The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil

moisturizerNearly everything we see has an advertisement for one wonder product or another. So many are directed at improving our appearance in one way, shape, or form, and every one promises a miracle. Walking down a beauty product aisle can make the mind reel, but have you ever looked at the ingredient lists for some of these products? Most are very long and require a chemistry degree to decipher. It can be quite alarming and off-putting.

Instead of using so many chemicals, why not try an all natural product that can be used in a myriad of ways: coconut oil. Coconut oil is well known as a natural moisturizer and skin care product. Its fat content and antioxidants can reduce skin irritation, redness, and can help to prevent wrinkles. Its great at repairing chapped skin due to winter’s icy touch and doubles as a very nourishing lip balm. When mixed with a little sugar, it can be used as a scrub to remove dead skin.

moisturizerEven heat styled hair can use a little coconut oil love and care. Heat styled hair can become very brittle and dry from the amount of stress its put under. Coconut oil’s fats soak into the hair follicle strengthening it and making it softer, silkier, and easier to manage. Its versatile enough to be used as a conditioner or a hot oil treatment.

As if all its moisturizing properties weren’t reason enough to take a gander at adding coconut oil to your beauty routine, it can also be used as a makeup remover. No more scrubbing at a sensitive eyelids with chemical laden pads. No more red and burning eyes. All in all, coconut oil is a must have for product conscious beauty gurus.

Water, the Ultimate Energy Drink

Whether it’s the blue salted waves of the ocean, the rippling brooks that cut through forest floors, or in a frosted glass with softly clinking ice cubes, water is an essential part of life. We,as busy people trying to function in an even busier world, tend to forget that we need this oh so important mineral for our bodies to operate the way they should. We know that we are roughly 70% water. We know that it’s a healthier choice than sugary sodas or caffeinated super drinks designed to give us an extra boost, especially since the rush given by caffeine is often followed by a dive and crash into fatigue. Do we really know what water can do for our bodies though?

Proper hydration can increase energy and relieve fatigue. Your body’s cells are getting what they need to carry out all of their moment to moment tasks without all of the extra “garbage”. Thoughts are clearer, concentration is more acute, and your brain is just all around more alert. Your digestive system can function more smoothly and allow waste and toxins to be flushed from the body, reducing that bloated feeling after meals. Drinking plenty of water can aid in weight loss as appetite can be reduced as well. Many times the need for something to drink is mistaken as hunger pangs. With no added sugars or calories, water is the ultimate diet supplement.
Water, be it around us or inside of us, is a necessary component of life, and the more we utilize it, the better we will feel.

It’s Organic!

Photography by Selina Kade-Poff

These days it seems like the only thing people aren’t growing at home, is money.  With the buzz around the U.S. about eating, growing, and processing ‘organic’ food, could it really be better for you? Maybe cheaper? Or simply does it taste a little better than normally processed food, and where do you buy it? A-lot of people ask themselves the same questions.

To start off, organic foods are grown and prepared completely and entirely different.  While traditional growing habits are involved with the use of numerous chemicals, organic growing techniques stray from that sense.  With the only added unnatural ingredient being elbow grease, many people look to organic foods as a safer alternative to typical dining choices. There is no use of herbicide, or chemical fertilizer,  in the organic growing process, and while antibiotics and growing hormones are widely used in original methods, grazing that is rotated and access to the outdoors are preventative measures to prevent disease in livestock; also the use of organic feed!

Organoleptic value is a system to show how organic food is experienced by the senses for example: taste, sight, smell , touch. Organic food tends to have a better shelf life, this probably due to the higher level of antioxidants, and a lower level of nitrates which make fruit and vegetables age quicker. Also studies have shown that the higher the crop yield, the lower amount of antioxidants in the crop. This is why most people, when put to a blind taste test, will choose organic fruits and veggies showing that they have a higher organoleptic value.

Photography by Selina Kade-Poff

Now where can I buy organic foods and will they but a whole in my pocket?  As the nation grows more aware of organic foods, expect to see it in all types or grocery stores along with standalone stores that specialize in just organic products.  Although the dramatic differences in growing techniques, the prices for organic fruits and vegetables are roughly the same. For non organic apples at a supermarket expect to pay around $3.99 per pound, while organic apples would be placed at $4.49, so expect somewhat of a price hike, but nothing that will break the bank.  Organic foods are  becoming more accessible, cheaper, abundant so we may see some families start to take a more natural approach to cooking and eating once exposed to it.