Archive for August 31, 2015

New (School) Year Resolutions

The kids are heading back or have headed back to school, and in so many ways it feels like a new year in general. The new school year brings on thoughts similar to that of the new calendar year.

What are you going to do differently?

One of the easiest things you can do is to add in healthy fats.

Toss the margarine – along with any other vegetable oil spread or Crisco type products.  What is that stuff anyhow?!



Bring back butter! The real stuff – preferably grass fed. Have you heard of Kerrygold? It’s amazing, and I know more than a few people who eat this stuff straight off their knife.

 

Try coconut oil.  If you have not heard of the amazing health benefits of coconut oil, there are countless websites that are singing the praises of this superfood! Authority Nutrition has a top 10 list. Add it to your coffee, use it place of your conditioner or moisturizer – really this stuff is down right great.

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Bring back whole milk and cream. Quit using sugar water skim milk in your coffee, enjoy your coffee and/or tea with heavy cream or at least half and half. You will enjoy the cup so much more. Reading the ingredients on the bottle of non-dairy creamer likely requires a degree in chemistry.

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If the kiddos are on skim and are whole milk phobic, try to stair step them up. Up it to 2% and then whole. Before they realize it, they will be in whole milk Heaven.

 

We will post more ideas in the upcoming days and weeks!

 

Have a great new school year!

 

We are here for you!

 

Thank you greatly to Fit Fusion and to those who came out to listen to Cindy speak this morning!

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We sincerely hope that you left feeling empowered and armed with some tools to help you. I apologize greatly for not being there this morning and getting to meet with you as well. Cindy told me it was a great group!

 

Cindy and I LOVE talking about our lifestyle! While our way of eating may not be for every person, we believe that everyone should look at the way they eat, the way they feel, and how those two things are completely intertwined.

We would love the opportunity to help you, those you love, or even those with whom you work.  If you have a group that you think would benefit from a nutritional talk, along with a question and answer session, we would absolutely be thrilled to talk to you!

 

We offer individual and group consultations, multi-session packages, and group talks, among other services, like pantry clean outs and cooking classes to help you get started on your path to healthier eating. Please visit our services page and remember we can customize as well.

 

In fact, we are currently helping some clients by simply monitoring, measuring, and simply trying to hold them accountable. If any of these things sound like something you maybe interested in, please do not hesitate to contact us through our website, email, or on Facebook.

We love what we do, and would enjoy the opportunity to help you feel better.

 

Spreading the Word!

Erin and I are super passionate about health and healthy eating!  We have both struggled with sugar addiction and were able to kick the habit.

We love sharing our stories and are super excited about our “Sweet Surprise” discussion tomorrow at Fit Fusion Studio.

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Please join us Thursday, August 27th at 9:00 AM!

Cindy will be sharing both stories about how sugar wreaked havoc in both lives, and how changing your eating habits can change your life for the better!

 

Send your friends, your parents, your kids and your siblings!  It is FREE!

Back to School – Snack Time!

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It is hard to believe that school has arrived once again!

I have one that started today and two that start in a couple of weeks.  It is funny how that same old routine starts immediately.  The one thing that stumps people the most in this rut of a routine is SNACK time!  What do you serve for snacks when you don’t eat carbs?  This one was tough at first, but it is much of the same foods that I pack in a low-carb lunchbox, so you can use this article as a means for both.

First off, toss the juice boxes – PLEASE!  Those are loaded with sugar!

What about just water?  If your child refuses plain water, try infusing it with fruit or cucumbers, or see if they like a sparkling water like La Croix.  Mine think it is a treat!  There are a ton of flavors from which to choose, so your family will never get bored.

Next, go through your pantry (or call us to do it) and toss the chips, cookies, crackers, pretzels, and goldfish – yep, I said it – even the goldfish.  They are all carbs and carbs = sugar!

Your body doesn’t even know the difference between the two!

 

So, what do you feed the kiddos when you don’t have goldfish?

 

There are a ton of options, many of which we have posted before, but we will remind you!

This is the number one favorite in the Lutz household:

Veggies with Ranch Dip

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Obviously, mine love the mini-peppers!

Other great dips to serve with vegetables are spinach dip, artichoke dip and pimento cheese.  The later is a great lunch option as well!

 

Cheese crackers with salsa or guacamole is another favorite in our house.

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Don’t forget about the yummy olives we posted last week too!

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Sometimes if I want to dress things up a bit, I will do a nice cheese sampler tray.  This is great for the little tastebuds too and fancy enough for company!

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Another fun snack is the savory fat bombs.  I was able to find some great snacks at Costco that were cheese and meat wrapped up together similar to a fat bomb.  They are cute and would work great in a lunchbox as well.

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A few other great options:

Cheese sticks or Baby Bells

Lunch meat (or the two together!)  Choose your meat carefully.  Stay away from the pre-sliced – get the quality meat (Such as Boar’s Head) in the deli and have it sliced thinly for wrapping.  Watch for Nitrates and other additives.

Pickles

Refreshing Cukes

Celery and Queso

Whole milk yogurt (for the kids)

Jerky or beef sticks

A variety of nuts (w/out peanuts)

Stuffed mushrooms

Celery and nut butter

Deviled or Boiled Eggs

Sausage on a Stick

 

These are just a few of many options!  Hopefully this will get you started in this back-to -school rush time!  Don’t be afraid to try new things and push your kiddos to expand their palates a little.  We hope everyone has a great beginning to the school year.  Remember to be strong and eat right!  You (and your children) need to eat healthy to be healthy!  Happy Back-to-School week!

 

HEALTH. Word cloud concept illustration. Wordcloud collage.

 

Feel free to drop us a note in the comments section if you have a question about lunch or snacks.  Chances are, someone else is wondering the same thing!  Also, feel free to share some of your favorites!

 

A Dip to Rival Hidden Valley Ranch

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Well, by now, if you have been following us, you know how we feel about artificial sweeteners and those other sneaky names used so you won’t know that sugar is in the ingredient list.

Believe it or not, those sneaky names are in the fine print of many pantry items you never would have imagined.  For instance, my family used to love it when I mixed in the little seasoning packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip and Dressing mix with sour cream for a yummy dip to serve with vegetables.  One of the main ingredients I discovered, as soon as I went Keto and started looking at the back of packages, is Maltodextrin.

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A little about Maltodextrin: It is a food additive derived from corn, rice, potatoes, or wheat and therefore a carbohydrate.  It ranks higher than table sugar on the glycemic index – 106 to 136 depending on the derived source and is in a TON of packaged foods!  This means that it will spike your blood sugar levels so beware and read those labels.

It became a mission of mine and that of a few of our followers to find a better way to make ranch dressing and dip.  One of the best parts of Keto is freeing yourself from all of those tasteless, chemical ridden low-fat salad dressings!  You actually get to eat the real thing as long as it is real food.  The Maltodextrin kind of ruined that for us though.  Thanks to one of my friends and fellow ketoers, Kelley, we have found the solution!  This may be even better than Hidden Valley Ranch, and it is a seasoning blend that can be used in other sauces or dressings as well.  I did some minor tweaking, and we all think it is delicious.  We hope you enjoy!

Ranch Dip Picture

Ranch Dressing Seasoning

1 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 TBSP Onion Powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 TBSP dried parsley

1/4 tsp celery seed

1/2 tsp dried dill weed (with a little extra for garnish)

1/2 tsp dried mustard seed

To mix into a dressing or dip, the possibilities are endless.

For a dip, I use the traditional 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.

If you want to make it into a dressing, you can put all of the above ingredients into a blender and add some half and half or cream to liquify it slightly.

Modifications you can make are to add some fresh parsley instead of the dry, add some cilantro to the dressing, or even spice it up with some jalapeños or your favorite peppers.  This is super easy if you use the blender!  The possibilities for making this your own are endless, nutritious, and beautifully Ketogenic! Have fun with it, and enjoy!

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These are Cindy’s boys!  This dip with mini peppers is one of their favorite after school snacks!

 

 

A Tasty Snack for All Occasions

Family gatherings are so fun, and a great way to pick up new recipes.  At every family event over at Erin’s house her mother would bring these amazing olives.  I finally asked for the recipe and have made them several times now.  Her mom gave us permission to use this recipe in our catalog of many.  They are a great Keto/Paleo appetizer or snack.  Everyone is always looking for snack ideas, and this is a great one you can leave out on the counter after school if you have olive eaters in the house!

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Marinated Olives

2 cans medium to large (not jumbo) black, green, or a mixture of olives (Drained)

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried

4 bay leaves

Directions:

Mix together your oil and vinegar.

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Mince or chop your garlic and thyme.  I really prefer the fresh thyme on these.

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Add all your spices to your oil mixture and combine well.

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Drain and add your cans of olives.

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These are beautiful and yummy to serve.  The garlic gives them a nice kick.  Bring them to room temperature before serving.  You can also invert the jar occasionally to let the spices cover all the olives.

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We store these in a mason jar for a couple of weeks in the fridge if they last that long.

 

 

 

What We are Reading/Listening to

http://thesweetlifesugarfree.com/what-were-reading-or-listening-to/

It’s Posted! YAY!

We just posted a page for those out there that would like to do more reading (or listening) and research a bit further on their own.

 

Sample of Erin’s Keto library

 

There are TONS of books, sites, Podcasts, and articles out there, and we have read or listened to so many of them. Together we have created a list of a few of our favorites and brought that list to our site to share with you. You can purchase these off of our Amazon store – right out of our page (EASY!).
Yes!  We have read pretty much everything we can get our hands on regarding the topic of Keto! We have read a ton about Paleo as well (if you have questions on that) and the Paleo resources are much more abundant.
I will also say, from first hand experience, the selection of material at the San Antonio Library has also been very good. And if its not there you can ask online or at any branch they are extremely helpful in locating anything specific. This is a great way to try out cookbooks as well!

 

We are full of suggestions on this topic! Please just ask if you would like to know where to start depending on your goals we will lead you in the right direction.

 

 

 

What’s Up In The Gut?

For those of you that have seen our library of Keto resources, you know that it is extensive.  We read A LOT!  Erin and I are very passionate about diet and nutrition so we literally live, eat, and breathe what we preach!  While we love our books, there is also a lot of information coming out in the news on a daily basis.  In addition to our books, we subscribe to wellness and health magazines, both through snail mail and email, and scour the internet for the latest and greatest information.  Gut health and depression has been in the headlines quite often the past few weeks.  This is an article from Paleo Plan, an online subscription I follow on occasion:

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“Did you hear the good news!? At long last…science is recognizing something that’s been known since antiquity…the interconnectedness between gut health and disease!
Recently researchers have begun to realize how depression and overall brain health are intimately connected to our microbiome (the 3-5 pounds of bacteria living inside our bodies which outnumber our own cells 10:1). Several studies are now linking depression with imbalances in our microbiome. In other words, having too much ‘bad bacteria’ and not enough ‘good bacteria’ in our guts can trigger depression (and a host of other diseases).
While scientists are rejoicing about their ‘discovery’ that the brain is indeed influenced by gut health, this is not breaking news. The father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, proclaimed over 2,000 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut”.
What is more along the lines of breaking news are recent headlines likening yogurt to Prozac for treating depression. Now before you go raid the dairy aisle of your local grocery store, let’s chat about why yogurt is being touted as an antidepressant.
Yogurt is marketed to contain probiotics, which are beneficial ‘good’ bacteria critical for immune function and overall health. These probiotics are also capable of altering our emotional state, and studies have found that supplementation with them can improve mood and act as a mild antidepressant.
There are some problems with most yogurts sold at the market (other than the dairy, sugar and other non-Paleo ingredients they commonly contain). Many commercial yogurt products have been pasteurized at high temperatures after the live bacteria cultures have been added, essentially killing all of the probiotics.
Further, we house hundreds of different species of bacteria in our guts, yet most yogurts (and probiotic pills) contain only a small handful of species. Dysbiosis (an imbalanced gut microbiome) is defined as overgrowth of any one type of bacteria. Unfortunately a ‘good’ bacteria can become ‘bad’ if taken in excess.
While yogurt may not be the best source of probiotics, there are several ways to increase your microbial diversity. Eating dietary fiber from whole, natural foods at every meal feeds the good bacteria in your gut and colon, helping them to naturally populate. Other foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut kefir or yogurt, kombucha, live probiotic drinks, and other fermented/cultured vegetables are packed full of living probiotics. The key is to select a brand that is live or raw, meaning the bacteria haven’t been killed via pasteurization. Better yet, you can make your own raw fermented foods!
Lastly, it’s easy to overconsume any one type of bacteria if you take the same probiotic pills over and over. That’s why I urge my clients to rotate their brand of probiotic supplements and ideally get their probiotics from whole food sources.
Ok, so yogurt is probably not the”new Prozac” as news reports are so eagerly proclaiming, but the message is valid: a happy gut precedes a happy mind! It’s time for us all to quit fearing bacteria, and to embrace the reality that our bodies contain more bacterial cells than human cells…now that’s some food for thought! :)” – Paleo Plan

 

While we do not recommend yogurt for adults on a Ketogenic diet, I do allow my children to have good quality, unsweetened yogurt from grass-fed cows.  It has the quality probiotics as well as the nutrients from grass-fed cows that you can’t get from any other kind of yogurt.  This one in particular is also WHOLE milk yogurt that is almost impossible to find in this day of low-fat everything!  It is the best I have found and a great treat for the kiddos.

 

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I was listening to this same study on Good Morning America this morning and then came across it online as well, so I wanted to share it and put it in line with the Keto diet.  It is written from a Paleo perspective so it does not follow all of our rules exactly, but it does have some good tips about cleaning up your gut!  This is where Keto helps a ton!  Fat is great for the brain and Keto does a great job cleaning up the gut bacteria even alone.  The GMA segment was mainly focusing on carbs causing depression and the great probiotic foods we can use to help it.  We all know we need to cut the carbs, but not everyone knows that there are actually healing foods that can repair some of the damage we have caused.

 

Dr. Perlmutter’s new book entitled, Brain Maker is all about the gut, and the foods you can use to clean it up!  In fact, a large part of the article above is taken directly from his book.  This is on my bedside table at the moment, and about to move to the kitchen to try the recipes he has included in it as well.  Check it out in our Amazon Store!

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The gut and the brain are more connected than we ever thought.   What you put in your mouth can greatly effect what happens in your brain.  Even more, as ketoers, we know that the brain prefers fat as a fuel, and by replacing your carbs for fat you are already helping.  Now imagine going a step further to feed it healing foods as well!

 

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How do we cause damage?  Many ways, but a BIG one is antibiotics.  We try to limit antibiotics as much as possible.  While they were created for life-saving measures, they are highly overprescribed and frankly abused this day in age.  I only take them and give them to my family if they are absolutely necessary – and by that, I mean a raging ear infection, sinus infection or something we know, without a doubt, an antibiotic can fix.  If a virus is a possibility – I pass.  Another example; I had a severe allergic reaction to a yellow-jacket sting last week.  After two days my foot swelled so badly that I couldn’t get a flip flop on and it was turning colors.  I reluctantly went to an emergency clinic when my foot was hot to the touch.  The doctor immediately wanted to give me an antibiotic to reduce the CHANCES of infection.  I did NOT have an infection, I had a reaction!  I verified this and refused the antibiotic.  There ARE cases when an antibiotic is needed.  Just tell your doctor that if it’s not necessary you don’t want it.  So many doctors today are quick to provide a fix because they think that is what YOU want, when in reality, you may just need to wait a couple of days to shake off a virus.  If, however, an antibiotic is taken, you need to know that it not only kills the bad bacteria, but also kills the GOOD bacteria your body needs for many functions.  I know it sounds crazy, but your body NEEDS bacteria.  There is actually a purpose for it.  So what to do, if you are sick with a fever and NEED an antibiotic?  Take a great quality probiotic TWO hours after taking your antibiotic.  While there isn’t exact science, this seems to have the best results in replacing some of the good bacteria you kill with the antibiotic.  Here are a couple of probiotics we believe are GREAT ones.  I do take these daily and switch them up after I finish a bottle.

These first two need to stay in the refrigerator:

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This one below does not need to be refrigerated so it is great for travel:

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To sum it up…Take care of your gut and it will take care of you.  It kind of goes along with what we have heard for years…”You are what you eat.”  It seems now, that this saying is more accurate than we ever imagined!

Take care of you, yours, and your gut!  Happy Friday!

 

Makin’ Bacon!

Do you need a bunch of bacon? Or maybe just enough to feed the fam on a Saturday morning?

 

Have you thought about doing it the oven?

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Here is a quick and easy way to get your bacon cooked, and you can do as much or as little as you would like. PLUS, you will also be able to get a good amount of bacon grease for any other dishes you may be working on later in the day.

 

Cookie Sheet Bacon

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll pan) with heavy duty aluminum foil.

Lay your bacon out without the sides touching.  I can usually get 10 to 12 pieces on a sheet.IMG_0777The cooking time really depends on how thick your bacon is, how you are going to use it, and how cooked you like it!  If you are going to keep cooking it in another dish, I do it par-baked which just means I remove it before it is thoroughly cooked through.

I use pretty thick bacon and usually cook it about 20 minutes.  For thinner bacon, start checking it at about 12 to 14 minutes.

This is about 20 minutes for thick bacon:
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Remove your bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain and crisp.

Do not discard your drippings.  I almost always try to make a dish using the bacon drippings the day I make bacon such as the Bacon Brussels or Bacon Green Beans.  If I am not cooking a dish, I save the drippings in a mason jar.  (Yes, just like Grandma used to save hers!)  Make sure you strain the bits out if you are using a jar – I use bits and all when preparing a dish the same night.

I reuse the tray over and over until I have enough bacon (and drippings) for my immediate and future bacon needs!  Then, when you are finished, drain your drippings and toss the foil!

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