Thursday, May 20, 2010

Coconut Crazy!

I read the most interesting book last weekend, "The Coconut Oil Miracle", that I highly recommend. I have been substituting other cooking oils for coconut oil for several months now but had not tried using it on my skin. But now that I know how powerful the oil is for skin and hair, I am replacing my moisturizers (and Retinol)with it and hope to turn back into a 30 yr old very soon!

What I learned is this:
~ commercial creams are mostly water and will soften skin only until the water
evaporates or is carried away in the bloodstream
~ most lotions contain some type of processed vegetable oil that is stripped of
all of the natural, protective antioxidants that are so important to skin care
~ coconut oil has anti-aging properties by removing dead cells on the skin, giving
a smoother, healthy glow and by strengthening the connective tissues that
supports skin, to help with wrinkles & sagging
~ coconut oil will protect the skin from germs, infection and bacteria
~ the anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil aid in healing skin conditions
~ coconut oil protects the skin against UV light and free radicals
~ applying the oil to your scalp will control dandruff and makes the best
conditioner for soft, healthy hair

Next I am going to try coconut oil soap and coconut cream concentrate for baking. The book also had some great sounding recipes with coconut oil that I can't wait to try. If you are skeptical, do the research like I have and you will see that coconut oil is the best kept secret!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The "Real Thing" is Really Bad!

There are some things in our American culture that - through advertising - become a part of our lives and a symbol of happiness. Whenever I see the red Coca Cola can I think of puppies licking a cute little boy along with the tune "Have a Coke and a Smile". Cokes represent good times, bubbly refreshment, yummy taste and an energy kick. It seems like we are being unAmerican to question the integrity of the product or to turn against it (McDonald's is another example).

But as our country continues to get fatter and unhealthier, we really need to stop supporting all of the products that are bad for us, even though we grew up with them and get warm fuzzies seeing the familiar logos. These companies are well aware of the potential (and proven) health risks with their products. Yet they continue to try to fool us into thinking that there is no danger in their consumption. Diet Coke has even partnered with The Heart Truth "Healthy heart" campaign for women (which is why there are big red hearts on cans)when there is evidence that their
products can contribute to increased heart risk!

Let's go over the facts about Diet Coke:

> The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid, which will dissolve a nail in
4 days. Think about what it can do to your stomach lining! It also leaches
calcium from bones for osteoporosis risk increase.

> To carry Coca Cola concentrate, trucks must use Hazardous Material placecards
reserved for highly corrosive materials

> Distributors of Coke have been using it to clean their truck engines for 20 yrs.

> The articial sweetener Aspartame in diet coke is heat unstable and breaks down
into formaldehyde and other toxins when exposed to high heat (and aren't cokes
stored in hot warehouses and trucks before getting to the store?)

> Studies have shown that exposure to aspartame can cause symptoms of MS, seizures
vision problems and many other physical health problems.

> Even if you have not felt any of the poisoning effects of aspartame, the long-
term effects are unknown. And it is believed that slow, silent damage could be
seen after one year, five years or even 30 yrs, and possibly irreversible.

> Even the FDA denied approval of aspartame for 8 years, until a newly appointed
commissioner overruled the final scientific review panel, approved aspartame,
and then proceeded to work for the initial owner of aspartame's PR firm! And
how much can we really trust the FDA???

> Use of artificial sweetener products will confuse your body into thinking that
glucose is on its way (after tasting the sweetness) but then when it doesn't
receive the sugar, will send messages to the brain that you need more sugar!
So there are more sugar cravings that lead to weight gain.

I started drinking diet coke to wean myself off of my sweet tea habit,about 15 years ago. I drank one can every morning (since I don't drink coffee) plus one or two more in the afternoon/evening. I even had diet cokes in our frig here at Trim Up
for sale! But after taking the time and effort to really improve all aspects of my diet, I eventually ditched the daily coke habit and now drink more water and green tea,sweetened with Stevia (a natural sugar substitute). I still enjoy a diet coke
occasionally but feel so much better after getting it out of my system! Yay!!