S+F Series: The Real Deal On Coconut Oil

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If you haven’t jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for??? Not only does it taste amazing but there are so many health benefits to it!

Yes, it has a ton of saturated fat BUT it’s the good kind of saturated fat. These types of fatty acids metabolize differently + can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders. As you can see, these are MUCH different from the kind we get in our normal everyday diets.

These fatty acids also kill harmful pathogens, serving as your sidekick in infection butt-kickin’.

Coconut oil was never bad for you, it just got a bad rap in the 70s when the annoying soy + corn oil companies started a douchey propaganda campaign. Thankfully, we got smarter + they backed the eff off.

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Some other amazing benefits (full details here):

  • increased energy
  • kills hunger
  • helps reduce the risk of heart disease by raising your HDL (the good cholesterol)
  • moisturizes skin + hair
  • helps reduce abdominal fat (hello six-pack!)
  • boosts brain function (keep that noggin healthy!)
  • blocks 20% of UVA/UVB rays when used as sunscreen

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Sooo my brother hopped on the coconut oil train a loooongg time ago + totally uses it as sunscreen! He’s a lifeguard at the beach so sunscreen is mandatory. Worked like a charm for him but I have yet to take it that far.

+ we’ve all heard of oil pulling, yes? I have not tried this lil trend as of yet but I hear it’s great for killing off harmful bacteria, fighting bad breath + improving dental health.

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One of my favorite morning snacks is a piece of ezekial toast with coconut oil + cinnamon. I also use it in my 5 second jam. + my Golden Milk. + basically anything + everything I can sneak it into. It’s just tooooo goood. I would probably swim in it if I could. No joke.

It’s also the best to cook/bake with! It withstands high heat + doesn’t break down + turn carcinogenic like olive oil can. I love olive oil but only use it on my salads now.

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What else have you used coconut oil for? Spill!

xx

| Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (unrefined) here |

Gone Pickin': Los Rios Rancho

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Adventures keep me feelin’ young. That + I get really bad anxiety when I’m doing nothing productive with my free time. I’ve really had to teach myself how to be lazy + enjoy a random day in front of the TV in my sweats. It doesn’t happen often but I’m proud to say that I’ve mastered a few of those days in my life.

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I feel like there is just too much beauty out there to see + not enough time. I want to see everything + be everywhere so JorBabe + I are always checking out local places or taking short day trips. We can’t get enough! Side note: This is grrrreat for relationships because it keeps everything super exciting + really brings you closer as a couple.

I’d heard so many times from my hair stylist how awesome Los Rios Rancho is but never took the time to check it out. + we were totally missing out. This place is the cutest ever!

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It resides in Oak Glen with quite a few other apple farms but this one has it going on. It’s at the very end of Oak Glen + such a lil beaut!

When we got there we walked up to the cutest little stand where they explained the different types of apples + handed us a bag, a map + sent us on our way.

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We could not get over the beauty that surrounded us. Most of the pictures we took were totally #nofilter pics because it is THAT gorgeous there.

After we picked a few LBS of apples, we went over to check out the pumpkin patch. There were a ton of different pumpkins to pick! Like, actually pick off the vine + not from some pile of transported pumpkins.

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After all the pickin’ fun, we paid for our treasures + walked down the street to their party area where we got crazy on some amazing BBQ + organic apple cider slushies (so freakin’ yummy!). There is so much to do there: pig out on great food (bbq, apple pie, grilled corn, cookies, etc.), make your own cider, shop + picnic in the park (OUR FAVE).

I almost forgot to mention that the apples are ORGANIC?! Who doesn’t love organic apples??

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I totally planned on bringing the apples home to make some amaze healthy dessert the following weekend but shoutout to my father for eating them all! Every. last. one. So now you all can ask him if they were any good because I wouldn’t know. Thanks, pops:)! J/K- loveeee you!!

OH. We also brought a fresh apple pie home for our little family dinner party that evening…that also disappeared before we even had a chance to try any!

Looks like we will be going back next year.

xx

| Los Rios Rancho here |

Lil Loves: Holiday shopping for the wonderful men in your life

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Does anyone else get a little more stuck when it comes to shopping for guys? Girls are easy. Buy us jewelry, handbags or clothes + we are pretty happy. But guys? What the heck do you get them?

SO HARD. Especially when you ask them + they tell you they don’t want anything. That’s a lie. We all know that if they woke up Christmas morning with no gifts, they would be a little upset.

I’m always racking my brain trying to think of the coolest gadgets to get them. I’m still racking my brain on gifts for my brother! + I’m totally getting a little case of anxiety because I like to have my shopping done before the crowds take over all of the shopping malls. Hellooo claustrophobia!

Anywhoo, I’ve found a few cool little gifts or stocking stuffers that are perfect for the boyfran/brother/father/son.

Sporty + Athletic guys will love these baseballs, this GPS heart rate monitor + this super duper cool golf glove. JorBabe LOVES to golf. This would have been the perfect gift for him if I hadn’t already checked him off the list. Next year, babe;)

So many fun gifts for your fav. beer connoisseurs, grill masters, iPhone lovers + travelers.

This speaker is super fun! It’s waterproof so it can be used in the shower + they can answer their phone! Gotta love that bluetooth technology, baby!

If y’all have any ideas on what to get a lil surfer boy with too many surfboards, holler at me. Thanks!

Happy shopping + gift-giving!

xx

Lil Loves: What to get that best gal in your life

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 Honestly, I LOVE shopping for people. Like, A LOT. I think it’s so fun! Butttttttt my bank account doesn’t because I’m totally that girl that does that whole one for you, one for me thang. I can’t help it. I’m out there looking for all these great gifts for friends + family + then I fall in love with so much of what I see!

Like, I totally bought this adorbs little speaker for myself because what room doesn’t need a pop of color?

+ I’m teetering on the edge of purchasing one of these gorge necklaces! IDK if it’s a Libra thing or what but I am totally into pretty rocks + crystals. Growing up, I would spend hours in our backyard digging for rocks. + then hoarding them. I think I need this. Where’s Santa??

these boots + this clutch for your favorite fashionista! Leopard + navy are so hot right now. Love love love.

I also need this MK watch. I have so many but you can never have enough MK. Am I right, ladies?

How about gifts for the fitness guru in your life?! This water bottle is the right kind of motivation they’ll need to keep it up at the gym. If Beyonce can do it, so can you. + then you can spoil them + get them this amazing acupuncture mat (it’s on majorrrrr $ale!!!) . I have not tried it but I’ve heard it’s getting some pretty good reviews. + it’s supposed to be great for helping you sleep soundly through the night!

+ then your BFF or your lovely mama can relax with this amazing oil in the tub while she sips her wine from these freaking cool glasses. + then slips into this sexy number. MeOWW.

These are just a few of the cute things I’ve come across while browsing. If I put everything into this post then you guys would be here until next Christmas. + i’d be broke. No. Joke.

Have fun spoiling your favie women!

xx

Cold + Flu season is back. Again. Ew.

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I’m a total Caloweenie (California weenie) when it comes to winter. Like, ‘brrrrrr I need to hibernate’ weenie. I don’t hate it but I just loveeee being warm + would much rather be soakin’ up the sun on the beach in a bikini. Thankfully Southern California winters aren’t that bad.

This one time, I moved to Nebraska (Yea, GENIUS idea huh?) + I about died because it was so cold.

Anyways, back to cold + flu season. Wahhwahh. It seems that everyone + their mother is constantly sick during the fluson (flu season) + I do my best to stay away. I’m one of those people that avoids shaking hands at all costs + if I am forced to shake hands with someone, I book it (think speed lightning fast) to the bathroom to scrub-a-dub as soon as they’ve walked away. Or I slather myself with hand sanitizer.

BUT…we all aren’t perfect + sometimes I forget to wash my hands enough times in the day to get rid of all the germs I’ve touched. Those nasty little guys are everywhereee.

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That’s where Oregano Oil comes to the rescue. It’s seriously my hero. This stuff is killer when it comes to bringing you back from your cold/flu death bed. I like to take 4-5 drops about 4 times a day until my symptoms have disappeared. I mix mine with a little warm water in a shot glass + pretend I’m taking shots instead of trying not to die (being totally dramatic here). If you take it alone, it will cause a burning sensation in your throat. I don’t suggest trying it.

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Oregano Oil has extremely high levels of free-radical crushing antioxidants + can help in a multitude of ways. Not only is it great for the common cold/flu but it is also used to fight nasty infections, protect against harmful organisms, aid in digestion and menstruation, fight allergies, aid in weight loss + ease discomfort from arthritis, backaches + carpal tunnel.

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Now that’s the stuff I want slaying my colds- not some freakish cold medicine made by humans in a laboratory. That fake stuff doesn’t heal you, it simply alleviates your symptoms for a small period of time. LAME! Sooo with that being said, put the good stuff into your body.

Anyone else share my love for this? Or have another natural remedy they use to rid their sickies? My dad swears by a couple chewable Vitamin C in his ginormous glass of champagne, hah! I’ll admit that I do use this as an excuse to drink more champagne. I. LOVE. CHAMPAGNE. I so am my father’s daughter♥

Hope everyone stays healthy this fluson! xx

||Oregano Oil found here||

Skinny Kale Spinach Artichoke Dip kicked by cayenne

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So I made this for one of my favorite days ever- The USC vs. UCLA football game. It’s like my fave fave. JorBabe loves UCLA + I’m a huge SC groupie. We have shirts + everything. + we make bets against each other. It just gets real competitive (playful competitive) + fun!

This year we celebrated it at my girlfran’s house + of course you never show up empty-handed! I decided this was the perfect game day grub!

I think my favorite guilty pleasure is spinach artichoke dip. I loveeee to let myself splurge on it when we go out to eat. Like, I am the happiest girl in the restaurant when I’ve got my spinach dip. + I’m not too talkative because I’m too busy stuffing my face. Cute, huh? But it’s gotta be perfect- not too cheesy, not too greasy + not too spinach-y. Some restaurants really eff this up + TBH, all restaurants (well, 99.99%) make the most unhealthy version of this.

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I’m always thinking of ways to make the most unhealthy dishes a little more healthy so that I can feel less guilty when eating them. Bing bang bam.

This one is bomby. Like so so so so good. I need one of those Kitchen Safe lock boxes (<<< saw this ish on Shark Tank – SO RAD!)  to put it in so that I don’t eat it all.

For this recipe, I took a risk + used all greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Anyone else think sour cream + plain greek yogi taste the same? Because I do. + I’d rather put greek yogi into my body than sour cream.

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Skinny Kale Spinach Artichoke Dip (serves 8-10):

  • 1 bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed + chopped
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • 2 cups finely chopped spinach
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 TSP cayenne pepper (I add 2 tsp bc I like things w/ a lil more kick in them + helllloooo revved up metabolism!)
  • 1/2 TSP turmeric (I add 1-2 tsp bc it’s turmeric + turmeric is amazing for you – see why here) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 TSP pink himalayen salt
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 TBSP organic mayo (This is optional but makes the dip, really…trust me. I don’t like mayo but it’s good here.)
  • 3 TBSP raw parmesan + extra for the top
  • coconut oil to grease the baking dish

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Heat oven to 375 degrees. Throw everything into a bowl + mix up! Place into your greased baking dish + bake covered for 35-45 minutes. I bake it for about 45 min. because I like the top to crisp up a bit. Let this set for 5-10 min. + serve w/ some tasty pita chips!

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I tend to add more artichokes because I’m an artichoke heart fanatic. Like, I’m that girl at Whole Foods with the $15 salad from the produce bar because it’s pretty much all artichoke hearts + damn are those things heavy.

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Anywhooo- everyone loved this because what’s not to love? Especially with a little college football, best friends + good dranks?!

Anyone else have any healthy apps you love to serve at your parties?

xx

Later Starbs! This Pumpkin Spice Latte wins.

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Soo I totally used to be one of those girls who waited for the return of the Starbucks PSL every year. The day it was back (+ almost everyday for the rest of the PSL season) I was there at Starbucks getting my fill.PumpkinSpiceLatte

Sooner or later I began to really think about what goes into that baby: TONS (I mean TONS) of sugar, IV Caramel Coloring (the absolute worst!) + quite a bit of other junk that does not belong in our body. Food Babe explains the nastiness in full detail here. Knowing what went into it stopped me from ever ordering it again. Along with many other Starbucks drinks.

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The terrible news made me a little sad but also super excited to experiment in the kitchen with my own versions. Some were good + some not so good. I’m not one to follow recipes very well. I really like to do my own thing + adjust to what I like + don’t like. With that being said, I never really paid enough attention to the yummy recipes I was creating + was super excited to find that my Spirit Animal had! I checked this recipe out + it was pretty bomb.com.

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I substituted coconut sugar for stevia + coconut milk for almond milk + it was just as DELISHH.

Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • 1/2 cup organic full fat coconut milk (whatever milk you use here, PLEASE make sure it does not contain Carageenan!)
  • 4 TBS organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 TSP pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 1 TSP coconut sugar <<I don’t like the way stevia tastes so I prefer the coconut sugar. I also don’t like things too sweet so add a little more if you want it sweeter!>>
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • Cinnamon to top off

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In a saucepan, mix the coconut milk + pumpkin puree together over medium heat. Remove from heat + add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla + your sweetener of choice (stevia, coconut sugar or even honey would be great!). Combine the milky pumpkin-ness + the coffee in your nutribullet or blender and blend for 30 seconds. Put into a cute lil mug, top with cinnamon + enjoy!

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100% real pumpkin has so many health benefits: sharper vision, better immunity, aids in weightless, lowers cancer risk, younger looking skin + may help treat diabetes.

I will gladly eat/drink more pumpkin if it helps with all of the above!

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Who needs Starbucks’ PSL when you can make your own skinnier, healthier version!

xx

coconut sugar here | coconut milk here

The cutest lil Thanksgiving Pumpkin Placeholders

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Holiday season is soooo great! Everyone (errr.. most everyone) gets in the holiday spirit + becomes more jolly + pleasant to be around. We get to spend quality time with friends + family that we don’t see too often. + we get to eat the most delish food! For this year’s Turkey Day, I’ll be making a healthy pumpkin pie for everyone to indulge in. Can’t wait to try it out!

Another thing I love about holidays is the DIY part. I love to decorate + put together new things around the house. It’s such a nice change of scenery.

My mother is the cutest + huge on the whole ‘Thankful Tree’. She puts a new one together every year + at dinner we all write what we are thankful for on a leaf + hang it on the tree. After dinner we go around + read them all. It’s really fun + so cool to see what everyone has to say!

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This year I wanted to get crafty with some mini pumpkins (because pumpkin errrrything, am I right?!) so I decided to use them as placeholders!

Mini Pumpkin Placeholders:

  • mini pumpkins
  • gold metallic paint (or color of your choice but I strongly believe in the color gold)
  • paint brush
  • bowl
  • rafia
  • paper for tags
  • glitter
  • glue pen
  • hole punch
  • wax paper

Make sure all of the pumpkins have been wiped off + are clean.

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Here is where you get to be your best creative self + do what you want! I poured some paint into a bowl + went to town. I tried to make each one different. Some I loved + some I did not love as much but once you add the tags, it all comes together!

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After you finish painting a pumpkin, place it on the wax paper to dry.

Next, make your tags out of any fab paper. I actually found these awesome gift tags at Michael’s so no cutting or whole punching necessary. Lucky me!

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I used the glue pen (BEST INVENTION EVER <<< Thanks, Martha!) to write the word with + then covered it in glitter.

I don’t like to be bossy + I hate (with a passion) assigned seating. I think I had some traumatizing experience growing up or somethin’- like I wasn’t ever allowed to sit by my BFFs + we all know that’ll ruin a child. Jkjkjk…kinda.

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So instead of using the fam bam’s names, I used words like grateful, blessed, fortunate, lucky, happy, etc. I love this idea because it serves as another reminder to be thankful for one another + the life we’ve been given (hashtag blessed)

After the lil punkins were all dry, I used the rafia to attach the tags + voila!

Super cute, eh?

xx