Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine Review

Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine Review

Whether you’ve been a long time reader or have just started following along, it’s probably no secret that I am a major wino (it’s my not-so-guilty pleasure). If you asked me how I’d spend the perfect summer evening, it would be outside on the deck with a few yummy appetizers and a nice, chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

The downside to being a self-proclaimed wino? The dreaded headache and the general feeling of crappiness. Oy. Anyone else feel like a wine hangover is a “special” kind of hangover? I used to chock it up to the sulfites (it’s actually due to so much more than just sulfites – more on that below), and a friend suggested I try drinking organic wines to alleviate my symptoms. I do try to buy organic produce when possible, including grapes, which are on the “Dirty Dozen” list, so it made total sense that the same logic would extend to my favorite grape product. 

Unfortunately, the organic wines I’ve tried left me feeling pretty disappointed. Something about their taste, texture, and aroma was just kind of, well, blah. I felt that they lacked complexity. I drink wine for pleasure, so if I am going to imbibe, I want to make sure that it’s enjoyable. Still, I’ve kept up my search for an organic wine that could be my go-to. I mean, I’ve committed myself to using more natural and ethically sourced skincare and beauty products. I feel that wine is a similar “gray” area where most consumers are unaware of the chemicals and additives that are part of the conventional wine-making process. Finding a clean wine just seemed like the next step for me!

Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine Review

That’s why I was intrigued (and thrilled!) when a CNC reader reached out to introduce me to Scout & Cellar’s clean-crafted wines. Although I was a little skeptical given my lack of success with organic wines, I was open to trying it and popped open a bottle of the 2018 Dove Hunt Dog Sauvignon Blanc from Mendocino County, California.

You guys, this wine was absolutely delicious – light, crisp, and perfect for a late spring happy hour.  I was more than pleasantly surprised, so I immediately signed up to have my next shipment delivered. Our busy season is coming up (as I’m sure it is for many of you) and with a summer calendar packed with all kinds of social events, I knew that I’d be doing myself a favor keeping Scout & Cellar’s clean-crafted wines on hand at home for impromptu guests, last-minute celebrations, trips to the beach, or just because I wanted to crack open a bottle! 🙂

I’ve since tried several of Scout & Cellar’s wines – and not only have they all tasted amazing, I wake up headache-free (and as a mom to a five-year-old that’s often up before the sun rises, this is a major perk). What makes their wines different from conventional ones?

Well, mass-produced wines are often riddled with pesticides, chemicals, and extra sugars. Ughhh. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a supply and demand situation. Think about your own favorite wine. Every time you pop open a bottle, you expect it to taste the same, right? The truth is, wines are supposed to vary in flavor, even if two bottles are the exact same brand, year and blend. To keep up with our unrealistic expectation that wines should taste the same (while still keeping costs low), conventional winemakers have unfortunately resorted to some not-so-desirable means, such as including potentially harmful chemicals and additives like ferrocyanide, ammonium phosphate, synthetic pesticides, and mega purple (a super-concentrated grape juice). Sugars and sweetener concentrates are also added to preserve the taste. In fact, the average bottle of wine can contain up to 16 (!!) grams of sugar (that’s about the same as a large donut). I love a sweet treat as much as the next person, but I definitely don’t expect one from my wine!

Thanks to Scout & Cellar’s clean-crafted wines, I am able to enjoy without worries because I know that I’m drinking wine in its purest form as it was meant to be – with no artificial chemicals, additives, and unnecessary sugars. In fact, Scout & Cellar’s wines are made with just grapes and less than 50ppm of sulfites on average (all are definitely under 100ppm). Given the fact that mass-produced wines can contain up to 350ppm sulfites per bottle, I’d say that’s a huge win! 

Scout & Cellar isn’t an individual winery or vineyard – it’s so much more. Its sommeliers’ source their wine from the top growing regions across the world, focusing on boutique vineyards that have met very strict criteria and even independently lab test them. The wines are made from grapes that are grown consciously and that are bottled without the added ingredients that modify taste, texture, color, and aroma. The result? Naturally grown, high-quality wines that you can feel great about drinking yourself and sharing with family and friends!

How much do Scout & Cellar wines cost?

There are a few different ways that you can purchase Scout & Cellar’s clean-crafted wines:

  1. Check out their individual bottles and purchase the ones that you’d like to try. (My favorites? This Sauvignon Blanc of course, as well as this yummy Chardonnay)
  2. Not sure where to start? You can purchase a four-bottle tasting set (either as a one time purchase or as part of the membership). This is a great way to try a red, a rose, and a white – plus, the selection changes each month, so you will experience a ton of variety. A lot of first-time customers love this option! 
  3. Sign up for a membership plan. Perks include access to exclusive, limited selections, an automatic delivery schedule, and special discounts such as 5% off all club purchases as well as 5%-10% volume discounts. The options are limitless – you can select 6 or 12 bottle packs of whites, reds, or mixed for a bit of both!

Shipping is free with orders over $99 (which isn’t always the case with wine clubs), and because this business model cuts out the retailer, a layer of markup is cut out, so you get really nice wine at great prices! Clean-crafted, natural wines that are delivered straight to my door, all without restaurant markups? Sign me up! I’ll be on my back porch all summer with a glass of wine in hand! 

I’m so thrilled to be able to introduce Scout & Cellar to all my fellow winos out there that are looking for natural, organic wines that taste as excellently as they were crafted at an affordable price. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve paid $12+ for a glass of wine, only to later found out that the whole bottle cost $16! Plus, summer is right around the corner with all sorts of parties, BBQs, and celebrations. If you’re hosting, you can’t beat the convenience of having wine delivered right to your door (one less errand to run, right?), and if you’re a guest, what better gift to give your host then the gift of clean-crafted wine?

P.S. If you enjoyed this Scout & Cellar clean-crafted wine review and might be interested in becoming a Scout & Cellar wine consultant, send me an email at tina@carrotsncake.com. I’d love to chat with you! It’s a fun side gig and you get free/discounted tasty wine! 🙂

The post Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine Review appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.



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Why Does the Keto Reset Allow 50 Grams of Carbs?

If you look around the online keto-sphere, you’ll notice that 20 or 30 grams is often the standard daily limit for carbohydrate intake. Any more than that, they say, and you’ll never get into ketosis, never become fat-adapted, and waste all your efforts at reducing carbohydrate intake. And then you come to Mark’s Daily Apple, sign up for the June Keto Reset, or buy a copy of The Keto Reset book and see that I allow 50 grams of carbs per day and don’t even consider non-starchy vegetables as counting against that total carb count.

What gives?

Why does the Keto Reset allow 50 grams of carbs per day? Why don’t I count non-starchy vegetables?

There are several main reasons.

I Allow 50 Grams of Carbs Because I Don’t Subtract Fiber from Total Carbs. I Don’t Do Net Carbs. I Count It All.

Most keto plans subtract fiber from total carbs to arrive at “net carbs.” They do this for a very good reason: Fiber is not digested, does not count as glucose, and does not impact ketosis. I get it. I’m not denying the fact that the body treats indigestible fiber differently than digestible glucose and fructose. The fiber you eat does not affect your ability to generate ketones. Sure, the body doesn’t treat indigestible fiber the same way as digestible glucose.

But I find it’s just way simpler to count total carbs rather than ask people to pore over the labels and do a bunch of subtraction. This has the effect of giving a “higher total” carb allowance, but the actual number of digestible carbs remains about on par with other keto plans.

Non-Starchy Vegetables Don’t Impact Ketosis in Most People.

For all intents and purposes, foods like spinach, chard, broccoli, and others do not impact ketosis one way or the other. The vast majority of them are so low in carbs that you burn more glucose digesting them than you’re able to extract from them. I’d rather your average 62-year-old retiree who’s trying to get healthier and lose the extra 30 pounds so he can take retirement by the horns not have to weigh and measure his romaine lettuce and spinach. I don’t even want him to have to think about his romaine lettuce. Just eat the stuff!

I’m sure there are extra-sensitive people out there for whom a spinach salad does impair ketosis, but I’m creating general guidelines that work for the largest number of people. Most people can eat one and remain ketotic. And the limit is an upper limit; it’s not a requirement that everyone has to reach.

Non-Starchy Vegetables Offer Many Unique Benefits to the Keto Eater.

Many of them, like spinach, have satiety-inducing effects that reduce cravings for high-carb junk food and make dietary adherence even easier. And they’re often the best sources of micronutrients that keto dieters otherwise have trouble obtaining, like potassium and magnesium.

We Want to Nourish the Gut Biome.

One of the potential downsides to conventional keto diets is the disruption of the microbiome. Several years ago, a study came out claiming to show that “chowing down” on meat and dairy had horrible impacts on the gut biome. Looking more closely, the “meat and dairy” diet was actually a processed meat diet completely bereft of non-starchy plant matter. It didn’t say anything about the type of diet that Primal eaters eat, but it did represent a strike against the conventional caricature of the “salami and cream cheese keto diet.” That’s the “salami and cream cheese” keto diet, the one I cannot support and definitely do not recommend. Having 50 grams of carbs available and not counting non-starchy vegetables makes it easier to eat the plants that contain the prebiotic fiber that nourishes and supports your gut bacteria.

Ultimately, the 50 grams limit with unlimited non-starchy vegetables gives you plenty of wiggle room.

I’ll admit that this has been confusing for some folks. There have been questions about “50 grams” and “not counting non-starchy vegetables.” But it also means that I’m not getting a deluge of questions about whether you should count the carbs in avocados and Brussels sprouts (no and no), whether the asparagus you had last night is going to send you back to square one (it won’t, unless it was breaded and fried and you ate a pound), whether you committed a grave sin by having three bites of roasted potatoes (you only committed a small transgression), and all the other minutiae that bog people down. To me, on net, that balances out in the Keto Reset’s favor. It shows me that people by and large aren’t overthinking the errata (worrying about their broccoli intake). They’re focusing on the big picture (getting fat-adapted while eating a nutrient-dense diet).

How do you folks approach carb counting on your diet? Do you worry about the spinach and broccoli? Do you use net carbs?

Thanks for reading, everyone!

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References:

Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Landin-olsson M, Erlanson-albertsson C. Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women. Appetite. 2015;91:209-19.

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Dave Loves Maggie

What a glorious wedding it was! Loads of romance, many happy tears, delicious food, a hopping dance floor, and perfect weather.

The Ceremony

Thomas was with the groom, Dave, all day getting ready, so I drove myself and a few friends to the venue and chose a shady seat.

We could be sisters, right?!

My shady seat was very comfortable, but I was about as far from the front as could be so I couldn’t see much (or take photos) but it was a beautiful ceremony! Thomas looked handsome, and the bride and groom exchanged lovely words. Much like Thomas and me, they blended a family and brought Dave’s little girl into the ceremony, which was so sweet. Not a dry eye in the house!

Cocktail Hour

And then it was time for cocktails and merriment! How awesome are their koozies?!

Local favorite beers –

And delicious apps!

I finally got to reunite with my groom! <3

Three cheers for the bride and groom’s big entrance!! (How epic was their Wagoneer!) It’s hard to tell from afar, but Maggie’s dress was actually linen!

The Setting

As the sun set, we all headed under the pavilion for dinner.

The florals were stunning! They reminded me of ours! I loved all the eucalyptus, lanterns, herbs, and blue glass.

 

And of course, the beautiful cake!!

Dinner + Dessert

The dinner buffet was catered by the BBQ Exchange and was SO GOOD! We all couldn’t stop talking about how delicious it was as we ate.

And the cake was carrot cake! Fluffy icing on the outside and cream cheese on the inside. I might have had two pieces…!

*Pump Break*

There were at least three of us who had to go pump during the reception. Luckily it was easy to do in my car! I did have to unzip my whole dress :mrgreen:

Dancin’

Photographer Meredith Coe, who I know from the gym, had a Polaroid camera with her and passed out snapshots to people. What a fun idea!

I had no idea that Dave was a drummer! He took to the stage and did a flawless performance of “Play That Funky Music!”

We danced until we had blisters on our feet (literally). Then it was time for the sparkler send off!

May they live happily ever after!

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The Keto Flu: Symptoms, Remedies and How to Avoid It

The ketogenic diet is an increasingly popular option for people looking for a natural way to lose weight and burn fat. In certain cases, the diet–which is low in carbohydrates, high in healthful fats, and moderate in protein–can even be used to help manage a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. However, when people begin researching the ketogenic diet, one of the first phrases they encounter is a pretty scary one: “the keto flu.” While the keto flu is one of the most dreaded side effects of the ketogenic diet, it is actually a sign that you’re on the right track! The condition is a direct consequence of reducing carbohydrates and transitioning your body into a state of ketosis, and there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate its severity–or prevent it entirely.

What Is The Keto Flu?

The keto flu, which is not actually a “flu” at all since it’s not viral in nature, is a constellation of symptoms that often accompany the first days or weeks of a ketogenic diet. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, brain fog, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, and lethargy. There is high variability among individuals both in the incidence and severity of these symptoms, which is thought to be driven by differences in individuals’ metabolism as well as their diet pre-adherence to the ketogenic diet. It’s easy to see how this is one of the most commonly cited reasons why people abandon keto: they start the diet, feel terrible almost immediately and shortly thereafter decide that the ketogenic diet is not for them. However, it is our hope that a better understanding of this condition and how to manage it will help empower new adherents to stick with the diet and reap its long-term benefits.

Keto Flu Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy

 

For the average person, carbohydrates have been the cornerstone of their diet since the day they were first introduced to solid food by their parents. In fact, many nutritional guidelines today suggest we consume anywhere from 40-60% of our total daily calories from carbohydrates. Unfortunately, these carbohydrates are often derived from high-processed junk food and refined sugars with low nutritional quality.  Even if the carbohydrates you consume are from a relatively healthful source–think quinoa or other ancient grains–these foods still trigger the release of higher levels of insulin than any other macronutrient, so they wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. The exact metabolic impact of carbohydrates varies by person, but the latest scientific research continues to support the notion that most Americans would be well-served to reduce carbohydrate intake.

While it’s a complex pathway, the keto flu is largely driven by two forces unique to the ketogenic diet: a reduction in overall electrolyte intake and the diuretic nature of the diet. As mentioned above, most people consume more carbs by calorie content than any other macronutrient, and most of those carbs come from low-quality, processed sources. Ironically, when we remove these foods from our diet, we actually precipitously decrease our overall sodium intake. And since sodium is an electrolyte, this can lead very quickly to an electrolyte deficiency and trigger the keto flu. Second, as you cut carbohydrates out of your diet and move your body towards ketosis, insulin levels drop, signaling the kidneys to release water and vital electrolytes like sodium and potassium. This molecular pathway is what makes the ketogenic diet diuretic in nature; the sudden drop in insulin triggers the kidneys to release water and electrolytes through increased urine production.

While the keto flu is a completely normal reaction to the ketogenic diet, there are long-term risks to not addressing the condition. In all likelihood, symptoms will persist until you address them, so they could last over the entire life of the ketogenic diet if you don’t take action. Sounds miserable! The keto flu can also lead to sleep disturbances and an elevated heart rate, which is a side effect of your body’s attempts to retain sodium through the release of adrenal hormones. Finally, if left untreated for a long period of time, the keto flu could lead to bone mineral loss or osteoporosis. Our bones are one of the core areas where we store sodium and, if the keto flu is left unchecked, your body could start to leach calcium, along with sodium, from your bones.

Risks of Electrolyte Deficiency on a Ketogenic Diet

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Mineral loss
  • Osteoporosis

While the keto flu is the body’s natural reaction to a ketogenic diet, suffering from it is not a foregone conclusion. You can dramatically reduce the symptoms of the keto flu–or even avoid them altogether–by properly supplementing your electrolytes as you transition into ketosis. If you find yourself to be especially sensitive to the ketogenic diet, you can also ease your transition into ketosis by slowly reducing carbohydrates rather than going cold turkey on day one.

Remedies for the Keto Flu

Replacing the electrolytes your body has lost is the single most important thing you can do to combat or prevent the symptoms of the keto flu. This means ensuring you consume adequate levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium either from food sources or through supplementation. We will address exactly what we mean by “adequate levels” in a moment, but for now, we’d like to propose some simple ways to increase your intake of electrolytes:

1. Salt Your Food

Salt your food. Even if it feels weird or gustatorily challenging to salt a salad, try it. It’s critically important that you increase salt consumption on the ketogenic diet, as most of the foods on the menu will not have naturally-occurring sodium at adequate levels. Any kind of table salt will do, but if you have a personal preference for one type over the other, no problem! Just salt your food.

However, it’s also important to remember that sodium is not the only electrolyte that needs to be kept in balance on a ketogenic diet. Magnesium and potassium are both critically important electrolytes that we should pay attention to as well. Fortunately, a well-formulated ketogenic diet that is high in healthful fats and plant-based foods often provides enough of these two electrolytes. Specifically, magnesium can be derived from avocados, almonds, bananas, and leafy greens, while sweet potatoes, spinach, butternut squash, and beets are all great sources of potassium.

2. Consume Bone Broth

There is a robust body of scientific research that has identified bone broth as an incredibly healthy, nutrient-packed superfood. Bone broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissues of an animal for a long period of time–generally between ten and twenty hours–which is what separates it from the standard broth or stock found in most grocery stores. Cooking for such an extended period of time allows the broth to absorb the collagen, glutamine, and other minerals that give bone broth its rich nutrient density that is commonly touted for its benefits for the gut, joints, skin, and overall health.

Furthermore, while bone broth is a decent source of sodium on its own, it’s very easy (and recommended) to add salt or a bouillon cube to turn it into a keto flu-busting intervention.

3. Make Electrolyte Homebrews

You should never turn to sugary sports drinks to combat the keto flu. Unfortunately, all of the traditional electrolyte products on the market have insufficient levels of actual electrolytes and are very high in sugar. This sudden burst of electrolyte-less sugar will spike insulin levels and derail your path to ketogenesis. Despite their catchy marketing campaigns, endorsement deals with famous athletes, and sponsorships of virtually every visible sporting event, these drinks are not your friend and should be avoided regardless of whether or not you adhere to a ketogenic diet.

This is why I spent years mixing up homebrew concoctions with ingredients from my own pantry. With some trial and error, I was able to design a few great do-it-yourself drink recipes for those who are more inclined to mix up their own keto flu-killing concoctions. If you’d like to give some of these a try, you can see a list of my favorite recipes here.

4. Drink LMNT Recharge

After years of tinkering with homebrew recipes–some of which were way off the mark!–and waiting for someone to develop and release an electrolyte product that wasn’t bathed in sugar, I finally decided to do something about this problem. Thus was born LMNT Recharge, a product that I specifically formulated to help replenish the body’s electrolytes in the initial phase of the ketogenic diet. It’s a tasty electrolyte mix filled with everything you need and nothing you don’t–namely, sugar.

How Much Sodium Is Too Much Sodium?

For the last three decades, we’ve all been told that we need to reduce sodium intake to control blood pressure, and current recommendations call for 1.5 to 2.3 grams of sodium per day. However, a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association painted a much different picture of sodium consumption. This study, which sought to correlate sodium intake with cardiovascular incidents like strokes and heart attacks, found that the lowest rate of these events actually occurred in people consuming five grams of sodium per day. That’s more than double the recommended daily intake! Furthermore, an individual had to consumer eight grams of sodium per day to reach the same problematic levels of cardiovascular events as those people consuming less than 2 grams of sodium per day.



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