What Everybody Needs to Know About Coconut Oil

virgin coconut oil from the Seychelles
By Louise Pool
Living on a tropical island, I am lucky to have a large supply of one of nature's most beneficial foodstuffs. Coconuts have always been a mainstay of the Seychelles diet and once upon a time, long long ago, most people cooked with it as well. Nowadays, it's mostly palm or sunflower oil and I have to admit I, too, am guilty of this. I use coconut oil for frying if I'm making a Kari Koko (coconut curry) as I don't like the taste of it in all foods. It's great for adding to smoothies, yoghurt and puddings, though. (The picture on the left is a bottle of coconut oil sold for massage purposes, but coconut oil is coconut oil...)

Coconut oil is a food, and is one of the best cooking oils you can use. Unlike most vegetable oils, coconut oil's chemical structure is kept intact even when used in higher cooking temperatures and is therefore resistant to mutations of fatty acid chains. Research shows that the fatty acids found in coconut oil raise the body's metabolism, boost the immune system, and help provide greater energy which can also lead to weight loss.

Hoop Earring Madness

Handmade black stone and white seaglass hoop earrings
Hoop earrings are all the trend for summer 2013. I don't usually like hoop earrings, but this year they're not just the plain Creoles, so I though I'd have a go at designing some that I like. These large hoop earrings are not the usual run of the mill plain hoops; I've used semi precious stones and my favourite material, seaglass. As usual, each piece is one of a kind and makes a statement.

I haven't uploaded them to the shop yet, but feel free to get in touch if you're interested in buying a pair (or two). They are all the same price: Euros 17 or SCR 250.

10 Reasons to be Beside the Seaside

10 Health Benefits of a Seaside VacationFor most of us, images of clear blue skies and turquoise tropical oceans conjure up fantasies of ultimate relaxation and well-being. Some of us, including yours truly, are lucky enough to live it.

It’s not just clever advertising. Nor is it just our atavistic urge to return to the ocean whence we came from. There are actual health benefits from being near the sea. Seawater and sea air are good for both our bodies and our souls.

Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe

homemade ginger ale on the rocks
By Louise Pool
Ginger is one thing we have an abundance of here. I've always chewed on ginger if I had a headache or was feeling slightly nauseous (think Cat Cocos in August), but recently started making my own ginger ale as a more pleasant and refreshing alternative painkiller. It works better than paracetamol and will save you hours of waiting at the clinic.
Of course, aside from the medicinal effects, it's also a refreshing drink to be enjoyed anytime. This homemade version tastes a lot better than commercial ginger ale and has the advantage of using fresh ingredients and probably less sugar than the pre-bottled variety. Everybody who has tasted it is addicted...

New Necklaces with Seaglass and Semiprecious Stones at 20% Discount for Facebook Page Likers

Seychelles Earth statement necklace detail
I'm back to incorporating seaglass into my work. This time 'round I've been mixing semiprecious stones with my beloved mermaid's tears.

Take a look and let me know what you think. (I've uploaded these to my Dawanda shop, but, if you're interested in buying in rupees, just send me an email or leave a comment.
I've called this first statement necklace Seychelles Earth. The green stones are malachite, the black is dyed stone and the seaglass pendant is hanging on a leather cord.  The necklace is princess length (ca. 45 cm) and hangs nicely just below the collarbone.

Get High on Life the Bollywood Way

get high on life by dancingThere's been a lot of anti Indian sentiment on the islands in the last couple of years. Yet, our cinemas are owned by a (local) Indian company and whenever there's a Bollywood movie on I see a lot of locals standing in the queue. The fact of the matter is, there are plenty of similarities to our island way of getting high on life.

Bollywood movies are definitely my drug of choice and have the additional advantage that you're not going to have the National Drug Enforcement Agency knocking at your door.
The Indian sub-continent has blessed us not only with yoga and the Bhagavad Vita, but has given us another path to enlightenment: Bollywood movies.

A True Islander Lives in the Moment

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
I grew up with this little wooden placard hanging in our kitchen. These words of wisdom accompanied us from Japan to Switzerland and, when my mother recently moved back to the Seychelles, she brought the sign with her and hung it up in the kitchen. The strange thing is, although she is a Seychelloise (in other words, an islander), she never embraced the insight; my mother is a worrier. Big time. This is the woman who stayed awake chain smoking all night worrying about the next day and still does (worry AND chainsmoke).

Strawberry Coconut Smoothie Recipe

strawberry coconut smoothie
I love strawberries! Much as I enjoy tropical fruit, I occasionally get a craving for summer fruit especially strawberries. The little local shops stock apple and oranges (strangely, no tropical fruit) and once in a while you can find a half rotting basket of unripe strawberries next to the mouldy packet of mushrooms.

A couple of years ago, frozen strawberries started appearing in the shops. Not regularly, but once in a while and they taste heavenly... They aren't much good for strawberries and cream, as they go mushy as soon as they are defrosted, but are great for use in cooking and, straight from the freezer, in smoothies.

7 Absolutely Gorgeous Hammocks to Inspire You to Chill Out

hammock on beach under palms

There are few things better in life than chilling in a hammock with some good music or, even better, the sound of waves in the background. Here are 7 of my favourite hammocks to inspire you to decorate your own space...

Why I Love Beachcombing

North East Point Beach, Mahe, Seychelles
By Louise Pool
I live right next to the beach. (Yes, this is the post designed to inspire envy amongst all you inland folks.)

All that separates me from the seaboard is a not too busy "main" road, so on most days I can be found wandering the shoreline at some point during the day. Once in a blue moon (I'm aiming for more often) I'll be out at 6 am, walking briskly alongside the beach before stopping to watch the sunrise. Mostly, though, I venture out towards the evening to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes: beachcombing.

A mini holiday at home

Mini vacation at homeLiving near the beach in a holiday resort, I often pretend I'm a tourist and go on a mini holiday. I usually take a book with me, some sun tan oil (which I never use otherwise), a colourful pareo and go plonk myself in one of the sunloungers at a hotel. It's lovely to while away the afternoon sipping (sometimes laced) coconut water and going for occasional dips to cool off. The people I meet invariably think I'm on holiday as well and I've struck up some really good conversations and met many interesting people from all walks of life.


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