Coconut Creations – 3 Ways you can enjoy Coconut Oil

Coconut Creations – 3 Ways you can enjoy Coconut Oil

Coconut has been hailed as the Tree of Life, and it’s no surprise – due to how its “fruit” gives life-nourishing benefits. From its scrumptious meat to its refreshing water, coconut is indeed a complete package when it comes to giving the body what it needs.

Consequently, coconut oil is not far behind. In fact, it is considered to be one of the few superfoods that exist. If you think it’s just another run-of-the-mill byproduct, think again.

coconuts

Aside from the more common benefits of coconut oil when used externally like on your hair or on your skin, coconut oil also holds a load of health benefits when consumed. Think about weight loss, improved brain function and overall health improvements. These are just some of the practically unending list of health benefits that result from consuming coconut oil.

One of the greatest health benefits of coconut oil is its effective support of heart health. The reason that most people thought otherwise is that it’s a form of “oil.” What they fail to see is that it has lauric acid, which is known to help prevent heart related ailments that branch off from high cholesterol levels and increased blood pressure. Furthermore, it lowers the risk of any damage in your arteries. In turn, this lowers the chances of you getting atherosclerosis, or the clogging of your arteries.

Talk about irony: how often do you hear about  oil (or fat, if you will) that can help you with your heart problems.

Considering its health benefits, how can you enjoy and fully take advantage of the wondrous effects of coconut oil? It’s not just a matter of taking in a spoonful of coconut oil every day. You can get the health benefits while enjoying every moment of it with these healthy and nutritious recipes.

Read on to get a jumpstart on learning the different uses for coconut oil in your daily meals.

For Salad Dressing

If you are the type of person who enjoys a daily serving of salad, or just wants to try something different in your salad experience, this one’s for you.

salad-and-dressing

Get a dose of healthy fat and an awesome source of antioxidants with this unique Coconut Salad Dressing!

It does not only give you the nutrients you need, it also helps your body effectively absorb vitamins and minerals. In return, it makes you body more resistant to various diseases.

All the more to eat those healthy greens!

Ingredients

⅔ cup coconut oil, melted

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ tablespoon raw honey

1 small garlic clove, crushed and minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon unprocessed sea salt

¼ tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a sizeable bowl. Blend the mixture well until flavors and color tone are evenly distributed.
  2. Add the mixed dressing to the dressing vessel of your choice. Make sure to let it stand for 45 minutes to an hour before chilling it.
  3. Reminder: Since this unique salad dressing has coconut as its main ingredient, it can easily harden when refrigerated. Before you use your fresh coconut salad dressing, make sure to allow it to rest in room temperature for a few minutes. You can also put the container in warm bath to allow it to be more viscous.

For soups

Imagine a cold Wednesday early evening. You’re about to have dinner. Something inside you tells you to go for something warm in your belly. For sure, the best way to satiate that craving is with a warm, creamy and tasty bowl of soup!

coconut-soup

Soup is one of the most comforting foods to eat when you want to feel toasty and calm. True enough, you can enjoy it as a light snack or as a yummy appetizer with a healthy serving of coconut oil. Take a sip of the mixed flavors of Coconut Curry Soup!

With its earthy taste, you can enjoy this recipe as it warms your soul and nourish your body. Plus, you can enjoy this healthy recipe as part of your weight loss diet!

Ingredients

½ medium onion, chopped

½ red bell pepper, sliced

2 cloves garlic, pressed

½ zucchini squash, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 green onions, finely sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 Tbsp coconut oil

3 cups coconut water

1 lime, juiced

2 tsp cumin

1 inch ginger fresh chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp nama shoyu

1 tsp cayenne pepper powder

½ cup mung bean sprouts, for garnish

Fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Using a pre-heated medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper in the pan, allowing the base ingredients to cook for a 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Pour three cups of coconut water. Bring it to simmer on low heat.
  3. Add the zucchini, carrots, and celery. Allow the vegetables to cook and become tender.
  4. Put the lime juice and cumin, turmeric, ginger and nama shoyu in. Make sure to stir well to avoid any possible sticking of ingredients to the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat after all the spices have dissolved.
  5. Add the cayenne pepper.
  6. Garnish with mung bean sprouts and basil leaves. Serve as is or with a bowl of rice on the side.

As smoothie

For those who grew up eating fresh fruit ice cream, you have most definitely had strawberry-banana ice cream at one point in your life. Perhaps you have had it almost every day when you were younger. You could just smell the sweet dew of strawberry and taste the luscious flavor of banana just by thinking about them.

coconut-smoothie

You can now enjoy this snack in the healthiest and most exciting way this time around. Put a healthy twist on this sweet treat with this Coconut Strawberry Banana Smoothie!

The heavenly goodness of the refreshingly creamy goodness of strawberry and banana smoothie gets a healthy dose of coconut oil to give you that nutritious and energy boosting flavor in your all time favorite smoothie.

Ingredients

16 ounces of purified water

1 Cavendish banana

Frozen 3/4 cup strawberries

Fresh or frozen 1 teaspoon raw extra virgin coconut oil

1 serving high-quality vanilla protein powder

Handful of ice

Shredded coconut, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Simply mix and blend all ingredients (except garnish ingredients) in a high-speed blender. Stop when the mixture is already smooth and creamy (about 1 to 2 minutes).
  2. Pour in a glass. Top with shredded coconut and a single strawberry as garnish.
  3. Serve and drink while still ice cold and thick.
  4. Reminders: Since coconut oil is fat, there is a tendency for it to stick to the sides of your blender. Because of this, it may become hardened due to the cold ingredients of the smoothie. In order to avoid this, pour the water in the blender first. Then put in the rest of the ingredients, except the coconut oil.

With everything in, put in the coconut oil. Make sure to pour it gently right in the middle of the mixture of ingredients. Doing so helps in preventing the oil to stick to the sides of the blender during the mixing process.

At this point, begin the blending by putting the blender on low speed, gradually increasing the speed as the ingredients start to become liquefied. The slow and steady mixing action ensures the coconut oil to properly blend with the liquid and other liquefied ingredients. Also, check from time to time if there are still spots of coconut oil sticking to the sides of the blender. If needed, scrape off any ingredients that do stick, and continue blending until you reach your desired smoothie consistency.

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Prepare Your Superfood Smoothies with these Easy Recipes

Prepare Your Superfood Smoothies with these Easy Recipes

Blueberries, kale, salmon, tomatoes, and others. You’ve probably heard, or read, many different things about the nutritional benefits of these everyday ingredients that most magazines or online articles commonly label as superfoods. While there’s no official scientific definition of a superfood, people have generally accepted that superfoods are those foods that contain high levels of much-needed vitamins and minerals. They can also be a source of antioxidants – substances that shield the body from cell damage and help prevent disease.

Most of these superfoods are fruits and vegetable. Most likely, however, if you’ve been eating blueberries as dessert or tomatoes as part of a main course, you’ll get too used to eating them that way.

Luckily, there are various ways for you to enjoy these superfoods – particularly the ones that you can get from fruits and vegetables. You can enjoy them as smoothies! Here are some of the best ways to make a superfood drink or a smoothie that you’ll surely enjoy.

Blueberries

Blueberrie might be the first thing to come up when you search for a superfood, just because they are extremely healthy and nutritious. Its nutritional value makes it highly beneficial to the body.

These berries are full of phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals (agents that cause aging and cell damage). In addition, blueberries are good sources of vitamin K. They also contain vitamin C, fiber, manganese and other antioxidants (notably anthocyanins). The antioxidants in these berries may also protect against cancer and reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Blueberries are so rich in phytonutrients that they provide as much antioxidant protection to the body as 1,733 IU of vitamin E and more than 1200 milligrams of vitamin C. It is recommended that you to consume 1 to 2 cups of blueberries daily to obtain the full health benefits of this amazing fruit.

blueberry-smoothie

Phytonutrients are non-vitamin, non-mineral components of food that have significant health benefits. Research has shown that phytonutrients help the body cells “communicate” with each other more efficiently, hence, preventing mutations at the cellular level. In turn, the proliferation of cancer cells is lessened, if not totally halted.

Making a Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

8 ounce plain yogurt

3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preparation:

Blend the blueberries, yogurt, milk, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg in a blender until frothy, scraping down the sides of the blender with a spatula occasionally. Serve immediately.

Avocado

Avocados have been cultivated for thousands of years, and are a known favorite of the Aztecs. They are originally native to Central America. This superfood has a  TON of health benefits.

One of the most nutrient-dense foods, avocados are high in fiber and, ounce for ounce, they top the charts among all fruits for folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium. No doubt, avocado’s nutritional value makes it a powerful superfood.

avocado-smoothie

The delicious healthy monounsaturated fat in the avocado is one of its biggest claims to being a superfood. The monounsaturated fat in avocados is oleic acid, which helps lower cholesterol. One study has found that after seven days on a diet that included avocados, there were significant decreases in both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as an 11 percent increase in the “good” HDL cholesterol.

Preparing a Creamy Avocado Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups crushed ice

2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted

Preparation:

Blend the milk, sweetened condensed milk and ice in a blender until very smooth. Add the avocado flesh and blend again until smooth. Be reminded that the mixture could be quite thick; add cold water a few tablespoons at a time, blending after each addition, until the mixture is pourable. Taste and add more sweetened condensed milk as needed if you want it sweeter. Serve in chilled glasses with straws.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is considered a fat burning superfood that aids in weight loss. Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that was discovered in Barbados in the 18th century before being transferred and re-planted in Florida.

grapefruit

Grapefruit is loaded with Vitamin C as well, offering a good 59% of the daily recommended intake. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that your body can only get from the food you eat. Vitamin C is necessary for proper growth and repair of tissues, and it plays a role in preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoarthritis, boosting immunity, as well as other health conditions. Grapefruit also contains pectin which has been known to reduce cholesterol.

It is also known that Grapefruits are high in fiber and only about 40-50 calories – making it a healthy snack alternative. In addition, it consists of about 90% water, making it not only a great snack but a great pre-meal appetizer. The volume of water helps you feel full and works as an appetite suppressor.

What makes this fruit a fat burning superfood is that it takes more calories to digest grapefruit. It stimulates the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that regulates digestive juices and acts as a hunger suppressant.

Grapefruit Smoothie with Banana and Apple

Ingredients:

1 small pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented

1 banana, peeled and chopped

1 mango, halved, stoned and flesh chopped

200g (7oz) natural yogurt

Handful of ice cubes

Preparation:

Blend the grapefruit, banana, mango, yogurt and ice cubes in a blender until frothy.

Have the smoothie chilled from a freezer for about 30 minutes before serving.

Kale

Superfoods are not all just fruits – in fact, a lot of superfoods are vegetables, crops or seeds. As such, one of the most nutritious green superfoods is kale, with its many other benefits for the body on top of it being a good source of essential nutrients.

kale

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol and quercetin. It also contains several glucosinolates including glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin and sinigrin. When you eat kale, these compounds are converted into isothiocyanates in your digestive tract.

Research suggests that isothiocyanates may help prevent cancer and, in some cases, even suppress the growth of tumors. Isothiocyanates work their anti-cancer “magic” by eliminating potential carcinogens from the body, by conferring protection against DNA damage, and by stimulating apoptosis (self-destruction) of cancerous cells. Most of the research related to isothiocyanates, kale and cancer has focused on colon cancer and breast cancer, but there’s also evidence that kale and other foods that contain glucosinolates may also provide protection against prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and bladder cancer.

The health benefits of kale go well beyond providing a truckload of vitamins and minerals; this superfood is packed with phytonutrients such as glucosinolates and flavonoids. Thanks to its broad nutritional profile, kale is thought to help fight cardiovascular disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis; prevent several types of cancer and premature aging of the skin; and promote the health of the urinary tract.

Some people might not find eating this powerhouse food straight up, but luckily, you can find the best way to prepare the best green superfood drinks here.

How to Prepare Kale and Banana Smoothie

kale-and-banana-smoothie

Ingredients:

1 banana

2 cups chopped kale

1/2 cup light unsweetened soy milk

1 tablespoon flax seeds

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Preparation:

Place the banana, kale, soy milk, flax seeds, and maple syrup into a blender.

Cover, and puree until smooth. Serve over ice.

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How Two Become One – Guide to Having a Healthy Relationship

How Two Become One – Guide to Having a Healthy Relationship

Being in a relationship proves to be one of the most thrilling parts of a person’s life. This holds true for many occasions. However, the reality is that these people will have bad times once in awhile. The ups and downs is an embedded fact in the life of having a partner. How people manage the relationship roller coaster ride divides those who can endure the test of time, and those who are at the edge of an impending downward spiral.

healthy couple

There are a variety of things that gives character to every relationship. Some may find their relationship a little too gray, which happens more often when the flowers, chocolates and romantic dinner have gone too old.

On the other hand, there are couples who find their foundation sturdier and well-seated as they keep the fervor aflame. True enough, there are ways for couples to keep themselves motivated to stay as one unit.

The truth of the matter is that one couple will always have varying experiences and traits as compared to the next couple. The way they put perspective in their relationship serves as a significant factor in keeping the harmony between partners.

This is why it is similarly important that people in a relationship put an effort in finding ways to make their lives more exciting and stimulating. One of the most effective ways people found to improve their relationships is by integrating a healthy, active lifestyle for both parties. The logic may come as a very simple one: be healthy together, stay healthy together, and live longer together.

couple happy excercsing

But how does one start in this health and wellness endeavour with his or her partner? Here are ways to jumpstart and bring the healthy drive.

Travel Longer, Endure Together

The health benefits of being able to travel and see the world have been established as an effective way to keep the mind, body and spirit healthy. Thousands, if not millions, of people throughout the world have actually realized the wonders of being able to interact with nature. Similarly, the benefits of traveling may as well be true when done together, bringing in a whole new world of adventure into the relationship.

For a single person, seeing nature can induce a sense of finding a new perspective and purpose in life. This is especially important to people who are confused and are baffled with a lot of pressures and stresses. As for two people in a relationship, traveling can lead the couple to see that nature presents a new light unlike any other activity.

Traveling brings togetherness and synchronicity for a couple, as well as a revamped outlook in their life together. Interaction with Mother Nature can make one realize the interconnectedness of humanity, as well as the fact that life is a gift that needs to be shared. This may come as an essential part of any relationship, and a new brand of bond may come forth.

couple hiking together

There are various activities to choose from while being on a natural road trip – hiking or mountain climbing, trekking, island hopping, diving, or even having a long drive just to see the wonders of the world. And it doesn’t have to be expensive too!

There are many ways couples can get thrifty, such as being mindful of the things they bring and getting the best deal with their transportation. On top of that, another major element to consider with travelling is the cost for lodging. Couples can get best value for their money by availing services from guaranteed hotels. If you aspire to travel to Canada together, your trip will be more fun and memorable with your Vernon accommodations  all set when you get there.

Besides, the best way to end a long day on the road is to be one with nature and the love of your life!

Healthy Dining, Relationship Shining

Nowadays, one of the things that couples forget is the value of spending time to wine and dine together. This proves to be an integral part of any relationship because it sends a message that one took the time to be with the other in certain times of the day. However, the hustle and bustle of life leaves people to forget about its importance, prompting a certain separation.

It is the little things in life that matter in the grand scheme of things.

couple cooking

By reminding both parties to make time for that brunch or that romantic dinner, the relationship can be strengthened to endure the challenges during down moments. What can really amp up dining together is dining together in a healthy way.

People in a relationship want their partners to live a long and fruitful life. Of course, that does not come with eating a lot of unhealthy food. Staying together for dinner and watching each other eat healthy greens, the all-important protein and that occasional wine can prove to be an enjoyable couple’s moment.

So what other things does eating healthy together bring about?

Studies show that most of the body building phase is done in the kitchen. This means that what a person eats dictates just how his or her body lives up to the exercise or activity it has done for the day. Nutrition should be the number one focus of starting body builders, and with great reason, considering the fact that what people put in their bodies is what actually reflects outside.

With consistency and great discipline, couples can get the bodies they’ve always desired. The fact that both person are in the best shape of their lives can ultimately bring out the best mind set, togetherness and excitement they need to endure the ups and downs of being in a relationship.

Exercise Together

Exercising can bring out a sense of self-worth for a single person. It may be surprising to find out what wonders it brings when two people, intertwined with love, take care of each other physically and mentally at the same time.

doing planks

Some couples who grow tired of their relationships need only find the right amount of activity inside and outside the home. The spark both people yearn for can actually be found in exercising together. Exercising for two can not only boost health for two people, it can also bring out a new perspective on how they can outlast any problems being in a relationship presents.

In fact, many people have already found out the great significance of exercising together as a couple. Many couples have documented a sense of extreme joy when achieving a certain goal, as well as the intense motivation both persons give out to each other to complete a certain exercise or task. This is imperative for people in a relationship because knowing what makes a partner motivated can induce a sense of depth and familiarity between two people.

On the other hand, exercising together brings forth a sense of physicality couples need to enjoy their intimacy. This is an important part in any relationship, especially a sense of safety and contentment that each person brings into the fold.

***

Staying healthy as a single person can be hard. Staying healthy as a couple could be just as hard. However, knowing that a partner is there to support any endeavour can boost one’s morale and motivation. Outstanding benefits can definitely be reaped when couples opt to live a healthy lifestyle together.

Activities like travelling together can put a different light on the relationship, physically and mentally. Also, spending time to dine together can attest that one’s partner is a priority in the relationship. In this regard, eating healthy together raises the relationship’s level even more. Similarly, doing physical exercise together can improve a certain state of physicality as well as a mental drive that can only be brought about by pushing each other to the limits. All of these activities induce strength for the body, and fortitude for the mind.

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How to Tailgate…healthy!

How to Tailgate…healthy!

Holli with Quinoa Salad in Kitchen
Tailgates, fundraisers, graduations…It’s spring, and if you’re like the crowd I hang with, you’re ready to get out and play. However…those party pressures might bring up some issues. Like how to stay healthy, and remain at your goal weight when faced with foods you don’t normally eat. What do you do at an afternoon party, that goes on for hours and features fried chicken, cheese plates and chips and dips? I just attended our local steeplechase race, and took notes… Here’s how to stay healthy and not regret it the next day, without skipping out on the fun. Grab these tips, there’s no party shame for you! //Bring Your Own De-LISH Dish: Unless you’re attending a catered event, ask if you can bring a dish. Most hosts will welcome having you contribute, especially if it’s a large, lingering party, like the tailgate I just attended on Saturday. And if your cooking is healthy, they’ll look forward to trying it. This Quinoa and Beans with Mango is a favorite of mine that suits all nutritional styles. And friend Dana James has a Quinoa with Shitake and Goat Cheese that I’ve been wanting to try, too. //Spritz it Up: The old-school “Spritzer” is a good way to stay hydrated without derailing the train altogether. Combine white or rose wine with a few ice cubes and sparkling mineral water. Tonic and club soda can cause you to bloat, so avoid those if you can. Garnish with fresh lemon or lime. Or go for a healthy Bloody Mary made with fresh tomato juice, and organic vodka. //Make it a Virgin: You can still have fun without booze. I like making Arnold Palmer’s with green tea instead of black, combined with sugar-free lemonade made with stevia or palm sugar. If you need a little kick, try this from Goop. Spicy Cilantro Lemonade. It’s a favorite of mine and the peppers will rev your metabolism. Win win! //Water First, and Often: If you decide to spring for the Mojito or full-on cocktail, drink a glass of water before and after each drink. This will keep your liver flushed and doing its job and help to prevent a hangover or headache. And it will keep your hunger in check. This trick is a good one for anytime you know you’ll be imbibing. Party on! So.. now its your turn. Tell me what you do to stay healthy and still have a great time! H.XO Read More
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