Coconut Oil Packets – It’s my Friday Favorite

This week I wanted to share with you a Friday Favorite that I never intended to buy. Ever go to Trader Joe’s and come out with things you’ve never bought before? All the time, right? A couple of weeks ago I bought their box of virgin unrefined coconut oil. I was intrigued by it, but not enough to do anything with it so it went into my pantry and there it sat, until I had a conversation with a client about getting more in our diet while we’re out and about.

After that conversation, I went home and realized I had bought something for this purpose. I had these handy coconut oil packets but never really used them, until this last week. I had a couple of coffee meetings and don’t want to add all the creamers and sugars to my coffee so I popped these little cuties in my bag and off I went.

They worked but I had to have one of the baristas cut the top off since they don’t have easy-to-open tops…or they are Laura proof. But it worked. I stirred it in and my coffee turned into a little vegan bulletproof paradise. Then I started thinking about all the other ways I could use these packets while traveling.

Coconut oil packet uses while traveling

  • If you mix one packet with a packet of sugar available in your hotel room, you have a soothing foot and body scrub.
  • Take one packet and mix it with the used coffee grounds from the coffee pod you just had for breakfast, add a packet of sugar and you have a sweet coffee facial scrub that will wake up your skin and make your skin ultra soft.
  • It’s a great way to continue oil pulling on the road.
  • Need a deep conditioner, work a packet of the oil through your hair before you shampoo, or after you get out of the pool. It protects your hair from the bad chlorine impacts.
  • It also makes the perfect eye makeup remover. Then you can wash your entire face with it and not need a moisturizer.

  • I truly love the sweet coffee scrub.
  • Yes, this is me with absolutely, no makeup on.
  • That’s my Friday Favorite for the week.
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    Minding Your Mind and Keeping Your Memories

    With each pen stroke I made to the paper, my memories emptied themselves into beautiful flowery words. Each memory telling a story off my life. I was running out of ink and paper, I resorted to the crayons I found under the chair and wrote on the walls. Memories of childhood, of going to the little grocery store for my mom and the clerk always gave me a Twinkie because she thought I was such a good girl to do this nice thing for my mom. I wrote I wrote about the time a bee flew into our car and my sister freaking out…this first time I thought about being afraid of bees and bugs was a normal thing. For some reason I couldn’t hold onto my memories.

    My kitchen walls were filled with all the recipes I’ve collected in my mind and memory. Recipes I made from memory. Muffins, donuts, pancakes, veggie soup, avocado bliss, chicken and rice, pesto encrusted salmon all my go to recipes were written on the walls with the crayons I found.

    As the crayons and rooms were spent and filled, I found other things to write with and more areas to write on. I used some sharpees and wrote on the garage floor about all the places I’ve ever traveled to from memory. Writing each one out in detail and seeing where I’ve been seemed to be the most freeing exercise in futility I’ve ever done. I stood back and walked from room to room looking at all I had written…reliving each moment in memory.

    As I wrote reach memory out, my mind emptied itself of all the clutter I collected over the 55 years of my life. But I could no longer remember these memories as they were put down on paper (walls, post-it’s, napkins, tables, floors, shower curtains, etc). My mind was empty. It was like a data dump from a computer to a flash drive. I had no memory left, my mind had to be reformatted to accept and build new memories. I thought to myself “Who’s minding my mind?

    That’s when it happened.

    My alarm went off.

    I sat up to write out this strange dream/nightmare. I wrote in detail which is why I’m sharing this here. I kept thinking that it was only a dream, but it was also a wake up call. Then, as usual, for me at least, I asked myself questions about the dream and about how it related to my life as it is now.

    “Do Alzheimer’s patients feel like this when they are losing their memories? Where do their memories go? Do patients know they are losing their memories?” I don’t know the answers to these questions…but it would prove an interesting study. No…I don’t have memory issues, but in my dream I felt compelled to write everything out. If you looked at my computer monitor, I have sticky notes all around it. My office door is arrayed with sticky notes as is my refrigerator, my pantry, and my front door. All a sign of a busy life.

    “What’s the moral of this story?”

    • Keep remembering the moments in your life but try not to get stuck on in the past.
    • Write them out if you need to and read them. Share these memories with your children and grandchildren.
    • Connect or reconnect with family and friends.
    • Protect your memory.

    Minding your mind also includes making better food choices and eliminating those foods that don’t provide nutritional benefits but robs your body of necessary nutrients to support a vibrant quality of life.

    We’ve been told that fat is a culprit and we should eliminate it from our diets but our gray matter which holds our memories is made up of fat and without the right amount of fat we lose that elasticity and our memories will begin to slip at an earlier age.

    While dairy is a big allergy culprit that is being eliminated from diets across the board. It’s part of the Big 4 (dairy, eggs, sugar, grain) we are suggested to remove from our diets that might improve our life. Well, dairy is one of those food groups that is somewhat difficult to remove if you don’t have a food allergy to it. But there are all sorts of dairy alternatives to choose from. Alternative cheeses are great if you want to ingest all sorts of chemicals which are a detriment to our health.

    Being Italian and having to eliminate cheese is like a fish giving up water. I have tried to find good alternatives to ricotta cheese that didn’t have cashews, potatoes, or starches…and something that’s a good raw alternative! They don’t exist.

    So I went into my memory and came up with my own Macadamia “Ricotta” Cheese.

    Slightly wet ricotta cheese

    Macadamia “Ricotta” Cheese

    • 1 cup organic raw macadamia nuts, water soaked overnight in a covered container
    • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk, no additives or emulsifiers
    • 1 clove garlic, minced and let to sit for 10 minutes to activate the alicin.
    • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
    • 1 teaspoon basil, oregano, Italian seasoning (optional)

    In a nutribullet or high powered blender, purée all the ingredients. Adding a teaspoon of water or more if necessary to make the mixture resemble ricotta cheese. Pour into a container and use as a dip or use as a component of a raw zucchini lasagne.

    Makes 1 cup ricotta cheese.

    Minding our mind and holding onto our memories is up to each of us. We make choices every day that will either keep our memories intact or make them disappear into nothingness.

    Choose wisely and protect those memories!

    Benefits of Water Fasting

    Many of my friends have asked me the age old question, “WHY? Why are you doing this water fasting thing?” My answer is always, “To give my digestive system a break and reset my body into a fat burning machine instead of a sugar burning machine.” They don’t get it as most people don’t understand why someone would put themselves through something this drastic. What they don’t understand is this I am a sugar addict, while I haven’t had any sugar for the last few days doesn’t mean I am cured of being a sugar addict. I will always be a sugar addict just like an alcoholic will always have problems with alcohol.

    I needed to make this change and help my husband also make this change. He too is a carb addict. While he’s trying to do this with me as closely as possible he is having one alkaline veggie juice every night so he can take his medication. Someone asked me if I worried about becoming water logged and if I drink too much water. I’m not because I only drink 160 ounces of water a day. I’m also drinking 3 20-ounce mugs of organic chamomile tea with no sweetener which is part of my 160 ounces of water.  My taste buds have really come back and I’m helping the cells of my tongue regenerate without the bombardment of always needing something sweet.

    One of the first things I’ve noticed after the second day of doing this water fast is my skin doesn’t itch anymore. Last night (third night), I noticed that I had a whole lot more energy and my mind is clearer. It also helps that I lost 8 pounds so far. I know most of it is water weight, but I’m also gaining muscle because I am continuing to do my workouts along with the water fasting.

    I’ve found a slew of information on the benefits of water fasting; I’ve decided not to regurgitate all their material here but give you a set of links to research when you have the time. This way you can make your own informed decision about whether doing a 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, or 7-day water fast is right for you and your situation.

    Let’s get this party started…Wait a minute, while I drink some water.

     

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    My Constant Companion

     

    1. All About Fasting: This place is great for all the different kinds of fasting not just for water fasting. You could choose whichever fast works for you.
    2. How Fasting Can Help You Live Longer: While Dr. Joe Mercola advocates intermittent fasting which is extremely beneficial. He goes into how it can help you live longer and live better.
    3. Reset Your Immune System: We can reset our immune system in only three days of water fasting and our brain grows. As we age our brain shrinks so brain growth is a good thing. Wonder if this has something to do with the clarity that I have now.
    4. Eat, Fast, and Live Longer: This is a documentary done by the BBC that is phenomenal about why we should make fasting part of our lifestyle.
    5. Rejuvenated Power of Fasting: Our bodies need a break and water fasting gives our bodies that break and a chance to heal and rebuild.
    6. Water Fasting for Health: This will go through everything you may experience while on a water fast and how to prepare and come off a water fast.
    7. Fasting is Worth Trying: Here another husband-wife team up to do a 5-day water fast and document their journey.

    Water fasting is a change in mindset. While I’ve had much more time on my hands because I don’t have to pay attention to meal prep or clean up, I’m also not thinking about food like I used to either. I’m looking forward to week two of my 50-day cleanse and adding an alkaline veggie juice to my water regime. Because I’ve changed my mindset, my attachment to food is different. It’s not about filling an emotional need but filling my nutritional needs.

    Take a chance, change your mindset and reset your life with water fasting.

    Creating Change

    Creating change begins in our mind. Reading many articles and books on how the mind can be used to heal our boo boos has led me to finally understand the how and the why we humans can make or break our own lives. It’s been fascinating to watch as my husband transforms his cells from the inside out.

    Different websites tout different foods cause inflammation and cutting back on the culprits will cut down the inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation says these foods are the eight worst.

    • Sugar
    • Saturated Fat
    • Trans Fat
    • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
    • Refined Carbohydrates
    • MSG
    • Gluten and Casein
    • Aspartame
    • Alcohol

    As always I also read about inflammation on the alternative health websites. Dr. Axe says the following foods should be added to this list.

    • Corn and Soybean oils
    • Pasteurized Dairy
    • Conventional Meats

    In reading the many journals on alternative health and inflammation I have found out that it’s associated with almost every health condition we know. By attacking the inflammation we can reverse these diseases and lead a vibrant life. So my husband and I have embarked on a journey to reduce the inflammation, not just with food, but actions, thoughts, and words.

    Attacking the inflammation in our bodies begins with creating the change in our mind. We need to think about every we do, say, eat and think. We can think our way out of inflammation by visualizing ourselves becoming less inflamed. Our cells do what we tell them to. We think our cells do their jobs on their own, they do but to a certain point we can change their trajectory and create the change within us. If we think we hate a certain food and never taste it, then we create this ill feeling when we see or smell it. If we’re inflamed we can talk our bodies out of it by saying how much we love to exercise (lowers inflammation), for instance. We’re then finding ways to exercise. Same is true for giving up all the foods that cause inflammation. If we say how much we love their healthy alternatives, we’ll eat them more often.

    We all have the power to create the change we seek right in our minds. If we think it, we can do it.

     

    My Sugar Behavior

    13 days ago I said my challenge this month was to eliminate sugar from my diet. Okay, it’s been 13 days and I now realize this behavior change is not easy for me. Ever since I made the challenge all I’ve been thinking about is sweet, sugary things. I’ve had peppermint gelato, chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, cookies, white chocolate mocha’s, chocolate candy, and buttery rich gluten free shortbread. I need to get to the bottom of my sugar behavior in order to change this action. On Friday, January 10th was my first day without sugar.

    In the book Who Switched Off My Brain? by Dr. Caroline Leaf, I’ve learned that my behavior is fueled by my thoughts which are fueled by my beliefs. So I’ve decided to change my beliefs about why I think I need sugar. Yes, I know that sugar is bad for me in so many ways. I also know that I can do this because I’ve done it before. I’ve lived without sugar for six years once. I did fine; I stayed at my optimum weight with no problems. So what’s holding me back now? Why am I having so much difficulty eliminating sugar from my diet?

    I think I’m using sugar as a comfort food right now. While I’m trying desperately to let go of some emotional struggles I’m going through, I turn to sugar, aka chocolate as my comfort. Today, I wrote down some of the reasons why I’m quite attached to this sweet ingredient and was pleasantly surprised at what I found out about myself.

    Here are a few of them

    1.  I’m only 50, my grandmother didn’t get type 2 diabetes until she was 71.
    2.  No diabetes here.
    3.  I don’t do this all the time.
    4.  Once a day is not going to hurt me.
    5.  I have one kidney, I don’t want to put any added stress on my body.
    6.  I can eat what I want on the Sabbath.
    7. I deserve a sweet treat after dinner.

    In looking at these and other beliefs I have about sugar, I understand I need to change these beliefs so I can change my sugar behavior. To help me illustrate my new belief with my thoughts and actions, I’ve used the table approach. As I add more positive thoughts and actions that support this new belief I’ll be adding more legs to the table.

    Life is sweeter without sugar

    My thoughts and actions support this new belief and help my new belief stay balanced.

    With each new belief I am moving away from the grip that sugar had on my life. I am also moving forward in my quest to live a healthy and happy life. Changing my beliefs about certain areas in my life is a constant motion in moving forward.

    If we stagnantly stand in the same place, we never grow and we never achieve a new level of wellness.

    FIND WHAT WORKS!

    So many people are saying “This is the best diet out there!” Referring to the blood type diet. Then I’ve heard, “The Paleo Diet is the all time best diet!” There are so many diets out there it’s difficult to choose just one. I think as consumers we need to find what works best for our own bodies and our own lifestyles and just do it. I’ve been told on no uncertain terms that eating the fat-free vegan way is the only way to stop heart disease. And while I was a vegan for a good long while, I always felt like I was missing something. I was, it’s called fat.

    I’m just speaking for myself but I’ve done the research. Our brains need fat, as a matter of fact our brains are made up of at least 60% fat. So if we’re not eating good fats then our brains are starving because we can’t assimilate the fat soluble vitamins and minerals. I’m not getting technical here about how our brains need fat. When I was a fat-free vegan I only ate nuts, and avocados as my fats. I always felt like I was in a fog. When I began to add organic chicken and wild caught, organic fish, I began thinking better but I also began to remember more things than I did when I was a fat-free vegan.

    Find 2

    Why am I telling you all this? Because I went out to find what works for me. Yes, I still have my vegan days at least 4 a week. But I make a conscious effort to choose foods that help me and my body. As to people touting one diet over another, I let them talk. We each need to find what works for us. Yes, I eliminated all sugar from my diet for almost two months then I went into sugar mode where all I wanted was sugary things. Granted the only sugar I use is Succanat (evaporated cane sugar), but it’s still sugar. But I’ve learned to have my sweets and still not wreck my life. I use dates and no sugar dried fruit for my sweets. I’m still feeding my sweet tooth, but I’m doing it responsibly.

    Find what works for you and do it. This is not just about our health, it’s about our life. The point is to be the best you you can be and don’t let people walk all over you. When you find your niche in life, your whole life opens up! You begin to see things differently, and you’ll find that you like yourself a whole lot more when you are you and not trying to fit into a mold that someone else has for you.

    FIND what works for you and you may just find yourself in your own life.

    BELLY FAT GONE IN 4 EASY STEPS

    Let’s face it, we would all love to have washboard abs. But some of us are just starting out get discouraged  looking at photos of men and women who have never had our type of health issues, or have had children. From my own experience I can tell you that you can get rid of Belly Fat once and for all, in 4 easy steps!

    belly fat

    4 EASY STEPS TO BANISH BELLY FAT

    • STAY AWAY FROM LEAVENING AGENTS, SUGAR, DAIRY, AND MOST GRAINS:

    Yeast, baking powder, and baking soda makes bread rise, it will do the same thing to your belly.

     Sugar: is a stimulant that causes our hormones to be unbalanced which makes fat storage easier. So every time you eat something that is sugar (this includes HFCS, and artificial sweeteners even powdered stevia) sweetened you are helping your fat storage system. So if you are in the menopausal state of life, or under stress, eating sugar will help you store more fat, especially in your belly!

    Dairy: I know everyone; everywhere is touting the benefits of Greek yogurt, and how dairy is so good for you. Yes organic is always better. But if you are lactose intolerant, or allergic to dairy, you should not be ingesting dairy. Lactose intolerant people who eat dairy will have more belly fat than those who don’t because of the bloating that accompanies eating dairy. There are other ways to get the calcium you need without subjecting yourself to this form of abuse. (Kale: 205 mg per ½ cup; Chia Seeds: 300 mg per 1.5 oz; Bok Choy: 190 mg per ½ cup; Figs: 135 mg per 5 figs; White beans: 120 mg per ½ cup; Spinach: 99mg per ½ cup; Almonds: 93 mg per ¼ cup; Sesame Seeds: 51 mg per tablespoon)

    Grains: Wheat is the worst because it has been genetically modified for over 40 years to have more gluten (protein) in it. This genetic manipulation has led to many people becoming gluten intolerant. Gluten bloats and causes the body to hold onto that fat. Try going off all grains: wheat, flours, oats, rice, and cornmeal: and anything made with them for 1 month and see what transforms in your body.

    • WATER, WATER, WATER

    In order to flush the fat from our bodies we NEED WATER! If you’re not drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water daily, you will not lose weight. Water mobilizes fat. Plain and simple!

    • EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE

    Sitting and dreaming of belly fat running away from your body will not make it so. Our bodies need to be in motion to get rid of the fat. The more muscle we have the more fat we burn. Find some form of exercise you like to do and keep doing it. I love lifting weights and doing insanity work outs. I work on my Abdominal muscles 6 days a week. The great benefit from doing this is that my back stopped hurting and I dropped 2 sizes in 6 weeks.

    If you have never tried this product you are missing out on its life changing possibilities. Want some extra help in losing that Belly Fat, take ASEA. Why? Because it mobilizes fatty acids from the fat stores in our abdominal region. Which translates into more belly fat being burned for energy while we exercise. For more information on ASEA click here