Lose your unwanted belly fat with coconut oil!

Coconut oil is one of the most weight loss-friendly fats in the world. Rich in a combination of fatty acids, it promotes optimal metabolism function which ultimately helps with weight loss!

Several studies show that by simply adding coconut oil to your diet, you can lose fat – especially the “dangerous” fat in your abdominal area, which has been linked to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

To learn more about how coconut oil can help you lose weight and belly fat, keep reading!

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Four ways that coconut oil helps with fat loss

#1: Coconut oil boosts your energy levels

Coconut oil is comprised mainly of medium-chain triglycerides AKA MCTs and lauric acid. This essential fatty acid metabolises differently in comparison to other saturated fats, such as those you find in dairy and meat products.

Your body doesn’t store MCTs as fat, but instead transports them directly to your liver, where they’re quickly converted into energy. So what does this mean for your weight loss efforts?

By adding two or three tablespoons to your daily dietary regimen, you’ll boost your energy levels by an average of 5% for a full 24-hour period! I find that adding coconut oil to my morning smoothie is the best way to get my energy kick for the day.

#2: Coconut oil decreases hunger and curbs pesky cravings

You already know that MCTs go directly to your liver during digestion. Not only does this provide your body with a natural energy boost, the processing of MCTs also forms keytone bodies, which have the added benefit of reducing hunger and curbing cravings.

I recommend enjoying two to three tablespoons of coconut oil each day to feel fuller for longer and to kick the habit of snacking on unhealthy foods between meals. You can enjoy the oil in tea, coffee, smoothies or directly from the jar!

#3: Coconut oil burns fat amazingly fast

Are you looking to reduce your daily caloric intake and lose weight faster without compromising your health? Well, then, you’re in the right place. Coconut oil enhances your body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients so that you can eat less without feeling unsatisfied, tired or weak all the time.

Plus, because coconut oil is a natural mood enhancer, eating it daily will help you reduce your stress levels and feel more motivated to partake in heart-healthy activities, which will only help you burn off persistent fat stores even faster – bonus!

Consuming coconut oil regularly will power up your body’s fat-burning potential – especially for losing stubborn belly fat. It will also regulate your appetite, improve digestion and just make you feel great!

#4: Coconut oil helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels

Because your body absorbs coconut oil easily without the need for digestive enzymes, your pancreas is less stressed and able to produce insulin more effectively. Plus, as a saturated fat, coconut oil makes it easier for your cells to bind with insulin during digestion.

When your body has the required amounts of insulin, your cells get the glucose (or blood sugar) that they need to fuel your daily activities. So how exactly does this translate into belly fat loss?

A daily serving or two of coconut oil will help your body maintain healthy blood sugar levels by promoting the efficient use and production of insulin. As a result this will provide your cells with more glucose to give you energy and help you lose fat.

PS: Just remember – coconut oil is high in calories, so it’s important that you use it in moderation. I recommend limiting your intake to one or two tablespoons a day to avoid unwittingly sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Good luck!

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Six things that help me conquer my sweet tooth over the festive season

Are you high? Before you say no, think about what you’ve put in your mouth lately. If it includes anything from thick, creamy milkshakes and rainbow-coloured cereal to chicken nuggets and cold cuts, there’s a pretty good chance you’re riding a sugar high right now.

 

Don’t feel bad – you’re not the only person buzzed with a sugar addiction right now. In fact, research shows that nearly a quarter of one’s daily caloric intakes – 325 calories on averages – comes from foods like baked goods, soft drinks, fruit juices and desserts. In other words, from sugar.

 

I find that year-end is the toughest time of the year to try and take control of your sugar cravings. Do you agree? Here are seven tips that help me take control of my sweet tooth that really work!

 

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Six ways to curb your sweet cravings this December

#1: Eat a decent breakfast every day

Did you know that 90% of sugar addicts skip breakfast? That’s right. They wait and get a big hit of sugar at around 10am. When you eat breakfast, you prevent the drop in blood sugar that makes you crave sugar later in the day. A hearty, nutritious breakfast doesn’t have to take you long to whip up – try a delicious low-calorie smoothie or avocado baked eggs.

#2: Choose fruit whenever you can

Satisfy your sweet tooth with bananas, apples, and berries; all of which temper natural sugar with fibre and loads of antioxidants. Dried fruit and fruit juices will also do in a pinch. Just be aware that they pack far more calories than fresh fruit. I limit myself to a quarter cup or less of dried fruit or one cup of fruit juice each day. Frozen fruit smoothies are another great healthy way to get your sugar fix.

 

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#3: Never cross the 150 calorie line!

So you’re at a Christmas party or a dinner and you simply can’t say no to a chocolate or a cupcake. Let’s be realistic – this happens! But when it does, be sure to stick to 100 to 150 calorie portions and 16 g of sugar or less.

#4: Plan your indulgences for right after dinner

You can’t toss out or give away all the sweet treats you get given for Christmas, I know. So the trick is to indulge in them at the right time – after dinner. Late-night sweet fixes give you a pure, unaltered sugar rush. Treat yourself right after dinner instead and you’ll reduce (though not counter) the insulin-spiking effect.

 

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#5: Cut out “overt” sugars as far as possible

Tackle the worst offenders first: Sucrose-laden treats! Yup, I’m looking you right in the eye, frappuccinos. If you drink sugary drinks like these every day, try get into the happen of having one every other day instead.

#6: Enter a sugar rehab

You’re an addict. Therefore, you need to detox before you can fully recover. It takes five days to fully overcome your cravings for sugar, and you’re bound to feel awful for about three of them. Prepare to be edgy and irritable while you resist temptation for the first three days. By day five, you’ll feel like a whole new person – I promise! And, you’ll have learned that a little sugar goes a much longer way than you previously thought.

I hope these tips work well for you. Good luck!

Five fantastic reasons to drink peppermint tea every day

Peppermint tea is more than just plain delicious to sip on. It’s been proven to have some seriously awesome health and beauty benefits! From the tips of your hair to the tips of your toes and everything in-between, let this tasty tea bestow its healing powers on you!

 

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Five health benefits of peppermint tea

#1: Stress relief

Peppermint tea is one of your best allies when it comes to stress and anxiety. The menthol that’s naturally present in the tea is a muscle relaxant. Relaxation of the muscles can be an enormous component of natural stress and anxiety relief – not to mention falling asleep!

#2: Skin-clearing

If you suffer from hormonal skin problems like breakouts and acne, peppermint tea could be a natural solution. The tea offers a slight boost in oestrogen levels to some drinkers, which can help curb these hormonal problems and aid in clearing up your complexion. You can even use peppermint tea externally in your bathwater to soothe burns and rashes, as well as calm down skin irritations and inflammations.

#3: Digestive problems

Peppermint tea is a fantastic natural remedy for certain stomach ailments, like tummy aches and bloating. Having a cup of the tea in the evening before bed can help soothe these problems, making it easier to digest and fall asleep.

#4: Sinus relief

If you’re prone to seasonal allergies, you might want to make peppermint tea part of your evening routine. Not only does the consumption of any warm liquid, such as tea, help clear your sinuses and soothe your sore throat, peppermint tea in particular is a known decongestant.

#5: Weight loss

When it comes to weight loss, there’s no all-natural miracle… But you can get some help from peppermint tea! The tea can act as an appetite suppressant, making it easier to stick to your healthy eating goals. Drinking a blend of green tea and peppermint tea can help boost your metabolism as well, making it easier to shed extra kilos.

Now go and get sipping!

My favourite strawberry, vanilla and coconut breakfast smoothie recipe!

This breakfast smoothie recipe is one I can’t get enough of right now. It’s loaded with antioxidants and healthy fat, which is just what your body needs first thing in the morning!

 

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A glass of pure pink goodness – yum!

 

Strawberry, vanilla and coconut breakfast smoothie recipe

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt (make sure it’s organic!)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or whole raw milk)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 8 large strawberries, fresh or frozen (use ice cubes to taste if you use fresh)
  • 2 tbsp virgin organic coconut oil, melted

Method:

  1. Blend everything except for the coconut oil on high-speed for one minute.
  2. Pour in the coconut oil and blend for another 20-30 seconds.
  3. Pour into a glass and garnish with coconut flakes or a fresh strawberry. Drink up and enjoy!

Five secrets to blending up creamy and delicious low-fat smoothies

Nothing sounds better on a hot day than a rich, creamy, fruity smoothie… Am I right? If your mouth waters at the thought of smoothies but the fitness freak inside you says too many calories!, don’t despair!

 

Smoothies, when done right, can have the texture of a double thick milkshake but the calories of a lunchtime salad. When done poorly, they can add to your waistline much faster than you think!

 

Here are my top tricks to blending up tasty low-fat smoothies.

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Five low-fat smoothie tricks

#1: Opt for fat-free dairy

The first secret behind a low-fat but rich and creamy smoothie lies in the use of low-fat or fat-free milk and yoghurt, which is often the base of creamy smoothies. This will give your low-calorie smoothie a creamy consistency without any fat or sugar. You can also use skim milk for a richer and more drinkable texture.

#2: Add shaved ice

Adding shaved ice to your drink will give it a lovely smooth consistency, minus the calories! This will give your smoothie a more drinkable texture.

#3: Use sugar substitutes

To further lower the calorie intake, you may also consider adding sugar substitutes. I personally love honey or stevia in my smoothies.

#4: Substitute yoghurt with juices

Adding juice instead of milk or yoghurt can also add to the texture of your smoothie. However, I recommend that you pass over the pasteurised type and stick to the juices made from fresh fruits. If you love smoothies and intend on making these diet drinks daily, then investing in a quality blender or juicer is the way to go.

#5: Use frozen fruits

My last secret to achieving low-fat yet creamy smoothies is adding frozen fruits to the drink. This will help you add more crunchiness and reduce the unpleasant texture. It’s easy to put in the wrong ingredients and end up with an almost undrinkable puree instead of a smoothie! Frozen banana and berries, for example, almost assure a velvety and rich concoction. Yum!

Happy blending!

What I eat in a typical day on a raw food detox diet

When I tell people that I eat nothing but raw foods to detox my body every few weeks, they automatically think “eeuw, celery and carrot sticks!”. But a raw food detox diet can be filled with much variety, flavour and abundance! Plus, you can create really satisfying raw meals in just a few minutes.

 

Detoxing on raw foods provides a number of health benefits ranging from immune support, decreased risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and weight loss. If you’re thinking of going on a raw food detox diet but have no idea what to eat while you’re following the detox plan, take a look at what I eat in a typical day while on a raw food diet.

 

A day in raw foods

These meals add up to 2,000 calories in total.

Breakfast: A raw fruit and vegetable smoothie

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kale
  • 4 bananas
  • 5 dates, pitted
  • 2 cups cherries

Method:

Blend the ingredients with enough water in your blender on high-speed to reach your desired consistency. Drink up immediately.

Lunch: A cucumber and papaya salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1 diced papaya
  • 1 lime

Method:

Toss the cucumber and papaya together, then squeeze a touch of lime over the top.

Dinner: Zucchini spaghetti with sundried tomato marinara

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 spiralised zucchini
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Fresh herbs
  • Fresh chopped vegetables of your choice (spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, etc.)

Method:

Add the zucchini noodles to a bowl. Blend the remaining ingredients together and serve atop the noodles.

Twelve things you can do to take back your health and lose weight at the same time

Are you looking to take back your health and lose weight at the same tips? Then I have just the tips for you. Prepare to sleep better, for your energy levels to climb, for your skin to glow, and to enjoy your meals, all while your excess weight melts away!

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Twelve effortless ways to melt away excess weight

#1: Start your day with a mug of warm water with lemon

This will help keep your digestive juices flowing. It also aids in morning hydration. To kick it up another notch, add apple cider vinegar for compounded health benefits like improved blood pressure and regulating the pH of your skin.

#2: Tune into your body and listen

Tune into your body and listen to it. Only eat when you feel hungry.

#3: Keep hydrated throughout the day

I recommend glugging down lemon water with a pinch of cayenne pepper. It’ll help your body flush out toxins. Aim to drink at least eight glasses a day.

#4: Make green smoothies your go-to breakfast

Have a green smoothie for breakfast four or five times a week. Here’s a recipe I like: 1 cup kale, 3/4 cup pineapple, 1 tablespoon hemp, 1 cup coconut water and ice. Starting your day with something green is a fantastic way to get nutrients early in the day.

#5: Balance out your meals

Balance your acid-forming foods, such as proteins like meat and eggs, with green vegetables. For example: If you’re having eggs for breakfast, have veggies too. There’s nothing better than scrambled eggs with parmesan and spinach (try this recipe of mine) or an omelette oozing with cheese, peppers, spinach and mushrooms. Yum!

#6: Drink a green juice every day

I highly recommend flooding your body with green juice! Ingredients like kale, cucumber, lemon and ginger will plant chlorophyll into your blood and body, which has remarkable anti-inflammatory and detoxing benefits.

#7: Limit or omit packaged and frozen foods

Snacking on whole fruits or vegetables, seeds and nuts is what I suggest instead. Packaged and frozen foods are loaded with colourants, sweeteners and preservatives. No thanks!

#8: Add iodine-rich vegetables into your diet

Sea vegetables are rich in iodine, which is great for your overall health. When you’re making soup, add seaweed. Otherwise, snack on nori chips. Yum!

#9: Limit your intake of animal protein

Swap out animal protein a few nights a week for pumpkin seeds, lentils and avocado.

#10: Make Sunday a soup day!

Make a batch of vegetable soup every Sunday and freeze leftovers for the nights that you might not have time to cook. Try out my filling, low-calorie detox soup – recipe here.

#11: Connect with nature every day

Try spending some time outside. Get your feet on the grass or on the earth, and you’ll positively affect your vibration. I call this “earthing”. Lying down with your head on the grass is another way to connect with the earth. It does wonders for both the mind and body.

#12: Dry-brush your skin before baths and showers

Use a soft skin brush to dry-brush your skin before every bath or shower. This will help remove dead skin cells and toxins that are escaping your body through your largest organ: Your skin.