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Wellness Blog

Keto For Beginners

What is the Keto Diet?

The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carbohydrate diet which forces the body to burn fats (Ketones) rather than carbohydrates (Glucose). To summarize, this diet is:

  • High Fat
  • Moderate Protein
  • Low Carbohydrate

What does Ketosis do?

Ketosis is a normal process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy. Instead, your liver burns fat and makes organic chemicals called Ketones, which the body uses as fuel. 

Are there Different Types of Keto Diets?

There are several versions of the Ketogenic diet, as everyone needs varying macros (ratio of protein : carbohydrates : fats) and nutrients. Here are some popular versions of the Keto diet:

Clean Keto: Focus on eating vegetables, berries, healthy fats & oils, organic meats & dairy, limiting/eliminating Keto “Junk Food.” Macros for this version are usually: 75% fat,20% protein, and 5% carbs.

Lazy/Dirty Keto: The most commonly practiced type of Keto diet. While focusing on eating vegetables, berries, organic meats, and dairy, Keto “treats” are also allowed such as fat bombs (bite-sized snacks made with fat-rich ingredients), chocolate, low carb candy & snacks, alcohol, and take-out food. The macros for this version vary from 60-75% fat, 25-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs.

How do I know what food is Keto-friendly?

The type of Keto diet you choose to follow will dictate what foods you will consume in order to achieve your target macros. The following foods are keto-friendly for any Keto diet type: 

  • Berries
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Full-fat Dairy & Eggs
  • Meat & Fish
  • Low-carb Vegetables & Oils

What are some keto-friendly snacks?

When you feel a craving coming on reach for these keto-friendly snacks to satisfy your sweet tooth while staying on track with your wellness goals.

Organika FAV Keto cookies 

These mini chocolate chip keto cookies will easily become an instant favourite! With added collagen to promote glowing skin and hair these cookies are full of flavour and health benefits. FAV keto cookies contain only 2g of net carbs, 4g of protein, and no artificial colours or preservatives. Grab these as a quick snack and delicious keto-friendly option to meet your health and wellness goals.

NoSugar Keto bar 

These creamy, melt in your mouth keto bars are the perfect decadent snack to satisfy any sweet craving! They offer the perfect keto makeup of 75% healthy fats, 20% protein, 5% net carbs and no sugar. Allow yourself a little indulgence with delicious flavours like birthday cake, cookies and cream, and chocolate peanut butter. 

What are the side effects of a Keto diet?

The Keto diet is very safe for the average person, as long as it’s being monitored and you are  drinking enough water. Diabetics or people with epilepsy should keep a close eye on their ketone levels while in Ketosis. Ketoacidosis is another potential concern that happens when the body becomes too dehydrated. Luckily, this can be easily avoided with a regular intake of minerals (electrolytes) and green vegetables.

The most common side effects of a Ketogenic lifestyle are:

Trouble in the washroom: It is very important to ensure you’re getting your RDA of fiber to prevent this! Great sources of low carb fiber are psyllium husk or acacia gum.

Headaches or “Keto Flu”: This occurs when your body has become depleted of minerals, and you experience flu-like symptoms. A great way to prevent this is by taking an electrolyte supplement.

How long before I see results? 

It takes about 2-8 days to get into Ketosis, based on the person and the type of Keto diet  chosen. You will likely lose your stored water weight fast, and usually in the first week or so. Once water weight is gone, the liver will start using stored fat from our adipose tissue, and that is when the magic happens! Listen to your body’s signals, as you can almost always tell when you start burning fat compared to stored water weight. Usually, you experience a jolt of energy!

Should I see a doctor about this?

It is always recommended to consult with a doctor or health care provider prior to any lifestyle or dietary changes. If you have any questions regarding this lifestyle, please talk to a Kardish team member and we would be glad to assist you on your journey to better health and weight loss.

Wellness Blog

Top Health Benefits Of Spending Time Outdoors

The sun shines on your skin. You close your eyes and feel your skin cells come to life like a salsa dancer on an overpacked dance floor. You sink into your chair and every thought melts away like a dripping snow cone.

Being outside whether for your daily dog walk, to get your tan on, or playing your favourite outdoor sport, can have a hypnotic-like effect on our mind, body and soul.

These days we are inundated with mental health information and online influencers urging us to get outside and enjoy what mother nature gave us. But why? What’s actually behind the brouhaha of the benefits of getting outside?

When we look beyond the magical properties of nature’ we find there are a few key factors at play.

Increased movement

Yes we’re referring to movement and not physical exercise. Exercise can often be a scary word because we all have our preconceived notions about what it means and how we do it. So the key factor here is getting out to get moving. Whether you’re out for a leisurely stroll, tossing a frisbee at the park, or canoeing at Dow’s Lake, you’re not binge watching another television series on the couch, and that’s what counts. The allure of the outdoors, especially when it’s warm out, reduces the barrier to getting excited about going out and getting more movement.

Opportunity for connection

Even if physical distancing restrictions are in place, being outdoors gives us another way to connect with friends and family. Whether we take the time to stop and chat with a neighbour, research shows that even being around others without interacting can help to reduce feelings of isolation. Isolation is found to be one of the key contributors to poor mental health.

The power of Vitamin D

As Canadians we spend a lot of time indoors. This means that we get less exposure to sunlight. When we get less exposure to sunlight, our body doesn’t produce as much Vitamin D. Beyond absorbing Calcium, various research findings show that there is a link between levels of Vitamin D in the body and experience of low mood or Depression. 

So just by throwing on your runners and stepping outside you’re taking literal and metaphorical steps towards boosting your mood.

Focusing on the present is easier

When you’re outdoors there’s so many different ways to engage our senses; birds chirping, the bright colours of growing flowers, the aromas of a BBQ hard at work. With these natural attention grabbers, we can easily attune our focus to what we notice around us. Being present, or mindful, is not about meditation, it’s about keeping your attention in the here and now. This becomes easier to do when we get outside. Quick how to: Pick a spot to observe and try to notice what you see, hear smell, feel and can possibly taste.

Less tech temptation

Being in the present moment is easier when we are not surrounded by the pings of our electronic devices. Being outside and leaving the tech at home reduces distraction while trying to engage your senses in nature.Doing this connects us to our roots of humanity and the natural world around us. When we get outside, we reduce the temptation to scroll, snap or tweet (assuming you haven’t brought your laptop with you).

Research shows that all these factors have a significant impact on our mental, physical and spiritual health. The context of being outside (regardless of the weather) is what allows all these elements to naturally come together for a one stop shop of wellness.

Wellness Blog

The Importance Of Protecting Our Microbiome

BY: AMY WILSON

Adjusting to the “new norm” of COVID-19 has led to a drastic increase in hygiene practices. To protect our health, businesses and organizations are following protocols and adhering to recommendations made for our safety. Unfortunately, a lot of these hygiene practices include harsh disinfectants and chemicals that kill off our natural microflora. While we still learn about this emerging new disease, it is definitely important that we take all measures to protect ourselves and others. However, to keep ourselves safe, it is also vitally important that we keep our immune system strong. In order to do this, we must protect our natural microflora.

Humans are naturally home to trillions of beneficial bacteria of an immense variety, that make up our microbiome. These bacteria live both on us, and in our digestive tract, protecting us and keeping us healthy. Antibacterial products, such as the ones used for disinfecting, are a threat to our natural microbiome.

I am in no way saying stop using strong antibacterial products during this time. Instead, I am suggesting we take into consideration ways in which to implement practices that will balance some of the adverse effects of the chemicals we are using to disinfect and clean. So, until we fully understand transmission of COVID-19, let’s remember the basics that will help protect our microflora.

The gut is #1

Protecting our digestive tract is fundamental in caring for your internal microflora. When your digestive tract is healthy, it helps your microbiome flourish, and in turn, works to keep your immunity strong. Here are some considerations to implement when thinking of the overall health of your digestive tract.

Remember to get outside

Find yourself in nature more often. Being in nature will not only reduce stress levels, but can also have a positive impact on your microbiome. Breathing in fresh air, and being close to trees, dirt and water, can increase the diversity of your microbiome.

Adjusting hygiene practices

  • When in the safety of your home, use good hand washing techniques with natural soaps, and save the alcohol-based/antimicrobial disinfecting for when you are out in public.
  • Make at-home cleaning supplies that are effective and safe for you and the environment. Homemade cleaning products are typically very simple and effective, and can be a fun project, that can also save you money in the long run.

Health officials and scientists are working hard to narrow down the most effective hygiene protocols to keep us safe. The information at times can be confusing. What is clear, is the importance of preventative health measures, and staying on top of our health at all times, to keep us strong and safe!

Wellness Blog

Seven Essential Vinegars And Oils To Add To Your Pantry

Are you ready to up your pantry game? One of the easiest ways to elevate your everyday cooking is to stock up on a variety of oils and vinegars. Integral to everything from sauces to stews, maintaining a wide-ranging stock of vinegars and oils allows you to vary the flavors in your dishes and expand the scope of your cooking.

Most of us have standards such as olive oil and white vinegar on hand. However, now might be the right time to branch out and add a few new pantry staples. 

Coconut oil

With its creamy, fatty quality, coconut oil is outstanding for baking, adding richness to your cakes, cookies and muffins. It also happens to double as a stellar beauty product, with uses as a moisturizer, makeup remover, cuticle treatment, and more.

Balsamic vinegar

If you don’t have balsamic vinegar in your arsenal yet, it’s time to add it to the rotation. Dark, sweet, and rich, it produces gorgeous salad dressings and marinades. In a pinch, you can also simply drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over your salad as a substitute for dressing.

Sesame oil

With its intense sesame flavor, it only takes a teaspoon or two of this fragrant oil to make a big impact on a dish. Use sesame oil to sauté vegetables, cook rice, drizzle on soups, or even as a mix-in for popcorn. It’s also the key ingredient to the ultimate cold noodle salad.

Apple cider vinegar

Forget making bread—it’s time to get into pickling! If you want to try your hand at pickling your favourite vegetables or preparing gorgeous antipasto, apple cider vinegar is an ideal choice to add rich flavor to your brine. And since it has the added benefit of making you feel full longer, there is some evidence to show it can help with weight loss.

Rice wine vinegar

Also known as rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar is subtly sweet with just a touch of acidity. It’s perfect for Asian cooking, whether you’re preparing a stir fry, a dipping sauce, a marinade, or you’re looking to give a batch of rice a little something extra. Oh—and don’t forget to try it on your fries. It might just be the ultimate French fry dip!

Avocado oil

It’s a bit of a splurge, but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to traditional vegetable oil, avocado is a great option. With a neutral flavour and a high smoke point, it’s ideal as a frying oil for your favourite stovetop dishes.

Red wine vinegar

Made from fermented red wine, this tangy vinegar is an all-purpose workhorse. Like most vinegars, it is great for crafting salad dressings or marinades. But because of its potent flavour, it also pairs well with red meats and other heartier foods, making it a perfect addition to stews, soups, and glazes.

What are you waiting for? Pick up a couple new cooking options and start experimenting. You’ll be glad you broadened your culinary horizons.

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