Seven Days of Positive – Day 119

In Diets, Food, Weight loss on February 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm


I’ve gone coco loco. As in mad for coconuts, coconut oil, in particular.

It came into my life a few months ago when I read about oil pulling. This is the Ayurvedic dental technique, where you put a spoonful of coconut oil – it’s solid at room temperature, so it feels weird until it melts – in your gob and swill it around for 20 minutes, sucking it through your teeth.

At the end you spit the now thin foamy liquid out into your bin, not your sink, because it will harden again, blocking your drains.

It’s meant to whiten teeth, soften plaque and remove bacteria from the mouth, which is good for all round health.

I started doing it because after taking so many heavy duty antibiotics my tongue had a really nasty coating and my mouth tasted funny.

I also feared I had death breath.

It has definitely helped and while I don’t do it every day religiously, I do it quite often. It’s surprising how quickly you get used to it. I admit I rather enjoy it now.

Even more so because my tongue is pink again and I do think I have less plaque on my back teeth.

So I’m a fan of oil pulling, although I don’t subscribe to the usual American hysterical reaction where there are now crazed blog posts all over the internet claiming that it can cure cancer and every other disease known to man.

That’s clearly bollocks.

I am normally very wary of superfood fads, because of that kind of carry on. It amuses me every time I go to New York to see what the latest food obsession is. There’s always something and immediately it’s everywhere.

I can only imagine how much extra virgin organic coconut oil there on Manhattan right now. It might sink under the weight.

But despite all that, coconut oil seems to be playing a bigger part in my life every day.

It’s a big part of Amelia Freer’s weight loss and health boosting regime. Amelia is a great believer in the health benefits of coconut oil, for its nutritional benefits – and she also subscribes to the increasingly accepted belief that it helps you lose weight.

I can’t be bothered to go into the science of this, so please read these excellent post by Sarah Wilson, which explains it all.

I cook with it whenever possible and if I decide to use olive oil because I don’t want the slight tropical flavour in my Italian style dinner, like Sarah, I’ll munch on a spoonful of coconut oil at the end of my meal. It’s very satiating, so you feel full for ages.

And when you only eat sugar once a week, as I have for the last four months, it tastes great.

So between oil pulling, frying and munching, coconut oil has become part of my daily life. Now it’s making inroads into my beauty routine.

I’m typing this with a load of it on my hair (zapped in the microwave to melt it), to see whether it’s as good an overnight moisturising hair mask as is widely claimed. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I will also be trying it out as eye make up remover.

For more on all that read this by Lauren Conrad.

Celebrities are mad about it too. Gwynnie is oil pulling like mad (of course she is…), Angelina has it for breakfast, Jennifer fries her nachos in it and Miranda Kerr doesn’t go a day without it – and she’s looking good on it…


Are any of you going coco loco too?


  1. I haven’t done the oil pulling, but do a vegetarian version of ‘head to tail’ eating with my young coconut. A friend who lived in Indonesia for a few years showed me how to crack open the coconut (machete, yeah!). I then drink the coconut water (much nicer than the commercial stuff) and scrape out the flesh, er meat, and put spoonfuls of it on my cereal. Delicious. I also occasionally use coconut flour, which is gluten-free. I’m not gluten-intolerant, but find adding some to normal flour gives baked items a lovely coconuty taste. It’s available at health food stores. cheers

  2. Maggie – my mother is cooking with coconut oil, and she uses it also to clean her face, and then moisturize her face and body! I tried it when I was staying with her for a week, and it worked. The smell did drive me a little crazy though. I was like a bounty bar 🙂

  3. Definitely cooking with it (mainly asian dishes) and eating coconut cream/berry smpothies, which are very filling. Hubbie is on the ketogenics diet and has lost 7 kilos. I’ve ordered the book you mentioned and can’t wait to take the extra step with my low carb/sugar eating!

  4. I love it too – I eat it by the spoonful to stop the sugar cravings at times like Sarah Wilson suggests. I haven’t tried the oil pulling though.

    And if you are not being too strict with your diet, you can make a fantastic grown up’s version of Ice Magic by melting 100g of very good dark chocolate with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. When you put it onto ice-cream, it hardens into a shell…divine! You can keep the remainder in a jar and just keep heating and re-heating until it’s gone..

  5. I have found the most delicious coconut yoghurt here in Australia. Coles and Woolworths both sell it. It is not coconut flavoured yoghurt, but just coconut. It is expensive at $7.50 a pot. It is usually tucked away on the top shelf near normal yoghurt. It has an orange lid and called Alpine Coconut Milk Yoghurt. It is very satiating. It is most delicious with some grated lime zest and a squeeze of lime with a few hunks of fresh mango. I cannot stop buying it! So yummy and not so fatty feeling in the mouth as coconut oil. I have also found coconut butter, which Amelia Freer refers to in her book. I am not mad on the taste of food cooked with coconut oil, though. An acquired taste? Will try it on my hair and legs next!!!!!

    • Try different brands. Some taste better than others. In Aus, I like the Macro brand from Woolworths.

      • CoYo is the tastiest in my opinion. I get it at About Life. It’s yoghurt made from coconut milk & sweetened with a little Stevia. Absolutely delicious and ruinously expensive. My husband is calling it my Crack Cocaine because I have to have some everyday. I buy a small tub each week and have a little after dinner with some fresh organic blueberries (also hideously expensive) and a sprinkling of toasted muesli. Yum. I figure Crack is probably slightly more expensive, and not as good for me and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      • oh LORD I bought a tub of some version of this once, even with no sweetener it was SO creamy and amazing. I ended up eating the whole tub. Don’t think I can have it on my regime, but I’m going to ask Amelia Freer.

  6. Well I’m into all sorts of woo-woo nutritional stuff, but yeah–it’s great.

  7. Yup, love coconuts. I have coconut oil, creamed coconut, coconut flour; and coconut nectar and coconut sugar for special occasions. When I can get a whole coconut, my dad cracks it for me and we eat the whole lot. I’m not too keen on anything in a tin (damn that BPA), so only buy what I can get in a glass jar. I’m about to make my own sunblock and coconut oil has an SPF of 10 (added to zinc oxide it will be SPF 30). So versatile. And now I’ve found a few more things to do with it. Funny, I was just reading about oil pulling yesterday. I’m open to anything, so I’m gonna give it a go. Thanks, Maggie!

    • PS: What about almonds. Such a superfood. From 100 grams of almonds I make almond milk – and from that I make chia pods and egg custard. From the almond meal left over I make ‘muffins’. No sugar. I just use the almond milk, fruit (mostly banana), and eggs – 3 yolks for the custard, and the whites for the ‘muffins’. So many nutrients in almonds.
      Let’s talk about Kale next! Another real superfood. I love these discussions about food.

  8. Your not going to believe this but I was just talking about coconut oil with one of my sons after reading an article about it on FB-said that you must get the good stuff.I also bought Amelia’s book. Although I haven’t finished reading it, it’s amazing how I’m already thinking about what I buy at the supermarket. I already have a pretty good diet, but now I’m reading labels on things like muesli to see how much sugar is there!Will buy some coconut oil next time I’m shopping. does it whiten your teeth?

  9. I use coconut oil on my face as a moisturiser – it’s incredibly soothing…

    • I’m going to try this – it doesn’t leave your face all greasy?

      • It sinks in very quickly. It’s incredibly anti-inflammatory and soothing. Using this, and only this as a moisturiser is one of the things that helped rid me of rosacea…

      • WOW it worked with rosacea???!!! I’ve been worried that even cleansing with it would leave residues that will set mine off. Which kind of rosacea did you have? (oh how I envy you that past tense… )

      • I have/had (I don’t want to tempt fate) a combination of both types – flushing and pustules (ghastly word). I think I sent you before to a product available in the US – a sort of mineral block that you rub on your skin. Anyway, a combination of this, washing with neutrogena soap, coconut oil and taking daily lysine supplements basically kicked its arse three years ago now… Step away from expensive face products – they are pure evil for rosacea

      • I remember you suggesting that block, which I did nothing about because I’m an IDIOT. Do you think I need to combine that with the coconut oil? It’s not greatly improved so far and my skin feels really dry. Did you have to settle in with it – does it take a couple of weeks to settle down??? I do love that my whole routine now costs practically nothing, as opposed to a cleanser, two different moisturisers and a pustule zapper which set me back about £150 for the lot!

      • I think that the blocks definitely contain the active ingredients, as opposed to the coconut oil which is just a soothing, neutral support. I only started seeing a radical difference a couple of days after starting to use the blocks. I was very sceptical and nearly didn’t order them, but you know how it is – you’re willing to try anything. As a sort of ‘control’, I apply the block mainly to my nose and cheeks and I noticed that my jawline is very flushed – so it just shows that I need to apply it there too.

      • Can you remind me what the block is called? My skin is changing, but it feels very dry – I’m hoping this is a transitional stage.

  10. I mix it with olive oli to cleanse and moisturise my face all in one. Just massage it in and remove with a warm wet face cloth – brilliant.

    • I’m very interested in this and what The Healthy Epicurean says below – it doesn’t leave your face feeling all clogged up?

    • I now use coconut oil on my face and have no redness at all – and it fills in those lines and wrinkles.
      The combination of changing the way I eat – I think this is as important as what you put on your face – and lowering my toxic load, has been life-changing (thanks, Maggie, for putting me onto Amelia’s book).
      I also make my own deodorant; I’ve given up using shampoo and conditioner; and I clean my teeth with coconut oil.
      My skin is soft and smooth and moisturised; my hair is clean and full of body; my teeth are spotless and my mouth feels ‘fresh’; and my face looks alive. And I smell nice, too.
      I think the things that I don’t have anymore – way too many to list – are more significant, though.
      I know this isn’t for everyone, but it’s been such a turning point for me.

  11. I do oil pulling and like it as well! I’m not super regular but always feeling good afterwards, plus I love coco taste!

  12. I’ve had a go with the mouth rinse but couldn’t keep it going for 20 mins Maggie?

    • Work up to it Fiona. I only managed 5 mins the first few times. I’m now up to 15. It takes some getting used to and then you just forget you’re doing it. Between cooking with it, swilling with it and using it as a cleanser and a moisturiser, I’m buying the stuff in bulk!

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