you don’t you can eat them as is or throw them in the oven on the lowest temperature for a couple hours (nothing over 250*F please!)

The harder the nut/seed the longer it needs to be soaked, but the softer the nut/seed the less time it takes

  • generally, almonds need to be soaked overnight or at least 8-12 hours
  • pumpkin seeds can get away with about 4-6 hours (or longer)
  • walnuts, pecans, and cashews need about 2 hours
trailmix 2

Bag of trail mix.

I make enough of this trail mix to last me a week or 2. Remember I alternate it with my protein bars so I don’t eat it every day. You can eat this every day as a snack between lunch and dinner. It has lots of nourishing fats and plan protein in it so it’s on the heavier side; eating it in the afternoon or after a work out is ideal.

I have given this recipe to some of my clients and they always ask me about serving sizes and calorie content of it and I have to remind them they don’t need to worry about calories with this. A little bit will fill you up so you don’t have to worry about over eating and it’s all natural so your body knows what to do with it without making you gain weight.

Feel free to leave a comment with any questions or look at my contact page for other ways to get a hold of me.  Have a GREAT day!


Secrets to Naturally Beautiful Fingernails

Peeling-Fingernails

These are not my fingernails but they look similar to how mine used to look. Except mine had a nasty yellow tint to them.

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My camera isn’t that great, but you can see how my nails grow strong, don’t break, are not peeling, and shine.

I started my holistic journey 3 years ago this September (it feels like another lifetime when I wasn’t living this way)!!!!!  But even though I was juicing, eating organic, and drinking green smoothies, my fingernails were still a mess! Ever since I can remember my fingernails have looked less than perfect. Dry, breaking, tinted yellow, white spots, and the worst was the peeling. I’ve never ever had nice fingernails so I always painted them to cover them up. It was embarrassing; there I was promoting health, wellness, and beauty, and my own fingernails were looking like crap-ola. I even remember I was getting my nails done the day before my wedding and the lady at the salon kept asking why nails were so thin and peeling. I told her it was because I washed my hands a lot (haha).

Let’s fast forward almost a year later. My fingernails are growing fast and strong, they are shiny, and beautiful. It feels like it happened overnight because I honestly didn’t contemplate them until about a month ago when I realized how healthy they looked.

So what changed within the past year that made my fingernails healthier?

First let me say, other than my wedding last October, I have not worn nail polish on my fingernails in about a year, which I’m sure benefits them considering nails are an extension of your skin and if you have them painted constantly the nails cannot breathe.

mr. mucus


Nasty Mr. Mucus!

But honestly, if I have to contribute it to one thing it has to be hands down that my digestion is better. Your fingernails are a reflection of how well you are absorbing your nutrients (especially minerals). The half-moons at the base of your fingernails represent how well you are digesting your food. Mainly, if these half-moons are not present on every fingernail or they are there but they are small, it can mean you have a lot of congestion (think mucus) in your gut and your body is having a hard time absorbing the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) from the food you eat.  I’ve also read that it can mean a thyroid disorder, which I usually recommend coconut oil for, and/or a Vitamin B12 deficiency, which can indicate a malabsorption problem which leads us back to the congestion issue.

DROpro1

I take Dr. Ohirra’s probiotics every morning.

In the past year I:

  • started taking a probiotic every morning and eating my homemade probiotic salad every night
  • started eating light to heavy
  • started food combining better
  • cut way down on cooking with oils

All of these things improve digestion. Now the juices & smoothies that I drink, and all the nutritious foods I eat are being absorbed more efficiently which in turn can nourish my entire body including my fingernails, hair, and skin!

If your fingernails fail to grow, are peeling, cracking, and turning funky colors, it’s time to look within and consider increasing your gut’s health by starting with one of the remedies I mentioned above.

*Please note I now have a contact page if you want to contact me privately.


Quick Update and a Simple Liver Detox Salad Recipe

liver

photo credit: WebMD

It feels like it’s been a while since I posted! I haven’t been neglecting my blog on purpose; I actually love blogging and giving holistic health tips and ideas.  Lately I’ve been really busy counseling clients, making delicious recipes, and I’ve been studying detoxification and cleansing techniques as well as how to individualize a cleanse etc., which has been very interesting.  I’ve been learning some great stuff that I can’t wait to share with you!

Today it felt like I couldn’t get full.  Does that ever happen to you?  I just kept eating and eating and was still hungry!  Lately, becabeet and carrotuse it’s been so hot, my body wants nothing but green & fruit smoothies and fresh juices, so I was surprised with how much I ate today.  Everything I ate was delicious, but the one thing that stands out is my Liver Detox Salad.   Your liver is very important because it’s the prime detoxing organ in your body.  When your liver gets clogged it’s likely other organs in your body will start to back up as well.  Some things that can clog the liver are prescription and recreational drugs, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods.  I call it my “Liver Detox” Salad because I use beets, carrots, and leafy greens, which are great foods to boost liver function and build your blood.

I was craving a beet salad after a coworker of mine, Carolyn, who is a Physical Therapist at the Health Center where I work, let me take a bite of her beet salad she made.  I kept thinking about it since then.

Here’s what you need for a small to medium salad:

  • ½ small red beet chopped small
  • 1 small carrot chopped small

    BCLDSALAD

    Liver Detox Salad

  • 2 cups mixed greens chopped small
  •  Mix everything together in a bowl top with dressing and enjoy.

You can add whatever you want to this, in fact, the more veggies the better.

One of my favorite salad dressings is the Oil-Free Garlic, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Tahini and Almond Butter Dressing by Kimberly Snyder.  I put it on everything!

Here’s everything I ate today:

  • Lemon and ACV water in the morning
  • Green smoothie
  • Collard green wrap stuffed with a homemade black bean and quinoa burger I made last night
  • Small juice
  • Liver Detox Salad with homemade dressing
  • Banana-cherry-chia seed smoothie
  • Large juice
  • Sauerkraut
  • Large Stuffed Sweet Potato (stuffed with chickpea “stuffing” I made)
  • Homemade coconut ice “cream” with dark chocolate chips

 I’m finally comfortably full, and boy was everything delicious!


Eating Light to Heavy to Keep the Detox Going

Ever hear the saying “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”? Well I’m calling bullshit! In fact, I’m telling you, to lose weight, and to keep your bowels moving you should do the exact opposite!

Digestion takes up most of your energy. When you eat solid food your body uses a lot of energy to breakdown and assimilate the food. When you are not eating your body can take a break from digestion and use its energy to heal, repair, detox, and make you more beautiful (by working on your hair, skin, nails, etc.). This is why when people give their digestion a rest and go on a pure juice cleanse, they are able to heal chronic ailments, their skin becomes clearer and brighter, their hair becomes shiny and voluminous, and they become vibrant.

At night when you are asleep your body is actually hard at work healing and repairing itself. This is one of the reasons why sleep is so important for your health. When you are asleep you are not eating, so if the average person sleeps 7-9 hours a night, your body is on a 7-9 hour fast and it is able to use this time to heal anything that needs healing.

I always tell my clients to eat light in the morning and heavier as the day goes on. This is because as soon as you eat a solid “heavy” food in the morning your body will break the “fast” (that’s why it’s called BreakFast!) and stop cleansing itself. The lighter the meal you eat in the morning the longer your body will continue to heal and cleanse itself.

What do I mean by light and heavy meals?

Light meals are those easiest to digest which are mainly: blended smoothieslemonwater, vegetable juices, and whole fruits and vegetables. The best thing you can do for yourself in the morning is start your day with a cup of warm lemon water and then transition into a vegetable juice and/or green smoothie. This will continue the cleanse, give you energy, and keep you full throughout the morning. If you need a little bit extra during the morning because you workout or you have a laborious job go ahead and eat some fruit when you feel the need. During the winter a bowl of hot oats is the perfect breakfast if you need something extra after your juices and smoothies.

Heavy meals are those hardest to digest which are animal products (which are high in fat and protein). Saving meat for dinner time will do wonders for your digestion.

For example, fruit digests very clean and efficiently in a matter of 15-30 minutes. If you eat eggs followed by a piece of fruit this will create a build up because the eggs take much longer to digest (anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on what is in them and how they are cooked). The fruit is not able to be digested properly which means you are not getting all the benefits of this magnificent food. Eating light to heavy ensures that you will  be free of this build up, it will improve your digestion, it will give you more energy, and will keep your bowels running smoothly.

love your guts

Photo Credit: Spec-ta-cles/Flickr

I know this can get confusing so start with lemon water and work your way into smoothies and juices and go from there. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.


Coconut: Superfood or Super Fattening?

The coconut has been getting a bad rep from health care professionals for a while now. The traditional thinking is that all saturated fats are created equal and wreak havoc on cholesterol clogging your arteries and perpetuating other problems that eventually lead to heart disease. So where did all this hype about coconuts and coconut oil come from?

Coconuts and their oil are mostly made up of saturated fats. Ugh, well then we should definitely steer clear of them right? WRONG! Coconuts have so many benefits for us and to top it off they taste delicious! How can this be?

The saturated fats found in coconuts, a plant source, are called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). These types of fats have a far different effect on the body compared to the saturated fats found in animal products, which contain Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT). These LCTs are the kinds of saturated fats that doctors want you to avoid. These are the ones that are going to cause your cholesterol to rise, your arteries to clog, and eventually lead to heart disease. The MCTs actually have the opposite effect.

coconut

Here are some of the benefits of coconut/oil/milk/water:

  • Body scrub – mix with sugar or salt
  • Deep conditioner for the hair
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Sun block – SPF 4 (original sun screens were made with a coconut base)
  • Makeup remover (face & eyes)
  • Lip moisturizer
  • Shaving Cream
  • Cooking – the only oil I recommend to cook with because it’s stable under heat!
  • Weight loss aid – MCT is used as fuel and can speed up the metabolism when replacing LCT (animal products)
  • Oil Pulling
  • Prevents free radical damage which prevents wrinkles (can be used topically)
  • Antifungal/bacterial/viral – a substance found in coconuts called lauric acid can build the immune system and help prevent and treat infections (including candida).  The only other source of lauric acid is found in breast milk
  • Natural laxative – keeps the bowels moving
  • Hormone stabilizer (nourishes the thyroid)
  • hydrator – contains electrolytes

Different parts of the coconut have different properties. For example, the oil and the full fat milk  contain the MCT providing you with the benefits listed above.CoconutOil

Coconut water contains electrolytes which keeps you hydrated and is great for those who sweat a lot such as athletes, or those on a cleanse/detox. Coconut water has more potassium than a banana! It is such a better choice than the leading Sports Drink.

The whole fruit is going to provide you with the water, the flesh, the fat, and fiber, which is going to help keep your bowels regular. You can now find coconut pieces already cut up and packaged for you in grocery stores.

Look for coconut in its whole fruit form, milk, water, or oil. When buying the oil look for the words raw, cold pressed, organic, unrefined, and in a glass jar. When buying the milk it’s best to keep the fat intact because you will be getting more benefits and it’s less processed.

Some examples of using coconut:

  • Eating the fruit in whole form
  • Adding the water to smoothies
  • Replacing the cooking oil you regularly use with Coconut Oil
  • Using the milk to make dairy free ice cream (like I did in my last post)
  • Putting the oil straight on your skin (up to 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed)

Remember, although coconut oil is high in good fats, it’s still processed (it doesn’t come off the tree that way!) So aim for a maximum of 1-2 tablespoon per day. Also be aware that because of its high saturated fat content the oil will be a solid at room temperature (it does not need to be refrigerated). It will melt when introduced to heat. The full fat milk will be a solid on the top and water on the bottom. This is normal, just mix it up!

Try this Tropical smoothie recipe:

  • ½  cup coconut water
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)

    smoothie

    Photo Credit: bakedbree.com

  • ~1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  This should be sweet enough, but if need be add some stevia or coconut nectar to desired sweetness
  •  **Optional add spinach, romaine, or kale for extra beauty benefits**
  • Blend in blender and enjoy!

If you know of any other benefits of the coconut please feel free to comment!


Yummy Ice “Cream” Sandwich Recipe

You’d never know it but growing up I had an obsession with ice cream.  Some of my happiest childhood memories revolve around it.  My Grandpa Ney (my dad’s dad) really loved his ice cream and when my sister and I would sleep over our grandparent’s house they always made sure we had cookies & cream for me and coffee ice cream for my sister (even though I really liked both).  I miss when my Grandpa would pick me up from school if I didn’t feel well and we’d have a bowl of ice cream and watch a movie; instantly I’d always feel better.  It’s no wonder why it became my go to comfort food!

JB Scoops

Tiffany, our friend Julie, and me, outside of JB Scoops

When I was 16 I got a job at a local ice cream shop in the mall in my hometown.  JB Scoops was one of the best places I worked when I was young.  My best friend, Tiffany, and I worked together and we met some great people.  Along with the job came all the free ice cream I wanted which was Heaven on earth for me, until I started gaining weight.  When JB Scoops eventually shut down I was devastated and ice cream became even more sentimental to me.

I then started making frappes from the coconut milk and more recently I’ve been making ice “cream” sandwiches.  The “sandwich” parts of these are made of homemade almond butter chocolate chip cookies.   These are probably my favorite treats and I’ve been eating them so much I should probably stop making cookies!

 I usually make my own full fat coconut milk by blending unsweetened coconut flakes with water then freezing it in ice cube trays.  However, I understand this can be more time consuming so the easiest thing to do is buy the canned organic coconut milk (it must have all its fat intact) and freeze it in ice cube trays.

Here’s the full recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat organic coconut milk
  • ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 tablespoon if you are using the no alcohol kind)
  • 1 stevia (or you can sweeten with dates or maple syrup)

Instructions:

Open the coconut milk.  The coconut milk will likely be separated with the fat on the top (which is a solid) and the water on the bottom.  This is normal!  Empty out the can into a blender and blend with the rest of the ingredients.  Then pour the mixture into ice cube trays.  Freeze for at least 3 hours or until solid.

To make the ice “cream” I run the coconut ice cubes through my masticating Omega Juicer using the “blank cone”.  If you do not have a masticating or hydraulic press juicer you can put the cubes right into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  The consistency will resemble soft serve.

To make the cookies:

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe adopted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s book It’s All Good):

Ingredients:

  •  1 and ½ cups gluten free flour (add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum if flour does not contain it)
  •  ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup natural almond butter
  • 1 cup good quality maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips (I used about 1/3 bag)

Side Note:

Normally you’re supposed to preheat the oven and bake the cookies on 350*F.  I hate to heat nuts (almond butter) because it destroys their fats and turns them into bad fats so I cook these cookies on 300*F and just leave them in the oven a little longer than normal.

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 300*F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl mix all dry ingredients together.  In another bowl mix all wet ingredients, then add the wet to the dry and mix.  Prepare a baking sheet by either greasing with coconut oil or putting down parchment paper.  Drop about tablespoons of mixture onto the baking sheet.  Bake in oven and check every 10 – 15 minutes until cookies are done.

Putting together the ice “cream” sandwich:

  • Once your soft serve is made put it between two cookies and enjoy!

    cookie ic

    finished product

Let me know if you try these!!!


Drew's Life

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