7 AMAZING USES OF COCONUT OIL

COCONUT OIL 2

While Dietitians, myself included, advise against coconut oil in the diet, it may be surprising for you to realize that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil actually has some amazing health benefits. Try a drop of it to reap all offered myriad benefits. Plus, coconut oil is completely natural, affordable and readily available. Here are seven uses of this oil.

1. Skin care

Do you want to look like you have just come back from an hour of yoga? Is your wish to keep your skin youthful and healthy looking for a long time?  Coconut oil does wonders as a moisturizer for all the types of skin, especially dry and aging ones, leaving you refreshed and looking widely awake without requiring a headstand. The thing is that fat in the oil helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles without any irritation. Coconut oil can help with skin problems such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and other skin issues. In fact, the coconut oil is frequently used in brandy skin care products.

2. Stress relief

Relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to your head in a motion of circular massaging. The natural aroma of this oil is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level and you will never feel exhausted even after long office day, nonstop screaming kids and your dog leaving a little present on the vintage bedspread. You will be provided with an immediate energy source.

COCONUT OIL 1

3. Digestion

The medium chained triglycerides are saturated fats in coconut oil, which have anti inflectional properties that help control bacteria and fungi causing indigestion and other gastro-intestinal system related problems even in irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also helps in the absorption of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, making you even healthier all around.  Moderation is key.

4. Fitness

Coconut oil has been proven to improve thyroid function, boost your metabolism and increase energy levels, all of that help decrease the unwanted fat and increase muscles. That is why coconut oil is gaining popularity among fitness buffs.

5. Energy

Your body sends medium chained fatty acids also called medium chained triglycerides directly to your liver to use as energy. It makes coconut oil a powerful source of instant energy to the body, a function, which is usually served in the diet by simple carbohydrates.

6. Healing

When applied on cuts and scrapes, coconut oil creates a thin chemical layer that protects the wound from bacteria, outside dust and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of injuries by repairing damaged tissues. In addition, it smells a lot better than anything from the pharmacy.

COCONUT OIL

7. Hair care

Why spend $ 25 on hair conditioners if you can get even more benefit for even less price. Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious products you can use to treat your hair. Massage a little of the oil onto your scalp and presto no more dandruff. Since coconut oil provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair, it is used in a ton of hair products anyway. So cut to the chase and skip all those unnecessary chemicals.  Spray a little on your hairbrush and transform your dried out, frizzy  hair into a lustrous shine!

SAVE MONEY AND USE COCONUT OIL IN YOUR OVERALL HEALTH CARE!

Advertisements

OATMEAL IN YOUR GLUTEN FREE DIET?!

Historically, oats were not allowed on the gluten-free diet (GF diet) used to treat those with celiac disease. Oats were believed to trigger the same toxic reaction in the small intestine as wheat, rye and barley. However, many studies from Europe and the U.S. reveal that consumption of oats is safe for the majority of children and adults with celiac disease. Most of these studies used pure, uncontaminated oats, but it should be noted that a very small number of individuals with celiac disease may not even tolerate pure oats. The mechanism causing this intolerance has yet to be established.

oatmeal

Related: Essential guide to celiac disease

Based on this new research, a growing number of health professionals and celiac organizations around the world now allow consumption of moderate amounts of pure, uncontaminated oat products in a GF diet.  Adults with celiac can safely consume half to three-quarters of a cup (50 to 70 grams) of dry rolled oats per day. For children, it’s one-quarter cup (20 to 25 grams) per day.

Unfortunately though, most commercial oat products on the market have been cross-contaminated with wheat, barley and/or rye, which occur during harvesting, transportation, storage, milling, processing and packaging.

The good news is there are specialty companies in North America and Europe who produce pure, uncontaminated oat products that are grown on dedicated fields and equipment and packaged in dedicated gluten-free facilities. Cream Hill Estates (Lara’s brand) is a Canadian company.  The American companies include Bob’s Red Mill, Gluten-Free Oats, Gifts of Nature and Montana Monster Munchies (Legacy Valley).

Many other companies are using these pure, uncontaminated oats from the producers listed above (and in the chart below) in their gluten-free products. Examples include Glutenfreeda Foods oatmeal, NoNuttin granola bars and granola, and Holly’s oatmeal.

Before adding pure, uncontaminated oat products to your diet, I recommend that you consult with your physician and dietitian. It is also very important that your celiac disease be well-controlled on the GF diet and that you have no gastrointestinal complaints.

A diet containing oats is often higher in fiber than the typical GF diet, therefore some individuals may experience a change in stool pattern or mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal bloating and gas. This will resolve as the body adjusts to the change in the amount and type of fiber. When adding a new fiber source such as oats, it is important to consume more fluids, especially water.

Company Products Website
Cream Hill Estates (Lara’s brand) Rolled oats, oat bran, oat flour www.creamhillestates.com
Bob’s Red Mill Rolled oats www.bobsredmill.com
Gifts of Nature Rolled oats, oat groats www.giftsofnature.net
Gluten-Free Oats Rolled oats, oat groats www.glutenfreeoats.com
Montana Monster Munchies (Legacy Valley brand) Rolled oats, granola, oat bran, oat flour, oatmeal cookies www.mtmonstermunchies.com

Related stories:

Tricks to easy gluten-free eating
Allergic Living’s gluten-free recipes
Miley Cyrus on her gluten “allergy”

OATMEAL: YOUR SPA AT HOME!

oatmeal

Scrambled oats is one of the easy pack foods that may taste great on a cold morning while going to work. However, it makes you think. Instead of just using oatmeal for an ordinary breakfast or even a great breakfast for that matter, what if people use oatmeal to solve the impact of health and household problems? CREATE YOU OWN SPA AT HOME USING OATMEAL!

General skin problems
You can make oatmeal scrub or oatmeal soap and, of course, pricey commercial oatmeal skin products are also available for tackling other skin problems. An option is to grind two tbsp of oatmeal into a powder in a blender. Then add a tsp of baking soda and enough water to make a thick paste. Spread on a clean, dry face and rinse after 15 minutes. It is recommended doing a patch test first, as your skin can be sensitive to the baking soda.

Oatmeal can also be used as a remedy for Acne
If you are a teenager addled with acne or a menopausal woman with adult acne, make your breakfast oatmeal, let it cool and then spread it over your problem skin. Wait for about 10 minutes and then rinse. This old remedy has some sound logic, according to the research foundation. Oatmeal can remove and absorb oil and bacteria from skin and exfoliate dead skin cells, all of that can fight acne. Tea tree oil and honey are helpful additives too.

Poison ivy or chicken pox
If poison ivy, chicken pox or even sunburn makes you itch like crazy, try an oatmeal bath. Grind oats or oat flour into a fine powder, and then pour it into cheesecloth or an old but clean piece of pantyhose. Tie it around the bathtub faucet and draw a tepid bath and periodically squeeze the water into the tub or rub the pouch straight on the itchy skin. I don’t recommend putting the oatmeal directly into the bathwater as I have then had to work on a clogged drain at the end of the bath.

OATMEAL 1

Exhaustion
Oatmeal is not just good for ailing skin. You can make a rejuvenating and soothing facial mask right in your own kitchen. One digest book offers the following recipe: Blend a half cup hot water with 1/3 cup oatmeal for three or four minutes, then add two tbsp each plain honey and yogurt, plus an egg white. Spread thinly on your face, then relax for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Stress
You do not need to get poison ivy to have an excuse for an oatmeal bath. Experts suggest adding 1 cup of milk, 2 cups of oats and 1 tbsp of honey to the bath to moisturize the skin and relax the body. You can also use scented oils in a ground oatmeal pouch, as described in the chicken pox paragraph above.  Again, I recommend the pouch for the oatmeal!

OATMEAL 2

Diet helper
Replace all flour with homemade oat flour
by grinding oats in a processor for baking pancakes, cookies and quick breads. You get two times more fiber so you feel fuller with fewer calories.

Exercise booster
Eat some oatmeal pancakes for a better training. Do not believe it? Researchers have found that oatmeal boosts endurance if eaten about two hours before workout. Oats trigger your body to burn fat more quickly for fueling muscles.

TREAT YOURSELF TO A DAY AT THE SPA AT HOME!

OATMEAL 3

ALSO LOOK FOR MY UPCOMING BLOG ABOUT OATMEAL BEING SAFE IN A GLUTEN FREE DIET! 

5 MYTHS ABOUT GETTING FLAT ABS

FLAT ABS

We all want to have that sexy flat stomach and we are willing to work for it. The problem is that lots of people are wasting their efforts simply because they have a wrong information about getting flat stomach. Here’s 5 myths you should not believe about it:

Extra Crunches for A Flat Stomach

Extra crunches don’t lead to tight abs. The truth is that everyone has ab muscles. They just stay hidden underneath a thick layer of fat on the stomach. If you want a toned look, you need to focus on burning the layer of fat that may be covering your belly. The key is to not obsess about crunches, but focus on burning fat.

FLAT ABS 5

Starve Yourself to get A Flat Stomach

At times, you may think that starving yourself is the only way to lose weight and get a flat stomach. Starving yourself is not only ineffective, but also dangerous for your overall well-being. You may think that severe calorie reduction may lead to better and quick results. It is important to understand that the human body is complex. As a result, starving yourself may disrupt your body’s metabolism. This will only slow down results. It is important not to starve yourself, but eat wholesome meals after short intervals of time. Eating less may be the key to weight loss, but starving yourself is not.

Diet Pills and Supplements

Well, diet pills and supplements can be quite tempting. There are many pills and supplements which claim to give you a flat stomach. However, you should not fall for it as there is no ‘magic pill’ available in the market. In fact, diet pills and supplements are more likely to hurt your pocket than showing any results on your belly. Instead of popping a pill, it will be better to burn calories with intense exercise.

FLAT ABS 3

Packaged Diet Products for Better Results

There are many packaged foods which are considered to be a solution for weight loss. Usually, such packaged products are packed with refined sugar. There are also some artificial ingredients which your body does not really need. Some ingredients in packaged foods don’t lead to weight loss. In fact, they may have a high-calorie content. You should try to avoid packaged foods and stick to a nutritious diet. Whole grains can be a good choice.

FLAT ABS 2

Avoid Carbohydrates for Tight Abs

Many notions and misconceptions make you think that carbohydrates are bad for your health. However, if you are one of the people who believe this, it is quite unfortunate. You can eat carbohydrates while slimming down. As mentioned earlier, it is important to avoid packaged foods and stick with oatmeal, whole grains and brown rice. In other words, you should stick with wholesome carbs rather than giving up all carbohydrates.

FLAT ABS 4

I HAVE MENTIONED THIS BEFORE, BUT I THINK IT IS WORTH REPEATING:  You and your body are an individual shaped by your diet, your environment and your genetics.  I am lucky to have been brought up with a healthy diet (with 9 in the household we couldn’t afford anything fancy); my parents were active and encouraged daily physical activity; my genes are of the tall thin variety.

EAT HEALTHY, INCLUDING WHOLE GRAINS, (LIMIT SUGAR, FAT AND ALCOHOL) AND BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.  SOME STOMACH CRUNCHES, PILATES OR OTHER CORE WORKOUTS WILL HELP SCULPT A BEAUTIFUL YOU!  IF YOU ARE DOING ALL THESE THINGS, THEN YOU CAN BE HAPPY WITH THE HEALTHY “YOU” YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR!!

GETTING RID OF ALL THAT GARBAGE!

Composting at Home: Going Green

CONSULT YOUR WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY TO ORGANIZE A COMPOSTING PROGRAM – YOU WILL BE THE START OF SOMETHING NEW! START COMPOSTING YOUR OWN YARD WASTE NOW AND HAVE SOIL BY THE SPRING…

COMPOST 1

Across the United States, people are finding more and more places to deposit their compost, such as at farmers’ markets or green spaces. Once a farming and home economist tradition, composting is finding revitalization. This movement is growing in popularity as an effort to improve the state of the earth.

Why compost?

  • More than 40% of all food produced in America is not eaten
  • More than 29 million tons of food waste is produced each year
  • Food scraps make up 17% of what we send to landfills in the United States
  • The average American wastes more than ½ pound of food each day
  • 25% of what enters our homes is not eaten, when you count what we put down the disposal and throw out
  • American restaurants throw away more than 6000 tons of food every day, according to some calculations
  • Food costs America more than $100 billion annually, according to the same studies
  • The average four-person household wastes about $600 of food each year

What does wasted food mean for the environment?
Wasting food misuses the time, energy, and resources in money and oil that are needed to produce that food. The food winds up costing more to the earth than the purchase price, because more energy is needed to dispose of the waste than is used to produce the food.

Food rotting in landfills contributes to global warming by causing methane emissions or greenhouse gasses.

Wet food waste is the main threat to groundwater or stream pollution, in addition to the potential for leaks and runoff from some landfills.

How does composting help the environment?
Composting is great for the environment, because compost is:

  • Essential for growing plants and produce
  • Great for the environment by reducing waste that goes into landfills

COMPOST

What can I compost?
You can compost any organic material, either plant or animal. This includes:

  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Fruits
  • Tea bags
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Meat
  • Eggs and egg shells
  • Coffee
  • Paper, unwaxed paper plates and paper napkins
  • Bones
  • Peels and rinds

Basically, you can compost anything that comes from the earth, including:

  • Grass and shrub clippings
  • Fresh manure (horse, chicken, rabbit, cow)
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Weeds
  • Green leaves
  • Leftover produce from the garden or kitchen
  • Brown, dry leaves
  • Dried grass
  • Cornstalks (shredded)
  • Straw
  • Sawdust (in moderation; see next section)

How do I compost?
You can compost several different ways.

An airtight bucket in the kitchen: Keep the bucket either in your refrigerator or on the countertop. Take it to a composting spot (usually at your farmers’ market) each week. Most major cities have composting collection Web sites listed on the Internet.  Although Erie County has only one compost site for biosolids in Gowanda,  there is a compost site in Amherst and one in Orchard park for yard waste.  See List of Compost Facilities in New York State

This is my composter for the kitchen – you can feel the heat it gives off!  We separate our compost from the garbage in hopes Waste Management will begin to pick it up.  At our summer cottage in Canada, the city provided composters and picks up our refuse once a week.  So we’re moving in the right direction!

Open compost bin: Choose a designated spot and make a container without a lid for “green” materials. Allow rainwater and air to accelerate the process of making the compost. This type of bin may attract pests and animals, so many people choose to top their open container with a layer of straw.

Closed compost bin: Many people choose to purchase a compost bin, which comes with directions for making successful compost. These are good choices for gardeners, who use the compost to plant and grow their seeds. An online search can help find the one that is right for you.

Our closed composter out in the back yard is ideal – place yard waste and my perennials in the top at the end of the season and by spring open the bottom to scoop out fresh compost to grow your garden the next year.

Visit www.howtocompost.org

http://www.wikihow.com/Compost

How Stuff Works: Composting

for more information!

AFTER RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING THERE IS VERY LITTLE GARBAGE LEFT!  EACH ONE OF US CAN TAKE THIS STEP TO HELP SAVE THE EARTH!!

CAT’S CLAW YOUR ALZHEIMER’S AWAY!

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)

I FOUND IT INTERESTING THAT THIS HERB IS USED FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE HAVING HAD A MOTHER WITH THE DISEASE.  PLUS I AM FAST APPROACHING DEMENTIA AT TIMES MYSELF!

Please keep in mind there is no scientific evidence that this herb actually works with the diseases below, however, many people do reach to alternative medicine for relief.  PLEASE REFERENCE USING DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS SAFELY

Alternate names

  • Samento
  • Saventaro

Native to

  • Amazon rain forest

Medicinal parts used

  • The inner bark
  • Roots
  • Leaves

Uses

  • Viral diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Immune system support
  • Contraception

How it works

  • The active constituents are variable and depend upon the time of the year when the plant is harvested
  • Anti-inflammatory activity mainly because of the glycosides present in the plant
  • Immunostimulating properties enhance the function of white blood cells to attack and digest carcinogenic substances and harmful microorganisms, which may inhibit the growth of cancer cells and tumors
  • Although the reasons are not all known, it is believed that chemicals in cat’s claw block the production of substances, such as prostaglandins and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, which are involved in inflammation

Side effects and warnings

  • Is generally regarded as safe
  • Do not use in individuals with skin grafts or tuberculosis
  • Do not give to people who are receiving organ transplants
  • Do not use during pregnancy or lactation
  • Do not combine with hormonal drugs, insulin, and vaccines
  • Is contraindicated in those suffering from coagulation disorders, tuberculosis, and autoimmune diseases
  • Do not take with drugs that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine, Imuran®, Prograf®, Zenapax®
  • May potentiate the effects of antihypertensive drugs

Dosage recommendations

  • Usual recommended dosage: 250−1000 milligrams (mg)/day of commercial preparation
  • Dry extracts: 20−60 mg/day

References and recommended readings

Drugs.com. Cat’s claw.
Available at: http://www.drugs.com/npp/cat-s-claw.html.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Cat’s claw.
Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/catclaw/.

I’M OUT OF MY GOURD

Bountiful and Delicious: Healthy Harvest Foods
Bring Color and Nutrition to the Table

When you think of autumn, you most likely envision the beautiful orange, yellow, and red hues of the season. Stroll down the produce aisle of your neighborhood grocery store and discover those same vibrant colors in the form of seasonal vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkins, squash, and apples. Best of all, these harvest foods also are packed with nutritional value. Encourage those you care for to try some new and different varieties of fall produce this year, and give them the gift of health along the way!

Winter squash and pumpkins


Winter squash and pumpkins (both members of the gourd family) come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They are becoming increasingly popular because of their versatile use in both sweet and savory recipes, and they are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Pumpkins are especially good sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin (an antioxidant), vitamin C, riboflavin, and iron. Cooking pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins) are delicious in pies, cookies, custards, and soups. Their seeds are easily toasted for a crunchy high-fiber snack.

The seeds are great when eaten by the handful or added to fruit and vegetable salads. Pumpkin and squash seeds contain:

  • Phytosterols
  • Vitamins, including:
    Folate
    Tocopherols
    Carotenoids
  • Minerals, including:
    Phosphorus
    Selenium
    Zinc

I TOAST THEM ON A COOKIE SHEET SPRAYED WITH NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY AND SPRINKLE A LITTLE SEA SALT ON TOP!

Bright orange and yellow squash
Bright orange and yellow squash contain significant amounts of carotenes, as well as some lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants). Butternut squash is good sliced, stewed, boiled, or baked in a pie. It is a particularly good source of calcium, magnesium, and carotenes. Spaghetti squash makes a wonderful casserole or side dish. Try it with tomato sauce in place of traditional spaghetti. Acorn and Hubbard squash are particularly good sources of potassium and fiber. Acorn squash also is high in thiamine.

Apples

APPLES
Apples come in countless varieties, each with its own color, flavor, and texture. While some types of apples such as Golden or Red Delicious are best for eating fresh and crisp, other varieties such as Crab, Bramley, and Jonathan apples are best for cooking in pies, cakes, crisps, and chutneys. Look for sauce, butter, pickle, and relish recipes that include apples. Apples are powerhouses of flavonoids, such as quercetin, as well as a great source of cholesterol-lowering phytosterols. Apples also are a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In addition, apples with skins are one of the best known sources of pectin—a type of soluble fiber shown to help reduce cholesterol. Try making tea by steeping oven-roasted and dried apple slices for an old-fashioned hot beverage.

RECIPE:  BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH APPLES – VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE

Squash sections with seeds removed form small hollows that become natural containers for seasonings.

2-pound butternut squash
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or sliced almonds
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 red medium unpared all-purpose apple, chopped (about 1 cup)

Wash squash and pierce with tip of a sharp knife in several places to allow steam to escape. Place squash on paper towel in microwave oven. Microwave uncovered on high 4-6 minutes until squash is hot and rind is firm but easy to cut through; cool slightly. Carefully cut into halves; remove seeds. Arrange squash halves, cut sides down, on 10-inch plate. Cover tightly and microwave on high 5-8 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl. Cover tightly and microwave on high 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture is hot; stir. Cut squash halves in half. Spoon apple mixture over squash.
4 servings; 210 calories per serving.

Fruit and vegetable tips

vegetables

  • Thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruits, as you would any produce, before eating or cooking to destroy any bacteria and to remove any pesticides or herbicides from their surfaces
  • Select produce without soft spots, blemishes, or cuts
  • Eat fruits and vegetables fresh or lightly cooked to obtain the most nutrient value—avoid boiling when possible
  • Experiment with a variety of spices, herbs, and cooking methods

Fall activities


Autumn’s cool weather and beautiful foliage is a call from nature to get outside, enjoy the scenery, and get physically active. One great event for fun family fitness is visiting a pumpkin patch and picking your own pumpkins and gourds. In addition, many pumpkin patch locations feature other activities, such as corn mazes and hayrides.

Find farm locations in your area that allow visitors to pick their own fruits and vegetables by watching your local newspaper or searching the Internet for more information. TRY pickyourown.org  Whether picking apples, pears, squash, peppers, or sweet potatoes, this is great way to connect with nature, burn some calories, and come home with healthy, nutritious foods. Try canning to preserve your favorite varieties for the rest of the year, or grow your own harvest fruits and vegetables and enjoy eating them even more.

ENJOY AUTUMN!