Tag Archives: medium chain fatty acids

Favourite Non Dairy Beverages: Coconut Dream and Pacific Hazelnut

I regularly use a non dairy beverages to help create vegan meals. I have tried many different types of non dairy beverages and one test I have is to see if a carton actually gets finished. My favourite remains Coconut Dream Original for the taste. Interestingly, this product is fortified with calcium, vitamin A, D and B12 in the version sold in the US, but not in Canada. The easily metabolized medium chain fatty acids from coconut are a nutritional benefit in addition to the taste.


Another non dairy beverage I discovered recently and really enjoyed the taste of is Pacific Hazelnut Original non dairy beverage. I found this product in a grocery store on Kauai. The colour is not the most appealing. However, the taste excellent, perhaps from its slightly higher sugar content.


If you regularly use non dairy beverages, give Coconut Dream or Pacific Hazelnut a try to add variety to your diet.

Recipe: Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is a side dish that I have always enjoyed. Sticky coconut rice is even more fun with it’s chewy texture and almost dessert like sweetness. I noticed coconut rice served as a side to a menu item at Hawker Bar www.hawkerbar.com in Toronto last summer. We ordered some and it was outstanding, in addition to the chili tofu, wings and greens. I was inspired to try and make coconut rice at home. Here is my easy version, using creamed coconut and coconut oil for the rich taste and nutritional value of medium chain fatty acids.

1 cup Thai jasmine rice

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon creamed coconut (available at health food stores)

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water. Place rice into a medium saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Stir in coconut coconut oil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid and allow rice to continue cooking for 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat, let stand for another 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and enjoy. This rice is great with sauteed callaloo and spicy shrimp or fish. Also great with curries.

Coconut: A Healthy Food to Try

 I found a fresh coconut in the grocery store today and I bought it immediately, even though I was clueless as to how to crack into it to extract the flesh. And, I do not happen to own a machete. I did find this video, courtesy of Gourmet which offers great instruction:


I had to have the coconut today, because I was fortunate enough to buy some (pre-prepared) from a roadside fruit stand recently on the North Shore of Oahu, close to the Fumis shrimp truck. I really enjoy the mild taste and crunchy texture of fresh coconut. Fresh coconut is the ultimate anytime, anywhere snack, with beachside being my favourite location.

Fresh coconut is also a great source of energy in form of easy to digest medium chain fatty acids. The lauric and capryllic acid in coconut has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. The saturated fat found in coconut is plant based and therefore chemically different, with different properties than saturated fat found in animal fat. I consider coconut oil to be a healthy fat, with its numerous health boosting properties. Enjoy the tropical taste of fresh coconut wherever you can.

Book Inspiration: Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook

The Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook was brought to my attention just before Christmas 2011 by a family member who came across it at Indigo books. The diet and the recipes sounded interesting, so I got a copy and read it. I had read another book on coconut and health in 2010 called Coconut Cures by Bruce Fife, which I quite enjoyed as well.  Bruce Fife is quoted as a coconut authority in the Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook.

This book covers the details on how coconut can be used effectively in many ways to help a person improve their health and appearance. Organic, virgin coconut oil being the coconut product that delivers the most health benefits from increasing insulin sensitivity to improving the appearance of skin and hair. Many of the ideas are small changes that many people could implement. I found the book to be an easy, interesting read. The health booster beverage, warm water with lemon and coconut oil http://www.vivianlaw.ca/health-booster-lemon-water-with-coconut-oil/was inspired by this book and Coconut Cures.

A very interesting part of the book is the fairly large list of recipes that incorporate coconut products into many different everyday foods.  I have tried a few recipes so far and have found them to be quite tasty. For example, I love strawberry shortcake and there is a coconut version in this book, and is also gluten free.

The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut are a healthy fat, so this book is a great source of information on how to use this healthy fat for many different health benefits, much like Coconut Cures. However, the Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook provides even more practical applications and interesting recipes. I do not recommend diets at all, but this book is an interesting source of health improvement ideas to try.


Health Booster: Lemon Water with Coconut Oil

Hot water and lemon is a beverage that many natural health practitioners advise people to drink first thing in the morning. Some of the benefits are bringing the body to better balance through improved digestion and liver function. From a practical standpoint, I find hot water and lemon a pleasant way to hydrate after waking up.

Adding a spoonful of coconut oil to hot water and lemon is a beverage concoction that I devised recently for the purpose of bringing a client back to better health. We were amazed by the results of having this drink within one week. Her psoriasis improved dramatically and the appearance of her skin in general was much improved as well. The medium chain fatty acids in the coconut oil is quickly taken up by the cells of the body and helps the cells absorb nutrients. It is great to see this improved nutrition physically in skin, as the skin is the largest organ of the body.

I tried the beverage myself and found an improvement in my skin and hair in addition to some fat loss. The flaky skin that I ordinarily experienced from sun exposure was markedly improved after a few days of drinking this beverage. I lost some body fat in the past month or so from a combination of having this beverage, going to an outstanding yoga retreat in Jamaica with Alyssa Cohen, and keeping up my exercise program. This beverage is a health booster!

Here is the recipe:

-Squeeze the juice of 1/4 or 1/2 an organic lemon into a mug.

-Fill mug half way with boiling water

-Add a spoonful of organic virgin coconut oil

-Stir and fill the mug with room temperature water.

-Stir and drink


Please share with us what you notice in yourself after taking this beverage.

Coconut Dream

I have been trying to use a non-dairy milk for a couple years now. I started with soy milk, which I did not love the taste of and later found it did not agree with me. I used almond milk for a period of time, but developed an intolerance for almonds. Rice milk tastes like liquid cardboard to me. Hemp milk has a strange taste. Finally, I found So Delicious coconut milk beverage to be a great milk alternative, because of the taste. I suggested it to a client who is a real foodie and although he liked it he pointed out that it was a little too thick or viscous. That was a good point that he made. The product gets even thicker if you don’t finish the box either in the large carton or the 946ml tetrapak very quickly.

While on Oahu, I looked for So Delicious and found Coconut Dream instead. I used it on my granola while I was there and really enjoyed the taste and texture of Coconut Dream. I looked for it when I came back to Toronto and found it at Sobeys. I have yet to find the unsweetened version yet to give it a fair comparison, but so far, the Coconut Dream original is ahead of the So Delicious original in terms of taste and texture. Coconut Dream also comes in a chocolate flavour, which is nice to have after a tough workout. Another difference to note is So Delicious is an organic product, while Coconut Dream is not. Both contain medium chain fatty acids, the special type of saturated fat that is found in coconut, which is easy to digest and utilized quickly in the body. The saturated fat found in coconut is different, because it is from a plant source and its chemical structure of a medium chain fatty acid is different than the long chain fatty acid that comprises saturated fat from animal sources.
The concept of having a coconut milk beverage and working out is pictured in an ad for So Delicious featuring America’s toughest trainer Jillian Michaels. I saw the ad in Bon Appetit magazine this fall, long after I started using the product. I had no idea who Jillian Michaels was, because I do not watch much television. The ad was a good one, because it stuck out in my mind. America’s toughest trainer seems a real claim to fame. A few weeks later, I recognized Jillian Michaels on the cover of her book, Unlimited (which was on sale), so I purchased and read the book. I will happy to review the book at another time.
Why try a non dairy milk? From observation, it seems that many people become less able to digest milk and dairy products as time goes by and/or exposure increases. The symptoms of being intolerant to milk and dairy products include gas, bloating, cramps and even diarrhea. To prevent such symptoms, having an alternative to milk can lower your intake of dairy products and minimize the possibility of developing intolerance. Another reason to try is the health benefits of a vegan diet, which includes lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Having a non dairy milk with your morning cereal and fruit makes your breakfast a vegan one, which is a great healthy meal idea to try.