Where Foodies Come To Talk

Debunking Myths about Drinks on Keto

Traditionally, drinks are considered to be one of the main sources of carbohydrates in our diet. Putting aside sweetened soft drinks, even fruit juices are filled with so much sugar that they increase your chances of accumulating fat, while at the same time making it difficult for your body to turn into ketosis. Concerning unsweetened tea or coffee, they contain caffeine and cannot be treated as healthy ones so it seems there are not so many allowed beverages. Keto diet is considered to be a strict diet limiting consumed carbohydrates, but does it mean you are allowed to live on water alone? Let’s see our alternatives:

Party Drinks

What happens if you are invited to a party? Should you just bring a bottle of water and glance enviously at those who can have as many glasses of wine as they want?

As it turns out alcohol on keto is acceptable as long as you don’t splurge on the most fattening ones. You can have light beer, unsweetened wines (dry red and white wine), or spirits (gin, vodka, or whiskey), but make sure you consume them in moderation. Alcohol is still damaging to the body and there’s a chance it will affect you faster due to the restriction of carbs.

Black Coffee

Luckily for many of keto dieters, you don’t have to give up your daily cup of coffee! Black coffee is free of calories, but when you add sugar, cream, milk or other sweeteners, it can turn into a caloric bomb. So, if you can take it black, you are safe to drink up to 400mg of caffeine per day (according to the Mayo Clinic).

Diet Soda

While not recommended, diet soda is a good fit for the keto diet because it doesn’t have sugar or calories. However, diet soda has artificial sweeteners that stimulate the same taste buds as sugar, thus maintaining the craving for sweets.

Moreover, some of these artificial sweeteners can cause an insulin response or blood glucose, which contributes to storing fats. So, it would be best if you limit the consumption of these beverages as much as possible.

They are helpful in a moment of weakness when you’re craving something sweet, but they are damaging consumed on a daily basis.


For those of you who don’t know this, Kombucha is a fermented tea. It starts sweet and ends up tasting like vinegar because of the added culture of bacteria and yeast that lead to the fermentation process.

Now, since it starts sweet, it is natural to wonder about it being keto-friendly. The secret to enjoying a healthy dose of Kombucha is to know how it was prepared in the first place. Basically, the fermentation process that lasts several weeks, is supported by the initial sugary drink. The added bacteria will feed on it while creating this elixir with a hint of vinegar. So, at the end of this journey, the resulted drink is low in sugar and keto-friendly (but in moderation).

However, in commerce, you may find versions of kombucha that contain flavors and fruits, to hide the vinegary scent and taste. Well, this version is not keto-friendly, and you should stay away from it.

Wrap Up

As you see, there are a lot of keto alternatives to the commonly consumed beverages. So there is no need to limit yourself in drink choices on a keto diet be it a homemade lemonade or a low carb soda on a market’s shelf. Just be careful and read labels attentively.

What to Serve at a Child’s Birthday Party

Being a parent is all about striking a balance. Sometimes, that balance seems impossible. Take nutrition, for instance. You know your child needs certain nutrients, but you also know that it’s not realistic to expect them to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables. You want them to grow up without dreading mealtimes, and you definitely don’t want to pass on any of your own food issues to your kids. You can work with your doctor to develop a plan that makes sense, but it’s also OK to let loose sometimes. One of those times is during your child’s birthday. Here’s how to serve celebratory food without going too far overboard.

Talk to Other Parents

Ideally, you should perform this step while you’re still putting together the guest list. Peanut-free schools are controversial, but they still exist. If your child attends such a school, it’s possible you’ll run into parents who also believe that every single party they attend should also be free of peanuts and other common allergens. It’s up to you to decide if that makes sense for your particular party. You should be as accommodating as possible to other parents within reason. If a parent tells you that their child is allergic to 27 different things and asks you not to serve any of them, you’re under no obligation to do so. It’s highly unlikely that a child who is allergic to eggs will die if they’re in the same room as mayonnaise.

On the other hand, it is nice to serve a menu that’s as inclusive as possible. Don’t go over your budget just to buy food for Fiona the Vegetarian, but serving a few vegetarian options is a kindness if you can manage it. You should feel no guilt if you want to rent a hotdog cart, since most kids love hot dogs. And there’s no reason you can’t also include a few meat-free side dishes. If you feel like grilling up a meat substitute, that’s up to you. Remember that at the end of the day, it’s other parents’ job to see to their own child’s particular dietary needs.

Make the Food Match the Theme

Don’t feel guilty about serving cupcakes, hot dogs, and other delicious goodies. But you should look for ways to incorporate the larger party theme into the food that’s served. Let’s go back to the hot dog cart. A hot dog cart works great for a baseball-themed party, as hot dogs are the quintessential baseball food. You can serve the hot dogs on baseball-themed dinnerware. If you really feel like going all out, you can even wear a baseball uniform as you hand out the food.

Make sure to develop any theme in consultation with your child. That doesn’t mean they have free reign to throw any type of birthday party they want. If that were the case, then there would no doubt be a lot more birthday parties centered around gross things like Eating Candy Off the Ground. There’s no need to go that far. But if your child has a healthy hobby like sports or movies, feel free to add a few extra touches via both food and decor.

If they like Star Wars, for instance, you can decorate the house with Star Wars banners and photos. You can hand out toy lightsabers. When you order the cake, you can make sure it has “May the Force Be With You” written on it in icing. But there’s a fine line between spoiling your child a little and spoiling your child a lot. They shouldn’t eat so much cake that they barf or get a stomachache, for instance. A little indulgence is good for the soul, but too much of it makes everybody miserable.

Michigan Cherry Production Is In For A Tumultuous New Year

Cherries are an important part of Michigan’s agricultural success, amounting to 75 percent of all cherry production in the U.S and 90,000 tons of pure profit for a number of associated industries that make use of the tart fruit. At least for now. The industry is fragile, unstable, at very much at risk from international competition and natural weather events. Turkey in particular is “dumping” cherry products into America, undercutting the Michigan staple.


Everything You Never Knew You Needed To Know About Blue Crab

Whether or not you recognize its name, the blue crab is a shellfish favorite. The delectable crustaceans are tiny, and have kept some coastal communities thriving for hundreds of years. It’s scientific name, callinectes sapidus, is a mashup of Greek and Latin words that mean beautiful savory swimmer when put together. Here’s everything you never knew you needed to know about our tiny blue friends.


Tom Colicchio’s Small Batch Is Finally Open For Business

Long Island is the home of Tom Colicchio’s first new restaurant in over two years, named Small Batch for its typical American cuisine. What’s so big about the new establishment? It’s big news if you’re a fan of Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, and anyone who’s enjoyed his cooking is most definitely a fan. If that weren’t enough, the restaurant promises to only use locally sourced ingredients.


The Best Houston Restaurants

If there’s one thing Texas does really well, it’s provide good, family-friendly food at a fair price. Back in 1998, it was heralded as the “dining-out” capital of the United States by USA Today, and not much has changed ever since. Residents of Houston eat out more often than most others who live in big cities, and they fall in second place when it comes to the lowest prices on food. If you’re in the mood for some good eats, then look no further.


Nashville’s Meteoric Rise To The Steak Hall Of Fame

For years, Nashville has been known for a number of delectable dishes, most of which are popular throughout Tennessee. When visiting, you might try its Meat and Three options, fried pickles, fish, sweet potato fries, cornbread, mac n’ cheese, country ham, and more. There’s nothing wrong with any of those choices, but Nashville is becoming famous for something else: its steak.


The Origin Of Chicken-Fried Steak

What is chicken-fried steak? Surely you jest with such an egregious inquiry. Chicken-fried steak is a delicacy that could only have evolved from good Texan culture. It’s a thin slice of beef, breaded and fried to delightful perfection. It’s cooked just like fried chicken, and most often comes with a generous helping of mashed taters and delicious gravy. If that doesn’t sound like heaven on earth, then we don’t know what does.


What Is The New Jersey Pork Roll Versus Taylor Ham Debate?

New Jersey is known for many things. Pumping your own gas is against the law. The only noteworthy stadium houses New York teams. Everyone has an attitude (but only if you’re an outsider looking in). Everyone’s in a hurry. It’s the birthplace of Bruce Springsteen. Oh, and then there’s Jersey Shore, a popular MTV show whose take on the “Pork Roll versus Taylor Ham” debate has fired up residents everywhere. The source of the debate is one of the most popular breakfast meats in Jersey, and your answer most likely depends on where you’re from.


The Health Boosting Benefits of Oat Straw

Oat straw (Avena sativa) is a medicinal herb and popular nootropic. As the name suggests, it’s taken from the straw part of the popular cereal grain.

Lots of people are aware of the health-boosting qualities and fat burning benefits of oats. Eating a bowl of porridge for breakfast can help lower cholesterol and set you up for the day by providing an ongoing supply of energy. Fewer people realize the value of the straw section of the plant.

As a nootropic agent, oat straw can offer a surprising array of cognitive benefits and it’s often used to reduce neurological pain and anxiety. Oat straw boasts very good stress reducing abilities as well. The pharmacology of the ingredient is also interesting. It provides numerous nutrients, including calcium, which allows it to calm some of the symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis.

Historical Value as a Nootropic

People have been exploiting the brain-boosting capabilities of oat straw for many thousands of years and it’s sometimes described as being a “nervine herb”. This is an umbrella-term that is applied to herbal ingredients that have the ability to act on the nervous system and produce beneficial results including improved neural function and stress reduction.

Historically, oat straw was also often used as an aphrodisiac and male potency booster, but these days scientists are more interested in its value as a nootropic and its use in this role can be traced back to the Middle Ages when it was used as a tonic to strengthen and improve cognitive function. Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179) favoured its use so much she said it was her favourite “happiness herb”.

How Oat Straw Benefits the Brain

The combination of natural compounds provided by oat straw benefit the brain in a number of different ways:

Boosted Cognition

The participants who took part in one study received either 800mg or 1600mg doses of oat straw and both doses were shown to be capable of boosting cognition. Cognitive function was assessed by measuring the participants’ attention levels, spatial-working-episodic memory, and executive function. Measurements were taken before the dose was provided and several times in the following six hours. The data obtained showed even an 800mg dose of oat straw was capable of providing excellent results.

Improved Cerebral Blood Circulation 

Oat straw boosts nitric oxide levels and improves circulation by providing vasodilation. This is probably one of the reasons why it has such a good reputation as an aphrodisiac. When the blood supply to the penis is improved, erection quality is improved too. By providing extra blood to the brain, oat straw can be very good for causing a rise in mental function as well. The brain needs oxygen and nutrients to function. The blood carries both these things to it, and a better circulation improves the supply. After one 24-week study, involving 37 adults (aged 60+), supplementation with 1500mg of oat straw was shown to improve cerebral vascular responsiveness by 42%.

Relief from Stress and Anxiety 

Oat straw reduces stress and anxiety by boosting alpha brainwave activity. Alpha brainwaves are also known to be important for rapid learning ability and memory formation and recall. The stress-reducing capability of oat Straw is further enhanced by its ability to increase dopamine release, thereby furnishing the body with an improved sense of satisfaction and pleasure. The results of one study, conducted in Germany and involving EEG brainwave monitoring equipment, show supplementation with oat straw boosts brainwave activity in the area of the brain that governs cognition. The subjects involved were able to perform better during arithmetic testing and made fewer errors.

Supports Long-Term Memory

Oat straw has been shown to improve long-term memory by prolonging cAMP activity in the brain. Using the Stroop Color-Word Test to ascertain memory capabilities, the scientists in charge of one study analysed the benefits provided by doses of 1600mg of oat straw per week and supplementation provided a 65-74% improvement in memory. The study can be read online in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine’s (July 2011). 

Protects Against Cognitive Disease and Decline 

Oat straw suppresses the activity of the inflammatory cytokines that are involved in some brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and manic depression. Science shows the ingredient also has a beneficial effect on monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) and can, therefore, help protect against cognitive decline due to ageing. As people age, MAO-B levels begin to rise, leading to a fall-off in dopamine hormone levels that can result in decreased mental function.

In Summary

Oat straw offers a great deal of value as a nootropic ingredient. Not only does it have the ability to boost cognitive function in healthy individuals, it also offers protection against mental decline, be it due to ageing or disease. Oat straw has been used for hundreds of years, It’s a natural ingredient that’s as kind to the body as it is to the brain, has never been the focus of controversy, and is known to be well tolerated and does not have a reputation for causing nasty side effects.