Good fats are IN! Coconut oil, omega 3 fats and DHA!

Did you know that eating "GOOD FATS" can help you lose weight? That's right folks, GOOD fats can get rid of BAD fat! Although fat used to get a bad rep, it's finally getting it's due! The fact is: we all need fats.

We now know that some fats, specifically the omega fatty acids (also known as Essential Fatty Acids-EFA's) are vital for health.

Omega-3 Fats

The king of the EFA's are the omega-3 fats: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic aicd (DHA). Unfortunately, although DHA is  also an omega-3 fatty acid, it is NOT found in the other fats, so you have to find it elsewhere. (see below)

Plant sources of omega-3's include nuts and seeds, especially flaxseed oil or ground flaxseeds. they are also found in lesser amounts in legumes, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. Coldwater fish like wild salmon are a great source as well. The adequate intake guideline developed by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day, and that women consume 1.1 grams daily. (unless pregnant or lactating, see below)

DHA's and Pregnancy

During pregnancy, developing babies rely on their mothers to get needed DHA. Since DHA is derived from the foods we eat, the content of DHA in a mother's diet determines the amount of DHA passed on to her developing baby. Unfortunately, the majority of pregnant women in the U.S. fail to get the recommended amount of DHA in their diets and DHA is not found in most prenatal vitamins. The good news is leaders in maternal health are beginning to educate women about the importance of DHA and some food manufacturers are starting to come up with creative ways to help people - pregnant and non-pregnant- get the DHA they need.

Current research suggests adequate levels of DHA may help increase a developing baby's cognitive functioning, reduce the risk of pre-term labor and decrease the risk of postpartum depression.

Why do pregnant and lactating women, who so critically need DHA, find it difficult to get the recommended amount of this crucial nutrient in their diets? There are two primary reasons. First, during pregnancy the daily requirements of DHA increase from 220 mg to somewhere between 300 and 1,000 mg (depending on which expert you consult). Second, DHA isn't easy to get in your diet, especially when you are pregnant. Significant amounts of DHA are found in animal organ meats and fatty fish.

My advice? Get a good DHA supplement from your doctor or from a health foods store. According to Dr. Barbara Levine, associate professor of nutrition in medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, "the purest source of DHA is not the fish itself, but rather what fish consume: the ocean's vegetarian plant algae." Taking DHA supplements produced from marine algae is therefore a safe way for pregnant women to boost their fatty acid stores. (like the spirulina which is inside Green Dream powder!)

Another good fat: Coconut Oil

Organic coconut oil is an unrefined, non-hydrogenated plant oil that's produced from fresh coconut kernel without the use of harmful chemicals. The production process retains a maximum amount of the active medicinal compounds in this organic oil, including lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. Modern research studies have found that these coconut oil compounds provide a number of benefits.

Possible Weight Loss

Coconut oil can be a healthy source of dietary fat when you're trying to lose weight, according to Bruce Fife. In his book “The Coconut Miracle,” he writes that it contains fewer calories than most oils and has no toxic trans-fats. Furthermore, the saturated fats in coconut oil are in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are more easily metabolized than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and are less likely to get stored as body fat.

True story:

My girlfriend, who had a baby the same time as I did, couldn't lose the last few pounds 6-9 months after having her baby girl. She tried everything. She connected with me about the stubborn last pounds, so I asked her what she was eating each day, when, and what her activity level/exercise was like. Everything seemed fine.  She was breast feeding, so that should be doing the trick. After I was stumped, I said, "just as an experiment, try having 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut oil each day in addition to the rest of the stuff you're eating/doing. Don't change anything else, only the coconut oil each day." She DID, and 2 weeks later she reported in that she had lost that last 5-7 lbs!!! With NO other change but the coconut oil. Yeee! Love success stories!

Improves Immune Function
Functional Benefits

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a compound that supports immune function, according to Jon J. Kabara, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University. He writes that when you take coconut oil, the body converts the lauric acid in this oil into a compound called monolaurin. Kabara reports that monolaurin is a potent immune system stimulant that can also be obtained from human breast milk. It helps nursing babies to fight off infection while their immune systems are developing.

According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil is classified as a functional food because it provides a number of benefits beyond those provided by its nutritional content (also known as a superfood). Fife notes that more than half of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are in the form of lauric acid and capric acid, two compounds that have potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoal properties that aid in treating genital herpes, influenza, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and gum disease.

My son AND my dog LOVE coconut oil. They will eat it by the spoon full, which is the best way to consume it. If you (or your family) don't love it that way too, no biggie, just add it to any smoothie or substitute it for other oils when cooking. You'll fall in love, trust me!

HERE is a smoothie recipe including coconut oil!

and the majority of my desserts contain coconut oil, check out those recipes, too!

references and for more info:

The Coconut Miracle, Bruce Fife, 2004

Jon J. Kabara, Ph.D: Health Oils From the Tree Of Life

The Coconut Research Center: http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

She Knows-Pregnancy Website

Comments (2):

Ginger hunt on

In The Google heading said this answered the question of “does coconut oil have EPA & DHA?”, however I could find nothing that addressed that question. Krill oil is so expensive I was hoping to find another good source of Oleg 3 with those in it. Thank you. :)

dusti on

i wonder if any one can tell me the proportions od ALA , DHA, and EPA in coconut oil? one is so often told veg an nut oils only contain ALA’s but i’m sure that cant be true of coconut oil, can it? thankyou

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Heart of the Week - Shape House Sweat Lodge

My amazing assistant, Taylor, and I recently visited a HEAVENLY sweat lodge in LA. It was Taylor’s first time, and she ended up loving it so much that she wanted to spotlight it as the Philosophie Heart of the Week. Read on for what to expect at a sweat lodge + why it’s THE perfect ritual to integrate into your summer cleanse!

When you hear the term “ sweat lodge,” do you become frightened or intrigued (or maybe even both – like I had been)? A few years back, I had seen CNN do a story on a sweat tent that was in the middle of a field. I figured there's no way that it could be as weird as that!  

We’re ramping up for our newest Summer 17’ Philosophie Cleanse, so I knew this would be the perfect time for my body to try the West Hollywood way of sweating and release any old energy that was no longer serving me.

Plus, I’ve experienced so many So-Cal staple firsts with Sophie – everything from Pressed Juicery Freeze to Cafe Gratitude to learning how to do a headstand in yoga class. Why not spend some time in a detoxifying sleeping bag while watching the latest episode of Big Little Lies? With all this in mind, I decided to visit an LA-based urban sweat lodge called Shape House with Sophie.

I had butterflies as I walked up, but instantly relaxed as we stepped into the calming and beautiful space. After the adorable girls at the front desk explained the process, we then changed into our “jail clothes” (an oversized long sleeve shirt, even bigger sweats, and sexy mid-calf socks). Sophie turned to me and said, “You don’t really want your skin touching anything–but here, let's take a photo!”

After, I found my 170-degree cocoon and hopped in–I looked like the filling in a burrito! They then handed me a remote and alkaline water, which has anti-disease + anti-aging antioxidants–an essential during the 50-minute detoxifying sweat.

MANY people, Kardashians included, are in love with Shape House. Not only does this sweat session burn anywhere from 800-1,200 calories, it also improves metabolism and digestion, gives your skin that glow, and helps you enter a deeper sleep (I slept like a baby that night).

My skin also felt firmer and tighter post-treatment since I was sweating out toxins and improving the flow of my lymphatic system. Shape House uses FAR infrared sweat technology to provide heat that warms the body from the inside out, which creates a deeply cleansing sweat!

The first 24 minutes were glorious. I was also secretly patting myself on the back for handling this like a champ! Then...I got a bit warm! Nothing that I couldn’t handle though, especially when I had the alkaline water and Reese Witherspoon to pull me through. I took deep yoga breaths and relaxed even more, knowing I was treating my bod to something special! Then, an employee came in with a cold lavender towel for my head, which really kicked the experience up another notch! Right when I thought, “I could probably get out now,” and started puzzling over what to have for lunch, my time was up!

I wobbled to their relaxation room and savored refreshing orange slices (great vitamin C boost!) and a cup of tea to bring me back down to earth. I sat there and thought about how much I loved sweating out the bad stuff to make way for the good stuff! 

While Shape House has pretty bathrooms with showers and amenities, they actually recommend trying to wait two hours after your Sweat Session to shower. Your body continues to burn calories and detox as its returns to its normal temperature, and showering cuts that time short. We had to shower directly after since we started our day out there, but I felt thoroughly detoxed.

In a nutshell, I LOVED my experience at Shape House. I felt so clean and light the next few days. I also only wanted to put clean ingredients into my body throughout the weekend, since I had just sweated out all of the “junk.” 

If only I had the time to go weekly, I would! They recommend anywhere from once a week to once a month–or whenever you can! Thank you, Shape House, for having the Philosophie team, and for making my first time at a sweat lodge simply blissful.  

xo,

Taylor

 

 Have you gone to a sweat lodge before? How was your experience? Let us know on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!

Shaved Carrot Salad Recipe

As the weather heats up, I love tossing up light, simple salads as either a side dish for dinner or a quick + healthy afternoon snack! That's why this julienned carrot salad made with only 3 ingredients has easily become a summer staple in my kitchen. Beautiful heirloom carrots in various shades of orange, amber, and maroon dressed in Berry Bee Tahini serve up both delightful crunch and sweet nuttiness. 

In addition to making my tastebuds super happy, this salad packs in the nutrients. Carrots provide a super high dose of vitamin A, which helps support vision, bone growth, immunity, and skin health! When you drizzle on the tahini, you also get a dose of minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron. This lovely seed butter is very high in vitamin E and also one of the best sources of calcium. On top of all that, a spoonful of Berry Bee Honey adds a burst of sweetness, as well as high levels of beautifying vitamin C! 

Gather This:

  • 1 pound heirloom carrots
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Berry Bee Honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

 

Do This:

Julienne the carrots, and set them aside in a bowl. Next, make the sauce by combining and stirring the tahini, water, honey, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the sauce over carrots and serve! 

What superfood summer salads are you tossing up? Share them with me on Instagram with #PhilosophieSuperfoods! 

3 Delicious, Dairy-Free Ways to Get Probiotics

While this post is sponsored by KeVita, these are 100% my opinions! 

Just like there are “good” fats, there’s also good types of bacteria and yeasts that we actually WANT in our bodies. Without probiotics, our bodies are prone to disease and inflammation so it’s good that we eat them on a regular basis to maintain a healthy gut.

Our gut is even called our “second brain” since it’s directly connected to our mood and how we think. Bottom line: when our gut is balanced, our brain feels happy.

While plain yogurt infused with a spoonful of Berry Bee Honey is always a yummy way to nourish your gut if you enjoy dairy, here are three DELISH dairy-free ways to get in your probiotics!

Kombucha

I love sipping a fizzy glass of Kevita® Master Brew Kombucha™! With live probiotics and active cultures, KeVita is my easy and delicious way to increase daily probiotic consumption and it’s also yeast-free! My fave is their citrus flavor, which is sweet and refreshing, and has 80mg of organic caffeine, making this a great afternoon pick-me-up!

Oh, and KeVita’s Master Brew Kombucha line features 9 sparkling and yummy flavors! Check out all the flavors here!

Miso

For that oh-so-yummy umami flavor, I like to mix in miso paste into my soups and salad dressings. This Asian seasoning is made by fermenting a combo of barley, brown rice, soybeans, and other grains with a specific fungus. In addition to providing probiotics, miso is also a wonderful source of protein, manganese, copper, vitamin K, and zinc!

Sauerkraut

Pickled Planet Sauerkraut is a staple in my superfood salads! In addition to being crispy, salty, and simply delicious, this pickled cabbage helps your body produce energy (thanks to its high levels of iron!) and promotes healthy eyes and skin due to its assortment of carotenes and punch of vitamin A! If you’re tossing up a Japanese-style salad, I love their Velvet Sea Sauerkraut since it also features burdock, ginger, and two types of seaweed.

What’s your favorite way to get in probiotics? Let me know on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

Toast Tuesday: Cream Cheese, Cucumber, + Sprouts Toast Recipe

If you love tea party cucumber sandwiches, you'll be head over heels for this week's Toast Tuesday recipe. It's as simple as toasting up a gluten-free slice of bread, spreading on dairy-free cream cheese, and layering the bread with beautiful crisp cucumber slices and a handful of sprouts! 
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Together, the vitamin K-rich cucumbers + vitamin C-packed sprouts add a truly lovely crunch! The cucumbers also help hydrate your body and flush out toxins – PERFECT for the warm months. 
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And if you do fancy the idea of dressing up in your prettiest floral dress and holding a garden tea party, you could definitely serve up this recipe (without toasting the bread and also cutting off the crust edges) with an iced rendition of this Chai Tea Latte Recipe!
.Gather This: 
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Do This:
Toast your slice of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, spread on the Kite Hill Cream Cheese, and top with sliced cucumber and a handful of sprouts. Enjoy! 

What's been your favorite Philosophie toast? Share it with us on Facebook with #PhilosophieSuperfoods! 

Heart of the Week: Ritual

When it comes to living a more resilient life from the inside out, rituals are a MUST for living a healthier life. Believe it or not, 40% of our day is determined by our habits, so it's really important that we choose our rituals with intention + purpose. One small ritual every day – like making a superfood smoothie, journaling, or taking vitamins – can make a world of a difference! 

While I feel like there aren't a lot of vitamins or supplements that I can get behind, I've been a big fan of Ritual Vitamins for a really long time. Within HALF AN HOUR, I can feel a boost of energy from the vitamin B12. I love that I can feel the effects of Ritual so soon after!   

Their assortment of nutrients is also created specifically for women. This actually makes a huge difference because men and women's bodies are so different and have such unique needs. I love that Ritual acknowledges this and also pairs nutrients that work together. For example, the vitamin D helps your system absorb the calcium. Even if you eat super healthy, it's great to take a supplement like Ritual to fill any nutritional voids your body may currently have.

Beyond boosting your energy, increasing your brain function, and helping you weather any emotional storms, Ritual also cultivates an attitude shift. By taking it at the beginning of each day with your lemon water or superfood smoothie, you plant the seed to feel GOOD and face the day and its challenges with strength and positivity.  

Check out the video above to learn more about Ritual with me and Dr. Zelana and also hear about the resilience rituals I do each + every morning! 

What are your wellness rituals? Tell us in the comments on the video + then be sure to subscribe to the Philosophie Youtube Channel for more chats on radiant health + nutrition! 

7 Ways to Stay Active as a Family in the Summer

As a family who LOVES sunshine + playing outside, we’re all about summertime! The warm season is one of the most beautiful times to be active outdoors and celebrate Mother Nature’s gifts. Here are 7 ways that our fam gets moving, while having a blast together:

Play in the park in the morning. While the kids run wild, my hubby and I love sweating it out in the playground. The monkey bars, balance beam, and steps create challenging ways to tone our bodies in HIIT sets.

Do lawn yoga in the afternoon. Sharing my practice with my little ones and introducing them to the many, many benefits of yoga make for such magical moments. I highly encourage anyone looking for a workout buddy to get flowin' with their kiddies!

Go for a bike ride at sunset. Blissing out during bike rides while the sun goes to bed is one of the most beautiful ways to close a day. And if it’s extra special if you’re biking home from the farmers market with rainbows of fruits + veggies for your evening meal! (While it's easy to wear flip flops during summer bike rides, I prefer these light + comfy Skechers YOU shoes!) 

Go on an evening hike or walk. Beyond fresh air and light exercise, these night walks provide a space for togetherness + reflection that allow us to truly reconnect. I don’t know what it is about being outside, but it’s always easiest to speak your truths, your fears, your joys when you’re unbound by walls and are completely free to feel + express.

Jump in the pool. You can’t beat splashing around in a pool and playing Marco Polo to cool down. If you live in LA and want to up your swimming game, the John C. Argue Swim Stadium in Expo Park is a great spot to take the fam. I also love the Ace Hotel for a pool dip with a gorgeous view of the cityscape of DTLA!

Spend a day picking fruit. Running around and picking fresh, organic blueberries, strawberries, and cherries is a summer must. Living in California, my family and I are so SO lucky to live close enough to produce farms—I really wanted to take advantage of this gift and share it with my kids. Plus, you’ll have a pail full of ripe fruit ready for a dreamy dessert or nourishing smoothie

Have an epic beach day. Jumping waves, dreaming up sandcastles, flowing beside the aqua water. ‘Nuff said.

What’s your favorite way to stay active with your family during the summer? Share with me on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!