The Effects of Chewing Gum on Your Mind and Body

The Effects of Chewing Gum on Your Mind and Body

As an avid gum chewer, I’ve often wondered about the effects this habit has on my mind and body. Does it benefit me, or are there hidden drawbacks I should be aware of? In this article, I’ll share my personal experience and delve into the research to explore the benefits and potential negative aspects of chewing gum.

NB: Always Opt for Sugar-Free Gum

Four Benefits of Chewing Gum

1. Improved Concentration and Focus

Chewing gum can boost cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. Studies have shown that it may enhance memory, attention, and alertness. The rhythmic motion of chewing helps stimulate brain regions responsible for concentration, making it an excellent companion during long work sessions or when tackling complex tasks.

2. Stress and Anxiety Relief

The act of chewing gum can serve as an effective stress reliever. It helps reduce cortisol levels, the primary stress hormone, leading to a sense of relaxation and ease. As someone who often experiences stress in daily life, I’ve found that a stick of gum can act as a simple yet soothing remedy.

3. Fresh Breath and Oral Health

One of the most obvious benefits of chewing gum is its ability to combat bad breath and maintain oral hygiene. The increased saliva production during gum chewing helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids, reducing the risk of tooth decay. Opting for sugar-free gum with xylitol further enhances its oral health benefits.

4. Appetite Control and Weight Management

Chewing gum can assist in curbing cravings and controlling appetite. I’ve found that it decreased my cravings to reach for snacks in the house. It keeps your mouth busy and your senses stimulated with flavour. 

Three Potential Negative Aspects of Chewing Gum

1. Jaw Strain and TMJ Issues

Excessive gum chewing can lead to overuse of the jaw muscles for some people, potentially causing discomfort or even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. It’s essential to moderate gum consumption and avoid putting unnecessary strain on the jaw.


2. Digestive Problems

Swallowing excessive air while chewing gum can lead to bloating, gas, and other digestive discomforts. Although occasional gum chewing is unlikely to cause severe issues, it’s crucial to be mindful of the amount you consume.

3. Dental Problems with Sugar-containing Gum

Gum containing sugar can be detrimental to dental health, as the sugars feed bacteria in the mouth, leading to cavities and dental decay. If you ever chew gum with sugar, make sure to brush your teeth afterward to minimise potential damage. It is highly recommended to stick with sugar-free gum.

Chewing Gum’s Effect on Weight Loss: Myth or Reality?

While some advertisements claim that chewing gum aids weight loss, there is limited scientific evidence to support this idea. While gum can help control appetite in the short term, it should not be considered a primary tool for weight management. Sustainable weight loss comes from a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Conclusion:

As a daily gum chewer, chewing gum has undoubtedly helped me to stay focused, manage stress, and maintain oral hygiene. However, I’ve also learned to be cautious about potential jaw strain and to choose sugar-free options. Though gum can offer some assistance in curbing cravings, it’s essential to approach weight management holistically. As with most things, moderation is key.


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Red velvet mug cakes

Red velvet mug cakes

Red Velvet Mug Cakes

The lovely red colour comes from the beetroot in the recipe. Beetroot is abundant with immune-boosting antioxidants and vitamin C, and as a result, has tons of health benefits.

This dark-coloured red vegetable is no longer just used in salads or served pickled, which is what inspired us to share with you the new way to enjoy beetroot. Try this tasty recipe as part of your LK Fitness app meal plan: For Keto/Banting follower.

These delightfully low carb and gluten-free mug cakes get their gorgeous red colour from beets.

Serving size

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1½ steamed beets

2 tablespoons water

1 cup almond flour

⅓ cup Swerve Sweetener (by USN) or other Xylitol or erythritol baking sweetener

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

2 eggs

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

90ml cream cheese softened

3 tablespoons whipping cream at room temperature

¼ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener (by USN) or other Xylitol or erythritol baking sweetener

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
  1. For the cakes, puree beets and water together in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, sweetener, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. Stir in beet puree, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  4. Divide between 4 mugs and cook on high in the microwave for 1 to 1½ minutes, depending on how gooey you want it.
  5. For the frosting, combine cream cheese, whipping cream, sweetener and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pipe or spoon onto warm mug cakes.

Tip

The deep red of beets is a great way to add natural colours to your baked goods.

Bake this as a once in a blue moon kind of treat, rather than too frequently, aligned with your own health and wellness goals.

Source: All day I dream about food blog


Does The Blood Type Diet Work?

Does The Blood Type Diet Work?

Does The Blood Type Diet Work?

Please note: If you can’t see the images in the page, please click here, to read the article in your browser: Does The Blood Type Diet Work?

– by Anel Kirsten (Dietician for LK Fitness App)

The Blood Type Diet has been popular for almost two decades now. Proponents of this diet suggest that your blood type determines which foods are best for your health. Many people used to swear by this diet, but what are the details of the blood type diet, and is it based on any solid evidence? While Paul D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician, claimed the diet recommendations are based on rigorous clinical evidence, independent reviews conclude that evidence is effectively non-existent.

Still curious about what the diet entails? Let’s have a look and here is what you need to know.

What is The Blood Type Diet?

The blood type diet, also known as the blood group diet, was developed by D’Adamo, and first published in his 1996 book, “Eat Right For Your Type.” His book, was incredibly successful. It was a New York Times bestseller, sold millions of copies. In this book, he claims that the optimal diet for any one individual depends on the person’s ABO blood type. He claims that each blood type represents genetic traits of our ancestors, including which diet they evolved to thrive on.

This is how each blood type is supposed to eat:

  • Type A: Called the agrarian, or cultivator. People who are type A should eat a diet rich in plants, and completely free of “toxic” red meat. This closely resembles a vegetarian diet.
  • Type B: Called the nomad. These people can eat plants and most meats (except chicken and pork), and can also eat some dairy. However, they should avoid wheat, corn, lentils, tomatoes and a few other foods.
  • Type AB: Called the enigma. Described as a mix between types A and B. Foods to eat include seafood, tofu, dairy, beans and grains. They should avoid kidney beans, corn, beef and chicken.
  • Type O: Called the hunter. This is a high-protein diet based largely on meat, fish, poultry, certain fruits and vegetables, but limited in grains, legumes and dairy. It closely resembles the paleo diet.
To read about how to transform your body in 3 months, click here.

Is There Any Scientific Evidence Behind The Blood Type Diet?

Research on ABO blood types has advanced rapidly in the past few years. There is now strong evidence that people with certain blood types can have a higher or lower risk of some diseases. However, there are no studies showing this to have anything to do with diet. Not a single well designed study has been conducted to either confirm or refute the benefits of the blood type diet.

LK Fitness App meal plans are created by Anel.
To download the LK Fitness App and get your meal plans, click here.

Should You Choose a Diet Based On Your Blood Type?

Dieticians and nutrition researchers agree there’s virtually no evidence to support the notion that your blood type should determine what you eat. There is little research supporting the idea that eating for a specific blood type affects health. According to experts there is no consistency or logical reasoning behind this diet because it makes broad generalisations about billions of people and how they should eat. Nutritional guidelines in the blood type diet can be restrictive and are not necessarily cost-effective, since it may require specialty and organic products. Furthermore, the blood type diet does not take into account individual health issues and simply offers suggestions based on blood type. The diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies and even encourage harmful eating behaviours.

I am of the opinion that any of these dietary patterns would be an improvement for most people, no matter what their blood type is. All 4 diets (or “ways of eating”) are mostly based on real, healthy foods, and a huge step up from the standard Western diet of processed junk food. So, even if you go on one of these diets and your health improves, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it had anything to do with your blood type. Maybe the reason for the health benefits is simply that you’re eating healthier food than before.

I do not doubt that many people have experienced positive results by following the diet. However, this does NOT mean that this was in any way related to their blood type. Different diets work for different people. 

Regardless of your blood type, people should aim to eat more high-fiber, nutrient-rich, plant-based foods. Instead of following the blood type diet, it is better to consume a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods and make healthy choices that are sustainable and realistic. 

To read more about diet tips, click here.

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Dietician Anél Kirsten: anel@paarldts.co.za

How to Transform Your Body in 8 Weeks.

How to Transform Your Body in 8 Weeks.

How to Transform Your Body in 8 Weeks.

“Small changes, discipline, and consistency lead to great transformations!”

– LINDA KRIEL

Is it possible to transform your body in 8 weeks?

The answer is YES. You can get great results in 8 weeks. This does not necessarily mean that you will have reached your goal weight or dream body in 8 weeks, but you will be able to see a big difference within 8 weeks of dedication. Body transformation not only means losing weight, but it also means improving your body shape and gaining muscle definition. A person who is already on her goal weight can also transform her body, by getting a six-pack, getting nicely shaped arms or legs, or lifting a saggy booty.

How do you do it?

I’m sure you know that EXERCISE and HEALTHY EATING is the answer, but why do people find it so difficult to succeed? There’s a lot more to it.

Tracking your progress is important to keep you motivated. Make sure to read How to measure your progress and How to take great before and after photos.

PLANNING

A balanced exercise program and a healthy eating plan are the most important cornerstones of a successful body transformation. (Scroll down for more detail.)

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Planning is essential for a weight-loss or body transformation journey, and can make life considerably easier. Simple things like meal preparations and buying the right groceries go a long way to support you in your journey.

Many people who exercise fail to get results, because they don’t know how to structure their workouts, or they’re not varying their workouts, or they’re simply doing the exercises wrong.


With the LK Fitness App you never have to wonder what to eat or how to exercise

PERSEVERANCE

There are people who start an exercise program and diet every Monday, just to throw in the towel by Wednesday. Some people struggle to stick to a long term plan.

Perseverance is key! Stick to your plan. If you had a cheat day, immediately return to your plan the next day. Not two or three days later. It will take you about three weeks to get into the habit of healthy eating and exercising. Once you’re in the habit, it becomes part of your lifestyle and that is what it should be forever, a lifestyle. Not just a temporary 8 week transformation and then returning to your old habits, because then your body will also return to what it was before you started.

WHAT SHOULD YOUR EXERCISE PLAN LOOKS LIKE?

Strength training is essential. Two to three times weekly. Why? When you’re eating less calories, strength training (using weights and bodyweight) helps you retain your muscle mass while losing fat. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, that requires energy. Therefor muscle helps you burn more calories, even if you are at rest. Strength training will also tone and shape your body. You can use weights or resistance bands, but you can also use your own bodyweight, example push-ups, tricep dips, crunches, planks, squats, lunges etc.

Cardio for fat burning, at least three times weekly. That includes long slow cardio (± 30 – 50 min) and HIIT (high intensity interval training) (± 15 – 25 min). Examples: brisk walking (beginners or unfit people), jogging, cycling (fast enough to elevate your heart rate), cardio circuit training and kickboxing. Try and do at least one HIIT workout weekly.

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy and we need flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Remember to incorporate some resting and stretching into your weekly schedule. Try this Stretching routine.

On the LK Fitness App you get all the strength training and cardio programs you need to succeed, and once a week a stretching session.

Useful read: Motivation to exercise

WHICH MEAL PLAN IS BEST?

We are all different. Some people love bread, rice, and potatoes, while others get very bloated eating these. Some people may find it easy to follow a Keto/Banting diet, while others can’t imagine eating fat. The good news is that LK Fitness understands the diversity of people, and therefore we have three meal plans on the LK Fitness App – Keto/Banting, Low GI low fat, and the Mediterranean eating plan. (Read: Wondering which meal plan to choose)

YOU CAN DO IT!

It can take anything from four to eight weeks to see noticeable changes in appearance – sometimes more, sometimes less. Even then, you’ll probably notice fluctuations. Just keep making healthy choices and taking regular photos and you will see a difference in 8 weeks. You’ve got this, and remember, LK Fitness is here to help you!!!


To Join Linda on the 3 Peaks Hiking Tour, or any of Linda’s other popular walking tours, CLICK HERE.


Fathead Cinnamon Rolls & Basic Dough

Fathead Cinnamon Rolls & Basic Dough

Fathead Cinnamon Rolls & Basic Dough – low carb

Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings!

Make these easy, gluten and guilt free Keto cinnamon rolls, made of fathead dough. These cinnamon rolls are ready in 30 minutes to satisfy your sweet cravings!

In general, fathead dough is a low-carb dough that is made with mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, egg, and some type of flour (almond, coconut, or a combination.) The melted cheeses create a chewy texture that’s often hard to achieve in low carb baking.

What is this? The name comes from the 2009 documentary, Fat Head Movie, which was created by Tom Naughton (comedian and former health writer).

For anyone who doesn’t know, Fat Head pizza (see recipe: basic fathead dough) was created by Tom Naughton’s oldest brother’s son. Ever since it has been named in honour of his Fat Head Movie . The documentary explains how saturated fat does not cause heart disease but instead sugars, grains, starches and processed vegetable oils do.

Fathead Cinnamon Rolls

Net Carbs: 3g / Calaries: 292.4kcal (per roll)

Tip: Ingredients at room temperature.

Serving size

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients:
  • 140 g almond flour. If it’s too sticky, add 1-2 tablespoons to adjust dough
  • 2 teaspoons ground psyllium husk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons erythritol (see also sweetener swap under Tips, below)
  • 150 g shredded mozzarella full-fat (1 ¼ cup)
  • 28 g cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large beaten egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

Tip:

Full-fat shredded mozzarella – weigh the cheese in a small bowl for precision, don’t use cups! It is not precise enough, and you often end up with too much cheese that makes fathead dough too sticky.

Cream cheese – weigh the cream cheese for precision, and cut it into small cubes to soften it faster.

Cinnamon filling:
  • 56 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden erythritol or classic erythritol (see also sweetener swap under Tips, below)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Glazing:
  • 170 g cream cheese
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 66 g sugar-free powdered sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-hole muffin pan with butter or coconut oil.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients evenly: almond flour, psyllium husk, baking powder, and erythritol. Set aside.
  • In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, weigh the shredded mozzarella and cream cheese.
  • Microwave by 20-second bursts, stirring between each time until the cheese is fully melted. It usually takes 1 minute to get a soft, melty stretchy mixture. Otherwise, if you don’t have a microwave, bring on a non-stick saucepan over low-medium heat and melt, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
  • When the cheese is stretchy and melted, add the dry ingredients and the vanilla, beaten egg and apple cider vinegar.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula at first, when it starts to be difficult to stir, generously oil your hands with coconut oil and knead for at least 1 minute until you obtain a soft dough. The dough dries out as you squeeze and knead, and it should be slightly sticky but not too much. If too wet or sticky, you can add 1 tablespoon extra almond flour at a time, kneading between each addition, don’t exceed 4 tablespoons. You can also add all these ingredients into a food processor and blend for 30 seconds until combined. Don’t forget to grease your hands to remove the dough from the bowl, or it can stick to your fingers.
  • Form a dough ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 5-8 minutes max, not more or dough is hard to roll.
Filling:
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat butter, erythritol, and cinnamon until a paste forms. Set aside.
  • Unwrap the dough and place between too large pieces of parchment paper – each about 20 cm long. You can lightly spray oil on the parchment paper sheets to prevent the dough from sticking to the paper.
  • Press the dough ball with your hand to roughly flatten, then start rolling with a rolling pin. Roll evenly into a rectangle of about 29 cm x 20 cm. Tip: Fold The Paper In A Rectangle. My tip for rolling cinnamon roll fathead dough into a perfect rectangle shape, is folding the parchment paper into a rectangle. This way, you encase the dough into the desired rectangle shape, and when you roll it, the dough fits in.
  • Remove the top piece of parchment paper.
Assemble the rolls
  • Spread the cinnamon butter all other the rolled dough. Don’t add filling on the lengthwise borders. This makes it easier to stick the cylinder together at the end.
  • Start rolling the dough on the long end, roll the dough up tightly. When you reach the top, spread a bit of water with a pastry brush to help the dough, stick and seal the roll.
  • Cut into 12 even cinnamon rolls and place each roll on the greased muffin tray. Slightly press the top of each roll to flatten if desired. However, if you prefer, you can bake them on a greased baking dish. Make sure your rolls don’t touch each other, or they wouldn’t bake evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the sides.
  • Cool on a cooling rack for 45 minutes before adding the glazing or it can melt.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the glazing.
Glazing:
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, erythritol, and maple or vanilla extract until smooth and fluffy.
  • Spread generously onto all the rolls, or individually 1 ½ tablespoons per roll. You can store the remaining glaze in the fridge in an airtight container and use it when you serve the roll or as a keto fat bomb snack.

The most common issues with fathead dough are:

  • The dough is overly sticky – this happens if you add too much cream cheese or your egg is an extra large. First, grease your hands to handle the fathead dough. Then, adjust the flour by adding 1 tablespoon of extra almond flour, up to 4 tablespoons, until the dough is soft and not sticky. Also, chill the dough wrapped in plastic wrap for 5 minutes to help to set the dough.
  • The dough is hard as a rock– unfortunately, you can’t really fix that, but note that this happens if you over-melt the mozzarella in the microwave. The cheese burns and hardens. A good rule to know is, don’t continue the recipe if you burnt the mozzarella in the first step. Discard and restart because this will ruin the fathead dough for sure. If you try adding too much cream cheese to counterbalance, the fathead dough will be wet.

Tips:

Sweetener swap: any keto crystal sweetener like allulose or xylitol works as a replacement for erythritol.

Lactose-free cream cheese can be used as a substitute for regular cream cheese.

Almond flour can be replaced with sesame flour or sunflower seed flour (careful, this turns the food green and a bit bitter) for a keto nut-free cinnamon roll recipe. You can’t use coconut flour.

How long can fathead dough be refrigerated?

After making the dough, wrap tightly in a cling film and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to use, till our in between two parchment paper and bake. If you find it hard to roll out, Lightly warm it up in the microwave to make it easier to roll out.


Sharing with you the basic dough recipe – you can really do with it whatever you want. So, what is this fathead dough all about? Fathead dough is a keto dough that mimics bread dough to create a range of keto baking recipes like pizza, bagels, or this keto cinnamon rolls recipe above.

Basic Fathead Dough

Total Carbohydrate 20.6g for the entire recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 170 g pre shredded/grated mozzarella cheese
  • 85 g almond meal/flour
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt to taste
Instructions:
  • Mix the shredded cheese and almond flour/meal in a microwaveable bowl. Add the cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
  • Stir then microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the egg, salt, and any other flavorings (depending what the end result of your dough is), mix gently.
  • Place in between 2 pieces of baking parchment/paper and roll into whatever shape you are making. Remove the top baking paper/parchment.
  • If the mixture hardens and becomes difficult to work with, pop it back in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to soften again but not too long or you will cook the egg.

More ideas for which fathead dough can be used:

  1. *Pizza, bake at 220°C (425°F) for 12-15 minutes, flip over and bake another 10 minutes or so (until you get the crust you like) top with cooked/prepared toppings. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
    • Tip: Prick the dough all over with a fork, which will prevent the pizza from bubbling up.
  2. *Pigs in a Blanket bake at 220°C (425°F) for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown
  3. *Hot Pockets fill rounds of dough with eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, pepperoni, etc., fold in half and seal. Prick top with fork for steam holes. Bake at 220°C (425°F) for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Source: sweetashoney /fatheadmovie/ cluckingitup


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