Should you Stay in Ketosis While Sick?

Sick woman with fluThis is a tough question for those low carbing out there. There is no doubt that ketosis is a fat burning state that forces your body to metabolize food differently. But what about staying in keotsis while sick? Should you call it quits for the week? The month? The answer is a bit more complex.

How sick are you?
“sick” can mean a variety of different things. If you are having a cold for instance, staying in ketosis should be okay. Symptoms of runny nose, sore throat, cough, mild congestion, mild fever, are all generally manageable with over the counter meds and hydration. Generally if you feel you are up to the task, staying in ketosis when you have the common cold is usually safe and reasonably easy to manage. Some tips and tricks…

Sugar Free Cough Drops. Dont forget that cough drops are loaded with sugar, which can throw you out of ketosis. I like to get HALLS Sugar-Free Cough Drops {affiliate link}  and only use them when absolutely necessary

Other great foods when your sick is homemade chicken zuchini noodle soup, scrambled eggs, pot roast, egg drop soup or basically any low carb soup you can make. Noatmeal is another low carb hot cereal option. Some people prefer to make bullet proof tea instead of bullet proof coffee. Even plain tea is a great option, just try to avoid the honey if you can resist. For a sore throat, sugar free jell-o with whipped cream is always an option for food.

If you have more of a flu like sickness,  or If you are having more of a stomach upset with nausea and vomiting, then perhaps keeping down what foods you can is better strategy. Sometimes when it is hard to keep anything down, it is better to eat something rather than nothing at all. The tried and true method of ginger ale and crackers is probably one of your best bets. There are options for diet ginger ale and keto crackers if one absolutely insists on staying in ketosis. Paleo Thin Crackers would be a good choice in this instance. 6 crackers have 5g of net carbs. You can check them out here. {affiliate link} Paleo Thin Crackers
Other useful tips for my keto friends who are sick, are back to the basics. Try a warm bath with epsom salt. Get plenty of sleep. Stay home from work or school if you can, and wash your hands often. Try not to get other around you sick, and make sure they are washing their hands constantly too. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. When I am sick I always like to up my vitamin game. I usually take a multivitamin, my b vitamins and I take vitamin C and Zinc. Studies have shown that vitamin C and Zinc can be effective in reducing the length and severity of colds.  You can check it out here. {affiliate link} Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C Plus Zinc
If you want to check out an article talking about the power of zinc and vitamin C, read here about a recent 2016 study by HA Mousa. Here is another study by M. Yacoot and A. Salem in 2011. You can check out the full article here.

Hopefully I have answered some of your questions about being sick while on Keto! If you end up falling off the wagon, focus on getting better and dont beat yourself up! Just set a date to get back in your groove!

Get well soon,



How to Use Ketone Strips to Stay in Ketosis

If you are new to the world of low carb, you may have come across people talking about ketone strips or “ketostix” to see if they are in ketosis. These are small strips to test your urine to see if you have ketones in it. It is a roundabout way to see if you are in ketosis. Here is a guide to your most common questions about how to use ketone strips and if they are right for you!

Ketone Strips FAQ

What Are Ketone Strips Used For?
Ketostix are used to help track when someone is in ketosis. Sometimes people use them to see how many carbs they can consume and stay in ketosis. For most people this range is from 40-55 net carbs a day. For other, it can be as low as 20 carbs per day. Also, it can be used to help determine what foods may interfering with ketosis. For some people, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, or high fiber foods (giving a high carb content, but low net carb result) will take them out of ketosis. Using these strips can help one figure out what the problem is if they are not staying in ketosis or losing weight.

How To Use Ketone Strips:
You take a strip and dip it into your urine. Generally it is better to dip it into a cup with urine in it, rather than passing through your urine stream. This is because if your stream is too strong, you could potentially wash all the reagent off of the strip and get a false negative result. Either way, dip it, and remove immediately. Usually the bottle will tell you how long to wait, but as a general rule, you will see your results in seconds. After a minute, the results are no longer valid.

How Accurate Are They?
They are very accurate at showing if you are passing ketones in your urine, so the rate of a FALSE positive is very low. However, you can be in ketosis WITHOUT having ketones in your urine. If this is the case, you would get a false negative. This is because you are measuring ketones in your urine, not your blood. Some people use their ketones more efficiently, and  make less of them, therefore they don’t “spill” into the urine.  Also, as a person spends more time in ketosis, such as several months, lower levels of ketones are detected in the urine, even while they are still burning fat and following the ketogenic diet well.

What Brand Should You Use?
There is no specific brand that is superior. I personally like SmackFat, which has 100 strips and has a 4.5 star rating on amazon. You can check it out here: Smackfat Ketone Strips {affiliate link}

What Are Other ways to Know You Are in Ketosis?
Ketones can be detected in the breath, blood or urine. Testing the urine with ketone strips is generally the quickest and easiest method. They make disposable breath ketone tests, which you can check out here: Disposable Breath Ketone Test {affiliate link} They also make blood ketone meters.

What is The Best Way to Detect Ketosis?
The most accurate way to detecting ketosis would be a blood test. They now make blood meters that measure ketones in your blood similar to a blood sugar test. In fact most of the monitors made can do both, as they are designed for diabetics. You simply prick your finger and put a drop of blood onto the reagent strip and plug it into the meter. I personally like the Precision Xtra Blood Glucose and Ketone Monitoring System {affiliate link}

What Do The Darker Colors Mean?
Ketone strips usually range from white/cream color which is negative, to purple, which means large ketones are being passed in the urine. But a darker strip does not correlate with “more” ketosis. You are either in or out of it. A purple strip is more of a sign of DEHYDRATION. You may notice your back hurts more when the strips are purple. This means your kidneys are under stress. Remember that ketosis puts you in somewhat of a water wasting state. It is important to stay hydrated in this process!

ketone color





Happy Ketosis! ~HealthyGirl

P.S. Have I answered all your questions about ketone strips? Comment below!


Upcycled Wine Bottle Crafts and More….

So this post will be a little off topic, but as you may know, I tend to get off topic here and there. Today I wanted to share some of my projects with you guys. You see…as it turns out you don’t instantly start making money once you graduate from PA school. You have to pass your boards, wait for your medical license, find a job, and then wait to be credentialed. It all takes several months. A graduation in April would likely lead to a job in August. So In the mean time, I have taken a position as a scribe, where I chart what the docs and PAs say, and write up their notes for them. In my off time, I like to craft! I wanted to share with you guys a few crafts that I have been up to lately! The most common craft I have started with was wine bottle crafts. I am still learning the ropes however, as getting the labels off can be quite tricky. I also tried to cut the neck off of a wine bottle using the acetone string method several times, which to my disappointment, did not work. Bashing it against a brick wall didn’t work either haha. I made a shattered mess! Anyways, here are some of my designs..please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!


These are some of my upcycled wine bottle deigns. With a little fish netting and pain, these junk pieces of glass turned into timeless turquoise treasures! The pair is $28 or $15 for a single bottle. Customization available.

Turqoise Wine Bottle Craft

With the 4th of July coming up…how could I NOT make something patriotic? So I upcycled some other bottles in the theme of the american flag. Of course it does not have all 50 stars and 13 stripes, but it is still pretty awesome! The set is $28 or $15 each.

American Flag Wine Bottle Craft

Next is one of my favorite crafts, a microwave/freezer safe rice filled neck wrap. This wrap is double sewn for quality and strength. It is partially compartmentalized to keep the heat/cold evenly distributed. I particularly love the model here, he seems to be relaxing himself. However he is not for sale. 😉 The neck wrap however, $26.

Microwavable Heat Pack


These were some of my first crafting ideas, wine bottle crafts, and I truly enjoyed making them. This particular set is a set of three, although you can order single or a pair if you’d like. They make great table and book shelf decorations. Also, these bottles don’t have a single thing done to the inside, so if you wanted to refill these with water or wine and have a fancy serving bottle, you could! Set of three is $38

tres amigos Upcycled Wine Bottle Crafts

This is a wagon wheel flower I just learned how to crochet. Many more to come, in a variety of colors and sizes. It took me over an hour to learn, but hopefully the next ones will come a bit faster. This particular flower is $3.99 with free shipping!

wagon wheel crochet flower

This particular design is similar to the “tres amigos” of grape wine bottle decor above, However I used more grape like leaves and frosted beads for the grapes. $15

Frosted Grape Wine Bottle


This last design was fun to make, as I got to figure out which sea shells would fit through the bottle. Later, when more skill comes I might be able to fit bigger shells inside. The top is tied with a nautical knot, and beach sand is inside the bottle. If one were to order a bottle, the shells would come in a separate bag, so they wouldn’t get lost in the sand. Single bottle $15

sea shell wine bottle craft

If you have ideas for more crafts for me to make, or special requests, let me know! You can check out my Etsy shop here or click at the link at the top of the page. Even a simple “favorite” of my shop would help out tremendously!

Thanks for stopping by,