Coconut Oil: #1 – Eat It!

Coconut Oil has numerous different uses from consuming it as part of your normal daily diet, hair conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, shaving cream, deodorant, mouth wash and so many others! While I am eager to test each one of these uses out I cannot do all of them at once so my goal is to try, evalutate and reveiw them here on my blog for all my followers.

As the title suggests, my first coconut oil review will be on consuming it. Coconut oil has recieved much attention in the media lately about its many miricale uses and it’s ability to  not only make a person feel better but also look better too. Who doesn’t want to look better!? What caught my attention with this simple idea of eating coconut oil is I have for sometime, about a month, been washing my face with it and have noticed great results! (Cocnut oil face wash review and tutorial coming your way soon) Not only is it chemical free, it is odor free, inexpensive and absolutely great for your over all health. A large tub of “100% Lou Ana coconut oil”, about thirty fluid ounces, retails for about $5.98 at Walmart and will last you at least a year if used in moderation.coconut oil with border

Coconut oil is high in saturated fat. Most people when hearing this run, however if you look a little closer these fats are made up of medium chain fatty acids which our bodies digest much easier than the not so great for you long chain fatty acids. Lauric acid comprises about fifty percent of coconut oil’s composition and is highly beneficial to your immune system. This type of acid is a special kind because it has antifungal, antibiotic and antivirus properties and is not harmful to our bodies like man made kinds.

So how  much should we eat and how? Ideas vary slighlty on how much one should consume daily. However, the general consensus is about three and a half tablespoons a day for adults. Now the experimental part, like I mentioned before I’ve put it on my face never in my body so I was hesitant that I wouldn’t like the flavor or consistency. When used in moderation it’s not bad! I have heard that you can use it as an alternative to using butter in most recipes so my first thought was to replace the butter on my toast with coconut oil and I was amazed. It didn’t have a coconut taste and its consistency was like that of butter. With such a bland taste it served the purpose of giving my toast that moisture I seek when applying butter to it. The great thing I found was that in order to cover my slice of bread I needed quite a bit of it so a piece of toast served as one of my three tablespoons in itself. I also decided to get a little brave and added it to my rice and broccoli instead of using butter. Over all it’s a healthy kitchen tip I intend on keeping.

If you don’t have the time to insert coconut oil into every meal then here is something interesting. When speaking with my grandmother about the topic, who is very health savvy, she told me that every morning she takes a spoon full of coconut oil and eats it plain! I know, seems like it would be completely unappealing right? I haven’t tried this tactic myself to get my daily dose but I’ve experienced putting coconut oil in my mouth alone when I tried oil pulling the other night, which I will post about very soon. I basically swashed coconut oil in my mouth for twenty minutes. In a nut shell even if you don’t get the recommended daily dose of coconut oil, making an effort to incorporate it into your life style in various ways will be beneficial to your over all health.

 

 

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Bonjour Peu Rose Tasse!

Translation: Hello Little Pink Cup!

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Recently Starbucks made a new, delightful, delicious and fun addition to the bakery portion of their stores, La Boulange. This privately owned bakery was envisioned by a French man with a passion for food. He would go on to open his first bakery in 1996 in San Francisco California.
The merging of La Boulange and Starbucks is a match made in heaven. Most coffee drinkers and cafe loungers would agree, you go for the food and drink but stay for the warm inviting atmosphere. Both companies share the belief that sitting down and having your croissant and coffee isn’t just about tasting your croissant and coffee but, also about creating a welcoming environment where customers can relax and essentially enjoy their pastries and one of a kind beverages.
How I stumbled upon this new company is a tad odd. I was in the Starbucks drive through in a hurry to catch up on my new latest television obsession Revenge on Netflix when I was handed my tall double chocolaty chip frappuccino light on the ice with no whip cream with no card board sleeve. I know they’re only intended for hot drinks, I know, but why should I have to hold a cold cup? So I kindly asked for a sleeve when suddenly I saw the cutest pinkest card board sleeve I had ever seen being handed to me through that drive-thru window. I immediately knew I had to write about it! My boyfriend ordered one of their pastries, a cinnamon bun with a citrus twist (UHmazing), and received it in a similar pink bag. I think this was a genius way to brand themselves, and I am just sad to know they won’t be distributing them permanently.
Take a trip to your local Starbucks, seems there’s one on every corner these days, and experience the new addition to the notorious coffee cafés bakery section. For now, au revoir!

The Trouble With Pills

Unfortunately I have not been able to write for quite some time due to an agonizing month of medical problems. Between ear infections and throat infections I was able to set aside time to reflect on my next blog entry, on my future and essentially my over all health.
I probably had been to the doctor over six times over the course of the month I was sick. With that I was prescribed several pills to fight the bug I had. Anyone who has taken pills from the doc knows they’re not always coated, and they leave the most FOUL taste in your mouth aftert several attempts to get it to go down. So where am I going with this? Well after one day of having to take these pills I was fed up! I researched ways to make the experience less awful and there wasn’t much. Then I found one that seemed logical. So I tried it and it’s literally changed my life when it comes to taking pills!
What’s missing from these pills and what makes it hard to go down is it’s lack of coating. The minute pills like this hit your tongue they start to dissolve leaving not only an awful taste but it almost latches onto your tongue! (Yuck)
The solution? Olive oil.
Simply dropping your pill in a little puddle of Olive oil will coat your pill long enough to quickly place it in the back of your mouth and take a gulp!
It’s that easy guys.
I didn’t dread taking my medication anymore. In fact, I was excited because I wanted to write to you about my experience with it! So many people have trouble taking pills, and this could be a game changer for many.
Do you take pills? Try this out and write to me about your experience 🙂

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Experiencing a weighted greasy head? Does your  hair have oily roots no matter how many times you wash it? Then I have a solution for you! Apple Cider Vinegar! Um, wait what? Yes you read that right, apple cider vinegar can work wonders for your hair. Recently I found that rinsing your hair with vinegar can clear build up as well as promote shiny hair. After doing some in-depth research on the validity of using vinegar in the shower this is what I found.

*Science Time! – Our hair is considered to be mildly acid and has a natural pH level of around 4.5, which is why apple cider vinegar makes the perfect rinse because it has a pH level of about 2.9. Our everyday hair products typically have a very high pH level around 8 or 9! Aside from pH levels it also increases blood circulation in the scalp and helps to keep our hair cuticle (the outer layer) tight and not flaky. Hair is naturally  more silky, shiny and tangle free when the hair cuticles aren’t damaged and open.

Healthy Hair Cuticle

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Damaged Hair Cuticle

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To create your mask all you need is:

– Apple Cider Vinegar

(any kind will do, many like to use the brand “Braggs”, but I bought plain Publix brand to try it out)

Rinse Steps

  1. Shampoo hair as normal
  2. Mix one part acv to three parts water (this part may vary and you may have to try different portions before finding one that works for you!)
  3. Pour/Spray mixture onto scalp and the ends of your hair. The ends are the most important part of the hair to cover, because this is the portion that experiences the most damage.
  4. Let your acv set for about three to five minutes
  5. Rinse and condition as normal

I found this to be extremely easy and effective. You could really even replace your conditioner with this rinse if you found it to work! In the long run you would be doing your hair a favor. I recommend only doing this routine about once every couple weeks. Depending on the type of hair that you have, doing this routine too often could leave your hair dry.

My Experience: I was very eager to try new washing/rinsing techniques, because I have always suffered from an oily scalp. This would indicate to me that my pH levels are off. My grandma has always stressed the wonders of apple cider vinegar so when I found this idea online I had to try it! And let me tell you, I am so glad I did. One day after letting my hair dry from my shower I found my hair to still be slightly greasy and heavy at my roots so the next day I turned to trying the acv rinse. Typically after shampooing, my hair feels knotty and heavy and doesn’t have the silky flow it should. However, after applying this mixture to my hair instantly I could feel silky untangled hair flowing through my hands. It was incredible! For me this is a game changer. Often when I get out of the shower my hair is so tangly I actually need the help of my mother to get the knots out. Embarrassing, I know! Which is why I have decided to make rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar a regular routine. I have had no problem getting a brush through my hair since. Now many of you I’m sure are wondering, “Doesn’t your hair smell like vinegar all day?!” The answer is no. You will have a strong odor while showering and while your hair is wet, but after it dries you shouldn’t smell a thing! I, however, have a super keen sense of smell so I get tiny whiffs throughout the day, but others have told me they don’t smell a trace of it. I highly recommend this treatment to people with all kinds of hair who are looking for an inexpensive and natural way to obtain healthier and smoother hair.

Brown Sugar and Honey Exfoliant

My cousin is getting married in April, and Saturday we celebrated her bridal shower! My mom, being the maid of honor, was in charge of putting it all together, including the party favors. Planning on a budget can be a difficult task for an upscale bridal party. Not only did she have to plan something inexpensive, but she also had to ensure it was something that wasn’t time consuming. Being the Pinterest savvy mother she is, she found an awesome idea for body scrub! I thought it was so adorable, affordable and effective I had to share it with you.

Honey exfoliant

As many of you who have used over the counter facial and body scrubs know, name brand exfoliators can get outrageously pricey. As I discussed in my last post Honey has more uses for your day to day life than just in the kitchen. Same goes for brown sugar! When the two are combined with olive oil it creates a great body/facial scrub.

Why is this good for your skin and how does it work?

The brown sugar component to your scrub acts as the main exfoliator and has anti-bacterial properties. This is the perfect ingredient due to its fine granulated pieces which act to take off any dead skin you may have. Other scrubs, if the pieces are too large can cause microscopic tears in your skin leaving you with more damage to heal later. If you have been using a scrub similar to the one I have described don’t fear! The honey in your new scrub will help with the healing process. Not only can it help with tears in the skin, acne and cuts but it feels great against the skin and gives your scrub the right texture and consistency.  The last key ingredient is olive oil. This part actually strengthens your skins immune system and is proven to slow aging! Amazing right? Not to mention, it adds moisture to your skin and makes your scrub easy to apply.

To create your exfoliator all you need is:

  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of honey

(This will be enough for you, not a whole bridal party)

Exfoliation Steps

  1. Combine ingredients in any order (add more as you see fit it won’t hurt!)
  2. Make sure your face is clean and damp/ use after washing in the shower
  3. Apply your mixture to your skin and scrub for 1-2 minutes
  4. Wash off with warm water and apply moisturizer if needed

I recommend repeating this treatment one or two times a week. Any more than that you run the risk of irritating your skin. The purpose of an exfoliator is to remove dead skin and leave your new skin feeling clean and refreshed.

My Experience: I found that my mixture was a little too olive oily for me. It took a few moments to get in the groove of scrubbing because the brown sugar tended to clump together. However, once I got the right flow between my hands it was able to break up enough for me to massage it into my skin. Once this happened it felt a lot like any other exfoliator. I was excited to test this out because I never use exfoliators due to my sensitive skin. After washing it off I found that my skin was incredibly soft! But as I went to look in the mirror I found a few patches of redness that lasted at least thirty minutes. This was probably due to the fact my skin is SUPER sensitive. Will I keep this as one of my routines? Probably not but I’m willing to give it another chance. I’d be curious to know how this worked for others so if you take a stab at it let me know!

Honey Miracle Mask

Have you heard the buzzzzzzz?! Honey is your ticket to perfect skin! After being fed up with my over oily, acne prone, inflamed skin I was desperate for a solution. In the past I have seen a dermatologist for my ongoing acne problems, but unfortunately nothing worked. Nausea, rashes and irritated skin were the result of all those countless trips to the doctor. So I took matters into my own hands and did some research. Turns out there are TONS of natural ways not only to rid skin of blemishes but to heal it. All with items that can be found in your kitchen cupboard!

One treatment idea I found was  raw honey. Apparently honey has been dated back to ancient Egyptian times where they not only used it for its healing powers to enhance the healthiness of their skin but also to heal wounds. Its been said that Cleopatra used to bathe in honey to achieve radiant skin.

*Science Time! – When raw honey is mixed with water it creates hydrogen peroxide, which is used as a mild antiseptic that is helpful for cuts. It also contains amino acids which allow your skin to retain moisture and shed dead skin cells. Although it adds moisture, it is able to wick away bad oils while leaving the skin with the beneficial oils. Honey also aids blood circulation which plays a key factor in beautiful even skin tone.

To create your mask all you need is :

– 2 tbsp raw honey

( I just used some raw honey layng around my house but I have read that Manuka Honey works wonders) You can purchase raw honey from Walmart for as low as $6.88.

Mask Steps

  1. warm 2 tbsp of honey in microwave for 10 seconds (optional)
  2. take dime size amount on finger and start to lather your entire face – apply more as needed
  3. leave mask on for at least 30 minutes (I like to leave mine on for about an hour)
  4. rinse face with warm water

It’s that easy!

For a simple spot treatment, take a dime size amount of honey and leave on over night. Honey is the perfect over night solution to pesky zits because unlike other over the counter spot treatments, honey won’t dry out your skin and cause future irritation.

**For a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammatory agent, add a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon to your mixture

My Experience: After the first night of doing the honey mask I was AMAZED! I never expected to have such soft and glowing skin after rinsing it off. Some reviews have complained of the honey being too thick, messy and annoying to put on, but I say its worth it! I try to do the mask twice a week for an hour, but you could easily turn your honey mask into a nightly routine to wash your face. Be warned! Honey cannot be used to remove eye makeup. With that said, try it and let me know how it worked for you. As you will often hear me say, everyone is different so everyone may not enjoy it, but this is one routine I plan on sticking to.

Beauty Beginnings

Seems lately, almost daily, I’ve been discovering new alternative beauty tips on the internet (mostly Pinterest!). Many times I’m skeptical of them due to the lack of reviews but I brave them anyway. My goal is for others to benefit from the knowledge I have to offer on natural and inexpensive beauty tricks such as using honey as a facial mask, baking soda as shampoo and even oil as face wash! These are just some of the many that I’ve tested, and I hope to provide some in depth analysis of my experiences. Keeping your body cleansed of harmful chemicals is the goal with my quirky and unconventional routines.