Coconut Oil for Beautiful Hair | 6 Benefits & Easy Uses

Coconut oil is an amazing natural treatment for beautiful hair! It’s rich in vitamins and fatty acids that nourish the hair, can promote growth, and more.

Coconut oil is widely known as a cure-all for everything these days! From topical treatments like moisturizing your skin to internal uses like oil pulling, cooking at high heat and in baked goods, and using coconut oil for strong beautiful hair, coconut oil can basically do anything.

As someone with Hashimoto’s disease who has suffered hair loss and damaged hair from the autoimmune thyroid disease, I’ve tried my fair share of natural hair masks, rinses, and treatments to regain strong hair. Though an overall healthy diet and lifestyle have helped tremendously with healing my health and hair, coconut oil is another amazing strategy for beautiful hair, with so many benefits and uses!

 

First, does coconut oil work for everyone?

 

There is a myriad of different hair types and not all of them will work well with coconut oil treatments. It’s always best to listen to your own body and go slow with any new treatment. Go slow, and use small amounts at a time to test how your hair tolerates it.

A great complimentary treatment to using coconut oil would be an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, as it will help remove excess build up if you find coconut oil to be too much for your hair!

And of course, if you have an allergy to coconut you’ll want to refrain from using any of these treatments.

 

What are the benefits of coconut oil?

 

It’s nourishing and moisturizing

Coconut oil is a healthy fat that is very moisturizing to the skin, and hair, and as well as a great cooking fat.

It’s antimicrobial 

Coconut oil can fight harmful microorganisms which are particularly helpful for the skin, or hair and scalp, and even the balance of our gut bacteria when ingested.

It’s nutrient dense

Because it’s rich in fatty acids, coconut oil provides valuable nutrients when used topically or internally.

Coconut oil can reduce inflammation

A 2014 study where rats were fed different varieties of oils had shown coconut oil to be the most anti-inflammatory! It’s rich in antioxidants which reduces inflammation in the body when ingested and can calm inflammation on the skin and the hair.

It can be used for a myriad of different hair treatments…

Coconut oil can help hair growth, deep conditioning, sun protection, and can eliminate dandruff and lice!

 

Coconut Oil For Hair Benefits & How To Use Coconut oil for Beautiful Hair

Coconut oil for hair growth

As someone who has struggled with hair loss with my Hashimoto’s disease, I wish I would have known about using coconut oil for hair growth years ago. Changing my diet and lifestyle, and consuming more healthy fat like coconut oil did help me eventually regrow my hair. Though adding coconut oil to your diet may be an effective strategy, using it topically can potentially help as well! Here’s what you do…

  • Scoop about 1 tbsp of coconut oil at a time into to your hands, and rub the oil together to melt if solid. Work the coconut oil into your roots to stimulate growth, and towards the base of your hair to nourish. Use about 4-5 tbsp of coconut total or as much as is needed to coat your hair well.
  • Use a shower cap, towel, or a secure hairpin to put up your hair. Keep in mind a hair tie will absorb the oil.
  • Leave the coconut oil overnight, or for 3-4 hours to allow to set.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair well (potentially using an apple cider vinegar rinse to remove excess oil if necessary) and dry.
  • Repeat 1-2x weekly to nourish the hair.

It’s important to remember that topical treatments like coconut oil can potentially help, but getting to the root cause of what is really causing the hair growth is always the most effective strategy for halting hair loss.

 

Coconut oil for deep conditioning and moisturizing

Coconut oil has been proven in this 2003 study to nourish damaged hair better than other oils. It leaves your hair beautiful, soft and shiny, and is great for nourishing and moisturizing hair that’s damaged, or just needs a little extra love.

Follow the instructions above or watch the video below to deep condition your hair about once a week, or more or less depending on how much your hair needs the conditioning.

 

Coconut oil for detangling

As someone with long and naturally wavy hair, I’ve struggled with my fair share of tough tangles! Brushing your hair through tough tangles don’t just hurt, but it really damages your hair. Coconut oil lubricates the hair to make it smooth, shiny and helps to easily detangle without any pulling. Here’s how you do it…

  • Rub 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil in your hands until melted.
  • Work the coconut oil into the ends of your hair, focusing on any tangles. Carefully use your fingers to run your hands through the tangles to loosen them.
  • Brush your hair and enjoy tangle free hair! Use a dry shampoo to remove any excess oil to go about your day, or wash your hair well to remove excess oil.

 

Coconut oil for dandruff reduction

If you’ve ever had dandruff, you’ll know that it’s very inconvenient and very annoying! I started struggling with dandruff in my early teens and was desperate for relief. Dandruff can be triggered by hormonal imbalance, inclement weather, products that don’t work well for your hair, and more.

To use coconut oil for dandruff reduction, use a tablespoon of melted coconut oil on your hair once a week, focusing on your scalp to help reduce dandruff and nourish the scalp.

 

Coconut oil for sun protection

Though getting a good amount of Vitamin D is perfectly healthy, it can be too much a good thing. We’re used to using sunscreen on our skin and sometimes may use a hat to protect our scalp. However, our hair is also prone to sun damage.

If you plan to spend time in direct sunlight, use a very small amount of melted coconut oil as a leave-in condition to protect your hair from sun damage.

 

Coconut oil to eliminate lice

Lice are incredibly inconvenient, and coconut oil has been shown to help eliminate lice. Though other treatments may be more effective in killing lice in one blow, they’re also more toxic and pose more risk for inflammation and exposure to harmful chemicals.

Coconut oil may take more than one try to full eliminate lice, but it is far more natural and nourishing than the over the counter alternatives. Here’s how to do it…

  • Wash your hair with warm water and allow it to dry to where it’s damp.
  • Massage several tablespoons of melted coconut oil into your hair, focusing mostly on the scalp and the roots.
  • Place a shower cap on your head and allow to set for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Use a fine tooth comb to remove any dead lice from your hair.
  • Repeat if necessary, using an apple cider vinegar rinse between treatments.

 

I hope you love and use these easy DIY treatments! What’s your favorite way to use coconut oil?

My Current Safer Skincare & Beauty Routine

Disclaimer- This post contains affiliate links, and I am a beauty counter consultant. Some of the brands have sent me products to try at some point, or I’ve gotten a discount, but these are still the products that I use and the opinions are 100% my own!

Finding new beauty favorites can be hard. These safer makeup and skincare products are my current favorites that I use and love!

my favorite makeup and skincare

When I first started transitioning my makeup and skincare, I went fairly slowly but found some pretty good options right out of the gate. Since I shared my last makeup blog post, I’ve started trying some new products that I’ve been found myself preferring right now. There are still a few items that I’ve continued to use, and all of the products in my previous post are still good products that I would recommend… I just have newer favorites at the moment!

Everyone is different when it comes to beauty and skin care, and our tastes change as well. This is just what works for me right now!

But first, let me start out by saying that beauty and skincare can indeed get pricy. I try and keep what I use at a minimum for that reason. In this post, I’ve included how long each product tends to last me to help illustrate that good product can indeed be worth it as it does last longer and perform better than cheaper products.

 

Safer Beauty & Make up

 

Crunchi foundation

I’ve been wearing the crunchi foundation in shade 2 for over a year now, and I don’t see myself ever switching! It feels light, but it has amazing coverage. I also use the foundation brush. On average this lasts me about 5 months, which I think is amazing for a foundation!

Lily lolo powder

I don’t use this lily lolo powder often... just special occasions to set my make up. But it’s great and I’ve only ever bought it once, so it lasts a long time.

W3ll People Concealer

I use this W3ll people concealer in shade 1 under my eyes and it’s by far my favorite that I’ve tried since I’ve made the switch to safer. It lasts me a really long time!

W3ll People Mascara

This is by far my favorite mascara. I used to use the 100 percent pure mascara, but after hearing so many good things about W3ll people, I gave it a try, and I’ve been addicted ever since. It lasts a while, but I’m not entirely sure how long I go between product. They have sent me a couple of packages with some mascara samples in it so it skews my timeline a bit. Regardless, this mascara is so worth it.

Beautycounter color intense lipsticks

I don’t wear lipstick as much as I used to, but I was a big-time Mac lipstick girl back in the day. I love a heavily pigmented, and bold lip, and these lipsticks have been my favorite. They go on well, and they don’t have any nightshade or soy ingredients which are very common in safer lipsticks. Twilight is my favorite color, but really, I like them all. I don’t wear these often, so I haven’t ever had to repurchase a color yet.

Beautycounter necessary neutral eyeshadow palette 

I started using the necessary neutral eyeshadow palette around Christmas and I use it daily. It’s become my favorite palette by far! I once got a holiday palette from BC a couple of years ago and I really didn’t like it… the colors broke, they weren’t pigmented, and I wound up getting rid of the palette. They’ve definitely changed things and I highly recommend this palette. It has a lot of colors, but it’s designed to work in three’s. I use the colors slipper, burgundy, and haze pretty much daily, and as seen below.

beauty counter eyeshadow

Beautycounter precision liquid liner

I am a big eyeliner girl, and I refuse to use anything but liquid liner! I used to use 100 percent pure liquid liner because that was the only safer option I knew of at the time, but honestly, it had some flaws. It had this weird peel off quality where you could literally peel it off in one strip…. which I didn’t love. It felt a little weird and it would pull my lashes. I started using this BC liquid liner this past summer and get tons of compliments on it. It lasts me about 4-5 months.

Beautycounter brow gel

I’m part Sicilian, so your girl has some serious brows. They’re long and they tend to curl and fall so I really need a brow gel to keep them in place. I used to use glossier boy brow (yes, it’s conventional) and I was very hesitant to switch. It’s seriously only been a couple of months since I started using this BC brow gel. One thing I will say is that it can smudge if you don’t give it some time to dry, so be careful with how much you use and let it dry! I use the darkest color. Yes, I’m a brunette, but my eyebrows are jet black and no one can convince me otherwise 😂

Safer Skincare

 

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm

The cleansing balm is by far my absolute favorite skincare product. It cleanses, removes makeup, and moisturizes. It’s a bigger ticket item, but seriously it nearly took me a year to get through it!!

beauty counter cleansing balm

Beautycounter balancing facial oil

This balancing facial oil is great for acne prone skin, which really works well for me. I use it as directed after I use the cleansing balm, and it takes me about 4-5 months to get through it.

Beautycounter overnight resurfacing peel

The overnight resurfacing peel was a super hot product when it came out and for good reason. It’s a game changer. It’s like a chemical peel but it’s plant-based and more gentle. It exfoliates, it helps make my skin really clear and bright, and helps me with any breakouts. I use it probably 2-3 times a week, and it lasts me for about 5 months.

Beautycounter charcoal mask

This charcoal mask was the first ever BC product that I used years ago. The peel has mostly replaced it for me, but what I still use it for is an acne spot treatment. It really does the trick, and even my husband likes it! Because I only really use it for spot treatment, it lasts me a really love time.

 

I hope that list was helpful! What are your favorite safer beauty and skincare products?

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse: Benefits, Instructions & Before and After

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Have you ever rinsed your hair with apple cider vinegar? Rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar is a cheap, easy, and effective hair treatment for shinier, cleaner and healthier hair!

Let’s face it, hair care products are both expensive, and can be filled with toxins. You can’t expect to spend anything less than an arm and a leg on good, quality hair care and still have it be natural and free of toxins. Or can you? Enter apple cider vinegar hair wash. My favorite, cheap, easy, organic, and incredibly effective hair care routine for cleansing my hair.

I’ve always been way into my hair. So when I suffered hair loss from hypothyroidism due to my Hashimoto’s Disease, I was pretty devastated. Not only was my hair falling out, but it was dull, greasy, and completely dead looking. Though my hair began to grow back after I adopted several strategies to heal my Hashimoto’s my hair still lost its previous shine. I felt inclined to spend tons of money on products to try and make my hair look better. I remember getting mousse to make my hair less frizzy and more manageable, tons of dry shampoo to pull out the grease even less than 24 hours after a wash, and shampoo that promised to make my hair shinier. I wasted tons of money on products that didn’t work until I started washing my hair with apple cider vinegar. It’s been seven years and I haven’t looked back!

 

What are the benefits of washing your hair with an apple cider vinegar rinse?

It removes product build up.

First and foremost, I got turned onto washing my hair with ACV because it cleanses and cleans your hair like no other. It basically removes build upon other product in your hair, making it extra shiny, silky, and smooth. No matter how well you wash your hair, you will have product build up. Whether it be

It restores the pH balance of your hair making it easier to manage, and extra shiny.

pH stands for the “power of hydrogen” and represents the relative acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Our skin, hair, and bodies are meant to have a certain pH to remain balanced, but things like toxins, stress, and poor quality food and products harm the natural pH of our hair and skin which makes our hair harder to maintain and manage.

It’s full of vitamins and free of toxins.

With having an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s), MTHFR, and just being a generally health conscious person, I work hard to cut down the toxic burden of my body while nourishing with good, whole foods. Toxins found in makeup, hair care products, and poor quality foods overwork our immune system and harm our bodies in the long run.

Apple cider vinegar is rich in Vitamin C which is nourishing to the hair and skin and free of toxins. It’s made from real, whole food prepared in a traditional manner and is far healthier for our bodies and the environment than toxin-laden hair care products.

It’s cheap and easy!

A bottle of apple cider vinegar will run you less than $7 and has multiple other uses. In my beauty maven days, I couldn’t get away with spending less than $30 minimum on hair products. So for less than $7, and a DIY that only includes two ingredients? Sign me up.

It makes your hair last longer between washes.

Because it removes product build up from your hair, expect to have your hair last longer between washes.

It makes your hair look and feel amazing!

Not only can I feel the difference after using apple cider vinegar in my hair, but I can see the difference. It’s shinier, smoother, less frizzy, and much easier to manage. Whenever I’m having a couple of bad hair days, I always use an apple cider vinegar hair rinse as my secret weapon.

My Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Before and After Pictures

 My Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Wash Routine

Even after just one wash, my hair is shinier, much less dull and more lively looking.

 My Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Wash Routine

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Instructions

Ingredients

16 oz of purified water

2 Tbsp of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  1. First, start with good quality Apple Cider Vinegar. I always use Bragg’s! You can get it at your local health food store, or online.
  2. Next, fill a glass with warm, purified water. Pay attention to temperature here… remember this is going on your head! Then, add two tablespoons of ACV. Stir to combine.
  3. Take the glass into the shower and set it to the side. Go along with your normal shampoo routine and rinse your hair. Then slowly pour the ACV hair wash onto your head in an attempt to evenly distribute it.
  4. Leave it in your hair for about 2-3 minutes to soak in.
  5. Finally, thoroughly rinse to remove from your hair and you’re done!

How often should you use an apple cider vinegar hair rinse?

Typically, I use this wash once every two weeks and sometimes weekly.

I don’t necessarily recommend it for multiple times a week. First, that’s a lot of ACV to use, and second, if you have dry hair it could potentially dry it out if you use it too often.

I very much enjoy the benefits of my apple cider vinegar hair wash when used in moderation.

 

ACV Hair Rinse Tips and Tricks

For colored hair…

I simply wouldn’t recommend this for regular use for colored hair as it may harm the color. You can try, but no promises here.

For drier hair…

If your hair is naturally dry, try using 1 tbsp of ACV rather than 2 tbsp. You may have to play a bit to find your perfect ratio.

To remove any smell…

You don’t have to use conditioner as the ACV will condition your hair. However, I find that adding a dab of conditioner will really help remove any ACV smell that may linger.

So, that’s all there is to it! Just a few minutes of prep every week to two weeks and you’ve got silky smooth, and healthier hair. Enjoy!

 

This post was originally published on March 14, 2016 and updated in March of 2019.

How I’m Healing My Skin & Acne

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I haven’t talked much about my skin here on the blog. Mostly because there are still so many other things to focus on (gut issues, hashimoto’s, heavy metals, chicken poppers, you know…) but also because I still don’t have it figured out. Part of me wanted to hold back because I didn’t have all of the answers, but here’s the thing… I’ll never have all of the answers. I’ve struggled with my skin and acne since I was 10 years old, and though I don’t have it all figured out, I wanted to use my platform to share encouragement, and what’s working for me.

Skin problems are really hard. It’s so hard to get to the bottom of, and pretty impossible to completely ignore. Our skin is one of the last things to heal in our body, so it takes tons of time to effectively heal it. I am titling this blog post “How I’m Healing” rather than “How I Healed”, because I’m still not there. However, I have made a fair amount of change as of late I wanted to share.

This before and during photo still isn’t easy to share… there’s risk in vulnerability. My skin is still far from perfect. But my health is a journey that is far from over. So here it goes… my before and during on healing my skin…

On the left, you’ll see a particularly bad flare from summer 2017. I was stressed, I was eating too much sugar, and I was trying tons of skincare that was only making my skin worse. It didn’t look like this every day… but it did look like this many times throughout my life. On the right, you’ll see my skin now, in March 2018.

Still not perfect, still healing, but so much improvement! My face is less inflamed, my breakouts have calmed down, and the redness has gone down as well. Oh, and I started getting my eye brows done professionally again rather than kidding myself that I knew how to do them 😉

Before I get into what I did to see these results, let’s start with the basics of acne and my own history…

 

What Really Causes Acne?

 

Food intolerances and gut issues

You had to know that I was bring it back to the gut, right? Our body is made up of what we eat, and if we have an unhealthy diet and an unhealthy gut, that is directly reflected in our skin.

Common foods that cause acne and skin issues more than others are dairy, gluten, poor quality fats, and sugar… just to name a few.

 

Hormone imbalance

Hormonal shifts are one of the most common causes of adult acne. It can cause the pores to get larger, excess oil production, clogged skin, and overall inflammation.

Hormonal imbalance that can contribute to skin issues includes (but isn’t limited to)…

  • PCOS
  • Hashimoto’s and other thyroid issues
  • Estrogen dominance
  • Menopause
  • General imbalanced hormones

 

Stress

Stress is related to all of the above and more. Stress of all kinds (emotional, mental, physical) throws off everything in the body and can easily cause excess acne.

 

Improper Skin Care

How we care for our skin is so important! Not washing off your make up, or neglecting strategies to clean up clogged pores and control excess oil can really be counter productive.

My Acne History

My acne started at about 10-11 years old. That’s almost 17 year that I’ve struggled. I hit puberty fairly early, and my skin flared immediately. I always had acne on my forehead, and it slowly started to migrate down to my cheeks, nose, and eventually my chin.

I tried everything from Proactive, to prescription acne pills, to prescription creams, to just doing nothing at all. No matter what I did, it would still come back. Even now as an adult who eats a good diet, I still struggle from time to time.

It’s isolating, it’s physically painful, and it can really kill your confidence. Clearly, there is so much more to confidence and self worth than your physical appearance. However, inflammation on the outside is a reflection that something isn’t right on the inside… and more than anything, that bothered me so much.

 

What I’m Doing to Heal

 

Continuing with a Healing Diet

If you read my blog regularly and follow me on social media, you’ll know that I eat a mostly Paleo and AIP template to keep myself feeling great with Hashimoto’s. Diet is the first step and so necessary for a health body inside and out.

Here are a few of the most important foods that I focus on…

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Pastured proteins
  • Wild caught fish
  • Healthy fats
  • Bone broth
  • Fruits and starchy vegetables in moderation

 

Limiting Excess Sugar

This is a new development that I was denying for the longest time, but knew was necessary. I was correlating excess sugar with more acne… there was no question about it. I went though a Whole30 in February/ March and noticed a huge difference in my hormonal breakouts. It was one of my first cycles in years that I hadn’t broken out!

When I say excess sugar, I mean things like refined sugar, maple syrup, honey, and excess fruit and starchy carbs. I still eat sweet potato here and there, and enjoy fruit in moderation. Everyone is different here and it takes a lot of work to find your sugar threshold, but I’m still learning!

 

Working on hormone balance

This is an area that I’m still working on with my doctor. I have dealt with estrogen dominance and low progesterone and am slowly working to bring it back into balance. I haven’t retested my levels recently, but I’ve felt improvements for sure. You can read about what I’ve done here. 

Cutting down on stress

This is probably my weakest point. Guys… I’m a workaholic. I loveeeeeee what I do, but I can do too much sometimes. I have to force myself to shut off and step away from work or I will truly work 7 days a week, until 10 PM. I grew up in a family where this was the norm, and I fully admit that I am harming myself when I do this. However, it is so crucial to having a healthy mind and body.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to cut down on stress more…

  • I take more walks.
  • I have cuddle sessions with my cat (seriously, pets relax me a ton)
  • I hired a contractor to help with some Unbound Wellness work! Well, a podcast editor, but it saves me so much stress!! Our editor rocks.
  • I pray outloud. Conversations with God help so much.

Cleaning up my skin care

I’ll admit it… I’ve never been great about skincare. The problem is that so many products only made me worse! My skin was better off sometimes without cleansers and oil control solutions from the drug store that just made me break out more.

It hasn’t been until fairly recently when I decided to get serious about finding products that are safer, and don’t make my skin worse!  Here are my current favorites…

Cleansing oil from primally pure. I use this every morning and it really starts my day off on the right foot! It controls the amount of oil on my face and leaves it feeling soft and clean. At night I use the BeautyCounter cleansing balm that also helps remove makeup, but I love both of these so much!

BeautyCounter Charcoal Mask. I’ve been using this mask for years, and it really helps! I’ve gotten more serious about using it 1-2x a week, and I’m seeing the difference. Charcoal helps remove impurities and this mask is also great for spot treatment. When I have acne inevitably pop up, I use this as an over night treatment and it calms down even my most stubborn spots.

BeautyCounter Toner Pads. These are everything that I wanted proactive to be when I was 15. These toner pads help supply antioxidants, and control acne. I use them twice a day and cut them in half it get more bang for my buck!

BeautyCounter Balancing Facial Oil. This stuff is a game changer. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. It’s amazing for oily skin and moisturizes without adding excess oil. It’s made for those struggling with balancing their skin, and it does such an amazing job. I love how my skin looks when I use this!! I apply 3-4 drops in the morning and night after applying the toner.

Clay masks. I use the charcoal mask more often than this, but this is also a great option to clean out clogged pores!

Collagen peptides. I’ve been using this for a while, but I do really feel like it helps my skin! I take it a few times a week… not daily, but everyone is different.

I really believe in the mission of Beautycounter and am so grateful for what it’s done for me on this journey. I have a special deal for my readers that ends March 20th! Here are the details of my free gifts…

  • With any Beautycounter purchase here you’ll recieve my new e-book, “Healing Beauty Food Recipes: 5 Real Food Recipes For Health Inside & Out” for free 
  • A free charcoal bar and two collagen peptide sticks with minimum purchase of $125 (before tax & shipping) here.

 

Healing my skin is a journey that I’m still on. Like I said, the skin is the last thing to heal and it can be extremely volatile. Regardless, I’m so happy with my recent results, and I look forward to sharing more tips!

Do you struggle with acne and found something that works for you? Let me know in the comments!!

 

How To Plan Food & Health Blog Content Like A Boss

I know the struggles of writers block. Of sitting down in from of the computer knowing that your heart is calling you to share itself with the world, but your brain just isn’t firing. You have no idea what to write about, or when to write it. You see others sending out newsletters filled with several posts a week and wonder, “How the heck do they get it done?! Where do all of those ideas come from?”. That was me a few years ago… before I started planning out my content.

When I first started blogging, I was working full time, consulting part time, planning a wedding, and was going back to school to become an NTP… not exactly chill. Regardless of how busy I was, I knew that blogging was what I wanted to do, so I made time for it. The problem was that time was scattered all over the place. It wasn’t pre-planned, it wasn’t organized, and it showed in my content. Fast forward two and a half years later, and I almost make as much from my blog as I did from my full-time job. There are a lot of layers within that, but planning out my blog content ahead of time has completely transformed the way I blog. 

First, How Do You Know What the Heck To Write?

This is probably the biggest question within blogging. What do you even write? Here are some fool proof methods that I use to keep my blog content fresh…

 

Write with the Seasons

This is always the first priority. Does your content even make sense for the season that it’s in? Are you writing about ice-cream in the winter or soup in the summer?

Keep an eye on major holidays and back your content up at least 2-3 weeks ahead of time. You can’t post a Christmas recipe on December 23rd and expect it to go viral. You need to give it enough time to get out there, get social shares, and give time for people to plan. For example, I posted my cranberry turkey poppers which were a Thanksgiving recipe on November 5th. That gave it enough time to get around 15K repins throughout the holiday season, rather than posting it the week of Thanksgiving.

What Questions Are People Asking You? Answer Them In Blog Posts!

As someone with Hashimoto’s disease, I get tons of questions about it. One specific question was about thyroid medication. Everyone wanted to know about thyroid medication! Rather than typing out the same email 50 times, and making my readers do way too much work to find answers, I turned it into a blog post. Now, I can just forward it along, or readers can find it in my blog archives.

Whenever I feel stumped on what to write about, I go through my inbox and look for patterns of what everyone is asking. I almost always have ideas after that!

Keyword Research

This is a bit more sophisticated, and the next level of the previous step. It requires going beyond just what people are asking you, and looking at what they’re asking Google.

One of my favorite tools to get into this is just Google autocomplete! Type in something like “instant pot recipes” and you’ll see at the bottom of the page the suggested terms that relate to what you searched, such as “paleo instant pot recipes”, “pot roast instant pot recipes”, etc. This is a really easy way to get some ideas about what people are searching.

Another helpful tool is called Google Keyword Planner, which I got very familiar with working professionally with Google AdWords. This helps you see search volume for certain terms. You can also do this with more expensive, sophisticated tools like SEM rush, or Moz. As someone with a digital marketing background, I got a bit more training in this than most do, and I’m about to go to a 3 day conference on it in March again, so don’t overwhelm yourself with this step all at once.

What’s Trending? How Can You Put Your Own Spin On It?

Look around… what is everyone in your nice talking about? Turmeric? Collagen? Meal Prep? Whole30? In my niche of holistic wellness, it’s all of the above! I always keep my eyes open for hot topics and think of how I can put my own spin on them.

This method is how I wrote some of my most popular blog posts, such as…

 

How Do You Organize It?

Keep A Content Calendar

This is the single most important piece of the puzzle! Keep a master calendar that keeps you on track for at least a month ahead. I plan up to 6 months ahead at a time, but you want to be able to plan enough to make sure that you’re staying ahead of holidays, and have time to squeeze in last minute write ins.

For my content calendar, I just use google sheets! It’s free, and it’s easy to customize. You can also use something like excel, but I love being able to access my calendar from my phone or computer since it’s stored on the cloud. I keep separate sheets for the different seasons and have one column with the dates, and another with the corresponding post titles. Easy to follow, and easy to plan!

 

Keep A Detailed To Do List

Now that you’ve planned your posts, you have to actually get it done. You have to go shopping for supplies, take photos, write, edit, and promote it. I keep detailed to do lists to make sure that all of my content planning stays organized and on track.

However, it’s not all about making a to-do list the day of. Rather, writing out the steps that you need to do in advance to make a post happen. My favorite tool that I’ve been using for year for this is my Day Designer! It’s a paper planner that has pages day by day to make space for hourly appointments, and daily to do lists!

So, let’s say that I plan to post a muffin recipe on March 26th. I write in Day Designer to do list to shop for ingredients on March 11th, take photos on March 12th, and write and edit photos on March 15th. That way, I plan for each step to make sure it all gets done, and that it gets done ahead of time!

I’m on my fourth Day Designer, and it’s by far my favorite tool for staying organized and planning ahead.

 

I hope these tips were helpful! Let me know if the comments if you have any tips for planning content that you love.

Living With a Non-Paleo or AIP Spouse

If you’ve read my blog for a while and watch my Instagram stories, you’ll know that I’m happily married to a wonderful man who supports me, inspires me, and grows with me everyday. However, he is not Paleo or AIP… at all. When I met Daniel over 4 years ago, he was surviving off of prepackaged hardboiled eggs, spaghetti, frozen lasagna and all of your typical bachelor food. When we got married, it was an adjustment to learn how to live a balanced life for both of us being on such different diets. How do you like with a non-paleo or AIP spouse when you’re so committed to your own diet?

I want to point out that my husband still values healthy food. He’s happy when I feed him vegetables and healthier treats… but that doesn’t mean that he also doesn’t want to eat nachos and pizza! He comes from a family with fairly minimal health problems and has he just does’t notice any negative effects of eating junk food every once and while.

So, how do we balance spending time together, eating out, and eating at home on different diets?

 

1.Educate your spouse on why your diet matters for your health and wellbeing

 

When Daniel and I first started dating, I was mostly gluten free, and 100% nightshade free. I really explained to him why it mattered. I told him what gluten and nightshades did to my body, where you could find it, and how it would impact my mood and health negatively if I ate any.

Then, when I went grain free and AIP, I actually asked him to read Omnivores Dilema with me that discusses corn and soy in great detail to allow him to get a solid understanding of why I was cutting them out.

Yes, it took some time for him to really understand. Yes, we had some disagreements on some details. But at the end of the day, love requires wanting what’s best for your partner. After educating my husband on why it was important for my health and wellbeing, he was much more on board with supporting me and advocating me.

 

2. Remember that they can still support you without being compliant with your diet

 

One of the biggest misconceptions that I hear is that in order to be supportive of someone, you have to do the same diet they’re doing 100%. That’s not necessarily the case.

Don’t pressure your spouse or significant other into compliance if it just doesn’t work. Ask for support in other ways!

My husband still shows support by trying my compliant recipes, making himself dinner sometimes when I don’t want to handle certain ingredients that he wants, and advocating for me in social situations. He’s always the first one to speak up if someone is trying to convince me to eat nightshades, or if they don’t understand my requests.

I am beyond grateful for how supportive my husband is. It’s one of the strongest parts of our relationship! And it doesn’t have to require him going totally gluten free 😉

 

3. Define clear cross contamination rules

 

My husband and I have clear rules of what can and cannot come into the house. For example, dairy isn’t detrimental to my health, so he still eats tons of cheese. However, I just ask him to be thorough with cleaning up after using cheese. Where as, nightshades are much more an issue for me, and these rarely come into the house.

Daniel knows what’s okay for me to have around, and what isn’t, and I’ve educated on how to handle certain cross contamination risks like double dipping in sauces, washing silverware thoroughly, and so forth.

That doesn’t mean that my husband is nightshade free or gluten free. He still enjoys these foods while eating out or on rare occasions, but setting the ground rules for eliminating cross contamination risks saves a lot of headaches and arguments in the future.

 

4. Find compliant meals that you both love

 

Just because your significant other isn’t paleo or AIP doesn’t mean that they still can’t enjoy compliant meals! My husband and I have several favorites that we share.

Here are some great ideas for foods that you can share…

 

 

5. Use the “layering method” for meals that you share

 

One of my favorite strategies for sharing meals is the layering method. Essentially, you start with a basic meal that’s compliant for your diet, and layer on extras that your significant other will enjoy. For example, making my Instant Pot Chili and adding on good quality chips and cheese for my husband.

My husband and I do this often with a myriad of different meals, and we’re always happy with the outcome!

 

7. Shop for better quality versions of their favorites

 

Daniel may not be paleo or AIP, but that doesn’t mean that he has to eat junk! Regardless of what you spouse chooses to eat, I still always advocate for getting better quality versions to ensure that everyone stays healthy.

Here are some favorites that I like to get for Daniel…

  • Primal kitchen mayo
  • Rice pasta
  • Jackson honest tortillas chips
  • Siete tortillas
  • Sourdough or sprouted bread (I’m fine with some occasional gluten in the house as long as he’s careful)
  • Coconut milk ice cream
  • Simple mills crackers
  • Grass-fed cheese and milk

 

8. Explore ways to spend time together that don’t revolve around food

 

Though going out to dinner together is fun, it’s not always necessary for spending time together! Daniel and I focus on spending time together in more ways than just eating out.

Here are some of our favorites…

  • Going to the movies (and bringing my own snacks)
  • Having movie night at home with a shared meal
  • Hiking
  • Shopping
  • Bowling
  • etc.

 

I know that relationships are hard in a myriad of different capacities, but I hope these tips helped on the food front!