20.5 Reasons Coconut oil is the New Windex (and Weatherman)

I knew something was up when I came downstairs to find my tub of coconut oil solidified in my cabinet. What is normally a runny pool of clear oil in summer becomes a white, solid brick when there’s a temperature drop. Ah yes, it seems October was a little too eager to arrive this year and before August comes along to set it in its rightful place, we decided to roll with it. There is now a large, organic, grass-fed, free range turkey in our oven wafting remnants of Thanksgiving through our house as we prepare to have a family gathering. No dairy free pumpkin pie, however. (We do have our limits).
Though eagerly anticipating the return of summer, I will admit that the oil is far easier to use for many of its functions when it isn’t dripping all over you. Food aside, I’m talking about the benefits you probably haven’t thought to use it for. Like the dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is with Windex, I am with coconut oil. Point blank: whatever it is, put some coconut oil on it!
Dry, summer skin? Brittle, ocean kissed hair? Stubborn makeup? No problem! Here are 20.5 reasons to make this your new cabinet staple and all-purpose fixer upper no matter what season the weather claims to be in!
coconut
  1. Makeup remover Simply rub over face, leave about 3 minutes and wipe off
  2. Put coconut oil on cuts or burns to speed up healing
  3. Whole body moiturizer – Rule of thumb: don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t put into your mouth
  4. Chapstick
  5. Helps to prevent stretch marks
  6. An all natural SPF – The SPF is not overly high but it is there and will also help to build the body’s natural defense against the sun. It’s the SPF that just keeps going!
  7. Not just for protection, it can help to heal sunburns quicker
  8. Anti-frizz cream – Just a drop massaged through hair (Not too much or it will make your hair greasy)
  9. All natural leave in conditioner (see point above)
  10. Deep conditioning treatment – leave in hair overnight and wash out in the morning for silky smooth, shiny hair. You will need to sleep on an easily washable pillow case or sleep in a shower cap as it will get greasy and be sure to wash hair thoroughly  to get all of the oil out.
  11. As your nighttime facial moisturizer (Mine contains a mixture of coconut oil, vitamin E, Calendula, lavender and a few other natural ingredients)
  12. Coupled with apple cider vinegar it is a natural cure for LICE! – This one I’ve been fortunate enough to never have experienced but have read about and it claims to actually work
  13. Antibacterial skin cream to reduce acne – a little goes a long way, you don’t want the skin to be excessively oily
  14. After shave lotion – No red bumps and reduced ingrown hairs!
  15. Put on arthritic joints, its anti-inflammatory properties can help to alleviate the pain
  16. A natural tanning oil – while performing the double duty of protecting you while you tan – this works! And prevents your skin from drying out in the heat
  17. Effective way to sooth the itch of mosquito bites/poison ivy and prevent scaring
  18. Rubbing it on the inside of your nose can be an effective way to alleviate allergy symptoms
  19. A natural lubricant … just saying
  20. An effective way to get gum out of your hair! Not that I advise eating gum but if you ever found yourself in that sticky situation or one similar, this is the way to slid yourself out of it… naturally.

     20.5: Evidently: a temperature gauge 

Solid = cold
Solid/liquid = warm
Liquid = hot
And probably far more accurate than your local weather station.
So as I patiently wait, bundled in sweaters in July, for summer to return from its summer vacation, I will enjoy tonight’s faux Thanksgiving dinner with the family and continue using my coconut oil to tell me what attire to wear in the upcoming weeks.
What can you look forward to come August? August will be ACTIVE-ist month on the blog! From what to eat pre and post workout, to the recipe for my electrolyte elixir, what activities are best for your body type, to the important topics I don’t find many people know, all will be covered throughout this upcoming month!
In a (coco)nutty state of affairs,
Suzanne Eden

Into the Wild : A Tent Pitching Food Diary

When I was a child, camping entailed rustic bacon and eggs with toast for breakfast, canned alphagettis, hotdogs and of course; toasted marshmallows! So what does one pack when wanting to eat healthy on a camping trip? This was the question we faced this past weekend when a group of fellow holistic nutritionists and myself decided to celebrate the completion of our diplomas by packing our bags and venturing into the woods. From being rained out, to broken phones, to my car breaking down on the highway (I believe this was my sign that I’m destined to remain in the wilderness), it was no shortage of an adventure and be-it that we are all holistic nutritionists, there was no shortage of good food either! We each pitched in to bring a meal and I documented it all to share. Here is our holistic camping food diary:


Day one – Into the woods:

Beach day snack:

  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple and later:
  • A tray of veggies

Beach day snacks

Dinner:

  • Antibiotic and hormone free organic chicken
  • Grilled asparagus and veggies
  • Light, summer salad

Day 1 dinner

That night we feasted on the flames of our first campfire equipped with the company of our neighbors.

Firefly

Day 2 : Into Muddy Territory:

We awoke to the soothing puttering of rain and (what I would call) the sweet, musty smell of damp earth. Having no picnic table shelter, we piled into the 6 person tent for this breakfast of overnight chia soaked oats, bananas & oranges.

Chia seed breakfast

You wouldn’t think it to be messy, but with all of us crammed into tight sleeping quarters, I came out with chia smeared on my pillow and orange juice across my sleeping bag, making for a rather… tasty sleep that night.

The rain piled half of us into a car and out into town to hunt down a tarp and the other half (including myself) to hold down the site and, naturally, eat some more delicious food! We split healthy, homemade banana muffins and later left trails of egg shells around the site from these soft-boiled eggs.

Soft boiled eggs

 

I’m afraid to say that by the time the tarp was hung and lunch was prepared, my ravishing hunger got the best of me and I forgot to take a photo! Here’s what it consisted of;

  • Crackers & hummus
  • Tortilla chips & guacamole
  • Cabbage salad
  • Quinoa salad

And another delicious snack: raw, unsalted, organic sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds

Dinner:
Homemade pizzas grilled with humus, tomato paste, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, and a little goat cheese as options

The night closed with round two of campfire card games and roasting free range, hormone free, organic, filler free hot dogs over the fire. And what would a camping trip be without a little fire wood stealing scandal? Our prime suspects being: 1) the suspicious girls who sent one to seemingly distract us in conversion as a diversion for the others to steal our firewood or 2) our neighbours befriending us, only for utter betrayal in the end. In either case, we kindly informed the park rangers to be on their best lookout for stolen wood. They seemed to confirm option one with a knowing head nod at the girl’s description signaling recognition. Case closed.

Day 3 – a little bump in the road:

Breakfast:
Banana muffins and chia seed bagels with nut butter and raspberry jam.

Chia bagels

With the weekend over we ended up with a lot of food to take home including my marshmallow substitute: roasted pineapple over the fire!

But the adventure hadn’t ended just yet. Not long onto the highway my steering wheel seised and we made a quick pull over to the shoulder. A nice CAA driver and some sweet mechanics later and I was back on the road! Much to my direction impaired self (and the assistance of directions over the phone) I made it home without getting lost (once I made it out of the small town) and came home to find my beautiful vegetable garden bursting with berries and peas before headed to a BBQ.

Holistic health may be tricky at times and call for you to think out of the box, but it is more than doable and absolutely delicious! Alphagettis over guacamole and humus? Not a chance. Not only delicious but if planned right, it’s easy, involves minimal clean up, and leaves you feeling light, fresh, and ready to take on anything and everything the wilderness has to offer you!

“The more we connect to our true nature, the healthier we’ll be”

To your next holistic venture into the wilderness,

Suzanne Eden

Superfood Cranberry Chocolate Macaroons

Ever wonder what to make to delight the taste buds of the shamelessly picky eaters and health nuts alike? This, right here, is your fix!  I have made this treat for just about every occasion this year from house parties to Christmas gatherings and they are always an instant hit. The best part? They take about 15minutes to make, have minimal ingredients, require zero baking, and have some superfood benefits! What originally began as Kimberly Snyder’s recipe from her book became a smash hit with my friends and family alike and lead me to create my own spin and thus: the delectable cranberry chocolate macaroon was born!

raw macaroons
Just yesterday I demoed these treats for a class of fellow holistic-practitioners-in-the-making and for Joy McCarthy from http://www.joyoushealth.ca/. Today I brought another batch to share with the rest of campus which were gone in a chocolatey flash and received requests for more. So I will once again be getting chocolate covered in my kitchen with more macaroon making to share this upcoming week!
These are:
  • Dairy free
  • Soy free
  • Refined sugar free
  • Flour free
  • Gluten and wheat free
  • Nut free
  • Egg free
  • Pretty much anything but sheer goodness free!
Your quick guide to super packing these bites with nutrition:
  • Raw cacao is less processed than cocoa, high in antioxidants for anti-aging, and has energizing and mood enhancing effects.
  • Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory, stabilizes blood sugar and boosts brain function! This is my secret ingredient for anything chocolate to enhance and add depth to the rich flavours.
  • Maple syrup – may I take a moment to redirect you to my article on the 8 facts about maple syrup that make it just plain sweet, here: https://lifeofeden.com/2014/07/02/8-facts-about-maple-syrup-that-make-it-just-plain-sweet/
    But as wonderful as it is, please remember that this is also a treat and not an everyday staple and that  buying real, high quality syrup is the only way to go to reap its beneficial properties.
  • Vanilla – If opting for the vanilla extract, look for one that is organic and alcohol free.
  • Himalayan salt can be replaced with a high quality sea salt. I like Himalayan because it adds depth to the rich flavours of the macaroon.
  • Dried cranberries and coconut – for both of these you want to be aware of what is in them. Sneaky things such as sulfites and unwanted oils or soy may find their way in, so be sure to check the labels.

 

Warning: Though a raw macaroon may make a room full of nutritionists swoon, those not so nutrition savvy may be high tailing it in the opposite direction. I am constantly reminded of this by the look on my families face when I say that I’ve made something “healthy”! They are not quite so enthusiastic, sporting an expression that says they think I’ve made a macaroon from kale and sauerkraut rather than chocolatey goodness. The trick ? Think as though you’re mischievously sneaking brussels sprouts into your child’s dinner and omit the fact that they are relatively healthy until after your guests are gushing for more. They would never know 😉
Ingredients:
Dry:

  • 2 Cups coconut flakes
  • ½ Cup Raw cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp Powdered stevia
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon

Wet:

  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ Cup Maple syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  2. Add in wet ingredients and stir until fully combined. Add the dried cranberries in last.
  3. Scoop into small, macaroon sized balls and place on parchment, putting them in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours before serving or in the fridge overnight.
  • Best served the next day but can be stored in the fridge after that.

So there you have it! I am so excited for you to give these a try and, if you’re anything like me in the kitchen; become a sweet, gooey, chocolate covered macaroon making machine from here on out!

Suzanne Eden

8 Facts About Maple Syrup That Make It Just Plain Sweet!

Being that it’s Canada Day, I saw it only fitting to go for a lakeside bike ride with a good friend, decked head to toe in Canadian-esque attire. It was also quite necessary to indulge in what makes us Canadian; beer and Tim Horton’s  were obviously out, but what our true Canadian staple food is, is pure and raw, organic and best of all, local! Enjoyed in moderation, maple syrup can provide a good source of nutrients and a perfect substitute for nutritionless refined sugars. No Aunt Jemima here, we’re only talking about the good stuff, the real stuff, right from a tree and bought at our local  sugar bush. So in my red and white state of Canadian pride, I bring to you the top 8 facts that make this Canadian superfood  just plain sweet!

 Canadian

 

  1. Canada supplies around 80% of the world’s maple syrup
  2. In fact, it’s only possible to produce it in the Northern part of North America due to our weather conditions. The Canadian winters aren’t looking quite so bad now are they?
  3. It is an excellent source of manganese for energy and antioxidant power
  4. Also an excellent source of zinc for healthy skin and immunity
  5. Offers 15X more calcium than honey and is a good sugar substitute for cooking (Honey should never be heated.)
  6. 30-50 gallons of sap is used to make about 1 gallon of syrup
  7. The sugar and potassium content as well as its source of B-vitamins and iron make it ideal in a post workout re-hydrating drink (a recipe I will shall soon)
  8. Apparently we are not the only mammals who love this sweet liquid. The North American squirrel has also been known to “sap tap” the maple trees. Being the nice Canadians we are, I don’t think any of us mind sharing 😉
  9. Side note: If it isn’t the real, pure, wholesome maple syrup, you’re most likely buying a blend of a poor quality syrup mixed with a slightly better one to reduce labour and retail costs. It will be low in the quality nutrients mentioned above and packed with preservatives. Nothing sweet about that!

 

Canadian or not, this is all the reason you need tonight to enjoy a little taste of this sweet  country 🙂

From our local sugar bush to your healthy, holistic pancakes, happy Canada day!,

Suzanne Eden