Brown & Coconut http://brownandcoconut.com Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:23:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Why the Weather is Giving You Bad Hair Days http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/03/29/why-the-weather-is-giving-you-bad-hair-days/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/03/29/why-the-weather-is-giving-you-bad-hair-days/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:23:18 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4625 Ever wonder why your hair seems to be gorgeous one day and a complete wreck the next? Or why your hair is fine when the weather is a gorgeous 70 degrees with a humidity level of perfect, but every other day of the year it’s too frizzy, too flat, to dry, too poofy, too shrinkage-prone,...

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Attractive young girl with ubrella in an old town

Ever wonder why your hair seems to be gorgeous one day and a complete wreck the next? Or why your hair is fine when the weather is a gorgeous 70 degrees with a humidity level of perfect, but every other day of the year it’s too frizzy, too flat, to dry, too poofy, too shrinkage-prone, or just plain lifeless?

Well, the good news is you’re not alone. Of course the grass always seems greener, but the truth is each of us has our very own hair struggles that we face everyday. Perhaps if we better understand why our reacts the way it does in certain weather conditions, we can take steps to ensure our hair is healthy, happy, and balanced everyday. Read on to learn why the weather is giving you bad hair days and what can be done.

Sun & Humidity

During the summer months, not only can the suns UV rays lighten hair, but the extra moisture in the air (aka humidity) loosens bonds created when you style your hair, allowing the hair to return back to its normal state. If you have curly hair and straighten it or loosen your curls (without the use of chemicals) your natural curl pattern will gradually return to its normal curl pattern when exposed to the humidity. The same goes for straight hair. If you curled your naturally straight hair, the curl will gradually fall and your hair will straighten out. This also applies on rainy days (I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of rainy day hair drama).

There are anti-humectant hair products that exist which can help create a barrier that will temporarily protect hair from the humidity, keeping your style intact for longer. It is important to only use these products only when there is really high humidity. Anti-humectants can be very drying and can end up doing more harm that good.The other solution is to just rock your tresses in their natural state and love the hair you’re born with! (Thats my mini lecture for the day.)

Cold & Dry

In the winter, cold and very dry air raises the hairs’ cuticle. When you then move indoors to a heated environment, the dry air inside sucks the moisture out of your hair. What you’re left with is dry, lifeless, unmanageable hair. Not to mention, the lack of moisture outside isn’t helping matters either. Combat this by wearing your hair in protective styles and shielding it from the cold. Also, condition your hair often, deep condition once per week and use styling products with moisturizing properties.

What are your weather related hair concerns? Share them below!

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7 Surprising Ways to Use Epsom Salt http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/03/19/7-surprising-ways-to-use-epsom-salt/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/03/19/7-surprising-ways-to-use-epsom-salt/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:00:02 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4616 Epsom salt is just one of those ingredients that should be a staple your home. There are so many incredible uses for it! From body aches to foot infections, epsom salt treats a variety of ailments. In fact, there are a few ways to use epsom salt you may not have heard of! Ready to...

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Epsom salt is just one of those ingredients that should be a staple your home. There are so many incredible uses for it! From body aches to foot infections, epsom salt treats a variety of ailments. In fact, there are a few ways to use epsom salt you may not have heard of! Ready to be surprised?

Salt

Acne Mask

It’s no secret that we are addicted to face masks; epsom salt is no exception. A simple mask made of epsom salt and honey soothes irritated skin while reducing inflammation and acne. To make this gentle mask, combine equal parts honey with equal parts epsom salt. Gently apply this mixture to clean, dry skin, before washing off after 30 or so minutes.

Foot Soak

Epsom foot baths are the perfect way to begin any pedicure. Soaking your feet in a warm foot bath soothes sore feet while relieving odor. Not to mention it draws out infections of the foot. Start by filling a good size basin with warm water (just enough to immerse your feet). Add 1/2 cup of epsom salt and soak away!

Exfoliate

One of the best ways to remove dead skin cells is exfoliation. Using epsom salt to exfoliate your skin removes dead, dry skin cells, while supplying your body with nutrients. Could this get any better? Mix a 1-2 tablespoons of epsom salt with 1/2 cup of coconut oil or olive oil. While in the shower, gently rub the mixture around your skin before rinsing clean. The oil leaves your skin moisturized and radiant.

Dish Cleaner

Removing buildup from pots and pans only takes a few minutes when using epsom salt. The rough grains help to remove stuck on food or oil without using harsh chemicals. Add a tablespoon or two to your pots or pans and gently scrub in a circular motion.

Remove Black Heads

A simple mix of water and epsom salt works wonders in removing black heads from your skin. Simply apply the mixture with a cotton ball to a clean dry face and allow to sit for a few minutes before rinsing clean.

Fertilize Plants

Plants not doing so hot? Epsom salt might be the solution. The magnesium is used by plants to produce chlorophyll, while sulfur aids in plant growth. In fact, plants that have been fed epsom salt produce larger flowers! Simply mix a few tablespoons of epsom salt with 2 gallons of water. Use the mixture to feed plants with low soil magnesium levels a few times a month.

Constipation Relief

Epsom salt is a super effective way to relieve constipation. The salt increases the amount of water in the intestines, softening stools for easy passing. The epsom salt may also detoxify the colon. Dissolve 1 tsp of epsom salt in 4 ounces of water and consume. A bowel movement should occur between 30 minutes to 6 hours*.

How do you use epsom salt?

Comment below!

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

 

*This does not replace the advice of your doctor. Please consult your physician before beginning any regimen.

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15 Ways Dehydration is Hurting Your Body http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/03/11/15-ways-dehydration-is-hurting-your-body/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/03/11/15-ways-dehydration-is-hurting-your-body/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:00:02 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4618 Raise your hand if you drink the recommended 2-3 liters of water a day…every single day. Was your hand raised? Don’t feel too bad if it wasn’t. You’re not alone, most people unfortunately do not consume the recommended daily intake of water. Sure, it seems harmless, but what really happens to your body when you...

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Raise your hand if you drink the recommended 2-3 liters of water a day…every single day.

Was your hand raised? Don’t feel too bad if it wasn’t. You’re not alone, most people unfortunately do not consume the recommended daily intake of water.

16 reasons you need more water today

Sure, it seems harmless, but what really happens to your body when you skimp on hydration? On average, adults lose about 2.5 liters of water every day from sweating and other everyday bodily functions. That water loss, combined with a lack of adequate water intake can do a lot more harm than you think. Take a look at some of the short term complications related to dehydration.

  1. Headaches
  2. Cravings for sugary/starchy foods
  3. Memory loss (short-term)
  4. Loss of concentration
  5. Lethargy (can result in lack of sex drive)
  6. Dry skin
  7. Pale skin
  8. Cognitive impairment
  9. Constipation and other digestive problems
  10. Dry mouth
  11. Decreased urination/strong-smelling & dark-colored urine
  12. Flushing
  13. Under-eye bags & hollow/sunken eyes
  14. Fine lines & wrinkled skin
  15. Low blood pressure

As a result of long term dehydration the body will begin to essentially redistribute water, ensuring vital bodily functions receive water where as the other non-vital bodily functions are put on the back burner. The parts of the body receiving inadequate amounts of water for extended periods of time can cause chronic symptoms that are easily confused with actual illnesses. Some of these mistaken illnesses include inflammation, weight gain, allergies, hypertension, arthritis, chronic constipation, acid reflux, and chronic fatigue. In situations where there is a complete lack of water intake for about 3-4 days (give or take a few days depending on the person and the environment), the result is death.

If that’s not a reason to reach for your glass (or water bottle), then I don’t know what is.

Can’t seem to remember to drink up? There are several apps available for mobile phones that can track your daily water intake and remind you to drink up. My personal favorite it Hydrate Daily for the iPhone.

How do you remember to drink up? Share your personal tips and tricks below!

~ Letisha

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Cleanse Your Body: Detox Water http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/02/18/cleanse-body-detox-water/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/02/18/cleanse-body-detox-water/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:00:08 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4605 Let’s be honest: it’s not easy consuming our required daily intake of water. It requires some serious concerted effort. With our busy schedules the notion can simply slip our mind. Next thing you know it’s 7 o’ clock at night and you’re hastily gulping down glass #2 during commercial breaks. (We’ve all been there).   The solution is simple: detox...

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Let’s be honest: it’s not easy consuming our required daily intake of water. It requires some serious concerted effort. With our busy schedules the notion can simply slip our mind. Next thing you know it’s 7 o’ clock at night and you’re hastily gulping down glass #2 during commercial breaks. (We’ve all been there).

 

detox

The solution is simple: detox water. This simple technique creates a deliciously refreshing treat that will have you chugging water all day long.

A few benefits, you ask?:

  • Flush toxins
  • Aid in digestion
  • Boost energy
  • Assist in weight loss
  • Promote healthy skin/hair
  • Decrease bloating
  • Curb appetite

When your body is firing off that desperate call for H2O, don’t reach for soda or coffee. Opt for detox water filled with slices of your favorite fruits and vegetables:

Lemon/Lime + Oranges

These citrus gods do the body good. The high levels of Vitamin C  in lemon & lime improve the immune system and reduce the duration of the common cold. These sour treats also improve bad breath while detoxing the body. Besides being a delicious breakfast treat, oranges contain a wonderful amount of flavonoids, which block carcinogenic agents.

Pineapple + Cucumbers

These green slices are not just for your eyes. Adding cucumber slices to your water is a great way to improve your complexion while potentially lowering blood pressure. Let’s not forget to mention that pineapple is a great way to boost your metabolism.

Strawberries + Mint Leaves

Adding a few sprigs of mint to your chilled water is a great way to settle your stomach and improve your breath. The wonderful antioxidants in strawberries work wonders reducing inflammation throughout the body while the necessary fiber can reduce constipation.

Apple + Beet

Apples slices in your H2O aids in weight loss and may improve your heart health. An added bonus? The antioxidant quercetin in apples may improve your physical endurance. Throw in a few slices of beets for added detox and anti-inflammation benefits.

 

What fruits and vegetables do you add to your detox water? Comment below!

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

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7 Reasons Your Skin Gets Dry in the Winter http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/02/03/7-reasons-your-skin-gets-dry-in-the-winter/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/02/03/7-reasons-your-skin-gets-dry-in-the-winter/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:34:21 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4418 What the heck is it about the winter months that destroys our skin?? I’m talking dry, flakey, tight, irritated skin.  I’m sure we all know it has something to do with the cold weather, but what in particular throws our skin so out of whack? Here are 7 reasons your skin gets dry in the winter:...

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Beautiful fashionable black girl posing in a winter coat

What the heck is it about the winter months that destroys our skin?? I’m talking dry, flakey, tight, irritated skin.  I’m sure we all know it has something to do with the cold weather, but what in particular throws our skin so out of whack?

Here are 7 reasons your skin gets dry in the winter:

1. Cold temperatures

Cold air cannot hold as much  moisture as warm air and as a result the air is much more dry. Dry air means there’s less moisture for your skin to absorb and the moisture that is in your skin, gets evaporated into the dry air. The cold weather also constricts blood vessels in the skin. The reduced blood flow makes for less active sweat and oil glands, so the skin cannot immediate combat the drying effects of the cold air. You ever notice how after you’ve come indoors after being out in the cold, your skin “thaws” and gradually becomes shiny? As you skin warms, your oil and sweat glands  become more active and get to work, trying to make up for the lost moisture.

2. Harsh Winds

This is like adding “fuel to the fire”. The frigid temps are drying enough as it is, but the added wind not only makes the air feel colder, but contributes to the drying of our skin by accelerating the evaporation of water from our skin.

3. Indoor Heating

Indoor heating is also very drying for the air and thus our skin. Many of us crank up our thermostats to combat the chilly weather, but sadly we are doing our skin more harm than good with the artificial heat that zaps moisture from the air and our skin.

4. Fires & Ovens

How many of us love cozying up next to a fire in the winter? Or find ourselves baking every weekend some yummy holiday or winter treat to cope with being cooped up indoors? Well believe it or not but lounging next to those cozy fires and bending over 400 degree ovens is most definitely drying to your skin.

5. Hot Showers & Baths

This is one of the most overlooked culprits of dry skin. I mean how could water possibly dry our skin? I mean a nice long hot shower after spending a day out in the cold seems like a well-deserved reward right? Well, think of it this way. When you step into that hot shower or slip into that steaming bubble bath, the hot water heat and loosens the layer of oil on the skin and essentially melts it away leaving our ski exposed without its protective barrier. Add soap to that equation and your skin becomes even more dry.

6. The Sun

Think of this: it’s the summer, the hot sun is beaming down and you’re headed for a day outdoors, do you slather on the sun block? A lot of people would answer yes to this question. Now ask yourself the same question, but this time, it’s the middle of the winter. Chances are, many of those same people who apply sun block to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays, do no such thing to protect themselves in the winter, even though the sun is just as damaging and drying.

7. Dehydration

Hot weather makes us hot, fact. It also makes us sweaty and thirsty. In fact, what’s more refreshing on a blazing summer day than a cool glass of water? People tend to drink a lot of water during the summer to try and stay cool, as well as to combat their increased thirst. During the winter, it only makes sense that people are less thirsty and as a result, drink less water.

So what can you do to help prevent your skin from drying out?

1. Bundle up: Try wrapping your face in a scarf to block the cold air from reaching your skin and lips. Don’t forget the gloves to protect your hands, as well!

2. Drink up: The more hydrated you are, the less likely it is for your skin to become dry and flakey from the cold. Drink lots of water to give your skin a fighting chance.

3. Cool it with the heat: Yea we get it, its freezing out, but your skin is shriveling up like a raisin and certainly you’d enjoy a smaller heating bill, am I right? Pop on a warm pair of slippers and a sweater and bundle up under a blanket. Problem = Solved. You’re skin would also benefit from less of that harsh heat from the oven and cozy winter fires.

4. Shorter Showers: I could say that you could take cooler showers, but let’s face it, not many of us are going to jump in a cold shower in the middle of the winter (some of you may…more power to you). Let’s be realistic though, a hot shower is hard to give up, so what can you do? Try shortening the length of your shower, taking showers less frequently if you can, or using an ultra-moisturizing soap. You could also avoid washing your face in the shower and do that over your bathroom sink except this time, use cooler water.

5. Lather Up: If you’re going to be spending a decent amount of time outside, be sure to apply sunscreen!

6. Moisturize: Go one step further in helping your skin by adding another layer of protection. Stock up on your best moisturizer and slather it on morning and night.

7. Preventative Measures: One of the simplest ways to combat dry winter skin is to prevent it from happening in the first place, but how do you do that?? Well it all has to do with taking the right steps in your daily life to ensure your skin is in tip top shape so it’s less likely to be thrown off balance. Lucky for you we’ve compiled a 15-step guide to combatting dry winter skin and a list of the Top 10 Skincare Ingredients you should be avoiding. Both of these are yours for FREE. Just click here to get your copy!

If you enjoyed this post, spread the love…like, comment and share!

~ Letisha

 

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy:

 

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7 Ways to Battle Chapped Lips http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/01/27/7-ways-battle-chapped-lips/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2015/01/27/7-ways-battle-chapped-lips/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:00:43 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4571 With the Winter comes beautiful snow, hot chocolate, fuzzy socks and…chapped lips. Despite how much you moisturize on a daily basis, it seems like dry, flaky lips are inevitable. Our precious lips are made up of very thin layers that do not have the same amount of protection as the rest of our body. Makes...

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With the Winter comes beautiful snow, hot chocolate, fuzzy socks and…chapped lips. Despite how much you moisturize on a daily basis, it seems like dry, flaky lips are inevitable. Our precious lips are made up of very thin layers that do not have the same amount of protection as the rest of our body. Makes sense, right?

lips-387245_640

1. Layer it on: It may seem like a no-brainer but this tip can be an easy one to forget, especially if your lips don’t “feel” dry. A few hours before you leave the house, be sure to pack on your SPF chapstick. This will give your lips time to soak up the moisture before heading straight into the elements. Reapply during the day and just before your head hits the pillow to keep your lips protected all day long.

2. Avoid the Salt and Citrus: Ever notice how dry your lips feel after eating salty popcorn? The salt absorbs the moisture on our lips leaving our smackers feeling dull, chapped and dehydrated. The acid in citrus fruits may burn your lips, leading to chapped skin. Limit your consumption of acidic or salty foods during the cooler months.

3. Exfoliate Often: It’s no secret that dry lips feel like they need constant exfoliation. Instead of biting your lips all day long, try exfoliating the thin skin with a simple mixture. The combination of honey and sugar helps to loosen dry, flaky skin within minutes. Gently apply the mixture in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds before rinsing clean. Be sure to apply your lip balm after!

4. Cover your Face: Before stepping into the frigid temps, cover the lower half of your face with a scarf. This handy trick will prevent the cold air from drying out your pre-treated lips (see #1). The moisture from your hot breath (very classy) will keep your lips and nose moisturized during your cold commute.

5. Breathe Through Your Nose: Taking breaths through your nose rather than your mouth will prevent the constant flow of air from drying out your lips.

5. Hydrate : Staying moisturized from the inside out is our motto. Keeping your body hydrated with at least 1-2L of water a day is an awesome way to prevent your lips from chapping.

7. Quit Licking: As tempting as this form of instant moisture is, it doesn’t do any good. The digestive enzymes in saliva can wear down your lips, leaving them feeling drier than before. Crazy, huh?

So, how do you keep your smacker-roos moist in the winter? We’d love to hear your tips!

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

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Why You Should Be Exfoliating Right Now http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/12/14/exfoliating-right-now/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/12/14/exfoliating-right-now/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:20:35 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4243 Ah, exfoliation. The best part of any skin care regimen. A proper exfoliation can leave your skin feeling refreshed and glowing in a matter of minutes. After a long day there is nothing my skin craves more than my Clairisonic. Exfoliation (done right) whisks away dead, dry skin revealing the gorgeous glowing skin underneath. But before...

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Ah, exfoliation. The best part of any skin care regimen. A proper exfoliation can leave your skin feeling refreshed and glowing in a matter of minutes. After a long day there is nothing my skin craves more than my Clairisonic. Exfoliation (done right) whisks away dead, dry skin revealing the gorgeous glowing skin underneath. But before we get into all of that goodness, let’s get back to basics. Ready?

Rose Exfoliate

Benefits of exfoliation

  • Removes dead skin from surface of the skin
  • Brightens complexion
  • Reveals brighter, healthier skin
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improves skin discoloration and texture
  • Speeds up skin renewal process
  • Prevents breakouts

 

There are 2 types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical

Mechanical

Mechanical exfoliation is probably the one you’re most used to. This type of exfoliation requires the use of a tool, such as Clarisonic or grain (i.e., sugar, oats, salt). When doing a mechanical exfoliation, it’s best when the “abrasive” is as gentle as possible. For example, an exfoliant containing small round beads and an exfoliant containing apricot shells might seem like they are doing the same thing. After all, it’s all mechanical exfoliation, right? Wrong. Well, in a sense. Both types do employ the use of mechanical exfoliation, but only one can result in micro-tears in your precious skin. Rough exfoliants like apricot shells and salt aren’t the best solution for exfoliating your skin, especially if your face is uber sensitive.

Chemical

Chemical exfoliation employs the use of chemicals for exfoliation. Pretty simple, huh?  There are quite a few types of chemical exfoliation, including alphahydroxy acid (AHA) and betahydroxy acid (BHA). These chemical exfoliants loosen the dead skin cells, allowing them to loosen and fall off. Other chemical exfoliants employ the use of fruit enzymes, which can be milder than the AHAs and BHAs. Fortunately, there are different levels of chemical exfoliation to suite the needs of your skin.

 

What You’ll Need

Now that you know a little about exfoliation, it’s time to get prepped. Start by choosing your poison. I prefer mechanical exfoliations since I find it the easiest to manage. Take a look at your problem areas and notice any areas that you want to avoid, as well. I try to spend the least amount of time and pressure on my cheeks since that is the most sensitive area of my face. The same may apply for your nose, chin or forehead.

When it comes to exfoliation, my Clairionic is always my favorite tool. It runs for 60 seconds, just the right amount of time for a complete facial exfoliation.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • Mechanical exfoliant (sugar scrub, Clairsonic, ground oatmeal, joboba beads)
  • Chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid, lactic acid)
  • Water
  • Cleanser

Before you begin, start with clean skin. When using my Clairisonic, I can cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. If using a chemical exfoliant, follow the directions the product provides.

 

What to remember

  • If it doesn’t feel good, then stop! Chances are you’re damaging skin more than you are helping it. Exfoliation is not meant to be the best feeling in the world, but by no means should it be causing you extreme discomfort.
  • Stay away from harsh exfoliants. Salt scrubs and apricot exfoliants may work lovely on your body, but the same can’t always be said for your face. These rough exfoliants can cause micro-tears in your gentle skin causing more damage than good.
  • Only exfoliate a few times per week. By no means does this have to become a daily activity. If you notice your skin is looking dull and flaky, try exfoliating 1 or 2 times per week. If you can handle more, try 3 times per week. Everyone’s skin is different so it’s important to know what your limits are.
  • Utilizing an awesome moisturizer and cleanser in conjunction with an exfoliant is the best way to maintain gorgeous skin. By focusing on all three, you can ensure that you are pampering your skin in the best ways possible.
  • If you have acneic or damaged skin, try to be gentle. Disrupting the acne or damaged skin will only hurt your skin. Wait for your acne to heal before beginning a more intense exfoliation regimen. In the mean time, stick to gentle exfoliants like ground oatmeal.
  • If you notice any irritation from exfoliation, take a break and allow your skin to rest.

 

So, what are you waiting for?? You should be exfoliating right now!

Peace, Love & Coconuts

-Zeena

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How to Treat Your Cold Naturally http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/11/26/treat-cold-natural-way/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/11/26/treat-cold-natural-way/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:15:12 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4405 It’s that time of year. It comes suddenly, usually without any type of warning. One minute you feel like running through a field of tulips and butterflies and the next minute you feel like you have fallen through a pot hole on your way to so-called tulip field. You probably don’t have time to be...

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It’s that time of year. It comes suddenly, usually without any type of warning. One minute you feel like running through a field of tulips and butterflies and the next minute you feel like you have fallen through a pot hole on your way to so-called tulip field. You probably don’t have time to be sick. After all, you probably didn’t block off any sick days on your calendar.  The cold season doesn’t wait for us so prepare yourself to fight back with these wonderful natural remedies.

Natural Remedies

Gargle

Gargling with warm, salty water is a wonderful way to soothe a sore throat. The salt water works by flushing the bacteria that is living in your throat while also relieving inflammation and loosening thick mucus (which most of us are accustomed to when sick).

Rest

Seriousy. Isn’t resting so overrated? Not really. Resting while you have a cold is one of the best things you can do for your body. Your body needs to focus its energy on getting you better, not getting you out of bed and to work. So just take a sick day. Trust us: the world won’t end if you miss a day or two of work. Not to mention, your counterparts probably won’t want to be around you once they hear you cough or sniff or sneeze. Colds can hit you like a ton of bricks, especially when you felt fine hours earlier. Trust your body and allow it to work its magic in peace.

Honey

This liquid gold is one of the best cough suppressants I’ve ever used. It instantly soothes a tingly throat and its benefits can last for hours. A few spoonfuls before work will usually last all day long. Unlike traditional cough suppressants, you don’t have to worry about consuming any unknown substances. As an added bonus, honey doesn’t taste like fake cherries or mysterious grapes. If the idea of swallowing spoonfuls of raw honey is just gag-worthy, try mixing a few spoonfuls into your favorite tea. The benefits may not be as great,  but you may feel some relief. I’d recommend using 100% raw honey to be sure you aren’t consuming any added ingredients.*

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is like a cure-all in our home. Gargling with ACV and water soothes your sore throat since the germs can’t survive in such an acidic environment. Be careful to not gargle too much, however, since the acid in the ACV can wear down your tooth enamel. Drinking a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water is a great way to clear up any nasal congestion. The amino acids in the acv will also give you a boost of energy in case your cold has you feeling sluggish.

Garlic

Garlic and onions have become a staple in our home. We use them regularly in our home cooking and in our cold remedies since they work wonders on the common cold. We can always tell when someones caught a cold by the distinctive garlic broth smell that radiates throughout the house. The allicin in garlic is thought to be the compound that fights the cold, the same ingredient that gives garlic its distinctive “garlicky” flavor. Add crushed, raw garlic and onions to boiling water and boil until onions are clear. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper and drink up! The flavor takes some getting used to but the duration of your cold will be shortened dramatically!

Water

Keeping your body hydrated while you are sick is crucial. Fever, diarrhea and vomiting deplete the water in our precious bodies. Dehydration can have negative impacts on both our mental and physical capabilities, which is why it is important to stay hydrated. Since you may not be eating as much, your body isn’t able to collect as much water from your food, further depleting your hydration levels. As soon as you notice you are not feeling well, keep your eye on your water intake. Be sure you are getting down as much water as you can (around 2 L a day) for optimal benefits.

Zinc Gluconate

Before you stock up on your Nyquil and Dayquil this cold season, take a gander at zinc gluconate, also known as Cold Eeze. This throat lozenge uses zinc gluconate to release zinc ions into the body to shorten your cold. How does it work? The zinc gluconate in the lozenge prevents the cold virus from binding and replicating, hence shortening your cold. The lozenges don’t taste the best, but they work and are free from any artificial colors or preservatives. When taken at the onset of your cold, zinc gluconate may reduce the duration of your cold by a few days.

Ginger

A homemade ginger tea works wonders relieving congestion and a sore throat, while supporting your immune system. To make a wonderful ginger tea at home, start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and adding a few slices of fresh ginger, lemon and cinnamon. Allow the mix to simmer on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add in raw honey.

 

*Remember to never give honey to a child younger than age 1.

**These tips are simply guidelines, not to be used in place of your doctor’s recommendations.

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

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10 Awesome Ways to Reuse Your Halloween Pumpkin http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/11/07/10-ways-reuse-halloween-pumpkin/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/11/07/10-ways-reuse-halloween-pumpkin/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:00:02 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4392 Halloween may be over but the cherished “pumpkin season” has yet to come to an end. Reusing your pumpkin saves you money and creates a colorful menu for weeks to come! Before you toss your jack-o-lantern into the nearest receptacle try out  a few of these fun and clever ways of reusing your pumpkin:  ...

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Halloween may be over but the cherished “pumpkin season” has yet to come to an end. Reusing your pumpkin saves you money and creates a colorful menu for weeks to come! Before you toss your jack-o-lantern into the nearest receptacle try out  a few of these fun and clever ways of reusing your pumpkin:

PUMPKIN

 

1. Soothing Mask

As lovers of all things masks, you know we couldn’t pass up on this opportunity! Pumpkin masks are full of essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, C & E, as well as antioxidants and fatty acids. These incredible ingredients soften the skin, improve cell turnover, and brighten your complexion. Let’s not forget to mention that the zinc in pumpkin does wonders for treating acneic skin. Mix a 1/4 cup of pumpkin that has been pureed with a spoonful of honey. Apply the mask and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and moisturize!

2. Fall-Inspired Smoothie

The amazing nutrients in pumpkin work wonders inside your body, too! Chop your fresh pumpkin into chunks and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool and remove any skin. In a blender combine the fresh pumpkin with a frozen banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, maca powder and coconut milk. This delicious smoothie is full of vital nutrients and tastes like Fall in a glass! To save you time, freeze any unused, boiled pumpkin for future smoothies!

3. Exfoliation:

If you want to smell like a delicious Autumn treat, look no further than that lovely pumpkin. Pumpkin is full of alpha hydroxy acids, which helps with cell turnover and exfoliation. Talk about glowing skin, huh? Scoop out the insides of fresh pumpkin and place into a blender (set aside any seeds). Add in honey and cinnamon and puree until smooth. In a small bowl combine the pumpkin mixture with a few spoonfuls of sugar. Use this mixture to gently exfoliate your skin (avoid sensitive areas like your face).

4. Pumpkin Bread:

This delicious snack is the perfect treat for the holiday season. Baking with a fresh pumpkin is a wonderful way to preserve that fresh flavor while still packing your baked goodies chalk full of powerful nutrients. To create your own pumpkin puree for your bread, start by washing and halving your pumpkin (cut away the stem and pulp). Bake the halves face down covered in foil for about 1 1/2 hours at 375 degrees. The pumpkin should be tender. After cooling, cut away the skin and scoop out the insides of the pumpkin and mash it until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the store bought puree in your bread recipe.

5. Roasted Seeds:

It’s no secret that pumpkin seeds are just delicious. They are easy to make and are the perfect late night snack. Start by rinsing the seeds under cool water, then spread the seeds onto a baking sheet. Roast the plain seeds for 30 minutes. After roasting, season the seeds with your favorite spices and roast for another 20 or so minutes.

6. Mashed Pumpkin:

A side of mashed pumpkin is the perfect addition to any fall dish. Soften the pumpkin by boiling for about 25 minutes. Remove the skin and mash the pumpkin chunks into a desired consistency. Add a few shakes of sea salt and pepper and wallah!

7. Pumpkin Soup:

The perfect treat for any brisk Autumn day. This delicious squash soup recipe is the perfect way to use any left over pumpkin. Simply subtitute the squash for your fresh pumpkin!

8.Compost:

If you just can’t stand to eat anything pumpkin, chuck the pumpkin right into your composter! Be sure to cut the pumpkin into smaller chunks so it decomposes faster.

9.Pumpkin Pie:

This Thanksgiving essential is the perfect way to get rid of your pumpkin. Boil chunks of the pumpkin for about 25 minutes. Once cool, cut off the skin and blend until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the canned pumpkin you  typically use. This preservative free puree can be frozen and used for holiday treats all season long!

10. Waffles:

This breakfast favorite is going to taste all the better when made with fresh pumpkin puree. This delicious pumpkin waffle recipe is perfect for any fall morning. Just swap out the canned pumpkin for your homemade puree (as seen in #4). Did we mention this yummy recipe has 5g of protein per serving?!

 

What are your favorite ways to reuse your Halloween pumpkins?

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!
-Zeena

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Body Language: The Meaning Behind Your Symptoms http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/10/15/the-meaning-behind-your-bodys-symptoms/ http://brownandcoconut.com/2014/10/15/the-meaning-behind-your-bodys-symptoms/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:00:10 +0000 http://brownandcoconut.com/?p=4383 Recently I noticed my nails were breaking…A LOT…and I tend to have very strong nails that grow fairly quickly. So, you can imagine my surprise and frustration when my nails were peeling out of control. Now before you get grossed out, when I say “peeling” I just mean any extra length that extended beyond the...

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Recently I noticed my nails were breaking…A LOT…and I tend to have very strong nails that grow fairly quickly. So, you can imagine my surprise and frustration when my nails were peeling out of control. Now before you get grossed out, when I say “peeling” I just mean any extra length that extended beyond the finger would just become brittle and peel, then break off. Annoying.

So, what did I do?……I IMMEDIATELY CALLED 9-1-1!

…Just kidding, I didn’t do that…I wouldn’t recommend it either. I should also mention that I did NOT run to the drugstore to buy Sally Hansen’s Diamond Strength Nail Top Coat.

Is it just me, or does Sally Hansen have like 30 different (but secretly the same) diamond top coats?

So, here’s what I DID do…

Listen to Your Body’s Symptoms

bodys-symptoms

After having a mini melt-down staring at my mangled nails, I thought to myself, what is my body trying to tell me?  I then examined my lifestyle and asked, what changed?

  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Diet
  • Hydration
  • Supplements
  • Products

I thought about my diet over the last few weeks and noticed I was eating a TON of fruit. I had been extremely busy for months on end and was on autopilot with my food consumption, eating a lot of fruit, some vegetables, and really nothing else. While it’s good that I was eating fruits and vegetables, I was missing out on one important macronutrient that is essential to nail health.

Cue the Jeopardy music….“What is Protein, Alex?”

Ding Ding!

Protein. My nails were falling apart because my diet was lacking protein.

The Meaning Behind Your Body’s Symptoms

All too often, we seek temporary solutions where we can simply throw a bandaid over a problem rather than get to the root of the issue and seek a solution. Long term protein deficiency, for example can do quite a bit of damage to your body. Figuring out my deficiency now, BEFORE any irreversible consequences occurred saved me a lot of future health issues, wouldn’t you agree?

If more people took this approach when dealing with their health and bodies, a lot of chronic conditions could be avoided. By not waiting until something small manifests itself into a much larger, harder to fix problem, we are saving ourselves time, money, unnecessary distress, and bodily harm.

The next time you have a headache, rather than just pop a few painkillers to mask the problem, ask yourself why you have a headache. The more knowledge you have with regard to your body and lifestyle, the smarter you’ll be when it comes to making the best choices for yourself.

If a child is crying, the mother doesn’t just tell the baby to be quiet and go about her day, she tries to figure out why, is the baby hungry, tired, need to be changed?.

Think about your body as if it were a child who can’t talk and next time your body is crying, ask it why, then give it what it needs.

~ Letisha

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