Tag Archives: coconut water

The Benefits of Coconut

Why is Coconut so Good for me? 

It’s no secret if you read my blog on the regular that I love coconut. I add it to just about any recipe I can and absolutely love the taste (and the health benefits) of it! I didn’t always have these feelings for coconut though. When I was younger I always thought that coconut was bad for me. It was high in fat, always found in desserts, and coated with sugar. It just couldn’t be good. I avoided it like the plague, and even convinced myself that I didn’t like it, just so I would never have to have the fat-loaded sugar bomb that was coconut.

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Now that has all changed. Thanks to recent research we are learning just how good coconut is for us. In fact, there are even countries who consume coconut as a staple of their diet, and are some of the healthiest countries out there. So here are just a few of the major benefits of coconut. I’m even going to share how I like to enjoy it best, plus all of your options for adding this delicious and healthy food into your diet.

Coconut is high in saturated fat, which in the 90’s would be seen as a terrible thing, but now we know better. The main saturated fat in coconut is lauric acid. This type of fat actually helps to boost our HDL levels (the good cholesterol). Separate from this good news, coconut contains mostly medium chain fatty acids. These are known to help improve cholesterol and improve heart health.

Coconut is also 100% trans fat free. In addition to the heart healthy benefits of the fat in coconut, the high fat levels also help keep us fuller longer. Plus thanks to how our bodies digest and metabolize coconut, it naturally reduces our appetite, meaning we stay satiated long after our meal.  Additionally the fat helps our bodies absorb other vitamins and minerals, improving overall health.

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Coconut is naturally high in electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. I consider coconut water Nature’s Gatorade, as it is a great way to balance and replenish electrolytes after a workout.

Coconut is high in fiber, particularly, insoluble fiber. This means that our bodies don’t digest the fiber when we consume it. This way, our blood sugar levels do not raise and we technically do not absorb the calories from the fiber.

Good news for diabetics, coconut is low on the glycemic index and actually slows down the release of glucose in our bodies. In addition it is used for instant energy when we consume it and doesn’t get stored in the body.

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Coconut helps to ward off viruses and infections as it improves your immune system and has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also acts as an antioxidant and is great for skin and hair too!

If that’s not enough to convince you, coconut can also help to improve brain function thanks to the fatty acids that produce extra ketone bodies in our blood streams.

Now that you know all these facts, how are you going to incorporate coconut in your diet? Here are some of my favorite ways:

  • Cook with coconut oil. Always go with unrefined. I love to roast vegetables in coconut oil, cook my eggs with it, use it in stir-fries, and toss sweet potatoes in coconut oil and cinnamon
  • Drink coconut water after your workout, mix it in a smoothie, or drink it outside on a particularly hot day. Steer clear of the juice flavored coconut waters as these tend to be higher in sugar.
  • Top sweet potatoes, apple slices, or desserts with coconut butter, also called coconut manna. This is a great swap for almond butter, which is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Use coconut milk in coffee, smoothies, or make a pudding or “yogurt” out of it. Coconut milk is a great non-dairy replacement for so many options. Make sure you are buying canned or fresh coconut milk though, and avoid any added ingredients.
  • Bake with coconut flour. I use coconut flour in many of my recipes. It is a denser flour that absorbs a lot of liquid so definitely use less than you would normal flour.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy coconut? 

Watermelon Creamsicles

It’s been a hot summer. I’ve spent my afternoons working with kids at a summer camp and let me tell you, no one, even kids, enjoys the heat. We’ve done everything from having a dunk tank, to drip drip drop, to charades in a dark room just to cool off. Even my puppy has been miserable in the heat, and she’s pretty much happy 24/7. So since I’ve been searching for constant ways to cool off, I’ve been getting creative with my smoothies and popsicle creations! Here’s one of my favorites so far….

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Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup chopped seedless watermelon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional packet of stevia

Directions: 

  • Blend all ingredients in a blender and pour into Popsicle molds. Makes 4 popsicles.

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They’re even puppy approved! 

Tell me in the comments below what your favorite cold summer treat is?

P.S. Just a reminder that my good friend Elizabeth Finch’s Clean Up Your Diet 21-day Program is open for registration this week! You only have until Sunday to register. Join us and learn how to change your eating habits and change your life. The July session of her program had women of all ages and different backgrounds, and each of them are finding new ways to live happier and healthier.

I can’t wait to share this program with you! Join my team and get a complimentary 30-minute coaching session and unlimited email support all for FREE. Simply click here to register through me or head over to Elizabeth’s site and tell her I sent you!

Save the dates for the back to school session: August 5th – August 25th. Registration ends August 4th at 9pm CST so join us now!

Sweet & Cool Summertime Treats

Happy July 4th! Today is one of my favorite holidays. I am so excited to celebrate but I wanted to pop in and share with you some of my favorite summertime treats. They’re all cold, refreshing, easy-to-make, and perfect for summertime!

Enjoy!

SummertimeTreats

Creamy Choco-Cado Pudding 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 small avocados 
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 2 tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. In a food processor blend all of your ingredients on high speed until blended completely. 
  2. Let chill and enjoy.

Choco-cadopudding

Coconut Chia Cream

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup light coconut milk (canned) 
  • 4 tbs. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. sweetener of choice (maple syrup or honey work best)

Directions: 

  1. Combine the coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla, and sweetener in a bowl. 
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Refrigerate overnight and serve as a creamy dip for fresh berries.

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Popsicles 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Tropical Zico Coconut Water (or any flavor coconut water) 
  • 1 cup diced pineapple

Directions: 

  1. In a blender puree your pineapple and 2 cups coconut water until blended.
  2. Pour into popsicle containers and freeze.

Makes 4 popsicles

What’s your favorite summertime treat? 

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The Most Important Nutrient…

The past couple days in Boston have been hot! I’m certainly not complaining though. I wait all year for the few summer months and soak up as much sunshine as I can. One thing I can’t stress the importance of enough during the summertime is adequate hydration.

Water is my favorite nutrient to talk about because it is so very important. Water consumption is vital to our bodies in so many ways. Not only will you stay hydrated and fight off dehydration with water consumption but also you may experience:

  • An increased metabolism
  • A body cleansed of toxins
  • Improved energy
  • Clearer and glowing skin
  • Maintained balance of fluids in your body
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced internal bacteria
  • Energized muscles
  • Properly running kidneys (which in turn help rid your body of toxins)

Aim to drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. You should increase that number if you are active, sweat a lot, or are outside in the heat. We often mistake our thirst for hunger so next time you feel hungry, think about drinking some water first. You may just be thirsty.

Here are some of my favorite drinks to hydrate with:

Hot lemon water in the morning can help rid your body of toxins. This is particularly great if you struggle with acne as it can help release bacteria from your skin.

Kombucha is essentially fermented tea and it is known to fight cancer, detoxify the body, and improve your immune system. Drink up!

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Green Tea is a great detoxifier for our bodies. It is also high in antioxidants and packed with health improving nutrients. Make sure to go for decaffeinated green tea otherwise it will dehydrate you rather than hydrate you.

Plain old filtered water Tap water can potentially be contaminated so aim to choose filtered water whenever possible. Water is really the best thing you can have!

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Seltzer water with crushed frozen fruit Make sure you are drinking plain seltzer water and not artificially sweetened water. Add in some crushed frozen fruit for flavor and a little color.

Green juice! Get hydrated and get in loads of vitamins and minerals. What could be better? Click here for some of my favorite juice recipes.

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Water with lemon and mint or basil Spice up your water with lemon and herbs. Experiment and see what you like. The lemon also helps as a detoxifier. Lemons can also help balance out the acidity levels in our bodies.

Coconut water is nature’s Gatorade. In all seriousness, coconut water not only rehydrates but also is a great post workout beverage, thanks to the electrolytes found naturally in coconut water.

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Sambazon Last but not least the kind people at Sambazon offered to send me some samples of their latest line. Sambazon drinks are smoothies that are USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Ecocert Fair Trade, vegan and gluten free, and make a healthy, delicious snack or light meal replacement. They are packed with 8 grams of vegan protein in certain smoothies. Others contain a variety of super foods including acai berries, chia seeds, pomegranate, yerba mate, kale, and ginger. They also just released a package of cleanse juices that I couldn’t locate near me but I am dying to try. They include 3 juices a day designed to cleanse and purify your body.

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My personal two favorites are the Organic Acai Berry and Vanilla Protein after a workout and the Supergreens Smoothie with Kale and Ginger. Both taste awesome and are made with quality organic ingredients. Definitely great snacks to consider as an extra way to hydrate.

What’s your favorite way to hydrate? 

Disclaimer: Sambazon provided me with product for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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