Coconut Oil and Essential Oils

There are obviously thousands of ways to use coconut oil and essential oils. There are tons of online articles, blog posts, and books detailing uses. Here are a few ways I have been personally using coconut oil and a few essential oils.

Coconut Oil

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USES
  • Oil Pulling (In Addition To Regular Brushing)
    Swishing with coconut oil every morning before eating or drinking, followed by brushing your teeth can help remove toxins, strengthen gums, remove plaque, and whiten teeth. My aunt has been using coconut oil in this way for years and like many other people, she believes this practice greatly improves teeth, gum, and overall mouth health. Read more here. Personally, I like the taste of coconut and do not mind the addition to my morning routine. However, you will have to work up to the recommended 20 minute swishing. I have only been swishing for about five minutes.
Recipes
  • Coffee Creamer Alternative
    My chiropractor suggested this coffee recipe. Once again, I like the taste of coconut so if you do not like the taste, this coffee recipe may not be your cup of tea. Instead of using sweetener (of course, I used three Splendas) cinnamon is a nice alternative and instead of dairy or non dairy creamer, coconut oil works well to cut the coffee. I use a teaspoon of coconut oil, three packets of Splenda, and a few dashes of cinnamon. One of my resolutions is to cut sugar so I will be weening myself off coffee and sugar using this recipe.
  • Butter Alternative
    Another idea from my aunt: steel cut oats with coconut oil, walnuts, and honey. This is my favorite breakfast. Cook your steel cut oats (quick cooking or traditional), place one teaspoon of coconut oil in a bowl, pour your oats on top, and top with crushed walnuts and a drizzle of honey. The coconut oil melts and personally, I prefer the taste over butter.
  • Cooking Spray Alternative

Essential Oils

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  • Diffusing
    At the first sign of a cold or as relief for sinus issues, place a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil with water in your diffuser, shut the door and breathe deeply. Even my husbands admits that this helps shorten or eliminate his sinus issues.It is probably a placebo, but lavender really does help me sleep better and calms me. I have a roller ball of lavender that I use behind my ears and it keeps me calm all day.

I love using essential oils in a diffuser but I have also found other ways to use them. Here is a link to oils potentially unsafe for pets. Obviously, if you have children you know some oils are unsafe for them as well. More information about that here.

Essential Oil + Baking Soda

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  • Carpet Refresher
    Pour a few tablespoons of baking soda in a mason jar, add a few drops of an essential oil like peppermint or a blend of oils like Clean the Air. Stir and repeat process until jar is filled. Sprinkle little pinches on the floor and then vacuum. If you have pets indoors, do not use tea tree or any blend that includes tea tree. Read more here.

Coconut Oil + Essential Oil

  • Skin Tightener
    The next experiment on my list. Surprise, it came from my aunt: patchouli oil and coconut oil to tighten skin and treat stretch marks. Personally, this is not an oil I want to diffuse. I will be combining 3 drops with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and massaging into the skin.

Coconut Oil + Essential Oil + Baking soda

  • Toothpaste (exclusive or as an alternative to swishing)
    Another aunt recommendation, combining baking soda, coconut oil and an essential oil like peppermint to make a natural toothpaste. It is a bit messy but it might be a nice alternative to swishing. If you love your fluoride toothpaste, you could always use this recipe to make a pre-brush toothpaste and follow up with your fluoride toothpaste. My jury is still out on traditional toothpastes. I started using Dr. Bronner’s natural peppermint toothpaste and my teeth just did not feel clean so I went back to Crest Pro. I’m still trying to decide if traditional toothpastes are bad.

Find more natural recommendations here.

Breakfast Casserole Lessons

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Well, I recently noticed that some of my abdominal muscles are visible so I decided to start counting my Macros (macro-nutrients) and calories hoping to eventually see the rest of my abs. This decision involved in-depth recipe research via Pinterest and I found an interesting breakfast casserole that I decided to try, substituting a few ingredients. Sometimes substitutions work great and sometimes they do not. I would say that this (with chunky salsa) was pretty good fresh out of the oven. However, I cannot decide if it looks delicious or not and I was definitely not a fan of the microwaved version. If you were making a “healthier version” of this (the original isn’t really unhealthy) and planned on eating the entire casserole at one time, then it might be worth a try. My version used liquid egg whites, home grown golden potatoes (I recommend using store bought shredded potatoes) and no cheese. The entire 9 x 13 dish totaled 710 calories, 36g Fat, 41g Carbs, 49g Protein. Click here for the original version from Little Spice Jar.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cubed golden potatoes (instead of 20 ounces shredded potatoes)
  • 24 tablespoons liquid egg whites (instead of 10 eggs)
  • ⅓ cup half and half or milk
  • ¼ cup Tabasco
  • salt and pepper
  • salsa (for topping)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté them for 4 minutes or until they start to brown. Add a small pinch of salt along withe onions and garlic and let cook for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add the second tablespoon of oil, if needed, and sauté the peppers for 1 minute. Add in the baby spinach and allow it to wilt, remove from heat, set aside.
  2. Generously spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the potatoes in the bottom of the dish and press to make sure they are spread out evenly. Add the veggies (both the mushrooms and the pepper mixtures) over the potatoes, set aside.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the prepared veggies. Sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Bake the casserole, uncovered, until the cheese melts, and the top gets in and golden, 45-50 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with salsa.

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