COCO KNOWS PRETTY: Guide to Non-Toxic Nail Polish

I wrote this article for Wise Roots Nutrition, where I’m currently interning/assisting. 

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You live by Michael Pollan’s words: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”. And even though he never said anything about nail polish, you still feel a little hypocritical traipsing about town with a Barbie pink manicure. Let’s settle this once and for all:

Can bright nail polish fit seamlessly into an organic-lovin’, toxin-hating girl’s life?

Well, yes… if you choose the right brands.

Click here to read the rest….

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COCO KNOWS PRETTY: The Ugly Side of Spray Tans

This is a guest post I wrote for Wise Roots Nutrition.

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I avoid lines. Eat dessert first. Bypass the book and go straight for the movie.

I love instant gratification.

Maybe that’s what attracted me to spray tanning in the first place: I can walk into a salon pasty white and emerge moments later looking like I’ve just returned from a tropical vacation. Sounds perfect, right?

Well…no. At least not according to researchers who are studying the health effects associated with spray tans.

Click here to read the rest. 

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COCO KNOWS PRETTY: 3 Steps to Kissable Lips

I wrote this article for the blog over at Wise Roots Nutrition, where I’m interning/assisting. 
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He loves me.
He loves me not. He loves me. 

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and you still have dry, parched winter lips? Worry not! Whether you’re planning a romantic night with your sweetie or to celebrate your freedom with the girls, you’re only three steps away from achieving a soft, luscious pout. And did I mention it’s going to be totally safe and all natural? No harmful chemicals or weird fish faces allowed. 

Exfoliate

Have you ever tried putting lipstick on top of dry, flaky lips? Yuck! Having smooth, moisturized lips will allow your lipstick to glide on evenly. Get rid of flakes, moisturize and soften your lips by making your own lip exfoliator. It works just as well as expensive department store products, but without any of the harmful chemicals. Bonus: it’s totally edible. 

Click here to read the rest of the article and get the recipe. 

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COCO KNOWS YOGURT: The Truth About Going Greek

I’m interning over at Grass Fed Girl and wrote this article about how to make sure you’re getting all the benefits from your Greek yogurt.

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Good, Bad and Ugly: Where Does Your Greek Yogurt Fall?

Is your Greek yogurt laced with GMOs, packed with sugar, fortified with vitamins that you can’t absorb, thwarting your weight loss efforts and pushing your body towards an inflammatory state?  No?

Are you sure?

Chobani. Fage. Wallaby Organic. Trader Joe’s brand. With numerous health authorities singing the praises of Greek yogurt, we seem to have forgotten one important fact: Not all yogurt is created equal.

What is Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is characterized by its high protein content. With about 13 grams of protein per 5.3 ounce serving, it has more than twice the protein of traditional yogurt, which averages 6 grams per serving.

During normal yogurt production, one cup of milk is required to produce one cup of yogurt. But in the making of traditional Greek yogurt, the yogurt is strained, which removes much of the whey, water and lactose (milk sugar). Rather than one cup of milk, two to four cups are needed produce one cup of Greek yogurt. The result is thick, creamy yogurt that is high in protein and low in sugar.

Unfortunately, this process also results in a large amount of largely unusable whey acid, which companies are struggling to dispose of. To learn more about the controversy regarding the environmental impact of commercially produced Greek yogurt, check out these articles from Modern Farmer and from NPR.

Greek Yogurt Provides These 3 Benefits…if you’re eating the right kind!

Read the full article here to see how your yogurt measures up.

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COCO KNOWS QUINOA: The Not So Superfood

I’m interning over at Grass Fed Girl and recently guest blogged about how quinoa might not be so healthy afterall. 

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Many people consider quinoa to be their favorite high-protein, gluten-free grain.

The problem with that is…

1. It isn’t high protein.
2. Some varieties can cause a reaction in people with (gluten-sensitive) Celiac disease.
3. Quinoa isn’t even a grain—it’s a chenopod, which is related to beets and spinach.

In a world that’s gaga for quinoa—the United Nations declared 2013 the Year of the Quinoa–what else have we got wrong?

Click here to find out!

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COCO KNOWS IT ALL: Q&A

Is red wine really good for me or do the red wine companies just want me to believe this? Thanks.

Mild to moderate consumption of any sort of alcohol has been linked to numerous health benefits from Alzheimer’s prevention to heart health. Unfortunately, most of these studies have been epidemiological studies, which pretty much means there’s a correlation but you can’t say with certainty that alcohol is beneficial. 

As for the health benefits of red wine – it’s mostly praised for its resveratrol content, which is a polyphenol found in the skin of red grapes and blueberries. Studies suggest that around 20 mg per day of resveratrol can be beneficial. Unfortunately, red wine contains only about 6 mg in an entire liter. Not quite reason enough to drink like a fish.

In short – 1-3 drinks per day isn’t a problem. Red wine is likely the healthiest, but pick your favorite (try to avoid sugary mixed drinks and cocktails), and avoid binge drinking.

What deodorant do you recommend? All the things I’m reading about my current is scaring me. But I seriously need one that is effective. After all, I do live with people. And work with them too.

I like this deodorant.

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It only has essential oils, so you don’t have to worry about aluminium, parabens, or other potentially harmful chemicals. Alternatively, I’ve heard good things about just swiping some lemon under your pits.

An interesting thing to note is that the reason the underarms of your shirts can get discolored is not due to sweat – it’s due to the chemical reaction between your sweat and the antiperspirant in your deodorant.

What are your views on veggie bacon? Yay or nay? 

Ingredients in regular bacon: Pork, water, salt, sugar, celery powder

vs. Ingredients in Morning Star Vegetarian Bacon: EGG WHITES, SOYBEAN OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS, TEXTURED SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, WHEAT GLUTEN, HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (CORN GLUTEN, WHEAT GLUTEN, SOY), CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF GLYCERIN, SALT, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, SODIUM CITRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SUGAR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS FROM NON-MEAT SOURCES, TORULA YEAST, CARAMEL COLOR, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, NATURAL SMOKE FLAVOR, MALIC ACID, GUAR GUM, YEAST EXTRACT, LOCUST BEAN AND GUAR GUM, SODIUM SULFITE, CARRAGEENAN, RED #3, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, NIACINAMIDE, IRON [FERROUS SULFATE], AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, NONFAT DRY MILK, YELLOW #6, VITAMIN B1 [THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B6 [PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], CITRIC ACID, CYANOCOBALAMIN.

The Morning Star bacon contains genetically modified soy and corn – both of which are inflammatory, high in omega 6 fatty acids (the kind we get too much of anyway), and the GMO component is potentially harmful as well. It also has sugar, gluten, artificial color, MSG, and carrageenan, all of which have been linked to everything from hyperactivity in children, obesity, inflammation and gut health. I’m not even sure what a handful of the other ingredients even are (disodium guanylate anyone?). 

Always try to avoid artificial/processed fake meats and cheeses. Don’t be afraid to just eat regular bacon, especially if it’s organic – it’s better for you and tastes better too.

 

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COCO KNOWS BRAINS: 10 Ways to Not Lose your Marbles

I’m interning over at Grass Fed Girl and recently guest blogged about things you can do to help maintain an active, healthy, and functioning mind. 

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My great-uncle poured himself a glass of scotch. And then he drank another glass. And another. And another, until he’d emptied the bottle. When his wife came home, she found him spread eagle on the floor, too drunk to stand up.

My great-uncle isn’t an alcoholic; he has Alzheimer’s disease and simply forgot that he’d already had a drink when he fixed himself another. Sometimes he forgets how much food he’s had to eat and overeats to the point of being sick. Other times, he has trouble recognizing me. Eventually, the disease will destroy the part of his brain that holds his oldest and most precious memories.

1 in 3 seniors will have some form of dementia when they die. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death, and once you develop it, there is very little that can be done to slow its progression.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to help keep your mind sharp and healthy… click here to find out what they are!

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COCO KNOWS STRESS: 10 Ways to Reduce Stress

I’m interning over at Grass Fed Girl and recently guest blogged about one of the most important, yet oft-overlooked components of wellness: stress management. 


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“Many maladies are due not so much to what happens to us as our inability to adapt, and they have therefore been called ‘diseases of adaptation.’”
–Hans Selye

It’s the year 15,000 BC and you’ve just killed a young wild boar. Your mouth is already watering with anticipation when you spot something out of the corner of your eye. Your turn your head and see an enormous, angry mother boar charging towards you.

Your heart pounds. Your muscles tense. You know that there’s no way you can outrun an angry boar, but your spear is still lodged in the piglet. As the mother boar nears, you sprint to the nearest tree and quickly shimmy up it, knowing that wild boars can’t climb trees. You’re breathing fast, and rivulets of sweat stream down your temples as the mother boar snorts and scratches around the tree trunk before giving up.

Click here to read the rest!

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COCO KNOWS SUPERFOODS: Matcha Green Tea

I’m interning over at Grass Fed Girl and recently guest blogged about the superfood o’ the moment – matcha green tea.

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First there were pomegranates. Then came goji berries. Now, it’s matcha green tea
that everyone’s fussing over. Fortunately, matcha lives up to its hype. For starters, it contains 10x the antioxidants of pomegranates and 5x the antioxidants of goji berries.

Matcha is essentially very finely powdered green tea leaves that are mixed into liquid and consumed whole. Unlike regular steeped green tea, when you drink matcha, you’re ingesting the entire crushed up tea leaves rather than just the leaf-infused water.

Click here to read the rest!

 

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COCO KNOWS DELICIOUS: Pan Seared Scallops with Sautéed Oranges

I’m interning over at Grass Fed Girl and recently wrote a guest blog post on the following recipe.IMG_20130422_171539 (1)

What is high in omega 3 fats, protein, and vitamin B12, but doesn’t have a brain?

No, it’s not the Kardashian sisters…

It’s scallops!

The first time I cooked scallops, I covered them in salt and sautéed them until they became so rubbery that they bounced when I dumped them in the garbage. Then I stumbled upon a version of this recipe in the book “Cooking From the Farmers’ Market” by Jodi Liano and Tasha DeSerio. In a short 15 minutes, I created a healthy, delicious and impressive-looking dish. And you can, too! Click here to read the rest!

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