What's all the hype about coconuts?

Coconut oil has been pretty popular for awhile and I didn't completely know why. I know that coconuts are a great source of good fats, but was that all that was so special about them? I decided to do some research and was surprised about all of the great benefits of coconut oil!

1 | Good fats | 

Coconut oil is rich in fats that contain Medium Chain Triglyerides, or MCTs, (I am sounding pretty smart here) which are metabolized differently than other fats. They go straight to the liver and can be used as a source of energy and have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer's. 

2 | Health | 

Cultures who consume a lot of coconuts are among the healthiest people on the planet. Pacific islander populations like the Tokeleauans and Kitavens eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and have excellent health with no evidence of heart disease.

3 | Energy | 

The MCTs in the coconut oil increase energy compared to the same amount of calories in other fats. 15-30 grams of MCTs a day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day!

4 | Kills Bacteria | 

Coconut oil is rich in Lauric Acid which can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, helping stace off infections.

5 | Reduces Hunger | 

MCTs are metabolized and release ketones which have an appetite reducing effect. A study showed that when more MCTs are consumed, the less calories were consumed throughout the day which may positively affect body weight over the long term.

6 | Reduces Seizures | 

Ketones which are released from eating a low carb, high fat diet, dramtically reduces the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven't had success with multiple kinds of drugs.

7 | Lowers Cholesterol | 

Studies show that a low carb, high fat diet raises good cholesterol and reduced bad cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.

8 | Moisturizes | 

People with dry skin can apply coconut oil which can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin. It also can be protective against hair damage and can block out 20% of the sun's ultrviolet rays. It can also be used as a mouthwash and can kill bad breath!

8 | Lose Belly Fat | 

Since coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it appears to be especially effective in reducing belly fat. Belly fat is very dangerous and a study showed that by supplementing with 1 ounce of cocount oil per day lead to a reduction in waist circumference and fat percentage!

All of that information has sold me on the benefits of coconut oil. Go pick some up today and let this superfood work its magic!

read full article with sources here

How much water should I drink?

Water consumption is especially important when cutting fat and getting in beach body shape. You should aim to consumer 3-4 liters [ 0.8 - 1 gallon ] of water daily, with anywhere between 4-6 liters [ 1 - 1.6 gallons ] on days when you both weight train + perform cardio. Seems like a lot right?!

Here's 4 reasons getting enough water is so important:

1 | Peak Strength |

Sufficient hydration means optimum strength. Strength can decrease by up to 19% with a drop in hydration levels of only 3%!

2 | Energy Levels |

Dehydration leaves you feeling tired and lethargic. Just imagine how you'll perform while perform cardio or using weights.

3 | Digestion |

Your body needs water to aid in the digestive process. You want those muscle-building nutrients shuttled to their destination quickly and efficiently. This is especially relevant post-workout, which is why a liquid meal post-workout is beneficial. 

4 | Injuries |

Water is the main ingredient in the makeup of the synovial fluid, which is lubricating fluid between your joints.

7 | water bottle |

I pretty much never leave my house without a water bottle so I always make sure there's one in my beach bag.  These bottles are my favorite because they are glass which can be used forever, they never leak, they rubber outside is great, and the size is just right.

FINDING A GOOD PROTEIN BAR

There are times when I am so busy that I don't have time to make a good lunch or I forget to bring along some food when I am out running errands. Now, I always have a protein bar with me in my purse in case I need a quick meal. Choosing a good protein bar is hard when you are looking at a large variety at the store, but after doing some research and trying out a lot of different brands of bars, I have found my favorite bars that taste amazing, protein-packed and not full of sugar and empty carbs.

When looking, make sure you look at carbs and sugar and not just protein. Try and get at least 15g protein, under 15g carbs and less than 5g sugar. Bars that are targeted towards women, like Luna bars, only have 9g protein, with 27g carbs. A snickers bar has 4g protein and 33g carbs, so make sure you choose a good bar and not a candy bar in disguise!

|  QUEST BARS  |

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - full bar

Calories: 190

Protein: 21 grams

Carbs: 22 grams ( 3g net carbs )

Fiber: 17 grams

Total Fat: 8 grams

Sugar: 1 grams

Love cookie dough? These seriously taste like the real thing. Quest bars are all-natural, low in sugar, and have 20 grams of protein. Plus, with 17 grams fiber, they have 3g net carbs. 

 

|  SUPREME PROTEIN  |

Peanut butter Crunch - 1/2 bar

Calories: 195

Protein: 15 grams

Carbs: 13 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Total Fat: 9 grams

Sugar: 3 grams

The delicious peanut butter crunch Supreme protein bars come in 30g protein, which means that I eat half and save the rest for another time.