Sunday, February 21, 2010

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has so many benefits and uses, I don't know if I could include them all!

Over the last few years I had been reading about different oils and their health benefits and decided to try coconut oil. At the same time I was eliminating all of the shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other body care products that contain ingredients that are really bad for you. (More on that in our next writing) Then I came upon coconut oil. I love it. I use it for everything! Ok, not everything, but a lot! In our house we use this oil for cooking, as a moisturizer/lotion ( I have heard it can be soothing to those with eczema and psoriasis too!), in our hair to help with frizzies and make it look healthy, and recently I read that you can mix even parts of coconut oil and baking soda to make a homemade, non toxic deodorant you can even use a drop or two of your favorite essential oil if you would like a special scent. The more I learn about it, the more I love it so I thought I would share in case anyone else would like to learn more or try it for themselves :)

Here is an article from our website about coconut oil and places to look for more information

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Really Causes Weight Gain?

We have been told that a healthy diet should consist of low fat foods, plenty of whole grains, limit meat, and use fats and oils sparingly. Also of course limit sweets and junk food. (See food pyramid above) If you are trying to lose weight you are not only to follow this way of eating but also limit calories. The sad thing is that this rarely works and if it does it is usually short term followed by gaining more weight back than was lost.

So you may be wondering how someone should eat for weight loss and overall health.

Well, instead of eating a higher carb, low fat diet full of grains, many are saying that just the opposite is the answer. Many doctors such as Dr.Atkins (The Atkins diet), Dr. Mercola, Dr. Al Sears and more are saying that we need to seriously limit our carbohydrate intake and not worry so much about fat (unless your talking about bad fats such as in fast and fried foods) . Fat (good fats) do not make you fat. In fact, good fat eats bad fat!

If you eat a diet of mostly carbs (especially processed carbs and sugar) you may have more problems than just extra weight. Excess carbohydrates have been linked to higher cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and insulin resistance, and for many this can also lend to heart disease. This is especially concerning because not only is this a problem for adults but children as well!

Here is an excerpt from an article in Mother Earth News that explains why when insulin levels are high, the body won't let go of fat and weight loss cannot happen.

"When insulin levels remain elevated, fat can’t escape from the fat tissue. It goes in, but it doesn’t come out, and we can’t use it for energy. "

To read this interesting article click here

So just to recap.... excess carbs, processed foods, sugar, junk food- bad.
Healthy fats, veggies (hopefully organic), some fruit, lean (preferably grassfed) meat and other proteins such as fish, chicken (eggs), and legumes, nuts-good!

That's not to say that you shouldn't have a certain amount of acceptable carbs such as a small potato, sweet potato, or the occasional bowl of oatmeal, maybe a piece of sprouted bread. The problem comes when people eat too many carbs and that is the bulk of their diet, not enough veggies or protein. What is considered excess carbs you ask? Well, that can be different for every person. One way to find out that I really liked was to take a metabolic typing quiz. Dr. Mercola has what he called Nutritional Typing and although I have never personally tried it, I have heard that it is very helpful. The most important thing when making any changes to your diet, exercise, or health program is to read and research as much as possible and find what works for you. It may take some trial and error but you will find what works for you!

Interested in more information?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Healthy School Food

Healthy food in school is something we should all support.

It is incredibly important that children get healthy, well balanced meals in order to grow, learn, and play like children should.
There are more overweight, unhealthy children in the U.S. than ever before. There are more children with ADD/ADHD, diabetes, and other serious health issues that were virtually unheard of in children a few generations ago. There are other possible reasons for this, but for many, these health issues are directly related to poor nutrition.

With my own child being pre-school aged this issue is definitely coming to the front of my mind. While talking with others about this subject most people ask why this is an issue. They wonder why anyone would think much about it, just send a lunch and then you don't have any problem.
But the truth is there is a problem. While my child may not be eating the lunch provided by the school, what about the children that do? All children deserve fresh, healthy options!
There should be no place in our schools for candy, sodas, and other processed junk food.

This year my goal is to make an effort to find/buy what I need from local sources (as much as I can). While looking for local sources for food I came across a few websites that I thought were great resources for getting healthier food into our schools and generally making our schools a healthier place overall. There are great ideas on how to teach kids about proper nutrition, packing healthy lunches and lunch ideas, having a school garden, green cleaning, and so much more!! You can even read and get ideas for healthy fundraising :)
Interested in learning how to have healthy food options, green cleaners, and an overall healthier school?

Check out these great websites:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2010 Newsletter

Check out this month's newsletter!

It has great information about a healthy lifestyle, blood pressure, Vitamin D and heart health, and much more!

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