All posts by under20carbs

Mint

What exactly is it good for? Well, it is a well known fact that it helps with digestive problems, abdominal pains or nousea. But what else?

Mint has been used in herbal medicines since the begining of time. In medieval times, it was used for headaches and until now is widely popular treatment  with calming effects or antibacterial agent.

MINT TEA is great for gastritis and helps with problems caused by the irritable bowel movement. Mint leaves aid relaxation of divestive muscles, therefore it is used  to lessen bloating or constipation. It is recommended to drink mint tea after having heavy meals or meals causing gas. People, children included, who suffer from digestive problems should drink mint tea (preferably made with fresh mint leaves) at least 3 times a day. Other uses for the tea include muscle aches or joint pain. In that case, professionals recommend 1TBSP of mint tea brewed in half cup of water and drunk 2-4 times a day. In this case, mint tea can be substituted with mint oil, as well.

MINT ESSENTIAL OIL is great for healing throat, chronic caugh or breathing issues. in thsi case, it is recommended to use essential oil vaporizer for inhalation purposes. Add few drops of mint oil into the water and inhale the vapors for 3-5 minutes. It eases the symptoms.

COSMETIC USES for mint are many. The smell of mint is very invigorating. In addition to that, mint oil or menthol has a cooling effect so it ofted added to many summer-time products. Menthol oil is, also, added to many foot care creams and balms because of its antibacterial properties.

As you can see, the uses are countless and I probably didn’t mention many. If you know of some, do add them in comments. I am sure some readers will appreciate your feedback.

 

 

Healthy Keto

Ketogenic diet can be as costly as it is restrictive. However, well worth all its sacrifices. After all, after switching to keto you will notice its so many benefits – such as: your improved health, your well being, your body’s ability to regenerate, its  muscle mass protective properties and loss of stuborn fat. In order to reap all these benefits, you must carefully plan out what you will eat.

I believe that the most important part of this diet goes beyond just eating fat. When you first learn about this diet, you hear of how you can eat ALL THE FAT IN THE WORLD –  bacon, sausages, cheeses, burgers. Even if they are top quality and you are huge fan of those foods, it may get boring after a while. So let me tell you a bit more about how to balance out your HEALTHY keto diet.

Fat sources:

  • saturated fats – animal fats (chicken tighs, bacon, lard, steak), coconut oil ( loaded with MCTs), dairy (not for everyone as it can be inflammatory)
  • monosaturated fats – olive oil, olives, nuts
  • polysaturated fats – omega 3 (supplements), fish, flax oil, chia seeds, avocado, sesame seeds, eggs

It is highly recommended that you supplement with the omega-3’s  because they support so many functions of your body. My personal research shows that krill omega oils are best and purest form of this supplement. Your daily dose should be about 1-2 grams of these fatty acids.

Next thing to pay attention to is where you get your flax oil. Because of its unsaturated fatty acids content, this oil is very sensitive to temperature, light and other aspects that may oxygenate it and ruin its nutritional benefits. Never buy flax seed oil that is kept on a store shelf at the room temperature. Try to buy only refrigerated variety. Because this oil is so unstable, many times, it may be better to resort to flax seeds instead. Note that even the seeds loose their nutritional properties when exposed to high temperatures.

Now, lets talk about eggs. Did you know that hard boiling the eggs converts the rich omega 3’s found in soft yolk into transfats by oxidizing the cholesterol? I bet you didnt know that. Hard boiled eggs are no better than fast food. And yes, you may have them once in a while ( I love deviled eggs, too), but keep it in mind and don’t overdo it 🙂 Another thing to wach out for is the dark film around the yolk when hard boiled. A greenish-gray ring may appear around a hard-cooked egg yolk. It’s caused by a chemical reaction involving sulfur (from the egg white) and iron (from the egg yolk), which naturally react to form ferrous sulfide at the surface of the yolk. It is important to remember that egg yolks should not be exposed to high cooking temperatures for longer than 2-3 minutes  if you want them to remain nutritious and get teh most health benefits out of them.

Protein sources:

  • animal proteins – beef, pork, veal, lamb, paultry, sausages, bacon etc.
  • dairy – cheese

It is best to use meat from known sources. Organic, free range or grass fed, grown with no GMOs are best types of meat. Did you know that Turkey and beef are a great source of the L-carnitine? Now, you do! L-carnitine helps your body to transport and use fats.  Don’t be afraid to reach for the chunks of meat with the most fat – in this diet, it is actually recommended.

I am not a big fan of protein powders. They can be useful sometimes and I do own some, BUT do not make them your primary source. EAT REAL FOOD.

Carbohydrate sources:

  • fiber – broccoli, spinach, etc
  • dark green and low carb veggies – kale, tomatoes, couliflower, etc
  • fruits – berries but never more than 10g a day

Eliminating fruits in your diet is very important, but you may add some berries here and there as an occasional treat.

Consumption of carbs, in general, must be carefully watched – even vegetables. Use apps like MyFitnessPal to keeo an eye on your daily intake. They should even be eliminated until you reach the state of being keto adapted. Carbs can hide in some foods (ex. nuts) so always read labels and check all of your food’s nutritional value. *Even eggs have carbs 🙂

 

 

 

 

Basic Keto Shopping List

If you are new to ketogenic diet, going grocery shopping may be quite confusing. Trust me – it does get easier with time! Anyhow, I wanted to help you create a basic keto shopping list. Here are your options:

Fats:

  • butter
  • ghee
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • lard

Meats & Fish:

  • pork belly
  • bacon
  • salmon
  • tuna
  • ground pork or beef
  • ribs
  • steak (fatty)
  • chicken with skin
  • brisket
  • deli cold cuts
  • sausages
  • dry sausages (exaample: salami)

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • zucchini (faux spagetti or pancakes?)
  • tomatoes
  • cabbage (or sauerkraut)
  • peppers
  • scallion (or onion)
  • garlic
  • mushrooms (try varieties you never had)
  • avocados
  • kale or lettuce
  • olives
  • berries (in small quantities
  • herbs and spices

Dairy & Such:

  • heavy cream
  • sour cream
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • mayo
  • unsweetened non dairy  milk (almond, macadamia, flax)
  • dressings (blue cheese and ceasar are best)

Non starchy substitutes:

  • shirataki noodles or rice
  • coconut or almond flour

Beverages:

  • water (including carbonated and mineral)
  • coffee (varieties of brewed or beans – unsweetened)
  • teas (unsweetened or tea bags)

Snacking:

  • nuts (pili, brasil, pecans and macadamia are best)
  • sugar free jello

 

TIPS:

  • stay away from soybean and canola oils
  • try to not drink diet sodas or use sweetners
  • if you must use a sweetener – go for the PURE monk fruit
  • try to purchase produce where fat has higher content than proteins (it helps balance out the macros)

Having A Hard Time Getting Into Ketosis? 

These are most common reasons why you can’t get into ketosis: 

  1. You are eating too much protein – Eating too much protein on a low carb diet plan will cause the liver to convert the amino acids found in protein into sugar.
  2. You are eating too much unsaturated fat – Unsaturated fat is found in high amounts in nuts, seeds, oily fish, and vegetable oils such as sunflower, soya and olive oil, as well as vegetable oil-based soft spreads. Omega-3 and -6 are unsaturated fats. These can be added once you get keto adapted.
  3. You are eating too many carbs – to become keto adapted you must drastically limit the consumption of carbs. These can easily sneak up on you in a form of even low carb veggies. Again, you can get back to eating these once you get keto adapted. 
  4. Your cortisol level is too high – cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, can be elevated by too intense workouts, late training, lack of sleep, jet lag. You have to make sure you are well rested and relaxed as too much of this hormone creates sugar spikes and keeps you from entering the state of ketosis. 
  5. Your food allergies – sometimes you may not even realize that you are consuming foods that don’t agree with your body. Food allergies may cause stress on your body or inflammation which will cause some problems with getting into the state of ketosis. You may want to stay away from highly refined foods, dairy products, sweeteners or sugar alcohols. 

Got Kicked Out Of The Ketosis?

It happens… and now what?

When you are not in the state of ketosis, your body stores about 2000 calories as glycogen for immidiate use for energy. In order to get back quickly into ketosis follow these directions that works best when used by those who are already keto adapted:

1. fast lasting for at least 36hrs

2. try high intensity workout (HIIT works best)

3. use exogenous ketones and or MCT oil

If you were not keto adapted, doing it the traditional way – slow and steady – works best.