- Every part of the coconut can be used to nourish and support the body. Known as the ‘Tree of Life’ you can drink the water, eat the flesh and use the shell for all sorts of things.
- They are always in season and grow all year round. They are easy and cheap to buy. Once you know how they are also easy to open. Young meat is jelly like and really sweet and more mature meat is whiter, firmer and less sweet. You can make your own coconut water, kefir, milk, cream, yoghurt , butter and vinegar very easily.
- Coconut can be eaten and the water drunk during pregnancy. Both are repudiated to nourish mother and baby and may help with a ‘quick delivery’. The oil when rubbed into the skin can help prevent and heal stretch marks. It can also be applied direct to nipples to soothe chafing and heal wounds whilst breastfeeding. The oil is also a safe and effective sunscreen for children and adults alike.
- When dehydrated in the hot summer months coconut water can help. Containing all the necessary electrolytes it can help get you back to balance. Coconut water also contains antimicrobial properties so is also great when suffering from bacterial imbalance (runny tummy!) and in the re-hydration afterwards. The sugar and nectar from the flowers is also full of necessary nutrients to process the sugar (improving blood sugar levels and create energy.
- Coconuts have been seen to help a diverse range of conditions, mostly due to their Medium Chain fatty acids. They have a positive effect on the body as they are easily absorbed, have anti-microbial properties, can boost metabolism , enhance thyroid activity, reduces pain and swelling, improve digestion, boost immune system and improve skin, hair teeth and nails. Is there anything a coconut can’t help? (Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife)
A bounty of Coconut
Almond and Coconut Flour Kefir pancakes
I use coconut water/ kefir for all my green drinks
Coconut and Carrot seed oil natural Sunscreen
The sun is back here in Hong Kong, and I hear it is coming out where you are too. I love the sun and I rarely apply sun tan lotion as I have a healthy respect for it. I certainly do not use a product full of chemicals and petrochemicals (here) If I am going to be lying out in it- rare as i mostly prefer at least the top half of me to be in the shade- I will apply sunscreen (a natural one- naturally!) otherwise I abide to these 5 ways to keep myself and my kiddies burn free and Vit D rich.
1. Sunscreen– I like to use a mix of carrier oils with aromatherapy as my sun cream. Carrot and Raspberry seed oil having the highest SPF (sun protecting factor). I have quite olive skin that seems to soak up the sun, but my son is quite pale (and not 1 yet) so I am more vigilant with him. My daughter has the same skin as me. Our general rule is 10-20 mins in the sun without any barriers to soak up the vitamin D. Never Ever burn. If you feel yourself burning apply straight away (and you should seek the shade or wear a layer). The same mix of oils is also my after-sun in the bath for the kids and slapped on for us. the oils I use are also anti-bug ones so it is an all in one product. Perfect for taking out with you and taking on holiday! This is a great link to what oils have what SPF (http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/carrier_oils_and_spf).
2. Cover up– hats long sleeves etc. But watch the sunglasses, Vitamin D is also produced through the Iris and by constantly wearing sunglasses you are missing that vital gateway to healthy Vitamin D levels. Limit your time in the sun– Its a no brainer that keeping out of the sun at the hottest points (recent studies are saying 10am-4pm) but then again that’s almost the whole day! So dipping in and out (and not just of the pool) for example go in for lunch and yes a siesta (another luxury that is far off in the future for me!) and then enjoy it again. There is nothing worse than a sun hangover- you can always have too much of a good thing!
3. Shade seeking– Its cooler in the shade but beware you can still burn so be aware of how you are feeling (and if you are going to go to sleep on your lounger- a luxury I will have to wait for a while to indulge in again- make sure you have applied or get someone to apply some cover for you ) NEVER EVER Burn! Be especially careful at the beach or where there is a lovely breeze as you may not feel that burn.
4. Keep hydrated– Coconut water is brilliant for this- it replaces all your electrolytes and is so delicious in the sunshine. Of course beware of drinking alcohol (even in the coconut water!) and ensure you maintain your water intake. That groggy feeling after a day in the sun is generally dehydration. A good soak in the bath is a good way to rehydrate (and with the oils of course)
5. Know what to do after a day in the sun– Don’t forget natures wonder product- Aloe Vera. It is not a coincidence that it thrives in hot desert like conditions! Break it open and apply the cooling gel straight away or after a shower. If you do burn a nice hot shower or bath is the way forward (not a cold one!), Aloe Vera and coconut oil with some Lavender and Calendula tincture will do wonders. Calendula and Camomile tea or essential oils and tinctures with lavender are also good at reducing the inflammation burns produce and calming and encouraging new skin growth. Re-hydrating and ensuring plenty of rest afterwards will allow you to enjoy the sun day after day (which is what we hopefully have to look forward to till December now!)
Enjoy!!! But be Safe!
PS Sunscreen recipe to follow (includes carrot seed oil, wheatgerm oil, avocado and coconut oil- Lavender, Camomile, Geranium and either Lemongrass, Neroli, Frankinsence or Grapefruit essential oils depending on my mood!)
5 Reasons To Shop Locally:
In season; Chinese Kale, Cabbage, pea shoots, lettuce, carrots, spinach, cucumber, watercress, radish, broccoli
1. Foods in season generally have the nutrients in them to support the body’s needs at the time, thus boosting the immune system. Eating local honey can help reduce hay fever and asthma. Try the locally produced Honey and visit where they make it in Shatin at Wing Wo Bee Farm.
2. Indigenous varieties are normally hardier to the local environment and so less need for interference (ie pesticides). Also you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles (food miles); for example organic milk at Hong Ning Dairy production is limited to 6000 bottles a day keeping it only for locals.
3.Taste Better. Picked when ripe and ready so given the right amount of time to develop flavour by soaking up the soil’s nutrients for longer. Eating foods fresh and unprocessed can have huge health benefits
4.Cheaper. More abundant easier to grow in season. Less travel means no increase to price.
5. More convenient. Not only do most of the farms deliver to you, wet markets are often closer than your normal supermarket. Pick up a guide to wet markets that include descriptions of the local produce available at your local district office. It’s fun to discover new foods and search for ways of cooking them for our families. Also its more likely your food dollar goes directly to the farmer thus supporting the local community and promoting more investment into a greener local area.
Try a green smoothie to use your local veg especially the Chinese Kale and watercress.
Introducing my new section- 5 ways to… I will cover many areas with some information of how why and what to do to enhance and support your body and your life! Every 4 weeks I will change the subject and every week I will add another recipe to the topic! Let me know if there is anything in particular you want covered.