Why PCOS Unlocked is the last PCOS Guide You’ll Need

Why PCOS Unlocked is the last PCOS Guide You’ll Need

It is so incredibly common for me to hear from many women looking to resolve or eliminate their PCOS entirely. Often the problem is infertility; many women are looking to have children but are unable to because of PCOS. I am here to provide my personal research and experience in eliminating my PCOS symptoms, so that you can too share in my experiences and hopefully benefit from my best selling program, PCOS Unlocked.

PCOS unlocked is different than most PCOS solutions though.

So Why is PCOS Unlocked Different?

PCOS Unlocked is not just easy-to-understand, but simple to implement. Yes, it takes commitment. Yes, it takes making real changes to your life. Yes, it takes patience, and learning, and growth. Yes, it certainly takes energy.

But these are changes make you far and away more healthy overall and in the long-run. Most importantly, I make them easy for you. This manual is all about how to do this practically, as easy as 1-2-3.

Most women with PCOS get handed a pack of hormone pills by their doctor. Then they go home and read online that they need to cut carbs out of their diet and exercise more.

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, PCOS treatment strategies are stuck in the 90s.

From trained medical professionals to instagram sensations, the vast majority of PCOS “experts” give the same old, one-size-fits-all advice to everybody.

But “eat less, exercise more, cut carbs” is not the cure. Through my extensive research I have been able to develop this program that I think will benefit you. Wondering what my program has to offer? Below, I elaborate on content covered in my program, but, my program goes so much deeper than this. Check out the info below to see why PCOS Unlocked could be the last PCOS solution you need.

What is PCOS?

Most likely if you are reading this you have either been diagnosed or are speculating you have PCOS. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – which describes the condition of having multiple small cysts on the ovaries. Up to 15 percent of women in the states suffer from PCOS. It is the leading cause of infertility in the Western world.

In order to be diagnosed with PCOS, women need to have at least two of the three following characteristics:

1) Irregular or absent menstrual cycles

2) Elevated testosterone or other male sex hormone levels

3) Poly cystic ovaries (diagnosed via ultrasound)

So Why Choose PCOS Unlocked?

1) Because I Explain What Causes PCOS

In order to understand this syndrome, first we must understand what causes it. If we understand what causes it instead of putting a band aid on symptoms, we can understand how to prevent it from the get-go. The following items are all suspected culprits of causing PCOS.

Insulin resistance:

Insulin resistance is the state in the body that directly precedes diabetes. In diabetes, the body has been so flooded by blood sugar and insulin that the pancreas shuts down, and it needs insulin injections in order to keep the amount of sugar in the blood from becoming toxic.Insulin stimulates testosterone production, which will cause hormone imbalance when created in excess. This is the most common cause of PCOS in the world – though it is by no means the only one.

Being overweight:

Being overweight is another common trait of women who have PCOS. It affects about 60% of women who have PCOS. The relationship between being overweight and PCOS is not 100% clear. Many very smart people believe that insulin resistance is caused by being overweight, so it’s possible that being overweight is the primary problem for a lot of women with PCOS. Yet others believe that insulin resistance causes people to become overweight, which reverses the causality. I personally think it’s more complicated than both of these cases, and that insulin resistance and being overweight often occur together, though not always.Being overweight also causes inflammation, which can cause testosterone levels to rise and nutrient deficiencies to become more problematic, as well as thyroid hormone levels to fall.

Dramatic weight loss:

PCOS is all about hormone balance. Specifically, it involves elevating male sex hormones like testosterone over female sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone.Weight loss can trigger this kind of hormone imbalance if the body perceives the weight loss as a significant deprivation of energy from the body. There is a specific command center of the brain called the hypothalamus, and the hypothalamus receives signals from metabolic hormones and fat cells that tell it how well fed you are.It is important for a woman’s body to always feel fed. When it does not feel fed, it shuts down reproduction. This makes evolutionary sense. Back in the days when humans roamed the savannah, it was a very bad idea to become pregnant during a time of famine. To prevent against that sort of thing, the female body developed a very sensitive hormone system.Dramatic weight loss is one of the ways in which it may feel starved. This is of course not the case for everybody who loses weight, but it does happen to some women

Low body fat

Much like dramatic weight loss, having a very low body fat percentage is another signal to the body that it is being starved. Often for women with PCOS it is hard to tell if it is the rapidity of the weight loss that caused PCOS, or if it was the amount of weight loss that caused PCOS.In my practice, I find that it is the amount of weight loss that causes PCOS more often, but both do definitely happen.When body fat percentage is too low, pituitary hormone production shuts down, and often PCOS results.

Overexercising

Overexercising is yet another way to signal to the female body that it is being starved.You may not feel like you ‘starve’ yourself per se. But exercise requires a lot of calories. If you burn more calories than you eat on a regular basis and do not have ample fat stores to burn, then your body may interpret this as ‘starving.’What qualifies as overexercising varies from woman to woman. It’s detrimental effects also build up over time. The longer the female body is in a caloric deficit, the more hormone balance suffers.

Stress

Hormone production occurs via something called a ‘cascade.’ The body starts producing hormones with one substrate, and then produces more and more hormones in a series that branches out and multiplies. What happens at the beginning of the cascade is therefore crucial for the later outcomes.One of the very first ‘decisions’ the body has to make when it produces hormones via this cascade is whether it wants to make stress hormones or sex hormones. It cannot make high amounts of both for any extended period of time – it simply cannot.If under any sort of emotional or cognitive stress (physical stressors like overexercising, inflammation, or bingeing or restrictive eating count, too), the body interprets this as a need for stress rather than sex hormones. As a result, estrogen and progesterone levels fall. LH and FSH will most likely fall. Sometimes testosterone will, too. Cortisol, the main stress hormone, and DHEA-S, another important if less well-known stress hormone, increase. This is problematic especially for PCOS because DHEA-S is an androgen – a male sex hormone. PCOS occurs when male sex hormones are elevated over female sex hormones.

Hypothydroism

Healthy thyroid function is crucial for healthy reproductive function. The thyroid system is responsible for delivering energy to cells. If reproductive cells don’t get the amount of energy they need, they lose their ability to function properly. There is a very clear and strong link between hypothyroidism and PCOS. There are many different ways that the thyroid gland can malfunction. The two primary ways are 1) via the autoimmune conditions Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (see a great book on Hashimoto’s here), or 2) via the negative effects of stress on the liver’s ability to make the most important of the thyroid hormones, T3. A low carbohydrate diet can negatively impact T3, too.PCOS patients who present with subclinical levels of thyroid hormone often begin ovulating once regular thyroid functioning is achieved.  One of my favorite articles reports that thyroid hormone replacement therapy achieves a “significant reduction in total as well as free testosterone,” and also states that “ovarian volumes of patients with hypothyroidism were significantly great compared with controls, and their magnitudes diminished significantly during thyroid hormone replacement therapy.”

Environmental toxins

Almost all non-organic fruits and vegetables are covered in chemicals that act as phytoestrogens in the body. Over time, specifically when young, these can have a major impact on reproductive physiology.  Some foods are worse than others. A second endocrine disruptor, perhaps the most prevalent one in American lives today, is BPA. BPA is a polymer leached from plastics (though it is not the only one – thus why I recommend using glass tupperware) that disrupts endocrine function in a way not entirely yet understood, but appears to have negative effects on hormone balance.When rats are exposed to BPA, their male offspring have decreased fertility, and only after exposure to small doses.The BPA exposed males also had a significant amount of more more body fat than unexposed controls.Female rats are affected just as strongly, if not worse.  THEY GET PCOS. They present with cystic ovaries, increased estrogen and testosterone levels, and decreased progesterone.Similar results have been reported in human females. 

Women with PCOS, both lean and overweight women, have 40 percent higher levels of BPA in their blood than those without.  Notably, the levels are even more markedly increased in thin women with PCOS.  In thin women, PCOS patients had 1.6 times ordinary BPA levels, and in overweight women the ratio was just 1.3.  Some researchers speculate that this is because BPA is being stored in fat cells, while other posit that BPA causes brain-related hormone signaling dysfunction, which could explain why so many people end up having PCOS at all.Hard plastics, the polycarbonate plastics such as #7, are worse than soft plastics.  Plastics 1, 2, and 4 seem to be BPA free. Heated plastics leach at much higher rates than cold ones. Research has shown that BPA gets into bodies in even higher doses from eating out of aluminum cans than out of plastic.  Cans are lined with BPA on the inside, so virtually everything eaten out of a can is swimming in BPA.   Here’s a  list of consumer tips.Another source of environmental estrogens is body applications.  Parabens are phytoestrogens and are one of the most common elements in lotions and soaps. Receipts, oddly, are also very high in BPA and estrogenic supplements. Many cashiers wear gloves for this reason.

Birth control use

The birth control pill has a varied and complex effect on women’s reproductive health. Some women deal with it just fine. Others, not quite so much. Usually the problem happens when a woman stops taking BCPs: while on the BCP, women’s bodies often adjust to the exogenous hormone input. When coming off of BCP, the liver, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland all need to readjust to natural hormone production. This process can take a long time and will very often cause the symptoms of PCOS.For more on birth control and how to manage it’s physical effects, you can check out my small book on the topic, Birth Control Unlocked.

Tumors

If LH, FSH, TSH, or Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone levels are significantly impaired, and if all other causes have been ruled, this is an indicator that an MRI should be performed.

PALEO PCOS UL

2) Because I Dive Deeper into the Symptoms of PCOS

PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system.Testosterone is the primary hormone to be concerned about for most women, though a hormone produced by the adrenal glands called DHEA-S is also a major concern.

Sometimes female sex hormone levels are low, but that’s not always the case. The two hormones to be on the look out for here are estrogen and progesterone. They need to be in proper balance with testosterone in order for the menstrual cycle to function normally.

When the menstrual cycles stops functioning normally, here are any of the symptoms you may experience. Most women with PCOS suffer from some, but not all, of the symptoms:

  • Unpredictable ovulation
  • Irregular or absent menstruation
  • Infertility
  • Acne, which typically appears around the mouth, chin, and jawline
  • Male pattern hair growth (hirsutism)
  • Male pattern hair loss (alopecia)
  • Weight gain and increased difficulty in losing weight
  • Low libido
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings or disruptions in regular mood

This is just a brief overview of symptoms of PCOS. I fully analyze and discuss each of these options in my program.

3) Because I Address Troubleshooting PCOS

I’ve been working with women who have PCOS now for more than 5 years. In this time, I’ve encountered hundreds if not thousands of specific cases. Iv’e read just about every blog, website, and article there is out there for PCOS. I’ve spent hours searching through online forums and facebook communities, learning about women’s experiences.

After all this time, I’ve learned a thing or two (or several hundred) about what’s right for PCOS, as well as what isn’t.

To help prevent you from making the same mistakes I see over and over again with women who have PCOS, I’ve put together a list of the 10 most common ones. Hopefully then you’ll be able to dodge the bullet, so to speak, and overcome PCOS quickly and painlessly.

Going on the Birth Control Pill

The birth control pill might be a good way to mask symptoms of PCOS, but it never fixes the underlying problem. In fact, many women who go on the pill find that their PCOS has worsens while on it, but don’t find out until they get off the pill, try to get pregnant, then can’t. Birth Control Pills are one of the most favored “solutions” for PCOS of doctors, but they are completely ineffective in terms of healing, fertility, or long-term freedom from PCOS.

Using Metformin

Due to its ability to increase insulin sensitivity, Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the Western world. Metformin can help alleviate complications from diabetes, as well as help women who have PCOS, especially type 1 PCOS (more on which in video #2). Metformin is a problem, however, since much like birth control pills, in that it never solves the underlying problem causing hormone imbalance and PCOS. It only ever covers it up.

Taking estrogen blockers

Thousands of women take Estro block or other estrogen blockers in hopes of helping their PCOS. However, estrogen is generally not the main problem for women with PCOS. If you’re taking estrogen blockers, you may be targeting the wrong hormones. Instead, consider looking into ways to decrease testosterone and/or DHEA-S levels, especially if you are “type 1 PCOS”. If you are “type 2 PCOS,” more estrogen might actually be what you need.

Taking herbal supplements

Admittedly, some women find great relief from herbal supplements. But just like with Metformin and birth control pills, they don’t  provide permanent solutions. They only help to alleviate symptoms and cover up underlying issues. Also, they are not well studied by the scientific literature, so their effects are not well known. Most supposed “effects” of herbal supplements simply come from people’s stories. So it may be worthwhile to experiment with herbal supplements while addressing underlying issues, but this should be done carefully, and with due acknowledgement of the fact that it may not fix underlying issues.

Doing a lot of cardio

Is more always better? For exercise, the answer is no, especially if you’re spending all your time on a bike or a treadmill. The best way to exercise for PCOS is to shoot for efficiency: short, intense, effective exercises instead of long, grueling, stamina-demanding exercises are best. This is because short and intense work outs (such as lifting heavy weights) help improve insulin levels and hormone balance, while long-distances exercises can help, but not quite as much. Most women do well shooting for 3-4 weight lifting work outs a week.

Failing to investigate underlying causes

Trying to overcome PCOS without paying attention to its underlying causes is like shooting in the dark. Getting your hormone levels tested by a doctor, by a functional medicine practitioner, or with a home saliva test is a great way to get data on what’s going on in your body. If you don’t have access to that, learning about the potential causes and types of PCOS and their symptoms (which I’ll discuss some in video #2) may very well be enough. The more you know about what’s causing your PCOS, the more specifically you can treat it.

Low carb diets

Most women who have PCOS try a low carbohydrate diet. Is this effective? Sometimes. But not all women are helped by it. In fact, more than 20% of women who have PCOS may be hurt by it. If you try a low carb diet, pay close attention to your symptoms and see if they get better or worse. That way, you can stop yourself from doing damage if you are one of the 20% of women who really need those carbs.

Low fat, high protein diets

Common nutritional wisdom says that low fat, high protein diets are best. Nutritionists or magazines might tell you to eat salad with low fat dressing and lean chicken breast. But this is not necessarily best, and definitely not for women with hormone imbalance. Hormones (and other important parts of the body, such as brain matter) are made out of fat. Without it, as you heal from PCOS, your body won’t be able to produce the hormones it needs. Fat is a friend, for all women with PCOS.

Dining out

Unfortunately, dining out in the West is full of potential dangers for women with PCOS. One of the worst dangers is the fact that the vast majority of restaurants use vegetable oil for their cooking. Vegetable oil (including corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, and more) is rich in omega 6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most common underlying issues that women with PCOS suffer from. To help minimize your inflammation levels, consider dining out as little as possible, or specifically requesting olive oil or butter to be used for your meals. Additionally, adding a fermented cod liver oil supplement (fermentation prevents the fats from oxidizing and keeps them healthful) is one quick way to start reducing inflammation levels.

Ignoring potential red flags

Irregular or absent periods, acne, facial hair growth, and difficulty losing weight are all potential symptoms of PCOS. But it’s important when you’re looking for the underlying causes of PCOS to pay attention to other symptoms you experience. Do you have good digestive health? Are you chronically cold? Do you suffer from chronic headaches? Any symptom you experience in your body could help point to underlying causes.

PALEO PCOS UL

4) Because I have PCOS

For the last five years I’ve run a women’s health blog that gets more than a million visits a year. I have also published a bestselling book on the topic of women’s health, and currently run a top-10 health and fitness podcast with more than a million downloads. This isn’t to say that these MEAN anything significant – but they do mean that I have experience.

I have personally been diagnosed with and overcome my own PCOS. I really did do so with the power of research in medical journals. After doing so I created this program which has now helped several thousand women on five continents. I also consulted women 1-on-1 for years before I became overwhelmed by balancing that practice with all of my writing demands and media appearances. In doing so I have taken part in and witnessed the success of several dozen clients following the PCOS Unlocked protocol.

I have a high honors BA in biogeochemistry from Dartmouth College. While there, I worked on projects for Mars rovers and studying meteorites under NASA grants. Afterwards I received a masters in philosophy at Boston University, and am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford in the UK.

And, I want to help my clients by sharing my experiences and knowledge as a long term potential solution, not as a quick fix.

 

PALEO PCOS UL

5) Because I Encourage and Provide Resources to Resolve, vs Providing Temporary Solutions

PCOS Unlocked: The Manual is a comprehensive program that gets results, fast. It works because it throws one-size-fits-all approaches out the window. No single case of PCOS is the same. You need personalized attention if you want to overcome PCOS quickly and for good. To make sure you get the personalized attention you need, I break PCOS down into different types. Simple diet and lifestyle changes are all it takes to heal PCOS… you just have to make sure you do the right ones.

PCOS Unlocked gives you the right tools for you. Your path to freedom with PCOS Unlocked is as fast and effortless as possible.

Most people aren’t aware that there are many different causes and types of PCOS – but there are.

Learn more about what type of PCOS you might have – so you can better treat your PCOS – with a short quiz I designed.

Take the 3 minute quiz –The quiz

 

PALEO PCOS UL

So there you have it, love! PCOS Unlocked is different than typical solutions provideed by doctors because I help you determine what is causing or caused your PCOS in order to allow you to eliminate these factors from your biochemistry if possible. I also dive deeper into the symptoms behind PCOS and determining what kind of PCOS you have in order to understand your PCOS fully, because every case is different and unique to each individual. When troubleshooting becomes the primary hurdle, I walk you through each step to break down any confusion or accidental roadblocks in your PCOS treatment. And lastly, because I experienced it personally. Doctors have became very anti-personal, with face to face time with doctors decreasing by the minute each year. Doctors see so many patients it can be difficult to fully elaborate on any issues you may have with them.

I am hear to help. And as always, there is a 60 day money back, no questions asked, guarentee. Because for me, this is not about making all the money, this is about helping women that are going through what I went through. I never would want anyone to suffer through their PCOS, so I hope you find my program most helpful.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Why Paleo May Be Better For Weight Loss than Keto

Why Paleo May Be Better For Weight Loss than Keto

Have you had the opportunity to rest and reset this holiday season? Typically, this is not a priority amongst American families, especially this time of year. Winter used to be a time that our ancestors would hibernate, restoring physical and emotional functions after a long summer season involving plentiful social interactions and physical activity. Somewhere, amid the creation of the industrial age, our focus on periods of rest was completely lost. The desire to pack as many activities into a small period of time become the norm. If only we could step back to when rest was a necessity, but alas that is something we all must work on every year. And, unfortunately, sometimes rest just is not possible.

As we enter the new year, I know we will be bombarded with fad diets and weight loss plans, and for myself personally, the only way I can conquer this season with a healthy mindset is by being fueled by rest. Rest while you can, and we will be better armed to take on this nonsense head on! First and foremost, I want to decipher the differences between paleo and keto, and debunk the myth that keto is better for you than paleo. Controversial, I KNOW! Check out the reasons why paleo is best for a whole encompassing healthy lifestyle, below!

What is Paleo?

The Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and healthy fats. It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.

The Paleo Diet has become extremely popular in recent years, with some several hundred million google searches on the topic every year. It is an incredible diet for improving energy, mood, and health conditions. Yet it may perhaps be so famous and so beloved because it is an excellent tool for weight loss. Perhaps the best diet for weight loss around today (even the scientific studies say so.)

There is no emphasis on calorie counting in the paleosphere, only eating when hungry and stopping when you are full. Hence why this is such a fantastic option for anyone that may have had a history of disordered eating.

The paleo diet is more than just a diet, it is an encompassing mindset and lifestyle plan. With paleo, eating whole and unprocessed foods is a large part, but also included in this diet are lifestyle modifications to reduce stress and inflammation on the body. These key principles differentiate keto from paleo,  making paleo a great option for those suffering from chronic inflammation, stress, or autoimmune conditions. One of the reasons I was drawn to paleo initially is because getting high quality and adequate amounts of sleep was a pillar. Struggling with insomnia and PCOS, I was looking for help beyond just weight loss, and no other fad diet was providing any successful options.

Paleo helped me maintain my health, sanity, and wellbeing until I was healthy enough to start stemming from the paleo principles into creating a plan that worked best just for me.

What is Ketosis?

I am going to steer clear of giving you a long, technical definition of ketosis. I do however think it’s worth learning the biochemistry if you plan to experiment. In that case, I highly recommend Dr Peter Attia’s posts or Dr Chris Masterjohn’s.

In short, ketosis is a state the body enters when there is an excess of molecules called acetyl groups over oxaloacetate. This happens when there is a shortage of glucose supplied to the metabolic processes that create energy, like when you eat a very low carbohydrate diet. Yet interestingly enough the body will also produce ketones when medium-chain fatty acids enter the metabolic processes.

So then, when there is this excess of acetyl groups relative to oxaloacetate, the body produces something called ketone bodies. Ketone bodies come from fatty acids that the body has liberated from fat tissue, which can be used as an alternative fuel to carbohydrates. This is important because the body (and specifically the brain and heart) literally need carbohydrates or ketone bodies in order to function. When carbs are gone, basically, ketone bodies step in to do their work.

People typically achieve ketosis by fasting or by eating diets very low in carbohydrate (high fat, moderate protein). This calls for at least fewer than 50, and maybe more like 20, grams of carbohydrate a day. This depends on your age, body type, activity level and the like.

You can verify how deeply your body has gone into ketosis by peeing on a stick, which reveals the level of ketone bodies being circulated in and used by your body. Ketosis has blown up recenetly, becoming the top searched for weight loss plan. So what’s the deal?

Similarities Between Paleo and Keto:

Although different, there are a handful of important similarities between paleo and keto.

  • Grains are not allowed, specifically glutinous grains.
  • Both plans emphasis consuming healthy fats like nuts, seeds, animal fats, and coconut oil.
  • Each plan encourages eating quality animal protein (grass-fed, organic).
  • Both plans eliminate legumes like garbanzo, black, and pinto beans.
  • Refined sugar is not allowed on either plan.
  • Both technically encourage eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens, however most non-paleo keto diets do not encourage this because the quantity of carbohydrates in leafy greens.

Key Differences Between Paleo and Keto:

  • Paleo is not a strictly low-carb diet. Although, it is easier to accidentally end up low carb on paleo .
  • A crucial part of keto is limiting and understanding exactly your macro-nutrient quantities. Often keto strips are used to test levels of ketones in the body, a somewhat simpler way to understand if your body is in ketosis or not. This testing can result in encouraging negative patterns for those with a history of disordered eating.
  • Paleo is eating and embodying a lifestyle similar to that of our ancestors to reduce inflammation, promote healthy circadian rhythms, and encourage a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle.
  • Keto is often utilized as a tool for weight loss or to assist in reducing symptoms or effects of medical disorders or conditions. See my post here for more info on this. 

Why Paleo is Better, IMO

Sustainable Paleo Weight Loss:

Because the paleo diet provides general guidelines for an overall healthier lifestyle, people tend to have more luck sticking with it long term. One of the most important things I learned when I embarked on a paleo journey was understanding the composition of my food, how different foods effected my energy levels and sleep patterns, and learning what micro-nutrients my biochemistry needed from the food I was consuming.

I really took the time to learn all about macro and micro-nutrients, the different chemical compositions of foods, and gaining a general knowledge on nutrition. This evidence based knowledge helped me continue to make choices I was okay with, even when it felt like I wanted to eat a million cookies – I didn’t. The fact that I knew I could have the cookies, but that they really made me feel awful, was the clear difference between holding onto paleo as a fad diet versus incorporating it as a lifestyle change.

I know I am not alone in this field too, many of you have reached out to me to share your stories on how understanding our food has made it easier to consume what makes us feel better in the long run. Paleo, for us, is about understanding balance and your bio-individuality, not just loosing weight.

Because You Are Eating High Quality Food, Healing Inflammation, and Eating When Your Hungry:

The best ways to keep any unwanted weight off is to reduce inflammation. If we are inflamed, our bodies lowest priority is dropping any weight. If anything, the body holds on to weight when inflamed and stressed as a way of protecting us. By consuming high quality food and eating when you are hungry, two important pillars of the paleo diet, you are working towards reducing overall inflammation in the body. Kept as lifestyle factors long-term, both of these are easy ways to not only feel better, but to maintain the weight your body is supposed to be.

We have all seen the pinterest keto diet pics, showing cheese and bacon breakfasts, bulletproof coffee, etc. It seems like it is too good to be true, does it not? Well spoiler alert, it is. Keto does not always emphasize high quality foods, and often people will stick to processed foods that are low carbohydrate but high in fat and protein. These types of foods are often full of unhealthy saturated fats and processed chemicals that increase the bodies levels of inflammation. Therefore those on the keto may loose weight from this low carbohydrate approach, but the results often are not sustainable as inflammation is prominent most of the time.

Restriction Freedom:

I am known for my honest opinions on “diet freedom” AKA, this doesn’t exist when you are on a fad diet. With paleo, I believe this is a true possibility. When I first started a paleo protocol, I had all of my food groups planned out precisely, but quantity was not an guideline. I was not limited to one apple a day; I ate as many apples as I wanted which allowed me to grow a healthy and non-restrictive mindset towards food. Food was no longer something I controlled, but rather I consumed when I wanted too, and it had the potential to make me feel good! Which was such an unknown concept to me at the time.

Paleo set me up for a long-term, sustainable healthy relationship with my body and with food, and that is something that I do not believe keto is capable of. I believe this because the obnoxious amount of monitoring that must be completed to understand when the body is in ketosis reallly forces you to track every single detail, which in return is known for enabling restrictive eating habits.

Learning More About What Foods Actually Work For You:

Instead of setting little strict boxes around various macronutrients quantities, paleo emphasizes overall food quality without restriction (at least these days it does. At one time, paleo was very restrictive but the community has grown to eliminate this dogmatic approach). Because you are able to experiment with higher carb, lower fat, or high fat and lower carb while using high quality foods you are able to understand which foods really work best for you without judgement. If you want to eat starchy carbs in the morning and higher fat at night, you CAN. And because paleo gently forces you to be in tune with your biochemistry it becomes a bit easier to understand which foods may not work for you.

For instance, I went a long time eating higher carbohydrate in the morning because it was what I had been taught on the standard american diet protocol. I also coincidentally struggled with extremely low energy levels in the morning for many years of my life. After understanding how my body processes carbohydrates in the morning, I was able to switch my macronutrient levels and discover I maintain much higher energy levels with a lower carbohydrate diet.

Instead of restricting your intake to just high fat and low carbohydrate, you are given the freedom with paleo to experiment with what actually works with your physiological needs.

Focusing on Lifestyle:

Important researchers in the paleo community have shown us the importance of exercise, sleep, and stress reduction in unison with eating whole foods as a trifecta for success. For instance, Sarah Ballantyne, the Paleo Mom, dedicated much of her time pulling together research on why sleep quality is absolutely necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

Figure out your underlying issues by taking stock of your body. What symptoms do you experience? When? For how long?  How long have you had them? Take your answers to google and to the doctor. Get some tests done. Paleo is fantastic for healing, but a more targeted approach can help heal you all the faster. Then, the faster you heal your underlying problems, the faster you can lose weight.

Not Contributing to Negative Society Ideals of Weight Loss:

Paleo no longer is about “Loosing Weight” and more about how to maintain some balance amongst the world we live in today. How do we eat, live, breathe and move in a way that is about taking care of ourselves and our bodies, instead of damaging it to the extent where it looses weight out of pure stress? If you are ready to close the door on unhealthy lifestyle patterns and disordered eating, keto may not be for you.

In Conclusion:

In sum, keto is a restrictive diet approach that lacks informative long term studies proving its sustainable effects on weight loss. Those on keto most often will loose weight at the beginning of the diet; this is typically from water loss not fat loss. While having some positive benefits on physiological symptoms of disorders like epilepsy, we don’t have enough research to know that keto is safe long term. Keto also lacks the lifestyle factors that makes paleo the best and most sustainable option for weight loss. Paleo takes into account your lifestyle, encouraging mindset changes that make a long term impact vs the short term fad diet approach of keto.

I am always in favor of doing what is right for your body, and maybe keto is that option. However, for myself and most women I talk to, paleo teaches you the tools you need to live a healthy life, outside of making loosing weight the ultimate priority. When we step back, is the reason you are considering keto purely for weight loss? If so, I encourage you to understand where this need or thought to loose weight is coming from. Is it your own ideals, or are you listening to what society is trying to tell us to do? If it is the first, then I suggest checking out my program before diving headfirst into keto. You can read every one of my weight loss accelerating tips in the program I finally packaged together for you, Weight Loss Unlocked, here.

Why Keto May Not Be For You

Why Keto May Not Be For You

Here we are, with another popular diet generating a huge amount of buzz, promising things like sustained weight loss, increased energy, decreased inflammation, and more. When a fad diet surfaces I always err on the side of caution, especially when it seems like a magic pill that can take all of your worries away. In my experience, and over all of the years of research I have conducted, a balanced diet with real foods and ingredients always triumphs over a fad diet for long term sustainable weight loss and decreased inflammation. Now I know that keto may benefit some, just like paleo benefits some people. I encourage you to fully do your research before jumping into a diet like ketosis. Ketosis may have serious consequences on your metabolism, weight, and mood. Frankly, keto may not be good for you.

What is Ketosis?

I am going to steer clear of giving you a long, technical definition of ketosis. I do however think it’s worth learning the biochemistry if you plan to experiment. In that case, I highly recommend Dr Peter Attia’s posts or Dr Chris Masterjohn’s.

In short, ketosis is a state the body enters when there is an excess of molecules called acetyl groups over oxaloacetate. This happens when there is a shortage of glucose supplied to the metabolic processes that create energy, like when you eat a very low carbohydrate diet. Yet interestingly enough the body will also produce ketones when medium-chain fatty acids enter the metabolic processes.

So then, when there is this excess of acetyl groups relative to oxaloacetate, the body produces something called ketone bodies. Ketone bodies come from fatty acids that the body has liberated from fat tissue, which can be used as an alternative fuel to carbohydrates. This is important because the body (and specifically the brain and heart) literally need carbohydrates or ketone bodies in order to function. When carbs are gone, basically, ketone bodies step in to do their work.

People typically achieve ketosis by fasting or by eating diets very low in carbohydrate (high fat, moderate protein). This calls for at least fewer than 50, and maybe more like 20, grams of carbohydrate a day. This depends on your age, body type, activity level and the like.

You can verify how deeply your body has gone into ketosis by peeing on a stick, which reveals the level of ketone bodies being circulated in and used by your body.

Who Keto May Be Good For:

Those with Epilepsy disorder.

Those that struggle with seizures have been studied and proven to benefit from the keto diet. This is the only disorder that has been studied and proven to help with symptoms. No other conclusive research has been conducted on keto’s effects for any other condition (studies are happening, they are just in infancy). So tread lightly with all of the articles that tell you WHY keto is good for you, because a lot of this research has not been studied clinically.

When Keto May Not Be Good For You:

  • If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes: Keto can trigger a very dangerous condition in those that have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The body essentially starts to hoard ketones which can cause an acid overload, damaging the kidneys, liver and even brain. This condition can be fatal. 
  • You are looking to not regain weight back: The keto diet is generally known as not being easy to stick to long-term. It is in the same category as other fad diets; people will often use to loose a few pounds, and then quickly see the weight come back after stopping the diet. It is also known that most of the weight loss attributed to keto is from removal of access water, another common reason the weight resurfaces rapidly after stopping the diet.
  • You are not willing to eat lean meats and fats: There is a lot of red meat, butter, and foods generally high in saturated fat and that are common for those to eat on the keto diet. That is part of the allure right? What other “diet” allows you to eat cheese, eggs and bacon all the time? (Note to self, you can not be on a diet and eat this way 🙂 ). A lot of people forget to add in lean meat and healthy fat, resulting in adverse health affects.
  • You are trying to reproduce: Women of reproductive age who are attempting to conceive or are pregnant should probably not undergo low-carb ketosis, as carbohydrates play an important role in A) pregnancy, and B) assuring the hypothalamus that the body has been properly fed. In fact, insulin is actually an important satiation hormone. For women who want to conceive, it may be best to err on the side of caution and make sure you get bountiful carbs.
  • If you have a sensitive reproductive system:  If you have a history of low hormone levels, hypothalamic amenorrhea, dieting, or irregular menstrual cycles, the hormone changes involved in low carb ketosis as well as the uptick in stress hormone levels may hinder your reproductive hormone production.
  • If you have thyroid Issues: People (mostly women) with sensitive thyroid systems may also be in jeopardy from low carb ketosis. Ketosis is well known to down regulate thyroid production. T3 (the form of thyroid hormone that is actually active in cells) decreases, and reverse T3, a molecule that blocks the activity of T3, increases. Ketosis advocates may bend over backwards trying to make this phenomenon seem hunky dory, but I would advise anyone with thyroid issues to step carefully around ketosis. If you have clinical hypothyroidism I would consider consulting a doctor first.
  • If you are stressed out:  People with adrenal issues or a lot of stress are not great candidates for this diet. Adrenal glands may become more active with low carb ketosis, which can exacerbate  feelings of being wired, stress, and all the attending symptoms that come along with it.
  • If you are having trouble sleeping: Low carb ketosis may up-regulate the production of stress hormones, which can have a negative impact on sleep.
  • If you’re an athlete:  If you are trying to gain muscle mass or improve performance as an athlete, keto is not a great option. The bodies preferred fuel source is glucose or glycogen, not fat. So when we force the body to run on fat, whether adipose or dietary, we are inhibiting athletic performance because it is a slower and more energy consuming process to burn fat.
  • If you’re trying to maintain and moderate inflammation: Some of our cells lack mitochondria, meaning they are dependent on glucose from carbohydrates to survive. When in ketosis, we are basically starving these cells that can be found in our blood, retina, corneas, testis and renal medulla. These are not just aesthetic cells, we need our blood and eyes for instance, to be fully functioning.
  • You are not willing to commit to gradual transitions: When you transition off of keto, it has to be a gradual transition or you can damage your metabolism and most likely gain back any weight you have lost. It is not the best idea to jump right back in to processed refined carbohydrates, it is better to slowly introduce carbohydrates. You can start by adding a few carbohydrates to one meal a day, and slowly work up towards incorporating them into your diet.
  • If you struggle with restrictive eating: If you have a history of punishing yourself for falling off the wagon, feeling guilty about food, engaging in cycles of over- and under- eating, or confining yourself to strict dietary rules, I would not recommend ketosis. In order for someone to truly achieve wellness, then psychological health must be prioritized, perhaps above whatever ketosis-based goals you may have (and of course this varies by the individual. If you have brain cancer then please feel free to try ketosis regardless of how much you love your body).
  • If you seek any of these things:
    • Self love
    • Body acceptance
    • Overcoming an obsession with food
    • Overcoming cravings
    • Eating intuitively
    • Eating guilt-free
    • Keto is NOT diet freedom.

Then I would never recommend a set of diet rules – and again, especially one where you can’t eat for days or one where you have to pee on a stick —  to help you.

Side Effects of Keto

I completely understand wanting to try a particular type of eating to see if it may have any benefits for your metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. I know that some of you are, or have, tried keto. One unfortunate side effect of keto, as with any diet where you are trying to manipulate your bodies biochemistry, is that there are going to be ways our body lets us know that change is occurring.

  • Keto Flu: There are no solid facts to what is causing keto flu, but it is speculated that keto flu is caused by changing the metabolism and experiencing sugar withdrawal. There are also speculations that the body is purging toxins from fat storage during the transition into a fat burning state. While purging the toxins the body may experience the following:
    • Fatigue
    • Cravings for carbs and sugar
    • Dehydration
    • Loss of appetite
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Heartburn or other symptoms of indigestion
    • Low motivation to exercise and poor recovery from workouts
    • Brain fog
    • Dizziness
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Moodiness or irritability

This is a huge less for little promised returns. Ask yourself, is it truly worth it to hop on a new diet bandwagon, and experience this obnoxiously long list of side effects?

Still Not Sure?

Robb Wolff provides this super handy quiz  that you can take to determine whether keto is a great option for you. I definitely recommend consulting with your primary care physician before making any transitions, even if the handy dandy quiz says keto may be for you. Check it out here: Quiz

I know my thoughts on the keto diet are controversial, but I am coming from a place of love and education, and hoping the best for you. I would never want you to embark on a diet journey that has negative long-term consequences for immediate returns. It does scare me that the long-term research is not available for the keto diet, meaning we really don’t know how it effects our metabolism and biochemistry, ultimately. I have heard that Arctic nations have actually developed a gene that blocks ketosis. Arctic indigenous people have a much different climate, diet and lifestyle than us, yes, but doesn’t it seem a little strange that a culture would develop a gene to block ketois, a state that so many people are trying to live in?

 

Black Friday Beauty Deals

Black Friday Beauty Deals

After spending the last 24 hours with our loved ones, engaging in family traditions like eating as much as possible, playing games, or maybe just casually trying to dart the subject of politics with that one relative who lovingly tries to engage every year, I am WHOOPED! And, so ready to engage in full consumerism that is Black Friday.

I KID. Black Friday is morally a pretty awful conception, mainly for all of the people working in retail. It is, however a wonderful time to stock up on holiday gifts. My preferred method of shopping is always online. You don’t have to deal with the crowds and cranky people, and you can stay at home and continue the holiday festivities. So alas, I bring you, the Black Friday shopping guide!

Beautycounter is having a 15% off sale and free shipping on all orders over $50.00, AND you get to pick a free full size lipstick (colors here) when you spend $125! Click here to shop

Annmarie Cosmetics is having a whopping 25% off full size products! Click here to shop. 

Skincare

Aloe Herb Cleanser

This aloe-based cleanser removes impurities without stripping away your skin’s natural oils, which can typically be the case with more natural brands. This cleanser comes in many sizes too, in case you would rather try it out before committing. 

Glow & Go Mini Oils

Looking for a way to test the water and integrate facial oils into your skincare regime? Look no further than this adorable little set. They smell amazing and are a great way to get extra hydration and moisture into your skin. These little nuggets also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve elasticity.

 

Charcoal Essentials

The charcoal products from Beautycounter are one of my absolute faves. There is something so soothing about lounging around with a face mask on. This, combined with their best selling charcoal bar, makes this combination set a fantastic deal. I will be snagging one of these babies for myself!

Body

Shimmer & Shine Body Set

Black Friday Paleo Deals

I imagine this being the perfect gift set for your bestie, sister, or daughter. The packaging is gorgeous, not to mention the product inside. With this collection you get the Sugar Body Scrub, the Citrus Mimosa Body Butter, and a Shimmer Oil. You know, this shimmer oil would be perfect to adorn on a night of dancing, or a day in the sunshine. Maybe this will be another product I will have to sneak in for myself…

Travel Body Essentials

Sick of using the generic travel products from hotels or the travel size collection at Target? These are the perfect alternate, especially if you haven’t tried any of these products yet. The hand cream is a must for any flight travel, as I mentioned in this post.

Holiday Hand Cream Set

These non-greasy hand creams are seriously adorable and make the best stocking stuffers. You can gift separately or together as the whole set.

Intense Moisture Body Duo 

If your skin is begging for more moisture, especially during the drier months, this set is perfect for you. Primrose oil and Monoi Oil give this duo an amazing scent.

Makeup

Mini Color Intense Lipstick Vault

Y’all saw me on instagram the other day with that fire engine red lipstick, right? When you are feeling confident and secure, definitely snap a photo as a way to remind yourself how amazing you are, when you may be feeling down. Anyways, the fire red lipstick I was wearing (Girls Night) is included in this Color Intense Lipstick Vault, shown below! But you also get all of the colors to try out as well. If you are a lipstick fan like me, this is the perfect gift. All of these together are $79.00 too, which is an insane value.

Color Intense Lipstick Duo

If you would rather commit to two very solid, “my lip but better” colors, I would absolutely recommend this Lipstick Duo. This set contains the two most popular lip colors offered by Beautycounter, but are also in a full size version. Both of these together are $49, versus the $34 regular price for one lipstick. 

Necessary Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette

When Beautycounter came out with eye shadows, it shook the beauty industry. Their natural, highly pigmented colors are perfect for every skin type, and the palette contains a lovely combination of usable colors instead of random bright colors like some other palettes. I use the Fog and Buff colors daily for a natural look.

Mini Lip Gloss Vault

If gloss is more your thing than matte lipsticks, this vault is a gem. All of the colors come in a beautiful set along with the most precious gold tubes. These glosses are also highly pigmented and long lasting. Bonus, they do not have the sticky consistency of the glosses all millennial’s remember from our youth, so you don’t have to fear walking around outside on a windy day and having your hair stick to your lips!

Highlight Palette

This palette is LIFE. If you are looking for a sun kissed glow all year round, look no further. The range of colors in this set is diverse yet perfect for using alone or paired together to create a multidimensional aesthetic.

Hair:

Volume and Shape Collection 

 

I recently had a client share with me that if they only were to buy one product from Beautycounter ever again, it would be the Volume and Shape collection. This product gives fair hair life and body, without adding extra grease to weigh it down. The collection also smells amazing. This set is the perfect way to try the Volume and Shape line at a discount!

Smooth and Control Collection

I typically use the Volume and Shape Collection on my hair, but the Smooth and Control Collection is great for thicker hair that may commonly have more frizz or fly-aways. This product is known for smoothing and promoting elasticity in the hair. Get it here!

Morrocco Method Hair Mask

This mask conditions and can be used to treat split ends and roots, while helping your hair feel and look softer and shinier. What I also noticed when I used it was that it gave my curls a more bounce and helped my hair look less brittle. I definitely feel like I am in a spa when I use this product too. With that being said, the mask is quite thick, so don’t be shocked if you see any residue in your shower or tub. Get it here. 

Combo Sets

These sets are great ways to experiment with new beauty products and regimes in the most cost effective manner. Beautycounter has a pretty great return policy which is always comforting to know when you are dishing out a lot of money for these sets.

Essential Nourishing Collection

This set contains :

  • Nourishing Cream Cleanser: Soothes and nourishes skin as you wash away makeup and impurities, tones skin with witch hazel, and hydrates with coconut oil and aloe.
  • Nourishing Cream Exfoliator: Features non-abrasive jojoba beads to gently slough away dry, dull skin, sweep away impurities, and reveal smoother, more luminous-looking skin.
  • Nourishing Rosewater Mist: Tones and softens skin with organic rose essence, purified water, and moisturizing sodium hyaluronate.
  • Nourishing Eye Cream: Pampers the delicate skin around your eyes with aloe and organic coconut oil. Absorbs easily for an instant moisture boost.
  • Nourishing Day Cream: Contains a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil, and aloe to provide nourishing hydration, plus antioxidant-rich açai.
  • Nourishing Night Cream: Nourishes skin with organic coconut oil, hydrating aloe, and geranium and green tea, which protect against dryness

Best of Beautycounter

Paleo Black Friday Deals

This set contains:

  • Cleansing Balm (30 ml / 1 fl oz): This multi-tasker is a skin care trifecta: daily cleanser, makeup-removing balm and overnight mask. Formulated with nutrient-rich raspberry and cranberry seed oils and vitamin C.
  • Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion (30 ml / 1 fl oz): This lightweight moisturizer adjusts to skin’s needs throughout the day. 
  • No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil (10 ml / 0.3 fl oz): An Allure “Best of Beauty” Award Winner, this lightweight citrus-scented facial oil with vitamin C quickly absorbs and penetrates to awaken and replenish skin.
  • No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask (30 ml / 1 fl oz): This nutrient-rich kaolin clay mask helps to purify and balance the skin, absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities for a smoother-looking complexion.
12 Essential Paleo Travel Tips

12 Essential Paleo Travel Tips

I am a tremendous advocate for the process of using traveling to new places as a way to grow and expand your knowledge. I have had the privilege to travel to many different countries, most currently my temporary home of Oxford. Traveling gives you the opportunity to expand your perspective beyond what is comfortable or the normal for your day-to-day mindset. This really is a tried and true theory, we can utilize watching TV or listening to podcasts or reading books as methods of traveling so to say, but they do not work as well as sinking your toes into a foreign land. If you have the opportunity and privilege to travel, I strongly encourage it.

After many years of traveling myself, I have developed a string of essentials I must take with me every time I travel. These are things that I bring that bring me comfort, convenience and capability wherever I go. I think we all have our own comfort and wellness rituals for traveling; I remember as a child that long road trips meant one of the only times I was able to have peanut m&ms’s and an extensive amount of coloring books and crayons. My traveling rituals also reminded me that we were about to embark on a new journey that would most likely leave me feeling educationally challenged, enlightened, or just closer to those around me.

As an adult my traveling rituals have definitely changed, although the concept still stays the same. Check out my favorite traveling essentials all located below!

1. Hand Lotion

A traveling must-have, my hands experience severe dryness in any sort of airplane cabin. When they get dry and crack, they tend to feel really stiff too, making me feel a bit immobile. That is one of the last things I would like to be feeling while traveling. I recently have been using this ultra hydrating moisturizer as my go-to.

2. Chapstick

In the similar mindset, my lips get terribly dry while traveling. I tend to travel to places where I can spend a decent amount of my time outdoors; a different environment and climate can quickly affect our sensitive lips. I tend to always have a few chapsticks rolling around, (does anyone actually ever finish a whole tube of chapstick?!) so I usually grab whatever’s closest. Recently it has been good old Carmex in a squeeze tube. Get it here.

3. Small Wallet

I try to condense all of my carry-on and luggage into the most minimal package I can possibly pull off. This can be tricky, but one of my easiest ways to accomplish this is by swapping my everyday wallet with a smaller, cash clip like wallet. I suppose I could just carry my small wallet around with me all the time, instead of having to switch when I travel, but I digress. Anyways, I never end up needing any of the random punch cards that I store in my large wallet so downsizing into a smaller one allows me to switch between purses or bags effortlessly, or allows me to not need to carry a purse altogether.

4. Thieves Oil

To be fair, I put this essential oil in my bottle of hand sanitizer, so it doesn’t smell like cheap alcohol. Thieves is known primarily for its antibacterial properties; it contains several other essential oils that harness these properties into one super oil blend. People use this oil in their cleaning products, to help stop smoking, on open wounds, and the list goes on. Mainly for me, it makes me feel like I am protecting my immune system just a tad more than the basic task of washing my hands. I definitely recommend getting it from someone who represents the Young Living Oil collection, quality is key here and I know Young Living has very strict standards when it comes to their oils.

5. Bleach Wipes

I feel a little silly, but mostly triumphant, when I whip these bad boys out on the airplane or in a hotel. I have, on multiple occasions, flipped down the tray table and there has been left over food on there! Visible leftover food! If you can see the food, imagine how many other things are lingering on those tray tables. Between that and the recycled air, bleach wipes are my must have. And, I am by no means a germaphobe, but planes are one area that is considered the dirtiest around.

6. Face Wipes

Face wipes are typically an essential based on convenience. I could bring my face wash in a tiny travel bottle, or I could bring easily accessible face wipes that can turn into body wash wipes when needed. If I don’t have time for a shower or to really thoroughly wash my face, these suffice and make me feel less grimy and traveled. I typically buy these cucumber face wipes, and I know Beautycounter has some excellent face wipes as well, which you can get here.

7. Moisturizer

So we basically know we need our entire skin regime packed in tiny travel form in order to keep sensitive skin happy while traveling, or at least I need to typically do this. I think my skin ends up being a happy little ecosystem when I maintain some semblance of consistency while traveling. That includes a lot of moisturizer. Especially since Noelle mentioned that oilier skin results in less wrinkles, you know I have been laying on the moisturizer thick. I typically bring one that has an SPF content for in the morning and throughout the day, and then one without SPF for at night. I have been using this kind at night, and this one in the morning.

8. Sunscreen

This is 100% always necessary people. You never want to end up being the one that gets the obnoxious sunburn on the first day of your trip, and then struggling to slather aloe vera on said burn while keeping up with all the fun activities. Do I sound experienced here? Trust me, I am! Please bring sunscreen, or buy some wherever you arrive. This little stick from Beautycounter is natural and can be carried in your carry-on.

9. Tea

The last time I traveled I had several tea bags in my purse, chamomile, mint, ginger and turmeric, and one white tea. Tea is a great staple to have in case you end up feeling a little under the weather, whether its upset stomach, or maybe a cold coming on. I love keeping the ginger,  turmeric and mint for tummy aches. You can typically find a free cup of hot water anywhere too, so if you aren’t able to find a good cup of coffee this can be a great free, easy alternative.

10. Bagged Tuna

I can never find anything beyond an epic bar at any airport or truck stop and sometimes you need more than a bar to get you through. I love bringing this stuff because you can always fly with it, it’s non-perishable, and it is really easy to eat. You don’t even need a fork to eat it with. I have successfully eaten a bag of tuna without a fork and only my mouth and a few crackers. There are a few really delicious flavors too. I bring a few bags of olives to toss in with the tuna when I need a fast impromptu but satisfying meal. This brand is really great too.

11. Bagged Olives

These babies go great with bagged tuna, surprise suprise!  Again, these nuggets of delicious fat are super easy to travel with, and mix well with other non-perishables like bagged tuna. Or if you grab a cucumber or some beef jerky, you can assemble your own little traveling charcuterie board.I usually grab the mini bags they have at Trader Joes.

12. Headphones

Do you travel without headphones? If you answered yes, please explain this to me! I have friends and family that do this but I truly cannot understand why you would ever want to put yourself through this. Headphones are the perfect access to the introvert portal whenever you need it but cannot find the space or place to be alone or introvert out. They also make any traveling in a plane, train, or whatever the means, pass by a little faster. Being crammed into a plane with a ton of people I do not know is my least favorite thing to do, so being able tto escape to a movie or podcast is how I survive these travels.These ones are a little bulky but are noise canceling. Get them here.

Now that you have my fantastic list of travel essentials, I wanna know what travel plans you have built up. Do you travel often? Or does your family embark on vacations each year? If money and time was not a factor, where would you travel if you had the opportunity?