Wednesday, June 28, 2017

DIY Medical Labs

Want to know your B12 count?

Curious about your cholesterol?

Heavy metals on your mind? 

Don't want the hassle of going through a doctor?

You can test yourself, right in your own home - no doctor required.

There are a lot of DIY medical labs popping up, probably because people are sick of going through the doctor to get the information that they want/need.  Now, you don't have to beg for a test, you can get it yourself!

https://www.everlywell.comOne such place that can help you test yourself is  Through this lab you can, from the comfort of your own home, have your Vitamin D levels checked, test your Thyroid and find out what Heavy Metals are lurking in your body, which is what I was looking for.  There are a few more tests as well, with more to come...

Another lab I have used is  While I haven’t had as seamless of an experience as with Every Well, I mention them because of the large variety of tests that they offer and for their low pricing.  In the end I got what I needed from them, but I found their communication to be poor and their website too “busy.”  To get what I needed required a lot of back and forth with customer service, who was helpful, but Walk-In-Labs would not be my first choice when it comes to DIY labs.

Both companies ship the tests right to you and provide paid shipping materials to get them back as quickly as possible.  Test results are reviewed by a board-certified physician in your state prior to you receiving them.  Both companies will post your results online via your own private account.  Neither company requires a referral from your doctor, although results can be shared with your doctor.  The cost of the labs includes the testing materials, analysis and shipping - no hidden fees.  Lastly, everything is kept confidential.

It is important to do a little research first to determine which type of test is best for what you're looking into.  For instance, I was concerned with mercury after some recent dental work to have my
amalgam fillings removed.  I learned that a fecal test was best for mercury and only Walk-In-Labs offered that test.  But, to my surprise the test results showed that I was very low in mercury and through the roof for arsenic.  While both metals appear on a heavy metal test, research revealed that the best test for arsenic is a urine test, which I was able to get through Every Well.

No matter what you decided, doctor or no, home test or not, our options are expanding when it comes to finding out what's going on in our bodies.

Beating MS!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can't Sleep? This Can Help!

A while ago a friend of mine (Hey Bob!) turned me onto the Brain Wave - 30 Advanced Binaural Brainwave App and I LOVE IT!

OK, I can't definitively say this is the best sleep app because I've only tried this one app.  But when you try something and it changes your life, you don't have to keep searching!

MS causes me to urinate every hour - every hour!  It used to be every 30 minutes, but acupuncture has helped me extend that window.  Needless to say, that eliminates any shot of quality night sleep.

The very first night I tried this app, I only woke up once!!!  You have no idea how amazing that felt.  Having used this app nightly for a few months, I now routinely wake up about two times a night, compared to my traditional four to six trips to le lieu, I am ecstatic!   I now travel with this app and won't sleep a night without it.

Let me tell you a little about it...

It's a steal at only $3.99!!!

You get this app through iTunes, so it's an Apple-based product, sorry Android users.

It's completely customizable!  Change how long it runs (10 min, 20 min, 30 min, 40 min, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours), the background sound (I love the Ocean Waves & Forest), the level of sound (brainwave vs. background), the type of program (Deep Sleep, Dream, Meditation, etc.).  There's even an alarm to peacefully wake you from your slumber.

Because of the Binaural Tones (brainwaves), you're supposed to use headphones.  I tried for a few nights and they drove me crazy!  Instead, I got a travel speaker from Amazon for my iPad and that seems to work just as well.  The iPad speaker itself didn't quite cut it.

Let's get technical...

I'd like to pretend that I know how this works, but let's get real.  Here's what the makers have to say.

"How it Works: Brain Wave synchronizes your brainwaves with a specific frequency by sending two different audible frequencies to each ear, which, after being processed by the brain, are perceived as an inaudible low frequency beat matching the target brainwave frequency. Various states of mind are associated with different inaudible brainwave frequencies, ranging from an alert and focused state of mind to deeply relaxed, all the way to deep sleep, and can be induced with this technique.

Brain Wave recreates these frequencies using the most advanced multi-stage binaural sequences available, allowing your mind you to relax and synchronize with your desired state. It achieves this using our unique process called Progressive Brainwave Entrainment."

I don't really understand everything they are saying; all I know is that this app works!

Beating MS!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

One Appliance I Can't Live Without - The Instant Pot! say I'm in love with my Instant Pot, is an understatement!

I will admit that I was pretty nervous at first.  Frankly, pressure cookers scare me.  They just explode for no reason, right?  Not so much, new pressure cookers are quite safe these days. Especially the Instant Pot which is pretty dummy proof, even for a newbie & has 10 safety features just to ease one's mind.

So, what is an Instant Pot?  Well, it's like a pressure cooker on steroids. This is not your grandma's relic from the dark ages, this baby's got skills!

Check this out.

The new 2014 3rd Generation model is 7 cookers in 1!  It has a Bean/Chili setting, Rice setting, Yogurt setting, Soup Setting, Grain setting, Meat/Stew and Poultry setting (if you're into that sort of thing).  It can also be used as a Slow Cooker, to Steam or to Sauté/Brown.  So basically this one machine just replaced your bean cooker, rice cooker, steamer, crock pot and frying pan.  That's a lot of cabinet space.  The Keep Warm setting, well keeps things warm.  There's even a Timer that allows you to preset the cooker to start and stop so a hot meal is waiting for you once you arrive home.  Basically, you can cook an entire meal in one pot; I love that!

But what sealed the deal for me was the stainless steel pot - no non-stick chemicals!

I'm just getting started, but I do have a few recipes and intend to add many more; which will be featured on my other blog, the Healthy Hoff, under Recipes: Instant Pot.

Some great resources that have really helped me get my bearings with pressure cooking have been:

One word of advice, get the 8 quart model, you can always cook less, but you can never cook more in the 6 quart.  

If you're interested in making meals easier & faster, check out Instant Pot!

Beating MS!

Check out this video to learn more about this talented machine.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Veggie Burgers (IP)

This is an adaptation of Jeff Novick's Basic Black Bean Burger recipe.

Veggie Burgers (IP)
Yields: 10-12 Burgers
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 15 oz. can Black Beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 1/2 cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup Brown Rice
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dried minced Onion
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

  1. Combine Rice & Water in IP
  2. Lock lid in place and make sure pressure release valve is closed
  3. Select Manual setting on High Pressure & cook for 22 minutes
  4. Natural release pressure for 10 minutes, then Quick release
  5. Add Beans to IP & mash
  6. Mix in Oatmeal, BBQ Sauce & Seasonings
  7. Form into patties
  8. Allow to set-up in fridge for 20 minutes, uncovered before cooking or freeze
  9. Grill or broil until golden brown, about 10 minutes each side

Hoff Thoughts: Arts & crafts is not really my thing, so I'm not going to sit around forming uniform patties.  Instead, I cheat with this silicon (BPA-free) burger press mat - love it!  These babies cook up great on my Cuisinart Griddler!  An IP is not necessary to make the Rice, use the stove method, minute rice in a bag or even frozen Rice - whatever works best for you.