About natalieandmadeline

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Go Coconuts!

Coconut Oil

It seems that every other week someone somewhere is declaring something as the new ‘super food’.  Kale, quinoa, acai, goji berries, freekah; the list is endless.  If you were to eat the recommended daily dose of all these multi-benefit, disease fighting wonder-foods, you’d never leave the kitchen.  I’ve given many a try, and have enjoyed quite a few, but there has been only one that resulted in a lasting love affair.

Coconut oil, I’d seen it around and never really understood its purpose.  As we live in a colder climate, the white solidified consistency intimidated me and so I left it alone.  Then one day the Pinterest boards and YouTube accounts I follow were suddenly taken over with the myriad of uses and benefits of coconut oil, and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve never looked back.

Here are my top 5 uses for coconut oil:

  1. Night Cream

The first time I used coconut oil as a night cream, my skin was glowing the next morning. It might have even been the first time I’ve looked in the mirror, especially first thing in the morning, and genuinely thought my skin looked naturally luminous.; and not in the oily way I had expected.
Coconut oil is amazingly moisturizing for the skin, helping to reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.  Its lightweight consistency helps it to easily soak into the skin and makes it perfect as an eye and lip cream as well.

I have certainly seen positive results on my own skin.  One of my friends has been using coconut oil as a night cream for over a year and her skin looks incredible.  Just ½ – 1 teaspoon of oil applied to the face and then off to bed, it’s that easy! It does look oily at first, but it starts to ease after a few minutes, and the scent is so lovely and relaxing.
A careful side-note: I have heard that people with blemish/acne-prone skin should steer clear of oil cleansing, so just be aware that this may not be the best approach for your skin type.

  1. Bath Oil

This was the method that initially had me falling in love with coconut oil. Just 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of oil in your bath and your skin will feel and smell amazing when you dry off.  No need to moisturize, the oil did it all for you whilst you were relaxing.

A healthy side note: There’s an added benefit from any of you out there that suffer from yeast infections.  Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal; the caprylic acid in the oil helps to kill off the yeast that causes thrush, as well as helping to maintain that healthy balance.  Taking coconut oil internally also helps – see number 5 for more details.

  1. Body Moisturiser

This one is self-explanatory.  Just a small amount on any part of your body and your skin will feel incredible.   It does leave a bit of an oiliness initially, but that soon sinks in.

A word to the wise: The scent does stick around on your clothing, so if you’re not into that you may be best using this method at night – that’s how I prefer to do it.

  1. Make-Up Remover

A small amount on a cotton pad will remove all your makeup, including waterproof mascara, without drying out the delicate eye areas.  It also leaves the rest of your face feeling nourished after a hard day.

  1. In the Kitchen

Adding a little coconut oil to your diet can have wondrous effects for your health.  The medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil can help increase energy expenditure, helping you to burn more calories throughout your day. It can also help to fend off viruses, infections and fungi. If these excellent health benefits aren’t enough to convince you, coconut oil in your diet will also help to maintain beautiful hair and skin.
My favourite way to ingest coconut oil is just a teaspoon in a cup of tea once or twice a day.  It’s also a great addition to rum/bliss balls, smoothies and other healthy treats!

-N x

Let’s get physical!

IMG_4536_Fotor

I’ve always loved sport. Exercise, on the other hand, not so much. I don’t know why but it’s always easier to exercise whilst playing a team sport and having fun. As soon as you put me in a gym it seems A LOT harder and I lose about 80% of my enthusiasm (ok, 100%).

Every new-year begins with a massive amount of excitement to start my new health kick and become the bikini babe that I’m sure is lurking somewhere within.   By January 2nd that excitement is gone and I’m back to my daily routine of eating chocolate covered raspberries on the couch (I mean come on people… they are edible heaven!).

I’ve done all the diets; cut out lollies, chips and chocolate, the Atkins diet, the soup diet, the juice cleanse, the Wii fitness/diet program, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, the 5-2 diet. You name it, I’ve tried it but every time I feel tired and unenthusiastic by the end and put all of the weight I’ve lost, and then some, back on within a week.

So I convinced my sister to make a blog with me to help me stick to a healthier lifestyle. Not a diet. A LIFESTYLE. I figured what better way to make me stick to this than to put it on the Internet so people will know if I don’t go through with it, right?

This change isn’t about cutting out all of the foods I love (i.e. all food) or running 10km every day. This is about slowly starting to eat right and learn what exercise works for me.   I will track my weight loss and everything, but that won’t be the focus of this change. The focus is feeling healthier, stronger and better about myself. Hopefully this will help some of you too and we can work together to become healthier from the inside out.

Cue Eye of the Tiger and an inspirational montage. 

-M x

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