How the Keto Diet—Even Without Exercise—Slays the Opposition

Myths die hard—especially bad ones, it seems. In the last few months I’ve attended fitness classes in which the instructor told us that if we finish the upcoming workout, we’re allowed to eat whatever we want that night; that this class will take care of the holiday weekend; that this exercise will eradicate flabby arms and tummies. Some were expressed jokingly, yet the verbiage still points to an overarching misunderstanding about our bodies: that exercise cures the ravages of bad dietary habits. 

This is especially true in terms of obesity. There are very fit people who appear to be carrying a few extra pounds, while there are tons of trim people who are hardly healthy at all. Weight is generally a terrible marker for fitness—no excuse for not staying in shape, however. Humans are biologically designed for movement. When we don’t meet a basic threshold, we suffer.

How exercise and nutrition fit into the jigsaw puzzle called health is debatable. I’ve heard it expressed as 75 percent nutrition, 25 percent exercise, a vague statistic I’ve used myself when students ask my opinion. It’s not necessarily a precise number, but it does give more weight to the food side, which is the point. My forty-five minute kettlebell class is not going to “erase” the pizza and six-pack you consumed last night.

Which is why researchers need to better understand ratios, such as an upcoming study—’Induced and Controlled Dietary Ketosis as a Regulator of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome Pathologies’—to be pushed in the journal, Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. The results are fascinating. 

Ketogenic diets are all the rage right now. The onslaught of ketone-fueled protein powders and exogenous ketones has begun, which might prove to be more marketing hype than credible science. (Nutritional ketosis is the gold standard. Pills and powder might help jumpstart the process, but they are no excuse for overloading on carbs.) 

Keto food pyramid shutterstock

Taking advantage of our evolving knowledge of carbohydrate restriction, the research team, led by Madeline Gibas, an assistant professor at Bethel University focused on Human Bioenergetics and Applied Health Science, wanted to know if a ketogenic diet with no exercise was more beneficial to diabetics and sufferers of metabolic syndrome than the standard American diet with exercise. 

Three groups were assembled, comprised of women and men between the ages of 18 and 65. All had previously been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, or Type II diabetes. Their body mass index (BMI) was greater than or equal to 25 (or waist circumference above 37 for men and 31.5 for women) and body fat percentage above 30 percent. 

Participants were randomly assigned to three groups, in the order they signed up for the study. For ten weeks the first group consumed a diet of less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day and did not exercise; the second ate their normal diet and also did not exercise; the third ate their normal diet but exercised for three to five days per week for 30 minutes a session. 

Gibas and her research partner, Kelly J. Gibas, Doctor of Clinical Behavior Sciences at Bristlecone Behavior Health in Maple Grove, Minnesota, focused on five biomarkers of metabolic syndrome, including “elevated triglycerides with excess muscle fat accumulation (IMTG), impaired maximal aerobic capacity (VO2), declined resting metabolic rate (RMR) and elevated body mass index (BMI) along with elevated hemoglobin.”

After ten weeks the data were clear: 

The results show that while ample evidence indicates that exercise is beneficial, unlike a sustained ketogenic diet it did not have the ability to significantly alter the metabolic imbalance that accompanies metabolic syndrome over the course of the ten-week study.

Following a ketogenic diet, even with no exercise, proved statistically significant for weight, body fat percentage, BMI, A1C (glycated hemoglobin), and ketones. Some of the results were dramatic: 

The resting metabolic rate in the ketogenic group also produced sizable change in the magnitude of the slope, more than ten times the other two groups.

Ketogenic study Gibas

Fig.1. Illustrates data for all individuals, and groups. Individual data is represented by thin lines; group averages are demonstrated by thick lines. The ketogenic group reflects greater reductions than the exercise and non-exercise groups in weight, BFM, BMI, HgA1c, triglycerides and greater increases in the RMR and ketones, as predicted. (Source: Madeline K. Gibas, Kelly J. Gibas, Bethel University, MN, United States)

 

The drastic influx of carbohydrates and sugar in the American diet has created innumerable physical and mental diseases that are easily prevented when an addiction to certain foods is curbed. We know overcoming any addiction is challenging, but until the medical industry treats our obesity epidemic as such, we’re unlikely to make major advances. 

So it remains the work of researchers like the Gibases to present such data. In their study they point to 2015 research from 26 MDs and PhDs explaining our evolved awareness of nutrition, facts that still have not been implemented in many doctors’ offices around the nation: 

 1. Carbohydrate restriction has the greatest impact on decreasing blood glucose levels.
2. The benefits of carbohydrate restriction do not require weight loss.
3. Dietary total and saturated fat do not correlate with risk for cardiovascular disease.
4. Dietary carbohydrate restriction is the most effective method (other than starvation) of reducing serum triglycerides and increasing HDL.

Carbohydrate restriction—often in combination with fasting, though the science on how long is up for debate—is a non-pharmaceutical response that could help alter the fact that some 70 percent of our national medical costs could be avoided through better diet. (And yes, exercise does matter.) As the authors conclude:

Physiological ketosis has clinical utility for prevention, reduction and reversal of metabolic syndrome and its progression into obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes and is therefore a noteworthy modality of alternative care.

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD/ADHD

People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.

From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.

True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.

Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:

1. They have an active mind

The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.

2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said

A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place.

3. They have difficulty staying on task

Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.

4. They become anxious easily

As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode.

5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional

If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.

6. They concentrate too intensely

When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean.

7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone

And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen.

8. They are unable to regulate their emotions

For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly.

9. They have verbal outbursts

Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them.

10. They have social anxiety

Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.

11. They are deeply intuitive

For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone.

12. They think out of the box

Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see.

13. They are impatient and fidgety

Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them.

14. They are physically sensitive

Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.

15. They are disorganized

Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner.

16. They need space to pace

When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.

17. They avoid tasks

Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds.

18. They can’t remember simple tasks

Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.

19. They have many tasks going on at the same time

Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites.

20. They are passionate about everything they do

The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.

Basically, a person with ADD/ADHD has trouble controlling their impulses. They also have many awesome qualities that you will enjoy once you understand how they think and feel. Compassion, empathy and patience will carry you through the most difficult times. It’s important to take extra care of yourself; take alone time regularly, do what you enjoy, find a support group, a therapist or a compassionate wise friend, take frequent vacations, meditate, find hobbies and your own passion. Most of all, learn how to breathe.

Some of the greatest inventors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers had ADD/ADHD. They succeeded because they had a loved one just like you supporting them through their daily struggles. Replace your anger with compassion. Realize how they struggle to do what comes easy to you. Think of the ADD brain, as one with electrical wiring in the wrong circuits. Next time you think that they are lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, and avoiding responsibilities; try to remember how hard they have to work extra hard to achieve a simple task.

Yes, ADD/ADHD people are hard to love, but once you understand the burden they are carrying, your heart will open up. Love and compassion will take the place of anger. You will see into their sweet and good soul.

Eat Fat to Burn Fat

There is something you should know about fat… you must eat fat to burn fat. Yes, a spoonful of peanut butter, a ripe avocado, a handful of coconut chips, fresh olives, zesty Italian dressing and sliced almonds are all examples of healthy fats and types of foods that will help maximize your results.
Ever since the crazy “fat free” days of the 1990’s a crucial physiological fact has been forgotten, eating fat is essential for your body to work correctly.
So it’s time to end all this “fat free” nonsense and get back understanding why eating fat is Great for your body.
Let’s start with the two main types of fat, the one considered “bad” and the one considered “good.”
Saturated fat is your “bad fat.” Unsaturated fat is your “good fat.”
Saturated fat is considered “bad” because it raises the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in your blood and can increase your risk of heart disease. But this primarily applies to saturated fat that comes from animal based protein, or byproducts of animal protein, like beef, bacon, butter, and cheese. Plant based saturated fat, like coconut oil does not have the same negative effects on your “bad” cholesterol, and coconut oil has been shown to have great additional health benefits.
The reality is this: animal based saturated fat is fine to have as long as it is consumed in moderation. Your goal is consuming less than 15 grams of animal saturated fat per day. But when it comes to plant based saturated fat, you can eat more than 15 grams per day.
Your second type of fat is unsaturated fat, the “good” kind. This type of fat can be split into two types: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Avocados and olive oil are examples of monounsaturated-fat and nuts and seeds are examples of polyunsaturated fat.
Unsaturated fats do not raise your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and may actually help in reducing it. Since these are your “good” fats, I recommended that you use unsaturated fats as your primary fat source in each meal.
Here’s a great visual of the different types of fat:
Eat Fat to Burn Fat
Now since you have a better understanding of the two types of fat, let’s dive into the 4 Reasons You Need to Eat Fat:

Reason 1: Eating fat slows down digestion

Fat inhibits the release of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid, or HCl), which in turn slows down your digestive process. By eating fat with each meal, the digestion of your carbohydrates and protein as well as your fat is slowed, stabilizing your blood sugar more easily.

Reason 2: Eating fat causes you to release stored body fat

When your body recognizes that an essential nutrient’s consumption is being restricted, it will do everything to protect that nutrient. This means that your body will stop releasing stored fat if it senses that none is coming in. This mechanism operates similarly to the way your body behaves when it senses imminent starvation.
Since fat has over twice the energy of protein and carbohydrates, your body will always hold onto its fat in times of restriction or deprivation.
The simple solution is to continuously feed yourself the correct amount of fat per meal. Your body will then continuously release your unwanted stored fat.

Reason 3: Consuming fat is needed to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Fat-soluble vitamins are essential for your body to function optimally. Without fat, these vitamins cannot be absorbed by your body. Non-absorption of these vitamins will create vitamin deficiencies and cause health challenges.

Reason 4: Consuming fats can provide essential fatty acids.

Ninety-five percent of my clients were deficient in omega–3 fatty acids when I began working with them. Within two weeks of adding these essential fats to their diet, clients report noticeable improvements in their hair, skin, and nails. Studies show that omega–3s can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve brain function, and reduce joint pain and inflammation.
Since omega–3 is an essential fatty acid (your body cannot make it), it’s crucial that you get it through food or supplementation. Your body also needs Omega-6 and Omega-9, but you naturally get those through your daily fat intake and when you eat foods like avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds.

15-Minute Instant Pot Orange Chicken

If you’re looking for new ways to get creative with your Instant Pot, try starting off with recipes that don’t require a lot of steps or a lot of ingredients, yet deliver a fast and tasty meal in under 15 minutes.
Like this one, perhaps.
If you’re a huge fan of take-out orange chicken, then you’ll be very pleased with this homemade version that requires very little attention, with a very impressive result.
With it’s sweet and tangy flavor, both kids and adults alike will enjoy this meal! Not only that, but it makes incredible leftovers if you don’t happen to finish the whole dish the first night.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and all it’s weird and wonderful ways, add this recipe to your collection, because it’s surely one you’ll be coming back to, time and time again.

Servings: 4
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 thick chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3/4 cup dark, sweet bbq sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (we used tamari gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions for garnish

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Method

  • Place your raw cubed chicken breasts into the Instant Pot, adding bbq sauce & soy sauce along with it. Give it a quick stir.
  • Making sure the steam valve is turned to “seal”, set the Instant Pot on MANUAL HIGH PRESSURE for 4 minutes.
  • Once finished, do a quick release of pressure by turning the valve to release. Once the steam has finished releasing, carefully remove the lid.
  • Take about 1/4 cup of the sauce from the mixture and add 1tsp of cornstarch, and mix well. Add back into the Instant Pot.
  • Next, add in the orange marmalade. Mix well.
  • Now set the Instant Pot to “Saute” and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the sauce is thickened up.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and let the chicken & sauce rest for about 5 more minutes.
  • Spoon out and serve over rice or vegetables, and top with chopped green onion. Enjoy!

4 Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar On A Keto Diet

Anyone who is interested in natural health knows about apple cider vinegar. This ancient tonic has significant health benefits that can be applied to any lifestyle. With the explosion of the ketogenic diet, people are always looking for ways to improve ketosis to magnify its benefits. In this article, you will discover 4 ways to use apple cider vinegar on a ketogenic diet.
I have covered apple cider vinegar extensively on my website for its versatile benefits. There are 4 ways to use apple cider vinegar that I have found extremely helpful for improving blood sugar stability and supporting ketone production in the body.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

There are many types of vinegar on the market, but in my opinion none of them compare to that derived from apple cider.
This tonic is actually fermented from the juice of apples and contains beneficial enzymes, acetic acid, and other beneficial organic acids that provide amazing health properties.
While other vinegars, such as white distilled or balsamic, may taste good in certain recipes, they simply do not provide the same healthful effects. I recommend buying the unpasteurized, unfiltered form of apple cider vinegar with the mother still intact.

Acetic Acid 

Although apple cider vinegar contains an array of beneficial compounds, acetic acid is one compound that provides many of the benefits.
Acetic acid is a product of the fermentation that converts the sugars in apple cider, first to alcohol, then into acetic acid.
There are several reasons why I think getting more of this organic acid in your life can benefit your ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar 

To be clear, almost anyone can benefit from adding apple cider vinegar into their diet. I have just found these benefits to compliment the ketogenic diet very well.

Improves Blood Sugar Balance 

One of the biggest benefits of a ketogenic diet is that it regulates blood sugar levels. This helps curb insulin resistance and drastically downgrade inflammation in the body.
If you have read many of my articles on the ketogenic diet, you know I am a strong proponent of occasionally cycling out of ketosis by consuming a higher carbohydrate meal (learn why here).
While cycling out of ketosis does have its benefits, consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal can be somewhat inflammatory in nature due to an increase in insulin and temporary burning of sugar for energy.
Apple cider vinegar has actually been shown to help balance this blood sugar response when strategically utilized around meal time. In fact, research has shown that in certain instances, apple cider vinegar was able to reduce the glycemic index of a carbohydrate-rich meal (white bread) from 100 to 64 (1)!
Swap the white bread for a low-glycemic carb source and you have done yourself a huge favor.

May Improve Fat Burning

Ketosis is literally the physiological state of burning (oxidizing) fat for energy within the body. So, by improving your body’s ability to oxidize fat, you will support a state of ketosis. Some research has suggested that apple cider vinegar may actually have a modest boosting effect on fat oxidation in the body. (2, 3)
You may have heard of people losing excess body fat simply by adding apple cider vinegar into their daily routine, in addition to improving blood sugar balance, maybe upregulating fat oxidation is the reason why.

Aids Digestion

A ketogenic diet is higher in fat than what most people are used to. People who are used to digesting primarily carbohydrates and proteins may need some additional support with breaking down their meals.
Apple cider vinegar can improve stomach acid and gallbladder function to help with the digestion of fats.  Additionally, many people are simply not producing enough stomach acid for effective digestion. Adding apple cider vinegar to foods or consuming before meals can help with this.
 

Curbs Carb Cravings

Many people swear by consuming apple cider vinegar or sour foods to ward off sugar cravings. This can be helpful when following a ketogenic diet, especially if you are in the beginning stages or experiencing keto flu symptoms.
One of the main reasons many people get sugar cravings is due to blood sugar imbalance. Because of its blood sugar stabilizing effects, apple cider vinegar may be helpful if you are experiencing sugar cravings on a ketogenic diet.
Typically, these cravings are much stronger at the beginning stages of ketogenic diet because your body is adapting to burning fat.  At this point some people have a temporary span where they ar not producing ketones while having low blood sugar at the same time, leading to sugar cravings.
This benefit can also be derived from citric acid derived from lemons and limes so utilize these three liquids to keep cravings at bay.

Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar 

Considering the benefits mentioned above, you may find it beneficial to add this powerful tonic to your ketogenic diet plan. I personally use it just about every day in one of these 4 ways.

Put On Food

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar on a ketogenic diet is to simply add it to your meals. 1-2 Tbsp goes a long way on meats, veggies, and especiialy on higher carb meals when cycling out of ketosis.
Sometimes when I cycle out of ketosis I like to have rice or quinoa. To cut down the glycemic index of these I will add a splash of apple cider vinegar directly to the cooking liquid. To take it a step further, I love to throw in some grass-fed butter, coconut oil, turmeric, and black pepper to turn this meal into a delicious anti-inflammatory delicacy.
I personally love the way it tastes on a nice grass-fed steak or mixed in with quinoa on a higher carb day. In fact, using apple cider vinegar as a base for marinade is a great way to make your meat very easy to digest, tender, and tasty!

Drink Before Meals

Some people do not like the way apple cider vinegar tastes in their foods or even at all. For these people to still get the benefits, I will recommend mixing 1 Tbsp in 2-4oz of water so it can be downed quickly. Drinking this about 15 minutes before a meal helps promote stomach acidity to improve digestion.
This method will also help stabilize blood sugar if consumed before a higher carbohydrate meal.  This is a simple and effective way to use apple cider vinegar to help balance blood sugar and support the production of ketones.

Mix With Soups & Stews 

In addition to putting apple cider vinegar on your foods, it is actually great for soups and stews as well. Adding in a splash to a beef stew or chicken soup can tang up the flavor a little while also helping pre-metabolize the meal.
The enzymes and acetic acid in there will help to start breaking down the proteins and vegetable fibers to help with digestion and extraction of nutrients.  This is a really great way to use apple cider vinegar on a regular basis.

Morning Primer 

Finally, one of my favorite ways to use apple cider vinegar is as a morning energy tonic. 1-2 Tbsp in an 8oz glass of water or warm cup of bone broth first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day. This is a great way to help prime the kidneys, control microbial balance in the gut, balance the body’s pH, and provide a gentle energy lift.
Most people I work with report feeling a great boost in overall wellbeing when they do this on a regular basis. Try this out daily for two weeks and see how you feel. You can also use apple cider vinegar in this fashion any time you need a pick-me-up.

1-Week Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan Intended To Fight Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Obesity And More

Mounting research suggests nutritional ketosis is the answer to a long list of health problems, starting with obesity. A ketogenic diet changes the metabolic engine of your body from burning carbohydrates/sugars to burning fats. Once changed the metabolic engine, your body is in a state known as ketosis.
The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet invented in the 1920’s for epilepsy patients by Dr. Henry Geyelin. Dr. Geyelin observed improvements not only in seizures but also blood sugar and body fat. The end result is faster weight loss!
Generally speaking, the ideal ratio to go by is:

  • 60-75 percent fat
  • 15-30 percent protein
  • 5-10 percent carbs

Be sure to keep daily net carbohydrates at 20g or less. To calculate your net carbohydrates, simply subtract your grams of fiber from your carbs (Net carbs = carbs – fiber).
However, the keto meal plan below is balanced correctly for the proper ratio so you don’t really have to worry too much to start.
How does ketosis work?
The ketogenic diet belongs is in the family of low-carb diets, so it works through a process that empties your glucose from your body. A standard diet has a tremendous amount of sugar and carbs and therefore has trained the body to use those sources (glucose) as fuel.
With this diet, over time we have depleted the glucose in our system and since we aren’t getting it from our diet anymore our body adapts and switches over to get its fuel from fats. The cool thing is we start to burn the stored fat we have in our body. The state of burning fat in this way is called ketosis.
It is important to understand that not only epilepsy patients benefit from this type of diet. It also has positive effects on diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and even cancer.
Because sugar feeds tumors and encourages the growth of cancer, a diet that does not contain sugar and other carbohydrates can help you to prevent or fight cancer. The normal cells in the body have the ability to use fat for energy, while cancer cells can’t metabolically change so they can’t use fat for energy.
The meal plan below is designed to put your body in ketosis.
Monday

  • Breakfast: Tomato, eggs, and bacon
  • Lunch: Chicken salad with some feta cheese and olive oil
  • Dinner: Cooked asparagus and salmon in butter

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Basil, goat cheese, tomatoes, and eggs
  • Lunch: Mixed almond milk, cocoa butter, milkshake, and peanut butter with stevia
  • Dinner: Meatballs mixed with cheddar cheese and vegetables

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Keto milkshake
  • Lunch: Prawns, olive oil, and avocado salad
  • Dinner: Pork chops with salad, broccoli, and parmesan cheese

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Salsa omelet, spices, onions, peppers, and avocado
  • Lunch: Celery with salsa and guacamole and a handful of nuts
  • Dinner: Stuffed chicken with vegetables and cheese

Friday

  • Breakfast: Tomatoes and cheese omelet
  • Lunch: Previous dinner’s leftovers
  • Dinner: Salad, mushrooms, steak, and eggs

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Vegetable and ham omelet
  • Lunch: A handful of nuts, ham, and cheese
  • Dinner: Cooked spinach, white fish, and eggs on coconut oil

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Eggs with bacon and mushrooms
  • Lunch: Guacamole hamburger and salsa cheese
  • Dinner: Salad, beef steak, and eggs

You should definitely follow the ketogenic diet if you really want to improve your health, fight cancer, weight loss, endurance and performance enhancement!
Here’s a keto-calculator to help you calculate your macros on a ketogenic diet.

17 Early Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are all related to voluntary and involuntary motor function and usually start on one side of the body. Symptoms are mild at first and will progress over time. Some individuals are more affected than others are. Studies have shown that by the time that primary symptoms appear, individuals with Parkinson’s disease will have lost 60% to 80% or more of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Characteristic motor symptoms include the following:

  • Tremors: Trembling in fingers, hands, arms, feet, legs, jaw, or head. Tremors most often occur while the individual is resting, but not while involved in a task. Tremors may worsen when an individual is excited, tired, or stressed.
  • Rigidity: Stiffness of the limbs and trunk, which may increase during movement. Rigidity may produce muscle aches and pain. Loss of fine hand movements can lead to cramped handwriting (micrographia) and may make eating difficult.
  • Bradykinesia: Slowness of voluntary movement. Over time, it may become difficult to initiate movement and to complete movement. Bradykinesia together with stiffness can also affect the facial muscles and result in an expressionless, “mask-like” appearance.
  • Postural instability: Impaired or lost reflexes can make it difficult to adjust posture to maintain balance. Postural instability may lead to falls.
  • Parkinsonian gait: Individuals with more progressive Parkinson’s disease develop a distinctive shuffling walk with a stooped position and a diminished or absent arm swing. It may become difficult to start walking and to make turns. Individuals may freeze in mid-stride and appear to fall forward while walking.

Secondary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
While the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are movement-related, progressive loss of muscle control and continued damage to the brain can lead to secondary symptoms. These vary in severity, and not every individual will experience all of them. Some of the secondary symptoms include:

  • anxiety, insecurity, and stress
  • confusion, memory loss, and dementia (more common in elderly individuals)
  • constipation
  • depression
  • difficulty swallowing and excessive salivation
  • diminished sense of smell
  • increased sweating
  • male erectile dysfunction
  • skin problems
  • slowed, quieter speech, and monotone voice
  • urinary frequency/urgency

How To Figure Out Your Need For Carbohydrates; You Will Become A Fat Burning Beast Guidelines That Work 90% Of The Time

Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in your diet is one of the best ways to lose weight.
It tends to reduce your appetite and cause “automatic” weight loss, without the need for calorie counting or portion control.
This means that you can eat until fullness, feel satisfied and still lose weight.

Why Would You Want to Do Low-Carb?

For the past few decades, the health authorities have recommended that we eat a calorie restricted, low-fat diet.
The problem is that this diet doesn’t really work. Even when people manage to stick to it, they don’t see very good results
An alternative that has been available for a long time is the low-carb diet. This diet restricts your intake of carbohydrates like sugars and starches (breads, pasta, etc.) and replaces them with protein and fat.
Studies show that low-carb diets reduce your appetite and make you eat fewer calories and lose weight pretty much effortlessly, as long as you manage to keep the carbs down
In studies where low-carb and low-fat diets are compared, the researchers need to actively restrict calories in the low-fat groups to make the results comparable, but the low-carb groups still usually win
Low-carb diets also have benefits that go way beyond just weight loss. They lower blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides. They raise HDL (the good) and improve the pattern of LDL (the bad) cholesterol .
Low-carb diets cause more weight loss and improve health much more than the calorie restricted, low-fat diet still recommended by the mainstream. This is pretty much a scientific fact at this point

How to Figure Out Your Need For Carbohydrates

There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a “low carb diet” and what is “low” for one person may not be “low” for the next.
An individual’s optimal carb intake depends on age, gender, body composition, activity levels, personal preference, food culture and current metabolic health.
People who are physically active and have more muscle mass can tolerate a lot more carbs than people who are sedentary. This particularly applies for those who do a lot of high intensity, anaerobic work like lifting weights or sprinting.
Metabolic health is also a very important factor. When people get the metabolic syndrome, become obese or get type II diabetes, the rules change.
People who fall into this category can’t tolerate the same amount of carbs as those who are healthy. Some scientists even refer to these problems as “carbohydrate intolerance.”

Guidelines That Work 90% of The Time

If you simply remove the unhealthiest carb sources from your diet, refined wheat and added sugars, then you’ll be well on your way to improved health.
However, to enjoy the full metabolic benefits of low-carbohydrate diets, you also need to restrict other carb sources.
Even though there is no scientific paper that explains exactly how to match carbohydrate intake to individual needs, I have personally found these guidelines to be very effective.

100-150 Grams per Day

This is more of a “moderate” carbohydrate intake. It is very appropriate for people who are lean, active and simply trying to stay healthy and maintain their weight.
It is very possible to lose weight at this (and any) carb intake, but it may require you to count calories and/or control portions.
Carbs you can eat:

  • All the vegetables you can imagine.
  • Several pieces of fruit per day.
  • Some amount (not a lot) of healthy starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes and healthier grains like rice and oats.

50-100 Grams per Day

This range is great if you want to lose weight effortlessly while allowing for a bit of carbs in the diet. It is also a great maintenance range for people who are carb sensitive.
Carbs you can eat:

  • Plenty of vegetables.
  • Maybe 2-3 pieces of fruit per day.
  • Minimal amounts of starchy carbohydrates.

20-50 Grams per Day

This is where the metabolic benefits really start to kick in. This is the perfect range for people who need to lose weight fast, or are metabolically deranged and have obesity or diabetes.
When eating less than 50 grams per day, your body will get into ketosis, supplying energy for the brain via so-called ketone bodies. This is likely to kill your appetite and cause you to lose weight automatically.
Carbs you can eat:

  • Plenty of low-carb vegetables.
  • Some berries, maybe with whipped cream (yum).
  • Trace carbs from other foods like avocados, nuts and seeds.

Be aware that a low-carb diet is NOT no-carb. There is room for plenty of low-carb vegetables (full list here). Personally I had never eaten as many veggies as when I first started on a low-carb diet.

Important to Experiment

We are all unique and what works for one person may not for the next. It is important to do some self-experimentation and figure out what works for you.
If you have a medical condition then make sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes, because this diet can drastically reduce your need for medication!

BOTTOM LINE:For people who are physically active or want to maintain their weight, a range of 100-150 grams per day may be optimal. For people who have metabolic problems, going under 50 grams per day is a good idea.

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs

A low-carb diet isn’t just about weight loss, it is also supposed to improve your health.
For this reason, it should be based on real, unprocessed foods and healthy carb sources.
So-called “low carb junk foods” are a bad choice.
If you want to improve your health, then choose unprocessed foods: meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, healthy fats and full-fat dairy products.
Choose carbohydrate sources that include fiber. If you prefer a “moderate” carb intake then try to choose unrefined starch sources like potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, rice and other non-gluten grains.
Added sugar and refined wheat are always bad options and should be limited.
For more details on specific foods to eat, check out this detailed low-carb meal plan and sample menu.

BOTTOM LINE:It is very important to choose healthy, fiber-rich carb sources. There is room for plenty of vegetables, even at the lowest end of the carb range.

You Will Become a Fat Burning Beast

Low-carb diets greatly reduce your blood levels of insulin, a hormone that brings the glucose (from the carbs) into cells.
One of the functions of insulin is to store fat. Many experts believe that the reason low-carb diets work so well, is that they reduce your levels of this hormone.
Another thing that insulin does is to tell the kidneys to hoard sodium. This is the reason high-carb diets can cause excess water retention.
When you cut carbs, you reduce insulin and your kidneys start shedding excess water (14, 15).
It is common for people to lose a lot of water weight in the first few days on a low-carb diet, up to 5-10 pounds.
Weight loss will slow down after the first week, but this time the fat will be coming from your fat stores.
One study compared low-carb and low-fat diets and used DEXA scanners (very accurate) to measure body composition. The low-carb dieters lost significant amounts of body fat and gained muscle at the same time
Studies also show that low-carb diets are particularly effective at reducing the fat in your abdominal cavity (belly fat), which is the most dangerous fat of all and highly associated with many diseases (17).
If you’re new to low-carb eating, you will probably need to go through an adaptation phasewhere your body is getting used to burning fat instead of carbs.
This is called the “low-carb flu” and is usually over within a few days. After this initial phase is over, many people report having more energy than before, with no “afternoon dips” in energy that are common on high-carb diets.
Adding more fat and sodium to your diet can help with this.

BOTTOM LINE:It is common to feel suboptimal in the first few days of lowering your carb intake. However, most people feel excellent after this initial adaptation phase.

Take Home Message

If you want to try this out, then I recommend that you try tracking your food intake for a few days to get a “feel” for the amount of carbs you are eating.
My favorite app for this is called Cron-O-Meter. It’s free and easy to use.
Because fiber grams don’t really count as carbohydrates, you can exclude the fiber grams from the total number. Instead, count net carbs (net carbs = total carbs – fiber).
However, one of the great benefits of low-carb diets is that they’re ridiculously simple. You don’t need to track anything if you don’t want to.
Just eat some protein, healthy fats and veggies at every meal. Throw in some nuts, seeds and full-fat dairy products for good measure. Choose unprocessed foods. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

LOW CARB CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CREME BRULEE

LOW CARB CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CREME BRULEE IS RICH, CHOCOLATEY AND DECADENT! NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE THAT THIS DESSERT IS LOW CARB AND LOW IN SUGAR. IT’S OUTSTANDING.

Oh, BOY! You’re going to love me for this Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee recipe. I think it’s the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day. It’s rich and silky just like a chocolate truffle but in custard form.
If you have never known the extreme pleasure of eating a good creme brulee, read below to discover what you are missing and how easy the dessert is to make.

Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee with whipped cream in ramekins on round vintage tray.

WHAT IS CRÈME BRÛLÉE?

Creme brulee is a decadent creamy custard made of heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar. After cooking and chilling, sugar is sprinkled over the custard and browned with the use of a culinary torch or by putting the dessert under the broiler. This contrasting layer of caramelized sugar (brulee meaning burnt) gives creme brulee a nice textural interest as well as adds to the overall flavor.
Upon hearing the words creme brulee, one’s mind may evoke an image of a special dessert once enjoyed at a favorite fine dining establishment. Since our generation has somewhat lost the knowledge and ability to cook from scratch without the use of convenience items, desserts like creme brulee are surrounded by a bit of mystery. I’m happy to tell you that nothing is further than the truth!

LOW CARB CREME BRULEE

Low carb creme brulee is just as easy to make as regular creme brulee. In fact, I enjoy the low carb or sugar free versions more. Erythritol and stevia have become the standard low carb sugar alternatives for low carb recipe blogs nowadays. Because erythritol is not broken down by the body, calories are not absorbed and it doesn’t spike your blood sugar.

Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee with whipped cream on a spoon
Stevia is an extremely concentrated herbal sweetener often used to augment the sweetness of low carb sugar alternatives. Since low carb subs are expensive, reducing the amount in a recipe and adding stevia helps save money. The only difference in using many low carb sweeteners is that they cool upon melting so it may take a few minutes longer for certain things to cook.This Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee recipe is a little higher in carbs than other creme brulee recipes because of the chocolate. I used a good quality high cocoa dark chocolate which did have some sugar in it. I could have used sugar free Lily’s chocolate chips, but the total carbs were much higher and the net carbs the same.Because total carbs are important to watch in a low carb keto diet as well, I opted for Ghirardelli 90%. Because this dessert is very chocolatey and rich in flavor, it can be easily shared. My husband and I each shared a serving with our children, which was kinda nice. This allowed us to have dessert for two nights instead of one!

Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
This low carb chocolate creme brulee is just as rich and creamy as a chocolate truffle. It’s is the ultimate in low carb chocolate desserts. Its so rich, you may have to share!
Servings4 people
Calories605 kcal
Ingredients
Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee
  • 2 cups heavy cream (16 oz)
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup Sukrin :1 (or Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener or Swerve Granulated), divided
  • 3.5 oz Ghirardelli Midnight Reserve Chocolate bar (90% or 86%)
  • 1/2 tsp stevia glycerite
  • 2 tbsp good Brandy (I like V.S.O.P.)
Optional Toppings
  • additional sweetener for sprinkling on top
  • whipped cream
    Instructions
    1. Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack to the middle position. Heat water in a tea kettle until hot, not boiling. Find a pan large enough to fit the 4 ramekins and deep enough to add water half way up the sides of the ramekins. Chop the chocolate into slivers.
    2. Method: Add the yolks and 1 tbsp of the granulated sweetener to a medium bowl. Beat well to completely break up the yolks.
    3. Pour the heavy cream into a small pot and add the remaining granulated sweetener, and stevia glycerite. Place the pot over medium heat and heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until bubbles begin to simmer around the edge of the pot. Turn off the heat and begin pouring the egg yolk into the hot cream mixture – very slowly in a thin stream, while quickly whisking all the while. Add the chopped chocolate and stir to melt and combine. Whisk in the brandy.
    4. Bake: Divide the chocolate truffle creme brulee mixture evenly between 4 ramekins. Place the ramekins into the pan and fill the pan with hot water half way up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the very center of the creme brulee is barely jiggly – about the size of a nickle or a dime.
    5. Cool the chocolate truffle creme brulee in the water bath for an hour before removing to a rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours but overnight is better.
    6. Before serving, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener or Swerve Granulated over the top of each creme brulee. Melt the sweetener with a culinary torch until it caramelizes, turning brown. Alternately, add a dollop of whipped cream to the top. Serve.
    Recipe Notes
    Nutrition Facts
    Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 605Calories from Fat 540
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 60g92%
    Total Carbohydrates 10g3%
    Dietary Fiber 2g8%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How I Learned My 20-Year ‘Toothache’ Was Trigeminal Neuralgia

I had been living with severe teeth, face and head pain for years before getting a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia. At least 20 years. That sounds unrealistic, doesn’t it? How can someone live with such a painful condition for so long without getting a diagnosis? But that happens… not just with trigeminal neuralgia.
I can remember complaining to the dentist about it when I was in my early 20s. Agonizing teeth pain on the right side which came for a while, then left. Sometimes the top teeth, sometimes the bottom teeth. There was no cause found for it. I was told, “Sometimes people just get that and you need to put up with it.”
It was like the worse toothache ever. My face ached with it. It felt like someone was drilling through my teeth up to my eye. And I was told to put up with it.
I saw other dentists. They found no cause either. “Just take some painkillers,” I was told.
Painkillers never helped.
Never.
I was also always complaining to doctors about chronic headaches. Headaches which made my face hurt also on the right side. Painkillers never helped them either. A doctor suggested the headaches were due to the stress of living with chronic back pain due to my scoliosis.
As the years went on, all this pain became worse. I was living with a constant headache, face pain and toothache, all on the right side. Some days the pain was just there, like “background pain,” other days, the pain was unbearably severe and I just wanted to lie in my bed because every movement made it all worse.
I complained about it to every dentist and doctor I saw. I even told opticians!
Nobody was helping me.
Nobody.
“Take some painkillers,” was the standard answer.
When I was 44, I was going through a really bad spell. My teeth were in utter agony. It felt as though someone was pulling them out with a pair pliers. No anesthetic. Just twisting, turning and pulling my teeth with red hot pliers. The right hand side of my face hurt. Stabbing, aching, felt as though I’d been kicked by a horse. My cheekbone and all around my eye hurt. It felt as though there should be a bruise on my face. But there was none. Just all this unexplained pain.

I was at a loss as to what to do. Nothing I took helped. I had an appointment at my dentist and I told my husband that I wanted the dentist to extract my teeth because there must be a problem. My dentist had retired and a new young dentist had taken over the practice. She examined my mouth, did X-rays and said there was no dental problem. I waited for her to tell me to “just take painkillers.”
But she didn’t.
Instead she said, “Elizabeth, this pain you’re getting isn’t coming from your teeth. This is probably coming from a nerve in your face. You need to see a neurologist.”
I could have hugged her. She actually gave me a reason for this pain.
I couldn’t see a neurologist straight away obviously, but I had an appointment with a rheumatologist the following day for another problem I had. She immediately confirmed my dentist’s diagnosis, and she gave me a name for it – trigeminal neuralgia.
After 20 years or so of living with this constant and unexplained pain, I finally had a name for it. The good part was that she told me there were specific medications for conditions like this. Normal painkillers don’t often help nerve pain. After the previous 20 years, I could agree with that statement 100 percent. She told me that anticonvulsants and antidepressants are used to treat nerve pain. At last, I had a name for my pain and a prescription for correct medication after all those years.
Since then, I’ve seen a neurologist, pain clinic, had scans, been on many medications and unfortunately, I still have constant pain, but it is better controlled most of the time. I have learned a lot about trigeminal neuralgia and I’ve developed many coping skills for living with it. I’ve helped to run a support group and awareness page about TN for a few years  www.facebok.com/endTrigeminalNeuralgia.
I can only hope that awareness about the condition can maybe stop other people from spending so many years in pain without getting a correct diagnosis and treatment.

Classic trigeminal neuralgia (TN, TN1) can literally be like a bolt of lightning, like an electric shock on your face. It can come just out of the blue and can happen once, or repeatedly. Atypical trigeminal neuralgia (ATN,TN2) comes in many forms: throbbing, aching, burning, stabbing, piercing, etc. There are a few other variations of TN. They all can cause the most extreme facial pain.
The trigeminal nerve is one of the cranial nerves. We have one on both sides of our face. It has three branches :

  • V1 – The Ophthalmic Nerve (eye and forehead)
  • V2 – The Maxillary Nerve (cheekbone, nose and top teeth
  • V3 – The Mandibular Nerve (bottom teeth, chin and jaw)

One, two or all three of the branches can be affected. It normally affects one side, occasionally both sides and the pain is often unbearably and excruciatingly painful.
It affects mainly adults, but children can have it. too.
It is difficult to treat and there is no cure and is considered to be one of the worst types of pain anyone can have. People often feel there is no hope but there is. There are many medications, treatments and research is always being done.
So yes, there is hope.
There is always hope and people need to hold on to those words.