Dr. Phil Shares: Staying Keto over the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for those following a diet, the holidays may stir up stress and anxiety around food. The ketogenic diet is not the most “social” diet, but there are ways to stick to it, even in the most daunting of times, such as holiday celebrations.

If you can’t eat keto, at least aim for low-carb

Your holiday party may not be stocked full of keto-friendly foods, but there is a high probability that you can nibble on some low-carb options. The cheese platter is, more often than not, a pretty safe bet for cheese (of course!), but also for other low-carb foods such as nuts and meats. Just stay clear of candy-coated nuts, dried fruits, and cured meats you suspect may have added sugar!

Another low-carb holiday party go-to is the veggie platter. Lucky for you, this usually gets the least attention by guests, thereby giving you full access to it. Stick to the low-carb vegetables options such as broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and cucumber. If your event is serving dinner, opt for the meats or any salads (without sugar-loaded dressings), and low-carb vegetables. Things to stay away from are the mashed potatoes, any bread/pastry-like foods, sauces, and, of course, the sweets. Sticking with low-carb as opposed to ditching the diet completely will make transitioning back into ketosis much easier.

Prepare for success and give yourself options

If you are uncomfortable not knowing what food options will be available at your holiday gathering, prepare some food in advance. Better yet, prepare a keto-friendly dish to share with everyone! Take a high-fat dip to pair with that veggie platter and a salad dressing you can pour on any dry salads to avoid sugary dressings. You can also pack some snacks such as high-fat nuts (e.g. macadamia nuts) to graze on throughout the evening. Additionally, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is a great tool for ketogenic living. Fill a small jar with MCT oil to take with you and use on any dish or in beverages. MCTs are highly ketogenic and have even been shown to increase ketone production without carbohydrate restriction.1

The popularity of the ketogenic diet has made it simple to find recipes that anyone can enjoy. Consider making a ketogenic dessert to bring and share so you can “indulge” too, while also preventing you from caving into the temptations of sugar-laden treats.

Stay positive and remember your “why”

It can be difficult to gain the support of those around you when your dietary choices are perceived as something as radical as a ketogenic diet may seem to some. You may even be tempted to ditch the diet for the sake of your peers or those family members who just won’t back down from having you try “just one bite.” Be prepared to explain to others what the ketogenic diet is and why you follow it. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all diet, and it is perfectly fine to have different views from others. Just stay true to yourself, remember your “why,” and stay positive, because there is nothing worse than engaging in a debate over food choices!

Tips for alcohol

Alcohol isn’t generally conducive to living a ketogenic lifestyle, and if you have no problem abstaining from it completely, that is your best option. If having a drink in your hand makes you feel more comfortable in a crowd, take club soda and sliced lemon with you; this will help you feel less segregated. With all this said, celebrations may be times when you can make exceptions (within reason). There are ways to enjoy a drink or two and stick to your goals; you just have to know what to look out for. For wines, opt for the driest you can find, white or red, and avoid sweet wines such as rosé. Most liquors are acceptable on their own or enjoyed with club soda or sugar-free beverages. Beers typically contain more carbohydrates, and they should probably be limited to one. If nutrition labels are available, check to see what the lowest-carbohydrate beer options are. Coolers and ciders are to be avoided due to their high sugar content.

Be kind to yourself and don’t overthink it

If you take into consideration all of the recommendations above, there is no reason to be stressed or anxious about your diet as you enter into the holidays. You are following a ketogenic diet to improve your health, right? Well, being kind to yourself is part of healthy living, and sometimes that means accepting that your diet can’t always be perfect. Also, keep in mind that you can always jump right back into the swing of things; a few days of indulging does not mean you have “failed.” There is more to health than simply what you put in your mouth, so do the best you can, be prepared, but most importantly, don’t get down on yourself if things don’t go as planned. Instead of focusing on your food options, focus on enjoying your time with loved ones over this holiday season.

As we said, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, and your diet shouldn’t change that for you.

General Wellness, Ketogenic

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

Resources:

  1. McCarty MF et al. Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. Open Heart. 2016;3(2):e000467.

Top 10 February Healthy Heart Tips

A healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier. Here are 10 things you can do to look after your heart.

Give up smoking

If you’re a smoker, quit. It’s the single best thing you can do for your heart health.

Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

You’re more likely to stop smoking for good if you use NHS stop smoking services. Visit the Smokefree website or ask your GP for help with quitting.

Get active

Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster.

Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. One way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity on five days a week. Fit it in where you can, such as by cycling to work.

Manage your weight

Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to ahealthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular physical activity.

Find out if you are a healthy weight with the BMI calculator. If you’re overweight, try our 12-week weight loss plan.

Eat more fibre

Eat plenty of fibre to help lower your risk of heart disease – aim for at least 30g a day. Eat fibre from a variety of sources, such as wholemeal bread, bran, oats and wholegrain cereals, potatoes with their skins on, and plenty of fruit and veg.

Cut down on saturated fat

Eating too many foods that are high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. This increases your risk of heart disease. Choose leaner cuts of meat and lower-fat dairy products like 1% fat milk over full-fat (or whole) milk.

Read the facts about fat.

Get your 5 A DAY

Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. They’re a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. There are lots of tasty ways to get your 5 A DAY, like adding chopped fruit to cereal or including vegetables in your pasta sauces and curries. Get more 5 A DAY fruit and veg tips.

Cut down on salt

To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking. Once you get used to the taste of food without added salt, you can cut it out completely.

Watch out for high salt levels in ready-made foods. Most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy. Check the food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g. Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total – that’s about one teaspoon.

Eat fish

Eat fish at least twice a week, including a portion of oily fish. Fish such as mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which can help protect against heart disease.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t have more than two portions of oily fish a week.

Drink less alcohol

Don’t forget alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline. Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.

Read the food label

When shopping, it’s a good idea to look at the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains. Understanding what is in food and how it fits in with the rest of your diet.

Thanks to http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyhearts/Pages/Healthy-heart-tips.aspx

8 Lower-Calorie Holiday Cocktails

Lower-Calorie Holiday Cocktails
Who doesn’t like a good cocktail during the holidays? Sure, spending 3 days straight with your extended family might have something to do with it, but beside that, nearly everyone likes to let loose at this time of year. And there are plenty of occasions to do so. From the office holiday party to the lighting of the menorah to the various eve and morning festivities, there’s no shortage of celebrations that can involve libations.

Unfortunately, most holiday cocktails tend to give the double gift of too much fat and too many calories. One cup of eggnog has 343 calories and 19 grams of fat! It’s a meal in a cup, with a ton of added fat and sugar. Then there are the hot chocolates, mulled ciders, and traditional grogs that chase away the winter chill but help you hang on to the pounds. And don’t forget about all the themed mixed drinks that make parties a bit more fun while making your waistline a bit more full. So how do you enjoy the fun of the holiday season without having to hide behind bulky sweaters till July? Here are 8 fun drink ideas that are lower in fat, calories, and sugar than their original versions.

 

1. Skinny Pumpkin Pie Martini. Yeah, I know. It’s as good as it sounds. There are several pumpkin liqueurs on the market, which are convenient, but add a ton of calories. By using the actual squash, you get the flavor without the calories—and, believe it or not, a little fiber in your drink.

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
4 fl. oz. vanilla vodka
1 Tbsp. raw honey
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preparation:
1. Place vodka, honey, almond milk, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds, or until puree is completely dissolved.
2. Strain evenly into two martini glasses; serve immediately.

Skinny Pumpkin Pie Martini

2. Grog. Its rich history dates back 400 years, when it used to be rationed out to sailors at sea. The big babies wouldn’t drink their scurvy-preventing dose of lemon juice straight, so the powers that be dressed it up with a little rum. Since the additional ingredients only serve to make it that much tastier, it stands to reason that being “three sheets to the wind” was fairly common.

Total Time: 28 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 18 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Lemon peel (from half a lemon)
Orange peel (from half an orange)
1 Tbsp. raw honey
2 whole cloves (or 1 dash ground cloves)
2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp. ground cinnamon)
1 cup water
4 fl. oz. rum

Preparation:
1. Place lemon juice, lemon peel, orange peel, honey, cloves, cinnamon, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Add rum; mix well.
3. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Grog

3. Gingerbread Toddy. In cold weather, a hot drink can warm you up faster than a Snuggie® and an electric blanket. This hot toddy will make you feel warm while it makes you think you’re eating gingerbread cookies. Yummy.

Total Time: 14 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 4 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses (or molasses)
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 dash ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp. ground cinnamon)
4 fl. oz. brandy

Preparation:
1. Place water, lemon juice, molasses, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Add brandy; mix well.
3. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Gingerbread Toddy

4. Holiday Hot Chocolate. You can obviously buy no-sugar-added hot chocolate in packages and do this the easy way. But you’re no slacker. You can make homemade hot chocolate instead, which makes your house smell amazing and impresses your friends and family.

Total Time: 14 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 4 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. coconut sugar (or raw honey)
4 fl. oz. peppermint schnapps
Mint leaves (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place almond milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Add peppermint schnapps; mix well.
3. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

Holiday Hot Cocoa

5. Skinny Peppermint Martini. This is perhaps the simplest and tastiest low-calorie cocktail out there. Just three ingredients and a bit of candy cane. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 fl. oz. vanilla vodka
2 tsp. raw honey
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 fl. oz. peppermint schnapps
Mint leaves (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place vodka, honey, almond milk, and peppermint schnapps in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds, or until well mixed.
2. Strain evenly into two martini glasses. Garnish with mint leaves if desired; serve immediately.

Skinny Peppermint Martini

6. Mulled Apple Cider. Nothing makes a house smell more like Christmas than some mulled apple cider—except maybe those overpriced candles constantly being advertised on TV. And this cider tastes better, so take that, Glade®!

Total Time: 31 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 21 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup water
Orange peel (from half an orange)
4 whole cloves (or 1 dash ground cloves)
2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp. ground cinnamon)
1 thin slice fresh ginger
1 cup unsweetened apple cider (or unsweetened apple juice)
2 fl. oz. brandy

Preparation:
1. Place water, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
2. Add apple cider; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot. Remove from heat.
3. Add brandy; mix well.
4. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Mulled Apple Cider

7. Blitzen’s Bliss. Given that Blitzen is the final reindeer in the lineup, he probably gets knocked around a fair bit by the sleigh over the course of Santa’s travels on Christmas Eve. But once they’re done circumnavigating the globe, Blitzen comes home and has a few of these, and it’s all good. Not only does he feel better, but since they have just 130 calories apiece, he doesn’t feel all bloated for his Christmas dinner the next day.

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
½ cup water
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 fl. oz. vodka
2 tsp. raw honey
Mint leaves (for garnish; optional)
Pomegranate seeds (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place water, pomegranate juice, vodka, and honey in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds, or until well mixed.
2. Strain evenly into two martini glasses. Garnish with mint leaves and pomegranate if desired; serve immediately.

Blitzen's Bliss

8. Santa’s Winter Sangria. Santa really appreciates the cookies and milk. But after hundreds of years, he’s over it. Want to be on the “nice” list next year? Get a little naughty. Leave some sangria by the fireplace for Santa.

Total Time: 4 hr. 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 10 servings, 4 oz. each

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh satsuma orange juice (about 4 satsumas)
1 (750-ml) bottle fruity red wine
3 fl. oz. Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
3 Tbsp. raw honey
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 medium lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 medium lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 cup satsuma orange sections (about 2 satsumas)

Preparation:
1. Combine orange juice, wine, Triple Sec, honey, cloves, cinnamon, lemon, lime, and orange sections in a large pitcher; mix well.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight).

Tips: If you can’t find Satsuma oranges, you can use Valencia or navel oranges.

Sangria for Santa

So if you’d like to have a “cup of cheer” this holiday season, at least now you can enjoy it without having to wear your baggy Santa outfit for the entire month of January. Happy holidays!

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

 

New! B12 injections & more

B12 intramuscular injections are useful for those deficient in B12, pernicious anemia, fighting depression, stress or fatigue, diabetic neuropathy, chemotherapy induced neuropathy, herpes zoster (including prevention and treatment of shingles).

Book your Appointment Now

Existing patients:

Injection B12 1000ug + 1mg Folic Acid = $16.00b12folic
Injection B12 5000ug + 1mg Folic Acid = $18.00
You could be at risk for B12 deficiency if you are taking the following medications: Metformin, H2 blockers (Pepcid, Zantac), Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s) (Nexium, Prevacid, Losec, Tecta, Pantoloc, Pariet, Dexilant) , Phenytoin, also long term use of Oral Contraceptives or Aspirin. Excessive alcoholic intake longer than 2 weeks, inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac disease,  gastric or small intestinal resection, prolonged vegan diet, no meat, poultry or dairy product consumption, age over 75 years. Long term supplementation of Folic Acid.

Signs of B12 deficiency: Unexplained neurologic symptoms like paresthesias, numbness, poor motor coordination, memory lapses or cognitive and personality changes.

B12 status is measured through a Complete Blood Count (CBC), blood analysis and Serum B12 (cobalamin), and folate. Related tests include Complete Blood Count, Methylmalonic Acid, Homocysteine, B Vitamins, Intrinsic Factor Antibody, Parietal Cell Antibody, Reticulocyte Count, Blood Smear. It is a good idea to get tested when you have symptoms of anemia such as weakness, tiredness, pale skin and/or tingling or itching sensations, eye twitching, memory loss, altered mental status which are signs of neuropathy. It is useful to have a baseline status before supplementation so you can monitor treatment effectiveness when if you have vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. Ask about costs of testing.

Why is folic acid included?  It helps B12 get into the red blood cell.

Naturally occurring Folic Acid, known as folate,  is found in leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, dry beans and peas, liver, and yeast. Vitamin B12 is found in foods from animals, such as red meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt, and eggs.  Dietary sources of B12 and folate also include fortified cereals, breads, and other grain products.

What else is new?

2) New naturopathic service – Ear lavage – for those with a lot of ear cerumen (wax)  a naturopathic protocol involves home treatments then an in-office ear wash. This will be assumed as part of the appointment fee, however please note we can do this! Some ear cerumen is healthy, but too much or a blockage can impact hearing and can be uncomfortable.

Also a reminder that these services are available to patients:
a) Laboratory analysis pay for service – many of the same lab tests requested by your family doctor may be ordered through Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND, just know you have to pay out of pocket. I cannot post a price list but can provide pricing on an individualized, as needed basis.

b) Urinalysis $3 -additional to appointment fee Naturopathic medicine has great choices for relieving chronic cystitis and acute or persistent urinary tract infections. We also are trained to know when to get the patient to their MD for antibiotics.

c) Strep Throat Swab – $7 fee additional to appointment fee. Rapid Strep Test – the same one your family doc will do, just added convenience of getting some great advice and prescription for natural medicine and antimicrobials, if it turns out you don’t need mainstream antibiotics.

From the heart and mind of your local naturopathic doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown , ND