Thursday, March 13, 2014

Is Coconut A Dog's Best Friend?

My new puppy Ms. JW is such a fluffy white ball of energy.  I wonder if coconut oil can keep help her that way, full of energy with healthy looking hair.  I’ve got to do some research to be sure that coconut products are not harmful to her.

 The breeder gave me the following list of common foods that are poisonous to dogs:

  • Alcohol

  • Avocado

  • Chocolate

  • Coffee, tea

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Onions

  • Potato leaves and stems

  • Raisins and grapes

  • Tomato leaves and stems

This list just goes to show you, just because a food is OK for human consumption that doesn't mean that the same food is OK for dogs.

I was surprised to learn  that garlic, onions and grapes are on the  poison list.  I don’t want to find out the hard way that coconut is not good for puppies and dogs. So my next step will be to do some serious research.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Make Your Afternoon Tea More Robust With Coconut

Japanese woman in kimono drinking Matcha tea
Enjoying Matcha Green Tea

In previous posts, I've discussed how coconut sugar adds a delightful new taste sensation to strong teas like ginger  and mint.   I've recently discovered that spicy flavored coconut sugar also enlivens bland tasting green tea.

It's also great with regular ole' Lipton's black tea.  There's no other beverage that recharges me like Lipton's Tea during late afternoons.

 I drink a couple of other specialty teas like red Hibiscus during winter to reduce symptoms of  colds and flu and spearmint  during summer to cool off.

I started drinking green tea after reading about its health benefits several years ago.   Then I learned about a supercharged antioxidant powdered version of green tea, Matcha or Maccha,  that is actually eaten during the Japanese Tea Ceremony. 

 Yes, the tea is eaten and I was curious.   As I recall, Matcha had a peculiar taste that probably could have used some coconut sugar in the cup.

But eventually, I returned to Lipton's Tea that I spike with coconut sugar for a  cup of  spicy afternoon delight.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Coconut Candy Reviews: Stover, Ghirardelli and Ferrero

Life is better with coconut candy in a box of chocolates.   I decided to stock-up on coconut candy  at the grocery store before the next polar vortex, subzero cold wave invades Chicago in February 2014. 

 I bought Russell Stover’s, Ghirardelli and Ferrero Rocher’s coconut candies to taste-test for review …. And here are the results:

Russell Stover Review

Russell Stover’s coconut crunch patty is a sumptuous delight.  It’s very tasty chocolate-covered shredded coconut. 

The milk chocolate’s flavor rivals very expensive brands. The generous amount of coconut is almost like eating  a pricey coconut haystack.

The coconut patty is only one, just 1, of 3 assorted pieces in Stover’s  3.5 oz. “Photo Heart” Valentine’s Day box, selling for about $2.00.  It’s widely available at drugstores, online stores and big box stores.  I need more!

Ghirardelli Coconut Rendezvous Review

I missed the coconut in Ghirardelli's chocolate bar.  The milk chocolate is fabulous tasting and incredibly smooth melting in my mouth.

But  Ghirardelli's new  product misses the mark when it comes to coconut... there is simple not enough for a coconut lover like me.

The product is available at drugstores for about $1.50 on sale.

 Ferrero Rocher Raffaellos Review

Ferrero Raffaello’s Almond Coconut Treat is a delicately-flavored,  creamy sweet that I adore.   It’s a diaphanous textured truffle that hits the spot without a sugar overdose.    
The candy is a little luxury that's great with  flavored coffee after dinner.  It’s all Ferrero’s quality flavor without chocolate.

You can find the product at drugstores, online stores and big box stores.  Ferrero Raffaello’s  coconut truffles are available in a 5.3 oz. box,  with about 8 pieces.

Life is indeed better with coconut  candy in a box of chocolates.   I'm glad that cabin fever pushed me to try new, different taste sensations.   Russell Stover and Ferrero Raffaello get high marks after  my coconut candy taste-tests with Ghirardelli trailing far behind.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coconuts In Black History And Beyond

Coconuts were part of the standard food provisions aboard slave ships for both the captives AND crew.

Brazil Stamp print of a coconut vendor


With this perspective, coconuts are as much a part of the economic history of the New World as cotton and sugar cane.
In the 1800s, coconuts were  very profitable for atleast one African-American.

 Mr. Ashbourne's Patents for Coconut Oil

We enjoy using coconut oil with a long shelf life because of Alexander P. Ashbourne. Ashbourne was the first American to realize the economic potential of coconut after the US Civil War.

This African-American was awarded 3 patents for coconut oil production and refining - Patents 163,962 in 1875, 194,287 in 1877 and 230,518 in 1880. 

Here's a link to the 1875  US Patent Office Gazette for Mr. Ashbourne's invention.

Ashbourne was a successful grocer in Philadelphia and Oakland, CA.  Clearly he was a great thinker and tinker: He was awarded numerous patents for a wide range of inventions.

West Indies couple and coconut palm

I feel that coconut products can fuel  renewed economic success for the descendants of slaves and everyone else that made it to the Americas and survived and thrived.

One African-American, Alexander P. Ashbourne, has already proved this.

Slave convoy in the shade of a palm tree


The Future Economic Potential for Coconut

New profitable markets for Coconut oil, coconut water and copra commodities are emerging RIGHT NOW in the world's temperate zones-the northern hemispheres. 

 Medical and cosmetic use of Coconut by-products like Dicaprylyl Ether and Caprylic/CapricTriglyceride  are the frontier of a new economy...  partially replacing the use of  black gold.


The old Black History may have been nurtured and sustained by coconuts in the dank, dark holds of a slave ships.  But  the future starts now with the coconut palm's solid economic foundation of renewable resources.

All-In Vegan With Key West Coconut

Smoothies and "No Egg" salad  by Key West's  Help Yourself Organic Cafe are made with REALLY FRESH coconut.  The coconuts are cut-down  from nearby palm trees.   Watch this YouTube video of the  owner cutting down fresh coconuts for her cafe's vegan offerings.

I made a version of the meatless  "no egg" salad recipe with fresh coconut meat and it is indeed YUMMY!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ride Out the Flu With Coconut Water and Coconut Milk

Sick as a dog with the flu

According to the CDC, flu reports are widespread throughout the United States, as of January 4, 2014.  If you have the misfortune of contracting a case of influenza,  coconut water and coconut milk can provide you with a basic level of dietary nourishment during your illness.

Stay Hydrated With Coconut Water

Coconut water contains vital electrolytes, like potassium, sodium and magnesium, which can prevent dehydration.  Plus, coconut water contains small amounts of B and C vitamins and minerals like zinc.
Drinking coconut water is an excellent way to keep your caloric intake up when you're down with a cold or the flu.

Put Something On Your Stomach: Coconut Milk

Coconut milk contains all 3 main dietary nutrients: Fats, protein and carbohydrates.  A 1/4 cup of  High-fat canned coconut milk (22% fat), sweetened a little more with  juice can really be filling when you don’t feel like eating heavier foods.

Flu Shots and Home Remedies

Flu shots are the only clinically proven and accepted medical treatment that lessens the symptoms of influenza. Get a flu shot before it’s too late!

Then add coconut water and coconut milk to the list of your essential home remedies like chicken noodle soup  for colds and flu. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Get Answers About Coconut For The Daniel Fast

Fresh grated unsweetened coconut
Fresh grated, unsweetened coconut

My research reveals that some but not all coconut products may be eaten on the Daniel Fast. The 10 day Daniel Fast is described in the Bible's Book of Daniel, chapters 1 and 10.

Open coconut with exotic fruits
Coconut Goes with All Fruits
I learned that Fruits are permitted and coconut is a fruit.   Also "Quality" Oils are permitted… coconut oil is a quality oil just like olive oil.

Coconut Water in Shell with straws
Coconut Water in the original packaging

But I’m on the fence about coconut water and coconut milk. Both are “pleasant” and sweet.  They are also highly nutritious.

Coconut water is just the pure juice from within the coconut seed pod.    There are many  shipwreck survivors' stories and patients' medical accounts of  living only on coconut meat and water for days  and weeks.

It seems that coconut sugar would be completely off-limits.

I’ve read biblical references, but I’m still not sure if some coconut products are OK to eat on the Daniel Fast.   I am not a biblical scholar.

So I will be conferring with my church officials and pastor about eating any of the many different versions of coconut when I do the Daniel Fast.   And I've got to fast, because Jesus says "And when you fast... "  in Matthew 6:16.

Monday, January 6, 2014

How To Do Wolfin With Coconut Oil

So you can keep-on sporting hair waves that everybody wants to surf,   change your hair products.   Get all the natural advantages of 100% Extra Virgin Organic (EVO) pure coconut oil for your hair and scalp, instead of using petroleum-based products.


Top 7 Advantages of Coconut Oil for Hair Care:

1. Coco Oil adds a subtle, soft sheen, with natural fatty acids. It doesn’t look greasy.

2. It moderately softens hair – for more softening  add a little pure green olive oil.

3. It will not suffocate hair follicles (like petroleum) thus reduces chances of male pattern baldness.

4. It won’t dry out hair thus reduces breakage (unlike petroleum products).

5. It conditions hair with a moderate amount of protein.

6. The oil soothes your scalp and isn’t pimple forming.

7. You don’t have to use as much hair product – Less is Better!


Wolfin with coconut oil
Coconut Palm Trees grow near the sea shore!









How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Care

  • Use as a scalp cleanser - Mix 1 teaspoon 100% Coco Oil plus exactly 1 drop of lime juice.    Massage into your scalp for 2 minutes, rinse then shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo for softer hair.   This is vitally important!
  • Use ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner on wet hair  Do not over-apply!
  • Use a couple drops (no more) of coconut oil, if needed  before daily Wolfin or brushing.   Massage into your hands, apply to your hair, and then get to brushing.

Wolfin with Coconut Oil
Surfer Girls Love Waves!

Get "seasick" waves,  all-natural, WITHOUT chemicals ... just brushing and the right hair cut.    Use all natural, pure coconut oil to give the best care for your scalp and Wolfin hair waves.

Where To Buy Real Coconut Oil For Wolfin

Hair waves  you create  by brushing or Wolfin are a natural style that’s maintained WITHOUT relaxer chemicals.   So make pure Coconut oil a part of your natural hair care steps.


Places To Buy Coco Oil For Your Hair

You can find 100% Extra Virgin Organic (EVO) pure Coconut Oil without petroleum at the following outlets:
  • Direct from coconut oil manufacturers' secured websites.

  • Online stores – keywords “Pure or EVO Coconut Oil”

  • Health food stores

  • Major grocers like Walmart or Whole Foods in the cooking oil section. (Pure 100% EVO coconut oil is usually NOT SOLD in the hair care section.)

How To Store Pure Coconut Oil

  • Place on the bathroom countertop or in the room where you style your hair.

  • Do not store in a room where the temperature is less than 72 degrees

  • Do not refrigerate

Surfer girl and Coconut Palms
Ready for surfin!

Wolfin Procedure With Coconut Oil

Use a small spoon to retrieve the coconut oil so you won’t contaminate the container with your fingers.

Use  just a few drops of coconut oil before Wolfin or brushing your hair. Massage into your hands, apply to your hair, and then get to brushing, brushing and brushing your hair. Do not over-apply!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Try Spicy Coconut Sugar In Holiday Beverages

Kiwi cocktail and Kiwi Christmas Tree
Try Kiwi for Christmas

Hot chocolate made with coconut sugar is a Heavenly taste sensation.    Here are some other Winter Holiday beverages that are supremely enhanced by just a dash of the hearty sweetness of coconut sugar:
  • Mulled Wine

  • Spiced Tea
  • Sherbet Punch Drinks
  • Egg Nog

  • Latte

  • Coco Mocha

Cup Hot Chocolate with cake and cookies
Traditional Hot Chocolate

Serve-up a new, different taste sensation for your Holiday guests with the sublime sweet flavor of coconut sugar, along with the sweetner you normally use.

Try A Gentler Coconut Oil Scalp Massage

If you are prone to winter scalp itch, like me,   a coconut oil massage spells relief.   
 But I lighten-up on the essential oils I use with the massage during winter. 
I try never to further irritate a mildly itchy scalp with heavy duty essential oils like Tea Tree,  Mint or  Eucalyptus  during really cold spells.  

I use these milder essential oils during winter to soothe my scalp:

  • Lavender

  • Chamomile

  • Ylang-Ylang

  • Rosemary

I wait until cold temperatures moderate a little, before using strong essential oils, like lime, in my massage.



How To Avoid Winter Scalp Itch

Also I wear a warm but breathable hat during winter. I usually avoid wool. Or I wear a light scarf beneath wool or other natural fiber caps. 
Blow Dryer Too Hot???
You can also save your scalp by lightening-up on winter hair care, like dialing down the heat on your blowdryer. 
Either change hair products or space-out the timing for doing your hair. Hair sprays formulated with alcohol really irritate my scalp year round.

Also I cover my head with a light silk scarve INDOORS, to shield my scalp and hair from  the furnace’s dry heated air.

In any case as soon as the humidity drops in winter, along with cold temperatures outdoors, I get dry ALL OVER my body.  I usually realize this when I start scratching my scalp.

 How I Saved My Scalp With Coconut Oil

So then I do a light massage:  1 teaspoon of coconut oil plus 1 drop of essential oil … I only use, maybe,  ½ of this mixture for my scalp massage.  I use the rest on my feet and hands.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Walmart VS. Whole Foods For Coconut

My receipts with coconut purchases in Nov and Dec 2013

Which store is the best place to buy fresh young coconuts? Who is the winner?

 The Whole Foods store I shop at is near affluent Dearborn Park, on Roosevelt Road in South Loop, Chicago.   I shop at the new Walmart in Pullman next to the Ford (Calumet) Expressway on Chicago's  southside.

The good news is that coconut oil, coconut water as well as fresh coconuts are now widely available in the  Chicago metro area at BOTH grocers.  And both stores’ prices are sensible and reasonable.

Of course, Whole Foods was the pioneer in making coconut products available to metro Chicago residents and stocks more fresh coconut in it’s stores. Walmart, the new entry into the city,  has more locations thus actually may provide  more coconut products to a wider swath of metropolitan residents.

The winner for the cheapest fresh coconut prices is Whole Foods, by 0.99 cents per coconut.  The winner for the making more coconut products available closer to more city’s residents is Walmart.

We all win by making coconut a part of our  lifestyle for cuisine, health and beauty rituals.

(Disclaimer – I have no affiliation with either Whole Foods or Walmart.  I purchased the fresh young coconuts with my own money solely for my own use.  I did not make the purchases for the purposes of comparing prices or the stores – I noticed the difference afterwards, while reviewing my recent purchases.)