Gardens of Elmira Gallery
Gardens of Elmira Branch

The Coconut Oil Craze

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The Coconut Oil Craze – Should I Jump on the Bandwagon Too?

Yes you should!! (end of post – but read on for more info)

What exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? 

Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out.

While coconut oil contains the same 9 calories per gram as all the other fats, Coconut oil is a special kind of fat.

It is extracted from the “meat” of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a hot day.

The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat but to substitute it for some of the (possibly) less healthy fats you may be eating now.

And here’s why – Because not all calories or fats are created equal.

Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs.

What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them – they’re easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they’re burned for fuel or converted into “ketones.”  This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.

Coconut oil MCTs may help with fat loss!

Coconut oil’s MCTs have been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits.

First, it can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat.

Second, because of their unique metabolic route, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn;  this happens when you compare the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats.  In fact, a few studies show that coconut oil may increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5 percent!!

Third, some studies show that eating coconut oil can help reduce belly fat (a.k.a. “waist circumference”).

Just remember not to add coconut oil to your diet without reducing other fats and oils!

How much coconut oil should I eat?

Many of the studies that showed increased fullness, increased metabolism, and reduced belly fat only used about 2 tablespoons per day.  You probably don’t need any more than that.  (sneak a tbsp into a smoothie, toss it on your roasted veggies, slide it into a soup)

What kind of coconut oil is the best? There are so many coconut oil options available in grocery stores these days that it can make it difficult to know which is best.

I recommend you stay away from “refined” types, and opt for “virgin” coconut oil. That is because it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemical solvents used in the refining process;  this helps to preserve more of the oil’s natural health-promoting antioxidants.

Pro Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid “hydrogenated” coconut oil. It can be a health nightmare because it contains the infamous “trans fats” ….actually avoid ANYTHING hydrogenated!! (I’m looking at you, margarine!)

One thing you should also consider is that each oil has a specific high temperature that you should avoid surpassing (e.g. its “smoke point”). For virgin coconut oil, that temperature is 350F. That means you can safely use it on the stovetop on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.


Substitute some of the fat you eat with virgin coconut oil;  this may help you to lose weight and belly fat by naturally helping you to eat less, as well as slightly increasing your metabolism.

Oh, and it tastes great too!


Homemade Healthy Chocolate - makes 12 servings

⅓ cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup cocoa/cacao powder

4 tablespoons maple syrup

2 dashes salt

4 tablespoons slivered almonds

1. Melt coconut oil, and whisk in maple syrup, salt, and cocoa/cacao powder until smooth.

2. Stir in slivered almonds until evenly distributed.

3. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.

4. Store in fridge or freezer to avoid melting.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Substitute other seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit instead of the almonds if you wish.

Gardens of Elmira Gallery
Gardens of Elmira Branch

Meet the Makers

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Elmira’s first Pop Up Market at The Gardens was a smashing success! The market showcased many local artisans and crafters. There was jewellery, clothing, arts, crafts, beauty products, home decor, food and drinks – something for everyone.

What a wonderful community to be a part of – thank you Elmira!



The Gardens transformed into a beautiful artisanal market
Beautiful jewellery
Live music
Food and refreshments





Strawberry Rhubarb Frosty Mocktail
Nothing says summer like fresh local strawberries and rhubarb. A seriously delicious refreshing summer beverage. Mix and match the fruit and syrup for endless combinations. Recipe by Meghan Telpner
  • 10 strawberries, hulled + 2 more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp – ¼ cup rhubarb syrup (depends on desired sweetness)
  • 10 ice cubes
  • 1 cup of water
  1. Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until frosty and smooth.
  2. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with strawberries.
Gardens of Elmira Gallery
Gardens of Elmira Branch

Women’s Wellness Retreat

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Sharing some photos from the Women’s Wellness Retreat – in support of Kate’s Kause. The day included an hour of yoga with goats (yes GOATS!) partnered with Fox Den Yoga in Niagara on the Lake. This relaxing hour of restorative flow with Melina was taught to live music while the goats helped us into the groove.

The retreat continued with a bespoke lunch and a tour of a lavender farm – Neob Lavender Niagara on the Lake  – during which we learned about the essential oil distillation process. The farm also has rose geranium and lemon balm on site as well.

While at the farm, we took some time to make our own essential oil bracelets with our jewellery maker from We Felt That

No trip to Niagara on the Lake would be complete without some wine tasting – and so we stopped off at an organic winery where we sampled their wine, tasted some organic soup and shopped at an artisanal market.

The day wrapped up with a delightful group dinner. Beautiful day with beautiful ladies!

All proceeds went to Kate’s Kause – thank you!



Fox Den Yoga in Niagara on the Lake
Live music!


Lavender fields at Neob’s Niagara on the Lake


Tour of farm and learning about the essential oil distillation process
Lunch time
Making essential oil bracelets with We Felt That
Enjoying the day with friends
Festive group dinner





DIY Honey Lavender Lip Scrub

A gentle, non-toxic lip scrub recipe containing sugar, honey, coconut oil, and lavender essential oil that will exfoliate, nourish and moisturize your lips all at the same time.
Recipe by The Rising Spoon

1 tablespoon of organic cane or brown sugar
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil
1-2 drops of lavender essential oil
Recommended Equipment
4-ounce mason jars

clear cosmetics jars

Stir all the ingredients together and store in an air-tight container (like a small mason jar or leftover glass jar). To use, make sure your lips are dry and then scoop up a bit on your finger and rub across your lips vigorously for about thirty seconds. Leave the scrub on your lips for a minute or so, then wipe it off with a wet washcloth. For best results, immediately apply a good lip balm to lock in moisture.