The Alopecia Universalis Causes

In order to cure a disease, you need to address the causes that created the disorder. Not much is known about the Alopecia Universalis causes because a very small percentage of the population even has it. It is somewhere around 1% of the population.

As I research the causes of Alopecia Universalis, I have taken into consideration the causes of Alopecia Areata as well. Alopecia Areata is the milder form of Alopecia Universalis and is often how the disease presents itself in the initial phases.

Hopefully, understanding the causes of Alopecia Universalis will help me achieve my goal to treat alopecia universalis naturally.

An unknown cause

Alopecia universalis is the advanced form of alopecia areata. Alopecia areata starts with round patches of hair loss. The most commonly accepted cause is an autoimmune condition. This means that a person’s immune system is attacking the follicles, but it doesn’t explain why.

Genetic studies have discovered that Alopecia Universalis and Alopecia Areata are associated with several immune-related genes. This makes perfect sense to me. My sister and I both have multiple autoimmune conditions. The presentation of AU and AA are ultimately a combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Genes create a predisposition to the condition, but it doesn’t mean that it will develop.

In my case, my alopecia did not even show up until my thirties. Some factors that may contribute to the onset of hair loss include a viral infection, changing hormones, and emotional stress.

Vitamin D deficiency

Some studies have found that there is a correlation between Alopecia Areata and vitamin D deficiency. Whether dietary intake of vitamin D will alleviate the symptoms of alopecia is still relatively unknown.

I have read some patients who report online that they were able to regrow their hair within a short amount of time by adding vitamin D to their diets. While this is difficult to confirm, it is something to take into consideration as there are many publications associating vitamin D deficiency with hair loss. My own blood tests have indicated a vitamin D deficiency and I’m working on correcting it.

Biotin deficiency

Biotin is an important coenzyme for carboxylation reactions. In some very rare cases of deficiency, patients may develop hair loss. Genetic abnormalities or malabsorption caused by excessive intake of avidin, which is rich in raw eggs, can result in a biotin deficiency.

Biotin supplementation has been helpful in the treatment of brittle nails, or onychoschisis. A study including biotin supplementation administered zinc, topical clobetasol, and 20 mg of biotin a day showed more complete regrowth in the treatment group (33.3% of patients) compared to the control group over a year-long period.

Unfortunately, combination therapy prevents any conclusions about the efficacy of supplementing just biotin.

A zinc deficiency

Zinc is a trace element that has an integral role in the hair growth cycle. Hair follicles must have zinc to produce new hair shafts during the growth phase of the cycle. When a person’s zinc intake is low, it can cause poor immune function and hormone imbalances including hair loss.

This type of deficiency triggers the temporary hair loss Telogen Effluvium. This hair loss presents as shedding all over the scalp compared to the circular patches of alopecia areata. An Egyptian study shows that zinc levels may also influence Alopecia Areata.

The study examined fifty patients compared to healthy control subjects. Twenty-five of the test subjects were newly diagnosed with alopecia areata. They measured the serum zinc levels and compared the mean results with the control groups. The study found correlations between zinc level and the extent of AA in all patients.

Patients with AA had significantly lower zinc levels than the control group. The patients with resistant alopecia areata showed significantly lower zinc levels than the newly diagnosed patients.

My conclusion

After reading up on the causes of alopecia universalis and alopecia areata, I realize that it may not simply be a vitamin D deficiency that is causing my disease. I probably have a few different micronutrient deficiencies that I need to correct. I don’t wish to add more supplements to my diet. I prefer to eat whole foods, so I will look for some whole food sources of zinc and biotin to add to my diet.

Should You Use Emu Oil for Hair Loss?

First, let me put it out there that I am at the beginning of experimenting with emu oil for curing my alopecia universalis. I have inconsistently applied it to my scalp for about 5 days. This is not a solid endorsement of emu oil for hair loss, but rather an exploration of how and why it may work for hair loss.

I will report in a month whether or not my alopecia universalis saw any benefit from applications of emu oil. In the meantime, I will examine what all the hype is about with emu oil.

Emu oil for hair loss

The idea of topically applying emu oil for hair loss came to me when I was reading the Nourishing World blog post about not using butter oil for vitamin K anymore. It talked about how emu oil was a better source for both vitamin K and vitamin D. That was interesting, but I still had Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil to finish up. I wasn’t interested in changing up my supplement game. I read more about emu oil and someone had topically applied it to a wound. To me that was interesting. I know that you can absorb vitamins through your skin. Perhaps applying it to my scalp would get the vitamin D to the hair follicle faster.

I started to look up information on emu oil and of course, it is promoted for hair loss among other things! It sounds like one of those magical cures when you read about it, so when I ordered a bottle, I just got the smallest one on Amazon.

Picture of person who used emu oil for hair loss
Alopecia areata treated by emu oil.

This is a photo of a person who reportedly used emu oil to treat alopecia areata. Source: Stylecraze.com

Vitamin D and autoimmune hair loss

As I researched vitamin D deficiency and the health conditions that I had, I discovered that most of them were associated with a vitamin D deficiency, which I also had. Most of the studies are done with people who have alopecia areata, which is the milder form of alopecia universalis.

Emu oil has some vitamin D and lots of vitamin K. Applying it topically may be helpful. Your body does absorb the things that are applied topically and the hair follicles are close to the surface of the skin.

Below is some research on the association between vitamin D and hair loss.

 

Professor Hollick on Emu Oil

Professor Michael Hollick, Ph.D., from the Boston University School of Medicine, led research into emu oil’s ability to restore hair follicle activity. He found that treating skin with emu oil resulted in a 20% increase in hair growth activity compared to skin treated with corn oil. (Yikes! Who puts corn oil on their head, but they did need to have a control group.)

After examining the hairs, Hollick discovered they were much more robust and skin thickness had increased. This suggests that using emu oil for hair loss can stimulate both skin growth and hair growth.

He also discovered that the emu oil awakened over 80% of hair follicles that had been dormant and triggered hair regrowth.

Hollick stated, “We found that there was an enhancement in the growth activity of hair follicles.”

Researchers believe that the abundance of essential fatty acids may have had an impact on hair growth. Oleic acid may be the secret behind using emu oil for hair loss. It has the ability to penetrate deeply into the skin.

 

Separating emu oil fact from fiction

The blog post, Emu Oil Benefits Separating Fact from Fiction by  Cleure.com, provided this statistic that sounds promising. Unfortunately, I couldn’t verify the statistic because they hadn’t linked it to the source.

English studies indicate that there is an average of 8% growth per month using emu oil. Participants saw an average of 48% hair regrowth after six months. The participants applied emu oil on their scalp and were instructed to leave it on for 30 minutes. The hair growth was evident after 30 days.

 

My conclusion on emu oil for hair loss

I think it is worth giving it a try! I know that one of the most difficult things for me will be to actually remember to apply something to my skin on a daily basis. For some reason, I just don’t like using lotions and potions on my skin, but emu oil is a natural product and can provide my body with the extra vitamin K and vitamin D that may correct the deficiency that I have. If that is the case, it could be the key to my hair regrowth. That would be amazing! I have suffered from alopecia universalis for ten years!

My Goal: Cure Alopecia Universalis Naturally

I’m on day 28 of the Whole30 diet. No, it did not produce any Alopecia Universalis regrowth. Nothing substantial. I do have some clear eyelashes, but I have seen those come and go over the years. There is a patch of vellus hairs on my head that never get longer than 1/16 of an inch. It is super disappointing.

I have tried a variety of diets. I usually last about 3 months on a diet before I throw in the towel. I usually give up when I have had a seizure or there is a major holiday or social event. I haven’t given up on diets healing my body, I just haven’t really stuck with them long enough to see results.

My hair does grow back with drug therapy. I did it once with progesterone. The problem with adding that hormone was that it lowered my thyroid hormone. To test my thyroid hormone levels, I had to come off of it for two weeks and then everything that grew back just fell out. It was unnatural and wouldn’t last.

The autoimmune paleo diet

I lasted three months on this diet. I did not see any regrowth. It was difficult, but not impossible. The thing that I don’t like about AIP is giving up eggs and dairy. It does allow for sweet potatoes and olive oil, which can be quite tasty.

I have read about people who had Alopecia Universalis having success after about eight months on this type of diet. Eight months is a long time because you have to get through multiple holidays to be successful.

 

Picture of sweet potato fries.
Sweet potato fries are allowed on the AIP diet.

The paleo-ketogenic diet

I lasted three months on this diet. I even tried it twice. My biggest problem with this diet is that it doesn’t improve my vitamin D levels. I had two seizures on the diet the last time I tried it. Dr. Zsofia Clemens had me get blood levels tested. I started out with only a vitamin D deficiency. I ended three months later with a slightly lower level.

While the diet is super restrictive, I didn’t feel terrible while I was on the diet. But I didn’t see any alopecia Universalis regrowth. I think the biggest benefit of doing that diet with the Paleomedicina group is clueing me into the vitamin D deficiency. I think that may have been my problem all along.

Picture of a steak.
Steaks are a staple on the paleo-ketogenic diet.

The GAPS diet

This is the most complicated diet with the most promises for healing autoimmune and neurological conditions. It has so many steps and requires supplements. One of the recommended supplements that I took inconsistently the first time I tried the diet was cod liver oil. I think that this is the supplement that has actually helped me the most in the last three months. I think had I taken the recommended dosage consistently the first time I tried the diet, I would have been successful.

The GAPS diet is complicated. You are encouraged to take probiotics and start with an introductory diet that consists of boiled meats and meat stock. Then you add in certain vegetables in stages. It is mentally challenging to figure it all out. I know that hair grows so slowly that it will be difficult to test out foods to see exactly what is causing the hair to fall out or regrow.

Picture of a pot of soup
Soups are a staple for the GAPS diet

Topical remedies

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I did buy an expensive topical cream online. It was a few hundred dollars. I spent that about 2-3 years into my hair loss. It produced no results.

I have tried rubbing onions on my head. That was supposed to trigger something in the hair follicle and make it grow. It didn’t. I gave up on it quickly.

Right now, the topical remedy that I am trying out is Emu oil. Why? Because it has vitamin D and K in it. I know that I have been deficient in vitamin D for many years. Most of my symptoms are correlated with a vitamin D deficiency. I have raised the levels to about 49 ng/ml and feel so much better than when it was at 29. I think this will be the key to curing Alopecia Universalis naturally.

I must be honest, I haven’t been consistent in applying emu oil to my head. I have been able to get an application a day in for almost a week. I need to make it a habit for it to actually produce results.

Conclusion

The Whole30 diet will not cure Alopecia Universalis in a month. You may need about 8 months of an elimination diet AND vitamin D to cure your autoimmune condition. I will be doing a version of GAPS/AIP in March to try to cure my autoimmune condition, Alopecia Universalis.

This will be a tiny bit different than the Whole30 diet. I will need to give up potatoes. I may need to eliminate all nightshades as they are triggering to people with autoimmune conditions. That stinks. I was hoping to grow tomatoes this summer, but we’ll see what happens.

3 Things You Should Eat Every Day

After much experimentation with elimination diets and studying nutrition. I have come up with a few things that you should eat everyday for good health. These are foods that are nutrient-dense and provide you with the vitamins and minerals that sustain life.

I understand if you don’t have access to some of these ingredients or if you have to settle for lower-quality products from the grocery store. These are just some ideas of how to get the best possible nutrition for your body.

Cod liver oil

This is probably the supplement that has created the best results for me. It not only raised my vitamin D levels, but also decreased the number, severity, and intensity of the few seizures that I was having. Studies on the effect of vitamin D have linked vitamin D deficiency to autoimmune conditions, epilepsy, skin breakouts, hair loss, and even MS.

  • High in vitamins A – 90% of the RDI of vitamin A
  • High in vitamin D – 113% of the RDA of vitamin D in a teaspoon
  • Reduces inflammation – the omega-3 fatty acids in the cod liver oil help to suppress proteins promoting chronic inflammation.
  • Improves bone health – the vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium
  • Cod liver oil has been shown to reduce joint pain.
  • Improve eye health – vitamin A protects against eye disease.

Grassfed Beef

Beef is a powerhouse of nutrition. There is more nutrition in beef that has been pasture-raised on the grass. If you have a budget and a source for great grass-fed beef, include it as one of the things you should eat every day.

Some of the health benefits that grass-fed beef promotes:

  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels
  • Contains electrolytes including sodium, potassium, and magnesium
  • Fights cancer with twice the amounts of conjugated linoleic acid.
  • Six times more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.
  • Helps to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis and depression.
  • Decreases your risk of heart disease with the increased consumption of CLA.

Pasture-Raised Eggs

Farm fresh eggs are the highest quality eggs that you can get. Don’t feel bad about substituting the store-bought eggs if that is what you can afford. You can still see some of the great health benefits from them. Unfortunately, you may be supporting big agriculture and bad farming practices.

Eggs are very convenient for breakfast or a snack. There are many ways to cook eggs. You can even mix them with olive oil and vinegar to create mayonnaise and consume them raw.

The following health benefits can be achieved with eggs:

  • Eggs contain vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium, and zinc.
  • Eggs provide your body with 6 grams of protein.
  • Eggs give you 5 grams of healthy fats.
  • Eggs raise the HDL or “good” cholesterol.
  • Eggs are a source of choline which is used to build cell membranes.
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • They contain lutein and zeaxanthin which benefit eye health.

 

Consistency is key

Eating highly nutrient-dense foods every day will lead to overall better health. I was very inconsistent for many years taking cod liver oil. I saw inconsistent results. It wasn’t until I committed to taking it every day and had my blood levels tested that I was able to observe a good improvement in my overall health and well-being. Not only did the number in my lab result reflect a healthier body, but I felt better.

These are foods that can easily be incorporated into your daily diet. You can have eggs for breakfast and a hamburger patty for dinner with a cod liver oil supplement at lunchtime. Ground beef is one of the most versatile foods and can be made into a patty or used in a casserole. These are nutrient foods that you should eat every day for great health.

 

Day 26 of the Whole30 Diet Plan

I am in the home stretch with the Whole30 diet plan. I have made it past the initial food cravings that happened in week one. I conquered to side effects from detoxing in week two. I feel pretty great and I am looking at only four more days of avoiding butter, grains, sugar, and dairy.

Honestly, I will probably keep going with this diet but there is half a pound of high-quality butter from a local dairy in my freezer. I froze it in order to start this diet. I also have some grocery store bacon to use up. But after consuming those things, I will probably return to the Whole30 way of eating. It is pretty good.

My Whole30 Best Recipes

I think the best whole30 recipe that I created on this diet was a breakfast hash that included butternut squash, fatback, and hamburger. I seasoned it up with onion and garlic powder. It was amazing. I may even like it more than bacon. Not to mention, it didn’t stick to my cast-iron skillet as eggs do in the morning.

The second best recipe that I had on this way of eating was salmon patties. I took canned salmon and mixed it with pork rinds and an egg. Then I fried it up in lard. Oh my! It was flavorful.

Finally, the third-best recipe that I made on Whole30 was a simple hamburger. It was easy enough to cook up at the drop of a hat since I keep frozen patties in my freezer. It paired well with any vegetables that I wanted. And my Foreman grill always cooked it perfectly.

Whole30 Pitfalls

It was fairly easy for me to get in the habit of only eating whole foods. The biggest whole30 pitfall that I faced was eating foods that I didn’t think had added ingredients. I forgot to check the ingredients of the pastured raised bacon and the olives. Turns out, they did have some of the preservatives in them that I was supposed to avoid.

If you are starting out with the Whole30 diet, remember to check the labels! Making the assumption that there are no additives in your food is dangerous. I still feel pretty successful at managing to stick to this diet 95%.

My Whole30 Supplements

I know you aren’t supposed to take supplements on Whole30. They are not whole foods. However, I strongly felt that the cod liver oil that I had been taking had raised my vitamin D levels to the point of preventing seizures. My levels were over 50 and I could tell that my brain was functioning better. I also didn’t have seizures, so I felt that it wasn’t worth it to risk having one and break my streak just to try out the Whole30 diet.

I continued to take Carlson’s cod liver oil and the ion biome supplement (once called Restore) that Zac Bush created to combat glyphosate in our food supply. Both I had on hand. I will continue on with the cod liver oil for certain. I don’t know about the ion biome supplement. Neither of them produced any hair regrowth in the last three months. But I digress…

Whole30 Weight Loss

The Whole30 diet plan encourages you to avoid looking at the scale. I have no idea if I lost weight during this diet or not. I can say for certain that I stopped bloating. When I started the diet, my PMS had kicked in and I was rather bloated.

During this menstrual cycle, I did not experience the same amount of bloating that I did at the outset of the whole30 diet. Whether it is a coincidence or not, I can’t say for sure.

My pants do fit perfectly now. Only the high-rise ones seem a bit tight, but I’m not used to wearing high-rise jeans. They are cut a bit differently. My regular jeans don’t seem too loose or too tight, so I’m pretty content. I’m unconcerned about whether I gained or lost weight.

Conclusion

The Whole30 diet rocks! I’m so glad that I have done it. I still want to tweak it a bit more to see if I can’t cure my alopecia universalis (whole body hair loss).

Best Electric Vegetable Steamer

In my mind, the best electric vegetable steamer will always be theBlack and Decker HS800 Steamer and Rice Cooker. I purchased two of them and they both lasted over 5 years. Unfortunately, it is no longer being produced. You can still buy it for $250 on Amazon. But I’m not going to consider it the best electric vegetable steamer at that price.

Instead, I decided to research and test some other steamers to recommend. I looked for simplicity in design, ease of use, low price, and functionality. I wanted to find something that mimicked the convenience of my lovely Black and Decker Steamer and Rice Cooker.

Name: Oster 2 Tiered 5 Quart Food Steamer Review

 

Website: Available at Amazon

Price: $23.06

Owners: Oster

Overall Rank: 88 out of 100

Oster Double Tiered 5 Quart Food Steamer, Product Overview

This is a food steamer that can be used for meat, fish, eggs, and poultry. The steaming retains nutrients. It eliminates the need to cook in oil. Oster’s double-tiered designs enables you to cook multiple dishes separately. You can cook your salmon and broccoli at the same time.

The transparent steaming bowls allow you to see the cooking progress of your foods. You can watch as your asparagus softens with the steam.

The Oster food steamer has a 5-quart capacity with two transparent steaming containers. It also features a 60-minute timer to ensure that you don’t forget to turn the food off. It will automatically shut off when the water is empty or the cycle is complete.

 

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

 

  • Automated timer
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 5-quart capacity
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • 2 tiered system for cooking multiple dishes at once

The Bad:

  • Thin plastic
  • Some customers reported leakage
  • Baskets are small

I love using a steamer to cook my eggs. Since I didn’t have complaints, I referred to the negative reviews on Amazon to find the bad aspects of the Oster double-tiered electric vegetable steamer.

Who is Oster Vegetable Steamer for?

This is for the busy person who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. A vegetable steamer is much less expensive than the other popular kitchen gadgets like a pressure cooker or an air fryer. It provides you with a healthy method of cooking with the convenience of a timer to shut the food off when it is done cooking.

An electric vegetable steamer is perfect for people who are starting the GAPS diet, the Whole30, and the paleo diets. Many of those foods should be cooked at home instead of in vegetable oils that are often used in restaurants.

Oster Vegetable Steamer Tools & Training

There isn’t much training or support needed. It does come with an instruction manual. But you basically fill up the water reserve, put the vegetables into the basket, and turn the timer to the time that you want.

Oster Vegetable Steamer Support

If you need it, you can visit the Oster website to register your vegetable steamer and access their support department.

Their experts are available Mon-Fri, 9AM – 5PM ET. You can Call 1-800-334-0759 for Oster Appliances.

Oster Vegetable Steamer Price

At $23.06, this vegetable steamer is a steal. I find myself steaming vegetables in the summer when I don’t want to stand over a hot stove. I also steam my eggs instead of boiling them to have snacks of hard-boiled eggs on hand. It is one kitchen appliance that is inexpensive, but it will save you plenty of time. I find that I use it often.

My Final Opinion of Oster Vegetable Steamer

The Oster vegetable steamer is one of the few kitchen appliances that I actually recommend and use. I find that it is easy to use, the parts go into the dishwasher, but I often just hand wash the steamer.

Oster is a trusted brand. It has received over 5,000 global ratings on Amazon with a 4.4/5 star rating. There are a lot of people who like this product.

at a Glance…

Name: Oster two-tiered 5 quart vegetable steamer

Website: Oster.com

Owners: Oster

Price: $23.06

Overall Scam Rank: 88 out of 100

VERDICT: Legit! I recommend it!

My Simple Whole30 Meal Plan and Grocery List

My strategy for surviving the Whole30 diet was to keep it SIMPLE! Simplicity makes life easier. I didn’t try to mimic my favorite foods without the essential elements. I focused on eating whole foods that just tasted great on their own. I’m on day 23 and it is getting super easy and my taste buds have adapted to the whole foods. In some ways, I prefer eating this way.

My meal planning is super simple. I have found that I can cook once and eat twice with many of the dishes that I make. Having a large salad and soup in the refrigerator ensures that I always have a fast lunch or dinner.

My Whole30 Meal Plan

The main menu gets rotated quite a bit. I do tend to have leftovers frequently. This week, I did not have pulled pork, but when I buy a pork shoulder, it gets eaten in a few different creative ways throughout the week.

Breakfast:

  1. hamburger hash with butternut squash and an apple
  2. boiled eggs
  3. scrambled eggs

Lunch:

  1. hamburger patty with green beans
  2. hamburger patty with salad
  3. soup

Dinner:

  1. roast beef with carrots and potatoes
  2. roast beef with salad
  3. salmon patty with butternut squash
  4. soup

Whole30 Grocery List

These are the things that I buy to make my Whole30 menu work. I keep the seasonings to a minimum with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

My Whole30 Grocery List:

  • 2-3 lb. chuck roast
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • value pack of ground beef
  • 2 16 ounce packages of butternut squash
  • romaine lettuce
  • 7 apples
  • 1 package frozen green beans (sometimes broccoli)
  • 1 lb. package of organic carrots
  • 1 bag of potatoes
  • 2 whole onions
  • 1 can of olives (to top off the salad)
  • 1 lb. fatback (I get local pork lard from the farmer’s market. It is great for cooking.)
  • 1 lb. liver (I eat an ounce of liver a day for vitamins and minerals.)

This shopping list will feed one person for a week. I do tend to have some leftovers. I cook a weekly roast and eat it with my brother and my folks. There are usually leftovers for another meal or two during the week.

Alt text: Whole30 grocery list from Delish

Caption: Delish created a Whole30 grocery list with some Whole30 favorites. Source: Delish

Soups

I cook up the leftover bones that I have each week to make a savory broth. I add whatever vegetables that I have on hand to the broth to make it tasty and filling as well as some extra ground beef or leftover roast. Having a pot of soup in the refrigerator takes the pressure off of meal planning. If I ever can’t think of something to have, I pull out my soup.

Homemade meat stock is very healing. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has it as the main part of her GAPS diet. Dr. Kellyann Petrucci created a whole Bone Broth diet for weight loss. I try to eat a cup or two of homemade soup every day. My batch of soup usually lasts about six days.

Conclusion

A Whole30 diet plan does not have to stress you out. Simple meals and eating leftovers make meal planning and grocery shopping a snap. When you eat enough calories for each meal, you are full until the next meal and don’t have to worry about snacks. If you do need a snack, you can quickly grab a few almonds or a boiled egg. I keep a lot of boiled eggs on hand for quick breakfast protein or an addition to a salad. Sometimes I will eat an egg as a side dish for my soup meals.

The meals that I prepare are good on their own. They don’t need a starchy side dish or a creamy dairy dressing. Often we get in the habit of smothering our foods with seasonings without realizing that they have great flavors by themselves. My whole30 meal plan focuses on whole foods. Keep it simple for your best chance at success!

Whole30 – Coconut Aminos Review

Better Body Foods Coconut Aminos Review

Name: Better Body Foods Organic Coconut Aminos

Website: Coconut Aminos

Price: $9.97

Owners: BetterBody Foods

Overall Rank: 70 out of 100

Organic Coconut Aminos, Product Overview

Coconut Aminos are a natural, non-GMO, soy-free option to soy sauce that is Whole30 approved. It is created from the rich sap of the coconut palm, aged naturally, and blended with salt. Coconut aminos are a sweet source of the umami flavor that is used in many Asian dishes.

Coconut aminos are also gluten-free and paleo-friendly. It is an acceptable soy sauce replacement. This Coconut amino product is USDA certified organic, so almost everyone can enjoy it.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

  1. It is organic! You don’t have to worry about pesticides in this condiment.
  2. Whole30 Approved. Not a lot of foods meet the Whole30 criteria. This is one supplement that you can add to your dishes to jazz them up if you are following the Whole30 diet, the paleo diet, or are trying to go gluten-free and soy-free.
  3. No added sugar. This condiment can be used on the ketogenic diet without raising your blood sugar. It provides your foods with a sweet and salty umami flavor without spiking your glucose.

The Bad:

  1. The taste. It does NOT taste like soy sauce. It has a slightly sweet flavor rather than tasting salty.
  2. The cost. I feel the cost of $10 for a bottle was pretty high.

Who is BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Aminos For?

This product is marketed to people who are on elimination diets. It is great because it doesn’t have any added sugar. It is also gluten-free, soy-free, and MSG-free. It is an alternative to soy sauce for people who don’t mind substitutes for their favorite foods.

This product is good for people who are just adjusting to an elimination diet and still want the flavors that they had on the standard diet. It is great for people who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with healthy recipes.

Coconut Aminos Uses

Coconut Aminos can be used in savory recipes with some tweaks. You may want to add some vinegar or sea salt to offset the sweetness of the coconut aminos. Here are some fun recipes to try if you want to use coconut aminos:

BetterBody Food Organic Coconut Aminos Price

The cost of the BetterBody Organic Coconut Aminos was rather expensive for a condiment. It was $9.97 for 16 fluid ounces of the coconut aminos. While you don’t use a ton of seasoning for each recipe, most condiments are much less expensive.

When compared to other coconut amino products, it is competitive. It was the least expensive one on Amazon at the time that I ordered it.

My Final Opinion of Organic Coconut Aminos

Thumbs down. I do not like substitutions. I was optimistic that I would enjoy the taste of the coconut aminos, but it did not taste like soy sauce to me at all. There was a lot more sweet flavor. It did not taste salty at all to me as I think of soy sauce tasting.

I have used it a few times and added vinegar to offset the sweetness in stir-fry dishes. It doesn’t really mimic soy sauce or tamari. It may be useful in a dish with other seasonings to mask the sweetness.

BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Aminos at a Glance…

Name: Organic Coconut Aminos

Website: Available at Amazon

Owners: BetterBody Foods

Price: $9.97

Overall Rank: 60 out of 100

VERDICT: NOT LEGIT – Does not taste like soy sauce. Poor substitution.

Whole30 Day 22 – Positive Improvements

I am in the home stretch with the Whole30 diet. I am feeling great and have adjusted to eating simple, whole foods that don’t have grains, dairy, or added sugar. There have been a few slight, positive improvements in my health that I will report on today. I also have found some creative benefits to doing Whole30.

I am still flip-flopping on the idea of keeping up with the diet or cheating immediately. Honestly, my “cheating” would be to finish up the frozen grass-fed butter in my freezer. Because it’s butter! I love butter.

Some slight improvements

I have started tracking my symptoms with a chart. There are a few things that have not improved at all. But I realized today that my PMS symptoms this month were much, much better than they had been in previous months. I did have some bloating and gas, but I realized that it only lasted for a day instead of two. Still, it is an improvement.

There was no hair regrowth, so I still have alopecia universalis. Now and then I see some clear eyelashes and wonder if they are new, but it isn’t enough to notice.

Feeling accomplished

I have really overcome the butter addiction. I replaced butter with pork fat. Oh, my goodness, it is just like bacon! I cook everything in fatback from the local farm. It tastes so delicious.

I’ve weaned myself from my grain addiction. I no longer long for bread and butter. Which is great.

Found new recipes to enjoy

Whole30 was great for changing up my eating routines. I did discover a wonderful hash that I am enjoying for breakfast. Actually, I have realized that eating ground beef with any vegetables can be quite delicious with enough salt and pepper.

I’m glad that I had to break up with bacon every morning because it is quite expensive. Bacon starts at about $4 per pound. You can get ground beef on sale for $2 per pound.

This morning I experimented with adding apples and eggs with my ground beef. I didn’t hate it. I think that I loved the chance to be creative and change up my ingredients.

Vitamin D is helping me heal

As great as Whole30 has been in changing my dietary habits, I do believe that taking cod liver oil is keeping my seizures and auras at bay. I added the Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver and Butter Oil supplement to my diet. I did this because it has vitamin K and vitamin A, which help to balance the vitamins and make them more absorb better.

There are some actual studies on vitamin D reducing seizures. Vitamin D3 does have an anticonvulsant effect due to its ability to regulate the expression of genes which is a process mediated by a nuclear Vitamin D3 receptor.

Conclusion

Whole30 is definitely worth doing. Find a friend or family member and see if you can get them on board. There are tons of foods that you can eat. It is much more simple than the ketogenic diet where you are counting carbohydrates. It isn’t nearly as restrictive as the GAPS diet either, but it can help you get to the GAPS diet.

The best thing that Whole30 will do for you is to break your addiction to grains, sugar, and dairy. I know if I start eating those foods again, I’ll want more and more of them. But right now, I’m grateful to not be craving them. I’m glad that I have found healthy alternatives.

It hasn’t cured my alopecia universalis. It may need a bit more time. I was pretty sure that it would need more time to heal the alopecia. So, I’m not surprised.

Whole30 Tips for Success

I’m feeling pretty successful now that I have reached day 20 of my Whole30 journey. I think that I will be able to share some whole30 success tips or just tips for staying on any elimination diet. They will be very similar.

Find your favorite approved foods

It is counter-productive to focus on foods that you can’t eat. You will start to feel deprived and hungry. It will be more mentally challenging. You may even find yourself feeling exhausted without any real reason.

The first thing that you must do when starting an elimination diet is to identify the foods that you enjoy eating that are on the approved list. Heck, even if you are doing an all-meat diet, you need to identify which foods you absolutely love and can handle eating repeatedly.

Listen to positive affirmations

I have a tape of positive affirmations from Think Right Now. I play it every night. It gets into my head that I will be able to heal from my health conditions. This can help me from thinking negative counterproductive thoughts. It keeps me from cheating and starting over as I have done in the past.

The tape that I listen to has some classical music playing in the background that is also supposed to have healing vibes. I can’t say for sure whether it works or not, but I do seem to feel a bit more positive about my efforts and journey to stay the course.

Get the junk out

Don’t try to start the diet with your food temptations in plain sight. Wait a day or two until you can eat them up or throw them away. Willpower does not always stick around when there is a slice of pizza to be eaten. Pizza may not tempt you once you have a few months of the diet down, but in the beginning, keeping temptation away is good.

Select a reward for yourself

Kindergarten teachers always gave you stickers for doing a great job. Your boss will hand out bonuses for excellent work. Reward yourself for staying on task with Whole30. There is no shame in this game. For me, I have been thinking that my reward could be a fun trip to go fishing on the Potomac. I may reward myself with some birthday cake at the end (because my birthday is at the end of February.)

You can set small rewards for making it through the week on the diet or big rewards for getting through the whole month. The idea is to make following through on your goal to eat healthier a bit more fun.

Some non-food rewards could include:

  • a bubble bath
  • buying your favorite perfume
  • a trip to the movies
  • get your nails done
  • a clean house (get a maid for a day)
  • a fun hike

Conclusion

Dieting is not fun when your friends and family eat the addicting junk foods that you usually love. Then again, those foods tend to make you sick and tired. It isn’t until you are sick and tired of being sick and tired that you will change your ways. Whole30 is a great way to start making healthier choices.

Rewarding yourself for sticking with your diet will not only bring you closer to your health goals, but you’ll feel better about yourself. You will not only have accomplished a goal, but you will gain a treat for doing so!

Hope these tips have helped and you have convinced yourself that you can stick with an elimination type diet like Whole 30! Best of luck to you!