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Monthly Archives

November 2013

Are you Mistletoe Ready? 3 Steps to Smoother Lips

‘Tis the season of gifting, holiday treats, and mistletoe. Yup, that’s right, the mistletoe. And let’s be honest, it’s no secret that this cold weather can leave our lips dry, chapped and irritated…So, what are the best ways to keep our lips mistletoe ready during this holiday season (licking your lips doesn’t count!)? Read on to find out how!Sweet lips

 1.Exfoliation

Exfoliating your lips is one of the best ways to achieve baby soft lips. It give your lips that healthy glow by removing dead skin cells and discoloration.

Start by mixing…

lemon + sugar + honey

OR

coconut oil + brown sugar

These simple mixtures not only remove any dead skin cells, but moisturize as well!

 

2. Deep Moisture

Now that your lips are smooth, you are ready for the special treatment. Coating your lips in butters and oils is one of the best ways to prevent and heal dry, chapped lips. This treatment works best overnight (trust me—your lips will be greasy).

You’re going to need to gather…

shea butter + coconut oil + vitamin e oil

Apply the thick mixture to your lips (as much as you can stand) and let it soak in overnight.

 

3. Protect & Prevent

So your lips are finally feeling cool, calm and collected, right? Well, you can’t stop there! Protect your lips from the cold, dry elements with a heavy-duty lipbalm.

Carefully heat up…

beeswax + olive oil

Pour the heated mixture into a small container. Many health stores sell beeswax as well as small containers to store your lip balm. This simple mixture will coat and protect your lips from any harm! (okay, well maybe just from the cold, dry weather!).

 

With these three steps your lips will stay baby soft all holiday season long!

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

DIY: Cranberry & Honey Skin Brightening Mask

Skin Brightening Mask

It’s no secret that the ladies of Brown & Coconut (that’s us 😉 ) just love smearing stuff on our face. We have a super effective DIY cranberry & honey skin brightening mask that can help to give your skin a clear and glowing complexion with just 3 simple ingredients.

Cranberry & Honey Skin Brightening Mask

This mask includes:

  • 10 Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp Plain Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Honey

This Cranberry & Honey Skin Brightening Mask is great skin brightening maskfor exfoliatingbrightening, moisturizing your skin. It also reduces redness, irritation, itchiness, & inflammation. The cranberry & honey offer anti-bacterial properties which are great for acne prone skin.

Directions:

  • Crush your berries until they are pretty well mashed
  • Mix in the yogurt and honey until completely blended.
  • Spread evenly on your face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water

Now go enjoy that sparkly new face of yours! 🙂

~ Letisha

Get Over It! (Your Cold, That Is..)

Colder weather usually means a dreaded COLD.  People tend to stay indoors for longer periods of time compared to warmer seasons. This creates a perfect opportunity for germs to be passed around the room! This means a you have a greater chance of catching the bug. Not only that, but some types of viruses actually travel easier in cooler temperatures which is also why people get certain types of colds during the winter. So aside from catching some extra Z’s, what’s a person to do when you find yourself under the weather??

Here are a few of my favorite ways of treating a cold:cold

1.Garlic Broth

As a child I couldn’t stand to stomach this broth, but it actually worked! My colds are typically reduced by 3-5 days by drinking this concoction 2x per day from the onset of your first sign of sickness.  What’s in this broth you may ask? There are 5 super simple ingredients!

  • Garlic (one whole head)
  • Onion (One medium)
  • Sea Salt (Sprinkle)
  • Turmeric (2 tsps)
  • Water (2 cups)

Place all ingredients in a small pot and boil until reduced to ¾ cup. Drink while still hot!

2.Smoothies

I love smoothies because they are such a quick and easy way to a major dose of much needed antioxidants. My favorite combination is to combine fresh kale, blueberries, raspberries, green apple, flaxseeds, & coconut water. This smoothie is full of vitamins and minerals that will definitely help your body become healthier and stronger. So if your thinking the only beverage to be drinking is orange juice while your sick, then think again. Ditch the oj, it is only overloading your body with excess sugar and calories.

3.Eucaplytus Showers

Have you ever felt so stuffy and congested that you feel like you can’t even function? Taking a hot, relaxing shower can definitely be a soothing refresher. The steam in combination with the eucalyptus helps to open up sinuses and relax the body which may become stiff from staying in bed all day.

There you have it! 3 simple ways to get over your cold this winter season. What are some of your favorite ways to get better? Comment below.

Peace, Love, Health & Coconuts

~ Nalani

TOP Health & Fitness Trends of 2013!

Fitness Trends

With the year coming to a close, I thought it’d be a good time to look at the top health & fitness trends of 2013! None of these trends originated this year, rather they have continued to grow in popularity and have remained in the spotlight this year, thus making their way to the top of Brown & Coconut’s list!

NOTE: I am not commenting on the effectiveness or safety of anything on this list, but merely highlighting its rise and continued popularity in 2013.

1)   Zumba

Zumba was created in the 1990’s by Beto Perez when he accidentally forgot his aerobics music for a class he was to teach, and proceeded to play the only thing he had, Latin & Salsa music. Officially licensed in 2001, this dance inspired fitness craze has only continued to increase in popularity since its start and has remained at the top of nearly everyone’s fitness “to-do” list throughout 2013.

2)   Herbalife

Started in the 1980’s in California, Herbalife is a nutrition company known worldwide. Offering products everywhere from meal replacement drinks, to protein powders, energy bars, and supplements, Herbalife is splashed all over social media, promoting healthier bodies through the use of their products.

3)  Body Wraps

Made by It Works, body wraps deliver a botanical-based formula using a non-woven cloth. The cloth is wrapped around a single body part to help tone and tighten an area (such as: abdomen, arms, and legs), as well as reduce the appearance of cellulite and varicose veins.

4)   Elimination Diets

Everywhere you turn, people seem to be cutting out one thing or another in an attempt to be healthier. Gluten, sugar, red meat, and dairy, to name a few, are just some of the foods people have chosen to nix.

5)   Cleanses

Total body system cleanses have most certainly grown in popularity and continue to do so. Cleanses come in the form of pills, powdered drink mixes, juices, and smoothies. Cleansers (people who cleanse 😉 ) most often do so to reduce bloat, kick-start a new diet/fitness regimen, regulate digestion, rev-up their energy, or just to be a little healthier all around. Zeena and I tried the Dr. Oz juice detox and liked it overall. Check out our review here!

6)   Quinoa

At the start of the year, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations officially declared 2013, “the Year of the Quinoa” in an effort to battle hunger and promote healthy eating. So, of course this one had to be on our list! This grain-like crop is everywhere and it’s not surprising, considering it is a complete protein with more protein than any other grain, and is loaded with phytonutrients. Its health benefits are still being discovered, but has shown promising results as far as reducing inflammation.

7)    Going organic/natural

Not all, but many companies are moving away from harsh chemicals and trying to incorporate more natural and organic ingredients into their products. This trend stretches across industries including cleaning products, drinks, food, and cosmetics (just to name a few). Even companies that aren’t getting rid of chemicals and artificial ingredients entirely, are still incorporating natural elements through use of a few nature-made ingredients. Some companies are actually trying to head in a positive direction, while others are sadly using this as nothing more than a marketing campaign. 

8)   Strength-training for Women

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to close with this, as it is by far my favorite trend. If you have some form of a social media account, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or even Pinterest, then I’m sure you’ve seen lots of tight and toned women preaching the same message, MUSCLES are no longer just for MEN. Women are embracing, fit and toned bodies and ditching the thin, muscle-lacking physique. Women are breaking out of their shells and picking up weights ditching the idea that they’ll get “too bulky”.. GO LADIES GO!! 🙂

What is your favorite or top controversial health trend of 2013? Have you tried any of the above?? Share your comment below!

~ Letisha

Save Your Halloween Pumpkin!

Still have your pumpkin left over from Halloween?

You’re not the only one. It’s easy to pop the sucker on the porch and forget all about it. If you’re lazy like us and didn’t want to take the time to carve a jack-o-lantern, your pumpkin is probably still is great shape!

So what the heck do you do with it now? Well, you could leave it on that porch of yours through Thanksgiving, OR reduce it down to pumpkin puree so you can use it in a variety of pumpkin dishes!

Making Pumpkin Purée

pumpkin pulp

What you’ll need:

  • A whole pumpkin
  • Serrated knife
  • Pot with steaming compartment
  • Ice cream scoop or large spoon
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large bowl

Directions:

  1. Grab your pumpkin off that porch pronto!
  2. Wash it with soap and water.
  3. Cut pumpkin in half from stem to stem.
  4. Take an ice cream scoop or large spoon and scrape pulp & seeds from the inside and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Now take your pumpkin halves and cut down into smaller boiling pumpkinchunks so they can fit in your pot. My pumpkin was huge so I had to steam in batches.
  6. Steam each batch for about 30 minutes or long enough so that pumpkin is soft and penetrates easily with a fork (should have  a mashed potato-like consistency)
  7. Once it’s soft, remove from pot and scrape out the pumpkin meat and place in a bowl. You may discard the exterior skin. You’ll notice that a lot of water will seep out of the pumpkin meat into your bowl. Unless you will be using your puree to make pumpkin soup, you may strain this water out.
  8. Now that you’re left with the pumpkin meat, grab an electric mixer and beat until pumpkin becomes a smooth puree. Pulp will begin to wrap around the  paddle(s) of your mixer. Continue to beat your pumpkin letting the pulp build up on the paddles, occasionally stopping to remove and discard this buildup. Do this until all pulp strands are gone and you’re left with smooth pumpkin puree.pumpkin puree

You can use this puree to make a ton of yummy pumpkin dishes.

Why not make our Super Moist Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins??

As for your pulp and seeds….

You remember what was scraped out of your pumpkin early on? Pick through that and remove the pumpkin seeds then throw away the pulp. Rinse and dry the seeds. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little seasoning, salt, and/or pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit until seeds are toasted on both sides. Shake cookie sheet a couple of times while cooking to flip them around on cookie sheet. Should take no more than 20-30 minutes.

 Peace, Love, & Coconut PUMPKIN!

Just kidding coconut!

Come back!…. WE STILL LOVE YOU!

~ Letisha

3 Ways to Save Your Skin

Winter is here! Or at least it will be coming very soon, but either way the cold weather is in full effect. Cold weather can wreak havoc on skin. For years I experienced the same repeat issues every time the winter came around. Fortunately, I have found 3 simple and best ways to have beautiful skin even during the cold, harsh months.

1. Exfoliation
This step is absolutely critical! Cold weather with decreased dew points means less moisture for your skin. As a result, dry flakey winter skinpatches. These dry patches can be irritating to skin and cause bleeding due to cracked skin or breakouts because of the dry skin clogging pores. Exfoliating will help rid of dead skin by actively rubbing away the too dead layer and will keep fresh breathable skin.

2. Oil up!
Many people complain of dry, oily or combo skin. Either way, winter can bother all of them. The cold, dry air can exasperate dry skin, lack of moisture can cause oily skin to overproduce oil, and combo skin…well it just gets the worst of both worlds. Supplying skin with necessary oil is great way to avoid all of those issues. My absolute favorite oil to use on my face is Argan oil. Every time I use it, my skin just soaks it up and reduces redness, breakouts, and alleviates dry patches. I also notice that my face is far less oily and shiny at the end of the day, which I love!

3. Steam Mask
Once again, that dry air can be your skin’s worst enemy. Between the air, the dirty scarf (that we continuously use over and over again, that really should be washed), and normal everyday accumulation of dirt and bacteria, the skin needs a good cleansing. One of the best ways to open pores to clean them is a steam mask! All you need is a bowl of steaming hot water and a towel. Simply place your face 8 inches from the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with the towel, so that it creates mini steam room. Do this for about 10 minutes. This opens up pores and is great way to get deep down in order to rinse out all of that dirt. Also, exfoliating immediately after helps to rid of dry patches on the face as well.

There you have it! Three simple ways to keep your skin beautiful during the winter months. These all apply to any season, but definitely have saved my skin during this season! What helps your skin during the winter? Let us know! Comment below or on our Facebook. We love hearing from you! 😉

Peace, Love, & Coconuts

~Nalani

10 Health Benefits of Cranberries

Cranberries

We absolutely love cranberries, not only because they are delicious and a holiday favorite, but because they a powerhouse food!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, you’ve got to stay tuned for the awesome recipes coming up! In the meantime, check out why these tart little berries are just so magnificent for our health!

10 Health Benefits of Cranberries

NOTE: It is best  to consume cranberries with minimal processing and little to no sugar in order to receive the health benefits. 

  1. Loaded with antioxidants 
    • Protects cells from damage
    • Protects our bodies from heart disease
    • Anti-aging benefits
    • Can help with acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions
    • Can increase metabolism & improve digestion which can aid weight loss
    • Keeps your immune system strong
  2. Can help fight urinary tract infections (UTI)
  3. Can prevent kidney stones
  4. Fights plaque buildup on teeth and helps with cavity prevention
  5. Can help prevent stomach ulcers as well as stomach cancer
  6. Can lower bad cholesterol levels (HDL) while raising good cholesterol levels (LDL) 
  7. Preliminary research shows cranberries can prevent tumor formation & growth
  8. Helps to improve brain function, memory, and mood.
  9. Good for eye health
  10. Can prevent and treat yeast infections in men and women 

After that list of health benefits, who wouldn’t want more cranberries in their life?

~ Letisha 

Stay FIT for the HOLIDAYS!

Uh oh… It’s that time of year again, the holiday season. This time of year is loaded with fun festivities, family, friends, and of course….FOOD.

holiday temptationTis the season of weight gain. First came the halloween candy kick-off, now we dive headfirst into the Holidays with dinner feasts and desserts lurking at each corner. Everywhere you turn there are holiday-inspired treats lurking. It’s no secret that this is a season full of food and drinks in which to indulge. 

So, how do you maintain a healthy lifestyle with all of these temptations around??

Brown & Coconut has a few tips so that losing holiday weight doesn’t have to be your 2014 New Years Resolution.

1) Keep your first line of defense up!

What is your first line of defense?? FOOD, WATER, & SLEEP!

Okay, okay, let me explain. 

You might not be able to control the constant flirting that sweet little pumpkin pie is doing with you from across the room (did it just wink at you??), but you CAN be sure to prepare your body for all the food flirtation by doing the following:

  • Get 8 or more hours of sleep per night

A lack of sleep can send our appetite into overdrive, making you more likely to saunter over to that pie and do  something you know you shouldn’t. Choosing to not let a good night’s rest take a back seat to the holiday chaos will definitely help you ward off those extra pounds.

  • Stay hydrated.

Drinking adequate amounts of water per day (2-3 liters on average) will keep your sometimes ravenous appetite quiet. Not to mention, you’re less likely to overeat if your stomach is nice and happy from a deliciously nutritious & balanced meal.

  • Continue your regular & balanced meals.

Eat regular meals (no skipping!!) and be sure to include lots of lean protein, veggies and fruits, but keep a close eye on your carbs and stick to a serving the size of your fist. This will keep your appetite in check.

 

2) Pump those breaks!healthy holidays

Try eating a LOT slower at your holiday meals (or any meal for that matter). This will give your body & brain a chance to communicate and let you know that you are full. That way, you are more likely to stop eating when you are full rather than overdo it.

 

3) Protein Party

Protein can be your secret weapon. If you know you’re headed to a party, try to have a little healthy protein beforehand (like nuts, seeds, peanut butter, etc). This way you’ll get fuller faster and won’t even want to think about going for any extra dessert.  

 

4) A little water with that wine?

For many of us, the holidays involve an alcoholic beverage or two, the key however, is to not allow the dehydrating effects of alcohol to send your appetite into overdrive. You can certainly enjoy your favorite drink, but for every alcoholic beverage you consume, drink double the water. Your body will thank you (just be cautious of those extra calories hiding in sugary cocktails).

 

5) Just say no.

No skipping workouts. Period. There’s always time for physical activity. Hit the gym if that’s what you enjoy, pop in your favorite workout DVD at home, hit the slopes for heart-pumping winter sports, or head out for a brisk walk/jog with your dog.

Don’t stop there though. If your job is sedentary, here are some other ways to incorporate more physical movement into your day:

  • Get off the bus or train 1 stop early and walk the rest of the way to work.
  • Park a little further away from your job and walk.
  • Go for a brisk walk mid-day if you can or on your lunch break.
  • Get up and stretch every so often.
  • Drink water constantly at work so you have no choice but to continually get up and walk to the bathroom.

What are you doing to stay fit for the Holidays?

~ Letisha