Nothin’ Like EVOO

10702069_904476514773_3840381980300393958_nCiao bella! Although I am a huge fan of all things coconut oil, there’s just nothin’ like the one and only EVOO. Olive oil, rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean Diet. My recent trip to Italy for our honeymoon spiked quite a rekindling for my relationship with olive oil. I’ve always used and loved it, but my appreciation for the oil grew stronger as Italians just don’t live without it. From salad to octopus, (yup) pasta to dessert, olive oil was as essential as water (and wine!) at every meal. Every bite was a bit tastier, richer, and more satiating.

10689850_904476659483_2449018094796810023_nMaking pasta from scratch in Rome!

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat – aka a healthy fat. Although it is very high in fat content, olive oil’s health benefits are unparalleled. A diet consisting of EVOO regularly is correlated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The phytonutrients in olive oil help to strengthen and protect the blood vessel cells, prevent blockages, and aid digestion. It also transforms a bowl of spaghetti into a work of culinary magic. Bellissima!

1017740_904477602593_2597989234029221327_nWhy EVOO? Extra virgin olive oil is fresh-pressed, less processed, and more pure than regular olive oil. EVOO has been proven to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and blood pressure. So, instead of butter, margarine, dressing, sauce, etc., turn to EVOO. Olive oil can also be used to treat a sunburn, condition hair, moisturize skin and lips, rid stickiness, polish surfaces, fix a jam, remove eye makeup, and so much more. Who knew?!

One Healthy Breakdown: Rekindle your relationship with this old fave today and you won’t be sorry!

More Broccoli Please!

Broccoli is a side-dish that just never gets old. This green cruciferous veggie is always in style because it’s rich in nutrients that aid inflammation, oxidative stress, digestion, detoxification, and even prevents diseases like cancer. When prepared right, even the kids will want more!

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Simple Broccoli with Lemon, Garlic, and Pine Nuts:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of fresh organic broccoli cut into pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or another high-heat oil)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauté chopped garlic in coconut oil. Once browned, take off heat and combine in bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. Whisk until consistent. While toasting pine nuts, steam broccoli in a broiling pan or steamer until just cooked. Pour garlic dressing and toasted pine nuts over warm broccoli, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy as a side dish or snack! For a whole meal, add chickpeas or tempeh before sautéing garlic!

One Healthy Breakdown: tasty and healthy means broccoli done right.

Coconut Oil is Your Friend

I’ve been turning to coconut oil for everything lately. From after-sun to conditioner, toothpaste to tasty recipes, and everything in between, its superpowers are endless! Look for unrefined, organic, virgin, and raw to maximize benefits.

Half Coconut and Flower on Bamboo Mat --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

  • Hand lotion
  • Chap stick/lip balm (BEST healer of chapped lips, works instantly!)
  • After sun lotion
  • Hair conditioner/mask (melt with heat, apply to wet or dry hair. If dry, let sit for a few hours and wash out in shower)
  • Sweet potato topper
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Eye cream (rub around/under eyes)
  • Baking and/or sautéing oil
  • Face lotion (rub on dry skin – only dry areas NOT entire face, it is oil!)
  • Defrizz (rub small amount in hands and apply to top of hair to stop frizz)
  • Body scrub (combine with sea salt, sugar, or ground coffee beans to exfoliate)
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Eczema treatment (rub on inflamed areas)
  • Popcorn topper (better than butter!)
  • Massage oil (just melt a little)
  • Moisturizer (apply to body after shower)
  • Diaper cream
  • Cuticle healer (softens and fights bacteria)
  • Foot cream
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Digestive aid

One Healthy Breakdown: talk about a super food!

Bask in Your Mask, At Home!

Love that post-facial feel? Why not save a little money and time by making your own natural face masks? This way, you can feel good about the ingredients and maybe even multitask by getting something done around the house (yes, a snooze, bath, or TV show counts as something!) while you bask in your mask! Try these masks over the next few weeks to rejuvenate skin after a long summer of sunshine!

Woman Getting Facial Treatment

Moisture Mask: Combine 1 whole avocado, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Blend or mash until smooth. Add a teaspoon of sea salt for added exfoliation (optional, best for oily skin.) Apply mask to face and let sit 15-20 minutes. Wash face with warm water and pat dry.

Pore Shrinker: Apply egg whites evenly to face (use one egg’s whites or about a tablespoon out of carton, preferably pasteurized.) Let dry on face about 10 minutes and wash with a gentle cleanser and warm water. Face will feel a bit stiff and pores will be instantly smaller. Also helps fight blemishes!

Revitalization Recipe: Combine one part fresh-squeezed orange juice, one part milk, and two parts honey. Apply evenly to face and let soak for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

OrangesOne Healthy Breakdown: who said a facial has to cost an arm and a leg? Just open your fridge and facial away today!

*consult a doctor before trying if you have sensitive skin or food allergies.