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My family has been on a “simple living” journey for five years— out went the TV, new clothes,  cluttered closets, harsh cleaning products, processed foods, and anything with corn syrup. Sounds intense and a little extreme, huh?

Well, the Jen Hansard of 2007 would have totally agreed with you. But in 2012, I couldn’t be any happier with these lifestyle changes our family has made. And this past year, I ventured into simple cooking and traded my canola and vegetable oils for olive andcoconut oils. And now, I am completely hooked on coconut oil!

Why I love using Coconut Oil

There are many websites than can give you a list of uses for coconut oil, but I want this list to all be about my personal testimony. I religiously use all of these things and can personally say they work for me, and hopefully for you!

coconut granola

Baking: Coconut oil can be substituted 1-for-1 in most baking recipes that call for butter or oil (check out my Maple Granola Muffins and Coconut Granola for some delicious and healthy recipes).

Cooking: My friend Jo got me hooked on cooking eggs in coconut oil. They do taste a little bit like coconut, but that’s a good thing to me.

Body lotion: After the shower, I rub coconut oil all over my body— it feels and smells amazing. I also do this on the kids when their skin is dry (which isn’t too often since we rarely even use soap on them).

Facial moisturizer: I was very scared to put coconut oil on my face. Since moving to Florida I have had issues with acne. So bad, I resorted to Proactive. Well, two months ago I ran out of my face lotion and decided to give coconut oil a try. Sure enough, my face feels good and the acne has subdued. Turns out coconut oil is antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial, which explains why my face hasn’t broken out from it!

**Update 9/10/12: I have been adding 2 drops of tea tree essential oil to the dab of coconut oil I put on my face and the results are awesome. My acne has really cleared and my face has evened out (less red areas). I also think it has to do with me drinking more green smoothies, which are a great way to help your skin glow.

Eye makeup remover: On the rare occasion I actually put on makeup, I do use a cotton ball and a little coconut oil to remove it. Works better than anything else, hands down.

homemade deodorant

Homemade deodorant: And it actually works!!! This stuff is so good— I highly recommend that you make your own. Here is the easy, peasy recipe.

Hair tamer: I have thick, curly and wild hair— coconut oil helps bring sanity to the situation. After the shower, I use mousse and then smooth some coconut oil on my unruly curls to calm it down.

Deep conditioner for hair: At least once a month, I slather this on the tips of my hair and (even my scalp) and let it soak in for a few hours. Then I brush it through and massage my scalp before I shower. I shampoo it twice through with Yes To, my favorite brand of shampoo and conditioner that is paraben free.

homemade toothpaste

Toothpaste: I started making my own toothpaste with coconut oil 3 months ago and really like it. The coconut oil gives it a creamy consistency, which is similar to store bought (yet way better for you!). The first few weeks my teeth were a little sensitive (which is an issue I have). SO I alternated days with Sensodyne and the homemade recipe. Yet now I only use homemade and my teeth are fine.

Furniture wood polish: I used it today to polish my wood coffee table and it looks beautiful! Just poured some onto a rag and rubbed it around.

Eczema: My son had mild eczema and we used a variety of creams. Coconut oil helped if we caught an outbreak early enough. (We eventually figured out what was causing his eczema— Target brand laundry detergent, and stopped using it. Eczema solved!)


Future uses for Coconut Oil:

Here are some other uses for coconut oil that I haven’t tried, but look forward to:

Lice treatment: My son starts preschool in the fall and I am getting ready for the dreaded lice attack. Sounds like Thrifty Mama has a great alternative to commercial lice products.

Insect repellant: Mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub it all over. I really hope this one works!

Nose bleeds: We are traveling to Southern California next month and I heard that a nose bleed is guaranteed since we have acclimated  to the Florida humidity. Time to rub some coconut oil in our noses and moisturize away!

Cuts and scrapes: Keep hearing people rave about the antimicrobial characteristics of coconut oil and am excited to try it on my kid’s ouchies.

What brand of coconut oil do you buy?

Nutiva is the brand I used at first on my face and liked it, but I needed more!  I kept hearing great things about Mountain Rose Herbs and decided to try them out. The website wasn’t the  easiest to maneuver around, but I managed (and even added some arrowroot and essential oils into my cart). And oh my— the quality of the coconut oil is insane! It’s creamy, light and just feels great— I can’t go back to Nutiva after using this.

I bought one gallon of refined (for cosmetic purposes) and one gallon of unrefined for cooking. Well, the refined is strange and caused my face to break out in a bad rash. So I switched back to the unrefined and my face is happy again. I definitely recommendMountain Rose Herbs for all things natural and health-related— it’s a great company. But if you are not sure if you are gonna love coconut oil as much as I do, then totally give the less expensive Nutiva a try. That’s what got me hooked in the first place.


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