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 (1):

Julia Erickson on

Thanks for your research on coconut oil. This will hopefully redeem millions of Filipinos relying on vast regions of coconut plantations who got mired into poverty for the last half a century when Western medicine bad mouthed the coconut and its byproducts like coconut oil. Thanks again and Godbless! :-)

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Coconut Oil: Friend or Foe?

The wellness world was turned upside down this past month when the American Heart Association announced that coconut oil is a no-no for heart health. As we at Philosophie HQ have a love affair with coconut oil, I felt it was important to chime in on this debate. Like most issues today, every expert has a different opinion, and I wanted to share with you ours.

Bottom line: There are healthy fats and there are unhealthy fats. Coconut oil is abundant in medium chain triglycerides (called MCTs) that deliver immediate energy because the body quickly turns them into fuel, which means that this oil is NOT stored as fat. Coco oil is a fat that is MUCH easier for your body to digest, as well as anti-fungal and anti-microbial. There are so many benefits to consuming coconut oil, and they’re all backed by studies.

We all know the buzz word “anti-inflammatory,” but did you know that the start of almost all chronic disease stems from inflammation in the body? It’s so important to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet to protect your insides and your overall health, and consuming coconut oil on the reg helps you do just that!

The AHA also claimed that there were “no known offsetting favorable effects.” On the contrary, research shows that fats in coconut oil can actually decrease risk factors for heart attack and strokes! Coco oil PREVENTS the hardening and thickening that happens to your arteries when you are about to suffer from a heart attack or stroke. Obesity is another major issue in our country, and coconut oil actually helps speed up your metabolism, as well as reduces your appetite.

I think it's important to note that the AHA was basing their inaccurate conclusions about coconut oil on studies that were conducted 50 years ago! The wellness industry is constantly changing, but one thing that remains the same is the incredible benefits of coco oil when it’s used properly.

We love to cook and bake with coco oil, we use it as a hair mask, as an eye makeup remover, in smoothies, and in bulletproof coffee–most importantly, of course! I personally rely on it to help strengthen my weakened gut lining in my stomach, due to food sensitivities! It also acts as a moisturizer for your body, and helps heal wounds. What can this superfood NOT do?

Knowledge is power, Philosophie Tribe! Arming yourself with accurate and current information is key in staying on top of your wellness game!


We’re love to hear your thoughts on coconut oil–let us know if you’re still riding the coconut train with us on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

Watermelon Pizza Recipe

On a midsummer night that calls for a light, magical dessert, forego the traditional fruit salad for this bewitchingly beautiful treat. All it takes is a crisp watermelon cut into a lovely moon, topped with superfood-infused yogurt, a handful of berries, and walnuts for some added crunch! On top of being simply swoon-worthy, this luscious pie is also abundant in antioxidants, probiotics, and omega-3s...which means that summer dreams should definitely be made of watermelon pizza.

 

Gather This:

 

Do This:

Mix the yogurt with the Berry Bliss. Spread the supercharged yogurt onto the watermelon slice. Top with berries + nuts, and enjoy!

I would love to see your beautiful watermelon pizzas this summer! Share them with us on Instagram with #MyPhilosophie + #PhilosophieSuperfoods!

Heart of the Week: Klean LA

As a busy mama on the go, having clean prepared meals that come straight to my doorstep and are catered to exactly what my body needs, is nothing short of a miracle!

I have heard so many wonderful things about Klean LA that I couldn’t wait to try it. I’m especially stoked that they’re gluten-free, soy-free, preservative-free, as well as local AND sustainable (they have FANTASTIC eco-friendly packaging). I also feel that it’s important that I teach Kai + Leo to support local, small businesses!


I’m not someone who labels the way I eat, or how my family eats, so the fact that Klean La offers us plenty of paleo AND vegan options is super helpful. I practice intuitive eating, which means that I eat based off of how feel that day. Sometimes, I’m craving an animal protein, while other days I want a heaping plate of quinoa +  fresh veggies!

The convenience factor of Klean LA, along with their delish food, makes keeping my family healthy really easy. I can’t get enough of their roasted veggies and brown rice–and their housemade sauces are to die for! Kai couldn't stop sneaking their yummy quinoa, and Leo was OBSESSED with the roasted chicken.

On busier work days, I definitely don’t always have time to go out and purchase fresh food and then prepare a yummy, nourishing meal for my family that evening. Klean LA though helps me do just that (well, minus the shopping + cooking parts)! But that’s what life's about – finding a system that works for YOU, and this absolutely did the trick for The Jaffe Family!

What are healthy eating hacks do you use for you or your family? Share them with us on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie! 

5 Day Pre-Festival Cleanse

Festival season sparks those magical moments that you’ll be reminiscing about in decades from now – blissing out to artists on your favorite playlist performing only 10 feet in front of you, drinking dreamy cocktails, and spending dawn to well after dusk with your tribe dancing, laughing, and living wild and free.

To ensure that you begin your festival with open, radiant energy (not drained and desperate for a vacation), prepare your mind, body, and soul for your packed weekend of magic with a 5-day pre-festival cleanse.

This holistic, revitalizing cleanse will not only support you in detoxing from the taxing energies in your life, but will also make you feel rejuvenated, refreshed, lighter, and truly ready to celebrate all that’s to come.

To get started, integrate the three following practices into your week for 5 days before your big weekend:

1) Cultivate a morning ritual to promote a peaceful mind.

Create your ideal morning and fresh start by making your own altar space, a special place for you to find stillness, meditate, and dig deep. It helps to place your journal, crystals, essential oils, intention cards, and candles on a beautiful tray that you can bring to your favorite rug or sofa – or even take outside so that you can open your morning amongst soft sunlight and calming birdsongs.

In 5-10 minutes, light your candles, apply your oils, picks up your crystals, and then connect to your breath and meditate, allowing thoughts to come in without judgement and leave freely. Even if your neighbor’s dog barking starts barking, the mailman stops by, or a firetruck with a blaring siren passes your street, don’t get frustrated. While we don’t live on top of the Andes Mountains, we do live in a place that’s active, dynamic, and also beautiful – this is your home. Simply acknowledge the sounds and then get right back into it.

Once you’ve completed your meditation, pick one of your intention cards (like this Own Your Awesome Deck) – a card that feels good to you and feels right in that moment. Soak in the wisdom of the card and then take note of the love, joy, and inner tranquility you’ve just cultivated.

While this practice is a must in the 5 days leading up to your festival, it’s also a beautiful ritual to integrate into your everyday routine!

2) Do a 15-30 minute HIIT workout at home, the gym, or your local park.

Hard and fast HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts are a fitness staple – especially if you have a regularly packed schedule. The beauty in HIIT workouts is that they’re so short and sweet you can do them daily!

Whether you’re new to rapid cardio circuits or are a HIIT champ, the key to these workouts is giving it your all and really taking yourself to your edge.

Dive right in with this HIIT sweat sesh made up of 3 super intense circuits of high knees, air squats, burpees, and elevated leg crunches. In each of these exercises, you’ll only have one minute so make the most of that minute.

Your heart rate will be pumping by the end so make sure to drink a bunch of water and then cool down with some restorative yoga stretches.


3) Do the Philosophie 5-day food-based cleanse.

While festivals like Outside Lands and FYF now have an array of wholesome options, it’s likely that there might be some curly fries and craft beer in your weekend as well. You can give your body an energy boost going into the festival by doing a simple food-based cleanse in the days before. This type of cleanse is unique in that it doesn’t promote deprivation, but rather focuses on giving your digestive system a well-deserved break.

Since we all get busy and don’t always have time to shop for and prepare healthy, wholesome foods, we’ll often turn to picking up fast food or ordering the deep-fried item at dinner with friends. The issue with this is that we’ll be filling ourselves with foods that are much more likely higher in trans fats and high-glycemic sugar, possibly sprayed with pesticides, and lower in nutrients.

A food-based cleanse like this 5 Day DIY Philosophie Cleanse provides just the opposite and consists of protein-rich smoothies, nutrient-dense salads, whole food snacks, superfood energy bars, fresh juices and fiber-filled soups—all of which are gluten-free, vegan, low in sugar and high in plant-based proteins. Check out a typical menu of the yummy, nourishing foods you’d be eating during the cleanse or even get a jump start:

Breakfast:

Berry Mint Bling Smoothie

Gather This:

  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 cup organic frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon Philosophie Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • 7-8 fresh sprigs of mint
  • ¾ cup fresh organic baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ice to taste

 

Do This:

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

AM Snack:

Coconut Water


Lunch:

Mermaid Salad

Gather This:

  • quinoa
  • wakeme
  • arame
  • hijiki
  • sesame oil
  • turmeric
  • cayenne
  • salt + pepper
  • avocado, sliced
  • lemon juice
  • sesame seeds

 

Do This:

Prepare quinoa as directed and set aside. Soak wakame, arame, and hijiki in 2 cups water for 20 minutes, drain well and add to cooled quinoa along with sesame oil, turmeric, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Slice avocado and bathe in lemon juice for several minutes. Add all the avocado and lemon juice to quinoa mixture and toss. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish.


PM Snack:

Snap Peas + Hummus


Dinner:

Green Power Soup


Gather This:

  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed or olive oil
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Philosophie Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice


Do This:
Blend all ingredients in blender. Garnish with parsley leaves and avocado chunks.

Any questions about doing a pre-fest cleanse? Please ask away on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie! 

The Bee’s Knees: 5 Reasons Honey Makes the Perfect Sweetener

Raw honey is hands down one of my favorite ways to infuse sweetness into my smoothies, toast, yogurt, salad dressings, and savory cooking. This golden liquid comes straight from superfood heaven – after 2 MILLION flower blossoms are visited, 1 pound of honey is created! A bee also makes about 1/12 teaspoon in its LIFETIME, so this is a true delicacy. And when our superfood + protein blends are swirled into jars of raw honey, you have a low-glycemic, high-vibrational, nutritionally-dense nectar that is pure bliss. Read on for 5 more reasons why honey is the bee's knees! 

1) It's bursting with vitamins + minerals. 

Raw honey contains an assortment of vitamins including Vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid, along with minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium AND zinc! This definitely makes it one of the most nourishing ways to sweeten your eats + drinks.  

2) It's full of antioxidants. 

Micronutrients called polyphenols in honey contain antioxidants, which are SO essential for radiance + wellness. Antioxidants help combat free radicals, those bad atoms that contribute to cellular damage and can lead to disease.

3) It provides an all-natural energy boost! With 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, it's a great way to support muscle recovery after you've had an intense workout. I like to add our Berry Bee Honey to this oh-so-yummy DIY Coconut Pineapple Sports Drink

4) It can enhance your shampoo + conditioner. With its humectant properties, honey makes a great addition to shampoo by helping your hair maintain moisture. The nutrients and enzymes in honey also give your hair a gorgeous shine without weighing it down. I like to mix a small spoonful of raw honey into my shampoo or conditioner! 

5) It makes a lovely face mask, especially after a day out in the sun. The healing benefits of raw honey have been recognized for centuries. Ancient Egyptians and Ayurvedic traditions used honey to treat skin infections, burns, and wounds since this sweet gift from nature possesses antibiotic properties. I love mixing it into this hydrating DIY mask with aloe and cucumber (video below) since it reduces both redness and swelling!  

What are your favorite ways to use our supercharged honeys? Tell us on Facebook with #PhilosophieSuperfoods on Facebook! 

Horned Melon Toast Recipe

Our latest Toast Tuesday recipe features horned melon, a fun spiky fruit that tastes like a fusion of cucumber, kiwi, banana, cantaloupe, and even zucchini! Created with vegan cream cheese, Berry Bee Honey, and horned melon (also known as kiwano), this toast is packed with antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C!

Horned melon, the star ingredient behind the recipe, is a fruit that's in the midst of a bit of an identity crisis. It is actually a member of both the melon family AND the cucumber family. If you splice it open, you'll see why–the insides look like cucumber with edible seeds surrounded by a green jelly, while the outside definitely looks like a melon.

As it's not too sharp or too sweet, it tastes super yummy when drizzled with superfood-infused honey and layered on top of cream cheese-covered toast! 

Gather This:

  • 1 slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • 1 horned melon, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Berry Bee Honey

Do This:

Once your toast is toasted, spread on the cream cheese, top with sliced melon, and add a drizzle of honey! 

Have you tried horned melon before? Do you love cooking with it? Tell me how you like to integrate this super fruit into meals or treats on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!