Tag Archives: coconut oil

Number Two Immune Boosting Food – Wellness Wednesday

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It’s Wellness Wednesday – I’m sharing about another great food for boosting your entire immune system, then at the end there is a link for you to share your own wellness-related blog. Don’t forget to check out the other fine folks who’ve linked up here too!

Immune Boosters

Recently I gave you the Number One immune boosting food – you can read about it here. Today I’m revealing the food in the Number Two slot. This one also plays a powerful role in rebuilding and maintaining a healthy immune system. If you were surprised by #1 then this one may also surprise you. This list is from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D., is a neurologist, and creator of the GAPS diet, a successful nutritional protocol used in healing both physical and neurological disorders such as autism, auto-immune diseases and heart disease.

cold pressed oils collage

Immunity Booster #2: Cold pressed oils such as olive oil, fish oils, nut and seed oils

While fresh animal fats and cholesterol-rich foods are stellar when it comes to building strong cells and creating important stress-coping hormones, there are many other healthy fats that we should incorporate into our daily diet.

We’re all familiar with extra virgin olive oil, and many of you are also aware of the benefits of fish oils (especially cod liver oil). What you may not have heard about are which of the nut and seed oils truly are healthy, and which ones are toxic.

Just as with animal fats, the fats from plants are also mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – there is no naturally occurring fat that is only one type.Coconut, palm kernel, and cocoa butter are all rich sources of plant-based saturated fats. Olive, avocado, almond, pecan, cashew and peanut all provide generous amounts of monounsaturated fats. Cold water fish oils like cod and salmon; along with flaxseed,  non-GMO soy, canola, corn and safflower are primarily polyunsaturated.

Just as with animal fats, the sources of plant fats are extremely important. Many seed oils come from genetically modified plants and carry with them the pesticide and herbicide residues as well as other questionable factors.  Nearly all soy, corn and canola in the U.S. is GMO.

Unlike animal fats, however, there are many methods of extracting fats and oils from plants. The extraction method chosen is extremely important – in fact, even if your plant source is 100% biodynamically-beyond-organic, but you extract the oil incorrectly you will have ruined it, made it toxic.  Care must be taken when extracting plant oils. If powerful chemical solvents are used to extract the oils then you can be sure the oils will retain the toxins from these chemicals. When high heat methods are used for extraction, especially on the fragile polyunsaturated oils, these oils are damaged and turn rancid.  This is why the #2 Immune Booster must come from cold pressed oils.

Any oil that is primarily polyunsaturated should be kept chilled and stored in a dark container to protect the fragile nature of this type of oil. If you find a polyunsaturated oil in a clear container sitting out on a grocery shelf just leave it there! It is already rancid and has no place in your body. It’s not an immunity booster – it’s just a big bust!

vegetable-oil-rancid-ola-toxic-label

So to summarize: Choose your plant-based oils from organic, cold-pressed sources. Read the labels for any expiration date. Keep polyunsaturated oils refrigerated and use them up before they expire. Never heat polyunsaturated oils, keep them for salad dressings or adding to smoothies. Coconut oil and olive oil can be kept at room temperature, but it is still important to keep olive oil in dark containers as the enzymes are light sensitive. Saturated and monounsaturated plant oils can be used for cooking, but save the higher heat applications for the mostly saturated ones.

Now it’s your turn! Share with us on Wellness Wednesday – here’s all the info…


Foods For Immunity

Guest blog post for Raisin’ Acres Farm. Amy shares her journey to finding healing foods for her family.

A little more than ten years ago my family began making major dietary changes that have resulted in much better health for all of us. Up to that time my children were prescribed antibiotics several times every year for ear infections and upper respiratory infections, I had my share of bad colds that seemed to last forever, and one of my children had chronic constipation that disrupted our family life for three years. Today, more than a decade and two children later, we are free from medications and sicknesses are no longer the rule. My youngest, born about 7 years after our diet changes, has never had medication of any kind, nor has she ever been to the doctor for a sick visit.  read more….

amy chicken stock with titles

Product Review: Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

We’ve been using coconut oil for a half dozen years or more here at Well Fed Family.  Amy was introduced to Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil and then she shared it with me. We were both already transitioning from the Standard American Diet to a more real foods/traditional diet, but then Christmas season arrived and we realized our favorite ginger cookie recipe was now off-limits since its main ingredient was Crisco! Amy had the brilliant idea of substituting the coconut oil in place of the Crisco – it worked and we were able to save the Christmas cookies! We’ve since learned that coconut oil is a great fat for anyone following a Weston A Price Foundation, GAPS, SCD or Paleo type of diet.

Now we use coconut oil for dozens and dozens of different things.  That is why I was so glad to get the opportunity to write a review of the Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut gold_label_virgin_coconut_oil_32ozOil.  When the quart jar arrived at our house I opened it right up and got busy.  I like having smoothies for breakfast several times a week and always add a tablespoon or more of coconut oil to the mixture. Whenever I pop popcorn I always use coconut oil, in fact I’ve even convinced our church to make the switch to coconut oil in their big movie theater-style popper. (1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup popcorn, 2 Tblsp sea salt into the heater).  The kids like the taste and I’m happier that they are using a heat-stable oil that isn’t full of GMOs!  We popped some popcorn with the Gold Label Coconut Oil and had family movie night. Everyone scarfed up the popcorn! Then I made a couple dozen homemade peanutbutter cups. I peanutbutter cupsuse coconut oil in the mixture to give it a creamy texture, plus I like that even the picky eaters in my family will eat them up – it’s a good way to get more coconut oil into them! Everyone loved the Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil peanut butter cups, and I had a hard time making sure there were enough left to photograph and show you.  Instead of highly refined, rancid vegetable oils for stir-frying I use coconut oil because it can take the heat without oxidizing. It also tastes great especially when you make Thai-seasoned recipes. I also can’t neglect to tell you how yummy sweet potatoes are when they are roasted in coconut oil!

I didn’t stop in the kitchen, however, I took the Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil around the rest of the house, too. I mixed up 3 Tblsp of TTGLVCO with 15 drops each of coconut oil face lotionchamomile and carrot seed essential oils for my daily facial moisturizer. I also filled up a small 2oz jar with just the coconut oil to use on the rest of my body. I use it daily after showering for a body lotion AND as a deodorant so I can avoid the carcinogenic chemicals and fragrances so often found in commercial skin products.  I even rub a little bit of it into my hair to condition it and de-frizz.  I have also found coconut oil to be great after too much sun at the beach, which happens at least once a year to us here in Florida.

Other areas you’ll find coconut oil at our houses? Amy also uses her Tropical Traditions in the baby’s room. It works on baby’s skin, especially on the diaper area as a natural diaper cream. You can also rub it all over baby in place of baby lotions.   I also like to mix it with essential oils and use it as a relaxing massage oil to help my husband and kids fall to sleep more easily. The smell of coconut oil mixed with lavender and other essential oils is quite pleasant.

I also recommend eating Tropical Traditions Gold Label by the spoonful if you are trying to cut out sweets. It tastes good, I like it frozen for a little crunchy texture, and helps you feel full and cuts the sugar cravings.

Several years ago I read Virgin Coconut Oil, the book written by Tropical Traditions founder Brian Shilhavy, and learned about how they make their oils. Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is a wet-milled coconut oil, meaning the oil is extracted from the fresh coconut meat without drying it first. Wet-milling is decidedly low-tech and also low-temp; this extraction technique has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. This is one of the things I like about the Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, that there is minimal heat used during production of this oil. I also like that the coconuts are certified USDA organic and are used within 48 hours of harvesting. Additionally I like that the harvesting and processing is done by a cooperative of small family farms in the Philippines giving steady work and fair wages to support these hard-working people.  I’m also a big fan of unrefined foods – especially unrefined fats and oils. The Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is unrefined, unbleached and retains the flavor of the coconut.

Due to FTC regulations regarding product reviews I can’t list any of the remarkable health benefits to using coconut oil. Maybe I will make that a separate blog post! In any case I encourage you to do your own research into the many areas where people are using coconut oil in the health, nutrition and medical fields. I see mention of coconut oil more and more frequently in the mainstream news and hear more and more people talking about it. I definitely plan on continuing to use it! If you’d like to see a video about the Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil you can watch it here. 

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product give away in return for the free product. 

Customize Your Smoothies – Immune Boosting Superfoods

 

mango smoothie with titles

Smoothies are easy to make, healthy to eat and a great way to use fresh, seasonal fruit.  They are a tasty vehicle for your daily dose of probiotics as well as healthy fats.  Use your own homemade yogurt, kefir or coconut milk and they become quite economical, too.  What a great package! Eating in season, boosting immunity and thrifty too!

To make one generous serving gather your ingredients and a blender. I’ll show you how to make a basic version. Once you get the hang of it you can alter the ingredients to suit the season and your tastebuds.  I like to use frozen fruit or a mixture of frozen and fresh to give the end result a milkshake texture.

smoothie1Put one cup of plain whole milk kefir (coconut milk kefir for dairy free) or plain whole milk yogurt (preferably raw) into your blender.  I’ve found my hand blender works for a single serving but if I’m doubling or making more I use the large blender.  Add one frozen banana and a cup of sliced frozen or fresh strawberries.  I keep blueberries in the freezer and like to add a few of those too.  This plus an optional squirt of raw honey is all you need for a basic smoothie.

But don’t stop here – take the nutritional profile up a few notches by adding in a few other extras.  Use a half-cup of full fat coconut milk and/or a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil in your smoothie to get some healthy medium-chain fatty acids.  Add a spoonful of flax seeds for an omega-3 boost and extra fiber. A tablespoon of raw cream gives a silky texture and more fat soluble vitamin A and D. A sliver of raw ginger adds a zippy flavor and helpful anti-inflammatory properties.  Substitute an avocado half for the banana to reduce the carbohydrate count.  Add a raw egg yolk from a pasture-raised fresh egg too boost nutrient-density with B vitamins, choline and vitamin D as well as protein for healthy nervous system and cell repair. A tablespoon of nut butter or coconut manna makes it thicker plus adds more healthy fats.  A tablespoon of plain gelatin powder adds extra protein plus collagen for healthy digestion, joints and skin.

Customize your smoothies with your favorite fruits and change them with the seasons. Melons and ginger are refreshing for summer, pumpkin puree and a dash of cinnamon and spice keep things lively in autumn, you can even add a handful of parsley or kale for some super-green nutrition any time. Experiment and find your own favorites. I love pitted fresh/frozen cherries and a scant tablespoon of raw cacao powder or vanilla extract for a chocolate cherry or cherry vanilla treat. Or get that island feel with mango, pineapple and fresh coconut.

Customize Your Smoothies - Immune Boosting Superfoods
 
Author:
Recipe type: smoothie
Serves: 1 serving
 
smoothies are an easy, delicious way to pack a lot of nutrition into a portable meal
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain full fat kefir, yogurt, or coconut milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 Tblsp raw honey (opt.)
  • Optional additions:
  • 1 Tblsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 Tblsp flax seed
  • 1 Tblsp plain gelatin
  • ½" slice fresh ginger
  • 1 egg yolk from a pasture-raised egg
  • 1 Tblsp nut butter or coconut manna
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  2. Optionally - substitute a half an avocado for the banana to reduce carbs.
  3. Customize with your favorite fresh or frozen fruits such as chunks of melon, sliced mango, pineapple chunks, peach slices, pitted cherries, etc.

Share your favorite flavor combinations or your best superfood add-ins in the comment smoothie2section! We love trying new ideas!

Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only.