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Monthly Archives: March 2012

“Food is Medicine!” Picking out a Good Virgin

“Well, well, well…what do we have here?  Looks like somebody didn’t heed the first commandment of fitness – Never eat before you exercise!”  That’s what I was thinking as I looked at my daughter sprawled on the floor at the entrance to Earth Fare (my favorite grocery store, mind you!) barfing up her lunch after working out for all the customers to see.  Eww!  The store clerks were so gracious to clean up the “accident” and even brought her a hot ginger tea for her to sip to settle her stomach as we ate our dinner there.  Wow, now that’s a grocery store!  Nevermind the memory of our family grossing out their customers, they will have my business for years to come…if they let us back in…Lol!  

Changing gears, I want to discuss picking out a good virgin olive oil, and making sure “she” (I refer to my olive oil in the female) is pure, first cold-pressed, bottle sealed tight, and extra-virgin.  I don’t know about you, but there is nothing prettier than seeing a beautiful Italian, deep olive colored, quality olive oil stored in vintage bottles.   The authenticity and quality of extra-virgin oil is so important to me that I don’t mind dropping a few extra bucks for a good one – as well you should.  This is not an item to skimp on, and luckily a good 17 oz bottle of olive oil ranges from $7 on up, though I have paid more.  I love Mezzaluna’s infused olive oil that they serve in their restaurants for dipping bread in, and was delighted when I was able to purchase it right from them!  They make up batches of their fresh rosemary-lemon infused oils and store in old wine bottles with corks for $20, and I am telling you, I enjoyed every drop of that delectable oil over meats, vegetables, pasta, and bread.  Good olive oil to me is like fine wine, and although I don’t drink, I am a conniseur when it comes to fine oils, vinegars, butter, cheeses, etc. 

I go through a lot of olive oil in my house, on average a bottle a week, as I use it to season my pots before cooking vegetables, beans, rubbing down meats before seasoning, making salad dressings, and drizzling over pasta. To preserve the integrity, and avoid spoilage through prolonged shelf time, I only buy what I need for a week’s time, a 17 oz glass bottle size.  I ONLY buy extra-virgin olive oil in glass bottles, not plastic, as it helps preserve the oil better.  My favorite brand is Colavita or Carapelli.  Make sure it is 100% Italian extra-virgin olive oil and “first cold pressed” – that’s the best. And make sure you screw the cap on tightly after using and store in a cool dark place – preferably away from the stove area, to help preserve the integrity of the oil.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t reach for my olive oil in the kitchen when I am cooking.

So there you have it.  Invest in quality, buy small, and be liberal with your use in the kitchen.  And be adventurous and experiment with different flavor infused olive oils or types. I have several different bottles of olive oil that I use for different tastes I want in dishes. I have a California estate one that is divine over roasted asparagus or grilled salmon, and a garlic herb infused oil that is stellar drizzled over a grilled vegetable antipasto. Either way, the health benefits are definitely there, and you can rest assured that you are doing your body a beautiful favor with every drizzle.

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Food is Medicine!” Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Monday! I had a quite enjoyable weekend. I have plant seeds in hand, and am dabbling with the idea of planting a vegetable garden. I found organic, non GMO (genetically modified) seeds at Earth Fare and was so excited, I grabbed every type of vegetable I thought I would like to grow, along with seeds to plant a lavender bush to perfume the house (Oh how I love the scent of lavender, especially on sheets). One of the produce guys whom I know well jokingly said, “What you gonna do with all those seeds? Are you getting ready for the apocalypse?” I had to laugh, but funny aside, an organic vegetable garden is a great idea, and now is the perfect time to start getting seed ready to go into the ground after our last spring frost is over. I ran into another customer in the store looking at seeds who educated me on the best fertilizers to use, which veggies he grew and liked, and gave me many other helpful hints. That is why I love Earth Fare. There is such a sense of community among customers alike who are on the journey to whole food living, and they are so generous in helping their fellow neighbor along the way. We even joked about both being left-handed (I personally think that lefties are the most smart, creative, and intelligent people on earth 😉 OK, maybe I am being partial… Lol!

Today, I want to share another food is medicine natural food that I consider to be “liquid gold” – extra virgin olive oil! It does not take a rocket scientist to know that olive oil is the healthiest oil to cook with and has a myriad of health benefits. The research is busting out the seams over olive oil. Pick up any healthy food cookbook and I promise you will find olive oil sprinkled in about every recipe. The Mediterranean diet (a good one, I might add, for healthy living) liberally uses olive oil in alot of their dishes. Olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body (a precursor to disease process), lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, prevent cancer, help heal ulcers, nourish the skin, moisturize the hair, is anti-aging, helps the brain, the list goes on and on. One of the greatest benefits is its effect on the cardiovascular system (heart) and healthy cholesterol levels, of which I can most definitely attest to personally. Here is my story…

Being I have a very strong family history of heart disease, I make sure to stay on top of my annual doctor’s visits and get all my lab work done, especially my cholesterol levels. Years ago I had a slightly elevated level, did not pay it much attention, just start revamping my diet and using olive oil as my oil of choice to cook with. At my last annual visit, my lab work came back and all 3 of my cholesterol levels were in PERFECT range! On top of that, to the surprise of my doctor, my HDL cholesterol (the good one), was 93 (average normal around 60). She told me out of all her patients, she has never seen anyone with a high healthy cholesterol level like mine and asked me what was I doing. I told her the only change I can think of was that I use a lot of olive oil in my cooking, and she told me to keep it up! I am happy to report that I boast excellent cholesterol levels, in great part due to adding this liquid gem into my diet. You can too!

Click on the link below and read up on more health benefits of olive oil. We will talk more on making sure your olive oil is a virgin on Wednesday’s blog 😉 Enjoy!

WHFoods: Olive oil, extra virgin.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Food is Medicine!” Coconut oil rids Candida

Last night I had a bad dream that my beloved Publix had closed and was turned into a toy store. In the dream I was saddened by not having the convenience of being able to make a quick run to the grocery store and catch the BOGOF sales. I was so relieved that Publix was still there when I awoke this morning. Might just have to go spend some money there today just to do my part to keep them in business! Weird dream, huh? It could have been that baked ziti I ate at 11:00 last night before going to bed…(Lol!)

Anyway, I wanted to finish talking about coconut oil by sharing a tidbit of information on the benefits of coconut oil to rid Candida (yeast). If you do the research, you will find that alot of ailments that cannot be fully explained have been tied possibly to systemic yeast in our bodies, i.e. unexplained fatigue, hair loss, allergies, bloating, itchy skin, thyroid issues, hormone imbalance, just to name a few. Everyone has yeast in their body to some extent, but yeast overgrowth or imbalance happens when the normal bacterial flora has been compromised due to lowered immune system from illness, overuse of antibiotics, or parasite infections. Yeast being a type of parasite itself, you can see how balance is key and the importance of keeping the “good bugs” in check with the bad ones. A healthy immune system is our first line of defense against illness, and coconut oil has been found to be an amazing natural pathogen killer against yeast, lice, ringworms, etc. In fact, some think that the skin condition eczema, psoriasis, and excessive dandruff are related to a systemic yeast condition that produces an allergic reaction on the skin. Interesting, huh?

Click on the link below to learn about how coconut oil helps rid Candida. I will have a blog in the future talking more specifically about the yeast connection and its effect on our whole body, but for now I hope you find the attached article interesting enough to dig a little deeper on your own. Coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut milk are all wonderful foods that we can incorporate in our diet for lasting benefits and to keep bacterial flora in check. Matter of fact, I think I will go make me a coconut milk banana smoothie right now 🙂 Cheers to a great weekend!

How Does Coconut Oil Kill Candida? | LIVESTRONG.COM.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

”Food is Medicine” Top picks this week. Coconut water and Coconut oil.

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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The stuff…Coconut oil!

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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Food is Medicine!” Coconut Oil

I’m keeping it in the family today! On Monday I introduced you to coconut water, and today I want to introduce you to the king of coconut products when it comes to unsurpassed health and beauty benefits – coconut oil. The research on coconut oil is outstanding and cannot be contained in one blog alone, so I will try my best to do it justice. To put it simply, coconut oil rules supreme! Not only does this oil aid in boosting your thyroid, immune system, insulin resistance, weight loss, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, but coconut oil is an outstanding anti-aging product. And because of its high lauric acid content, it is great for eczema or rough, dry, patchy skin. My daughter had a few eczema spots that cleared right up when using coconut oil. It truly works from the inside out, and the outside in. Let me share with you briefly some of the research and my own personal benefits I have gotten from coconut oil.

First off let me say that all coconut oil is not created equal. You need to look for raw, unfiltered, unprocessed, organic, coconut oil. Nutiva makes a great organic olive oil, along with Garden of Life. Those are the top brands that I have used and that I can attest to. I tried buying a generic brand coconut oil and it was NOT the same. To get the best benefits, I highly recommend you stick with either of those two brands, because the quality is there. Coconut oil can be used both internally and externally, as well as in your cooking. Matter of fact, coconut oil is the best oil to use for high heat cooking, so it is excellent to use to fry with. I love making coconut battered shrimp and frying them in coconut oil – oh my goodness, stellar! I also fry my plaintains in coconut oil, fry eggs, fry my pancakes, and even pop my whole kernel popcorn in it. Some even use it as an oil replacement in their baked goods like muffins and cookies. The health benefits are still there when you cook with it, and is a much better health alternative than some of the other oils. To consume coconut oil, It is recommended to consume 3 tbspn a day for best results. Of course this can be spaced out, and I will either eat it right off the spoon, add it to a smoothie or fiber shake, or put a spoonful in a hot tea I am drinking. It has a light coconut smell and taste to it that you will enjoy.

Did you know that coconut oil can help prevent you from early graying, help thicken and impart glorious shine to your hair, and help aging skin? Look at people who live in the Pacific Islands and how amazing their hair and skin is. I personally can attest to the above as I use coconut oil in my hair and on my skin. For my hair, I use it as a hot oil treatment, or I will rub it throughout my hair before bed, put a head wrap on, and then get up the next morning and wash and condition my hair. My hair is thicker, silky smooth, and amazingly moisturized when I do this, with no greasy residue! My daughter has natural hair, and she uses it as a sealant on her hair for moisturization and to define her curls. My husband uses it on his face and scalp after he shaves himself bald throughout the week, as it helps to prevent folliculitis from shaving. For my skin, I absolutely swear by coconut oil! I must say that to be pushing 40, I am proud of my skin and I attribute it to good genes, and using coconut oil. When I finish showering, the first thing I do is lightly towel off, and then rub down my whole body in coconut oil, paying extra attention to legs, feet, and arms, and any dry spots. I also like to rub it in my cuticles too. Then I follow with my favorite lotion of choice, or you could choose to skip this step (I like the layering effect). My skin looks amazingly toned, supple, and moisturized. I also use coconut oil as a face moisturizer, paying close attention to my lips and eye areas. Just a little dab will do you, so don’t use alot – you don’t want to look like you just crawled out of an oil slick (Lol!). The oil will naturally melt in your hands from your body temperature, so scoop it out in small increments, paying close attention to make sure it is completely rubbed in and absorbed to your skin. Coconut oil has been shown to reverse damaging effects of aging skin and actually increases circulation and suppleness to your skin. In the summer, I like how the sun hits my skin and imparts a golden bronze when I use coconut oil. My husband also compliments me on how delicious my skin feels, smells, and tastes…but we won’t go there 😉

Click on the link below and read up on the amazing benefits of coconut oil. I am telling you, you will fall in love with this product. I love it so much I keep one in the kitchen for cooking, and one in my bathroom for external use on my skin and hair. Before long, you will be buying it by the vat fulls.

Update: I recently came across an article about using coconut oil as a face cleanser. It melts makeup away, and leaves the face soft and dewy. You could follow this up by adding a little baking soda to a little coconut oil for a nice facial scrub. Fantastic and simple beauty regimen. This truly is your all in one!

Dr. Joseph Mercola: Coconut Oil Benefits: When Fat Is Good For You.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Vita Coco Coconut Water – My fav!

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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