Keto Diet Terms Explained
If you’re at all familiar with the world of natural health or weight loss, chances are you’ve come across the words: keto, ketosis, ketone, or ketogenic diet. Though you may have heard these words, or perhaps adopted some of the main principles surrounding them, we think it’s important to know what they mean and to fully understand what this method of eating really entails.
- (Keto)genic diet – a way of eating that tends to promote the metabolic formation of ketone bodies by causing your body to use fat (rather than carbohydrates) as its principal energy source.
- Ketosis – a metabolic state that is characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues.
- Ketone body – any of following three related compounds (acetone, acetoacetic acid, beta-hydroxybutyric acid) that are produced during the metabolism of fats.
Things can sometimes get tricky when it comes to the world of “diets”. Often, we’re thrown a million and one suggestions as to what we are supposed to be eating daily, or even hourly. What can help to make it easier, is to really understand what is going on in the body when we consume certain foods.
Using Fats for Fuel vs Using Carbs for Fuel
Fats and carbohydrates are typically thought of as the two main fuel sources for the body. Carbohydrates provide very short term and quick supplies of energy, while fats are a long term, and far slower supply. Carbohydrates are actually the cell’s “preferred” choice of energy… because they are absorbed extremely quickly to produce energy. Fats are used as energy sources only in an absence of carbohydrates.
When we first wake up in the morning, our bodies are “fasting”. This means that we haven’t eaten in 8-12 hours and in this state we have begun to use our fat stores for energy. Thus, our body is burning ketones. When we eat a “breakfast” meal that is full of carbohydrates, our body quickly comes out of this fasting state and uses glucose (sugar that makes up carbs) as a fuel source. This is all fine and well if we are expending energy and burning off what we’ve just consumed. In many cases, however, we’re consuming more energy than we actually need to use immediately, and the glucose is converted to fat and stored in the body.
Keto Diet = A Low Carb, High Fat Diet
Ketogenic diets are very high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. They are designed to put the body into a ketogenic state, or ketosis. The ratios of fats to protein to carbohydrates varies a bit for everyone, but the graph above is based on an average carbohydrate tolerance. Due to the body’s preference to use glucose for fuel, it’s important to keep the carbohydrate intake to a minimum*. This will help your body stay in ketosis and burn fat for fuel.
How do I know my body is in ketosis?
There are a few common methods of testing to see whether your body has entered ketosis.
- Keto sticks – you can purchase sticks to test ketone levels in saliva or urine to see if you’re in a ketogenic state
- Blood ketone test kit
- Most people will notice a stronger smelling urine
- The breath starts to smell a bit
- Generally people will notice some weight loss, especially fat reduction
- Appetite suppression
Some people who eat a strict ketogenic diet will stick to this method of eating everyday with no “cheat” days. Others will do a carbohydrate re-feed day once a week. This is sometimes termed as cyclic ketosis. Where you’re forcing the body into ketosis most days, and then leaving a state of ketosis for one day.
A hormone in the body known as leptin is produced by our fat cells to regulate appetite and promote satiety. When we eat too many carbs, our body can become resistant to leptin and we never feel full. Often when people follow a strict low-carb diet for too long their leptin levels fall too low and they feel hungry more often. A carbohydrate re-feed day can reset this balance and ensure that the body stays leptin-sensitive.
Ketogenic diets are not necessarily suitable for every person or every lifestyle. Everyone is completely different.
Check out our our complete selection of Keto-Friendly products here and up-to-date food list for low carbs foods you can find at Health Essentials. If you’re trying to find something yummy to try out, check out these recipes.
Shop Our Keto-Friendly Products
+ Quick View
Bulletproof Gut Health Collagen Protein 392g$49.99New!+ Quick View
Wild Tusker – Organic 100% Pure C8 MCT Oil 500ml$18.99+ Quick View
Atwood Heritage Grass-Fed All Beef Snack Stix 125g/5pk$11.99+ Quick View
Atwood Heritage Bison Pork & Beef Snack Stix 125g/5pk$11.99+ Quick View
Atwood Heritage Elk Pork & Beef Snack Stix 125g/5pk$11.99+ Quick View
Atwood Heritage Venison Pork & Beef Snack Stix 125g/5pk$11.99+ Quick View
Zazubean Slinky Creamy Hazelnut 80g$4.99+ Quick View
Nutraphase Clean Fats Cluster Triple Chocolate Caramel 42g$2.99+ Quick View
Buff Bison Bold Chipotle Snack Sticks 30g$5.29
*Note: When counting or tracking carbohydrates, be sure that you subtract the fibre from the total, as it will not effect your state of ketosis.
What is Neo 40 Daily?
Neo 40 is a Nitric Oxide blend from beet root and hawthorn berry extract. To clarify, Nitric Oxide (NO) is a naturally occurring compound that improves circulation. It is something that the body naturally produces, but the ability to do so can diminish once someone is over the age of 40.
What is Neo 40 good for?
A HOST of different benefits all related to improved blood circulation!!
Neo 40 has been known to be beneficial for:
- Restoring natural levels of Nitric Oxide in the body
- Improving heart health
- Promoting healthy blood pressure
- Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol
- Improving arterial health
- Can reduce sexual dysfunction in males!
Who would benefit from taking Neo40?
- Low energy individuals
- Anyone travelling to a high elevation climate … climbing everest?? Consider taking Neo40 with you 😉
- Males over the age of 40 – particularly any experiencing erectile dysfunction
- People struggling with their blood pressure or cholesterol levels*
Who Dr. Gifford Jones is, and Why he Takes Neo 40 regularly!
Dr. Gifford Jones is a former practicing Medical Doctor turned Medical Researcher & Journalist. He is 92 years old, and is as sharp as a whistle. He speaks all over Canada of various different Natural Health Products that he has formulated and stands behind. Almost 2 decades ago, Dr. Gifford Jones suffered from a heart attack, which has steered his life greatly toward healthier alternatives to treat and cure heart disease and related conditions. Since his heart attack, he has done extensive research on products to improve the health of his heart and many who suffer from similar situations.
In an article he wrote recently, Dr. Gifford Jones states that he feels that the regular intake of Neo 40 is one of the reasons he’s managed to stay alive for 19 years after a heart attack!!
*Be sure to consult your Doctor or Naturopath prior to taking Neo40 if you have any existing medical conditions
Keto-Friendly Foods List
To learn more about ketogenic, ketosis, ketone, or keto diet, click here.
(Grassfed) Butter 101
Butter – known traditionally as “Nature’s Multivitamin” – is definitely in high demand at Health Essentials. We definitely put that s*** on everything ;). But, like anything else amazing in this world… not all butter is created equal. In fact, there is definitely a plethora of butter on the market today that is best avoided altogether. Here, we’ll outline some of the major things to look for in a quality butter.
Exactly how humans do better eating natural, whole-food derived diets made from seasonally available foods… animals that graze on pastures and eat the diet that they’re biologically designed to consume, have healthier, happier lives. AND just how humans do best in healthy, natural environments, so do animals! Grazing animals that live on pasture are allowed to eat the foods that their bodies NEED to thrive, and can soak in the environmental nutrients that keep them healthy as well – such as Vitamin D from the sun! The nutrient level of the foods that we consume from animals (such as meat and dairy) are of higher quality when the animal’s lives are enriched and healthy. Real, LIVE grass that grows out of the ground and isn’t treated with pesticides or chemicals provides animals with the nutrients that they need to thrive. Herbivorous animals (those who consume grass) have fermentation-based digestive systems that depend on grass, specifically, to fuel them and keep them healthy. Ensuring that animals get what they need to be healthy helps to ensure that the dairy and meat we consume from them are full of nutrients as well. Thus, the quality of the animal’s diet = the quality and quantity nutrients in the foods we derive from them.
Butter that is derived from grassfed cows is generally higher in nutrients such as butyrate, omega 3’s, CLA, beta-carotene, fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K, and antioxidants. It also tends to be LOWER in toxins. This is because toxins often accumulate in the fat tissues of animals, so the healthier the animal producing the milk, the less toxins to worry about!
Grassfed versus Seasonally Pastured
“Grassfed” is a term thrown around quite loosely in today’s food market. Its meaning is rather straight forward, however, there are multiple levels of it. Here’s why: As soon as an animal spends ANY length of time grazing on fresh grass, it technically qualifies them to be considered “grassfed”. Like… that could be a day in their whole life, which in our books just doesn’t quite cut it on the quality side of things. So, what’s important to look for is the specification of TIME that the animal spends grazing.
(Real) Grassfed Butter
Provided that the farms who produce this butter are reputable and the sourcing is fabulous, this butter is generally the best of the best. The cows who produce this butter are eating a wholesome and natural diet and their milk production reflects this.
We carry two main Grassfed Butter Options:
Golden Ears Grassfed Butter:
Golden Ears butter is sourced locally in Maple Ridge, B.C. from a family farm. This butter is cultured, meaning that it contains healthy bacteria that can improve the digestion of the butter. This can help the digestion process in people who are sensitive to dairy. With somewhat limited seasonal availability, we try to stock as much of this gold as possible so that everyone can enjoy it for most of the year! This butter has a very distinct yellow colour, and rich flavour due to the high beta-carotene content from the grassfed milk! #delicious
Kiwi Pure Butter:
Kiwi Pure butter is sourced from New Zealand dairy where there is plenty of grass to go around all year! New Zealand is actually known to have the best butter in the world, and this butter definitely stands up to that title! Kiwi Pure is consistently golden yellow all year, denoting both high beta-carotene content and high fat content! #yum
Seasonally Pastured Butter
Seasonally Pastured animals are grazing and consuming real grass for a minimum of 60% of their diet. This means that for up to 40% of the time they can be consuming some form of grains to supplement their diet. When shopping for seasonally pastured butter, it’s important to look for the “Organic” certification, and/or choose to buy that particular butter during “grazing” seasons.
We carry two great Canadian-sourced options for Seasonally Pastured butter:
Organic Meadows Butter
Organic meadows butter is sourced from Ontario, Canada. It is an Organic Seasonally Pastured butter. The cows that produce this butter are on pasture from April – November most years. It’s also a cultured butter, which is great for those who are a bit dairy sensitive. A few times of the year, we’re able to get in this butter with a special badge on it denoting that it’s sourced from 100% pastured cows!! We are sure to stock up on this butter at those times of the year to help ensure there’s enough to go around even into the off-season.
L’Ancetre butter is another seasonally pastured option. The cows that produce the milk used for this butter graze for 60% of their diet on pasture. The other 40% of their diet consists of Organic grains. This 60:40 ratio is guaranteed at any time of the year, and since its produced in Quebec with a typical grazing season of April – October, this butter can be a great choice throughout the spring and summer months.
P.S. If you’re lactose or dairy sensitive, and you’d like to learn about an alternative, check out this post about Grassfed Ghee, which is clarified butter! 🙂
For more information on the butter options that we carry, or for clarification of any of the information in this post, please feel free to contact us! 🙂 Our phone number is 250-590-5524, and our email is email@example.com
The Story Behind Bulletproof
If there’s one story we tell and retell the most at Health Essentials, it’s the story of Bulletproof and its founder, Dave Asprey. It’s a fabulous story that many people in the Health world will have heard by now, but in case you have yet to learn how Bulletproof came to be, here’s how:
The Bulletproof Executive: Dave Asprey.
Dave Asprey, a once Silicon Valley Investor and technology entrepreneur, began his journey into the natural health and biohacking world over 2 decades ago. Since the start, he’s “invested” over $300,000 to “hack” or “optimize” his own biology. After a hard-fought battle with “conventional” weight loss techniques with little to no progress, Dave lost over 100lbs without excessively exercising, starving himself, or counting all of his calories! Now his amazing company focuses of producing products to help others easily achieve health, and spreading the message of this “unconventional” way of living optimally!
Dave founded Bulletproof in order to spread his message and make these simple, yet against the grain techniques and “hacks” accessible for less than the cost of a home ;). Some might say that Dave does the experimentation and research so that we don’t have to. The premise behind the amazing lifestyle that Dave advocates, starts with your morning coffee. Check out the video below to learn more about Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee and lifestyle!
Shamrock Matcha Latte
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this green Matcha Latte with a little Irish twist ;).
- 1 Tbsp DoMatcha Matcha Powder
- 1 tbsp Grass-fed Butter
- 1 Tbsp Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 Ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream (Optional)
- 1/4 cup Organic whipped cream or coconut cream
Place all ingredients (except whipped cream) into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Top with Whip Cream if desired. Enjoy!
Eat Your Heart Out This Valentine’s Day.
Wait…. WHAT? How is that romantic in any way?
Okay, okay. It’s not necessarily your run-of-the-mill option for a romantic dinner, but as it turns out heart actually has a texture similar to steak, and who doesn’t love a good steak dinner? In comparison to most other organ meats, most people agree that heart is actually one of the easiest to consume. AND since it is so ridiculously good for you, you’ll feel AMAZING after consuming it. Don’t you want to feel amazing while on a hot date?
Why you should consider eating heart this February 14th:
Nutrient density plays a major role in determining the health of our food. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, we lost our instinctive draw toward foods that are higher in nutrient content. Talk to your grandparents…. almost a guarantee that they consumed some type of organ meats in their youth, and more than likely, they loved them.
For whatever reason, the health-media world has given organ meats a really bad rep… This is probably why, as a population, we’re so turned off of eating these important food components. In traditional tribes, being granted with permission to eat organ meats was a privilege few would regularly encounter. These precious parts were reserved for tribe leaders, the sick, the elderly, and pregnant women.
Being a red meat, heart is naturally high in protein, B Vitamins, zinc, selenium and iron. Where it really stands above all, though, is it’s extremely high content of CoQ10.
CoQ10 (or Ubiquinol – its active antioxidant form) is a natural antioxidant that is found in EVERY cell in the body, and in particularly high concentrations in organ meats. CoQ10 assists in energy production and utilization of oxygen in cells. Heart contains the highest amounts of this important metabolic compound, due to the high volume of work that it does.
CoQ10 can be consumed in low concentrations in various meats, and can be take as a supplement. The highest concentration of this vital antioxidant is found hearts of animals, where it is utilized most; therefore, eating heart is great for YOUR heart.
New to cooking and consuming heart? This tasty slow-cooker recipe can help you ease into it!
- 1lb Island Bison Grassfed Ground Bison
- 1lb Island Bison Grassfed Bison Heart
- 1L Boned Broth Beef Broth
- 1tbsp Amano Shiro Miso Paste
- 2 cloves Organic Garlic (sliced)
- 1cup VegiDay Organic Tomato Paste
- 1lb Organic Tomatoes (diced)
- 1/4cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- 1/2 tsp Bragg’s Sprinkle Seasoning
1 Leek (sliced)
1lb sweet potatoes (chopped)
1/2 lb carrots (chopped)
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup KiwiPure Grassfed Butter
Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
1) RINSE THE GRASS FED HEART & TRIM THE WHITE-ISH SKIN OFF THE HEART.
2) CHOP THE HEART INTO SMALL PIECES AND SET ASIDE.
3) BLEND THE BROTH, GARLIC, TOMATO PASTE, SEASONING, CHERRY TOMATOES, & AMINOS IN A BLENDER UNTIL FAIRLY SMOOTH.
4) PLACE THE VEGGIES, BAY LEAF & MEAT IN A SLOW COOKER AND POUR THE BLENDED MIXTURE ON TOP.
5) SET SLOW COOKER TO LOW FOR 6 TO 8 HOURS, OR HIGH FOR 4 TO 6 HOURS.
6) COVER AND LET COOK, STIRRING ONCE OR TWICE THROUGHOUT COOK TIME.
7) SERVE IN BOWLS & ADD SALT, BUTTER & FRESH BASIL TO TASTE! ENJOY!
Medicinal Mushrooms 101
Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional and ancient medicine for thousands of years. They have been studied in modern natural medicine to have amazing benefits for different systems in the body. Mushrooms are fungi that exist and thrive only in a parasitic relationship, where they can be symbiotically beneficial to their host, or detriment the livelihood of that living plant or being. Most individual medicinal mushrooms have a host of different benefits for humans, and are all unique. Check out some of our favourite medicinal mushrooms and their benefits below!
Reishi mushrooms grow ALL over the world! They are very prevalent in Asia, and can be found in B.C, right near our home! 🙂 They generally grow on hardwood trees and can often be found thriving on dead or dying stumps. Reishi has been used in ancient Traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is regarded as the “mushroom of immortality” in parts of Asia!
The Benefits of Reishi
– Promotes cardiovascular system health
– Enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress
– Supports energy and stamina
– Overall wellness support
– Has been known to help with insomnia
Perhaps one of the more unique of the medicinal mushrooms, Cordyceps does not find its host in a plant species. Instead, cordyceps invades the larvae of insects, where it “forces” them to travel to higher ground where the altitude acts as a superior vantage point for mushroom spores to be spread widely. Discovered in Tibet, where herdsman noticed that their Yak were far livelier after eating from pastures containing a lot of caterpillars infected by this fungus!
Benefits of Cordyceps:
– Supports energy and stamina
– Supports the body’s natural metabolic systems
– Promotes healthy kidney function
– Supports healthy libido
– May augment oxygen uptake – supports healthy lung function
– Used to support athletic performance
Lion’s Mane grows all over the world, and is generally found on hardwood trees. It is most often found in small clumps of “spines”. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and has more recently been studied in modern science and revered for it’s “smart” effects, as well as nerve support!
Benefits of Lion’s Mane:
– Promotes mental clarity, focus and memory
– Provides cerebral and nervous system support
– Many studies have identified a NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) in Lion’s Mane
– Optimizes nervous and immune system health
– Supports cognitive function
Chaga mushrooms grow all over the world, and are prominent in boreal forests where they reside on birch trees. Often this mushroom is referred to as “birch fungus” throughout the world. Chaga has been used for centuries as an immune modulator and a strong antioxidant! It is used in modern alternative medicine today, and is often enjoyed as a health-boosting, and delicious tea.
Benefits of Chaga:
- Maximum antioxidant support against daily free radical damage
- Immunomodulatory effects
This mushroom is perhaps one of the most potent as far as medicinal benefits, and it is thought to be one of the longest living mushrooms in the world with some documented to be over 70 years old! Unfortunately, it is also among the most rare. Agarikon can only be found in a few places in the world, one being the conifer forests of the Pacific North West. Agarikon mushrooms are commonly found on Larch, Douglas fir, Hemlock and Spruce trees.
– Strong immunomodulating benefits
– Has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body
– May be helpful in the defense against various diseases caused by both bacteria and viruses
Harmonic Arts is a botanical dispensary from the Comox Valley area, right here on the Island! It is co-founded by Clinical Herbalists, Yarrow Willard & Angela Willard. They are committed to high-quality & sustainable plant-based products that can promote health and vitality for people of all ages. The entire line of Harmonic Arts products is sourced as locally and organically as possible and offers a wide range of products including medicinal mushrooms, loose teas, loose herbs, herbal powders, wild raw honey & more!
Harmonic Arts Superfood Upgrades
Harmonic Arts does a variety of Superfood Upgrade Powders, each with unique flavours & health-boosting benefits. The three blends that we were able to try were: Activate, Elevate & Engage. Here is a little bit more about each blend!
- Chocolate Bliss
- Deep Immune
- Stress Balance
- Core Nourishment
Ingredients: Raw Cacao, Lucuma, Mesquite, Maca, Mucuna Extract, Chaga Dual Extract, Reishi Dual Extract, Shilajit, True Cinnamon
- Creamy Cardamom
- Uplifting Mood
- Mind Nourishing
- Energy Building
Ingredients: Tocotrienols, Lucuma, Mucuna Extract, Green Tea Pollen, Pine Pollen, Lion’s Mane, Coconut Water Crystals, Cardamom
- Nutrient Dense
- Pre/Post Workout
- Power Boosting
- No Sweetener
Ingredients: Ingredients: Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder, Rice Bran (Tocotrienols), Coconut Water Crystals, Maca Powder, Incan Spirulina, Goji Juice Powder, Cordyceps Dual Extract Powder, Pine Pollen Powder, Pumpkin Spice, Ginger Root Powder, Stevia Leaf Powder.
We were Powered by Harmonic Arts for one month…. & this is how it went for us!
“I tried Harmonic Art’s Elevate powder. I blended it with my bulletproof coffee (coffee, butter, and xct oil) and loved it! It gave my coffee a delicious creamy taste with a hint of cardamom. Elevate made me feel more awake, energized, and more aware than just having my regular coffee. I love that it has the medicinal mushroom Lion’s Mane in it too. It is the perfect addition to my morning!” – Catherine“I tried the Harmonic Arts Elevate, I am new this product and it definitely did not disappoint. I mixed it in with my morning smoothies before school and It gave me a more centred and focused energy feeling that was perfect while studying! The cardamom flavour paired perfectly with a banana and almond butter smoothie. I have already bought more it is such a great product :)!” – SarahI tried Harmonic Arts Activate powder. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried it, and I LOVED it. Since it has a chocolatey flavour, I made it into a delicious & buttery 😉 hot chocolate with stevia. It also tasted really great mixed in with yogurt! I found that the Powder gave me a really calm & focused energy, which makes sense due to the Reishi & Maca, and I didn’t feel guilty after having it like I would sometimes with sugary hot chocolate powders :). I will definitely continue having Activate as my go-to hot chocolate (and even coffee) alternative! – Kelly
Health Essentials Digestion Series: Session 1
Microbes on the Mind with Lisa Kilgour, RHN
On September, 21st, 2016 @ 6:30pm, we are hosting the incredible Lisa Kilgour to kick off our four-session digestion series! We couldn’t think of anyone better to be starting this 5 week series off :).
Did you know that a large portion of our body’s “coping mechanisms” for stress begin in our gut? Did you know that the neurotransmitters responsible for our mental state are largely produced in our gut? Join us as we host Lisa Kilgour, RHN for an inspiring and informative talk where she will further explain the importance of having a healthy gut, and dietary techniques that can be used to improve our mood and mental wellness!
Lisa Kilgour is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from B.C. who has been voted the BEST Holistic Nutritionist in ALL of B.C. With a strong nutrition background and a passion for discovering how nutrition can affect our mood, Lisa is an expert on the ever-important topic of gut health, and the gut-brain connection. For a sneak preview of what she’ll be covering in this 90 minute talk, and to get a glimpse of how fantastic Lisa is, check out her Ted Talk below!
If you’d like to attend this talk, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-590-5524! 🙂 If attending this talk in person is not available to you, you can tune in on our Facebook, as we stream it LIVE!
For more information on this talk or any of the talks that we have coming up in this Series, click on the poster below to check out our events page! 🙂