What’s in the Box? My Brandless Review!

What was in my first Brandless box? Stay tuned for the video where I unbox my Brandless box.

What is Brandless? It’s a subscription box service in which you buy things like grocery, beauty, kitchen, and pet products with no name…in other words, Brandless.

First, however, I wanted to explain how it all works. Brandless is a company that offers inexpensive household products like beauty, grocery, pet, and for the office.

Spend $48 or more and get free shipping! Think of what you’d normally spend on a trip to the health food or grocery store. That’s not a lot considering, right?

Most items are around $3 so you get a lot for your money! Just wait until you see all I got, plus, you get a free gift! And, if you refer a friend and they place an order, you and she get $6 off the next order!

Sorry for my appearance 🤣 I was too excited to worry about how I looked

I decided to do my second ever video as I unbox my first Brandless box. Now, don’t judge me, I decided to go au natural. 🤣 Plus, I edited the video to make it fit and turns out, I got the end…ugh!

So, I will list what I got here:

  • Dishwasher pods 50 count
  • dog treats, 3 different flavors
  • pistachios
  • cashews
  • raw almonds
  • glazed almonds
  • gluten free flour
  • peanut butter
  • coconut oil
  • parchment paper
  • free gift

What do you think? Is this something you might try? My thought is, I’ll just buy items that are normally in my pantry/household that are too expensive in the store.

Don’t you agree that I got a lot for $49 plus free shipping not to mention a free gift? Check it out for yourself here!

How To Make Keto Coconut Flat Bread

Today I’m going to show everyone how to make coconut flat bread because, somedays you just miss bread. Being out of almond flour as I am, I needed a different alternative.

This morning I enjoyed a delicious breakfast sandwich thanks to finding my old recipe book called Coconut Flour Recipes by The Coconut Mama.

I get tired of boiled eggs, cheese sticks and salami, so this morning, craving some kind of “legal” bread had inspired me to look up how to make coconut flat bread for a change.

The book is a free eBook and has ten different recipes for coconut flour including how to make it. I already had coconut flour, eggs, baking powder, coconut oil, and salt, so I was ready!

I usually use almond flour to make my Keto bread items, like 90 second microwave bread, muffins, or cookies, but I was out and it is expensive to replace.

Luckily, I have had a container of coconut flour in the fridge and had plenty left since this recipe only called for 1 1/2 T total.

The recipe is quick and easy, only takes ten minutes in the oven, so I cooked the other components while it was baking.

I fried an egg in butter, over easy style, then threw a couple of slices of hard salami in the pan, with a slice of baby swiss to get it melted.

Once my bread was out of the oven, I fried it in the pan with more butter to get those nice “grill marks” and add that flavor from the butter. The more butter the better on Keto!

Fry after baking for added flavor

As long as you use a grass-fed butter like Kerrygold, you are safe. Butter is a healthy fat as is coconut oil. (Virgin, unrefined, organic)

(Click on the links to purchase products I mention here on Amazon from brands I use, or have used in the past.) Doing so may help me earn a few cents on my blog, thanks!

Now for the Grain Free Flat Bread Recipe

Directions:

  • 1 1/2T coconut flour
  • 1T melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8t salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
  • 1/4t baking powder

I just took it a step further and browned the bread in the same frying pan I had cooked the eggs in. Then I assembled the sandwich and devoured it!

Shape into rounds and bake on parchment for easy removal
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a small bowl, mix coconut flour, salt, and baking powder until combined
  • Add egg, and melted coconut oil and mix well
  • Let batter sit a few minutes to absorb liquid
  • Half the batter and spoon onto baking pan on parchment paper and shape into 2 rounds
  • Bake until golden brown or ten minutes

Here it is almost 2pm and I am still full! Then again, I am keto-adapted, plus, I am back on my exogenous ketones from Pruvit now that I am more mobile again. (Click on the links above for more info or to buy directly)

Using pure, therapeutic ketones gives me energy, helps my digestion and helps me lose or maintain my weight. My two favorites are Raspberry Lemonade and Heart Tart. ❤️

Surprisingly, the recipe for the bread turned out delicious with none of the gritty sensation I’ve experienced before using coconut flour. Must be that I used adequate liquid, a MUST when baking with coconut flour.

Being on Keto or following the Keto lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy bread anymore, you just have to use almond or coconut flours.

They add fiber and are low carb, gluten-free, rich in MCTs, and are a good choice for alternative flours.

Have you tried any recipes with coconut flour? How did you like them, and do you have other questions? Let me know in the comments please!

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease-Lecture Notes

Yesterday, I listened to a very informative lecture called Taking Care of Parkinson’s Disease Do’s and Don’ts, which helped me further understand many things about my father’s PD.

It was given by Dr. Shilpa Chitnis, a movement disorder specialist/neurologist in coordination with The Parkinson’s Voice Project in Richardson, Texas.

For those people who may have a hard time understanding Dr. Chitnis’ accent, or simply need the medical jargon broken down into laymen’s terms, I took notes and want to try to present them to anyone needing to know this information.

At the end of my post, I will insert the link for the actual lecture for those interested, I also shared it on Facebook.

One of the most important take aways I got from this lecture is that Dad needs to see a movement specialist, not just a neurologist; reason being, not all neurologists get the extra training for Parkinson’s Disease.

There was many more important tidbits you may not know including some common myths and misconceptions. Like you can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s even if you don’t have a tremor.

Levodopa is considered the “gold standard” medication to treat Parkinson’s but there are others that might work better for you depending on a number of factors. Response to Levodopa is one of the criteria for the clinical diagnosis of PD.

Dr. Chitnis recommends caffeine as a protective factor in the prevention of PD

A common question she gets is, “Why is there no cure yet with all the research and foundation work on PD?” her answer was because the initial trigger is still unknown.

Her theory is that poisons/toxins from one’s environment in which they were raised is likely a contributing factor. She was raised in Louisiana (as was my dad) where fishing was a common practice and pesticides were in the river.

Parkinson’s is also known as Lewy Body Disease because of the increased amount of abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein or Lewy Bodies that build up in the brain.

What are some of the more common symptoms of PD?

  • stiffness
  • shuffling gate
  • tremor
  • stooped posture
  • swallowing difficulty
  • loss of sense of smell

Studies have shown that exercise helps symptoms of this multi-symptom degenerative disease. The more you can move, the better you feel.

Which symptoms of PD affect the quality of life?

  • Lack of Levodopa responsiveness
  • Intractable (hard to control) tremor
  • Wearing off of medication
  • Non-motor symptoms (depression, anxiety, etc)
  • Dyskinesia (abnormality or impairment of voluntary movement)
  • Consipation
  • Sleep problems (these last two symptoms usually appear before the initial diagnosis)

The reason it is important to see a neurologist with extra training in PD is because they have the knowledge and experience necessary to offer holistic and individualized care.

Not everyone who is diagnosed with PD sees a movement disorder specialist because there aren’t enough of them.

Lack of funding for fellowship training and limited exposure to the specialty during residency holds doctors back from becoming specialists.

When you do get in to see a movement disorder specialist:

  • Bring an extra set of ears (this is especially handy for people like my dad who is hearing impaired)
  • Write down all of your symptoms
  • Bring all of your medications or a list of the medicine you take
  • Write down all of your questions
  • Be prepared for a longish day including testing (if this is the initial visit)

In my dad’s case, I would tell the specialist he has already had many tests and has seen several doctors who should be working as a team, but are not necessarily doing that. To me that is the biggest frustration, not getting all the doctors to come together and compare notes, etc.

If you do not feel comfortable with your MD, find another specialist in your area. (I just might do that!)

Here she inserted several helpful websites which I will include at the end of my notes.

Diagnostic Tests

MRI of the brain-Does not diagnose PD but rather compliments the diagnosis along with clinical tests.

DaTScan-a diagnostic test where a radiopharmaceutical agent is injected into a patients veins in a procedure referred to as SPECT imaging. The agent (loflupane 123 injection) distinguishes Parkinson’s from essential tremor.

Hospital Visits are Challenging for PD Patients

The reasons for this are:

  • Not getting prescribed medicines on time
  • Find out if you can bring all of your meds in their bottles
  • There are multiple reasons for worsening of PD while in the hospital, infections should be sought out and treated
  • Medication list should be updated and checked for contraindicated medications

Dr. Chitnis advice is to prevent the need for hospital visits by taking good care of yourself and taking all of your medications in the proper fashion. If you must go, have the nurse call your movement specialist with any questions.

In the Case of Necessary Surgery

  • Try to connect your surgeon with your movement specialist
  • The commonly used Propofol has been reported to cause dyskinesia’s in PD patients with and without movement disorders
  • To avoid symptom exacerbation and other adverse effects, it is recommended that the usual drug regimen continue until just before the induction of anesthesia. This is especially critical in patients taking Levodopa because of the drug’s short half life.
  • During procedures with extended anesthesia, Levodopa can be administered via a nasogastric tube.
  • Choose anesthetic agent carefully because they have been known to cause morbidity in PD patients due to drug interactions.

Falls

  • Avoid changing furniture, arrange rugs and cords and use night lights to make it easier to get around
  • Don’t be resistant to help from family and caregivers
  • Avoid multitasking while walking

Nutrition

No one diet is perfect for PD but following a Mediterranean diet is the best choice for optimal health-low salt

Get dermatology screenings because melanoma occurs frequently in PD patients

Living Well With Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

  • So you’ve been diagnosed with PD
  • Be an effective partner with your doctor
  • Assemble your multi-disciplinary team
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise and exercise!
  • Healthy diet is ESSENTIAL and so is plenty of WATER!!! Most experts agree on this!!
  • Go to the restroom when you CAN not when you HAVE to
  • Don’t ignore the importance of good sleep
  • Sign up for clinical trials
  • Become a strong advocate for yourself and others with PD
  • Join a support group
  • Plan for the future
  • Empower yourself with the best knowledge about PD
  • Together we can fight Parkinson’s Disease!
  • Coordinate your meds with your whole team so everyone is aware of your PD

Movement disorder society journal is recommended reading

Minimize naps and try to increase exercise for quality sleep

Go to this link for the actual lecture: https://youtu.be/RHa4aXTBQM

Other helpful websites:

https://www.Parkinson.org

https://www.michealjfox.org

Home

Home

I hope this helps someone out there who is either dealing with their own PD or a loved one-like I myself am. In my dad’s case, another symptom he deals with is loss of the ability to speak. This came on so gradually that none of us was aware it was related to PD.

The Parkinson’s Voice Project based in Richardson Texas is a professional care oriented team specializing in speech strategy and execution. Find them here: https://www.parkinsonvoiceproject.org

Let me know if you have any unanswered questions and I will try to find the answer, also, let me know if the link to the lecture does not work, I will fix it!

Texas Slow to Change Cannabis Policy

Yet change is on the way!

Good news according to Medical Marijuana Inc, Texas turned a corner this year in terms of policy change as stated in the article Top 10 Cannabis Policy wins for 2019.

Photo credit: Medical Marijuana Inc

For supporters of Texas passing laws to legalize medical marijuana, small but significant shifts have been made, including the removal of hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances.

This means we can at least get CBD with no THC without fear of prosecution, although local law enforcement still seems cloudy on the issue. Stay tuned for changes there too.

Over the past four years, I have become a believer in the powers of CBD and as such, I support this bill myself, yet want to see medical marijuana legalized for my great state of Texas.

In July of this year, Governor Greg Abbott expanded our state’s limited medical cannabis program, including more qualifying conditions and therefore granting greater access to Texas residents.

The new bill (House bill 3703) expanded the conditions from just uncontrollable epilepsy to add the conditions terminal cancer, seizure disorders, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, and more.

This bill will allow licensed, board certified physicians to treat patients that qualify by prescribing low-THC medical cannabis oil to folks uninterested in recreational use, but those who are suffering will be eased by it’s many benefits.

This news gives me hope that Texas lawmakers will use common sense and compassion when considering legalization for those living in pain in the red state.

Right now though, reform is slow and under current law, possessing under 2oz. or less could mean a 6-month jail term and a fine up to $2,000.

According to Medical Marijuana Inc article.

According to the website, cannabis legalization is one of the most popular issues for Americans and honestly, I hope the laws change soon to include growing marijuana for one’s personal consumption.

Right now, however, we will have to be happy with the many benefits of CBD oil, yet I caution everyone to do diligent research before buying just any ole brand. Make sure it is third-party tested, pure, and contains no THC.

As you may or may not know, I have tried a few different brands myself, after careful research and consideration, or, by trusting the knowledgeable shop owners at two of the respected CBD stores local to me.

For those dealing with pain, anxiety, or sleep deprivation, CBD is a godsend. However, CBD is fast being sold as snake oil, and can be altered or diluted to the point that it’s not effective, so buyers beware.

DO YOUR RESEARCH!

When researching online, I look for the company’s proof of lab tests, farm to manufacturer relationship, I make sure it’s 100% pure and solvent free, organically grown and THC free.

CBD supports your own ECS or endocannabinoid system, maintaining digestive health, controlling inflammation, supports better brain health, allowing you to focus-CBD acts in concert with your ECS making your body work for you.

Some companies have reward programs, offer discounts, have affiliate programs and more. My only issue with online purchasing is the addition of tax and shipping, making me want to by locally.

What I usually do is research the company online, as in the case of the Blue Moon Hemp company, then I was lucky enough to find it locally in several different locations, such as vape shops, CBD stores, and so-called “glass shops.”

A small sample of some of the CBD products I’ve tried

I admit, I have also tried a sample from a company called Hempworx, which operates like a MLM, however I did like the product.

I don’t have the time or energy to get that involved, but I will endorse the product since it worked well for me. Read this post for more.

CBD can be used in a variety of ways, it can be eaten, vaped, taken by pill, tincture, or balm. Some companies are even adding it to beauty products like body lotions, bath bombs, and lip balm.

There is still a lot of confusion about CBD and products containing THC.

I urge you to explore such sites as Leafly and Medical Marijuana Inc to learn all there is to know about the difference in hemp and marijuana.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the fda and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before starting any new supplement program.