Friday, January 30, 2009

Coconut Oil

Grant got me the best gift for Christmas this past year-- the book Real Food What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck. This book is just full of useful information and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. The book's basic premise comes down to this: eat what our ancestors ate hundreds of years ago. That is, eat real, whole foods in their most natural state as possible. I like to think of it as foods that God has provided for us to eat.

Now, I am in no way perfect when it comes to my eating habits, but I’ve come to the conclusion that this is all about baby steps. Making small changes that add up over time. One of the small changes that I am going to try to implement is the use of coconut oil.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, which means that it is solid at room temperature and melts when heated. The main fat in coconut oil is lauric acid (which is unique to coconut oil and breast milk). Lauric acid is an antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral fatty acid-- it has been shown to aid in the killing of many viruses including measles, influenza, hepatitis C and even HIV, among others.

Lauric acid is also easier to digest than other polyunsaturated fats, because it doesn’t need to be emulsified by bile acids before it is digested.

Coconut oil has been shown to raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL).

It has even been shown to aid in weight loss because it increases thermogenesis (which is the rate of burning calories to produce heat and energy from food).

Because coconut oil is a saturated fat it is able to withstand heat better than a mono- or polyunsaturated fat. When a mono or polyunsaturated fat is damaged by heat (sautéing, baking, roasting) it becomes oxidized. This oxidization is what can contribute to heart disease and cancer.

So, the saturated fats that are best to use for heating is coconut oil and butter. Monounsaturated fats are second best to use for heating and include, canola oil, lard, olive oil and macadamia nut oil. Polyunsaturated fats are best used cold-- they include fish oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil.

Hope this helps. I purchase my coconut oil from Harmony Farms, but you can also get it at several online stores (, for instance). A little will last a long time (coconut oil will last for two years, unrefrigerated), so it is worth the price.

Tip: Since it is a great antifungal/antiviral agent, in addition to using it in your cooking, take some coconut oil if you are starting to feel the cold or flu coming on, or put some in a smoothie for overall well being!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What to say

Hmm, what to say . . . what to say.

I'm pretty much doing the same thing right now, so I haven't gotten anything newsworthy to share. Work, dance class/rehearsal, work again, dance again, dinner thrown in every once in awhile, maybe a tv night with Grant, treadmilling, some sporadic knitting and stamping in my few spare minutes. Despite my less-than-wild life, I am working on something exciting and, when I get it just right, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, I am planning a post on the benefits of coconut oil and my finished knitted blanket. Stop the madness (I know) how exciting! Stay tuned!

Oh, I have been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks Krystal!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Photo Shoot

So, I'm an hour away from going to a photo shoot for Rainbow Dance Company. And I'll admit that I'm nervous. I have to wear a 50's style bathing suit- very cute, yes. However, it is January (a few weeks post the ever fattening holidays, my friends), and I haven't seen the sun since, well, June of last year! So wish me luck. I will be practicing my "America's Next Top Model" moves to disguise the not so lovely parts bring out my strengths. Should you come to my concert in March, you will have the chance to see those photos and me in action. Oh, I forgot to mention that this is a synchronized swimming inspired piece- hence the bathing suit and swim cap! Okay, that's enough. I'm just trying to kill some time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


We have SNOW!!!! Grant and I love snow! I also love the fact that I have a random day off from work.

Here are some pics of our morning.

Card Swap

I'm participating in a Valentine's day card swap, so I had to start thinking of card layouts. After many failed designs, I chose this as my final swap idea. Cute and simple.

Cards, Cards, Cards

I had so much fun at the Stampin Up soiree. We made some cute cards and I got some good ideas for Valentine's day cards. And let me just say-- those women are SERIOUS stampers. They all screamed (literally screamed) when a decorative paper sampler was passed around (little strips of paper people). There were a few times when I had to hold in a laugh (Krystal knows what I am talking about)! Serious stampers equals cute cards though.

Here are a few of the cards we made.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cards and Cold weather

I'm going to a SU make and take soiree tomorrow. I'm super excited! For those that have no idea what I'm talking about- it's all about stamping and homemade cards/scrapbooking. A place to make cards, get ideas, and become a demonstrator if you so desire. Hopefully, I'll come away with some cute ideas and, at the very least, enjoy a catered lunch from Sweet Tomatoes. I'm going with some friends, so that always makes it more fun. Hopefully, I'll have some cute stuff to post soon. I'm also participating in a Valentine's Day card swap soon, so I need to get myself in gear and start thinking about those. Ahh, so much to do, so little time.

Hope you are surviving the cold that has blanketed most of the U.S. Well, except my friends in Hawaii who are probably enjoying a nice balmy 75 degree day. Just a little jealous.

Hope you have a nice day off on Monday. You can think of me, because I do not have the day off. Again, just a little jealous.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cool blog

I was directed to a very cool blog the other day. It is exactly the kind of stuff I love to read about-- frugal living, natural foods, green living and Christianity. I have found it to be very helpful and I wanted to post it here so you could visit it should you ever have the desire to make your own sauerkraut, create your own shampoo or just read up on the benefits and uses of kefir!!! Oh, don't be shy, you know you want to!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

They're getting too big

My sweet "babies" are turning 6 today! I still remember the day they were born (and I mean the moment they took their first breath, people). And now they're little people. I mean they talk, sing, make jokes, pretend, fight, laugh- they do it all. It's insane how fast they grow up!

Here they were a mere hour or two after their birth with their grandpa.

And here they are being cute little people.

Happy birthday you guys. Don't grow up too fast on me.

Disclaimer: They are not my real babies, but I'll always think of them like that because I'm an aunt and I can do those things.

Resolutions . . . No thanks. Goals . . . sure.

I have never been one for resolutions. Ever. Can't thing of a single resolution I have ever made. And I don't know why I don't make 'em-- there are always ways to make my lifestyle better/healthier/happier, etc. And, I am actually good about finishing what I start, but for some reason I just don't make them.

However, my GOALS for this year (because, didn't you know, a goal is so not like a resolution?!) are as follows:

*Figure out a budget and stick to it (Grant's and my goal). We are not really budget people. We hardly spend extraneous money, and we generally know where our money is going, but we've never sat down and actually, gasp, budgeted.

*Live off of one salary and put the rest in savings. Lofty goal-- we might as well get used to it though. And if we can make it through these economic times, than we have a shot at this.

*Take baby steps in obtaining and eating the most natural foods as possible. I could go on and on about this. Part of our budgeting will be figuring out what natural foods I can splurge on. Oh, didn't you know- I'm in love with pasture fed, hormone free chickens and the precious eggs they produce. Don't roll your eyes . . . I can see you.

*Help my cats lose weight. Oh, my sweet little Sadie is a rather plump cat. She spends every waking moment consumed with the thought of her tasty little morsels of food. I'm serious people. It's bad and her cries are enough to drive me batty. I've already cut back on their food intake and it has helped some. I saw a biggest loser like competition for animals and thought about entering her, but then quickly thought that she might never recover from having to be weighed in front of her feline peers. She's sensitive like that.

*Improve my herb and vegetable garden. I'm itching to get it started again. Can't wait for March to roll around. I adore having basil, rosemary and tomatoes at my fingertips. Grant and I also want to landscape our backyard a bit. It's not feeling the love right now. Of course, that might change when I'm by myself on a Saturday and it's 100 degrees outside. Then I might throw this goal out the window.

*Try to live as plastic free as possible. I'm trying to build my stash of glass food containers this year and slowly get rid of all my plastic tupperware. Just something I want to do.

*Be able to do a sidesplit. Yep, my lifelong goal has been to do a sidesplit. Will this be the year?

So those are some of my more loftier goals.

What are some of your goals this year?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Homemade Artisan Bread

I got the best bread baking book for Christmas. My dad, while in the bookstore, happened to run into a baker who recommended this book. After having made some of the recipes, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who wants to bake their own bread. Who knew that steaming the bread while in the oven was the secret?
Here is my bread rising . . . (sounds like a movie title)
Here is the final product-- yummmmm.
This was so delicious and so easy to make. Kind've even resembles the book cover?!


I'll be honest-- I'm glad to say goodbye to 2008. This year was another nondescript year for me. Nothing especially exciting happened and, thankfully, nothing bad happened either. It was a year filled with the same routines and the same scenery. I know that for my sanity's sake, I need a year filled with different routines and perhaps, different scenery.

Most of you know what my hopes are for this year. I get scared talking about it too much, because I feel that I may jinx the whole thing. But I'm praying hard for a different kind of year this year. One filled with the extraordinary, one that will turn my world upside down (for the better), one that will show me God's amazing love and grace, one that will teach, one that will humble, one that will challenge, and one that will simply be different.

My sincere hope is that God will bless you with the type of year that you crave.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

We hope that 2009 will be a great year for you.