Tag Archives: tips

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

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. 

Cooking Tips

Here are my favorite and most utilized cooking tips:

  • to add more fat to your dishes, consider using more oil, butter, cream cheese, heavy whipped cream or serve it with mayo
  • to thicken shakes without using protein powders, use cream cheese
  • to whip egg whites until stiff – add a bit of salt to the whites before whipping AND make sure there is NO YOLK present in the mixture.
  • to make sure the mushrooms keep their nutrients, just rinse them under water before cooking (instead of soaking them)
  • if your tomato is too soft to slice it with ease (and without falling apart), soak in the water with added ice cubes (for few minutes prior to cutting)
  • if you are experiencing too much splashing during frying, add some salt to oil and the problem should be fixed
  • if you dont want your cucumbers to be bitter, make sure to start peeling the skin from the lighter colored end of the vegetable
  • if you forgot to put the cheese back into the fridge after using it and it got hard, just soak it in milk for few hours. it will be as good as new
  • to make sure the fish smells and tastes great, defrost it by soaking it in milk instead of water
  • to add aroma to the coffee (beans/ground) that has been left open for too long, put a dark chocolate square inside and leave it there for at least 2 days
  • if your avocado is hard and not ready to eat, just put it inside a brown bag for a day or 2 and it will ripe faster. Also, make sure to always leave the kernel inside the unused portion of avocado, so it doesn’t turn dark
  • to reduce the heat of any spicy foods, add dairy to it – example: heavy cream. If you eat something too spicy, just follow it with milk or cream and it will make it all better
  • if you want to avoid yellowing of the cauliflower (when you freeze it), first soak it in the water with lemon
  • to remove the tomato skin, run it under boiling water and proceed. it will come off supoer easily
  • to keep all the nutrients (and juices) while cutting scallion or green onions, use scissors and cut it straight into the food you are preparing
  • to keep your lettuce crisp in your salad, wash it and dry it first. You may also use the salad spinner.
  • do not add salt to the salad before serving, so it doesn’t let the water out and welt
  • to bread your meat keto friendly way,  use crumbled pork rinds instead of bread crumbs
  • to remove the unpleasant smell of fish or garlic from your hands, use some lemon to wash it off
  • to remove moisture from salt shaker (so it doesnt clump together), add some rice to it. It absorbs the moisture.
  • if you want to avoid burning of skewers during the grilling process, first soak them in water for a while
  • make sure to store all oils in dark cool place so they last longer and remain flavorful
  • if you have unused garlic cloves, preserve them in oil. They will last longer and you will end up with a flavorful cooking oil at the same time