The Livewell clinic - December 2017



There’s something magical about seeing a stack of presents wrapped in bright, multicolored paper. However, that enchanting scene quickly evaporates a few hours later when all those wads of wrapping paper and plastic bows are chucked unceremoniously into the garbage. What if we told you there are countless ways you can still enjoy wrapping and unwrapping presents, without all the waste? Here are a few creative gift wrap alternatives to consider this holiday season. Brown Paper Bags With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, and if you opt out of plastic grocery bags, you’re sure to have a surplus of brown paper bags in the pantry. Drop a present into the bag, tape it shut, and you’re good to go. Add some simple lace or a ribbon for an old-timey feel or get creative with stamps and hand-drawn artwork. This wrap job lets your imagination run wild. Old Maps and Calendars These days, pretty much every phone has a built-in GPS, so you probably won’t need the map from your 1999 road trip anytime soon. If you still have an old map, why not use that for wrapping? The unusual designs guarantee your gifts will be one of a kind. And don’t worry if there are notes scrawled across the paper. Old events or directions will add some unique flair to the presents. Furoshiki Fabric is an excellent substitute for wrapping paper. You can use a scarf to create two gifts in one or pull out scraps of fabric from old projects. The traditional Japanese practice of furoshiki is all about wrapping goods in fabric. Described as “functional fabric origami,” you’d be amazed at how a few well-placed folds can turn your gift into a work of art. Learn how to wrap anything, from boxes to bottles, at You don’t have to follow the same gift wrap habits year after year. After the effort you put into finding just the right present, you should be able to make your gift wrap just as special. Find a method that’s uniquely you and get started!

It seems like new diet trends start to show up in the news every year, with a horde of diet evangelists following close behind. But almost always, these dieting trends are a flash in the pan, and the masses jump onto the next weight-loss train as soon as it arrives. However, there’s one diet you’ve probably heard of with a little more staying power. It’s called the ketogenic diet, or “keto,” for short, and it may be the answer to many fair-weather dieters’ woes. The keto diet involves eating mostly foods with high fat content, such as red meat, bacon, butter, nuts, and healthy oils, while keeping carbohydrate intake to an absolute minimum. Fruit, root vegetables, wheat, and sugar must be almost entirely eliminated. Normally, the body uses glucose derived from carbohydrates as its primary fuel source. Unused glucose is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver, where it turns into fatty adipose tissue as the glycogen stores overfill. Basically, the keto diet keeps carbohydrate intake so low that the body is forced to search for another source of energy to keep everything moving. So, the body shifts from metabolizing mostly glucose to metabolizing fats instead. During a process called ketosis, the liver takes fatty acids from the body’s stores and convert them to ketones, which it then “learns” to utilize as its main fuel source. In this way, fat stored in the body is burned away to fuel physical activity. It’s a decidedly extreme diet — to maintain ketosis, strict avoidance of any and all carbs is vital — but there’s plenty of science to back it up. One 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that severely obese participants who kept a strict low-carb diet lost nearly three times as much weight as their low-fat counterparts. resulting in sleepiness and weakness until it acclimates to running on ketones. Afterward, proponents say you’ll start to feel satiated and energetic. But keto can cause problems for high-intensity exercise and strength training, which depend on stored carbs for fuel. Some experts even argue that the diet is dangerous, causing the body to enter “starvation mode.” It can even cause a host of other problems, including making it even harder to lose weight. Whether you’re a proponent or a detractor, it’s clear the keto diet is here to stay, at least for a while. But before embarking on your fat-burning journey, consult with your physician to learn whether ketosis is a safe option for you. However, it’s far from foolproof. As the start of ketosis, you’re essentially starving the body of its previous main fuel source,


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