Oil Pulling? This is the new health craze (and I tried it)

Gargling Coconut Oil.

Gargling Coconut Oil.

I’m amazed, fascinated, disgusted, and yes, more than a little bit curious about the latest health trend. Swishing oil around your mouth is the latest in oral health!  And I tried it. Apparently the practice comes from Ayurvedic medicine and the acclaimed benefits run the gamut from teeth whitening, breath freshening, all the way to curing infection and liver problems. Lets just say that I’m in it for the sake of curiosity and possibly some whiter fangs.

How to do it:

Grab the nearest vegetable based oil. You can use coconut oil, sesame oil, or even olive oil. Put about a tablespoon in your mouth and start swirling it around. Set your timer for 20 minutes. The trick is to swish the oil around calming and in a relaxed fashion, I learned this the hard way.

At about 15 minutes my cheeks and lips began to tremble with exhaustion, I guess 1 tablespoon of delicious unrefined coconut oil was a bit too much volume for my tiny chipmunk cheeks. Also, I was a bit overzealous with the ‘pulling.’

After 20 minutes, spit the oil into the trash can – not the sink or you will clog your pipes! The idea is that this oil draws the bacteria out from your mouth, so make sure you don’t swallow it. Now go rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth like you normally would.

Everyone I’ve talked to is similarly intrigued by the new concept. After reading this Jezebel article, even Zev was curious enough to try it!

Health fads are bizarre. It’s impossible to pinpoint how these sorts of things come into popular consciousness. But Oil Pulling has officially arrived as a thing. And I am always willing to try something harmless and gimicky.

I’m on my second day of oil pulling and I must admit that my teeth look a wee bit whiter (real or perceived?), my breath is fresher, and my teeth are insanely smooth. I’m hooked, and maybe you should be too?

Another health fad that I totally love: Dr. Bronner’s Soaps!

Pre-Trip Planning & Coconut Almond ‘KIND’ Bars, the Knock Off

Between applying for Chinese and Burmese visas, collecting all the odds bits of travel medicine and gear, we have been busy! Late last month we made a sudden decision to head to Burma/Myanmar for about 3 weeks in early December. While we’re both very excited about adding this country to the itinerary, it also requires some planning.

I made these granola bars to munch on while we ran errands.  They kept the crankiness at bay.

I tweaked this ‘Moments of Musing’ recipe to create my own granola bars – adding crystallized ginger, flax seeds, and a dash of cinnamon for some pep. The result is somewhat crumbly, but next time a quarter cup of almond butter might help to hold things together.

Coconut Almond KIND Knock Off Bars

Makes about 16 bars

2 cups raw sliced almonds, skins on

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut

3/4 cup puffed rice cereal

1/2 cup palm sugar syrup (1/2 cup palm sugar mixed with 1/4 cup hot water) OR 1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter (optional; this makes the final product more cohesive, but I hate nut butter – so there!)

1/4 cup flax seeds (optional; for fiber and shiny hair)

1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8X8 glass baking dish with parchment paper, this will make removing the bars much easier.

In a large mixing bowl combine the almonds, flaked coconut, puffed rice cereal, flax seeds, crystallized ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in the palm sugar syrup or honey.

Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and firmly press together. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Let cool completely before removing the hardened mass from the pan and slicing into bars. Wrap in parchment or wax paper to store. Can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.

Enjoy and stay safe during Hurricane Sandy!

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Nats game!

Gotta love Nats Stadium. We sat in the Scoreboard Pavilion and it was glorious. A really fun atmosphere – Shake Shack within spitting distance, and the company of my best girlfriends.

Man, I’m gonna miss this city…

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Mama-E brings the Derecho to town

MamaE came into town for the Derecho on June 29th.

We began the weekend on a sweltering Friday evening, where all great DC outings begin – Barack Obama’s house. No seriously, we met outside the White House. Not only were we not invited in for some lemonade, we were made to grapple outside among the sweaty masses. MamaE hopped on my bike for a quick toodle around, and my hand bore witness with snark.

MamaE on the wheels, my lovely Electra Amsterdam.

On Saturday we rode Capital Bikeshare bikes around the National Mall, hit up the National Gallery, and had some very fancy ice cream straight from a truck parked on the mall. The National Gallery has a great exhibit up called ‘Elegance and Refinement; The Still-Life Paintings of Willem Van Aelst.’ Up through October 14th, 2012.

Doin the Shuffle in front of the National Gallery.

Mmmm…strawberry shortcake ice cream. That electric pink color gives your taste buds fair warning for the awesomeness ahead.

20th Annual DC BBQ Battle

This past weekend Z, PapaE, an unnamed fellow foodie friend, and I hit up the ’20th Annual Safeway Barbeque Battle.’ There was a lot of free swag – coffee samples, water bottles, tote bags, egad! But the best part was all of the fantastic barbeque. I had possibly the best brisket sandwich ever from ‘The Tender Rib,’ it had been smoked, sliced, and left to marinate in some sort of heavenly juice. I was hypnotized watching the competitive teams slinging huge slabs of ribs.











There was also a super cool all-girl steel drum band called ‘East of the River.’

BUT I can finally check this item off my bucket list (cancel the trip, I’ve seen it all now):

I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner
That is what I truly wish to be
cause if i were a Oscar Mayer Weiner
everyone would be in love
oh everyone would be in love
everyone would be in love with me