The Great Butter Debate

The Great Butter Debate

Not all butter is created equal. I want to show you the difference between real butter and margarine so you can decide if you want to make the healthier choice. I want you to understand why margarine is downright dangerous, and why grass-fed butter is the best choice for you and your family.

What is Margarine?

 “Margarine is a butter substitute made from vegetable oils or animal fats” according to the web dictionary.  It was invented in France in 1869 because the Emperor Napoleon III issued a challenge to Hippolyte Mege-Mouries to create a butter replacement from animal tallow for the servicemen and the lower classes.

What is the difference between butter and margarine is clear. Butter is made from the butterfat of milk whereas margarine is made mainly of refined vegetable oil and water and may  contain milk. Some people call it oleo, since it was originally called oleomargarine, and in Britain, they shorten it to marge

Ever since I went Paleo before I became Keto, I knew that vegetable oil was not good for you and threw all of it out of my house. All we use in my house are these oils: 

  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • avocado oil
  • bacon fat

Those of us in the low-carb world are taught that we must get our fat from good sources like grass-fed butter, avocados, coconut products (oil, manna, butter, and milk), and somewhere I read that on a molecular level, margarine was just one molecule off of being plastic! Well, I don’t know if all that is true, but it sure scared me off of using it ever again. Just like being told that certain sweeteners like Equal and Splenda contain carcinogens made me make the switch to all natural Stevia, I made the switch to real, grass-fed butter (Kerrygold) and I’ve used it ever since. 

I found Kerrygold in tubs without olive oil added while on vacation!

The war between margarine and butter has been going on since the late 1800’s because the dairy industry saw margarine as the competition, which it is, and it still persists to this day. When it was first created, it was made using mainly beef fat, yet after the depression, manufacturers started using vegetable oil because of the shortage of beef fat, and in the early 1900’s commercial oleomargarine was produced by using a combo of animal fats and some hardened and unhardened vegetable oils.

After 1950, the industry changed due to problems with supply, legislation, and switched completely to making margarine with vegetable oils. The problem was the product was white compared to butter which was yellow, making it most unappealing to consumers. Thus began the practice of coloring the margarine which caused more problems and scared the dairy farms into passing legislation against the coloring method. Later during WWII, oleo became popular because there was a shortage of butter and around 1955 the law was repealed and margarine could be sold for the first time colored like butter.

By the 21st century, margarine became known as a spread and most brands phased out hydrogenated oils and became trans-fat free. Some brands created refrigerator stable spreads that contained only 1/3 of the fat and calorie content and other brands added Omega-3 fatty acids to their spreads, low salt, olive oils, or plant sterols to lower cholesterol (supposedly) to make them certified vegan oils. Today’s spreads are made from a variety of oils including safflower, rapeseed, soybean, cottonseed or olive oils.

Grass-fed Butter is Better

 Many studies have shown that people who eat grass fed butter have a lower risk of heart disease. The case against saturated fat has been debunked in recent years with several studies done showing no association between saturated fat consumption and heart disease. 

 Grass fed butter has many good fatty acids like conjugated LINOLEIC acid which studies show can have powerful effects on health. CLA is popular as a fat loss supplement which may explain why people who eat more good fats tend to lose weight, in conjunction with a low carb diet and exercise. Grass-fed butter contains 5 times more CLA than butter from grain-fed cows. 

 Another reason grass fed butter is a more nutritious choice is that it is higher in omega three fatty acid‘s and vitamin K 12 compared to better from grain fed cows. 

Several studies from different countries where cows are grass-fed show that dairy fat is linked to reduced heart attacks and strokes. One of these studies was from Australia, which showed that those folks who ate the most full-fat dairy had a 69% lower risk of heart disease than people who ate the least. 

My favorite brand is Kerrygold, but there are other brands to choose from such as Organic Valley pasture butter and Anchor butter which is imported from New Zealand. Whichever brand you choose, just know that they are readily available online, in health food stores and some have even made it to your local grocery store. I have found Kerrygold at Walmart, Aldi, and Kroger, yet you can also purchase it from Amazon.

Another plus for Kerrygold concerns the subject of bioaccumulated toxins. See, dairy cows can store lots of yucky chemical pollutants in their fat, including their milk fat. so, if cows graze on contaminated soil and then ingest it, and you eat the butter, ice cream, or cheese that was produced by those cows, supposedly those toxins, including one called dioxin, go directly into you. 

In the case of Kerrygold butter cows however, Ireland has a very low toxicity rate in their soil (between 0-0.5 pg/g milk fat) which means that people eating products made with Irish cows milk have a a very low risk from a bioaccumulative perspective. That is another reason I stick with what I know, and that is Kerrygold butter! 

CBD Oil-Busting Myths

CBD Oil-Busting Myths

You know, originally, I was not going to do a blog post on CBD today, I was going to talk about the delicious Keto Balls I made at the Girls Party the other day. However, it has been brought to my attention via Facebook, that I think I “know it all” when it comes to CBD, all because a couple of girls are talking about it and I suggested a local store where she could purchase a quality product. I AM an alternative health blogger after all, and now I feel I have to defend myself, so today I’m going to put out some facts and bust some myths in an effort to not only prove I know what I’m talking about, but keep my friends and family safe by not putting inferior products into their bodies (which I guess these gals think I do.) The person in question suggested that what I was buying was NOT CBD Oil because you clearly cannot get a quality product with no additives and/or fillers from a local shop. What???? I’m here to tell you, she is wrong! She is obviously being brainwashed by the person she is talking to who only wants her to think her product is the be-all-end-all when it comes to CBD. Her product is HEMPWORX by the way, more on that later in this post.

Many companies have jumped on the CBD bandwagon in the last 1-2 years, it’s true, because of the growing popularity, the availability, the fact that it is legal, and they all have their marketing tricks. That is why it is important to always do your own research before you purchase and consume said products!

If you follow me, and I sincerely hope you do, you know that I switched from smoking to vaping about four years ago. After that discovery, I learned about CBD oil and it’s wonderful benefits and found that some brands made CBD oil you can vape, soon I was on a quest to find a quality vape oil with the best, lab tested, most pure, “Plant Only” product I could find. So, I did my research like any good blogger should. As a result, I not only found a few great online companies, I found one of those companies sells their product to local vape shops and I was in heaven! I got my hands on it asap and started enjoying the benefits immediately.

The first company I went with (which I have already blogged on in the past) was Blue Moon Hemp who I trust completely because they provide proof on their website of the rigorous testing they put their products through. You can even view the complete breakdown of what their CBD consists of under the resources tab for their COA-(Certificate of Analysis). They make all sorts of different products, tinctures, balms, gummies, pet products and vape oil, but I only wanted to try the vape oil at the time. I used that product, tried different flavors and slowly increased my dosage until I found the strength that worked for me, which is the preferred method. My favorite flavor is Flan btw, for those of you who care. Black Kat is also quite yummy and tastes like sweet cereal milk.

After a while, I noticed a local CBD Oil shop while driving through Colleyville. My husband and I went in and enjoyed her wide array of products, her friendly and helpful attitude, what she did not know, she provided us with the product’s website and info so we could do our own research. She had several different brands and products but again, I was only interested in what I could vape, (I have really limited myself, I have to admit) yet she gave us a sample of one of her balms and talked me into trying a tincture instead. It was ok, I didn’t really like the taste and I just prefer vaping, as it delivers the product the quickest into your system.

What Is CBD? What are it’s benefits? Can it get you High? Will you pass a drug test? How do you know what strength to use?

Let’s answer some of these questions and bust through some of the myths.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive Phytocannabinoid compound (one of hundreds) found in the hemp plant. It may be supplied as a oil containing just CBD as the active ingredient with no THC or terpenes in a variety of different ways. Because it has no THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) it will not “get you high.” There are other CBD products containing THC in small doses and those are still illegal as they are classed as Schedule 1 drugs that come from cannabis. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species grown for industrial uses like fiber, paper, clothing, food, biofuel and more. Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp come from the same plant there are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of CBD decreasing or eliminating it’s psychoactive effects. Cannabinoids attach themselves to receptors in the body producing certain effects.

What are the benefits?

The benefits vary because everyone’s physical make up is different, yet the most reported benefits among users seem to be the alleviation of anxiety, the promotion of sleep, and some studies suggest it can help stop seizures. The well-documented case of Charlottes Web helping a young girl who was having hundreds of seizures a day has brought the industry all of this acceptance. Some also claim it reduces pain, and can even fight cancer. (I make no health claims since I am not a doctor or certified specialist) Each person has to judge for themselves after careful research, trial, and error. CBD can be an alternative to anti-inflammatory and/or pain meds which is another reason it has become so popular. It might be a promising treatment for opioid addiction and those who want to stop smoking. Many studies also claim it helps symptoms of Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Will you fail or pass a drug test?

Again, you must do your research to ensure you buy CBD Oil that contains only CBD and no THC. That means you have to look at the laboratory analysis which is provided if the company is reputable. Blue Moon Hemp says on it’s website that they go the extra step of removing ALL of the THC from their product thus rendering testing positive for THC impossible. That is why I completely trust it.

How do you know who much or how little to use? What strength should you start at, etc?

While you should consider many things when answering this question, know that everyone is different, therefore there’s really no set answer, it’s more of a trial and error kind of thing. All the research suggests that if you are a beginner, you should start with a low dose and work your way up, again, I am not a health practitioner and cannot give out medical advice. I can only provide information based on my own research and what I have discovered through my own use. I started with 100mg (per bottle) of vape oil (in other words, I would have to vape al day every day til the bottle was gone to get 100mgs) slowly moved up to where I was when I last did it (which has been a while since both of my tanks are broken) which was 300mg (per bottle). Talk to the store owners, they should be knowledgeable about the products they are selling. Doctors are not trained to cover CBD so they can only recommend, not prescribe CBD. Even the Mayo clinic bases it’s suggestions for dosage on scientific research, publications, traditional use, and expert opinions. Check out the website cbdoilreview.org for specific dosage information compiled by the Mayo Clinic for various illnesses.

Ok, you’ve seen my review of Blue Moon Hemp and you can certainly check them out yourselves but what about HEMPWORX?

From everything I was able to gather, HEMPWORX is a MLM mostly interested in cash flow, not creating the best CBD on the market. One website said it was “Ok at best, but in no way, shape or form, was the best CBD oil on the market.” According to their review, they are overpriced and not the highest quality. While not exactly a Ponzi scheme, their main goal is to get affiliates to promote their products.
This is unfortunate for the lady in question that started all the Facebook hubbub. She is a victim of this company’s shady business practices.

The bottom line is, if you want to know more about CBD, talk to an expert…there are supposedly CBD doctors out there that can guide you and there’s also people like my blogger friend Roxie (The Oily Guru) who know the ins and outs of everything to do with essential oils and aromatherapy. She also knows a thing or two about other oils as well, including CBD! Check out this post.

I am not an affiliate of any CBD Oil or company, although I may consider becoming one!

*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 case. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and/or trust.

Use Your Leftover Turkey To Make A Great Meal Tonight!

How can you use your leftover turkey to make a great meal tonight?

Do what I did last night, I scoured Pinterest for the best keto recipes for leftover turkey and found this one for Jalapeno Popper Casserole. We ate it with a nice salad and that was a quick, easy dinner that used up my remaining turkey!

While there were lots of recipes to choose from, I was house bound yesterday and had to use what I had on hand. Lucky for me, I always keep and extra brick of Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese in the fridge and it came in handy for this recipe!

Whipped might have been easier 😊

This meal was so cheesy and delicious, it’s sure to please your entire family. I can’t take all the credit though, the recipe came from An Edible Mosaic blog and sadly, I forgot to take my own picture of the finished product, but she has one on her site if you need a visual.

This meal would be delicious whether you used chicken, or turkey, as it was, I had to chop up a bit of leftover ham to reach two cups of meat and it still turned out fabulous!

I pinned the recipe to my page, or you can click the link above to take you straight to it. It’s gluten-free, low-carb, keto approved!

We had enough for a second meal!

My dad had given me some of his home-grown green onions and they came in handy for the final garnish. Thanks Dad!

Do You Know This Fruit?

Do You Know This Fruit?

  Comes in its own protective shell

The other day while helping serve Thanksgiving meals at the church daycare I will soon be working at, I tasted a fruit salad containing an unknown fruit. It was delicious, but we could not figure out who brought it, therefore, I didn’t learn until later what it was.

That same afternoon I visited my friend Stephanie and her caregiver Stephanie did a quick web search and we discovered what the mystery fruit was, it’s called Physalis-also known as the Ground Cherry, or Cape Gooseberry. (Not to be confused with true gooseberries)

Physalis peruviana-Wikipedia

The fruit, for those of you who have never seen or tasted it, is the same size as cherry tomatoes yet orange. It is covered by a papery greenish brown husk that is NOT EDIBLE, in fact, it’s poisonous.

I found some good info on packaging and recipes at Nature’s Pride and did further research on Wikipedia and other sites to learn more about this yummy, beneficial fruit.

A note to those on Keto like me, the fruit is considered a berry but is higher in carbs than most. One cup has 11.2g carbs per 3.5oz. so enjoy in small settings because it would be a shame not to reap it’s many benefits:

  • Good source of Vitamin C
  • Moderate levels of thiamin and niacin
  • Contains linoleic and oleic fatty acids
  • Good source of Calcium, iron, and phosphorus
  • Rich in Vitamin A

The fruit can be used in a variety of ways, in salads, raw, canned, made into preserves, sauce, jam, or chutneys. In Columbia, it is stewed with honey and eaten like a dessert.

In the salad that I tasted, it was mixed with cranberries and pecans, later I added some coconut (unsweetened) and it enhanced it’s flavor (to me anyway).

It has been known as an alternative method for treating many disorders in traditional medicine by several different cultures and countries.

In South Africa for instance, it was found to inhibit both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, is a good source of carotene, and it’s also used as a diuretic and anthelmintic. (destroys parasitic worms)

There are at least 46 different species and the only one I looked up is the Peruviana! Not all the species bear fruit and some species can taste more savory than sweet.

They can also be dried and used the same way as raisins.

Well, I hope you learned a little and also decided to try this delicious little fruit sometime! I am eager to find it, buy some, and make some new recipes with it myself!

Grown on bushes in Central and South America

 

 

Finally, A Porridge I Can Love!

Baby, it’s cold outside and that calls for a nice, hot bowl of tasty, low-carb porridge to warm you from the inside out! Finally, I have stumbled on one that I can love, made from almond flour, flax, egg, butter, and cream, with the texture I’ve been missing from cream of wheat.

Photo credit: Deryn Macey for Unsplash

I was searching through my Pinterest board, looking for a warm bowl of something tasty to make for breakfast, since it’s 29 degrees here in Texas this morning, when I saw it. A post from The Low Carb Maven about a porridge that’s simple, quick, and tastes just like the cream of wheat I used to eat back in the pre-Paleo, pre-Keto days.

She calls it just what it is, Almond Flour Porridge Breakfast Cereal (Low Carb, Keto, Paleo) and I was in such a rush to eat it, I totally forgot to take a picture of it! I’m a terrible blogger! (Just click the link for a photo.)

Since I can no longer eat oatmeal (and never was a fan anyway), I love the thought of a warm, buttery bowl of goodness like this here porridge provides. It is also important that it has the same mouth feel as cream of wheat, or malt-o-meal like I used to eat as a kid.

The recipe comes together quick, I opted for a mix it-microwave it til it’s ready version, but you can make it on the stove as well. I was in a rush. It still turned out perfect! It looked a little different in the bowl, yet tasted perfectly fine on my tongue.

Photo credit: Pixabay

My sweeteners were the only change to her recipe, as I don’t have any of the kind she mentioned. I always use Pyure brand Stevia and/or coconut sugar, in this case I used a little of both. She didn’t say, but I use Kerrygold grass-fed butter also. (Always!)

The link above will take you to the recipe, or my Pinterest board would, but if you’re in a rush and want it now, here it is:

Almond Flour Porridge

Ingredients:

3 T Sukrin Defatted Almond Flour

1T ground golden flax

pinch salt

3/4 C water

1 lg beaten egg

1T Sukrin Gold (or your favorite sweetener to taste)

1T heavy cream

(She added berries but I did not, totally up to you, just figure in the added carbs)

She also gives on the stove instructions, but I mixed everything into the beaten egg except the cream which I added later as the cereal started to thicken in the microwave. I cooked it in 45 second bursts until it was thick and hot.

Let me know your thoughts if you try it, oh, and one more thing of note; I used the almond flour I had on hand, and the flax too, which was brown…it turned out just as good. 😉