If you are anything like me, winter is my least favorite season of the year. I walk around in a consistent battle with static in my hair, dry skin, dry mouth, and dry lips. I am also chilly, and tend to want to grab a seat on the couch instead of popping in my workout DVD or heading to INSANITY class. Over the years, I have found one simple way to combat these common nuisances of winter, with a staple item in my house.

Have you noticed your skin, hair and nails are a little extra dry in the winter? Do you wake up with a dry mouth? Are you tired? Have you already bought every moisturizer, deep conditioner, and energy boosting drink on the planet? What if I told you, you could look no further than your local grocery store? What if I told you ONE item could help you with ALL of those winter nuisances? OK, here it is…..DRUMROLLL…..Coconut Oil.

I have a jar of Trader Joe brand organic coconut oil in my kitchen for cooking, and even a jar in my bathroom (more on this in a sec.) By cooking with coconut oil, you will help to support thyroid health, and potentially reduce symptoms of hypothyroidism, like fatigue, water retention, and weight gain. Because coconut oil acts as an instant energy source it will raise your basal body temperature, and it is very easily broken down into energy by your body (Medium Chain Fatty Acid.) This allows the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 to convert more efficiently. All of these great features will help you feel more balanced overall, and will help you ROCK through your workouts like a champ!

Try this in your kitchen!

Apple Chicken Stir Fry

· 4 large organic chicken breasts

· 2 Gala Apples

· ½ cup organic coconut oil

· 1 tablespoon sesame oil

· ¼ cup local honey

· 1 tablespoon shredded ginger

· 2 cups mushroom slices of your choice

· salt and pepper to taste

· chopped green onions

· 2 - 3 cups of steamed Minnesota Wild Rice

Cut chicken and apples into chunks and set aside.

Sauté oils, honey, chicken, ginger and apples until chicken is cooked through and apples are tender. Add the mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté together for an additional 5-7 minutes. Serve over wild rice and garnish with the green onions.

Now, on to why in the world I have a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom! I have been using my beloved coconut oil in place of:

· Moisturizer for my skin (slather on after a shower)

· Deep conditioning lip balm before bed

· Deep conditioning treatment for my hair

· Bath oil

It has an amazingly fresh tropical scent that makes me feel like I am on the beach! It is clean, non-toxic, and will moisturize your body like nothing else on the planet!

Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment

· Wet hair

· Run 1-2 TBS of coconut oil through the ends of your hair

· Wrap head in a shower cap for up to 60 min

· Shampoo 2x and lightly condition

· Style as usual

Here is a GREAT recipe for an "Almond Joy" bath from my client and friend, Heather Boyum.

Almond Joy Bath

· 1 TBS of Coconut oil

· 2 cups of Epsom Salt

· Run a bath, and soak for 20-30 min.

This will create a spa-like experience in your own tub, while soothing your muscles and joints, and moisturizing your skin. BOOM.

I also use coconut oil for something called "oil pulling." This is another way to clean teeth, moisturize a dry mouth, and experience an age old remedy to fight ailments from headaches, to asthma, to liver problems and more! Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other toxins. This is a simple way to help YOU stay healthy!

How to do oil pulling:

1. Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth. Use 2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil. Scoop it out as a solid and let it melt in your mouth before swishing.

2. Swish for 20 minutes. Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of, "Oil Pulling Therapy." Twenty minutes is ample time to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.

3. TIP: Spit the oil out into the trashcan. Do not spit into the sink, because you could risk a clog to your plumbing. It’s unlikely, but has happened to people. NOTE: Do not swallow the oil. At the end of a 20 min swish cycle, it is hopefully full of nasty bacteria and toxins! J

4. Rinse well. Swish a few times with lukewarm water to get any remaining oil out of your mouth.

Now, time to head to the store for your jar of coconut oil! Get one for your kitchen and one for your bathroom. Take care of your body with coconut oil from the inside out.