Friday, April 26, 2013

Get Started With Coconut Oil Lip Moisturizer

Many, many thanks to Rebecca and the good folks over at Tropical Traditions for allowing me to purchase brochures and fact sheets on coconut products at a discount.  I’m planning to distribute the brochures and other information about coconut health benefits during my community outreach efforts to reach people who are not online.

Many individuals, especially the elderly  and inner city residents do not have access to online health information.

While speaking to Rebecca, she asked me which of her company’s products I use. I remembered a couple that I’ve purchased over the years: the oil and the hair cream. 

I actually buy and use coconut products from a number of different companies.  But just today, I recalled the number 1 coconut oil product that I use every day AND every night: Tropical Traditions Lip Moisturizer.

This lip moisturizer is a quick and easy way to get started using coconut oil for your beauty ritual. It’s made with coconut oil, beeswax and palm oil. It’s all organic and It’s all that!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Might I Suggest The Samurai Orchid in Coconut Coir?

Colored Neofinetia in a japanese orchid arrangement
Japanese orchid arrangement with the Samurai Orchid (top)

Neofinetia falcata is the Samurai Orchid.  This miniature orchid is stately-looking and highly fragrant. It’s worth a try at growing with a little coconut coir in the orchid mix  if you are a newbie orchid grower.  Coir is the fibrous hairy material that surrounds older brown coconuts.

The plant is native to Japan and was a symbol for Samurai warriors who decorated their swords with paintings of this tiny plant. 

It's one of the few orchids that looks good even when it's not in bloom.

There are new varietals of Neofinetia falcata on the market, many with colored blossoms or variegated leaves.  But the traditional plant with white blossoms and sword-shaped darker green leaves is a mini sight to behold along with its heavenly scent.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Coca Cola Says Drink… Coconut Water Too!

Remember this song from the 1970s and how Goooood it made us all feel!

Wow! That Coke commercial STILL gives me chills!

Well, Coca Cola now owns a company that sells  the original old school "Real Thing" beverage:  Coconut Water. That's right, Coca Cola now wants you to drink ZICO coconut water. 

Zico Coconut Water will be promoted in a new nationwide advertising campaign designed by the marketing firm Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSSP).   The ads will feature that Big something extra all coconut water drinkers experience. BSSP calls it “Oomph”.

 Here’s a video clip of one the new BSSP commercials for ZICO:

 Personally I get more of a “Mmmm…” sensation from the refreshment in coconut water.

ZICO is tasty, no question about it. My bottles of ZICO state that it's produced in Thailand, however, the taste is crisp, clear and icy even when it's not in the fridge.  But Coca Cola's Thai ZICO does not have the smoky  savory seawater wood flavor of other coco waters produced in Thailand, a traditional flavor which I also like.

(Disclosure Note:  I regularly buy my own ZICO and other coconut water brands from Target and online-I have no relationship with the Coca Cola Company.)

 “Hmmm…” is what I think about the idea of Coca Cola, Coke,  promoting coconut water: The world is really changing. 

Don’t get me wrong I love my Coke… I buy 3 packs every month. But I got a feeling that Coca Cola is now going to teach many, many people in our corner of the world about the benefits of drinking coconut water.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Get Loveable Hair Color With Coconut Oil

Various hair colors on a group of women
Whatever your hair color:  Love it or leave it!

Does your hair color need a little … ummm... pep-up?  Well,  Clairol has got a little something extra for you.  Their NATURAL INSTINCTS hair coloring system now features coconut oil that they say “nourishes and protects”.

Check out the reviews at this link on their website:  NATURAL INSTINCTS REVIEWS.

Coconut oil is listed under the "Ingredients" menu tab, in the MSDS Safety Sheet- section "Conditioning Treatment".

Monday, April 15, 2013

Discovery's Naked Castaway – Coconut’s Very Very Good

Here’s the TV show scene: Adventurer Ed Stafford lands on a deserted island in turquoise waters near Fiji.  He’s got no company, no tools, no clothes and no supplies.  Job 1: Get clothes, water, food and shelter from a coconut palm tree!

He’s in the first episode of “Naked Castaway” on the Discovery Channel.

The Guinness World Book winning explorer starts his odyssey making clothes first from palm fronds to protect his private parts from sunburn that he can get in 10 minutes.

Ed literally eats and drinks coconut everyday. But he still has an intense hankering for meat protein. So he eats raw slugs and a still twitching gecko he killed. Then he gets sick… real sick.

Ed should have stuck with the coconut, it will hold him up for at least 30 days or half of the 60 days he’s trying to survive as a castaway.

 I highly recommend that you watch the TV show to see that coconut palms are not just pretty trees.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Put Wheat On Your Watch List

Chewy, berry-sweet homemade bread

As a teenager my favorite bike ride was to Chicago’s Rainbow beach 10 miles from my home.  I would top-off my day at the beach with a gyros and pita sandwich from the Greek fast food restaurant on the beach. The savory flavor of Mediterranean pita bread has never left my memory.

Bread is a Big Part of Living Life

My love of bread has run the gamut from proudly serving homemade parker rolls for every holiday; munching on French croissants while riding the “L” to work on hectic mornings; inhaling the heavenly smell wafting from the Butternut industrial bakery while driving down the Dan Ryan expressway; and, feeling dismay about the flavorless cardboard-like bread my dad had to eat as a remedy for his heart disease.
Nowadays, I even occasionally make my own bread in a bread maker I got for a Christmas gift several years ago. It was a lovely gift from a relative that I have had my “Ups and Downs” with since childhood.

Ethnic Bread Lover

I’m lucky to live in Chicago, there is an enormous variety of home style breads to accompany all the ethnic food available here: All types of Tortillas, bagels, Italian rolls, cornbread and many more types.
I can’t wait to go to an Ethiopian restaurant to try the bread that so many travel writers rave about. Ethiopian bread, called “injera” isn’t made with wheat, it’s made with teff.  The grain has been used to make flatbread since ancient times.

Rethinking the Bread I Eat

There are times when a perfect storm of data makes you re-think all that you have known about a particular subject: A paradigm shift occurs.
Over the past few weeks I’ve have begun to rethink my consumption of wheat bread and other products beyond “stone-ground” and “whole wheat”.

Here’s what happened to make me start wondering if the wheat products I eat are as healthy as I think:
  • I noticed that ALL of the pasta brands I use NO LONGER have traditional durum wheat flavor. Some even taste artificially sweetened. The Italian pasta brand I love is no longer available in stores and online.
  • I  have become irritated at the excessive number of TV commercials touting digestion aides and I wonder why there is such a big market for indigestion medications.
  • Sales of coconut flour are growing for those who cannot tolerate wheat gluten.  More about coconut flour here: Coconut flour review
  • I’ve begun discarding one of the buns on fast food hamburgers because there just seems to be too much bread.
  • Lastly, National Geographic reported in their April 2013 issue that wheat products are being bulked-up with extra, maybe excessive, gluten for reasons essentially UNRELATED to nutritional needs. There’s no link available online.
  •  But the Wheat Foods Council wrote a letter to National Geographic strongly disagreeing with the article.  Here is that link: Wheat Food Council Letter to National Geographic

This blog is about finding our way to new resources for cuisine, fitness and beauty needs. Why? What worked in the past may not be working anymore for many of us.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hurry! Get Points On Coconut Water At Walgreens

Walgreens has an offer of 1,000 "Balance Rewards" points for one 16.9 oz container of Vita Coco coconut water.  A coupon is required from the store's "SCORE POINTS WITH MOTHER EARTH" brochure. The offer expires soon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Posso “I Can” New Coconut Oil Based Perfume

Osmia Organics touts their new perfume as an “antidote to feelings of insecurity”. Mature scents like Violet leaf, sandalwood, frankincense, melissa essential oils and extracts are infused into coconut and jojoba oils.

Learn more about the philosophy behind Posso at this link

Posso photo courtesy Osmia Organics
photo courtesy Osmia Organics

Infusion is an ancient  holistic fragrance manufacturing process that’s once again popular with perfume makers. To me, infusion creates a full-bodied  but delicate fragrance experience for perfume lovers.

Fragrance materials are basically steeped in either animal fats or oils like coconut to extract perfume notes.

Popular perfumer Pacifica’s designs youthful fragrances that are also made with a coconut oil base.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

How To Get Gleaming Pearly Teeth With Coconut

African American child brushing her teeth

There are a lot of videos and blogs on the internet that claim that coconut oil works as a teeth whitener. There are also claims that “oil pulling”  with coconut oil  keeps teeth and gums healthy. 
I figure that it can’t hurt to use coconut oil on my teeth.

But here’s another coconut product that I use on my teeth that makes them look incredible:  It’s Coconut water.  Here’s how I do it.

Coconut Water Teeth Wipe Down


I pour a little coconut water on a paper towel.  Next I wipe my teeth, inside and out with the coconut water. Lastly, I swish my mouth with plain water from the faucet to remove any coconut sugar from the surface of my teeth.
And, my teeth look incredibly youthful!

They gleam like they did when I was younger.  No, they aren't much whiter they  just are shinier and pearlier.
Now I do this procedure after brushing with regular toothpaste in the morning. Then I usually drink a glass of plain water, a cup of coffee and a glass of coconut water.  Then I eat breakfast or drink a smoothie.
Then I use the coconut water on my teeth.
This make more sense to me than using a fluoride rinse on top of the fluoridated toothpaste I use.

Too Much Coffee and Tea


They get that shiny, glistening, reflective glow that young people’s teeth look like when they haven’t started drinking too much coffee or smoking cigarettes.
But alas, the pretty shiny gleaming teeth effect is only temporary.  It lasts until I drink my afternoon tea.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Did you know that individuals with dementia and those who are simply dehydrated many times look, think and act just alike? Did you know that dry, flaky, wrinkled and sagging skin is often due to dehydration and not just aging? Regularly drinking Coconut Water and other beverages can enhance the picture of a person’s mental and physical condition.

For the elderly, dehydration often hides in “plain sight”, going unnoticed until a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider closely examines him or her.  Their ability to actually feel thirsty may be diminished or even absent seemingly.

An elderly person can spend years going about their business at home and elsewhere being insidiously dragged down by dehydration-the lack of enough fluids for the body to optimally function.

 Dehydration can be an emergency for a senior. Here are my home care tips. Hopefully my personal experience can make a difference. 

Make Sure They Can See The Water

  1. Present plain water in a clear pitcher-the water looks much more inviting. Make sure that your senior can always see water in the pitcher.
  2. Avoid the pretty pink hospital pitchers that are opaque-you never know how much water has been consumed. The water is just not visible, and it's not coyly begging to be sipped.
  3. Keep a half-full glass of faucet water in a clear crystal glass, with a straw, always in view and within reach of your senior-this also looks inviting.

Push Water and Beverages

  1. Offer plain or coconut water after each trip to the bathroom-after urination. Be firm, insistent and do not accept "no".  It's critical to replace the fluid loss.
  2. Try to get a formal agreement with your senior to drink fluids before and after all meals, and any other time you offer water to them before 3pm.
  3. Offer water, milk or other beverages to the elderly person anytime you, yourself get a drink.

Encourage Drinking and Not Just Sipping

  1. Use 2 straws instead one.
  2. Room temperature water may be welcomed more than iced water but some times not.  Ask to be sure.
  3. Switch between plain water, mineral water and coconut water throughout the day: Three or 4 glasses of plain water, then offer shot glasses of mineral water  and coconut water, then repeat the cycle. This way your senior can look forward to changes in flavor or taste sensations.
  4. Water glasses filled with fruit slices and infusions, perhaps lemons, other fruits or even with herbs like mint can be very tempting.

Develop Workarounds To Stubbornness

  1. Serve watery fruits and vegetables like cantaloupes, watermelon and peaches after 6pm if your senior refuses to drink plain water after that time.
  2. Do provide coffee, tea, milk and sugary drinks as requested as a matter of respect.
  3. Try to make drinking beverages a formal occasion-heck I even thought about placing one of those tiny colorful umbrellas in a glass.

Get Medical Help

  1. Ask visiting nurses and aides to closely examine your senior for dehydration signs that you may not notice.
  2. Ask doctors and nurses to occasionally remind a hesitant senior that they can be hooked-up to a medical device that will pump fluid in them if they don’t drink enough water.
  3. Stay informed on senior hydration issues and solutions by reading health articles online or asking healthcare providers.

Add Coconut Water To Your Plan


First, be serious about giving your senior more fluids. Then remember, for hydration purposes, water and fluids are two different things: Electrolytes like potassium are vital for human life.  Regularly offering a senior  plain drinking water plus nutritious coconut water can make-up much of that difference.  Sometimes this is all we can do.

Get Ready for Spring Hair Showtime With Coconut Oil

Illustration of  A African American Woman in a Swimsuit
She's a show-off!!

It’s ‘Hats Off’ to springtime, but is my hair ready? All winter long I wore hats outside to keep the cold air off my head. Inside I wore scarves to keep warm forced air from the furnace off of my scalp and hair. I am going to use coconut oil on my hair and scalp to get ready for a spring showtime.

Here’s my Hair Pep-Up ritual for Spring:

  • Pretreat my scalp with coconut oil plus 1 drop of lime juice

  • Cleanse or Shampoo hair and then condition
  • Moisturize hair with coconut oil before drying
  • Re-moisturize hair ends with coconut oil after drying.
Use Extra-virgin, Organic coconut oil, your hair deserves the best! 

An Itty-bitty Dollop Is Enough

A little goes a long way for most hair and beauty needs. It's not like commercial store products for hair that require you to  squeeze and squeeze-out more and more product. 

You need to only use 1 or 2 teaspoons  of organic coconut oil to get the full moisturizing benefit for your hair-some times less than that!