The Keto Diet

It is the diet everyone talks about, some in favor and others against, but what is the ketogenic diet? Well, let’s start by saying that it’s a low carb diet focused on the production of ketones by the body. And, what are ketones? They are organic compounds created by the body when there is a low carb ingestion, and they are in charge of breaking down fat for energy.

The process is known as ketosis, and it’s the one that the body uses to help us to survive when there is none or low intake of food. Experts say that if the keto diet is properly maintained, the body is forced to go into ketosis but not due to starvation of calories but of carbohydrates.

Then, what’s a typical menu during the keto diet? The answer is not the same for every person. It’s important to know that there are those who believe that this is a dangerous diet due to the process and foods that are part of it.

In any case, the regular keto dieters consume seafood, especially salmon and other fish rich in potassium, selenium, and B vitamins. Low-carb vegetables are a key part of this diet. Cheese…yes, cheese is not only welcomed but almost necessary for its high content of fat. Remember that this diet needs fat to be used as energy. Avocado, coconut oil, poultry, meat, olive oil, and eggs are also an essential part of the keto menu.

What not to eat? Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans (grains), fruits like mango or banana, sugar, or any other carbohydrate.

According to the keto diet fans, it offers benefits that go beyond the weight loss. Energy increase, control of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, and a sharpened mental focus are some of the claimed benefits of the ketogenic routine.

However, and almost as in any diet, there are also negative effects. Nausea, headache, fatigue are some of the symptoms that you could experience.

As always, remember that it’s imperative for you to consult your primary care physician before you make drastic changes in your diet. Experts say that not everyone is good for any diet, and not any diet is good for everyone.

 

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Loving yourself: something necessary for your well-being

We live in a world that doesn’t allow us to stop to think about what we do, how we live, or where we really want to go.

Free time is practically a luxury, and thinking about changing course may sound crazy, but the truth is that we all need to understand who we are first, in order to know where we are going. And in order to determine who we are, it’s imperative to practice something that psychologists and behavioral experts call a necessity for our well-being: the self-love.

For many, self-love is something that is taken for granted. “I love myself”, we all say, but how do we show that affection? That’s where the axis of everything lies, and according to experts there are three basic elements that we could identify and practice in order to love ourselves:

  1. You are not perfect, but your experience and you are important as part of a community/humanity experience.
  2. Understand and treat yourself with kindness.
  3. Give attention and importance to your emotions

Self-compassion is another important component of the equation. If you are unable to be kind to yourself, to understand your mistakes, and to forgive yourself, it will be impossible to talk about self-loving. You love yourself when you accept that you are not perfect, that you make mistakes, that you may fail at some things, that you have good moments and bad moments, but that those don’t define who you are or what are you capable of.

Once you understand that you have to take care of yourself first, in order to take care of others, you will understand also that it’s important to learn how to listen to yourself. We all talk to ourselves and the tone we use is vital for us to understand how are we addressing some issues, or how we see specific situations.

Talk to yourself with love, be patient, understanding, and compassionate. Don’t be brutally critical, or perfectionist. In other words, treat yourself in the same way you would treat your own kids. Love will be always the key, and the results won’t disappoint you.

That diet soda…

Diet sodas were born in 1952 in Canada, they were sweetened with saccharin and they were an option for people with diabetes. However, their popularity exploded, and since then the world has seen all kind of flavors, colors, recipes, and options of sodas that offer the flavor, sensation, and coolness of a regular soda, but without the calories and the sugar. Nowadays aspartame has replaced the saccharin, and as said before, there is all sort of flavors and options.

We are talking a big wave that only in our country leaves $21 billion per year! Huge, right? But, are we talking about something that is actually good for us and our health?

Controversy, different opinions, and several studies are part of the answer. Let’s start with the scientific part of the answer.

Different studies have shown a relation between diet soda and heart problems, weight gain, diabetes, and more recently stroke and dementia risk. However, and according to experts, there is no need for you to get alarmed…at least not just yet. Researchers say that only 5% of the people in the study were diagnosed with dementia, while 3% had a stroke. They say, they might be a link, but not necessarily a cause-effect situation

Now, one of the main concerns among doctors and specialists is that those who drink diet sodas tend to consume more calories through other foods thinking that the ones saved from their drinks can be compensated with other things, and that’s when the weight gain and the diabetes risk play a big part on the game.

At the end of the day, balance is the keyword. Be aware of the risks, talk to your doctor, and find out if you may make some changes in your diet habits.

 

How about a wellness gift?

You don’t have to break your head thinking about original and unique gifts for Christmas. You just have to think about those very special things that you would love and appreciate yourself.

Clothes, jewelry, shoes, electronics, yes, everything is useful, and chances are that all of us would love to receive any of those gifts during Christmas, but did you know that there are several options for you to give the gift of wellness?

Wellness is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle that attracts millions of people around the world every year. It includes all sort of products, services, and activities. So, let’s explore some of those options. You might become the most popular Santa around!

  • Relaxing candles: They are perfect for meditation sessions because they fill the space with wonderful scents, while the offer a decorative option too.

 

  • Yoga Session: If the recipient of the gift is not a yogi yet, for sure, this present will activate the desire to at least know more about one of the most popular and fastest growing activities in the world.

 

  • Essential oils: Also known as volatile oils, or oil of the plants from which they are extracted. These oils are used in aromatherapy to induce relaxation, during meditation or massage sessions.

 

  • Cooking classes: It’s never too late to learn something! If we are talking about cooking, you will agree that there are always great things, tips, and recipes to learn and try, right? Healthy Cooking classes are offered not only in person but online, and they can make a great gift.

 

One of the greatest things about the gift of wellness is that it has a double effect, one in the person who receives it, and another in the one who is giving it. Isn’t that a great way to express your love during these holidays?

 

Holiday stress can be worse than you imagine

For many, it’s the best season of the year, but for others, this is a time of stress, anxiety and even depression. Holidays can be wonderful, colorful and joyful, but at the same time, they involved so many activities and expectations, that they can be also overwhelmingly stressful.

For those who have lost a loved one, this is an inevitable moment to think about them, and to miss them around. Sadness, anxiety, lonely feelings, and nostalgia could be present during the entire season, adding even more pressure.

The good news is that there are ways to cop and handle the situation in order to say bye-bye to the depression and the stress. Let’s focus on what to do to spend a healthy and calm holiday season. Here some tips that experts in behavior and  psychology suggest us to apply:

  • Plan ahead your activities, shopping trips, and meetings. Once you see everything on the calendar, it will be easier for you to know what to expect in terms of time.
  • If you experienced a loss recently, don’t try to avoid or hide your feelings. To acknowledge your own situation will help you to process it.
  • Be honest with yourself and your closed ones. If you are not in the mood to attend a party, let them know.
  • If loneliness is knocking on your door, look out for social,  community, or faith events.
  • Eat and sleep consciously. Your body might need extra energy, but it only comes if you are feeding and resting properly.
  • Physical activity will always help you to relax. Even a short walk around the block could help you to see things differently.
  • Don’t stress about family gatherings. Unexpected guests or tumultuous dinners could be overwhelming, but remember that everything is temporary and, at the end of the day, family, is family.
  • Perfection is imperfect. You are the one who decides what an ideal holiday season is for you. Make the best of what you have around, and enjoy!
  • Shopping while keeping a budget could be difficult, but not impossible. Explore different gift options. There is always a way to say “I care” or  “I love you” without emptying your pockets.

The last tip it’s probably the most important. Seek professional assistance if you need it. If you tried to overcome your sadness, your anxiety, or your depression and you believe it didn’t work, maybe it’s time to ask for help. Nothing is more important than your health!

Your skin talks about you…take care of what it says

It’s the largest organ of the human body, our protection against the environment, the case that guards every single inch of that whole composed of bones, muscles and more organs…our skin is our armor.

Yes, the skin is an organ, the largest one, as we said before, but sometimes we tend to forget how important it is to keep it not only clean but healthy. Even with clothes on, the skin is always exposed to everything, and although it’s not easy to detect always its deficiencies, we should know that a lot of internal problems in our body could be avoided if we take good care of that special body lining we have.

You should know that protecting the skin goes beyond using sunscreen and moisturizers, which by the way, are two very important practices that you should introduce into your skincare routine.

What we consume affects the skin, and what we drink affects it too. It means that a healthy and balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables and a lot of water, is determinant to have the skin you wish. Here are some quick and simple tips that could help you to take care of the story that your skin will tell:

  • Determine your skin type to know what kind of products are better for you.
  • Daily gentle cleansing: Limit your shower time, use warm and not hot water, and avoid strong soaps.
  • Don’t smoke: Wrinkles, stains, and change of color are some of the consequences that smoking will have on your skin.
  • Remove the makeup always with gentle products. Remember that your lips and the area around the eyes are very sensitive, and they need extra care and attention.
  • An exfoliation routine at least once a week is essential to purify and clean your skin
  • Remember that your whole body is covered by skin, and every part of it requires the same dedication from you.

Build a daily skincare routine. Once you start doing it, you will see the results. A brighter, healthier and softer skin will be your best reward.

Becoming a vegetarian? Organization and information could be the secret

We all have thought about that, either by curiosity, by interest, or by a legitimate decision to make changes. How is it to be a vegetarian? Reality is that every day thousands of people around the globe make the decision to start more than a new diet regime, a new lifestyle, as vegetarians.

The reason? Well, there are several. First, we can find those who refuse to consume animal protein in an attempt to preserve those lives and to set a precedent against what they can see as animal cruelty. Others have done their research to realize that they can get their protein intake just from plants and grains, and decide to go that way to avoid the cholesterol, antibiotics and other things that you could have while consuming animal protein. Finally, there is a whole group of people that follow the idea that all the animal proteins are not only bad but also a trigger for a good number of health conditions that kill thousands of people every year. We are talking about cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, just to mention a few ones.

Is all that true? It depends on who you talk to. It is true that well-known experts from around the world have studies and research that show a certain connection between the consumption of animal proteins and the risk of developing diseases like breast cancer and diabetes. It is true that there are documented cases of patients which have greatly improved their health by changing to a vegetarian lifestyle. It is true that most of the meat and chicken that we find at any supermarket in the country is plagued with antibiotics and other substances. It is true that animal cruelty has been a common practice in several farms where chickens, pork, and cows are hosted for production of meat, eggs, and milk. We all have seen the images, articles, and investigations around those topics. But the only truth that you should consider is your own one.

Every person is a unique universe. Only you can determine what is good or not for you. Only you can make the decision to try different things or to stay with what you already know. What’s important here, is to research, to read about the topic, to talk to different kind of people, to evaluate the pros and cons, to consult your doctor and to finally make a decision having in mind that you are who best know yourself.

In case you decide to become a vegetarian, start by reading about the benefits and the possible effects in your body. The internet is full of websites and pages where recipes, tips, and even coupons are available for those who have decided to start leaving behind the animal proteins.

Organize your menus, make a budget, look for easy recipes and plan ahead your meals, and take baby steps. Once you know what you are going to eat every day, it’s easy to continue. The struggle is to look for new dishes, but again, your cyber friends could be the key.

We always say that changes are good. If this is your case, enjoy it! You will discover a whole new world ahead of you. Just remember that balance is a good word to define whatever you do in life.