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Thinking About Trying the HCG Diet? Here Are 7 HCG Benefits

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Thinking About Trying the HCG Diet

Did you know that more Americans are on diets now than there were ten years ago?

While not all diets are necessarily geared towards weight loss, it’s safe to assume that many Americans who are dieting wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds. In fact, between 2017 and 2018, it’s estimated that 42.4% of the population was obese.

If your primary motivation in looking for a new diet is weight loss, you’ve maybe heard of the HCG diet. This controversial diet has proponents cheering and critics very concerned.

What are some HCG benefits to help you decide whether this diet is right for you? Let’s take a look.

What Is the HCG Diet?

The HCG diet is a controversial weight loss program that combines an extremely low-calorie diet with illegal HCG supplements. HCG is the acronym for “human chorionic gonadotropin,” which is a hormone that is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. The only approved use of this hormone according to the FDA is to treat female fertility.

The HCG diet plan is appealing to a lot of people because it promises to help you lose weight very quickly.

Divided into three different phases, this is a short-term diet that people typically do for three to six weeks. While people who have used this weight-loss method say they were able to lose a lot of weight dramatically fast, health experts do not recognize the diet as a safe way to lose weight.

The three phases are the loading phase, the weight loss phase, and the maintenance phase.

The loading phase lasts two days and is meant to prepare your body for the upcoming caloric restriction. During this time, people eat a high fat, high-calorie diet while also beginning supplementation of HCG.

During the weight loss phase, participants consume either 500 or 800 calories per day divided into two meals. This phase can last anywhere between three and six weeks.

Finally, the maintenance phase is reached when the individual has met their goal as far as weight loss goes. They can then start to decrease their supplementation of HCG while also gradually increasing their caloric intake.

When in the weight loss phase, adherents are supposed to avoid foods like dairy, fats and oils, sweets and desserts, sugar beverages and alcohol, and high-carb foods. Instead, they should be eating certain vegetables and fruits, herbs and spices, lean protein, and coffee, tea, or water.

1. It Might Boost Your Energy

In our modern world, it’s fair to say that a lot of us suffer from not having enough energy. People who have done the HCG diet claim that it helps them to feel more energetic within a few days of beginning the program.

2. It Might Improve Your Metabolic Function

Some believers say that the HCG diet helps to speed up your metabolic rate. They claim that the HCG encourages your body to use fat reserves as an energy source rather than storing this fuel for later.

3. It Might Help You Lose Weight

Followers of this diet claim that you can see dramatic weight loss results from this diet in a short period of time. With other diets, sometimes you might find that fat is being shed from certain parts of your body but not others. Proponents of the HCG diet say that it helps to shed fat from all over your body and can target fat stores that are otherwise difficult to get rid of.

4. It Might Help Lower Cholesterol

Some people say that the HCG diet can reduce your blood cholesterol levels because of its low-caloric intake and HCG supplementation. Because having increased cholesterol levels is associated with a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks, keeping your cholesterol at healthy levels is important.

5. It Leaves You With Better Endurance

Sometimes, it can be hard to start dieting and exercising at the same time. Starting a new diet can leave you feeling hungry, irritable, and low-energy. Proponents of the HCG diet, on the other hand, claim that it helps to improve your endurance. This means that it might be easier to start exercising in order to maintain your weight loss goals than it would be otherwise.

6. It Might Help Balance Your Hormones

Believers in this diet claim that it can help to regulate your body’s hormones. Hormones are responsible for regulating a lot of different processes in your body including mood, body temperature, sleep cycles, metabolism, appetite, sexual function, and reproductive cycles. As you can see, having your hormone levels in balance is important for your overall health and wellbeing.

7. It Can Help You Look and Feel Your Best

How you feel and how you feel about how you look are an important part of your self-esteem. If having some extra weight is bringing you down, participating in a diet that helps you look more like you want to look can help boost your mood and lift your spirits.

Do the HCG Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Before looking into how to start the HCG diet, it’s a good idea to look into what the risks of this diet are. There are a number of inherent risks to any diet that is so calorie-restrictive, including irregular heartbeat, gallstone formation, imbalance of electrolytes, and a limited intake of vitamins and minerals.

There are also a number of side effects associated with the HCG diet including irritability, depression, fatigue, restlessness, fluid buildup, and swelling of the breasts in both men and boys. There is also the risk that blood clots will form and block blood vessels.

As you can see, there are many benefits of the HCG diet but also a lot of associated risks. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new diet.

Did you find this article on HCG benefits interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!

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Top 10 most popular Cocktails

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There are so many drinks, but where to start? With the most popular ones in the world, of course. They must have become popular for a reason, after all. If you are interested in trying some very nice cocktails, Gigi’s Hoxton is a very good cocktail bar. So, without wasting any time, here they are (with the most popular listed first):

  • The Old Fashioned is the defining cocktailing in the history of cocktails, with no frills to hide its rich, smooth, silky strength. It’s a short drink made with sugar, water, bitters, whiskey, and a cube of ice. It can also be served with a lemon or orange wedge or peel.
  • The Negroni is a balanced bitter/sweet cocktail–think licorice. Like the Old Fashioned, it’s a no-frills drink consisting of gin, vermouth wine, and Campari liqueur. It’s generally garnished with an orange peel.
  • The Daiquiri, in its traditional form, is made with white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, and is generally garnished with a lime wedge. For variety, drinkers may choose to add a splash of juice or a wedge of the fruit of their choice. 
  • A Dry Martini is a mix of gin and dry vermouth wine. The theme for these world top cocktails is quality of ingredients versus number of ingredients, and this is no exception. The term “dry” indicates a stronger drink, and this is the case with a dry martini.
  • A Margarita is the first on this list with a predominantly tangy twist. It’s also the first with a tequila base. Drinkers may choose to add a splash of citrus fruit liquor or juice, usually lime, but sometimes orange. Some drinkers do choose to add sweeter fruit flavors, like strawberry, though. The rim of margarita glasses are coated salt to compliment and balance the sharp tang of the beverage.
  • The Espresso Martini is relatively new to the cocktail scene, having been created in 1983. It is excellent for a little “wake me up while chilling me out” moment. The espresso adds a pop and bitterness that compliments the relaxing effects of the vodka and the sweetness of the coffee liqueur and sugar.   
  • A Whiskey Sour is a light drink, with subtle sweetness and tangy citrus. It’s made with whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar. The taste is akin to a well-balanced and well-prepared citrus juice. 
  • The Manhattan is made with spicy rye, sweet vermouth, bitters, and a cherry garnish. The warmth of the spice compliments the bitter, and the sweet adds a complexity reminiscent of holidays.
  • The Aperol Spritz is another newcomer, made famous on social media in the twenty-teens. It’s made with white wine, orange bitters, club soda, and an orange-slice garnish. It’s often associated with the summer months and the bubbles certainly put it in a light, airy, refreshing drink category. 
  • Mojitos are a member of the refreshing drink club, too, with their mix of white rum, lime juice, cane sugar, club soda, and mint leaves. The rum gives a feeling of warmth while the lime, bubbles, and mint provide a crispness, and the sugar provides a balance for each of these. 
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Advice for first time drinkers

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When going to the pub and drinking for the first time, it’s important to drink moderately. There are many good pubs out there like The Cornershop Bar and it is a great experience going to pubs for the first time and having your first pint but you also probably want some advice as well. The first piece of advice for drinkers of all experience levels is this: know and understand how alcohol affects the human mind and body so that any risks or dangers can be minimized or avoided. 

  • Stay hydrated. One major effect of alcohol on the human body is dehydration, and dehydration is the cause of many of the negative side effects of drinking, including the hated hangover. So, drinkers should, among other things of course, prepare for and manage this effect before, during, and after drinking. 
    • Eat first, snack during, eat after.  Drinking on an empty stomach means that the alcohol will hit quickly and all at once. However, if the body is digesting food, especially food with a lot of protein, like meat or nuts, the body will take longer to digest the alcohol. To keep the slower digestion going, drinkers should snack while they drink, top their stomachs off before going to bed, and plan to have protein-rich foods available for when they wake up. 
    • Drink water, drink water, drink water. Drinkers should drink plenty of water on the day they plan to drink, especially during their pre-drinking meal. A good rule of thumb while drinking is to make every third drink a glass of water. Additionally, they should have at least one, if not more, glasses of water before going to bed post-drinking and do the same when they wake up. This should lessen effects like headaches and muscle cramps. 
  • Stay safe. Drinking alters many things in the human brain and body, including reflexes, emotional regulation, judgement, and impulse control. This means drinkers tend to do things they wouldn’t normally do, and it also means they become vulnerable to the actions and choices of others. So, before drinking, everyone should take steps to avoid these things.
    • Have a designated driver. Some drinkers drive to the location at which they plan to drink, thinking they will call a ride service when they plan to leave, but many complications can arise with this plan. Firstly, since drinking impairs judgement, some drinkers end up driving regardless of their plan. Secondly, drinkers may have trouble using their phone to order a ride or drivers may not be available when they are needed. Thirdly, if the drinker can’t drive or order a driving service, they may feel compelled to accept a ride from a stranger or someone they just met, which is never safe. 
    • Have a designated sober person. This may be the designated driver, if the designated driver stays on location, or it may be a friend they meet at the location who does not plan to drink. The role of this person is to have their own sober fun, but it’s also to serve as a check on the drinker’s impaired judgment, emotional regulation, and impulse control. This may include comforting the drinker if they become emotional, helping the drinker regulate their intake, discouraging the drinker from making unsafe choices, or pointing out possible safety risks from others. 
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Most Iconic Italian Dishes

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Italian dishes; we all know them and we all love them! But what are the most iconic Italian dishes that we all know and love? Want to eat some of the most authentic Italian food? Check out Grapevine Shoreditch.

There are so many great Italian dishes, but what are the most popular dishes, the most iconic dishes? Well, we are going to find out here and now.

The Dishes 

The first dish that always comes to everyone’s mind is always spaghetti, so let’s start with that one. 

Spaghetti is a dish that has long, thin, round noodles called, well, spaghetti noodles. Here is why spaghetti noodles are called what they are. Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning “thin string” or “twine”.

Spaghetti, along with the noodle usually has a tomato-based sauce poured over the top. The next thing that most people like to put in their spaghetti is meat, usually beef. Now there are two ways people usually put meat in their spaghetti, one is to mix ground beef in with the sauce and make it a meat sauce, the other way is to meatballs in your spaghetti and make it spaghetti and meatballs.

Now for the next dish, Pizza! Pizza is one of the most iconic Italian dishes.

Pizza is a dish made from a flatted circular piece of dough, which is then typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese, and usually a few seasonings such as basil, bay leaves, and possibly several other spices.

 There are also many different toppings you can put on your pizza such as olives, pepperoni, mushrooms, different types of vegetables, and many other things. That pizza is then put into a wood-fired oven and cooked.

Our next dish is Lasagna. Lasagna is made with layers of pasta stacked on top of each other. Those layers of pasta typically have some type of ragù which can have meat and tomato sauce, vegetables, cheese, or cheese and vegetables in it along with different types of seasonings and spices. 

Lasagna actually started out as a poor man’s food, and then it transformed from a poor man’s food to a rich meal filled with the ragù, or meat sauce.

The next dish on our list is Ravioli.  Ravioli is a type of Italian dumpling, where they usually stuff some type of meat or cheese between two thin pieces of a flat piece of pasta. That pasta is typically square, but they do make them circles or half-circles at times as well. 

The last dish on our list is actually an iconic Italian dessert called Gelato. Just like normal, we saved the dessert for last.

Gelato is similar to ice cream, although it is not exactly the same. Gelato has a smoother more velvety texture than normal ice cream does. It also has less fat than ice cream does. Gelato is dense, where ice cream has more air in it which makes it fluffier.

Gelato also usually has a more intense flavor than ice cream does.

There are so many other dishes we could talk about, but I will leave you here with these Most Iconic Italian Dishes for you to try for yourself!

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The most popular Italian dishes

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Let’s clear the air: 1) Italian dishes are more than pasta and pizza, 2) Italian pasta and pizza isn’t what most people think it is, and 3) Yeah, Italian pasta and pizza is amazing, but so are other Italian dishes. So, without further ado, here are some of the most popular  Italian dishes with their proper descriptions:

  • Pasta. Want pasta delivered to your doorstep? Check out Gigi’s Pasta. Saying “Italian pasta” is like saying “bread.” What kind of pasta? With what toppings? With what type of sauce? The fact is, different regions in Italy are famous for different types of pasta, and each chef and home cook puts their own spin on those pastas. The following are two examples of the literal thousands of pasta variations that Italy is famous for
    • Spaghetti alla Carbonara, for example, is most famous in the Vatican City region and is made with toppings of eggs, bacon, cheese, pepper, and chili pepper.
    • Tagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese is famous in the Bologna region. Tagliatelle is a long, flat, egg-based pasta served with sauce that includes beef, pancetta (salt-cured and dried pork-belly strips), butter, carrots, celery, onions, and tomatoes.
  • Pizza. Like pasta, pizza comes in innumerable varieties in Italy.
    • Margherita pizza is famous in the Naples region and is generally made with a thin crust and a topping of olive oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. 
    • La pizza Napoletana is famous in the Napoli region. The crust is made with wheat flour, yeast, salt, and water. As such, the dough requires 24 hours to properly rise. The specialty here is definitely in the crust, which is a fluffier variety than Margherita pizza crust, and can be topped with various ingredients. 
  • Arancini are breadcrumb-coated fried rice balls that are often stuffed with ragù, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and peas. Like other Italian dishes, the ingredients differ regionally.
    • Arancini con ragù is popular in Sicily and generally contains tomato sauce, rice, and mozzarella.
    • Arancini con burro originates in Naples and contains creamy béchamel sauce (white sauce).
  • Lasagne is originally accredited to the Naples area and consists of layers of lasagne pasta, cheese, ground meat, vegetables, varieties of sauces (like ragù, béchamel, or tomato sauce).
  • Osso buco alla Milanese’s base ingredient is veal shanks, which are braised in white wine. The veal is topped with vegetables and gremolata (parsley, garlic, and lemon). Many diners enjoy consuming the bone marrow after eating the main dish. As the name suggests, this dish originates in the Milan region. 
  • Prosciutto is best known in the central and northern regions of Italy, though variations throughout the country certainly exist. In this region, though, prosciutto is most frequently made with sliced, dry-cured ham and served with pasta, cheese, or sweet melon. 
  • Ribollita translates to “rebioled” and comes with the most variations as it is soup  traditionally made of unfinished food from other meals. The primary ingredients are water, bread, and vegetables, though it can also sometimes contain meat. This dish is especially popular in the Tuscany region of Italy. 
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Keto Grilled Cheese That Tastes Like The Real Thing

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There are many hard things about eating healthy, especially when you are sticking to a specific plan. Some recipes are incredibly complicated. Sometimes you just want something comforting and straightforward. We will go through everything you need to know about making a keto-friendly grilled cheese that will satisfy your craving without stressing you out.

The Right Stuff

Having a “healthy” grilled cheese may seem like an oxymoron. They are typically high in salt, fat, and carbs. Fortunately, those who follow the keto diet know that fat doesn’t have to be wrong. The most important part for you to keep your meal keto-friendly and your diet on track is to choose the right bread. 

Long gone are the days of nutrient deficient, high carb bread. When selecting your bread, of course, make sure the carb count is low (look for something in the two carbs per slice range) and the fiber count is high. Fiber has many health benefits as well as helps you feel full and satisfied. You also want to look for bread that has protein. Yes, it’s real! Protein is vital for building muscle and meeting your other dietary goals.

The only other ingredients you need for a fabulous sandwich are butter and cheese. Seriously! You can make a grilled cheese with any kind of good melting cheese you like. I enjoy combining a slice of sharp cheddar with a piece of muenster or provolone. I might use all three if I have them handy. All that’s left now is butter, and the more, the better in my experience.

Griddle Cheese

Now, there are many ways to make grilled cheese. If you are a person who thinks mayo cooks better than butter and enjoys the flavor, please continue basking in your wrongness. All jokes aside, my favorite way is to coat the bread slices in butter, then cover the old sandwich griddle that belonged to my great granny. I just love getting to use it because it reminds me of all the comfort and love that went into the grilled cheeses my granny made for me as a kid. Half the appeal of grilled cheese, for me at least, is in remembering those childlike feelings. It is comforting food!

If you don’t have an old family heirloom or sandwich press, you can still make a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich with nothing more than a frying pan. If you need to be told how to make a grilled cheese, this is probably your best bet. You can control the temperature and add more butter as it cooks if needed. Unlike hamburgers, if you’re a flipper (I’m so guilty), you can flip until perfection without fear.

Step It Up

There are seemingly endless ways to jazz up grilled cheese. If you’ve burned yourself out on the classic, I have some keto-friendly suggestions:

  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Pepperoni
  • Egg
  • Guacamole
  • Pesto
  • Jalapeños
  • Bologna
  • Blue Cheese
  • Feta Cheese

Now that you know a healthy way to work one of your favorite foods back into your diet, it will make sticking to your plan more manageable and way more delicious. The science behind keto says the best diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. Once you get the right bread, you’re left with a lot of fat, fiber, and protein. Sounds keto (and tasty) to me! Of course, your body still needs carbs, just not nearly as many as we typically consume unrestricted. The perfect bread will always have some carbs, but they are negligible.

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