Do you know what one of the biggest so-called healthy foods is? Yogurt! Why is this a bad thing you might ask? Let me answer and fill you in on some better options for this and others.
Most store-bought yogurt is full of sugar. Sugar is bad and raises your odds of becoming diabetic, causes cavities, and wreaks havoc on a healthy gut. Yes, yogurt has active yeast cultures, that’s how they get away with marketing it as health food.
As someone who follows a keto lifestyle, yogurt is not in the cards for us unless one makes it themselves, or chooses one with low to no sugar; but what about carbs?
One brand, Dannon makes a Light and Fit version with only 7g of sugar and 9g of carbs. Well, that’s better but the best I’ve found on the market is only sold by Kroger, called CarbMaster.
It has 5g total carbs and only 2g of sugar!! Some flavors only have 1g. It doesn’t pack a protein punch coming in at only 9g, yet toss that yogurt in a smoothie with some flax or chia seeds and BAM! You add protein (8g per oz.) and fiber for a win, win!
What about wheat? All the nutritionists say to get a whole-grain serving of _____ to achieve a balanced diet. (fill in the blank with your choice) Wheat is as bad as sugar for your gut.
In general, unless you make breads yourself from almond flour, coconut flour, or cheese and egg, it is not healthy !
Read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis if you don’t believe me. Another great book that explains it all is Grain Brainby Dr. David Perlmutter.
Ok, let’s try a cereal bar. Those are healthy right? Wrong!! Most cereal bars are chock block full of sugar!! In addition, the carbs are off the charts, not keto at all!
I’ve talked before about these new keto protein bars, they could replace the cereal bar you’re eating right now. Try 6g of carbs compared to 23g!!
How about 9g of carbs and 2g of sugar? That sounds good, right? Not to mention simple ingredients and plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Check out this post to remind you which bars I’m speaking of. It’s time to get back to cooking! Eat whole foods, eliminate sugar, wheat, and carbs if you want better health, not to mention, a smaller waist!
Stomach problems? IBS? Diabetes? Cardiac issues? It’s all coming from your gut. Get better gut health, these problems disappear. Yes, it’s a change many aren’t brave enough to undertake. Just do it!
It is easier than you think, really. Once you toss out all the junk (anything from a box or a bag), get a few staples, learn to prep meals ahead of time, the rest just falls into place.
Almond milk, coconut milk
Heavy Whipping Cream
Cheese-cheddar, mozzarella, mixed shredded cheeses, pepper jack
Toss vegetable oils and use coconut or olive oils for cooking, (or butter-real grass-fed butter, like Kerrygold), eat salad, meat and vegetables, toss cookies, crackers, chips, and candy-make your own healthy versions.
Once you get rid of the cravings for sugar and carbs, your energy returns. Brain fog lifts. You can focus, exercise, start feeling more like your old self again. And honestly, you won’t miss it! (the sugar)
With all the great recipes out there (check out my Pinterest page) there are lots of tasty options, even desserts you won’t believe are sugar free! Snacks, even adult beverages. So go ahead, change is good in this case!
More lists are on my Pinterest page as well as quick start keto guides, yummy recipes, and more! Are you game to make the switch?
Try it and let me know how you get on. Be committed, now is a good time, while we are stuck at home. Learn to cook if you don’t know how. You tube is full of how-to videos!!
Today I have a quick review of two tasty keto protein bars, one from Fit Factor and one from Primal Kitchen.
If you follow me regularly, you know I’m a fan of fitness guru Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. Well, he has a company called Primal Kitchen and recently I sampled two of his delicious keto bars.
The first was peanut butter flavored and the second was coconut lime. Yummy! The texture was so different than any protein bar I’ve ever tasted, not chalky, or gummy.
In these bars there is 9g protein, 2g of sugar, they are gluten, grain, dairy, and soy free. He uses cage-free eggs and sweetens the bars with monk fruit extract.
It took the second bite to appreciate the creaminess and mouth feel of the bar, a small square of delicious protein packed goodness.
Mark’s company also makes all sorts of things, like condiments, protein powders, dressings, and marinades, all keto approved. Check it out by clicking the above link. (no, I’m not getting compensation)
The second bar I bought a whole box of, I loved them so much! They are from Fit Factor and the flavor I chose was Coconut Crunch. The picture on the wrapper shows chocolate, but there’s none in this bar (except for chips).
I like them as a meal replacement, especially breakfast when I’m tired of eggs-trust me, it can happen.
Some would use them as a snack, or a pre-workout bar. That’s fine as well. There is 67% fat, 16% protein, 10% net carbs, and 1g of sugar in each bar!
They are chewy, yet the nuts and chips give that crunch we all crave. The coconut flavor is satisfying, yet not overwhelming. To me it tastes just like a candy bar.
I’m out, so I need to run to the Vitamin Shoppe and buy some more! A box of 12 bars is $22.99 and had I not just gone on a trip, they would have lasted longer!
Next I want to try the Cookie Dough flavor! Or maybe Chocolate Covered Strawberry! At 20g of protein per serving, these are the perfect keto snack, or meal replacement!
They also deliver 16g of fiber, 6g net carbs, and only 3g of sugar. 0 gluten, but they do contain cashews and almonds. They also give you 15% of your daily calcium requirements.
Pick up a single bar at any Vitamin Shoppe, online or in-store. That way you can taste them before committing to an entire box.
I hope you enjoyed this review and do yourself a favor and go get a sample of these delicious Keto Protein Bars! Trust me, they are the best I’ve ever tasted!
Did you know you can fight viruses with essential oils? Yes! Besides having antibacterial and antifungal properties, these 6 essential oils also fight viruses, in the air, on surfaces, and inside your body.
Another good reason for using essential oils, especially these six I will discuss here, is that they promote healing, lift your spirits and give you a sense of well-being, help with focus and energy, and keep your house smelling clean and fresh!
In one German hospital air disinfection test, bacteria were reduced by 40% after twenty minutes, 80% after 1 hour, and 100% after 9 hours using essential oils of pine, thyme, mint, lavender, rosemary, clove and cinnamon.
But the key to how essential oils perform in virus suppression is found in aromatic molecules.
Several different essential oils have prominent anti-microbial and virus-inhibiting effects because of the phenols, terpenols, and aldehydes they all possess.
Here are the top six essential oils for fighting topical and airborne viruses in your home:
How to use essential oils to fight bacteria and viruses
Make a blend of your choice with around 4 drops per 10ml of a carrier oil, such as almond oil, jojoba oil, or fractionated coconut oils and rub your chest and body when you feel a cold or flu coming on.
It will aid in diminishing your symptoms as well as attacking the bacteria and viruses causing your infection and illness.
As a cleanser
To effectively kill surface germs, add 25 drops of essential oils to a spray bottle filled with 250ml of distilled water and spray down frequently used surfaces in your home, office, and vehicles.
You may also add to your mopping water essential oils to clean your floors.
Diffuse 8-10 drops of your choice of essential oils in a room diffuser to purify the air of germs and viruses.
My choice would be a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, thyme, and lemon. All have the necessary antiviral properties to rid your home of nasty viruses and also freshen the air.
Tea tree oil is amazing for killing fungus, mold, and for destroying bacteria and viruses. Combining tea tree and eucalyptus makes a potent formula for killing E. coli and fighting staff infections.
Also known as melaleuca, tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils and is especially helpful in steamy, musty areas like bathrooms and sickrooms.
Tea tree oil supports a healthy immune system, fights blemishes, freshens breath if used in toothpaste and/or mouthwash, and cleanses the air.
Peppermint essential oil is stimulating, helps with focus, can relieve upset stomach, and supports a healthy digestive and respiratory systems.
Added to a carrier oil, peppermint essential oil also makes a great massage oil for sore muscles, freshens a glass of water or iced tea, and calms menopausal surges when mixed with witch hazel to make a cooling facial mist. (avoid the eye area!)
It’s compounds such as camphor, carvacrol, and menthol are resistant to many perilous strains of bacteria, such as salmonella, staph and E. coli.
Lemon essential oil makes an excellent cleanser due to it’s antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It can be used for disinfecting metal surfaces, dishes, clothes and even your body!
After an illness, adding several drops of lemon essential oil in the wash cycle will kill odors and bacteria from your clothes.
Making an effective homemade all-purpose cleaner is easy by adding lemon essential oil to white or apple cider vinegar.
Lemon essential oil also purifies the air, so it’s great for the diffuser as well as lifting mood and spirits.
Add a drop of pure, 100% therapeutic grade lemon essential oil to your water or iced tea for a quick energy boost!
Eucalyptus essential oil is a great antiseptic due to it’s germicidal qualities, so it is suitable to treat cuts, wounds, abrasions, sores, and ulcers. Mixed with tea tree oil it becomes the perfect germicide cleansing solution.
In the late 1800’s, eucalyptus oil was used for the treatment of respiratory conditions such as asthma, flu, bronchitis, and coughs.
It is still highly recommended today for relief of colds, and congestion of the upper respiratory tract.
This is the very essential oil used in products like Vicks VapoRub because of its ability to reduce the muscle spasms that can narrow the airway making it difficult to breath. *This makes the oil and effective fighter of bronchitis and asthma, but should only be used in a carrier oil, or mixed in a lotion.
*hot essential oils like eucalyptus, cinnamon, thyme, and oregano will burn the skin if used neat.
I could go on and on about the benefits and uses of eucalyptus essential oil, however, to be brief, I’m highlighting the uses that are most helpful in dealing with the situation we find ourselves in today with the Coronavirus.
Lavender essential oil is great for boosting the immune system, it is the most well-known of all the essential oils, promotes calm, is included in many body products, as well as laundry products, and can aid in getting a restful sleep.
Use of lavender essential oil has been around for centuries as an effective stress manager as well as an anxiety calmer.
Calms skin irritations and helps heal bug bites. It is effective for treating fungal infections, so it might help with yeast infections, ringworm, and/or athlete’s foot.
Research has also shown some effectiveness for treatment of migraines, and headaches, hair growth, and wound healing.
Lavender essential oil has a pleasant scent which is why it is in so many formulations of body products, and used in a diffuser by the bed can sent one off to lala land in no time.
Although it calms skin irritations, it is recommended you use a couple of drops with a carrier oil just to be safe.
Diffusing the oil is the safest method for most applications, you can purchase an inexpensive diffuser almost anywhere these days, I have used everything form $50 dollar brands to one I found at a garage sale for $3 and they all work the same. To save time and money, I’ve included a good one here.
I prefer small, portable diffusers so I can move them around to whatever room I’m working in, there are also wearable diffusers, and car diffusers so you can take your essential oils to go!
Cinnamon essential oil is another common oil with a variety of uses. It’s tasty but *hot, so use with a carrier oil, in a diffuser, or diluted in food and drinks. It is an extremely potent antibacterial, has been researched as an effective use for reducing blood sugar, and has a warm, spicy, exotic fragrance.
Cinnamaldehyde is the compound that makes cinnamon essential oil perfect for the treatment of various ailments, and has been widely reported to kill bacteria and viruses.
Wonderful for diffusing during the holidays, it can evoke pleasant memories of childhood Christmases around the fireplace, tasty aromas of cinnamon baked goods, and treated pinecones tossed in the fire will have your house smelling like a cozy winter’s night.
Some studies suggest cinnamon essential oil is effective for combating Streptococcus mutans (a type of bacteria linked to cavities) and that is why it’s found in some mouthwash and toothpastes.
Side effects that are possible warn against the use of cinnamon essential oil by pregnant women, and can possibly thin the blood, so always check with your doctor before use if you use blood thinners. The reason is because the compound in cinnamon EO is coumarin which can be toxic to the liver and kidneys if overused.
Cinnamon has many benefits and uses including pain relief, infection fighter, decreases bad cholesterol, stimulates libido, fights parasites and more.
Well, that’s my list of the six best essential oils for fighting viruses although there are others. Please do your own research and buy quality essential oils, which by the way, do not have to cost a fortune.
Check out my suggestions by clicking on the links and explore the many options there are for diffusing and using essential oils creatively.
There are roll-ons, blends, diffusing jewelry, the sky is the limit!
*Make sure to use quality 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils, especially if using on or in your body.
*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products that I myself use and trust, same as with businesses and services.
*Always check with your physician or aromatherapist before using essential oils in case of potential side effects.
I know I have been absent lately and for that I apologize. I have been focusing on my other blog lately because I have not had much to say here, I failed in so many ways on this blog, I struggle to maintain it, honestly.
I am having difficulty the same as everyone I imagine, dealing with the isolation and worry, anxiety and stress that the virus is causing right now…I’m trying to stay keto, which is easy during the day, it’s the glass(es) of wine I’m having every night that make me feel like a fraud. It’s Cabernet at least!
In all seriousness though, it may be wrong, but it’s how I’m coping. If that makes you want to unfollow me, I understand. But I am trying, and I want to share that lots of bloggers out there are keeping me sane!
I have had enough of news and negativity, I choose to read uplifting, funny, or entertaining news instead. I’m watching too much tv, but that is my way of escaping.
During the day, I write, do housework, yard work, crafts, cook, and read…I limit my tv watching until night for the most part. Now, if I’m crafting, I watch a show on Netflix, the latest is a guilty pleasure called Grace and Frankie. Check out my other blog for that review.
I’m trying to stay away from sugar as usual, and I make an effort to eat as healthy as possible but we have had a few cheats here and there. When I sin, it’s usually with alcohol. Wine, margaritas, or the occasional “adult” root beer…Diet root beer with vodka and heavy whipping cream is a keto root beer float. Delicious!
I am using my essential oils religiously. Frankincense and or lemon in my water every day, and I breathe in peppermint oil every morning to clear my head and help me focus.
I drink my bulletproof coffee every morning as well, getting that healthy dose of coconut oil and real butter for the fats I need. Peppermint oil as well as Frankincense are antibacterial and can help with many things from energy to focus, from settling your stomach, to helping with concentration.
These are the things I’m doing to cope as well as staying connected to friends and family through texting, FaceTime, social media, telephone calls…however I can hear another voice or see a friendly face. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. The hashtag #inthistogether is everywhere.
I’m working on a story for a competition, writing on my blogs and Medium, and trying to get exercise when I can, sitting is so horrible for you. I’m guilty of sitting too much these past few weeks, so when the weather is nice, I try to walk at least.
How are you guys handling and coping with the crisis? I hope I don’t lose you, I consider you all my friends and family just as much as my close friends and family are.
I just wanted to check in and say Hi, I am with you, I have missed being here, and I will try to do better! I hope you are all well and keeping your sense of humor in tact! Stay safe, and be healthy!
After visiting my doctor today for what looked suspiciously like a toenail fungus, let me tell you guys why you might want to stay away from salon pedicures.
I’m a summertime girl, love my flipflops and pretty nail polish. So, normally I go once a month or so and have a professional pedicure so my toes look great.
Evidently, one of the two salons I frequent must not sanitize their equipment properly, or bleach the floors after several pairs of feet walked on them that day.
I absolutely do have a nasty toenail fungus. You might think, so what’s the big deal about that? I’m about to tell you.
First, I consulted the internet who said any number of home remedies would cure it, including Vick’s vapor rub, tea tree essential oil, and mouthwash.
They were wrong.
My new podiatrist told me that fungus is a highly contagious organism that feeds off of your nails, spreads to your other nails, and likely, your PARTNER’S nails!!
So now, in addition to the expensive office visit, laser treatment, and multiple medications (topicals) that I will have to apply to kill these beasts, so will my husband.
We shower together, so unless we were in the habit of bleaching the shower floor after every use, he is also likely infected. (we’re not)
So I came home and bleached the heck out of both shower and tub.
In addition, you get a kit with your medications and a special shoe spray that you must spray all the shoes you normally wear at least once a week.
So that’s done as well.
Tonight, I will have to bath or wash my feet, then put another topical medication on them.
All together there is a lotion, a nail oil, and the shoe spray that must be applied.
We will have to bleach the shower frequently and treat our feet and shoes for several weeks, maybe months, until all this is gone.
I will follow up with Dr. Woodly in 1 month.
Now, still want to go to the salon? I’m thinking when all this is over, I’ll paint my own, thanks!!
Or, I will make damn sure the salon I go to knows and can prove how well they sanitize their equipment and floors.
The assistant that did my treatment told me it could have been as simple as stepping on the floor barefoot where an infected person had been, then inserting my feet in the warm water where the fungus is having a party.
(Fungus likes warm, moist, dark places where it can thrive.)
So, next time you think of going to the nail salon for those sandal perfect pedicures, think again.
Sorry for the ugly, graphic pictures, but I wanted y’all to see exactly what it looks like. The nail darkens, flakes, gets thicker, and even breaks in some places, because the fungus is literally eating your nail.
The takeaway here is, sometimes you must get treated by a doctor, alternative methods will not work!
I like my essential oils like all of you do, but they are not strong enough to get through all the layers of your nail.
The treatment starts with trimming and buffing your nails, then they use the laser on them which kills the outer layer where the fungus is.
Next they applied the medicated oil to each nail and rubbed it in.
They also gave my shoes and socks a complimentary spray so my treated feet didn’t go back in untreated shoes.
Then the third step in the treatment will be tonight after a bath. (In my nice, clean tub. 😊)
The good news is the fungus is treatable, it just takes a while and the treatment cost today was close to $600!
I can paint my nails if I want, but I’ll have to use a special, breathable nail polish ($9) from Sally’s. I’ll probably wait on that a while.
When my mom used to say, “Suffer to be beautiful,” I had no idea!🤣🤣 😥
This morning started out with a happy accident of sorts, as I reached for the Coffee essential oil, I grabbed Lemon essential oil instead, this went into my coffee, y’all!
You know what though? It wasn’t horrible! Nope, actually, it kind of lightened up the flavor a bit and took away some of the bitterness coffee has.
I drank it all no problem. I drink bulletproof coffee anyway, so there were plenty of other things going on that helped cover the strong lemon taste. Like coconut oil.
Know why I put all those things in my coffee? First off, creamers are chock full of sugar.
The second reason is because the ingredients I use in my coffee promote energy, focus, and appetite suppression.
Butter (grass-fed) also goes in my coffee. Ceylon cinnamon too. Then I add some stevia for sweetness with no sugar, and no rise in blood sugar either. Safe for diabetics.
Coconut oil is essential because it has medium chain triglycerides (there’s now a shortcut in a specially made oil) which is an easily digestible fat. A good for you fat.
I had been using Ancient Nutrition Coffee essential oil in my coffee for a while, just as a flavor booster, and it sits next to other essential oils on my shelf. That is how this happy accident happened.
Now, if you were to try an experiment with essential oils and your coffee, let me suggest a different oil than lemon next time. However, if you feel froggy…
Some good ones to try might be Wild orange, peppermint, cardamom, cinnamon bark, or lavender. I have not tried any of these yet, I have sweet orange and peppermint though.
All essential oils provide benefits so you would only be enhancing the flavor and performance of your morning cuppa joe.
Do your research, buy quality essential oils from reputable sources, and let me know what you think if you give one a try. I’m sure the lemon gave me a much-needed boost of energy, it’s good for that sort of thing!
(Just so you know, I am not advocating or selling one brand of essential oil, and no one is sponsoring this post.)
Have you ever experienced the power of Peppermint Essential oil? How do you use it in your daily routine? Have you ever tried direct inhalation?
When I need a quick pick-me-up, or I just want to focus on my writing in the mornings, sure I grab a cuppa joe. However, Peppermint Essential oil is a fast, effective way to accomplish the same thing.
What if you don’t like coffee? Well I can’t imagine, yet I’ve found the next best thing is to start by rubbing a small amount of coconut oil in my hands, then I add a drop of Peppermint Essential oil and directly inhale the sweet, minty aroma.
Just don’t get it near your eyes! You will not be seeing clearly for a while, I promise you!
Instantly it opens my nasal passages, awakens my senses, and before my cuppa joe is ready, I’m alert and raring to go! Careful application on the forehead helps clear brain fog too.
Peppermint Essential oil has many other uses and benefits as well. It repels insects, relieves IBS symptoms, tension headaches and more.
As far as I know, there have been no negative side effects from using Peppermint Essential oil in this manner. Check with your doctor or aromatherapist to be sure it’s safe in your own case.
Regardless of what my disclaimer says, I have never made one thin dime promoting any of these products, brands, or shops. I’m just sharing useful information based on my own experiences.
I am not a doctor or an aromatherapist, however, I follow the teachings of gurus like Mark Sisson and Dr Josh Axe. Check out their websites to find out what they say about essential oils and how to use them.
Back in 2014, I started listening to and reading all about stories and studies having to do with all kinds of essential oils. When I started experimenting with them myself, one of the first kinds I used was Peppermint Essential oil.
I found it had the power to energize me, help me focus, I could make my own toothpaste, pain-relieving rubs, and more. It makes a wonderful smelling sugar scrub! Use that on your feet after a long, hard day!
Of course, you only want to use high quality, essential oils that have undergone rigorous testing for purity, especially if you plan to use them internally like me. I have used Peppermint Essential oil in my home made peppermint fat bombs…yummy!
I trust the Pranarom brand because I have been using it for years with no side effects. I am monitored as many of you know, by a nephrologist and other specialists, they all approve and encourage my use of essential oils. My labs always look great!
I also use some of Dr Axe’s brand of essential oils, his are the Ancient Nutrition brand. I trust the quality of his oils as well, and The Sunflower Shoppe does too, otherwise they would not be selling them in their health food stores.
You can purchase his brand on his website, Amazon, and at The Sunflower Shoppe. Since I save shipping, I try to get mine at The Sunflower Shoppe when I can get out there-it’s about a 25 minute drive from my house.
Pranarom Peppermint essential oil is 100% pure, certified organic, by USDA and EcoCert. It’s origin is India and its primary constituents are monoterpenols, ketones, monotepnenes, menthol, and menthone.
As far as the Ancient Nutrition Brand, I have tried grapefruit, coffee, and lemon essential oils. They are all great and work just as well. Did you even know there was such a thing as Coffee Essential oil?
Read up on whichever oils interest you, they all have specific uses yet can be mixed together too, depending on which ones you choose. You can make your own diffuser blends with Peppermint oil, Frankincense, Lemongrass, and Sweet Orange.
If you don’t have a diffuser, I suggest purchasing one, they have come down significantly in price. Or, just try the direct inhalation method-it works really well! Either way, you will enjoy the refreshing, minty aroma that Peppermint Essential oil imparts.
They even make car diffusers now so you can have your scent on the go!
One could even grow their own peppermint plant, use the leaves in a variety of ways like infusing your water, adding to salads, or freshen your tea!