Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are You Ready For An Oil Change?

Recently, there has been a lot of chatter in the media on the health benefits of Coconut Oil.  How can this be when Coconut Oil is considered a saturated fat?  Fats and oils are classified into three categories:  saturated, monosaturated and polyunsaturated.  They can also be classified as short-chain, medium chain or long chain fatty acids.  When three fatty acids are combined they make a triglyceride.  Most of the dietary fats and oils that we eat are from animals and plants which are made up of long-chain triglycerides.  Can you believe almost 100% of the fats we eat are LCT? 

Coconut oil, however, is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) that is easy to digest and absorb.  Without going into much more detail below are some of the benefits that Dr. Fife, CN, ND mentions in his book The Coconut Oil Miracle.  This is an excellent book and I purchased it on Amazon.com for a reasonable price.  

Benefits of Coconut Oil - lose weight - prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes, arthritis and many other degenerative diseases - strengthen the immune system - beautify skin and hair - improve digestion.  

According to Dr. Fife, the recommended daily dose of MCT for an adult is 3 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil but that many have seen great results with as little as 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.  You can easily incorporate this amount into your diet by replacing cooking oils with coconut oil, adding to rice or pasta dishes, adding it to beverages, applied directly to the skin or ingesting by the spoonful.  I have been adding this to steamed vegetables for extra flavor, it is delicious!  

Here is a recipe from Dr. Fife's book for Coconut Cookies that was excellent.  Give it a try!

Coconut Cookies

3 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups grated or shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups coconut oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar (I replaced 1/2 with Agave)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (or vanilla)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Mix together flour, coconut, baking powder and salt and set aside.  Blend coconut oil, eggs, sugar and almond extract.  Mix wet and dry ingredients together.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Flatten balls to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until pale tan.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.  Each cookie contains 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil.  Makes 36 to 40 cookies.

I purchase Spectrum's unrefined Virgin Olive Oil which is manufactured in low temperatures and uses no chemicals.   This is not an inexpensive product (about $8.00 for 14 fl. oz) so I purchase large amounts when it goes on sale.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Organic Grapes - Spider Alert!

Do you purchase organic produce?  Then pay attention!  

I try to buy organic foods whenever possible and  recently bought a bag of Anthony's organic grapes from the grocery store.  Before serving the grapes, I rinsed them and suddenly noticed that something was moving around.  I just about jumped out of my socks when I saw this gangly black spider.  Quickly, I put it in a jar and tried to find out what kind of spider it was by looking at pictures on the web.  Not sure, but it did look a lot like a Black Widow.  What do you think?

Here is an actual Black Widow Spider

I wish I had a better picture

This is the bag of grapes that I purchased

Evidently, it is common to find spiders, especially Black Widow Spiders, in organic produce.  This is the tradeoff when buying organic produce. The spiders eat insect pests that are found in grapes and the presence of spiders doesn't damage or poison the grapes.  Grapes are chilled before transportation.  The chilling causes the spiders to become dormant until they make their way to the grocery stores and then to us consumers.  

***An important safety precaution for everyone to practice is to wash grapes under warm running water.  If a spider falls into the sink, flush it down the drain. Spiders (and their webs) should be treated with caution because they both can be poisonous.  The good news is that despite their potential lethality, no one has actually died from a Black Widow bite since 1960.  

FYI, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), grapes made the "dirty dozen" list as one of the highest produce products contaminated by pesticides.  (See next post)...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Get the Most out of Your Workout!

Don't miss this great promotion that Shaklee has to offer! Our family uses all of these sports products. I use the Performance when I workout at the gym and also on hot days when I am working outside in my garden. Both my sons play hockey and they say there is a noticeable difference in their level of endurance that these products give them during their hockey games.

Check out this link to learn more:  http://connect.shakleeuniversity.com/p60359877/

See below for details. For more information contact Pam McDonald at 651-635-9300