10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

 

10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

One amazing oil we love to use on a daily basis is coconut oil, and you’ll find several recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, that include this incredible ingredient.

90% of coconut oil is saturated fat – but fear not! This is not the type of fat we need to be concerned about (stay away from trans fats, instead!). Half of the fat in coconut oil is Lauric Acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is converted into monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Many experts recommend taking up to 3 tablespoons of unrefined, virgin coconut oil each day to experience its benefits.

Read on for 10 reasons why we love coconut oil (besides the flavor!):

  1. Cooking: Coconut oil doesn’t break down at high temperatures and it has amazing nutritional properties. Great for cooking eggs, stir-fries, baked goods, and as a replacement for dairy (butter). Perfect for use in raw food recipes too.
  2. Healthy, Glowing Skin: Excellent massage oil, effective moisturizer for dry skin, and anti-aging. Use it daily for happy, glowing skin.
  3. Reduces Joint and Muscle Inflammation: Can be applied topically or consume regularly to help in reduction of joint inflammation.
  4. Hair Care: Helps provides essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. Try massage 1 teaspoon through hair, leave in for 20 minutes and shampoo and rinse.
  5. Heart Disease: The Lauric Acid in coconut oil helps prevent various heart problems and can lower cholesterol.
  6. Weight Loss: Coconut oil boosts metabolism and helps in taking off excess weight. In 1940, farmers tried to fatten livestock with coconut oil, but discovered that the opposite happened!
  7. Digestion: Improves digestive system by easing acid reflux and aiding in proper bowel function, helps in the absorption of nutrients and contains anti-microbial properties to help in dealing with fungi and parasites.
  8. Healing and Infections: Protects against infections, speeds up healing of bruises, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial.
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day has shown remarkable improvement for dementia.
  10. Protects against Cancer and HIV and other Infectious Diseases

3 Health-Boosting Plant Oils to Add to Your Kitchen

 

Three incredible plants oils we love for a healthy, happy lifestyle are Coconut, Hemp, and Olive. 3 Plant Oils for Optimal HealthIf you don’t already include them in your diet, you may not have know what you’re missing….until now! Read on to learn more about these oils and their benefits. We hope you feel inspired to try them out, if you haven’t already.

Coconut Oil. This nutrient-dense oil is obtained from the coconut and is high in saturated fat. But don’t be alarmed! Because of its high lauric acid content, this saturated fat is good for the body and optimal health! Coconut oil has a reputation for being one of the healthiest oils on earth when it is not hydrogenated. Look for virgin coconut oil, which is good for baking, stir frying, and as a dairy replacement for butter. It is solid at room temperature like butter, but will liquefy around 86°F. It doesn’t break down in heat or light and become rancid like many oils.

  • Maintains healthy cholesterol
  • Good for your heart
  • Helps support thyroid
  • Strengthens Immune System
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps stimulate metabolism
  • Can help prevent cancer
  • Helps brain function
  • Benefits your skin
  • Higher smoke point for cooking – can safely cook at high temperatures. Smoke point is 350°F.

Hempseed Oil. This oil has one of the healthiest ratios of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats. Most experts agree that the best ratio of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ranges from 2:1 to 4:1. Hempseed oil has a ratio of about 3:1, or maybe slightly less. Unrefined hempseed oil has a nutty taste and a grassy-green color. It works well in a salad dressing or add a tablespoon to your smoothie!

  • Lowers risk of heart attacks
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Strengthens Immune System
  • May offer protection against colon, breast and prostate cancers.
  • Reduces the amount of side-effects of chemotherapy
  • Anti-aging
  • Counteracts Cardiovascular Disease
  • Fights Psoriasis
  • Helps with Hormonal Balance
  • Rejuvenates hair, skin and nails
  • Good for digestion
  • Low smoke point for cooking of 330°F – don’t cook at high temperatures

Olive Oil. Olive oil is a monounsaturated (MUFA), Omega-9 fatty acid. It’s high concentration of MUFAs, promotes  “good” cholesterol (HDL) while lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL). Olive oil is also gentle on the digestive system, and the unrefined, good quality stuff is loaded with antioxidants and valuable nutrients.

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Decreases risk of heart disease
  • Helps in Cancer Prevention
  • Aids in Digestive Health
  • May help prevent gallstones soothe ulcers
  • Supports overall Bone Health
  • Improves Cognitive Function
  • The smoke point for cooking olive oil ranges from about 200 to 438°F, depending on the quality of the oils. The more refined it is, the higher the smoke point. Extra virgin oil, for instance, is best kept for uncooked uses, as it becomes carcinogenic when heated at even low temperatures.

 

 

References:

https://www.healthambition.com/150-uses-coconut-oil/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/522893-will-coconut-oil-shrink-my-cancer/

http://www.naturalnews.com/030971_coconut_brain_function.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html

http://hempworld.com/hempworldhotels_com/htms/Health/Therapeutic_Hemp_Oil.html

http://www.veria.com/herbs-supplements/hemp-oil-good-for-so-many-things

http://www.livestrong.com/article/137249-benefit-hemp-oil/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/439679-does-hemp-oil-have-all-the-omega-3/#ixzz2ScjL89Na 

http://www.naturalnews.com/029202_olive_oil_smoke_point.html

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5883617_hemp-seed-oil-cancer-treatment.html

http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/olive-oil-benefits-uses-460609

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge / The Kicking Kitchen

[Kendall] Last night, we enjoyed some wheat berries with our Arame Red Cabbage Salad (amazing-for-you sea veggie salad from Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen!) and an impromptu sautéed mix of lentils, carrots, onions, celery and some seasonings. I try to make food prep easier whenever I can, so this morning was leftover wheat berries for breakfast: Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge ! And my creation was not only delish, but also good for you. (Take that, cocoa puffs.)

This can really be made from any leftover grains. If you have brown rice, for example that would also work well. For wheat berries, add 1 cup of berries to 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes, until water is absorbed. This will yield about 3 cups of cooked wheat berries.

Once you have your wheat berries, the rest is simple!

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge

1/2 cup wheat berries, cooked (can also use raw, sprouted wheat berries, if desired!)

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/2 teaspoons raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil

1 teaspoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon raw shredded coconut

If desired, warm up the wheat berries by heating in a pot on the stove over medium heat for a few minutes until warmed through. Ingredients will combine better if it’s warm. Stir honey, cacao, coconut oil, and chia seeds into the wheat berries. Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!

 

 

Energizing Breakfast To-Go: Green Smoothie and Sprouted Grain Toast

 

smoothie and toast sm

So many of us are running out the door in the morning – heading to work, bringing the kids to school – so breakfast sometimes just has to be quick and easy. As much as we know how important and helpful it is to our psychological and physical health to sit down, eat slowly and be mindful of the time we spend eating (rather than scarfing down your food, or skipping breakfast altogether), it just isn’t always easy or even possible.

Here is a very quick and simple breakfast that still packs a nutrient-rich punch: a green protein-rich smoothie and sprouted whole grain toasted with coconut oil. This can also be a great quick breakfast option for kids.

The bread we like is the Food for Life Ezekiel brand, which includes whole sprouted grains, no added sugar or bread smreally much of anything else. It is NOT gluten-free, however sprouted gluten-containing grains are often easier for many people to digest. This particular bread also has raisins and cinnamon. Add some coconut oil and you get some healthy fat as well (and it tastes so yummy on this bread!).

For your smoothie, you can make any combination that appeals to you, just be sure to add in some protein, greens and good fats (like coconut oil, chia seeds, avocado or nut butters) to help sustain you. You may also want to add a banana, berries or a little honey to help sweeten.  This smoothie has water, banana, baby kale, coconut oil, almond butter, and avocado. You can adjust each ingredient to your liking.

Then, just grab your smoothie and toast and you’re out the door!

10 Tips for Shedding Unwanted Weight Effortlessly and Bringing Harmony to Your Body

We hear so much about the latest diet fad and how to lose those extra 10, 20 or 30 pounds withweight some special pill or drink. Many of us have grown up seeing advertisement after advertisement for the next big weight loss program or quick fix. This leads to yo-yo dieting and feelings of failure and inadequacy when we can’t lose the weight we want to lose.

For many cancer survivors, excess weight is one more crappy side effect of conventional treatment, and can add to the lack of energy, strength and balance we feel once treatment is done.

The truth is losing weight is just one part of the picture. And very often fad diets and magic pills might help with weight loss but they create imbalance and stress in the body, weaken the immune system, create fatigue, disrupt proper hormonal function and even put us on an emotional rollercoaster. Even if the weight is lost, it is likely to come back and there are usually other issues in the body that are not addressed or resolved.

When we begin adding in real, whole foods, mostly plants, and focus on that on a daily basis, rather than going on a strict diet or restricting certain foods, the results are amazing, real and long-term. How we eat, our health, our weight – these things are all a result of a lifestyle shift. Rather than going on the on-again, off-again dieting route, instead, it could make all the difference if we begin to make changes in food and diet that we plan to maintain permanently.

To make this work, we can’t be eating in a way that causes deprivation of foods we love, starvation from not getting enough nutrient-dense calories, or an inflammatory, imbalanced environment in the body.

We’re saying get stop dieting, stop counting calories and points. Get real with food and with yourself. Eat in a way that is enjoyable AND health-promoting. Eat more veggies. Eat whole grains. Eat more plant proteins. Eat healthy fats. And as you do, you will naturally crowd out the processed, sugary foods and too much animal protein. You will also find a balance that works well for YOU. After all, there is no one right diet for every body.

To get you going, here are 10 specific tips that you can begin today (or try one new tip a week) for losing unwanted weight effortlessly and bringing harmony to your body:

  1. Pick one leafy green veggie, like kale, spinach, or collards and add it in on a daily basis. Need a recipe to get you started? Try our Cashew Kale recipe!
  2. Make a nutrient-rich smoothie for breakfast.
  3. Replace white pasta with brown rice or quinoa pasta. Add green vegetables to it.
  4. Stop getting on the scale every day. Focus on eating whole, clean foods and getting some movement into your day and the weight will come off.
  5. Include apples, veggie sticks with hummus and nuts as snacks instead of packaged, processed foods.
  6. Cook with coconut oil. This oil helps boosts your metabolism and has amazing health benefits.
  7. Check out our 20 Food Faves and add some to your fridge or pantry.
  8. Want a sweet treat that also packs a powerful punch with health-boosting good fats? Try our Pumpkin Chia Pudding.
  9. Plan ahead with meals. Make your plan for the week and shop accordingly, so you are less likely to get takeout and make a packaged, processed dinner at the last minute.
  10. Make a tasty soup and enjoy leftovers with a colorful salad for lunch the next day.

 

20 Food Faves in our Kitchens

 

Four years ago, you wouldn’t have found many of these foods in our kitchens. A few cancer avocado - sweetonveg flickrdiagnoses and a couple health coaching credentials later, you’d be hard-pressed to not see most of these items in our pantries or refrigerators. Why? Because we eat pretty differently than they way we did several years ago. We focus on whole, plant-based foods. And we didn’t make these changes overnight – it happened in baby steps – and we’re still learning, experimenting, tweaking, and just having fun with all that whole, real, nutritious food has to offer.

That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy or treats and sweets too, but eating foods like those listed below is our focus. And it’s gotten pretty easy, and not to mention, darn delicious! The best part – we can truly feel what a difference it makes in our bodies, our minds and our moods. It’s such a drastic change, that besides the occasional takeout pizza or summertime ice cream cone, we prefer eating this way. This is the real deal. Real food. No drastic dieting. No restrictions. No guilt. Just enjoying food in a way that supports our health and not worrying too much about the rest.

It can take a little discovery, a little planning and an open mind (after all, much of the “food” available these days is far from what Mother Nature created), but if you begin with one small step and turn that into part of your lifestyle, it’s easy! Then take another step. And another.

So, check out our list below – 20 of the top foods you’ll find in our kitchens – and see how many you have in yours. Maybe you’ll find a few new foods to try. Maybe you have some healthy faves to add. But what better time than right now to start adding in some great foods? It’s a brand new year! Happy 2013! 20 food faves

  1. Kale
  2. Brown rice
  3. Quinoa
  4. Steel cut oats
  5. Coconut oil
  6. Raw almonds
  7. Avocado
  8. Tempeh
  9. Miso
  10. Garlic
  11. Ginger
  12. Carrots
  13. Sea vegetables
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Tamari
  16. Onions
  17. Broccoli
  18. Seeds (pumpkin, hemp and chia)
  19. Lentils
  20. Beans

Chocolate Walnut Bark

Missy and the universe, flickr.com

Kendall: I’ve always been a chocoholic. Cake, cookie, chocolate bar, whoopie pie, ice cream, M&Ms, chocolate-covered just-about-anything (except bugs – seriously, what’s up with that?).

Well it turns out that as I’ve worked on improving my diet over the last few years – adding in more real, whole foods, more plants, lots of leafy greens and crowding out the processed, refined stuff – I’ve found that not all chocolate is created equal. And my taste buds know it. My body knows it. And my cravings tell me so. I definitely don’t crave chocolate candy and bars or highly processed baked goods anymore. Honestly, the flavor just isn’t there. It tastes artificial. Processed.

I suppose you could say I’ve turned into a bit of a choco-snob. I know what the good stuff is. I’ve tasted it, made it, and all the other, um, CRAP just isn’t nearly as decadent and delicious. Nor does it really curb my cravings (Now, WHY we have those cravings is another topic altogether. We should be telling you to look at your diet, eat more bitter foods, eat more naturally sweet veggies, consider any voids in your life you may be trying to fill with chocolate, and so on. But right now I just want you to have your chocolate. That’s okay too.).

So what’s the real deal when it comes to chocolate? Raw, pure cacao (kuh-KOW). Right from the cacao bean. And this is where all chocolate begins, but it just ends up getting so far removed from its original form that it isn’t even food anymore. Or other stuff, like refined white sugar, corn syrup, artificial flavors and more is added.

Not only does chocolate made simply from raw cacao taste orgasmically delish, but it can also be GOOD for you. That’s because raw, unaltered cacao has some seriously health-beneficial nutrients. It contains iron, calcium, magnesium, antioxidants and supports the immune and cardiovascular systems. It also increases energy. Just to name a few. When you hear that chocolate is good for you because it has antioxidants, well, that’s true, but not so much when it’s a highly processed chocolate.

Where can you find raw cacao powder? Try your local health food store or order online. If you simply can’t get your hands on some, you can use cocoa powder, but it isn’t raw and has lost some nutritional properties. However, it’s far better than buying that chocolate bar.

I am now going to share with you a simple, divine, rich, amazing chocolate recipe. I make this all the time for friends and family and they beg for more. :) It’s so easy – you just need a few key ingredients and the rest is up to you.

Chocolate Walnut Bark

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil (for some coconut flavor, use unrefined – for no coconut flavor, try refined)

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

3 tablespoons chopped raw walnuts

Directions:

Heat oil by scooping into a glass heat-safe measuring cup. Place glass cup in a small pot with one inch of water on medium-low heat. Heat until oil is in liquid form. Oil should not heat over 118 degrees to retain its “raw” nature.

Combine cacao powder and coconut oil in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Add maple syrup or honey as desired and mix well. Stir in the walnuts. Pour chocolate mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper in a thin layer, about 1/4-inch thick. Let cool and harden in room under 70 degrees or place in refrigerator for quicker cooling.

Break or cut chocolate into pieces or “bark” and enjoy.

 

 

Banana-Pecan Pancakes with Chocolate-Coconut Drizzle

Banana-Pecan Pancakes with Chocolate-Coconut Drizzle, Photo: Steve Legato

Yup, they’re as good as they sound! This is one of the recipes from our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen. We use spelt flour (whole grain, low gluten) and add in some pecans and bananas for some more whole food goodness. There’s also coconut oil, which is a fabulous, health-promoting oil to add to your pantry. Oh yeah. Then there’s that chocolate coconut drizzle. A-MA-ZING!

Want the recipe? Watch Kendall make these easy, delish pancakes on WCSH6’s 207 Show with anchor, Rob Caldwell. Click here to watch on the WCSH6 website and get the recipe, or watch the video below. Enjoy!