Clean Eating Chelsey: The Power of Coconut Oil

Chelsey’s here today to talk about one of my favorite kitchen staples. Not only do I use it to replace butter, oil, and cream in recipes, it may just be my absolute favorite above all other ingredients I stock in my pantry. When I wrote down a list of what foods I was going to bring with me to India, it was top of the list not just to snack on, but for some of the reasons Chelsey lists below.

All I can say is, thank goodness for Artisana squeeze packs!

Hi Healthful Pursuit readers! My name is Chelsey, and I blog over at Clean Eating Chelsey.

I was honored when Leanne asked me if I would be interested in writing a guest post for her while she was away in India. I am always so amazed at the creative recipes Leanne comes up with and the advice she gives readers.

Believe it or not, I have been using one of Leanne’s favorite kitchen staples in unconventional ways lately. Any guesses as to what that product might be?

Coconut oil!

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A few months ago, I discovered coconut oil could be used for a variety of uses other than cooking and baking. Since then, I have been trying coconut oil for just about everything. In case you are not familiar with coconut oil, let me catch you up to speed on this miracle worker.

Hair/Scalp Conditioning Treatment

For the first time ever, this winter I was experiencing a very dry scalp. I started to develop dandruff and was becoming quite self conscious about it. I had used coconut oil as a deep conditioning treatment for my hair before, but never really massaged it into my scalp. A few weeks ago, I used about ¼ cup of melted coconut oil and massaged it into my scalp and hair. I let it sit in my hair for about a half hour before I hopped into the shower to rinse it out. Not only did my dry scalp disappear, my hair looked shiny and healthy in a matter of minutes!

Cuticles

Regardless of what I do, I can never get my cuticles to be moisturized and healthy. They are always breaking, hanging, and hurting! It is pretty unsightly to have cuticles that are cracking and bleeding. Just like when I use the coconut oil for my scalp, I have been massaging the coconut oil into my cuticles every once in a while when they get too dry. It has been working wonders!

Makeup Remover

Coconut oil is an AWESOME makeup remover, specifically for eyes. I don’t even know how I discovered this, but one night after I ran out of eye makeup remover, I decided to give the coconut oil a try. I put a little on a cotton ball and started swiping at my makeup. Low and behold, it works!

Dry Patches

Are you starting to realize how dry my skin gets in the wintertime? I hate having flaky skin on my face, so using a little dab of coconut oil on dry patches on my skin has really been helpful. For me, I am not a person who can use coconut oil as an all over moisturizer on my face (trial by error!) but some people swear by it. I am able to moisturize in small amounts with the coconut oil!

I’m one of those “coconut cures all” kind of crazy people. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it, right?

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  1. You are so right.I love coconut oil in my food and on my skin.
    I have been using it for about 2 years now.Rub on your feet before going to bed and in the morning your feet are so soft and smooth.After a bath or shower use it all over.
    I use it in a lot of my cooking for cakes,cookies ,meat and vege
    tables,great with spinch!!!!

  2. My friends and I were trying to figure out what else we could use coconut oil for last weekend! Someone made fondue with coconut butter, cocoa, some sugar, and a bit of coconut milk. But that was coconut butter, which really confused us. Is it just that there is coconut flesh in it, while in oil there’s not? It’s still a mystery…

  3. I use coconut oil for all sorts of beauty purposes as well. A couple things to note: 1) using coconut oil on the face makes some people break out, so you may just want to use it on your hair and body; and 2) if you want to smell like coconut (I do!), use the unrefined oil. The refined is odorless.

  4. Chelsea, you are so right. I have only recently found coconut oil because I used it in my two homemade body scrubs but that’s to Leanne I have been integrating it into everything, even my vegetarian Mexican rice last night… Delicious and such a better consistency and taste than you would get from butter or olive oil. Great post!!!!

  5. Perhaps the most unconventional but my latest favorite use is for deodorant! I mixed a little baking soda into a few spoonfuls of coconut oil and rub a small dab on my armpits when I get out of the shower, works great!

  6. I also love coconut oil and use it for everything. My husband calls me a walking coconut. Besides all the benefits I also feel it is very comforting on an emotional level, it’s all in one, comfort food & spa treatment.

  7. I’ve been using coconut oil in my toothpaste and deodorant for quite some time. I temporarily stopped using the homemade deodorant because it was causing a rash, but then I switched to Arrowroot powder instead of the cornstarch the recipe called for and I’ve had no trouble since. It works really well compared to conventional deodorant, and I feel better about it knowing I’m not clogging my pores with aluminum. And the coconut oil in my toothpaste helps to curb the abrasive nature of the baking soda on my gums. It’s amazing.

    I’ve lately been enjoying about a tablespoon of coconut oil in my morning coffee. It’s delicious and I’m convinced it’s been giving me more energy.

  8. The options for coconut oil are endless! I always use my coconut oil as a makeup remover and deep conditioning treatment for my hair once a week. I have never used on my cuticles, but I will definitely be trying this one. Thanks for the idea!

  9. Dr. Mary Enig, a nutritionist/biochemist and one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils, goes on to say, “Approximately 50 percent of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid.”

    Another incredible fact about coconut oil is that even though it is a fat, it actually promotes weight loss! The reason is again because of the healthy medium-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats, but are sent directly to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy, just like carbohydrates. So the body uses the fat in coconut oil to produce energy, rather than be stored as body fat. Medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil also speed up the body’s metabolism burning more calories and promoting weight loss. The weight loss effects of coconut oil have clearly been demonstrated by many researchers

    So how much coconut oil should one consume? A good therapeutic dosage is 3 to 4 tablespoons a day. This provides enough lauric acid to build the immune system. Also, look for unrefined coconut oil. Stay away from all hydrogenated oils, whether it is coconut oil or vegetable oils. Hydrogenated oils are oils with trans-fatty acids, which have been altered from their original chemical composition and have been shown to raise serum cholesterol levels that can lead to heart disease.

    Also look for unrefined coconut oils like Virgin Coconut Oil. Most commercial coconut oils are RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized). While these RBD oils do maintain the beneficial chemical structures of the medium chain fatty acids, they also contain chemicals used in processing.

    So how much coconut oil should one consume? A good therapeutic dosage is 3 to 4 tablespoons a day. This provides enough lauric acid to build the immune system. Also, look for unrefined coconut oil. Stay away from all hydrogenated oils, whether it is coconut oil or vegetable oils. Hydrogenated oils are oils with trans-fatty acids, which have been altered from their original chemical composition and have been shown to raise serum cholesterol levels that can lead to heart disease.

    Also look for unrefined coconut oils like Virgin Coconut Oil. Most commercial coconut oils are RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized). While these RBD oils do maintain the beneficial chemical structures of the medium chain fatty acids, they also contain chemicals used in processing.

    http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/coconut_oil_healthy.htm

  10. The best result for me when I started eating coconut oil each day surprised me! I used to be very schedule driven in my eating: I had to every 4 hours or so. If I didn’t, I got Cranky!! My family knew to make sure I got a snack if dinner wasn’t going to be ready for awhile. However, that went away once I started eating a tablespoon of coconut oil each morning. At lunch, I’m still pretty ready to eat, I don’t get quite as cranky though. However, by dinner, I forget that it’s dinner time. Now, some people get distracted and forget, I have never, ever been that person before. I never forgot to eat, ever. And now, I do. I’ll look at the clock and realize its two hours after dinner time and then realize I should eat. Amazing!!!!

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