Coconut Oil: The Body’s Saving Grace

I discovered coconut oil a few years ago and it was that single discovery that changed my skin and hair care regiment for the better and no, I am not being over dramatic. Coconut oil has become my saving grace and I use it for everything. It is my go to all natural product when it comes to moisturizing my skin, hydrating my hair, and even when I feel like my metabolism needs a little boost.

I first decided to turn to coconut oil when I started suffering from terrible razor burn. My legs would break out into red, sore, and itchy bumps almost immediately after shaving. So, before and after every shave I rub coconut oil into my skin. Doing this before shaving helps soften the hairs and in turn provides a smoother stroke of the razor. Doing it after as well helps stop or alleviate any irritation that may come as a result of shaving.

Coming from a long line of sensitive skin, finding a solid moisturizer that replenishes my skin and doesn’t make me breakout has been a major struggle in my life. Coconut oil has been my cure-all for all of the above. Having battled with acne for years, going to the dermatologist as a last resort was a must. Unfortunately, the topical treatments prescribed, though they’ve helped, have done a number on my skin. I wake up with extremely dry and flakey patches everywhere. Scooping out some coconut oil with my fingers and rubbing it into my face, once cleansed and dried, has helped immensely. It moisturizes and helps my skin remain hydrated throughout the day.

Not only does coconut oil help you retain moisture but it is great for those who are battling acne. I know, I know, using oil on your skin to help combat acne? I was skeptical too but after a little bit of research, I learned that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties. So, it not only assists in combating pimples that are getting ready to surface but it also helps bring the swelling and redness down as a result of pre-existing acne as well. Coconut oil also helps in healing any open wounds and therefore is great for severe cases of acne as well.

Coconut oil is also great for your hair. If you partake in the daily struggle that is dry hair, then coconut oil could be what you need. This oil contains a ton of natural vitamins that will assist in revitalizing your lavish locks. Before you go to bed and after you shower, take a small amount into your hand. Remember, this is oil so a little goes a long way. Too much may result in your hair looking greasy in the morning. Continue by rubbing it into your head, focusing on your scalp and ends.

You can also use this as a hair treatment as well. Taking a bit more, really work it into all parts of your locks. Tie it up and put a shower cap over your hair. Leave it in for about two hours and rinse your hair well. Once your hair dries you will see how much softer and lively your hair looks and feels.

Coconut oil also contains a ton of natural fats, Medium Chain Triglycerides to be exact. So, working this into your diet is a must if you’re looking to combat body fat and also boost your metabolism. There are tons of ways you can do this too. You can simply use it to cook. Instead of using cooking spray, butter, or margarine to grease your pan, use some coconut oil instead. You can also add some into your coffee and tea as well. It makes for a great all natural sweetener. You could also just consume it by itself as well. A few teaspoons a day will definitely do the trick!

Coconut oil is a must all natural product to have around. You can ultimately use it for everything and anything. It’s great for dry or irritated skin. A few coats and your skin will feel softer than ever! It will also help you get the volumized hair of your dreams and it will assist you in your latest weight loss adventure. But remember; be sure to get unprocessed and all natural oil. Anything else will just negatively impact whatever you are trying to accomplish in terms of weight loss, skin care, or hair care.

So what do you think Damsels? Is coconut oil going to become your go to?

 

Tis’ the Season of Illness: Five ways to Boost your Immune System this Winter Season

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Or if you’re like me and haven’t even touched your decorations yet, it’s at least certainly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. And while Santa is getting ready to pack up his sleigh with present galore, your immune system is gearing up for war. That’s right my Damsels, tis’ the season of stuffy noses, scratchy throats, and that dreaded thing called the flu. With the season of illness upon, it’s best to gear up our immune systems with the best defense possible!

Sleep is the number one thing you can do when trying to strengthen your immune system. After a long day, your body needs time to recharge so those late night instagram stalking sessions (we all know we do it) are going to need a new time slot. Only you know your body and everyone is different in terms of how much sleep they need but aim for at least a solid eight hours. People often forget (myself included) that your body heals the most at night and therefore sleep is essential for remaining healthy and at your best.

If you’re a smoker or go out for a drink often, it’s best to cut back on that for a bit. Tobacco and alcohol weaken your immune system immensely. Tobacco raises the risk of things such as bronchitis and pneumonia while alcohol increases the risk of lung infections. This is why sometimes after a night of partying you wake up feeling sick and no, I am not talking hangover sick.

Incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet is another sure-fire way to assist your immune system in its flu season defenses. Fruits and veggies are not only good for you but the nutrients they provide help boost your immune system and filter out all of the bad stuff that goes into your body throughout the day. This is why when people cleanse they usually do so with fruits and vegetables. They also help boost your body’s antibody response, which in turn helps your body fight off germs and lingering illnesses.

Along with this adding a little lemon water into your diet, specifically in the morning, can help tremendously. Lemon water is another way to detox your body. Along with this, a glass of cold lemon water in the morning will help kick start your body for the day.

Even with all of these, adding some natural supplements into your diet can’t hurt either. My personal go to when I start feeling under the weather is echinacea. It’s a herb native in the Rockies that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It comes in several different forms but the two most common are in pill form and tea form. I usually take one pill in the morning and if I really feel something coming on drink a cup of tea before I go to bed. It’s a quick and easy way to help strengthen your immunity during this winter season.

So remember my Damsels, in the midst of this brutal and busy winter season, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Your health is the most important thing so do everything you can to maintain it!

The Wonders of Honey: Cleansers, Exfoliants, and Facemasks, Oh My!

Raw honey, two words that make me weak in the knees. Okay, I’m totally kidding (not really) but raw honey has definitely become my go-to for all of my exfoliating, cleansing, and facemask needs. This simple household product is extraordinarily underrated. Raw honey is filled with anti-bacterial properties which makes it a fantastic cleanser as well as its hygroscopic properties which works towards moisturizing. Raw honey can be used in a number of ways in order for you to get that glowing, beautiful skin you have always dreamed of. Plus, it’s one of the only cleansers I know of that is editable, which is always a plus in my book.

As a cleanser, raw honey works wonders. Rinse your face off with warm water first. This gets all of the dirt and oil you’ve collected throughout the day off of your skin and gives you a clean slate. I know, you have to clean your face to wash your face? Well, along will getting the dirt and oils off of your face the warm water opens up your pores, allowing the honey to get deep inside of your pores giving you a maximum cleansing experience. After this is done, just take some out of the jar (as much as you feel you need, too much can’t hurt you) and massage it into your face. Raw honey also has a ridged texture, thus, acting as a mild exfoliant as well.

You can enhance this exfoliation with just a little bit of cinnamon actually. Cinnamon is another great all natural remedy for it is a great natural exfoliant. You can do this by just putting a bit of honey in a bowl, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on it, and mix it together. You can then massage the mixture onto your face and once you rinse you will be able to feel how soft your skin is.

Now if you aren’t amazed by the wonder of honey by now, it can also be used as a face mask as well. There are several things you can do to turn your raw honey into a luxurious face mask. You can just use it as it. Taking a good amount of honey, spread it across your face and leave it on for anywhere from 15-30 minutes. You can also pull from the cinnamon honey mix as well. Mix the cinnamon and the honey together but also add a few drops of lemon juice. Lemon juice has acidic properties, which kills bacteria but also, lightens pre-existing scarring. Spread this mixture across your face and leave it on for at least 15 minutes. This mask is usually my go to at the end of a long week or when I feel some breakouts coming on. Another mask you can also do is that of a honey/tea tree oil mixture. Tea tree oil has anti-viral properties that do wonders for clearing up skin. In a bowl add some honey and few drops of tea tree oil. Now only leave this one on for about 10-15 minutes for the tea tree oil can be a bit drying.

So there you have it, raw honey is the Lord and savior of skin care. It cleanses, exfoliates, and can be used as a mask. Now go and give it a try my damsels and let me know how it goes!

 

How Food Effects the Brain: The Importance of the Letter B and Omega-3s

If you’re anything like me, you find yourself reaching for the sweets after a long, stressful, and a less than cheerful day. That cupcake sitting on your counter, those chocolates sitting in your snack cabinet, and that cookie dough hanging out in your fridge seems to just be calling your name. There’s nothing like curling up in bed and drowning your sorrows in Netflix and comfort foods after a trying day. But, while these foods give you immediate ease and bliss, the long-term effects are much more concerning.

Your typical comfort foods do in fact have a relaxation effect and it all comes down to science, serotonin to be exact. See, people who consume foods high in carbohydrates have high serotonin levels. So, why are comfort foods considered bad for your mental health if they do in fact have positive effects towards your moods?

Lets break this down. Serotonin is a mood boosting neurotransmitter. Now normally, the release of serotonin is controlled by food intake. Other factors, like sleep, can also play a part but food is the more common player in the release of this compound. Now, comfort foods are usually foods high in carbohydrates, which is a direct link to the release of serotonin. Perfect, right? Not really because as always, there is a catch.

The positive effects of comfort foods are relatively short-term and the long-term effects will bring you right back to why you picked up that brownie in the first place. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, sugars, and fats lead to things like weight gain, yeast infections, and low energy, all things that can lead to symptoms of depression.

Now how do we naturally curve those food cravings while improving one’s all around mood? Well according to Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine and nutritionist, the secret is B12 vitamins and Omega-3 fats. B12 is immensely important in one’s neurological system. In order to up your B12 intake, raw dairy products are the way to go. Along with these, food such as eggs, salmon, and organic meats are the gateway to your very own B12 island paradise.

So, where do Omega-3s come in? Well, Omega-3’s are healthy fats and that’s the key right there.The brain is made up of 60% fat so the consumption of healthy fats makes all the difference.  Raw fish and omega-3 supplements are things you should definitely incorporate into your diet.

Now, before I send you off to indulge in a hearty head of broccoli and lean meats, let’ straighten a few things out. You don’t need to ditch the cookies or brownies, I mean who in their right mind really can? As a self-diagnosed chocolate addict, life without sweets sounds painful.  Just remember, balance is key and portions are your friend.

Also, if you’ve been battling with things like depression and anxiety or even if you’re not too sure, talk to your doctor. They are a great asset and will help point you in the right direction. Even if you don’t feel as if therapy or medication is the right track and want to start with simply altering your diet, still talk to your doctor. They will be able to monitor you and ensure you are on the right and healthy track. So, be free my damsels, and enjoy those B-vitamins and Omega-3s. And remember, a little indulgence every now and then never hurt anybody.