My Take on Frankincense Essential Oil

Although I’ve blogged about this before, my discussion on Frankincense was on my old blog and this essential oil is worthy of a revisit anyway. This oil is my favorite of all the essential oils I’ve tried and that is why it’s featured first on essential oils week.

Frankincense in pure form before processing into essential oil

Frankincense is one of the oldest and most powerful of the essential oils, some claim it even cures cancer! I use it for prevention, energy, clarity and concentration. It is the way I start most every day, a drop of this and Lemon in my water which I then sip on throughout the day, it wakes me up and gives me a pep in my step.

Essential oils such as Frankincense can be used in this way, or diffused in a diffuser or inhaled straight from the bottle. It can also be used topically with a little carrier oil like almond, coconut or jojoba and rubbed on age spots to lighten them, or the forehead to help with concentration.

Essential oils pass through the skin, making them transdermal, where they then enter the circulatory system and cells. This is what makes them so powerful and some compounds in essential oils have such small molecules, they can pass through the blood-brain barrier.

In addition, healing through the olfactory system is what is known as aromatherapy and therefore simply diffusing certain essential oils can help speed up getting over a cold or prevent it in the first place.

 Frankincense is one such oil. It is one of the ancient oils the wise men brought to Jesus as a gift along with Myrrh.

The highest quality essential oils are Organic, Therapeutic Grade Essential, 100% Pure oils and you want to make sure you buy from trusted brands recommended by your doctor or aromatherapist. I’m not allowed to go into brands I like here, but honestly, I have tried several different brands I know to be trustworthy and I have my favorite in all of them.

Because they are quality, they cost more, but you can’t take chances with your health, so buy from the best. I have personally had such a good experience using mine, I have come close to a panic when I run out!

When I first started using them 2 or 3 years ago, I did so to gain better health and help me in my weight loss efforts. Frankincense and Lemon EOs are my magic bullet, I don’t want to be without them.

More pep in my step meant I could exercise again, plus the added benefit of elevated mood, reduction of inflammation,  and getting over my depression meant I was able to get off my antidepressants. (Don’t worry, my doctors approved.)

Speaking of doctors,  Dr. Axe has a great book that is one of my go-to publications for info on EOs called The Kings Medicine Cabinet, which is where some of this info presented here today came from.  Along with a plethora of great information and history on essential oils, there are handy reference charts that show which oils are applied topically, whether or not you need a carrier oil and which ones are safe for internal use.

I can’t copy from the book, however, it is a free download and if you can’t get it,  email me and I’ll forward you a copy.

If you could have an oil with so many benefits to have in your arsenal, this would be my top choice. I do hope this inspires you to give it a try because really, it can only help.

Even if you don’t want to be as brave as me, get yourself a good diffuser, they are sold in most health food store and online, and some quality Frankincense, and tell me if in a few days, you don’t notice a difference in your mood, energy and spiritual awareness.   Also, please educate yourself by grabbing a copy of the book-I can suggest other resources as well, and let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you.

Small Bites For Little Appetites

Keto Mug Pancake
Keto Mug Pancake with bacon and sugar free maple syrup

Morning! I thought today I’d share some Keto snacks and/or smaller meals for when you don’t have an enormous appetite. That was me yesterday morning!

As I’ve said before, some days I’m tired of the same old egg and bacon, so I dive into Pinterest to find some inspiration. Yesterday’s recipe came from Forget Sugar Friday

It was easy to make, all the ingredients go into a coffee cup or mug, cook in the microwave for 1 minute, then just as quickly devoured! Make the “pancake”, cut in half, butter and top with a Tbs sugar-free syrup and some bacon. Voila!

Kept me full until lunch too. Clicking the above link will take you to her recipe and nutritional info. Moving on to the next quick snack/meal idea.

Salami slices with shredded cheddar cheese! Pair that with an avocado and you have yourself an easy lunch/breakfast/snack with the right amount of fat, protein, carbs, and calories!

Screen shot of my Keto tracker

Get yourself a keto macro app like Stupid Simple Diet and you can check any food for macros and track the foods you are eating a day. Trust me, it’s hard to stay on track if you don’t!

For example, one 5oz avocado has 100 calories, 13 carbs, 21.5g fat, and 2.8g protein. So I would only eat half of an avocado, like today, in my blueberry breakfast smoothie.

Quick and easy smoothie

Smoothies count as meals, especially if you have the fat of an avocado or coconut oil/cream in it. They could also be a snack if you haven’t reached your macro goals for the day.

The bulletproof coffee and the smoothie already have me past the halfway point in my daily goal, I will have to be careful with dinner to stay on track. So the next small meal idea would be a salad, maybe with some added protein, like chicken.

Eggs are good because they are naturally low carb, moderate fat, and a good source of protein…6g for a large egg. So boiled egg on a salad would also work. At my non-exercising state, my macros for the day will have to be under 1000 to have any effect on my weight.

This will be tough, but you can do it if you put your mind to it! You just need to plan the meals in advance to make it easier, that being said, I should have skipped the smoothie and gone for an egg. ๐Ÿ™

Other low to no carb options are Cheddar cheese sticks, turkey sticks, keto mug bread (90 sec), sunflower butter, and raw veggies dipped in Ranch dressing. Fat bombs are a great low carb snack, my Pinterest page is full of recipes!

Donโ€™t limit yourself, try several different combinations like boiled eggs with avocado or two pieces of keto bread with cream cheese and a fried egg. Track your macros and you might find you can eat more than you think!

Why You Should Taste Test Your Recipes

Do you always taste your cooking? Of course you do, and you should! Especially, if you are sharing said recipes for the public to try! Always taste test your recipes!!

This morning I tried a recipe for “Best Low Carb Chocolate Cookies” that were anything but! Now, in all fairness, we could have used different products, I slightly altered the recipe, and maybe she didn’t taste the end product to make sure they were palatable.

My results-looked better than they tasted

I did taste them however, and they were horrible! Even frosted, or iced, I don’t think these cookies were salvageable. I felt like it was an expensive waste of precious ingredients and I have to wonder if she even bothered to taste them herself.

Another admission is that this was my first time to try Swerve sweetener, I always use Pyure brand stevia for my baking. The internet is full of great recipes using Swerve, so I thought it must be all the rage. Maybe the amount called for just was too little.

The result was like eating chocolate flavored sand.

I found the recipe on Pinterest by Ditch the Carbs and from the get go, I thought 2 cups of almond flour would be excessive, so I only used one cup. I had read the reviews and many people were complaining they were too dry.

The results were skewed because the recommended time for cooking was too long, and the first 7 cookies burned, I tasted them anyway and they tasted like a dry popcorn fart.

The dough was plentiful, so I added 1/2 cup of coconut flour, mixed it in very well and cooked 7 more. (I also added a few Lilies chocolate chips to add some sweetness because they were so bitter.) The result? Like eating chocolate flavored sand!

So, at this point, I had dough with 1C almond flour and 1/2C coconut flour, still not the recommended 2C almond flour!

To the last bit of dough left I added 1 T more butter and there was no improvement at all. Dry, bitter, tasteless. I was so bummed. I kept them thinking that maybe I could use them as a crumbly topping for Keto pudding or ice cream. Ten it wouldn’t be a total loss.

Please, people, taste your recipes!! All I’m saying is, had I made them with the originally called for 2 Cups of almond flour, they would have been even drier!! I will go back to the drawing board with these, once I get over wasting so many expensive ingredients.

Check out the recipe for yourself, and let me know how they worked out for you. One other note here: I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa, Kerrygold butter, and Swerve granulated sweetener.

Next time I might try with the 2 cups of almond flour but add an extra egg, or some nut butter (or both), and definitely more sweetener! I’ll keep you posted! For the original recipe, click on the link here.

Suitable Sides for Keto Dinners

Most nights we have a meat already prepared as well as a salad, but what makes a suitable side for a Keto Dinner?

Any non-starchy veggie would work, so I usually scour Pinterest until I come up with a recipe that will work for the veggie I happen to have on hand, which in this case is zucchini!

We all probably get tired of broccoli, and besides, it’s already in my salad, so I would like a change, please. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enter zucchini noodles mac and cheese! I found this recipe through Kirbie’s Cravings on Pinterest and I’m betting it’s a winner winner chicken dinner!

I will link to the recipe below, but first, I wanted to talk about some other sides we have had in the past. How about seasoned and buttered Brussels Sprouts? Even better with bacon!

I tend to want sweet potatoes…a lot, yet they aren’t actually low carb (still good for you) so they are a sometimes cheat. Just one cup of sweet potatoes has 27g of carbs!!! However, the nutrition they provide just can’t be beat. So, I eat them from time to time.

Another great choice is asparagus, which is also good wrapped in bacon, lol! See a trend here? ๐Ÿ™‚ I have done a post on the best low carb veggies here, so just grab any one off the list, add some butter, spices, and of course, bacon when appropriate!

Broccoli salad with bacon

Be like me and scour Pinterest Keto boards for more inspiration. Here is the recipe for the zucchini mac and cheese-just click the image!

Creamy zucchini noodles in a mac and cheese sauce
Provided by Kirbie’s Cravings

Of course, there have been nights all we did was add some slices of salted avocado to our plates along with our meat and a salad of some sort. Most nights, however, the avocado is already in my salad. (my salads are more like a meal) ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your favorite side dishes? Do you like quick and easy, or do you tend to go all out and be a true chef in the kitchen? I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, or share a recipe!

Easy Keto Cream Cheese Pancakes

Easy cream cheese pancakes are a great alternative to eggs every day on a keto diet.

Pancakes are possible even on Keto

Do you ever get tired of eggs? People on the Keto diet eat a lot of eggs, but what if I told you that combining one egg with an ounce of cream cheese and a splash of vanilla could create the tasty pancakes like the ones pictured above, almost as fast as cooking up an omelet? Would you believe me?

Well sisters and brothers, believe it! I decided yesterday I couldn’t face one more egg muffin this week, and longed for something more filling and delicious. I needed a change. Well, change is what I got and it was so satisfying, quick and easy, I’ll be having these at least once a week!

Now don’t get me wrong, these weren’t big, thick, fluffy pancakes of olden days, but they were pancakes that tasted delicious and broke me out of the old egg-for-breakfast routine, which was good enough for me! Can you imagine?

My keto cream cheese pancakes with sugar-free syrup

The recipe is just what I mentioned above, mixed in a bullet or Ninja, cooked in Kerrygold butter in a nice, hot, frying pan and voila! Top with sugar-free syrup and you have a delicious, keto breakfast that satisfies those cravings for something resembling bread, yet stays low-carb.

Add a slice or two of bacon or your favorite low carb protein of choice and there you have it! Try them out yourself and tell me what you think!

Recipe:

1 egg

1oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Mix ingredients in a bullet or Ninja cup blender, pour batter in a hot, buttered frying pan, cook like any other pancakes. Top with butter and sugar-free syrup and enjoy! Makes about 3 medium sized pancakes.

(Revising nutrition info)

Miss Cornbread? Try These Keto Muffins

They even look like cornbread muffins

Itโ€™s been awhile back, a few weeks ago I believe, that I tried these Keto muffins I found on this site here.

BASIC ALMOND FLOUR MUFFINS 
6 ounces almond flour (1 1/2 cups) 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon salt  
2 tablespoons butter, melted 
1 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 tablespoons heavy cream 
3 tablespoons water 
2 eggs 

Put the almond flour, baking powder, salt and granular Splenda, if using, in a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the liquid Splenda, if using, the vanilla, cream and water to the butter. Add the liquid mixture and the eggs to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Mix well with a spoon. If the batter seems too stiff, stir in another tablespoon of water.

Spoon the batter into six paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 350ยบ 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the pan and cool at least 5 minutes on a rack before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. 

Makes 6 muffins 
Can be frozen

With granular Splenda: 
Per Serving: 258 Calories; 22g Fat; 8g Protein; 10.5g Carbohydrate; 3.5g Dietary Fiber; 7g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda: 
Per Serving: 242 Calories; 22g Fat; 8g Protein; 6.5g Carbohydrate; 3.5g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs

VARIATIONS:

Maple Nut Muffins – Add 1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring and 1/4 cup chopped pecans 
Orange Muffins – Add 1 teaspoon orange extract and 1 tablespoons grated orange zest 
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – Add 1 teaspoon lemon extract, lemon zest and 1 teaspoon poppy seeds 
Banana Walnut Muffins – Add 1 teaspoon banana flavoring and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 
Apple-Cinnamon Muffins – Add 2 packets sugar free cider mix, reduce the sweetener to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
Blueberry Muffins – Add a handful of fresh blueberries 
Cinnamon Muffins – Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Full disclosure, I copied her recipe to share with you guys here in case some of you donโ€™t use Pinterest. The photo is my own from the time I made them, they were so delicious! Once made, I stored them in the fridge, then when I wanted one, I placed them in the toaster oven on the toast setting and when ready, I used cream cheese instead of butter…heavenly!

Another note, I use silicone muffin liners like these and they pop right out with easy cleanup!

Silicone muffin linersh

Try them with your next stew or whatever you usually pair cornbread with. Makes every Keto meal better when you can have a piece of bread, right?!!