Coconut Care -The Benefits and Uses of Coconut Oil

coconut oil

For years coconut oil had a awful reputation for being “unhealthy” due to high levels of saturated fats, but what research has found is that coconut oil is immensely beneficial and packed full of nutrients, vitamins, trace minerals, and poly-phenols. Close to one third of the worlds population relies on coconuts for food and or their economy to survive. The healing properties of coconut oil are far beyond any other nutritional oil and has been used broadly in traditional medicines, mostly in Asian and Pacific populations. Being as a rich food source and medicine, coconut tree’s have been given a majestic name of “The Tree of Life”.

With coconut oil being as powerful a medicine as it is a rich food source, coconut oil assists a wide variety of health troubles and cures many detrimental illnesses.  A short but varied list of these aliments are as follows Asthma, baldness, bronchitis, burns, colds, coughs, ear ache, fever, irregular or painful menstruation, kidney stones, nausea, rash, prevents tooth decay, prevents weight gain, scurvy, sore throat, swelling, tooth ache, tumors, upset stomach, weakness and many more. Coconut oil is also excellent for expelling unwanted parasites, bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Many people use coconut oil specifically for their skin, hair, and nails as it strengthens them and prevents protein loss which can cause hair loss, broken cuticles, or flakey dry skin.  It is difficult to list everything coconut oil is good for because it has so many benefits inside and out. Coconut oil is truly a remarkable food source, medicine, and topical treatment making it an all around health booster.

 

 

 

 

Cordyceps Sinesis

Cordyceps-sinensis

This versatile fungi has been used for over 2000 years originating from the Himalayas and is considered by Traditional Chinese Medicine to be an effective tonic, aphrodisiac, and one of the most beneficial herbal medicines known to man. The Cordyceps mushroom thrives in upper mountainous regions particularly at 9,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level. Cordyceps sinesis is a parasitic fungus that lives off of butterfly and moth larvae, it attacks and grows on caterpillars especially of the genus Thitorodes (Ghost Moth). The three main constituents in Cordyceps are Polysaccharides, Nucleosides, and Sterols. Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates consisting of chains of sugars. It is known to stabilize blood pressure, have an effect on free radicals, and stimulate the immune system. Nucleosides are organic molecules that are then converted into building blocks of DNA and RNA genetic material, Nucleosides have also been used in the treatment of cancers. Sterols are alcohols of the steroid group that are believed to lower cholesterol, reduce the threat of heart disease and has anti-tumor properties.

Cordyceps is an adaptogen so it acclimatizes to your body’s needs and builds resistance to stressors of bodily functions for instance fatigue, extreme temperature variations, or even sleep deprivation. Being an adaptogen, Cordyceps has the ability to improve overall health and increase resiliency to stress over time. Cordyceps is well known for enhancing endurance, energy, and strength this is the reason why many athletes consume and swear by it. This supplement became popularized during the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships when two female Chinese athletes who admitted to consuming Cordyceps, beat world records for the track and field 1,500, 3,000 and 10,000 meter runs. Besides enhancing endurance and stamina Cordyceps also has the capability to reduce cholesterol levels, increased efficiency of the circulatory and immune systems, boost sexual function and potency, accelerated recovery from respiratory infections, and liver protection. Chemotherapy patients can benefit from Cordyceps because it greatly enhances their recovery.

 

 

The Best Anti-Aging Supplement

Man with dog on sand dune

 

The Aging Process

Your body let’s you know that your aging.  Parts sag, Parts wrinkle, Parts hurt or don’t work as well as they used to.  It’s an uncontrollable part of life, but there are steps you can take to slow the process.  In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, regular intake of collagen supplements will keep you looking and feeling young.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the number one protein found in our bodies.  It is responsible for the heath of connective tissues, joints, ligaments, bones, skin and hair.  After the age of 25 collagen levels decrease in the body and the process of aging begins to take a toll.  Skin starts to loose elasticity, bones and joints become weak, and hair and nails become brittle. Collagen is found in the hides and bones of animals.  Many collagen supplements are derived from the hides of cows.

Benefits of Collagen

Collagen helps keep skin smooth and clear, bones strong, and joints flexible.   Not many eat the hides or bones of animals, so supplementing is a great way to maintain collagen levels for overall health and vitality.  Collagen can also help with inflammation issues, stomach issues, and metabolism issues.  It is important to find a source of collagen that is free-range, antibiotic free, and 100% natural for maximum benefits.

Types of Collagen

Hydrolyzed Collagen, Gelatin, and Collagen Peptides are all the same thing except in different forms.  Hydrolyzed Collagen is simply collagen that is bathed in enzymes making it easier to digest. Collagen Peptides is another name for Hydrolyzed Collagen. Gelatin is cooked collagen which binds foods into a gel like substance.

How to Use Collagen Supplements

You can add Hydrolyzed Collagen to hot or cold liquids, like coffee, soup or even just water.  There is virtually no taste or consistency to this brand.   You can make bone broth with it as well.  You can use gelatin to make gummy treats or jello snacks.

It’s extremely easy to take a collagen supplement.  It is worth the cost and effort for prolonged youth and vitality.

Cleanse your Body and Mind

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Springtime is not just a time to clean your house, you should consider cleaning your body as well!  If you suffer from anxiety, depression, fatigue, have digestive issues and/or have skin issues, then you need to cleanse your body from the inside out.

Detoxing is a natural, healthy way to clean your body, clear your skin, and clear your mind.  Most Detox programs recommend fasting, all liquid diets, or eating only one category of food.  This is not healthy.  I highly recommend the 21 day detox plan developed by Dr. Erica Lepore for a safe way to cleanse your body.

Read more about the program at 21daydetoxplan.com

I love this program because:

  • It is a food and supplement based cleanse, so you never feel deprived or hungry
  • You are taught about the right food choices and counseled on having a new perspective on how and what to eat. This makes it easier for you to continue  healthier lifestyle choices when the program ends
  • The Detox plan helps you pinpoint any food allergies you may have not been aware of before
  • In addition to eliminating food toxins, the program touches on environmental toxins and what you can to avoid them as well.

So the next time you take care of your floors, the dusting, the laundry, etc make sure to remind yourself to care of you as well!

 

 

 

How to Find Superfood Recipes

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There are already so many amazing superfoods and more and more seem to be discovered each day. The problem with many superfoods is that they don’t always taste good. Many people like to hide the taste of their favorite superfoods in smoothies, but even smoothies get boring after a while. It can be hard to find superfood recipes because not everyone cares about their health like we do.

The first place to look for superfood recipes is in cookbooks. I recommend searching for superfood cookbooks on Amazon or visiting your local book store. Health stores often carry books on nutrition and superfood cookbooks, too!

The next place to look for superfood recipes is Google! If I had to pick my favorite thing about the internet, it would have to be how easy it is to find amazing recipes. With food bloggers, nutrition websites and online stores, cooking webinars, and more, finding amazing superfood recipes on the internet has never been easier!

Last but definitely not least, try searching for recipes on Pinterest! This cool little website popped up a couple of years ago. It’s basically a website that lets you store and organize all of your favorite things that you’ve found on the internet. The great thing about Pinterest is that food bloggers and fitness and nutrition experts like to post their recipes on Pinterest. With a quick search using the Pinterest search tool, you can find hundreds of easy superfood recipes. I’ve found all of my favorite spirulina recipes on Pinterest.

Once you have gathered a few interesting recipes, the only way to find out if they are good or not is to try them yourself. You could even try throwing a superfood party for your friends and family! Of course, I would recommend tasting the recipes before sharing.

4 Green Smoothie Recipes and the Health Benefits of Green Smoothies

Green smoothies are the easiest and tastiest way to incorporate more green vegetables into your diet. There are plenty of green vegetables that taste amazing in a smoothie as long as you add 1-2 types of sweet fruit to cover the flavor. Many young greens such as baby spinach actually have a natural sweetness to them that compliments the flavors found in a regular fruit smoothie. With the right recipes (click for recipes), you too can make delicious, healthy, green smoothies.

SPINACH

Apple-Pear Green Smoothie
1 cup water or apple juice
1 green apple
1 pear
1 handful leafy greens
or 1 tbsp. of dried greens powder
Ice, optional

Pineapple-Coconut Green Smoothie
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 handful leafy greens
or 1 tbsp. of dried greens powder
Ice, optional

Cucumber Mint Green Smoothie
1 cup water or apple juice
1 green apple
1 cucumber
1 bunch fresh mint
1 handful leafy greens
or 1 tbsp. of dried greens powder
Ice, optional

Wild Watermelon Green Smoothie
1 cup watermelon juice
1 cup chopped watermelon
1 handful leafy greens
or 1 tbsp. of dried greens powder
Ice, optional

Directions: Choose a smoothie recipe and gather your ingredients. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately.

Green smoothies are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more. Unlike juicing which removes the important healthy fiber from the vegetables you choose, green smoothies include all of the precious fiber to keep you full and healthy. Many people think that greens do not contain any protein, but they are wrong! Many types of greens are packed with vegetarian protein, so green smoothies can be an excellent way to increase the amount of protein that you eat.

The Health Benefits of Liver

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If you asked your grandparents what the most nutrient dense food is, they would most likely tell you that it’s liver. Once a very popular dinner staple, grass-fed beef liver has nearly disappeared from our modern diets. Liver was popular with you grandparent’s generation and generations before that because it is such a nutrient dense food. Continue reading to learn why we may want to take a tip from our ancestors!

Grass-fed beef liver contains vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, fatty acids, amino acids, and plenty of high quality protein. Liver can be incredibly beneficial for anyone suffering from a deficiency in any of these nutrients. In the US, iron deficiency is incredibly common and it may lead to conditions such as anemia. Beef liver is a wonderful natural way to combat nutrient deficiencies.

There are a number of health benefits associated with the consumption of beef liver. These desiccated liver health benefits include increased energy, improved immune system, increased metabolism, improved digestion, and increased respiratory strength. Grass-fed beef liver may also help you maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It is no wonder that liver is considered a traditional superfood!

Beef liver is SUPER healthy, but there are two problems: 1. Beef liver tastes really bad. 2. Beef liver is only healthy if it is properly sourced. To find properly sourced beef liver, look for liver from 100% grass-fed cows that never come into contact with chemical contaminants such as hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, fertilizers, and GMOs. If you’ve found a good source, you just need to figure out how to eat it without gagging. Or if you’d like to take the easier route, simply purchase grass-fed beef liver supplements.

Why Choosing an Organic Protein Powder Matters

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People consider a variety of factors when choosing a protein powder. Ability to help meet the desired goal, compatibility with any dietary restrictions, taste, and cost are a few of the top factors people look for in protein powder. One important factor that cannot be overlooked is the quality of ingredients used in the protein powder. One of the best ways to ensure that ingredients are of high quality is by selecting only protein powders made from organic ingredients.

Avoiding Chemical Pesticides

Conventionally grown crops are sprayed with harsh chemicals to encourage growth and prevent pests and disease from getting the crops. These powerful chemicals are designed to resist being washed away by the elements. This means that even a thorough washing cannot remove all chemical residue from crops. There is little to no data to support the safety of long term human consumption of these pesticides and fertilizers, but plenty of questions about the risks.

Organic crops are held to higher standards. They can only be grown with the aid of natural products. The result is the sources used in organic protein powder never come in contact with the harsh chemicals that conventional protein powders do.

Avoiding GMO Crops

Corn and soy are among the crops most commonly grown from genetically modified crops (GMOs). While the connections between soy protein powders and genetically modified soy crops is obvious, genetically modified corn crops also have a tremendous impact on protein powders. Most conventionally raised cows are fed a corn-based mixture, and most conventional corn is genetically modified. Therefore, dairy protein products from cows fed GMO crops are also impacted by GMOs.

Opinion on GMOs is divided, but many health experts advise people to avoid them as much as possible. The governments of dozens of countries around the world have such concerns about GMOs that they have banned their use. By choosing an organic protein powder, people assure themselves that they are not exposing themselves to GMOs in any way.

Final Thoughts

Most people use protein powers on a daily basis. The frequent consumption of them multiplies the need for them to come from the highest quality organic sources possible.

 

Three Healthy Changes You Can Make TODAY

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Perhaps you have been thinking you need to make some changes to improve your health and fitness for some time now. But the thought of overhauling your entire diet and lifestyle is overwhelming, to say the least. Like with anything else, a big change is really the result of many small changes. Rather than putting off the changes you know you need to make another day longer, you can make the following three changes today.

Break a Sweat-

Adding in just a few minutes of exercise to your day offers a host of benefits: stress release, heart health, and calorie burning, just to name a few. If the thought of hitting the gym lacks appeal, think of something that does sound appealing to you. Just because something isn’t traditionally classified as exercise does not mean it does not offer you benefits.

Action step for TODAY #1: Consider taking a hike, going for a walk with a friend, or even doing yard work. Attempt to get 20-30 minutes of physical activity today and build from there. Soon it will be a habit.

Give Yourself Something Extra-

Despite sincere efforts, most people need more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in their diets than they currently get. Whether you are in need of a good multivitamin or a more specific supplement like a green coffee bean extract it is simple to add a supplement or two into your diet. The benefits can be significant both today and in the future. For example, a recent study out of Cornell University revealed that the chlorogenic acid in green coffee beans may play a major role in preventing retinal degeneration.

Action step for TODAY #2: Visit a local health food store or reputable online shop and choose which supplement(s) you want to use to enhance your diet.

Try Something New-

If the thought of cutting out all of your favorite junk foods is daunting to you, start by adding in healthier foods rather than eliminating the unhealthy ones. In time, you will find some new healthier favorites and be able to phase out some of the worst offenders you are currently eating.

Action step for TODAY #3: Choose one new fruit or vegetable you can add to your plate. Tomorrow try another.

Getting to a healthier version of yourself does not have to be done all at once. Feeling the victory of taking these three small steps will propel you to make more changes, and in no time you will have met your goal.

 

The Importance of Traditional Superfoods

CLO Even with a healthy diet and exercise, our modern diets are so lacking in important nutrients that we must consider the need for supplementation. I’m not talking about the synthetic supplements boasting ridiculous health claims that you buy at GNC; I’m talking about the traditional superfoods that have kept people healthy for centuries.

New-age, synthetic supplements are not recognized and utilized by our bodies as effectively as the nutrients from whole foods. What this means is that you are likely spending a lot of money for a product that offers little to no benefits. Some synthetic supplements are even down right dangerous. They often contain fillers, flow agents, stimulants, artificial flavors and colors, synthetic dyes, and other harmful chemicals. When it comes to my body, I avoid synthetic supplements entirely. Still, I know that our modern soil lacks important minerals and thus our modern food lacks important nutrients as well.

For this reason, I supplement my diet with traditional superfoods including grass-fed beef liver, green pastures cod liver oil, virgin coconut oil, chia seeds, maca, goji berries, and more! These foods should be thought of as Nature’s multivitamin, as they are incredibly nutrient dense with vast nutritional profiles. Of all the traditional superfoods that I supplement my diet with, I believe that fermented cod liver oil is the most important.

Traditionally fermented cod liver oil is packed with omega fats as well as vitamin A and D. Our modern diet is significantly lacking healthy fats, and up to 80% of the American population is deficient in vitamin D. Fermented cod liver oil works to prevent and correct common nutrient deficiencies while simultaneously boosting overall health. Traditional superfoods are extremely important because they boost your overall nutrient intake, health, and wellness, while causing little to no side effects. Superfoods have become even more important now that our diets are lacking in so many important nutrients. For optimal health, eat healthy, exercise often, and supplement your diet with traditional superfoods.

Desiccated Liver Spaghetti Sauce

When was the last time you ate a heaping plate of liver and onions? Most of you are probably thinking ‘NEVER!’ but I hope at least a few of you are thinking ‘Not in a while.’ My point is, liver is a superfood that has disappeared from our modern diet. Once a weekly guest on the 1950’s dinner table; liver is rarely eaten in 2014. This, my friends, is disappointing for a number of reasons.

Grass-fed beef liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats. Beef liver works to correct numerous health problems such as anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. It is also great for increasing energy and endurance, as well as helping your body build and maintain lean muscle. Grass-fed beef liver benefits anyone who chooses to eat it.

The problem with liver? It doesn’t taste very good. In fact, most people can’t eat it at all. Liver is definitely an acquired taste, and many people have never even tried it! This is where desiccated liver supplements come into play. Desiccated liver supplements are simply dehydrated or freeze-dried beef liver milled into a powder and then inserted into a capsule. This is a great option for anyone who cannot stomach the taste of actual liver.

Another great way to use desiccated liver is to empty the capsules into your favorite recipes. Desiccated liver powder can be added to soups, stews, and sauces like the one below.

Desiccated Liver Spaghetti Sauce
4 medium sized tomatoes
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 medium onion
3-4 tbsp of desiccated liver powder
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Chop tomatoes and onions into 1 inch chunks. Arrange tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a shallow baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes. When the veggies have finished roasting, puree all of the vegetables and desiccated liver powder in a food processor until a sauce forms. Add water or broth if sauce is too thick. If necessary, gently reheat sauce at a low temperature before serving.

Easy Bulletproof Latte

You may or may not have heard of Bulletproof Coffee™ but it’s basically the idea of putting healthy organic oils in organic coffee. This type of coffee boosts energy, mental focus, and metabolism. I make my own variation based on Bulletproof Coffee™ but I call it my Easy Bullet Proof Latte. This latte is delicious and can be easily whipped up in the comfort of your own home or office in under 10 minutes.

Easy Bulletproof Latte
8 oz hot organic coffee
1-2 tbsp organic coconut oil
1-2 tbsp organic protein powder
1-2 tbsp raw honey

Directions: Combine all ingredients in your blender and whip until frothy. Enjoy!

My Easy Bulletproof Latte is perfect for keeping me full until lunch. I usually have this latte and piece of fruit or some hard boiled eggs every morning for breakfast. Sometimes when I’m fasting or accidentally forget to get up in time for breakfast, I have this latte alone and it is enough to keep me full and focused until lunch.

Coconut oil boosts brain health as well as metabolism. It works to keep you full and focused. When this latte is combined with a healthy snack for breakfast, the coconut oil helps you burn the calories more efficiently. Coconut oil is also anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, so it is great for your immune system.

Protein powder is a great way to stay full until lunch. Even a tablespoon in the morning is enough to keep me going. I’m not a nutritionist by any means, but I have heard that diets high in healthy protein help you build lean muscle and maintain a healthy body weight. When it comes to coconut oil, protein, all of the other supplements, and the food I consumes, I choose organic whenever possible.

I fell in love with South Africa eight years ago and I’m never going back!

Trees and Fields at Sunset

In 2006, I moved from the United States to South Africa in search of a healthier lifestyle. If you didn’t know, the United States is one of the most chemically laden and corrupt food supplies in the world. It was nearly impossible to live a healthy life in America because it was nearly impossible to find organic food. I’ve since visited the United States and learned that they have put more effort into local and organic food, but the food supply is still vastly corrupt and genetically modified. Besides, I fell in love with South Africa eight years ago and I’m never going back!

I now follow a Weston A. Price inspired diet that consists of whole and organic foods that I cook myself. I try to buy local and organic whenever possible. I eat plenty of healthy protein and fats from grass-fed dairy, pastured meats, and wild caught seafood. I also eat plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit. I try to avoid gluten, and all processed foods- ESPECIALLY processed sugars.

When I moved to South Africa, I got a gym membership and I’ve had one ever since. I try to work out 3-5 times per week but I am always sure to give my body at least two days of rest. I like to do a lot of functional movement training- my own special blend of crossfit and traditional body building. My favorite exercises are dead lifts, lunges, and squats! For cardio, I prefer to get out of the gym with nice long walk on the beach or an adventurous hilly bike ride. Ellipticals are lame!

I will be using this blog to keep myself on the healthy track and to help others join me a long the way. It took a huge change for me to get healthy, but I’m going to use this blog to share the little, everyday changes you can make in order to live a healthier lifestyle.