5 Ways the Paleo Ketogenic Diet Treats Seizures

The ketogenic diet has been around since 1920 treating people with epilepsy. Once anti-convulsants were invented, the diet was mostly abandoned unless the drugs didn’t work on the patient. Most doctors and scientific journals will admit that they don’t know why the ketogenic diet works in treating seizures.

The International Center for Medical and Nutritional Intervention has helped me understand a few factors that contribute to the success of the ketogenic diet. They have also pointed out a few factors that make it fail. They are the creators of the Paleo Ketogenic diet and have tweaked the ketogenic diet to improve the success with seizure patients.

1. Increases Vitamin D Levels

When the ketogenic diet is followed with a meat/fat approach, vitamin D levels increase. The vitamin D in animal products is stored in fat. A well-formulated ketogenic diet includes a high amount of animal fat.

In a 2012 study, it was found that the correction of vitamin D levels improves seizure control. Vitamin D levels are commonly low in patients with epilepsy. Not only do seizures reduce vitamin D levels when they occur, but anti-convulsants reduce vitamin D levels. In this study 5 of the 13 patients had a 50% reduction in seizure activity.

In 2019, researchers tested subjects with an average of 5 seizures per month. With a dosing of 5000 IU per day, they were able to reduce seizures to an average of 3 per month at six weeks.

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in stabilizing your brain function. Low levels of vitamin D also put you at a higher risk for more seizures.

2. Stabilizes Blood Glucose

I never had seizures that were directly correlated to eating cake or spiking my insulin with a ton of candy. Initially, it was hard for me to believe that blood glucose had a connection to seizure control. When I started testing my blood sugars, I began to notice patterns in my brain function and my blood glucose levels. When they are higher, I don’t feel quite as good. Not all insulin spikes will result in a seizure, but they do put you at greater risk.

According to Dr. Carl E. Stafstrom, hyperglycemia lowers the seizure threshold. Experimental studies have suggested that extracellular glucose is associated with neuronal hyperexcitability. This indicates that a glucose balance is essential for normal neurotransmission. Studies show that hyperglycemia exacerbates ischemia-induced brain damage while fasting induced hypoglycemia protect against this neurotoxicity.

3. Increase Magnesium Levels

Magnesium has a stabilizing effect on your nervous system. It plays an essential role in nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction. Magnesium functions in a protective role against excessive excitation that leads to neuronal cell death.

In a study of Finnish men, it was determined that a higher dietary intake of magnesium is associated with lower levels of epilepsy.

The Paleo Ketogenic diet provides you with the minerals that your body needs. While beef and pork are not particularly high in magnesium levels, they provide your body with the amount that it needs. There is also no fiber blocking any absorption of the minerals, so you can get the full benefit from the meat.

4. Ketone Levels

Ketones are water-soluble compounds that are produced as byproduct when the body burns fat for energy. When the body is fueled by fats, there is an increase in ketone production. The level of ketones is not always indicative of great seizure control. It does indicate that the brain is using the ketones as fuel and the body is in ketosis.

The role that ketone levels play in seizure control is still unclear, but it does seem to correlate with increased seizure control. In a study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, 82% (42) of the individuals maintained ketone levels between 80–160 mg/dl. Of these participants, 43% (18) were seizure free, 50% (21) had reduced seizures and 7% (3) showed no change in seizure control. This indicates that high ketone levels benefit patients on a ketogenic diet by eliminating or reducing seizures.

5. Reduce Inflammation

The Paleo Ketogenic diet is particularly strict regarding which fats and meats are to be eaten. This is where the Paleo Ketogenic diet stands out from the classical ketogenic diet. It cuts out the inflammatory foods such as dairy, nightshades, and legumes.

The traditional and paleo ketogenic diet reduce the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation that is due to encephalitis, meningitis, or autoimmune disorders has the potential to trigger seizures.

The elimination of dairy from the ketogenic diet protocol may be increasing its overall success. Dairy has been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune diseases. It may also be contributing to intestinal permeability and increased inflammation.

Conclusion

Sticking with the Paleo Ketogenic diet initially can be very difficult. You drastically limit or eliminate some of your favorite foods. For me, giving up butter was very difficult. I wanted to cheat all the time, but Dr. Clemens at the ICMNI helped me to understand that dairy was extremely inflammatory for someone with autoimmune symptoms and it was likely making me susceptible to seizures even if it was only occasionally. It was also probably keeping my alopecia universals around.

The more you understand about the mechanisms and benefits of the Paleo Ketogenic Diet, the easier sticking with it becomes. After almost a month on the diet, I find it very easy to eat the delicious foods. I’m satiated and not craving other foods that are just for fun. It also reduces the time I spend eating and I find that I can spend that time in other pursuits.

 

Bone Broth and the Keto Diet – The Secret To Success

The ketogenic diet is all the rage now that people have realized that they can lose weight when they cut the carbohydrates. Most people don’t realize that they are overeating and not really in ketosis. Many individuals simply cut the carbs and don’t increase their fat intake. I made that mistake too.

But I wasn’t reaping the full benefits of the ketogenic diet until I started working with Dr. Clemens at the International Center for Medicine and Nutritional Intervention (ICMNI or Paleomedicina). They insisted that I measure every gram of food that I ate and make sure that I was eating the right fat to protein ratios.

Easy, right?

I know how to measure things and categorize them as fat or meat. Not a problem.

And you only get to eat 400 grams of food per day. Wait. What? I had been eating twice that amount! How was I going to survive? This was terrible. I longed to be chewing on an extra burger or steak.

Then I remembered something I had read about bone broth. It provides you with a filling sensation. The blog post was promoting it as a weight loss tool. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, but I needed to feel full. I believed Dr. Clemens who had worked with thousands of patients that her research led her to believe that the human body physiologically only needs 400 grams of food, but this was quite the adjustment.

I asked my nutritionist if I could add bone broth into my diet. She said yes and it could count as part of my water intake.

Thank goodness!

It worked! Not only did I feel 100% satiated, but I started to see some of the health benefits from bone broth. Specifically, my skin was incredibly moisturized without lotion. My nails appeared to be getting stronger and growing a bit faster.

I also discovered that I could add a little extra bacon grease to the broth to increase my fat intake. That helped with my ketone levels and feeling of fullness.

So, what are some other great benefits of bone broth?

Bone Broth Health Benefits

  • Bone broth prevents the keto flu with its essential electrolytes.
  • Collagen and glycine in bone broth help you retain lean muscle mass.
  • Bone broth eases stomach upset as it lines the walls of the gut lining.
  • Collagen is superior to whey, casein and soy protein.
  • Bone broth aids a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Bone broth can elevate your mood.
  • Bone broth contains high levels of glycine, hydroxyproline and proline, and alanine. These are essential building blocks for the body.
  • Weight loss is improved as bone broth changes the ratio of Bacteriodetes to Firmicutes. Firmicutes will imbalance the body’s ability to metabilize calories.
  • The collagen content of bone broth helps to improve dental health.
  • Bone broth has been reported to help improve joint pain due to its l-glutamine, cysteine, glycine and histidine.

Adding Bone Broth to a Ketogenic Diet

When I started out, I added a cup of bone broth to each meal and sipped on it as a snack. For the first few days, this is okay, but keep in mind that bone broth does contain protein and fats that do add up. After a few days, I settled into a routine of having a cup of bone broth for breakfast and one with my dinner. Right now, two cups seems to keep me full until the next time I get to eat.

Since bone broth can be sipped slowly, it can keep me satisfied with a smaller amount of food if I know that I will be eating out and adjusting my food intake accordingly.

For people who are on a traditional ketogenic diet with a few vegetables, you can turn the bone broth into a soup by simply adding some low carbohydrate vegetables.

Low carb Additions for a Soup:

  • shredded cabbage
  • shredded carrots (not a low carb vegetable, but if you shred them and only use a few it can be very tasty and fit your macros)
  • onions
  • spring onions
  • eggs (egg drop soup)
  • meats
  • green beans
  • squash

Drinking Bone Broth Plain:

This sounds quite terrible, but it is the easiest and most convenient way to get the extra nutrition from bone broth. I make a batch every week in my electric pressure cooker and scoop out a cup at a time. It is nice to have on hand and it is a filling substitute for other foods.

Ideally, you want to heat it on the stove, but admittedly I heat it in the microwave half of the time. Let’s face it, we’re all human and take shortcuts sometimes.

Counting Bone Broth In Your Macros

Thankfully, my nutritionist said I didn’t have to worry about counting the broth in my macronutrient ratios. In some ways, I feel like I’m cheating and getting in some extra nutrients. I am doing a VERY STRICT paleo ketogenic version of the diet, so my carbohydrates are pretty much zero anyway. I’m not getting so much extra protein from the broth that it kicks me out of ketosis. (I do measure that now with my keto-mojo!)

If you are adding low carbohydrate veggies to your broth to make a nourishing soup, I would definitely count a few carbohydrates for the soup. The low carb veggies won’t get you up over 20 grams of carbohydrates, but will make the soup feel more like a meal. It will also add some flavor and interest to the soup.

The Key to My Success

I can say without a doubt that bone broth has been the key to helping me stick with the paleo ketogenic diet for the last three weeks. My adjustment to life without dairy would have been much harder had I not had the comfort of a cup of broth at every meal to distract me. Adding in some of the extra fats to my broth also helped me to increase my fat levels and get my ketones up.

While it is a bit early to say whether the bone broth has cured any of my ailments, it does help me to feel great and stick with my VERY STRICT diet.

Testing My Ketones: Keto Mojo Review

I resisted testing my blood glucose and ketones for a long time. I figured that I could use urine strips and skate by on the ketogenic diet without worrying about every little thing. But as I got older and cheated more on my ketogenic diet, I realized I needed help and turned to the Paleomedicina group. They required that I test my blood glucose and ketones. Boy, I am glad I did! I gained so much information from testing. I feel much more confident in my seizure control now and am optimistic about my hair regrowth.

The monitor that I have been using is the Keto-Mojo glucose and ketone monitor. It has been so easy and given me so much information. I can now see how my glucose correlates with any neurological symptoms or brain confusion.

Keto Mojo Review

Name: Keto Mojo
Website: https://keto-mojo.com/
Price: $44.99
Owners: Keto Mojo
Overall Rank: 90 out of 100

Keto Mojo Testing Kit, Product Overview

The Keto-Mojo Bluetooth Ketone and Glucose Blood Testing kit includes 20 test strips, 1 meter, 10 lancets, and 1 lancing device. The glucose monitor and ketone testing strips are Bluetooth enabled in case you want to save the information on your device.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

  • This testing kit comes with everything you need to start monitoring your blood glucose and ketone levels.
  • It is very simple to use.
  • You can connect it to your phone or ipad and save the data onto your device.
  • The lancing device has a really nice, light touch. It is nearly painless.
  • The price is right! It is very affordable and the testing strips are the most inexpensive on the market, which is why my doctor recommended it to me.
  • Scores are easy to read.
  • The tests only take ten seconds.
  • It is awesome that it will test both your ketones and your blood glucose. I was thrilled I didn’t have to buy 2 meters!

The Bad:

  • It can be a bit confusing when you get started. I still haven’t hooked up the bluetooth feature, but I’m not sure I want to.
  • It is not a continuous monitor, so you will need to do multiple tests to get a good idea of where your levels are.

Who is Keto-Mojo Testing Kit For?

This product is ideal for people who are following the ketogenic diet for epilepsy or weight loss. I feel like for someone with diabetes, a continuous glucose monitor is more convenient and gives a better picture of their levels.

 

Keto-Mojo Support

Keto-Mojo has a help center to help you out with learning how to use the meter, what the error codes mean, and what your levels should be. It also provides a section for frequently asked questions.

This is also where you can get information on the warranty that comes with the Keto-Mojo glucose and ketone meter.

 

Keto-Mojo Price

The cost of Keto-Mojo is very reasonable. It is only $44 to get started with the meter, lancing device and 10 testing strips. The price of keto-mojo testing strips is actually pretty reasonable. You can get a pack of glucose testing strips for $17. The ketone testing strips are a bit more. The ketone testing strips are about $1 each. For a pack of 50 testing strips, you will pay $49.

This price is comparable to other testing keto monitors on the market. The strips are an average price.

My Final Opinion of Keto-Mojo

I didn’t do a lot of research on the competitors before buying this product. My doctor recommended it and I just wanted to get started testing right away. It does appear that Keto-Mojo is comparable to the other monitors on the market.

I do appreciate the ability to upload my scores onto my electronic devices even if I choose not to use that feature. I like that the kit came with everything that you need to get started testing your blood glucose and ketones. That is very helpful.

I love the lancing device that comes with the testing kit. At first, I couldn’t get enough blood out for a test because the prick seemed so light. I figured out you need to get the blood flowing and squeeze the finger lightly to encourage flow. (I have seen the older lancing devices that my sister used for her diabetes. This one has a much lighter feel and you don’t watch the needle coming down onto your finger.)

 

Keto-Mojo at a Glance…

Name:Keto-Mojo Testing Kit

Website: keto-mojo.com
Owners: Keto Mojo
Price:$44.99
Overall Rank: 90 out of 100

VERDICT: LEGIT! I definitely recommend the Keto-Mojo monitor. It is so easy to use and you will get so much information about your health as you track your foods and your ketones as well as the glucose level.

7 Quick and Easy Ketogenic Snack Ideas

Ketogenic diets are great at keeping you satiated. You almost don’t ever need snacks. When you first get started on the ketogenic diet, snacks can help you to adjust. Friends and family may still be snackers and still want something to munch on when they visit.

Keep these ketogenic snack ideas in mind when you go to parties. You may feel like you can’t eat anything, but if they have some of these ketogenic snacks on hand, you can indulge! These ketogenic snack ideas are great for serving as appetizers too!

Ketogenic Snack Ideas

  • Pork rinds– For those with salty and crunchy cravings, pork rinds provide you with a savory crunch without the carbohydrates. Pork rinds can be used in place of chips and dipped in guacamole or ranch dressing.
  • Macadamia Nuts – Macadamia nuts are not filled with inflammatory omega 6 fats. They have high amounts of monounsaturated fat and minimal omega-6s.
  • Boiled eggs- Boiled eggs are a simple and easy way to get some protein in. These ketogenic snack ideas are easy to make and can be used in a number of different ways like deviled eggs and egg salad.
  • Pepperoni slices – Pepperoni slices are a very convenient and keto-friendly snack. Pork rinds can be packed up and taken on road trips or to sporting events. Look for pepperoni without added dextrose, maltodextrin and unhealthy preservatives.
  • High-fat cheese – Hard cheeses can serve as a great high-fat snack on the ketogenic diet. They pack well with meat and nuts. String cheese, cheddar cheese cubes, and slices of Colby jack cheese are easy and convenient for keto snacking.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – Summertime means eating fresh veggies. My garden is full of cherry tomatoes, which can be a great snack. They do have some carbohydrates, so make sure you don’t overeat them!
  • Pickles – Satisfy your salty and sour cravings with pickles! These ketogenic snack ideas are low-calorie and can provide you with the minerals you need.

Remember, the goal isn’t to make snacks an integral part of your life. The goal should be to eat full ketogenic meals. These ketogenic snack ideas are there for you during times when you haven’t eaten enough or when a normal meal won’t happen for example when you are traveling or at a party.

5 Patio Container Vegetable Gardening Ideas to Get You Through COVID-19

This spring has hit us with a big surprise. A stay-at-home order from the Governor of Virginia. Even the County and Federal Parks are closed. Not that anyone was going anywhere with most “non-essential businesses” shut down anyway.

To save your sanity, I suggest patio container vegetable gardening. I have dug up my yard before and tilled and fertilized until mid-summer when the heat and humidity of Northern Virginia scare me back indoors. Patio gardens require less maintenance and you can always give the plants away to friends and family when you get sick of taking care of them.

Why Patio Gardening?

Before you jump into this new and exciting hobby. Let’s delve into some great reasons why you should start container gardening now.

  1. It will help you get out in the sunshine and fight off depression.
  2. It is a hobby that they will let you do. You won’t be congregating with over 10 people or meeting up unnecessarily.
  3. It can provide you with some fresh produce. (Let’s face it, if this shut down lasts for a few more months, we’ll all need some fresh food!)
  4. It is fun and exciting to see tomatoes growing on your patio or porch!

Garden Tools You Need

Before you embark on this gardening adventure, there are some tools that you’ll want to have on hand for container gardening. First and foremost, you’ll need some potting soil. I purchased some with fertilizer added to make my life easier, but you can also buy fertilizer for your veggies. You’ll want some pots and seeds.

  1. Pots
  2. Seeds
  3. Potting Soil
  4. Fertilizer
  5. Watering Can
  6. Labels
  7. Spade

5 Vegetables Ideas for Container Gardens

Most veggies can be grown in a pot. However, some do better than others. For example, watermelons may not be the best choice because they are vining plants and require a LOT of space. They also require a lot of water. You will find that you’re constantly watering them.

The vegetables that I decided on growing this year in containers are as follows:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumber

While each of these has their own space requirement, I have planted all of them in containers before and they grew beautifully. For the cucumber, since it is a vining plant, I let it grow up the side of the porch.

Basil and tomatoes tend to do well when planted together. They have different heights and their nutrient requirements are complementary.

I put some lettuce in the shade of the patio. Lettuce is a cool-weather crop, so I will be lucky if it grows in the next month before the weather becomes blistering hot.

Green Beans

Green beans are a favorite in my household. I purchased bush beans, so the space requirement is small. The beans tend to ripen all at once.

Green beans require warm soil, so plant them when all danger of frost has passed. You can plant in 2 week succession for continuous bush beans. The seeds should be one inch deep and 2-3 inches apart in a 2 gallon container.

Plant green beans in well-drained potting mix that is amended with some fertilizer.

Tomatoes

For the tomatoes, I started the seeds in a milk jug. The temperatures at night are still dropping into the 40s. This is known as “winter sowing.” The seeds are still exposed to the nighttime temperatures, but they are protected with a mini-greenhouse effect. I found this to be an effective way to start hardy tomato plants.

Tomatoes need at least a five gallon bucket with well-drained soil. You will need to water tomatoes every day. They are a very thirsty crop.

Tomatoes are a sun loving crop. Select a place on your patio that gets full sun. Tomatoes are heat-loving crops like green beans. Make sure all danger of frost has passed before planting them outside.

Basil

This herb is an easy herb to grow. You can plant it in smaller containers or right in with the tomatoes. Use a container that is at least a half-gallon if you are planting it by itself. You can start it from seed or purchase seedlings.

Plant basil in well-drained potting soil. Basil grows best in full sun. The ground temperature should be at least 70 degrees when you plant your basil.

Basil plants should be spaced out at least 12 inches. Water basil when the soil is dry to the touch.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a bit different. It is a cool weather crop. I didn’t need to buy a seed packet for my lettuce. I planted the end of the Romaine lettuce that I had cut up for a salad.

Lettuce should be planted in early spring. It will turn bitter as the summer wears on. Plant it in partial shade to keep it cool and prevent it from turning bitter.

Lettuce can be planted in beds or in containers. Use well-drained soil and make sure that you fertilize it. When starting from seeds, sprinkle them 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Cover with no more than an 1/8 of an inch of soil.

Cucumber

To grow cucumber on your patio or porch, you’ll need a bit of extra space for it to sprawl or a trellis to allow it to grow up. I tend to let mine sprawl on my porch, but it is up to you. A vertical support can make it easier to harvest the cucumbers.

Cucumbers are heat-loving curcubits. They grow best in warmer weather. Wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting them. For the Mid-Atlantic area, that will be in April or May.

A five gallon bucket is the perfect size container to grow your cucumber plant. Use well-drained potting soil and add fertilizer to it. Amend the soil regularly and make sure that you are watering the cucumbers daily.

7 Secrets to Staying Keto While Traveling

Whether you are doing the keto diet to lose weight or prevent seizures, it can be challenging to stick to a low carb diet when you hit the road. Restaurants don’t always offer low carb options and friends and family tend to serve up carbohydrate rich foods. Recently, I took a road trip to Ohio to visit my sister and nephews. I tackled the challenge of staying keto for the entire three days.

Here’s how:

1. Start with a Satisfying Breakfast

Before you leave, load up on the bacon and eggs that you love at your house. It will keep you satiated during the long road stretches when your car companions are turning to cheetos. (Yes, my family members love cheetos on road trips.)

The extra bacon fat will give you plenty of energy to sit in your seat.

2. Bring a Dozen Boiled Eggs

When the munchies do strike, you will have a low carb snack on hand. I found that eggs were fairly easy to shell and sprinkle with a touch of salt. Even though they are kind of bland, they did fill me up. I loved having them on hand. It meant that I didn’t need to wait until our next McDonald’s stop for a hamburger patty.

3. Pack Some Sardines

Eggs are great, but at some point you may want a complete protein. Sardines are a convenient way to eat nose to tail on the go. I found sardines great for snacking and supplementing the hotel’s breakfast. Even though the hotel served us bacon and eggs, it was nice to have a little extra protein on hand. (Not to mention, I’m an early-bird and tend to be hungry before hotels even serve breakfast.)

I did bring some tuna creation pouch from Starkist. It was terrible! I don’t recommend. Do not buy flavored tuna in a pouch.

4. The Buffet Strategy

While we were in the tiny town of Marysville, OH, my family decided we had to go out to eat. They selected a Chinese buffet. Yikes! Almost all Chinese food is fried or soaked in some sugary sauce. So, my strategy was to stick with the meats and veggies. There were some that didn’t appear to be too heavily soaked in sauce. I selected some boiled fish and hit up the salad bar.

I avoided the fried egg rolls and won tons. I walked past the fried rice and noodle dishes. There were some kebabs that were simply chicken that made it to my plate. Even though it was an All You Can Eat Buffet, I just ate until I was full. I didn’t try to eat an extraordinary amount considering most of the food had hidden carbohydrates.

5. Surviving Family Dinner

Luckily, my sister is a diabetic and has been counting her carbohydrates off and on for years. She knew that I was trying desperately to stick with a keto diet and was willing to accomodate. She set aside some beanless chili for me and her bean-hating child.

The second night, she whipped up a new pulled pork recipe, so I wouldn’t have to eat the sugar-laden pulled pork sauce. I also ate the salad she made for a side dish. I did pass up on the pie for dessert, but the kids figured it was just more for them. No one seemed to notice or care.

6. McDonald’s Lunch

Ok, so I did have to eat out at McDonald’s twice on our road trip. What did I choose? I ordered up the McDouble with only the patties and cheese. While I know McDonald’s has fake cheese, it did make the patties a bit tastier. It may not be optimal, but it definitely was tastier than a plain patty.

7. String Cheese

Oh, I love string cheese. It isn’t the lowest carbohydrate cheese, but it is so much fun. It isn’t something I buy on a typical basis, so for me, it was my big treat. String cheese with an egg was a really filling and fun snack!

During this road trip, I could have packed a ton of other low carb treats, but I discovered that I didn’t really need them. The eggs, cheese, and sardines were enough after a hefty breakfast. McDonald’s hamburger patties filled me up during lunch. The trip was only 8 hours, so we were only on the road for one meal.

These tips can be applied to longer distance trips. You could also pack celery and cream cheese if you want something crunchy to snack on. I will mention that the hotel shut down breakfast on the second day due to the Coronavirus, so it was handy to have the boiled eggs, cheese and sardines. I grabbed one of their yogurts on my way out as well. (It was Greek yogurt and a small container, so it fit into my macros for the day.)

4 Tips to Start Yoga At Home For Beginners

Whether you have lost your job due to the Coronavirus outbreak or are still working. These are stressful times. Yoga is one of the best ways to get fit and healthy. You can learn it at home with the help of some online videos. All you need are some comfortable clothes, a mat, and a quiet space for exercising.

Tip #1: Set Aside Time in Your Schedule

If you don’t schedule it in, it doesn’t get done. Well, that is how things go in my life. Without schedules and deadlines, I tend to procrastinate and not do anything. Or rather, I do a lot of nothing important. But yesterday, I penciled in my yoga workout and today I did it!

Tip #2: Start Slowly

You may have been a high school athlete like me, but if you haven’t worked out in a while (like me), you are going to want to build up to more difficult exercises. Don’t feel bad about not being able to do some of the poses that you used to be able to do. Flexibility comes and goes. A few weeks of practicing and you’ll eventually be able to do all the asanas.

 

Tip #3: Wear Appropriate Clothing

I will admit it, I put on some jeans and tried to do some poses with jeans and socks on. Not my wisest moment. I was just being lazy. I quickly realized that my socks wouldn’t allow my feet to grip the mat and hold essential poses and my jeans would restrict movement on many asanas. So, I changed.

When it comes to yoga apparel, you’ll want to go barefoot. Wear stretchy yoga pants or shorts and a t-shirt. Otherwise, you’ll be very uncomfortable as you try to stretch your body to new limits in clothes that are tight and restrictive.

 

Tip #4: Join a Group

It is easier to quit your exercise routine when no one knows about it. Joining an online group or some friends for a workout will help you stick with it. Since the Coronavirus has shut down gyms, you may want to look into connecting with other beginning yogis on Facebook or Instagram. This is a great place to share your progress and make new friends who are discovering yoga!

 

Conclusion

Yoga is a great way to increase strength and flexibility. It also fits into the new governmental restrictions of avoiding social contact with others. It can be done at home, on your porch, or in your backyard. Yoga is great for beginners and can help to improve muscle imbalance that may arise from certain sports such as running or cycling.

Get started today! Check out this 20 minute Yoga for Beginners video that I used in my morning yoga practice. The teacher has a nice pacing and explains what to do well. It is ideal for people who have a tight schedule as 20 minutes is easy to fit into a morning or evening routine.

Check it out!

 

 

How to Prevent CoVid-19 in 6 Simple Steps

Well, COVID-19 has hit the United States and everyone is responding. I can’t say whether the threat is real or imaginary. I haven’t met anyone who has had the virus. I don’t know if the reports are true or false.

I’m going to give a disclaimer and my conflicts of interest upfront. I will make money any time you click on my Amazon links and make a purchase. Someone makes a few cents from Amazon off each affiliate purchase. You won’t be charged more or less.

So, how does one prevent the coronavirus? We barely know anything about it. What we do know has been reported by governments and agencies that aren’t always truthful. But we’ll include their advice just in case.

1. Wash Your Hands

It is great advice to practice good sanitizing techniques. You should always wash your hands after you use the toilet and touch commonly handled objects. Washing your hands prior to meals is a great idea as well.

When you come in contact with someone sneezing up a storm, you’ll want to avoid shaking their hand. If you do shake hands, you may want to wash yours an extra time.

 

2. Boost Your Immune System

This is the one that I believe in the most. Having a robust immune system has likely prevented me from falling sick to the flu when all of my friends were catching it. I have a slightly different method to boosting my immune system than the commonly recommended vitamin C and elderberry.

My approach to a healthy immune system includes the following:

  • Eliminate processed sugars
  • Stop drinking soda
  • Consume a low-carbohydrate/high fat diet
  • Increase vitamin D intake
  • Drink plenty of water – stay hydrated

Sugar can reduce your immune response by up to 50%. You are shooting yourself in the foot if you are trying to consume cakes and candies and then hoping a quarantine will prevent you from getting the disease. Stop the sugar consumption.

Break the sugar addiction. It will be difficult, but you can do it. I was able to break my sugar addiction by going keto in about 2 weeks. Sure, it can be tempting when you are around sugar. The thought of a sweet taste in your mouth is tempting, but you won’t crave it.

According to a study done in the Journal of Investigative medicine, vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as susceptibility to infection. The vitamin D receptor is expressed in immune cells.

Harvard Health reported that micronutrient deficiencies may reduce your immune response. Deficiencies of selenium, zinc, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, C, E and K alter immune responses in animals. It is less clear whether they impact the immune system in humans.

To combat nutrient deficiencies, I am recommending a ketogenic diet. It is high in the fat soluble vitamins of A, D, E and K. Meat also tends to have plenty of iron, copper, folic acid, selenium and zinc. (Based on what the cronometer app is telling me when I put in my food diary! Not sure how accurate it is!)

3. Cover Your Mouth When You Sneeze

The CDC recommends that you cover your mouth when you sneeze. This is pretty good advice. If you do happen to have the virus, it will prevent the spread. From what I understand, the virus is spread through fluids. Use a tissue to capture any liquids you expel when you sneeze.

4. Monitor Your Symptoms

You won’t likely have symptoms when you first come in contact with the virus. The incubation period is 5 days. You could be spreading the virus for up to 5 days without knowing it. Once you start feeling symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, you’ll want to isolate yourself.

Don’t ignore the symptoms of COVID-19. Seek prompt medical attention if the symptoms are worsening. Most symptoms are mild and can be maintained at home. The CDC recommends that you call your doctor before going to prevent the spread of the virus. They will let you know if you need to be treated.

Symptoms of COVID-19 and the percentage of people who had them according to WebMD:

5. Avoid Crowds

In a crowd the chances of interacting with someone who has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus are higher. Steer clear of crowds where people may be spreading the virus unknowingly. This includes going to concerts, church congregations and sporting events.

The government has already shut down most places where there will be crowds, so this one should be easy.

6. Buy Plenty of Toilet Paper

There is no telling when diarrhea will hit and you will need more. (I’m kidding. I have no idea why toilet paper is being stockpiled. I do know going to the bathroom will be very uncomfortable when we all run out… Perhaps it is time to invest in a bidet.)

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 may be difficult, but stay positive. We can get through this. And hopefully, we’ll all survive!

Simple and Easy Nose to Tail Eating for Beginning Carnivores

You have heard all the raving about how wonderfully rich liver and organ meats are. The “Strong Sistas” rave about buying a cow and eating “nose to tail” but it just doesn’t seem that practical. Kelly Hogan and Dr. Shawn Baker dismiss the idea that you need to eat nose to tail.

Well, I’ve got great news for you. It can be simple, cheap and easy to eat nose to tail.

No, you don’t have to go out and buy a second freezer. There is no need to rush out to a nearby farm and put an order in for a whole pig.

You can eat nose to tail with grocery store sales. You can do it on a budget. You can gain all the benefits of organ meat and gelatin with a quick stop to the grocery store. It can be very simple.

Buy a Whole Chicken

So, it may be more like nose to beak, but when you purchase a whole chicken, you can gain the benefits of nose-to-tail eating. All you need to do is roast the chicken in the oven and eat the crispy skin. Eat the chicken breasts and thighs. With the remaining carcass, create a rich bone broth.

Sometimes whole chickens will come with a bag of the organs that you can eat too. I would simple sautee them in A LOT of butter (because I love butter) and cut them into bite-sized pieces. I usually down them with a gulp of water.

Make sure you:

  • Eat the skin
  • Eat the breasts
  • Eat the thighs and wings
  • Boil up the carcass
  • Eat the organs

Eat More Eggs

Eggs form into a whole animal. They have all the components for the chicken or duck to grow into a bird. Eating an egg can be considered as eating nose-to-tail. Eggs are great scrambled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, deviled, and over-easy.

If you are adventurous, you can swallow the yolk whole. The yolk is the portion that would have created the chick. It contains many of the vitamins and nutrients that you need in a very easily absorbable form.

Eggs are readily available at the grocery store for an inexpensive price. If you want to support regenerative agriculture, you can visit your local farmers market and purchase pastured eggs. While they will cost more than the conventional eggs, you’ll get five times the nutrients from them. Either way, it is a great way to get some nose-to-tail action into your diet.

Collagen and Gelatin

Collagen is an excellent way to enhance your carnivore diet if you are worried it focuses too much on muscle meat. If you aren’t keen on making your own bone broth, you can scoop some collagen into your coffee or tea (which I know aren’t carnivore).

There isn’t a strong flavor to collagen and it will support the protein synthesis of your hair and nails. If you’re lucky, you’ll have faster-growing hair and stronger nails!

Chicken Livers

Most grocery stores sell chicken livers for about $1 per pound! That is an excellent price per pound for the nutrition that you’ll get. Best of all, you don’t have to make a special trip to the farm to pick up an organ. They are right there in your local grocery store.

Chicken livers have a milder taste than beef liver. I sautee mine in butter and eat small pieces at a time. I favor the flavor of the butter over the flavor of the liver.

Dehydrated Supplements

For people who aren’t nearly as adventurous as Dr. Paul Saladino, you can buy dehydrated brain, liver, kidney, thymus, and heart from Ancestral Supplements. There are a few other brands that sell grass fed organ meat supplements.

This is a more expensive option, but it is super convenient. It is ideal for when you are traveling and want to get in your daily serving of offal. You can order it through Amazon Prime and get it delivered straight to your door in 2 days.

Order Rocky Mountain Oysters

When you are in the West, order Rocky Mountain oysters. You’ll eat testicles. When I was a missionary in Colorado for the Mormon church, some members served me Rocky Mountain oysters. Being the city slicker from the East Coast, I stupidly replied, “Oh, I like oysters…” I had no idea what they were.

Be careful. Most of the time Rocky Mountain Oysters are deep-fried in vegetable oil. If you really want to try them fried, you may have to make them at home and fry them in tallow or bacon grease.

Canned Salmon

When it comes to eating fish, salmon has loads of vitamin D. Even the cans of salmon that are labeled “boneless salmon” tend to have bits of bone in them. This can help you get some calcium and minerals into your diet without making bone broth.

Three ounces of canned salmon per day can help you meet your daily recommended vitamin D intake (if you believe the cronometer app). Canned salmon is also fairly high in iodine as well.

When purchasing canned salmon, you may want to check the label and make sure that it is packed in water and not soybean oil.

One of the great things about buying canned salmon is that you can often find coupons and sales for them. They can be purchased very inexpensively.

Sardines

They are just little fish. You eat the whole fish each time you consume a sardine. All the goodness that is in the bone marrow, organs and skin.

One can of Atlantic sardines (about 3 ounces) contains 191 calories, 22 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat. It is one of the best available sources of vitamin B12.

Sardines are readily available from your local grocery store. You can also order them from Amazon.

Sardines pack easily for a snack or lunch. You can take them hiking with you or on a road trip.

 

Ground Beef

Ground beef is just muscle meat, right? Well, maybe. Most likely they incorporated some connective tissue and ground it up. Even though ground beef is one of the cheapest cuts of meat you can purchase from the grocery store, it may be helping you to achieve that nose-to-tail goal.

If you have your own meat grinder at home, you can sneak some liver into your ground beef and make meatballs or burger patties out of them. It is an excellent way to boost your nutrition!

So, you may realize that you probably have been eating a bit more nose to tail than you thought! I know that some people swear that they only eat ribeyes, but if they are getting in a few eggs they are occasionally eating nose-to-tail! Ideally, you will make friends with a hunter who gives you some fresh meat, but if you’re just starting out why not vary your diet with these different nose-to-tail eating options!

Testing Out a Keto Carnivore Diet (or Paleo Keto Diet)

Today is March 2, 2020. I have decided that for the month of March, I will test out a keto carnivore diet. The carnivore diet is becoming quite popular. The ketogenic diet is also very popular. Does this mean they will help me overcome my autoimmune issues? Who knows?!

Why the Keto Carnivore Diet

There are a lot of healing diets out there to try. I’ve tested out the majority of them. From AIP to keto, and even vegan. When I examine the common features of the diets, they all typically include meat and exclude an irritant that occurs in plant matter. (Except for the vegan diet, but that did nothing for me.)

The autoimmune paleo diet excludes wheat and dairy, but allows for the consumption of carbohydrates through fruits. The ketogenic diet allows for limited amounts of carbohydrates. It allows for vegetables that may be goitrogenic and irritating to people with thyroid issues like myself.

It is a huge challenge to overlap these diets and only eat the healing and nourishing foods. The GAPS introductory diet has you start out with basically meat, meat stock and some fermented vegetables. This will basically be the GAPS introductory diet that I have been skipping.

For my keto carnivore approach, I’m going to consume plenty of bone broth and a variety of meats. There are many people reporting huge success on clearing up their autoimmune issues by eliminating the plant toxins that irritate them.

The Trial Period

I started my keto carnivore approach on March 1, 2020. My hair is still not growing very well. After 7 months on the GAPS regular diet, I’m noticing a few clear eyelashes and pubic hairs. My fingernails still have vertical ridging, but it seems today like it is reduced and limited to a few fingernails.

I will be testing my TSH levels tomorrow to determine whether this diet impacts my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in six weeks. I have tested high on the TSH test (indicating low thyroid hormones) for years. It will be interesting to see if completely eliminating goitrogenic foods will have an impact on my numbers.

I will retest my blood levels during my spring break in April. This will give me a full six weeks to see if the changes made any difference.

Dietary Changes

The dietary changes that I am making are going to be dropping the vegetables completely. If the broccoli that I consumed weekly was preventing my thyroid from fully functioning, we’ll find out.

I’m using the cronometer app to hit my ketogenic targets and vitamin levels. One of the levels that I’m closely monitoring is vitamin D. I am eating 3 ounces of salmon per day to ensure that I hit the daily recommended dosage of vitamin D. While I don’t want to supplement, I think once per week, I may take a magnesium supplement with vitamin D in it and take a break from the salmon.

I will be including GAPS intro foods! Instead of scrambling my eggs, I plan on tossing the whites and putting the yolks in with my chicken stock. This is supposed to have a healing impact on my gut. It may be that I am sensitive to the whites and my body has been reacting to them all along. We’ll find out!

Other BioMetrics

I have been testing my ketones! They say that ketosis will help prevent seizures, but I feel like it is hit or miss with me. I think that my thyroid hormone has more to do with whether or not I have a seizure. I have been in ketosis and had a seizure in the past and I have eaten complete junk and not had seizures for months. But, it can’t hurt to be in ketosis.

The thing I love about ketosis is that I can go long periods of time without craving food or needing to eat. While I love foods, I no longer feel like I have to munch on everything left out at work. I can easily go hours without snacking.

So far, my urine strips have shown that I have optimal or high ketones. That is interesting. It will be more interesting if I have a seizure and pee on the stick and see that I’m in ketosis, but I hope that doesn’t ever happen.

My Motivation to Do a Keto Carnivore Diet

Yes, I would love to get my hair back. However, I haven’t been this dedicated to my health outcome in the ten years that it has been missing. So, what gives?

My teeth. Last summer my teeth became extremely sensitive. While I loved pizza and cake, I suspected that I shouldn’t be eating it. I could feel the sensitivity returning as I continued to eat the standard American diet. My seizures also returned after stress and pizza. So, I knew I had to make a change.

One day while I was eating, I bit down on something that felt like bone. It appeared that the enamel had chipped off my tooth. I couldn’t quite tell which tooth it had come off. I debated whether I should go to the dentist. (I know some people will say yes, but I didn’t want them to drill and fill. I also knew that the teeth could repair themselves after reading Heal Teeth Naturally.)

So, in August 2019, I cut out wheat, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. I focused on eating meat, vegetables and one or two fruits per day. My tooth sensitivity is slowly getting better. My teeth feel strong and I can’t detect any areas that are missing enamel. Maybe it was a bone in the meat I was eating? Who knows.

Current Symptoms

  • Angular cheilitis (cracks in corners of lips)
  • Alopecia Universalis (no hair anywhere really)
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (TSH levels at 5.2 last I checked)
  • Vertical ridges on fingernails
  • Occasional seizure (I had them under control and weaned off my medication for them, but went back to eating junk. Time to heal and seal the gut again and get them under control again with GAPS)

My Second Attempt

This will be my second attempt with the carnivore diet. Last year, I quit the carnivore diet after almost seven weeks. I had a seizure that discouraged me. In evaluating my diet, I realize that I may not have eaten enough vitamin D rich foods. This attempt with the keto carnivore diet is much more well planned. I had a consultation with Dr. Zsofia Clemens who instructed me on the Paleomedicina protocol.

I also plan on using the cronometer app! This can help me track different minerals and vitamins and ensure that I have a 2:1 fat to protein ratio. I did not worry about the fat to protein ratio last year when I attempted the carnivore diet the first time. This time, I hope to track it much better.

Stay tuned. I’ll update the blog with some before and after photos and an analysis of my second attempt.