Saldra El Sol

Coconut Oil

Throughout the previous decades, doctors and nutritionists have been pounding in our heads about the dangers of saturated fats, and to an extent, they’re right.  Saturated fats– in the form of hydrogenated oils and heavy red meats– have contributed to heart problems in current generations.  However, not all saturated fats are bad.  Now, many nutritionists are toting the numerous benefits of the medium chain triglycerides which actually help the body rather than hurt the body.  Medium chain triglycerides are found in abundance in coconut oil, which is why I choose to use that oil for cooking and baking.

Not to mention, coconut oil has a substance called Lauric Acid which helps your body’s immune system and fights against bacteria.  I’ve been using it a lot recently, because for the past few weeks, I’ve been fighting a mild sinus infection, and so far, I’ve been getting better thanks to some r and r.

Here’s some other benefits of coconut oil:

  • It’s great for your hair (I use it occasionally on the ends of my hair to prevent breakage and splitting).
  • It’s good for your skin (a great lotion!).
  • Because of it’s antibiotic properties, it helps your immunity and your digestive system.
  • Regulates blood sugar.
  • Helps calcium and magnesium absorption– so it helps your bones.
  • Helps prevent heart diseases because it has been shown to not affect LDL cholesterol (the yucky bad cholesterol).

So, this is great and all, but what do you do with coconut oil?

Well, coconut oil isn’t like other oils– it’s solid when it’s lower than 76 degrees fahrenheit, so often times, I use it like butter on toast with a little bit of honey or agave nectar.  It tastes amazing and helps me to get some good fats in.  Also, I use it as my primary cooking oil as well as for baking.  If you don’t like the taste of coconuts, don’t get the virgin or extra virgin coconut oils because they have more of a coconut-like taste.  Because we’re on a tight budget most of the time, I don’t typically get the organic virgin coconut oil, but rather, a cheaper brand.

Today, I used coconut oil in my oatmeal to help me fight off infection.  Oatmeal in and of itself is good for you– it’s full of protein, fiber, and iron, and it’s so comforting when your feeling under the weather.  Here’s my recipe for an immune-boosting oatmeal:

It looks like just a little bit– don’t worry, I had a lot more for breakfast than just this!

Immune-boosting Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of oatmeal

1/2 cup of milk of choice (I used hemp :))

2 teaspoons of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of honey (or agave if you don’t use honey)

A dash of cinnamon

Steps:

1. Cook oatmeal using whatever method you so choose (microwave or stovetop?).

2. Add in the coconut oil and drizzle on the honey (honey is also an antibiotic!).

3. If you want, add some cinnamon (it tastes amazing this way!).

4. Enjoy with some coffee or tea if you want 🙂

The weather was so nice and cool today, so I decided to go for a nice walk around the neighborhood, and afterwards, I enjoyed some of this oatmeal :).  Maybe it’s just a placebo affect, but I feel better already and ready to start my day!  Later, I’m planning on some afternoon yoga, and then, a friend of mine is throwing a party, so I’m pretty excited for that!

What do you do to help your immunity?

Even though it’s not cold or flu season, it’s still important to keep your immunity up for those colder months!  Also, stress can only hurt your immunity, so don’t stress out today and stay positive!

Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about  anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let  your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Sources:

http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/charles-mattocks/benefits-coconut-oil

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-worry-20-comforting-scripture-quotes/#ixzz22CxDE9Tf

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Cool Chocolate Cheesecake for a Warm Day

It’s the dog days of summer here.  Summer’s coming to an end, and back-to-school sales are rampant, but the weather itself is relentless.  It’s getting cooler though, and the air is remiscent of fall.  Only two or so more weeks until I’m moving in and beginning my training in the library (my new job!).

Yesterday, we celebrated my mom’s birthday even though it’s today.  Typically, we celebrate birthdays very chill.  We lounge around, eat good food, and watch movies.  We’re homebodies, and we like it that way haha.  A couple of years ago, I made a chocolate cheesecake for my mom’s birthday that she absolutely adored, and I replicated it yesterday.  It was so good!  I got the recipe from Vegweb.  I love that site!  There are so many comments from actual people so I don’t have to go through the work of testing the recipe myself! haha.

Here’s the recipe that I adapted:

Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

very rich!

Ingredients:

1 Pre-made chocolate pie crust

1 block of Mori-Nu silken tofu (it’s in a little white box)

2/3 cup of chocolate chips (I used vegan fair-trade chocolate chips)

1/2 cup of agave nectar

4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Steps:

1. Press the tofu by placing it in a bowl and placing something heavy over it such as a book.  Allow it to press for about an hour or two.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

3. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave.  You can do this by putting it in there for about thirty seconds, stir, place it back in for a few more seconds, and stir again until smooth.  Make sure you don’t burn it!

4. Allow the chocolate to cool, and place the tofu along with the agave nectar in a blender or food processor.  Pour the chocolate in and blend until smooth.

5.  After you have a very delicious-looking pudding, put it in a bowl and stir in the vanilla and cocoa powder.

6.  Trying very hard not to eat the pudding, go ahead and pour it into the pre-made pie crust.  Place it in the oven and bake for about thirty minutes or until it looks solid on top.

7.  After baking, place the pie into the fridge and chill for an hour or two.

8.  Cut into it and enjoy!

Certainly, this is a long process, but it’s totally worth it.  It makes around eight pieces depending on your appetite, and I’m not sure how long it keeps– I guess until it smells bad!  But seriously, after a week, it’s probably not that good anymore…

I meant to go for a run this morning, but my knee is still bothering me since the half-marathon.  So, I’m going to the doctor this Thursday to hear his opinion and get some advice.  Hopefully, I’ll be better by the time I move in!  Instead of running, I just did some strength training and very soon I’m going for a swim.  All I can think about though is moving in.  I haven’t gotten anything yet besides a trash can and a computer!  No fridge, no comforter, no sheets, no nothing :/.  Oh well, it doesn’t do anything to worry about it.  Chocolate is certainly a Godsend for stressful times such as these!

So, what do you do to de-stress? 

I like yoga and chocolate for stressful moments.  I also have some Tension Tamer tea that I really like!

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Hi!

Hi! This is my new blog!  Obviously, the name is Saldra El Sol which means that the sun will come out in spanish :).  I adore this saying and I think it really describes my outlook on life.  I always try to be positive and look forward to something– whether it’s college or just a fun trip to the mall or something.  For the most part, this will be a blog focusing on enjoying life through good health, a positive outlook, and spiritual inspiration.

This past May, I graduated from high school, and now, in just a couple of weeks, I’m heading off to college.  Thankfully, it’s only about an hour and fifteen minutes away, and I’m so lucky to have a job on campus.  My school is small, and it’s very community orientated, so I’ll also be posting about some of the various fun activities that we do.   There’s also a nature preserve really close so I can go run and enjoy nature.

Right now, though, I’m living at home, cleaning and cooking.  I was raised by a single mother since my parents got divorced when I was very young.  However, I still see my dad a lot, and I’ve gained a lot of admiration for my mom.  We also live with two mutts– Pearl and Puddin.  They’re sweet and loving but really hyperactive haha.  I have four brothers– one of which I’ve never met.  Three are older and one younger.  Currently, only my younger brother lives with us.

I’m the odd one out in the family.  I eat a mostly vegan diet with the addition of honey and some sustainable seafood.  I think that everyone should eat what makes them feel good, and that no one fits a perfect mold.  God made us all unique and different, and therefore, we shouldn’t try to be someone we’re not.  I really hope you enjoy my blog, and if you have any questions just email me at: latpaa@bluffton.edu.

El sol saldra 🙂

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