When a person switches over to a diet with a reduced amount of carbs, they may feel as though their snack options are limited. Fortunately, there are some good lower carb choices out there.
Here are some ideas!
Lower carb snack options
Zucchini is just great in general on a low carb diet. You can slice it thinly and put in a tuna/mayonnaise filling- like what is show in the above picture.
Coffee and cream-
If you are a coffee drinker, consider having some with heavy cream in it! It can give you energy all while filling you up.
These are close to crackers! Some might find them too pungent though. There are cheese crisps that come in different flavors/cheese types that may be more mild than these parmesan ones.
Lunch meat, pepperoni slices and cheese-
These three things or a combination of them are great choices for a snack. A lot of people may eat them with crackers and/or bread for a sandwich- just skip those for a lower carb option!
Lower carb pudding-
Mixing together sugar-free pudding and two cups of heavy whipping cream gives you a decadent, lower carb treat. It is great for a snack and/or dessert.
Um… why not?
A handful of nuts-
Nuts provide good fats and nutrients all while being lower in carbs than other snacks. Combining a handful of nuts with something else (i.e. a cheese stick), can make for a great and filling snack!
There are more options out there!
Watching carbs is an adjustment at first because there are so many carb laden foods out there. Once you look more into this way of eating, you will find that you do not need to feel deprived. There are delicious and filling options available to turn watching carbs into a long term thing.
The foods pictured in this post are just some of my go-to snacks. My absolute favorite snacks right now are sea salted cashews and cheese.
Fitness watches seem to be very popular these days. One look around (pre-pandemic!) and you can see many people wearing them.
I decided to get in on the action recently by buying a one. It is called the Fitpolo Fitness Tracker and this post will be discussing what it does as well as my opinion of it.
I had a fitness watch years ago
Back when I was in college, I decided to spend money on a Garmin fitness watch. It came with a strap that had to go around my chest which I found to be annoying. I still thought it was cool though.
I wore it for every workout. It was really interesting to see the amount of calories I burned during each one. I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers!
The watch lasted for a couple months and then it seemed to be malfunctioning. I had planned on seeing if I could get it fixed but never ended up doing that.
It just stayed in my drawer and I pretty much forgot about it.
Why buy a fitness watch again?
I became interested in fitness watches again when my mother was telling me about her Fitbit. She seemed really happy with it. This prompted me to look them up on Amazon.
Unfortunately, the Fitbits are too expensive for me. I was still really interested in getting a fitness watch so I looked for cheaper options. This search led me to the FitPolo!
About the Fitpolo Fitness Tracker
This fitness watch costs around $36-a lot less than a Fitbit. It comes in black, gray, green and pink. The following are the different features of this watch:
This Fitpolo boasts a large touch-screen like some of the other fitness watches out on the market. You are able to swipe up, down, left and right.
The Fitpolo is to be synced up to an app called, VeryFitPro. This is so that you can get the most of out it.
Once they are synced, you are to personalize it. This means that you put in your age, gender, height and weight. You can also add in your menstrual cycle information if you are a woman or non-binary and want to track it.
What it tracks-
The fitpolo tracks these things:
Calories burned during workouts by your heart rate.
How many steps you have taken during the day.
Calories burned based on the steps taken.
How many miles you have walked based on steps taken.
How much deep sleep, light sleep and awake time you got each night (sleep monitoring). This is shown on the phone in the app.
Your baseline heart rate.
What day you are on in your menstrual cycle.
Rankings on steps taken against other people who have the app. This is shown on the phone in the app.
Other things about it-
The fitpolo is also water proof, has a battery that lasts a few days, notifies the wearer of calls/messages, helps with breathing to calm the wearer down and has an alarm/timer.
My opinion of the Fitpolo watch
I did not have a high hopes that this watch would be any good. Needless to say, I am very impressed with it!
I like the way it looks on me. It is super cute. Also, it feels very comfortable and does not leave a rash.
I do not have vision issues (when wearing contacts or glasses at least) but the bright numbers and letters are very much appreciated. The touch screen is very slick and easy to move which is great because I have dealt with touch screens that are not like that.
It tracks everything I want it to track and more. In terms of the menstrual cycle tracking feature, I do not need it but I bet other other women/non-binary people would love having that.
Seeing the amount of calories burned during my workouts and the day is pretty eye-opening. I thought I would be burning more than that. Not entirely sure how I have gotten away with eating so many calories and not gaining any weight.
My all time favorite feature of this watch is the sleep tracker. I just think it is so cool to see the amount of sleep I get each night. The healthy amount of deep sleep one should get is between 1-2 hours a night and I get at least 1.5 hours. Yay!
Would I recommend this watch?
Yes, I totally would! It works very well and is great for someone who is on a budget.
If you are in the market for a fitness watch, make sure to check the Fitpolo out!
As I stated in another post, I am 100% sure that I had COVID-19 back in early March. Since then I have been a “long-hauler” where I have suffered from many symptoms that pop up here and there.
The feeling of chills or shivers (with no fever) coming over my body has been pretty constant up until late July. Is it the vitamin B12 I began taking or has time been kind to me in that regard?
A little about vitamin B12
This is a vitamin that gets talked about a lot. Supplementing with it is touted as helping with the following health issues:
B12 Deficiency- They say that many people are deficient in this vitamin. It may cause symptoms such as weakness, numbness/tingling, problems walking, fatigue, memory problems, shortness of breath, GI issues, moodiness, anemia and tinnitus. A whole host of things!
Homocysteine levels: High levels in the blood may cause issues such as heart disease and strokes.
Low cardiovascular endurance
Chronic fatigue syndrome
The dosages range from 1-10,000 mcg depending on age and what one is trying to treat. Supplementing with the vitamin is said to be well tolerated in general but there have been some reports of nausea when high doses are taken.
B12 is sold by various brands in the forms of tablets, softgels, skin patches, powders, liquid drops and gummies. One may also be able to get B12 through injections and IV infusions.
Having chills with no fever always seemed weird to me. Not only that but was incredibly annoying. I kept asking myself, “what are you doing, body?”
People on the long-hauler support groups would talk about having a fizzy and vibration-type feeling in their body. Vitamin B12 was something they claimed helped them. I have no idea if the chills/shivers I used to get a lot of are the same thing that they were/are talking about, but I decided to start taking B12 anyways.
I bought a bottle of 1000 mcg B12 tablets on Amazon in July. Since then I have been taking one a day. A lot of people have said that they felt an energy boost after taking the vitamin, but I really have not noticed that.
It was late July that my chills started to wear off which was shortly after starting the vitamin B12 tablets. At that point I was really close to five months since my initial illness. That seems like a point in recovery where a lot of COVID-19 long haulers start to have big improvements.
Since vitamin B12 is said to help with nerve issues, I wonder if that had something to do with the chills/shivers that would come over my body. If so, supplementing with the vitamin could be the cause of them lessening.
I am still not sure which one helped. Or has it been both?
In short, being a long hauler sucks
Yes, it really does.
It is shrouded in mystery. We really do not have a clue what is going on with our bodies-we just know we do not feel like ourselves anymore.
These obnoxious symptoms come and go for reasons that are not totally clear to us.
I am so glad that these chills have lessened considerably. Will they come back with a vengeance? I hope not, but time will tell.
Are you or someone you know a COVID-19 long hauler? What have your/their experiences been?
There are certain things that get a ton of buzz in the media. These can include food, diets, exercises, apps, books, technology products and more.
One thing that has gotten a lot of media exposure is that of apple cider vinegar. It has been touted by celebrities and regular people as doing various wonderful things. Does it really though?
Let’s look at what the research has to say about apple cider vinegar!
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is like white vinegar except that is made from fermented apple juice instead of grain alcohol. That is why it is brown instead of clear. They both have a strong scent but you can definitely pick out the apples in apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar contains something called acetic acid. This is a chemical that has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Apple cider vinegar is about 5-6% acetic acid with the rest being water.
This type of vinegar has a PH level of two which means it is mildly acidic. It contains trace amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, calcium and sulfur.
You can also find apple cider vinegar in gummies and capsules.
What can it allegedly do for us?
There are a lot of claims in regards to what apple cider vinegar can be used for. Some of these claims have a little bit of research behind them and some are purely anecdotal.
Here is a list of what people use apple cider vinegar for and if there is any evidence that it can actually help:
Weight loss- This is one of the uses for apple cider vinegar that people read/hear about the most. There are only one or two scientific studies that show it aiding in weight loss. It is probably best not to rely on this if you are trying to lose some weight.
Diabetes- There are a few studies that show there being a small decrease in blood sugar levels when apple cider vinegar is consumed. These studies involved two tablespoons of it a day.
Blood pressure- Only one study showed a small decrease in blood pressure and it was done on rats.
Skin- There are accounts of people using vinegar for issues such as acne, eczema and itchiness. A couple of studies done show that there is no significant benefit for its use in treating skin conditions. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of it helping though.
Varicose veins- Some people say that soaking cotton balls with apple cider vinegar and putting it on varicose veins will improve the appearance of them. There is no scientific evidence that it will do this at all.
Acid reflux- Using apple cider vinegar for acid reflux is thought to work because of it balancing the PH level of the acid. This is another case where there is only some anecdotal evidence. It may actually make the burning worse in some cases.
Stomach flu- On some parenting/mommy blogs you will read about people taking apple cider vinegar to prevent and kill off the stomach flu. There is absolutely no evidence for this and it may actually make things worse.
Sore throats- Some people think that apple cider vinegar will kill off bacteria that is causing the sore throat but researchers say that it probably will not help at all.
Yeast infections and fungus- There is very little scientific evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar can treat yeast and fungus issues. Lots of anecdotal evidence though.
Hair and scalp- People say it can help with dandruff, itchy scalp and build-up in the hair by way of lowering the PH level. This is all anecdotal.
Hair loss- Apple cider vinegar has been touted by some to help with hair loss. No evidence of this has been found.
Food- No scientific evidence needed for this one as anecdotal is just fine! There are lots of ways to use apple cider vinegar in recipes. You can use it in salad dressings, sauces, meat marinades, baking etc.
Household uses- There is plenty of anecdotal evidence about its use around the house. People find it is useful for laundry, deodorizing, shining, removing stains, killing mold and more.
Some warnings on using it
Apple cider vinegar is not totally harmless. Here are some things that one needs to be aware of if they choose to use it in any way:
It needs to be diluted- Vinegar is very strong and can cause burning and erosion at full strength.
May cause stomach discomfort.
May drop potassium levels.
May cause slow digestion
How I use it Okay, so I do love apple cider vinegar even though there is very little scientific evidence for the benefit claims. The following is a list of how I use it:
For my hair- Once every other month I use it to “restore” my locs (I call them that because they are NOT dreadful!). I soak my hair for a few minutes in a big bowl of water mixed with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. After rinsing it out and shampooing/conditioning, my hair looks and feels wonderful. The color looks less dull as well. I also have used the vinegar as an after-shampoo rinse when we have hard water from not refilling the water softener machine. It prevents the dry feeling I get if I were not to do that.
In my “hot toddies”- I put up a post about these hot toddies I make before. They are alcohol free and have apple cider vinegar instead. I just love the taste of vinegar (strange, huh?) and I do not really expect it to do anything for me health wise.
Toilet bowl cleaner- Instead of always buying the containers of toilet bowl cleaner, I pour in baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I then scrub the bowl just as I would do if it were the cleaner I sometimes buy.
Laundry- If some of our clothes are particularly stinky for whatever reason, I pour some apple cider vinegar in with them in the washing machine. Works like a charm!
Lots of people like apple cider vinegar
No, apple cider vinegar does not have a lot of scientific evidence behind it but people obviously still like using it. Through trial and error there are many different ways that it has been used.
Apple cider vinegar works great for me and I will continue to keep it around.