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Monthly Archives

August 2013

5 Reasons to Keep Fit in the Fall!

Okay so summer is winding down, and now is the time when most people feel its their chance to relax and/or deviate from their fitness regimens…

…but WAIT JUST A MINUTE!

Believe me when I say, that’s the last thing you want to do because in just a few months you’ll be promising yourself and who knows else, that you’ll do better for the new year, and we all know how that story ends…

So do yourself a favor and don’t fall off the horse now!

Runner on autumn season

1) Perfect Weather

Take advantage of the perfect weather. The oppressive summer heat is fading, but the winter chill has yet to set in; the perfect jogging weather. Not to mention, the fall foliage creates a beautiful scenery for your viewing pleasures 🙂

If your like me, you love the smell of fall, this is also something to enjoy!

2) Bye Bye Sunshine

Another reason to get out and be active, is that the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter, and as your daylight exposure wanes you can experience changes in mood, your sleep pattern, and most importantly Vitamin D deficiency.

3) Yucky Colds

With cold weather comes, well colds. Maintaining healthy & fit body plays a big part in helping your immune system to fight off illnesses. The colder it gets, the quicker these sicknesses seem to spread so give your immune system a helping hand and keep up a consistent workout routine

4) Holiday Waistlines

As the weather cools, there are holidays waiting at every turn! With those holidays comes candy, desserts, dinner feasts, alcohol, and ever expanding waistlines. What better reason to stick to your workout routine than to help keep those holiday pounds from piling on.

5) Summer Body Starts NOW

One imortant thing to remember is that to see significant changes to your body as a result of your workout routine, you actually have to be consistent. Changes don’t happen overnight so if you want that rock hard summer 2014 bod, you better start working out now. 😉

Peace, Love, & Coconuts

~ Letisha

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Natural Soothers for Upset Stomach

We ALL get stomachaches for one reason or another, whether it’s from a bad meal or from a night of drinking. Stomachaches are verrrryy uncomfortable and as a result I’ve worked fast to find ways to get rid of them! Here are my favorite 3 natural ways to soothe an upset stomach:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

This actually might just be my favorite of favorites!  The apple cider vinegar works wonders on my upset stomach by helping to restore the balance of acids. I actually also like to drink vinegar sometimes even before I know I’ll get an upset stomachache, like when I eat something with dairy in it. 

How to use:

You can take a shot of ACV straight up, however my throat burns and feels irritated when I do that, so my preferred method is:

  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (organic and unpasteurized)
  • ½ cup water 

Combine together and drink quickly because you don’t want the acid lingering in your mouth and damaging your teeth. I follow with 16 oz of just water to get the taste out of my mouth.

2. Lemon

lemonLemons seem to have endless uses and they definitely help with stomachaches too! The acidity in lemons once again helps to restore balance in the stomach. I also love lemons whenever I feel nauseous. The smell and taste immediately eases my stomach and head.

How to use:

  • Juice of half lemon
  • 8 oz water

Combine and drink quickly (but you don’t need to drink it too fast like you need to with Apple Cider Vinegar.)

3.Tea with Mint

yogi teaThere are teas that specifically help with an upset stomach. My favorite is Yogi Bedtime tea  that I combine with crushed fresh mint leaves. The chamomile, licorice and cardamom promote relaxation and tranquility (which is the exact opposite of what I feel when I have a stomachache, no wonder I love it!). Mint also aids with nausea and upset stomach by promoting digestion.

How to use:

  • 1 tea bag
  • 1-2 mint leaves
  • 12 oz water

Crush mint leaves and place in bottom of mug. Boil 12 oz of water, steep tea bag for 5-10 minutes and enjoy. 🙂

Peace, Love, & Coconuts

~ Nalani

15 Ways to Treat Anxiety, Naturally!

Many people suffer from anxiety, whether it be a more serious case, or only minor anxiety. Perhaps you only suffer from minor anxiety and want to try treating it yourself or  maybe you are just in favor of seeking out natural remedies before turning to western medicine, which are often harsh with even worse side effects. In either case, below are some ways to treat anxiety naturally. 🙂

15 Ways to Treat Anxiety, Naturally:

Herbal Remedies Supplements

1. Valerian & Passionflower

These act as a sedative or sleep aid, but are also effective for anxiety

2. Lemon Balm Extract

Has been shown to help with anxiety, but be careful, too much can have the opposite effect, worsening anxiety

3. Lavender Oil or Hops Aromatherapy 

Hops has been shown to have a sedative-like effect, while both are effective anxiety soothers

 

Exercise

4. Cardiovascular Exercise

While regular exercise has been shown to balance hormones and improve your mood, cardiovascular exercise can be particularly effective for treating anxiety. Aim for at least 20-30 minutes a day.

5. Meditation or Yoga

Widely known for their calming/relaxing effects on the body

Diet

6. Eat a largely plant-based diet

7. Be sure to get enough folate

8. Eat more eggs

Eggs are rich in choline and adequate levels in your diet are associated with lessened anxiety

9. Get your omega-3s

Try adding more fish to your diet, or adding an omega-3 fish oil supplement such as Nordic Naturals

10. Try not to skip meals

A drop in blood sugar can bring about irritability and worsen anxiety

11. Drink Chamomile or Green Tea

The L-theanine in green tea can help lower heart rate and blood pressure, while chamomile is also proven to have anxiety reducing effects

tea

Other Tips

12. Practice Deep Breathing

13. Heat Relaxation

Take a relaxing, hot shower/bath or get some sun to heat up and relax the body

14. Avoid Stress-Inducing Environments

15. Get Enough Sleep!

~ Letisha

NEW Study Reveals Fruit can prevent Aneurysm

Surprise, surprise, a new study was just released declaring that a diet that includes 2 or more servings of fruit can help tofruit lower your risk of an aneurysm. Now, the link between fruit intake and the risk of an aneurysm is of course a groundbreaking discovery, but this idea that fruits and vegetables are disease fighters and curers of ailments is really nothing new (or at least it shouldn’t be…). I must say though that it’s exciting to see the connection not just being recognized, but being backed by a study, maybe now people will take a second look at what they’re eating, and what they’re not.

Click HERE to read the full article on CBSNews.com

What are YOUR thoughts on this topic?

~ Letisha

The American Diet vs. The World…

Recently, I spent a week in Jamaica for a relaxing vacation. While it was full of both relaxation and fun filled days/nights, I Jamaicaactually learned quite a lot. One interesting thing that I picked up on was the difference in diet. I’m not talking about the differences in foods, but rather the difference in quality of food. During my week there, I had little to no exposure to processed foods or chemical-filled foods. While I can’t speak for all of Jamaica, the city where I stayed really only offered freshly cooked foods, there were not many fast food restaurants. In fact, the streets were constantly alive with vendors selling a variety of fresh fruit and jerk chicken being grilled on location, along with a few other things.

It seemed that there was no need for “organic THIS, or natural THAT” because practically everything already is.

I was a little embarrassed to come back to the U.S. which as I’m sure your jamaica and coconutknow is loaded with fast food restaurants, processed foods, and basically crap for you body.

Here, organic and naturally based foods are considered “specialty foods”. How backwards is that? If you ask me, chemical-filled foods should be non-existent, processed foods should be a rarity, and organic/naturally-based foods should be the norm.  Now, there’s an idea.

It’s not to say that everything in the American diet is horrible, or that all other countries diets are perfect. But on the whole, I think we can take a lesson from other countries whose diets put the American diet to shame.

Share your thoughts on this topic. I’d love to hear them!

~ Letisha

D.I.Y: Lemon Sugar Lip Scrub

When was the last time you exfoliated your lips? I’ll be honest: I don’t exfoliate them as much as I probably should! 🙁 I know, if you don’t wear lipstick on a daily basis, exfoliating your lips can seem pretty trivial in your “beauty to-do’s”. I mean, what’s a little something Vaseline can’t fix, right?

scrub

Wrong! Vaseline and chapstick only mask the dryness, creating a vicious cycle of dry lips and chap stick. Exfoliating your lips helps to REMOVE the dry, dead skin that can gradually build up. So, if your lips are feeling dry, cracked, rough, lumpy or just plain blah, try this D.I.Y recipe for uber soft lips!

You’ll need 3 simple ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Coconut oil

Mix all three ingredients together in a small (VERY small) bowl! Remember, you only need a small amount for your lips! Using circular motions, rub the mixture on your lips. Rinse and apply your favorite chap stick. Trust me, after this lemon sugar scrub your lips with be irresistibly soft!

What’s your favorite recipe for a D.I.Y lip scrub?

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

Essential Oils: Top Seven Heavenly Uses and Benefits

Essential oils are the highly fragrant oils that are extracted from a plant’s root, leaves, stems, flower, or bark. These oils are usually obtained through two methods: pressed or steamed. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in everything from holistic care to aesthetic purposes. Many are sold in small quantities due to the high potency of the oil. What’s wonderful about essential oil is that they are available in so many fragrances, which only increases its wonderful variety of uses.

image

1. Natural Perfume

I do enjoy wearing perfume but many perfumes are filled with unrecognizable chemicals. Many people have allergies to perfume, some of which  can be extremely burdensome to the sinuses. Essential oils can be mixed and matched to create the perfect unique scent for a person. The lack of chemicals such as parabens and other irritants found in other perfumes can greatly reduce the irritation to a person’s sinuses. You get the best of both worlds!

2. Cleaning

Like perfume, so many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals. Making your own cleaning solution at home with vinegar and water is an excellent way to reduce irritants while maintaining a clean, germ free space. However, vinegar is not the best smelling substance. Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil helps to mask the powerful vinegar scent while leaving your home clean and smelling wonderful.

3. Relaxation

Certain plants and flowers like lavender and chamomile have soothing, therapeutic properties. During a massage, adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your massage oil or lotion can add an extra element of relaxation. Also, try this technique in a steam room or sauna (ahhhh…).

4. Hair and Skin

Adding essential oils to your own hair and skin products can help them fit your own unique sense of smell. Not all hair and body products smell the same, some of which aren’t that pleasant. A few drops of your favorite essential oil is a great quick fix.

image

5. Air Freshener

Various aromas throughout your home can be wonderful, but store bought air fresheners are typically expensive and also contain so many crazy–i –can’t–pronounce chemicals. Some great alternatives include adding a few drops on your linens (curtains, sheets, towels). For the bathroom, try adding a few drops to the inside of the toilet roll for a “secret” air freshener.

6. Medicinal

Most of us have had a cold where our nose is all stuffed up. You feel like you just can’t breathe! Well, essential oils can help with that too! Essential oils such as eucalyptus can be helpful in clearing a stuffed nasal passage. To clear stuffed sinuses, try adding a few drops to your soap or face wash while in a hot shower.

7. Keep The Bugs Away

Whether it’s winter, spring, or summer, bugs always seem to be around. Rather than spraying the worst smelling and poisonous chemicals around your home and family, opt to make your own bug spray! Spiders, for example, seem to have an aversion to lemons. Keep those pesky critters away with a mix of water, lemon oil and a little soap!

 

How do you use essential oils? Let us know on our Facebook!

 

Peace, Love, & Coconuts.

-Nalani

4 Reasons to Change Your Beauty Regimen

Beautiful Healthy Woman FaceToo much of anything can be a bad thing right?

This is something I try to live by. Balance is key, in all aspects of our lives, work/life balance, nutritional balance, balance of rest and physical fitness and so much more. When that balance gets thrown out of equilibrium, thats when problems arise. This same concept carries over to our beauty routines. Thats right! It is important to CHANGE your routine!

Here’s why…

1) Body Changes

Think about your skin for example, its often oily and acne prone in our teens and early twenties, later becoming dry and may have fine lines. Our needs changes as our bodies change so it’s important to keep up with your body’s ever-changing state.

2) Climate Change

Many people live in an area that undergoes some form of seasonal climate change. While some geographical areas experience more drastic changes than others, the result is still the same, weather changes that can spark the need for a new beauty regimen. Take cold dry winters for example, they can be very drying to your skin so you may opt for a heavier moisturizer in the winter and perhaps go for a lighter one in the hotter more humid times.

3) Ingredients

It’s important to note that you never want to overexpose yourself to a particular ingredient because overuse could do more harm than good. Avoid this by changing up the products you use on your skin and hair.

4) Life

It goes without saying that life tends to throw curve balls at us, which can impact us in a variety of ways. Our bodies responding to external factors like stress, health-related issues, injury, etc., can influence how we need to go about treating our bodies on the outside. Stress may be causing you to breakout, which is going to change what you should use on the affected area. Sunburns, damaged hair from heat styling, or even skin rashes are going to affect our beauty regimen.

Moral of this story? Change your routine before it changes YOU! (just kidding 😀 )

But seriously..change up your routine 🙂

~ Letisha

Honey Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioning is the most important part of the day! Okay, not really–but deep conditioning our hair on a weekly (or biweekly) basis is super important for maintaining the health and beauty of our tresses. I have been making my own deep conditioner regularly for the past few months because I simply haven’t bought one (I always forget to buy one!) Making a deep condtioner at home is much less expensive than the in-store variety. I love knowing each and every ingredient I put into my conditioners so I know what is going onto my hair and scalp. The best part? Making your own deep conditioner only takes minutes! This Honey Deep Conditioner recipe only took me about 5 minutes to make!  If you don’t have any one of the ingredients below feel free to substitute it or exclude it all together. You can even make a FABULOUS deep conditioner with just honey, olive oil, and egg yolk!

honey deep conditioner

Honey Deep Conditioner

Here’s What You’ll need:

  • 4 TBSP Honey
  • 2 TBSP Shea Butter
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Castor Oil
  • 2-3 TBSP Coconut Milk

honey deep conditioner

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl or blender. I chose to use a blender because the shea butter was not melted. For this recipe you may want to add more honey or more shea butter depending on your preference of consistency. Feel free to make any necessary adjustments! 🙂

honey deep conditioner

Apply mixture to wet or dry hair. Allow to sit for 30+ minutes. After shampooing the mixture out of your hair, rinse your hair with a 3:1 ratio of water to apple cider vinegar. This helps to promote shiny hair while closing the hair cuticle. Condition and style hair as usual!

Making homemade deep conditioners is a fabulous treat! Have you tried a honey deep conditioner? Comment below!

Peace, love and coconuts!

-Zeena

Buyer Beware: 7 UNHEALTHY “Health” Foods

All too often, people are fooled by misleading food labels or ads that boast about how “healthy” their product is. If only you knew that “no sugar-added” or “all natural” aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. Below I’ve compiled a list of the top “healthy” foods you may want to rethink.

Fruit Smoothies

We hear fruit and we think it’s healthy right?? Well a lot of fruit smoothies are made with a sugary yogurt or juice base that is far from healthy and can often contain as much, if not more sugar than a serving of soda. Not to mention, these smoothies can be packed with way more than a normal serving of fruit, loading on the calories.

Strawberry smoothie

Salads

You want to be careful with this one because depending on the lettuce or other green leafies used along with toppings, a very healthy salad can quickly become extremely unhealthy. Iceberg lettuce for example, has pretty much little to no nutritional value. What’s more, is people will often pack on cheese, dressing, salty deli meats, fried chicken, croutons, and other bready toppings. Steer clear of all this and stick to light dressings like balsamic vinegar, or even lemon juice. Sometimes if you have a delicious blend of vegetables, you wont need any dressing at all!

salad

Yogurt

While yogurt is certainly a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and probiotics for a healthy digestive system, they can also be loaded with sugar, some even contain over 30 grams! This is a big red flag! Skip the sugar yogurt and choose unsweetened yogurt, then add some of your favorite berries or other fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Yogurt

No-Sugar Added

This one can be tricky because at first glance, you may think, “fabulous, it doesn’t have sugar!”, but in reality, there are naturally occurring sugars, and A LOT of them. Take fruit juices for example. Often times there won’t be any sugar added, but that doesn’t make drinking juice better. A cup here or there won’t kill you, but when you have 2,3,4,5 and more glasses of juice a day, those naturally occurring sugars (and calories) add up, providing very limited and sometimes no other nutritional benefits. Try squeezing some lemon or lime into some chilled water. This is a very thirst quenching option.

Nutrition, Protein & Breakfast Bars

This one’s a doozie. Many people grab these in the morning when they’re on the go, thinking they are eating a decent breakfast when in fact these can add a ton of fat, calories, carbs, and sugar to your diet. Great way to start the day right? Wrong! Steer clear of these as much as you can and opt for fresh non processed food for breakfast like a boiled egg, and some fresh fruit.

Energy bar isolated on white background

Condiments

Often times, when used in their appropriate serving size, condiments won’t break your healthy diet, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to go WAY over the recommended serving size. Hummus is a big. It can be a great option when you stick to 1 or 2 tbsp, but start going over and the calories really add up. Ketchup and even barbecue sauce can add a lot more sugar than you bargain for, while tomato sauce adds sugar and lots of calories. Watch your condiment usage with a close eye or find healthier alternatives!

condiments

All Natural

The term “natural” is not regulated by the government so companies can use this term pretty loosely, marketing products as natural that have no business being described as such. My advice? Do your research before-hand so you know exactly what is going into the product your buying. You’ll often find there’s nothing natural about it!

Granola

Granola can be a great source of fiber, healthy fats, & omega 3’s, but it is also very calorie dense. The serving size is generally pretty small, but people tend to go way over this limit, packing on the calories and sugar. Stick to the serving size or skip it altogether.

granola

What do you do to avoid these health traps?

~ Letisha

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