Coconut oil on my skin.
Coconut oil in my coffee.
Popcorn made with coconut oil.
Coconut oil in my hair.
Oil-pulling with coconut oil.
Coconut oil in my smoothie.
COCONUT OIL BY THE SPOONFUL.
Okay, maybe that last one is a bit much. But seriously, coconut oil is the new miracle food/drug/beauty product. Maybe not new, but it's new to me. When I purchased a big jar of the stuff from Wilderness Family Naturals after much debating and research, I intended mostly to use it for oil pulling (more on that in a moment) and putting in my hair. I do use it in my hair as a conditioner, leave-in or wash out, and it kind of works as a gel, too. And then my hair smells like summer should. Which is awesome.
Oil-pulling is an ancient health practice that just requires some pure oil and your mouth. Coconut oil is the best for this; never use vegetable oil or canola oil or any of those. I think sesame oil is okay, too. The downside of coconut oil is that you have to melt it first, since it is solid at room temperature, at least in the wintertime. But all you have to do is slowly swish the oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, preferably before you even drink anything in the morning. This process draws out, or "pulls" toxins from your body via your mouth. The mouth is probably one of the more toxic parts of your body, which makes sense if you think about it. And never swallow the oil, because of course it is laden with toxins that you don't want in your stomach! There's not much more to the process itself; there's a fair bit of research out there to read on the benefits of it if you'd like. I had been meaning to try oil pulling for a month now, but I finally did it today. And I didn't last more than 30 seconds. My gag reflex is super annoying. But my mouth felt better even in those 30 seconds. My back teeth had been hurting, which is why I finally got up the courage to try this, and now they really don't hurt. Granted, that'll probably change as soon as I eat something hard, but I am going to attempt to be faithful with this oil pulling and see if I can train myself to be better about it.
As for other ways of using coconut oil, it does work really well on the skin. I put it on my legs after I shave, and they feel amazing. I even have smoothed a tiny amount onto my lips. Use it like you would a lotion, but you need very little because it's obviously oily. And, because it's solid, just rub a small amount in your palms until liquid and then use it. Coconut oil can also be used to make deodorant, body butter, sugar scrubs, lip balms, etc. I'll post recipes as I try them.
And this awesome oil can be used in the kitchen, too! I used it in my Stir-Crazy to pop popcorn last night and I could hardly taste the coconut and the popcorn wasn't super oily and heavy like when I use vegetable oil (which I won't be buying anymore!). It was delicious. I also occasionally put a scoop of oil in my cup of coffee or in my smoothie.
I never used to like coconut. The taste bothered me a lot. But I was determined to get over that so I could use this wonderful oil, and I think perhaps I have! If you have questions about the different kinds of coconut oil, don't hesitate to ask! I purchased extra-virgin, because that's probably the best for beauty products.