Saturday Swap: Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil for Canola Oil

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Canola oil is made from the rapeseed and  is one of the highest GMO crops, making it a terrible choice when it comes to cooking your super healthy food in! Coconut oil is a superfood in its own right, as it packs a powerful punch when it comes to all the nutrients it contains. Containing beneficial MCT’s – medium chain triglycerides – coconut oil is a great choice for cooking with as it can be heated at any temperature without becoming rancid (one of the very few oils that can say that!).

Coconut oil can help you BURN MORE FAT (you read that right!) and increase energy expenditure by as much as 5%.

It’s considered an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and can improve blood cholesterol levels as well as potentially lower the risk for heart disease.

This healthy MCT oil is great for brain health and immunity!

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Saturday Swap: Frozen Bananas

Frozen Banana for Ice Cream

This is one of the easiest swaps! Peel and chop 1 banana (or more) and lay on parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet. Freeze. Once frozen, add to a food processor alone or with cacao powder and blend. Enjoy immediately (doesn’t freeze well).

Plus, bananas are a great source of potassium, which is said to decrease the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

They’ve been said to help with depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin – the “happy”, “feel good” neurotransmitter in the brain!

Fun fact: 95% of your serotonin is stored in your gut so keeping your gut healthy makes you happier!

They’re great for energy, may help reduce muscle cramps and PMS symptoms. They’re also great if you’ve got diarrhea, as they are soothing to the digestive tract and provide electrolytes to aid in nutrient absorption.

The-Benefits-of-Bananas

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Saturday Swap: Toasted Nuts

Toasted Nuts for Croutons

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Packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, toasted nuts are a no brainer atop salads. Some nuts are healthier than others, some of the best options being walnuts (brain health), almonds and Brazil nuts (a great source of selenium).

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Saturday Swap: Kefir

Kefir instead of Conventional Dairy

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Added hormones, yuck! Conventional dairy is full of it as well sugar. Kefir though, is full of beneficial bacteria to support a healthy gut and immune system. It can even help those with lactose intolerance begin to tolerate lactose again!

I just started a batch of water kefir. It is supper easy and a great alternative to sodas.

Water kefir, like kombucha, is first cultured by introducing a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) into sugar water.   The beneficial bacteria and yeasts present in the water kefir grains metabolize the sugar, turning it into an array of beneficial acids and infusing it with beneficial microorganisms, additional B vitamins as well as food enzymes.

Water kefir grains are small, translucent, gelatinous structures   and are comprised of assorted bacteria including lactobacillus hilgardii which gives them their characteristic crystal-like appearance.   When properly cared for and regularly cultured, they produce a wonderful probiotic-rich beverage and will continue to grow and reproduce indefinitely.

Read more about the benefits from the Huffington Post, and how to make water kefir here.

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Saturday Swap: Raw Almonds

Snack Bar < Handful Raw Almonds

Most of the store bought bars are nothing but sugar, gluten and fillers. Instead, grab for a handful of raw almonds, which will tide you over until your next meal while keeping your mind sharp and your blood sugar balanced.

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Nuts