Ok...there are a million articles out there about coconut oil. Ever wonder why? Many of them list the 101 ways you can use it, some list the nutritional benefits of it and some oppose the use of it saying it’s only the latest fad food. But this is our blog and we’d like to tell you why WE use it in our products and in our homes. We love it and value it as a food as well as an ingredient in our products and want you to know why. You might even say we are cuckoo for coconut oil.
Coconut oil has been in the spotlight in North America for a while now. (in many island cultures it’s super common to make your own coconut oil, can you imagine how awesome that would be?) It was the first real fat accepted into mainstream after the zero fat/anti fat rage in the 90s and early 2000s. Since then it has blown up as a health food and everyone now knows at least two ways to use it. But why is it so different? It is it’s very composition that makes it unique compared to most other oils.
Coconut oil contains a type of saturated fat called medium chain (medium chain triglycerides, MCT), which just means that it is a medium length chain of fatty acids. Most of coconut oil's fat comes from medium chain fatty acids which, unlike long chain fatty acids (which mostly come from dairy and meats) are easily broken down in your body. If the fat is easily broken down, it can then be used for energy production instead of being stored in fat cells.
Moderate use of coconut oil has actually been connected to weight loss and metabolic enhancement and has been widely used by athletes and sports enthusiasts in recent years (like the Bulletproof coffee craze, they use it...also part of the Keto diet). The fat contained within coconut oil is easily broken down in the body and is used for energy instead of being stored as fat like most saturated fats. It’s important to note that moderate use is helpful. Like anything, too much of a good thing has the potential to turn bad.
HOW WE USE COCONUT OIL IN OUR HOMES
We both love to cook and bake with coconut oil. Here is a tried, tested and true crowd pleaser; a Black Bean Brownie Recipe. It’s super easy to make, great for potlucks, kinda weird that it has beans in it but tastes incredibly good and it’s vegan.
All you have to do is throw all of the ingredients in your food processor, pour the mixed batch in a 9x9 greased pan (or 9x12 if you like them thinner) and stick them in the oven. The 2 tbsp of chia seeds is an optional ingredient (and would add some essential fatty acids to the mix).
We also use coconut oil as the staple oil in our homes. Well, Vicki would for her family but for the fact that her husband is allergic... [insert crying sound]
You can use it instead of margarine on toast or cook with it on higher temperatures than olive oil (which should never be heated above medium). Sauteed veggies, Thai coconut curry or Pad Thai...the list goes on!
We also love to use it for oil pulling (which Vicki mentioned in her Self Care post a few weeks back); a traditional Ayurvedic practice to help keep teeth and gums in tip top shape.
Side note: Some of you wrote to ask how to do it so this is for you!
To oil pull, you take roughly a tablespoon of oil (it starts off white and buttery and then gets liquidy as you use it) and swish it around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. As you hold it in your mouth, it gently pulls bacteria and food matter from your teeth and gums and leaves your teeth feeling dentist fresh! Once the time is up you simply spit it out into the trash. Make sure you don’t spit it into the sink as it can clog your drains.
Try it and let us know what you think. It has been practiced in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The fact that this practice has come to the West and is recommended for dental and overall health tells us they must be onto something.
There is also a lovely meditative element to it as you can’t talk while your doing it (you don’t want to swallow the oil now that it’s pulling bacteria from your gums); plus doing it in the morning helps you start your day off right. You can even add a bit of activated charcoal to amplify the detoxifying effects and whiten your teeth to boot! Charcoal can get a little messy, in case you haven’t used it before.
Coconut oil is also great as a straightforward post bath/shower moisturizer. Towel off and apply. Boom! You can even apply it in the shower and let the steam melt it and help absorb it into your skin. Then you just have to dab yourself dry out of the shower. This is a really great routine in the winter when our skin gets so dry and we can easily forget to moisturize regularly. This way, you are clean and moisturized straight out of the shower!
If you’re savvy, you can even use coconut oil as a natural lube. Many lubricants on the market are filled with chemicals and ingredients that can cause rashes and irritations. Now, no one wants that! Try a little coconut oil next time you’re feeling frisky!
There are even more ways to use coconut oil at home but we don’t want to come off as coco-crazy like in this hilarious “Ultra Spiritual” video from JP Sears (if you haven’t seen his videos before, he will make you LOL for sure!)
COCONUT OIL IN RGG PRODUCTS
We love using organic coconut oil in our skincare products because of its amazing ability to nourish the skin. It is thick and lubricating and makes the perfect base for scrubs and natural deodorant. That is why we use it in our Salutations Salt Body Scrub and Pit Paste. Coconut oil is also incredibly stable which makes it antioxidant rich (resistant to oxidation and free radical formation). Some have even used it as natural UV protection instead of using chemical sunscreens. It does do the trick at SPF 4 but we wouldn’t recommend it for lengthy sun exposure or for little ones.
Coconut oil nourishes the skin’s outer layer and connective tissues, which helps to keep your skin supple and reduces the appearance of fine lines. As an ingredient in a body scrub, this makes the perfect base to keep skin nourished, youthful and exfoliated. It also has the most wonderful subtle coconut scent which we thought paired perfectly with pure lemongrass oil! Now that summer is on its way, it’s the perfect way to keep your skin glowing and your body happy for long days in the sun and at the beach.
HOW DO YOU USE COCONUT OIL? Let us know in the comments! We always love hearing from you!
This post was co-written by Stephanie and Vicki.