Category Archives: Lifestyle

8 Tips to Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

No matter whether you are starting a sugar detox on your own, or you are joining a program like the RESTART program, 21 Day Sugar Detox, or the Whole30, one thing is clear: the best way to stay clear of hidden sugars and processed ingredients is to cook at home. However, the reality is that we all have busy lives or we still want to socialize at restaurants with our friends from time to time, and cooking EVERY one of our meals during the sugar detox may not fit within our lifestyle.

And hey, that’s totally fine!  One of the main rules of changing to a healthier diet or lifestyle is: Be kind to yourself. Don’t stress out about not sticking to the diet perfectly, but DO try to make the best decision possible with the options that you are presented with. If you are looking to learn how to do just that while dining out, follow these tips so you can still enjoy restaurant food while sticking to the sugar detox!

1. Pick the restaurant yourself and do your research.

If you have plans to meet with your friends, offer to pick a restaurant yourself. My friends know I have food restrictions so they just leave that up to me, and it usually turns out to be delicious!

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox2

Yelp will be your best friend. I always filter my search with words like “gluten free,” “farm to table,” “organic,” or “paleo.” These restaurants will be more accommodating to your needs in case you need to make changes to the menu items. You can even call ahead to make sure they offer a flexible menu and talk about your restrictions.

2. Ask about ingredients.

This might seem uncomfortable and intimidating at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets! Ask if there are any hidden ingredients like breadcrumbs, cheese, soy sauce, or flour. If the server isn’t sure, she or he will just go back and ask the chef. And even better if the chef comes to talk to you directly, because they are usually willing to make a dish especially for you.

Another way to ask is if they have gluten free options on the menu, or even a gluten free menu. Half the work is already done for you if they do, and these menus are usually better about listing the ingredients in each menu item.

3. Salads are you best friend.

Almost any kind of restaurant will serve some type of salad, and this will be your go-to option. Make sure to let them know to leave out cheese, croutons, or any other ingredients that’s not on your sugar detox plan. Ask for protein choices that are grilled, and not breaded or fried.

If you are at a buffet, a restaurant with a salad bar, or see a build-your-own option, make sure to take advantage of that! You’ll have freedom with the ingredients you choose which will help you to make the best possible choices.

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

4. Sneak in your own condiments.

Some of the most offensive ingredients are in sauces and dressings. Avoid artificial sweeteners, gluten, and vegetable oils by bringing your own. I have brought tamari sauce to Japanese restaurant, and olive oil or dressing if I know I’ll be having a salad. I like using travel-sized bottles to keep these in so I can carry them easily in my purse.

5. Hold the rice, hold the bun.

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox3

Don’t be afraid to let your server know that you don’t want certain items that come with your dish. It’s so much easier to avoid the temptation of eating them when they are not there, and the restaurant doesn’t waste food that way either.

If I’m at a Thai or Indian restaurant, I’ll ask them to tone down on the spiciness of a stir-fry dish or their curry, and say I don’t want rice. Making the dish a bit milder makes it easier to eat on its own. At a sushi joint, I’ll just order a shashimi or a salad that doesn’t come with rice.

Same goes with bread and buns. Just say no to bread baskets. If you are choosing a meal, burgers and sandwiches are a great option and it’s really easy get them bun-less (all the flavors are in the meat and fillings anyway!).

6. Ask for substitutions.

I used to be afraid to do this, but most restaurants are really accommodating about it and I have gotten quiet comfortable with it. I think food allergies are getting more and more recognized so it’s becoming easier to ask for substitutions while dining out.

Getting a burger? Ask for a salad as a side instead of fries. They’ll be sugar detox compliant with the dressing you brought from home! You can also ask for grilled or roasted veggies instead!

Don’t want to bring your own dressing? Ask if they can provide olive oil and vinegar instead. Fresh lemon is also a great choice to season your meat, salads, and more. If they have guacamole on the menu, I’ll order that on the side to use as my dressing and it’s delicious!

Do they use vegetable oils to cook their food? Most likely. Ask if they can use olive oil or butter instead. Most restaurants will have those two cooking fats.

Make sure to get creative! If you ask them to hold the rice on a dish, ask if you have extra veggies instead. There are so many options that can be easily accommodated once you start getting comfortable with asking.

7. Be super duper nice and friendly.

Seriously, be polite and grateful with your server and it’ll go a loooong way! Smile and be friendly because the restaurant will be way more likely to be accommodating with your requests. Also, be confident with what you are asking. As long as YOU look and sound comfortable, the people you are dining with and the server won’t make a big deal out of it either. Leave a good tip if you received exceptional service.

8. Don’t stress out too much.

Make sure to enjoy your meal and have a good time! If you weren’t able to stick to the sugar detox plan 100% with your meal, that’s okay. Stressing out about it will only impact your body negatively and you’ll have a much better result both physically and mentally if you can just practice gratitude for the food in front of you and enjoy it thoroughly.

Move on with your day, and keep practicing every time you dine out. Just like anything, you’ll get better and better the more experience you have!

Are you on the Whole30, 21DSD, or The RESTART program- Learn how to dine out during a sugar detox!

Safer Beauty Swaps: Popular Cosmetics

Safer Toxin-Free Skin Care Makeup Swaps

One of the reasons why many of us are hesitant to swap out our beauty products is because we are so used to and dependent on the ones we have been using for years. I’ve definitely been there with my favorite eye makeup and foundation.

However, there are so many toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors in popular drug store and department store cosmetic brands, that it’s 100% worth thinking about switching to safer brands that won’t compromise your health, both inside and out. These ingredients include lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum, parabens, and a slew of other chemicals that burden the liver and are even known to cause cancer.

Luckily, Beautycounter and other great brands provide safer and toxic-free options and they come with reasonable price tags. I was hesitant at first to switch out my products because “safer” sounded a bit too hippie-dippie to me and I was skeptical that they would stay on and work like my previous favorites. However, I was so pleasantly surprised that they look as great as my older makeup and last a long time, which means I didn’t have to sacrifice performance when choosing products that are safer.

After all, my top priority these days is to avoid putting anything in and on my body that may cause harm, and I want to inspire you to do the same. So I put together the following beauty swaps for the most popular top-sellers of Sephora. I have tried out all of the recommended products, so these are based on my personal experience. I hope this list gives you a better idea of what products to purchase next!

If you want to learn more about safer skincare, read about my personal experience HERE, and what ingredients you should be avoiding HERE.

CLICK ON THE PRODUCT IMAGES TO SHOP! 

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Want to purchase Beautycounter products on a discount?

The best way to save money on these high quality, toxin-free products is to become a Band of Beauty member! There are so many benefits to being a member and you end up saving so much money when you join and you can see it outlined below. Click below to find out more and join!

Band of Beauty Membership

Looking to swap out your products but not sure where to start?

You can begin by entering your products on EWG’s skin deep database. It lets you know how safe your current personal care products are by giving them a rating. If they come up yellow or red you really need to prioritize switching to something safer – for your sake and your family’s, especially if you have children in the house. Swap out the worst offenders first!

Can’t find a product? You can also search individual ingredients to see their rating as well!


Want to learn more about safer skincare, product recommendations, and beauty tips?
Join my Safer Skincare Facebook group!

Safer Skincare FB

 Safer Toxin-Free Skin Care Makeup Swaps

9 Ways to Use Sauerkraut Juice

How to Use Sauerkraut Juice

Do you throw out sauerkraut juice after finishing your sauerkraut? If you do, you are throwing out a nutrient-dense and health-promoting (and delicious!) liquid that you could be using in so many different ways! Before going into all the various uses, let’s talk a bit more about sauerkraut, and how to get the best quality.

If you are a fermented food lover like me, you probably know the amazing health benefits of a properly made sauerkraut. Not only is it chock full of vitamin and nutrients, it has a high dose of fiber and probiotics to feed your healthy gut bacteria to improve your immune and digestive system. I love what a huge difference incorporating sauerkraut into my diet has made in my digestion and overall health, and I highly recommend you try it out. It has actually been the best remedy for my candida symptoms because it doesn’t contain sugar like kombucha or yogurt that can feed the yeast.

I always prefer making my own sauerkraut because it’s so cheap and easy, and contains way more gut healing nutrients and probiotic strains than the store-bought kind. However, if you do decide to purchase it, always buy it from the refrigerated section and make sure it has the words “fermented” and/or “live cultures” on the label. The ingredients should also be pretty simple, usually just cabbage, salt, and water, without sugar or vinegar. Bubbies is one of my favorite brands that makes quality fermented products.

If you regularly enjoy sauerkraut, you are probably left with a varying amount of sauerkraut juice or brine, and you may not know what to do with all of it. Don’t let it go to waste! These are 9 of my favorite ways to enjoy sauerkraut juice:

1. Drink it straight as a gut shot

Have you ever walked around a health food store and come across “gut shot” products by Farmhouse Culture? That’s just sauerkraut juice that’s been bottled up!

If you don’t mind the sour tangy taste of the sauerkraut juice, this is one of the ways to get a healthy dose of probiotics very quickly. Since the juice contains just as much beneficial nutrients as sauerkraut, but in a more concentrated form, drinking it straight can be a really healthy supplement to your diet. I love taking a “gut shot” first thing in the morning and before going to bed, instead of taking probiotic supplements. Remember: probiotics in food form is much more absorbable by your body  (and cheaper!) than trying to get it from a pill.

How to Use Sauerkraut Juice

2. Use it in salad dressing and other sauces

I love using sauerkraut juice to make dressings and various sauces. Almost all dressings and sauces need some kind of acid to make them tangy and more flavorful, like lemon juice or some kind of vinegar, and you can just substitute those ingredients with the same amount of sauerkraut juice. Not only does it give it a delicious flavor, it’s also way healthier!

3. Splash over cooked vegetables and meat

One of my favorite cooking tricks is, when you taste your food and you think it needs more salt, try adding vinegar instead. It’s an instant flavor boost, and your veggies and meat just taste so much better with a bit of acidity. Using sauerkraut juice as a vinegar substitute is a delicious and probiotic-rich way to elevate almost any savory dish and I do this for almost every one of my meals.

4. Make the next batch of sauerkraut or pickled veggies

Normally, you use cabbage, salt, the water “sweat out” from the cabbage, and/or a bit more water to make a new batch of sauerkraut at home (you can see the detailed instructions here). However, you can also use a bit of sauerkraut juice to mix into the new batch to give the new batch a boost with an active culture starter.

This helps the sauerkraut ferment faster, and helps ensure success if you ever failed at making sauerkraut in the past.

5. Add it to your favorite dip recipes

Another favorite method of mine! I love a good dip and they are usually so addicting because they have a delicious balance of salty and tangy. If you love salt and vinegar potato chips, you know what I’m talking about.

The next time you make a yummy dip like Caramelized Onion Bacon Dip, Paleo Pumpkin Hummus, or Dairy Free Salmon Cream “Cheese,” use sauerkraut juice instead of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for a fun, healthy twist!

caramelized onion bacon dip

paleo pumpkin hummus

Dairy-Free Salmon Cream Cheese

5. Give it to your pet

The probiotics and the nutrients in sauerkraut juice are just as beneficial for our pets as they are for humans! Just like us, we commonly administer medications and antibiotics for out pets starting at a young age, which compromise their digestion. Also, a typical store-bought kibble is quite dehydrating and deficient in necessary nutrients that are necessary for their optimal health. Supplementing with sauerkraut juice gives our pets enzymes and healthy nutrition, while repairing and restoring their gut, especially if they suffer from food allergies.

You can start by starting out with a teaspoon of sauerkraut juice splashed over your pets food (or even less if they are especially small) and increase the amount as necessary. My dogs looked a bit confused when they first tasted it, but they now enjoy it regularly without a problem.

6. Use it as a pickleback or in a cocktail

If you don’t know what a pickleback is, it’s when you take a shot of liquor and chase it with a shot of pickle brine. I know, I know… This isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to use sauerkraut juice, but hey, if I’m going to enjoy a drink now and then, might as well keep my health in check by replenishing my body with nourishing and healing nutrients. Am I right, friends?

You can also add sauerkraut juice to a refreshing, savory cocktail like a Bloody Mary or a Michelada. Again, if you are going to indulge in an unhealthy habit, this is the to do it in the healthiest way possible!

7. Marinate meat with it

You’ll commonly find some kind of acid (vinegar, wine, citrus juice, or tomatoes) in a meat marinade recipe because it tenderizes the meat faster and cuts down on cooking time by breaking down the protein bonds. Try using sauerkraut juice instead next time and you’ll find that it brings out a delicious flavor to the meat. I especially love using sauerkraut juice when cooking pork as they complement each other really well.

One quick note about using sauerkraut juice as a marinade: you won’t get the same healthy benefits after heating up sauerkraut juice so this is for the flavor purpose only. For its full benefits, enjoy it in its raw form.

9. Use it as a facial toner

How to Use Sauerkraut Juice

You are probably thinking, ” What the f—??” But, it’s true! Sauerkraut juice makes a really great toner because of its acidity level, along with it beneficial nutrients.

The main purpose of a toner is to restore the pH level of the skin, which can be disrupted because of poor diet, stress, environmental toxins, and conventional skin products. Our skin should be on a slightly acidic side, but typically becomes more alkaline because of these disruptive factors. Using toners that are more acidic than our skin normalizes the pH level of our skin to where it should be.

Typical store-bought toners are filled with toxins and hormone disruptors that do more harm than good. By using naturally acidic sauerkraut juice, which is also filled with beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, it gently exfoliates the skin and can be quite helpful for skin conditions like acne and eczema.

I suggest you start out diluting 1 part sauerkraut juice with 4 parts water and building it up to 1:1 ratio depending on the sensitivity of your skin. Store this DIY potion in the refrigerator.

As you can see, there are so many different ways to use sauerkraut juice! The next time you have some leftover, I hope you save it to use in 1 or more ways listed above. It’s a delicious and health-promoting nutritional powerhouse! 

9 Ways to Use Probiotic-Rich Sauerkraut Juice