Coconut Oil

I think I have mentioned in the past that I LOVE coconut oil. I started using it about a year or so ago. It’s been the past few months that I hardly ever skip a day not taking some, I live for the stuff. I can seriously tell a difference in how I feel when I take it vs. when I don’t take it. A big plus? It seriously helps with sugar cravings!!! I just feel so much better when I’m taking it! I also use it for many other things besides ingesting, I have a jar just for external uses. I use it as my moisturizer, makeup remover, and lotion, just to make a few.

So, whats the big deal? I ingest it and use it for other things, but why?

Coconut oil is….

·       Anti-inflammatory
·       Antimicrobial
·       Antifungal
·       Antiviral
·       Improves nutrient absorption

It’s also one of the highest in saturated fats which is good for us!! Did you know the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated? The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.* So, consuming coconut oil is very healthy for our heart, and that’s just the beginning.

What else can it be good for? I like this article 80 Uses For Coconut Oil. She breaks the 80 uses up into Personal Hygiene/Body, General Health and Wellness, Health Problems (that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when taken internally), Health Problems (that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when applied topically), Cooking, and Other Uses.

If you’re looking for a good book I recommend this one, Virgin Coconut Oil by Brian & Marianita Jader Shilhavy. They have a lot of good information and testimonies.

Can I use any coconut oil? There are two different types of coconut oil, expeller pressed (refined) or regular unrefined coconut oil. Regular unrefined coconut oil has the coconut smell and taste but has all the saturated fats, etc still in the oil. Expeller pressed (or refined) does not have the coconut taste or smell BUT only has about half the saturated fats, etc in the oil. Both are good for you, just one better than the other. I used the expeller pressed when cooking and don’t want the coconut flavor in whatever it is I’m cooking/baking. I will say, in some goodies it is yummy, if you like coconut flavoring. Don’t ever purchase Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, there is no such thing, you’ll just be paying more for the name.

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My personal favorite coconut oil company is Tropical Traditions. They have three different types of coconut oil, Gold Label, Green Label, and Expeller Pressed. The Gold Label is where you are going to get the most benefit from coconut oil, it is made in a more natural way. You get the most benefits from the Gold Label because machines aren’t used to make the Gold Label. The Green Label is high quality machine-made coconut oil, still very good for you. You already know about Expeller-Pressed but did you know the modern way of processing coconut oil is by chemical extraction, using solvent extracts, which produces higher yields and is quicker and less expensive? Tropical Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil DOES NOT use solvent extracts.

There it is, I love coconut oil. I have actually gotten rid of all oils in the house (besides olive oil) and replaced them with coconut oil. I know my family is healthier because of it.

*Virgin Coconut Oil by Brain & Marianita Jader Shilhavy

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Let’s Talk Gelatin

I know what you’re thinking…”we need to eat more jello?”. Not exactly. Gelatin is my new favorite! I put it up there with coconut oil (yes, I know, I still need to blog about my love affair with coconut oil), I love coconut oil and now I love gelatin!! Here is why….

I first read this blog post, “Better Than Botox:…” by Mommypotomus, about 2 or more months ago. After reading it I was intrigued and wanted to buy some gelatin. Who doesn’t want nice skin, strong hair and nails, etc? Plus it can help joints and repair damaged digestion? Yes please. The joints would be for me, the damaged digestion would be for my husband. I really wanted to try this stuff, but then I forgot about it.

About a month later I came across this blog post, “Gelatin Health Benefits and Uses” by The Coconut Mama. She went into a little detail how gelatin helps gut health, bone health, joint health, and skin & hair health. After reading this post I immediately ordered some gelatin and couldn’t wait for it to get here.

It has now been over 3 weeks since I’ve been taking 2 tbs a day and the difference has been amazing! I read somewhere that it can take 2 weeks to 2 months to feel a difference but I felt a slight difference in one week. Now coconut oil (which I take everyday) can help curb sugar cravings, and it does. Adding gelatin to that? Not only do I not have sugar cravings, I don’t really have any cravings at all. When I start to feel hungry it’s actually a lot easier to reach for something that is healthy for me. That’s a miracle in itself! Haha! It was the lack of cravings I noticed at first, along with a just generally feeling better, I was loving it.

At about 2 weeks into taking gelatin I came across this blog post, “The #1 Reason to Eat More Gelatin” by Nourishing Joy. If I wasn’t sold on taking gelatin yet (which wasn’t the case), I was definitely sold after reading this. To back track just slightly, I have been dealing with heartburn for almost a year. It came out of nowhere and I absolutely hate it. It has kept me up at night in massive pain (yes, the first time I had it I seriously thought I was having a heart attack), and has put a damper on what I can eat. Ugh!! Well, the night before I read this last blog post I had eaten meatballs cooked in BBQ sauce, one of my family’s favorites. I knew better, it was the BBQ sauce that would do me in, but I wanted some SO BAD! Well, the next day as I was reading the blog post and reading the benefits of gelatin, and one of the benefits listed was “Gelatin reduces heartburn, ulcers, and acid reflux by binding acids with the foods”, I suddenly realized that I had not dealt with heartburn the night before. That was a first in forever! I called Papa Bear and couldn’t shut up about the stuff. I was so excited.

It has now been over three weeks since I’ve been taking 2 tbs a day. I add it to my morning shake. I buy this brand/kind because it dissolves well in liquid. The #1 reason the gal from Nourishing Joy gives for taking gelatin, is having a sense of well-being. That is totally true! I cannot begin to tell you just how good I feel, maybe even great. Seriously people, I love this stuff!

Besides helping with my cravings, heartburn and feeling good over all, here are a couple other things I’ve noticed while taking it…..I’m not as hungry, and I haven’t dealt with depression as much (the coconut oil has helped that too but by adding in the gelatin I’ve noticed even more of a difference). I do want to add more gelatin to mine and my family’s diet, those blog posts I shared also have links to make jello, fruit snacks, and more.

I highly recommend reading the blog posts I linked on here, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Now some say they can’t taste anything by adding the gelatin to their water but I disagree, I taste something, but I cannot taste any extra flavor when I add it in my shake in the morning. Everyone is different.

If you don’t read the blogs I posted (which you should, they give A LOT more info than I do, they’ve done all the studying) please don’t just go out and buy any old jello, you need grass fed beef. The brand pictured below is what I buy (which I linked to earlier and each blog I have linked each have links also). The green can is the gelatin that will dissolve in liquid. The orange can is the gelatin to make jello, fruit snacks, etc. with.

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Depression

I am no where near being any kind of health professional so, what I will be writing is my own personal experiences and what I have done to help get on the road to healing. I was planning on blogging something else this week (maybe I’ll still get to it) but in light of the death of Robin Williams, the “depression” subject (I know, everyone seems to be sharing something about him and/or depression) has been weighing on me and I felt impressed to share what I have learned.

I finally came to terms that I dealt with depression about 9 or 10 years ago.  When I finally started seeking help that’s when I realized I had dealt with it off and on since I was a teenager.  Not to the extent as it was just some years ago, but I believe it was the start of it.  It had made married life harder than married life already is.  I know my husband wondered what he had married many times in our marriage.  We had been married over six years by the time I realized I had a problem and started going to a homeopathic Dr., what she gave me helped a bit but talking with friends that dealt with it, I think, made more of the difference.  It helped me understand it better and that I wasn’t alone.  Getting my husband to understand it was even harder, he wanted me to just “snap out of it”.  If you deal with depression you know that isn’t possible.  Within months of me getting help we were talking with a good friend one time who didn’t deal with depression himself, but was surrounded by it with family.  He said something that both made my husband and I understand that it was something very real that I was dealing with, he said “Telling a depressed person to ‘snap out of it’ is like telling a person having a heart attack to ‘snap out of it’, they physically cannot do it”. That was so perfect and my husband has since been a lot more understanding and helpful.  It’s still been a struggle, but we get though it.

I was reading a blog post yesterday on someones thoughts about depression.  One thing he mentioned was that depression is a spiritual issue.  Ok, I can see where for some people that might be the case, but I’ve been a Christian my whole life.  I already had God and His Spirit in my life yet for weeks on end I felt like I lost Gods trust in me.  I prayed, read my scriptures, went to church every Sunday, and did all I was supposed to be doing, yet I felt like God deserted me, I couldn’t feel His presence at all.  It was horrible.  I soon learned that depressed people can get so sick that they cannot feel Gods Spirit.  That made me feel so less horrible, I wasn’t a bad person!!!  I was just sick!  It still took awhile to get out of it, but knowing I was just sick gave me hope.  It definitely helped.

As time went on we moved from Washington State to California.  Having the sun out more often helped for awhile, but then it all came back.  I had since quite my homeopathic pills and decided I needed to see a Dr. for meds.  I did and was on meds for a year or so.  It helped but I never felt 100% right.  It was like the meds were just hiding my symptoms, not getting rid of them, which was exactly right.  I stopped taking meds when I got pregnant with cub #5 and I haven’t taken any since.  It’s definitely not been easy, but I have learned to handle it.  I could always tell that what I ate had an effect on my depression but it was hard to stay eating healthy for some reason, or what my version of healthy was.

In the past year, and especially the past few months, I have been slowly changing eating habits and what we are eating.  Boy, have I seen the biggest difference there!  Sugar is one of the worst things ever for depression!!  I love this post from Sarah at The Healthy Home Economist.  The sugar part was something I already knew and believed in, but sometimes it’s hard to stay away from sugar, especially when you are craving it.  But by upping my healthy fat intake, well, what a difference that has made!!  Yes, I still have bouts with depression, but they haven’t been as bad.  Another plus is by upping my healthy fat intake I am less hungry and I’m not craving sugar!!  I never thought I would ever find something that could help cure that, but I did AND in a super healthy way.  That’s always a plus!!  I truly feel that there is a possibility that I could someday be healed from depression by eating healthy, real whole foods.  It will take quite awhile, but if I can keep it up things can only get better. 🙂

Sunburns

With summer here and everyone spending time at the pool, beach, or any other outdoor excursion, some of us tend to get a sunburn. My favorite thing to use for the pain and to help heal is aloe from an Aloe Vera plant (yes, straight from the plant) and coconut oil. Either mix them together or rotate putting them on the sunburn. Best thing in the world!!! I have even witnessed some sunburns lighten up drastically by the next morning. Love!