Vivoo Wellness Talks: Interview with Pilates Instructor Hande Demirel

pilates instructor Hande Demirel


We’ve been following Pilates teacher and healthy lifestyle blogger Hande Demirel for some time now – thanks to her blog and Instagram account, we’re never short of wellness and exercise inspiration! So we thought we’d catch up with her to find out more about her journey and get her tips on living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.


1. Hande, tell us about yourself and what you do.

Hi! ​I’m Hande, a certified Pilates teacher and wellness entrepreneur based in San Francisco. ​Besides sharing my passion through teaching, I also share my online Pilates workouts through my eBook, Let’s Start Pilates. My mission is to inspire women to move mindfully, live healthier, and create a body and life they love!


2. When did you first get into Pilates and wellness, and how did it become a passion for you?

I stumbled upon Pilates ten years ago in college. But my wellness journey started when I moved to the US—to the other side of the world from Turkey, where I grew up. After finishing my M.A degree in Education at the University of San Francisco, I found myself questioning what I really wanted to do with my life and career. I decided to enroll in a Pilates training program to see where it would lead. The training completely transformed my body and how I viewed fitness. I loved how good I felt after each Pilates class – calmer, stronger, healthier. After experiencing how Pilates transformed my life, I decided to get certified and share the amazing benefits of Pilates with other people. I have been happily teaching Pilates since 2017. I also share wellness and healthy living tips on my Instagram and my website, which allows me to connect with more people around the world.


3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up around 6 AM every morning. First, I have a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon. Then I try to meditate, even if it’s just for five minutes. It helps me to breathe deeply and feel centered. 

Once that’s done, I have breakfast. I don’t check my emails or Instagram until I finish my morning routine. Then, I either go to the studio to teach Pilates or start working on my laptop. If I’m not teaching in the morning, I like to do my own Pilates routine on my mat for 20-30 minutes. Around 10 AM, I’m usually at my desk, replying to emails or working on my blog. I might have a fun wellness event to go to or brand meetings in the afternoon. At night, I try to be in bed around 9 PM and wind down with a good book. I love sleeping and try to get at least 8 hours every night!


4. Do you follow a specific diet? What does a day of eating look like for you?

My approach to diet is very similar to my fitness philosophy: simple, and mindful. I eat a mostly plant-based diet with very little meat and dairy (sustainably sourced whenever possible.) I try to listen to my body and don’t believe in strict diet rules. My breakfast is almost always an avocado toast on gluten-free bread with salt and pepper. I love having a coconut matcha latte in the mornings, which I make myself at home. Lunch is usually a rice bowl with vegetables or veggie pasta and salad. I like to keep my dinners light. I usually have some soup or leftovers from lunch. For snacks, I love fresh fruit. My go-to’s are bananas, raspberries, and blueberries. I try to drink lots of water during the day and ginger tea before bed to improve digestion and relieve stress.


5. Do you have a healthy routine you do every day or every week?

Yes, I loveee routines! My daily routines include working out and meditating for 10 minutes in the morning. These two practices help me feel and look my best every day. During the weekend, I try to make time for wellness and self- care. I love having epsom salt baths to relax my sore muscles.

Every Sunday morning, I use a Vivoo wellness strip to learn about my body’s needs. Vivoo tracks hydration, ph level, ketone levels, and risk of urinary tract infection and much more! Vivoo has become my favorite way to track my overall wellbeing. I love how affordable, quick and easy it is to get customized lifestyle advice with Vivoo’s app in the comfort of my home. It really helped me to increase water consumption by showing how dehydrated I get and how much water I need to drink daily.

What I love most about Vivoo is that it provides science-based wellness recommendations for different diet and lifestyle choices. I prefer to eat vegetarian. Vivoo gives me personalized nutrition tips like adding almonds to my diet for magnesium and trying raw chocolate as a healthy snack. I use these suggestions to create my meals for the week and do my grocery shopping accordingly. Vivoo helps me stay balanced and healthy throughout the week.


6.  Other than Pilates and wellness, what are your other interests and hobbies? What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love traveling and exploring new places around the world. Last year, we traveled to Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium with my family. I also love reading and find so much inspiration in books. My favorite genres are female biographies and autobiographies. “Educated” by Tara Westover was one of the best books I read in 2019! 


7. Are there any wellness products you love to use?

I recently got into dry brushing. So a good dry brush is definitely on my list. I love my essential oil diffuser for creating a relaxing space at home. And my Vivoo subscription is another favorite I love to use on my wellness journey. I look forward to taking a new test every week and staying on track with my health goals.


8. What is your best-kept wellness secret?

Creating a healthy morning routine! I really believe that how we start our day sets the tone for the entire day. We want to start the day feeling calm, strong and organized, not rushed and hectic. Instead of waking up and scrolling through Instagram, do something good for your mind and body. Here are some simple things you can do: When you wake up, drink a glass of warm lemon water. Do a 5-minute meditation. Roll out your mat and do some gentle Pilates or yoga exercises. Doing these things will give you a happy and healthy start to your day.


10. How do you stay motivated and consistent, without becoming obsessive?

The best advice I can give you is this: do what you love. Find a workout routine you love. Eat nourishing, healthy foods you love. My favorite way to connect with myself is through movement. I do Pilates consistently because I love how it makes me feel – calm, strong and healthy. This feeling becomes my motivation to exercise every day. When you love what you do, you do it more consistently. When you do something consistently, you see amazing results. It is that simple. If you find it hard to be motivated or consistent with your exercise routine, maybe you need to change what you are doing. Ask yourself if you really like it and why you are doing it. Do you work out to feel better, or do you do it just to burn calories? How do you feel before or during your workouts? Are you exercising because you love yourself or because you don’t like your body? When you do things from a place of self-love, you will feel so much more motivated and stick with your routines.


11. What’s your top advice for someone who is looking to start a healthier lifestyle, or who is just feeling unmotivated in general?

Start with small and realistic goals. You don’t have to change your life overnight to become healthy. What is one small step you can take today to be healthier? It might be as simple as going for a walk outside or drinking a glass of water. Every day when you wake up, remind yourself of your goals and commit to your well-being. It’s never too late to start living a healthier, happier life!


Post New Year 5-Day Well-being Kit

Every year, we promise ourselves that we will lose weight, eat better, exercise more or simply getting healthier. This year, get ready for success in 2020 with our 5 step well-being kit. If you want to eat, exercise, sleep or look better and feel good, keep on reading… 

1. Eating

Eat more veggies. Swap animal-based products for plant-based foods. For example, start by eating only plant-based foods for one day of the week. Reduce sugar little by little. Cutting back on sugar doesn’t happen overnight, it is a gradual process. A more realistic solution would be to create an environment in which you consume less sugar while not buying more. Cook more meals at home. When you are not cooking, you have less control over what you are actually eating, and all of that eating out can unintentionally lead to extra sugar, salt, fat or alcohol intake. Make a weekly meal plan. It will help you eat better and save money. Add probiotics to your routine. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. Start by taking probiotic supplements, or add probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso, and kombucha to your diet plan. Stick to a dietary plan that is made specifically for you. Your eating plan should be unique. It should be planned according to your needs, your habits and your patterns. Popular diets don’t offer permanent solutions.

2. Exercise

new year exercising

Add one more day to your exercise routine. If you are going to the gym 1-2 days a week, make it  2-3 times a week. Get a gym buddy. Going to the gym with a friend will motivate you and you will have no excuse to drop out. It will also make gym time more enjoyable, less stressful and encourage you to push harder. Try different exercises. Are you tired of going to the gym every day? Explore a new activity. For example, try dancing, boxing, yoga or hiking. Exercise for your skin, your mind and every part of your body. Regular cardiovascular exercise is absolutely crucial to keep blood circulating to all of the skin on your body. Exercising also increases endorphins and serotonin. So hop on that treadmill! Add strength training to your exercise routine. Cardio, of course, is fantastic, but women generally tend to skip strength training. Building and toning muscle is an essential part of a workout plan. It helps maintain bone health and muscle strength and reduces the risk of injuries.

3. Skin

new year selfcare

Stay hydrated! Water is one of the most important things that your skin needs. Don’t forget to drink water throughout the day. Try to have your own water bottle with you at all times. Wash your face before bed. Regardless of the circumstances, make it to the sink every night to wash and moisturize your face before bedtime. Don’t forget to remove your makeup before bed, too… Quit your bad habits. Smoking, drinking alcohol and unhealthy eating can damage your skin. Get enough sleep. Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night minimizes dark circles and acne. Don’t forget to wear a moisturizer with sunscreen every day. Protecting your skin from the sun will keep it healthy and glowing.

4. Sleep

Try to stick to a regular sleeping schedule. It might not always be easy if you have children or work shifts, but try to keep it consistent. You’ll be amazed at how your body will love sticking to a routine. Turn off all screens an hour before bed! Artificial light later at night suppresses melatonin, the hormone you need to feel sleepy. Not only that but scrolling through social media or playing games can stimulate the brain, making it harder to switch off. Stop pressing snooze. Hitting the snooze button multiple times can leave you feeling more tired. Move your alarm to the other side of the room so you have to get up to switch it off! Try new ways of relaxing. For example, try having a warm bath with calming scents, listen to quiet calming music, pick up a book to read or try yoga exercises.  Avoid caffeine and heavy foods before sleep. If you are having difficulty falling asleep, try to skip coffee or tea in the evenings. Also, try to avoid spicy and fried foods at dinner.

5. Mental Health

Move on. Let go of things that you can’t change in the past. Stop saying ‘if only’. You are responsible for your own life. Live in the now. Don’t carry your past into the future. Be here now and realize that you are where you want to be. Be comfortable with yourself and your body. Let go of anger and negative thoughts about your body. Don’t forget that you are unique because of the way you are. Don’t compare yourself to others. Stop thinking you are worthless. The world needs you exactly the way you are! Focus on your strong characteristics rather than your weak points. Let go of your fear of the unknown. Stop worrying and constantly thinking about possibilities and bad options.

12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

Healthy Eating can Save the World!

Have you ever thought that every dish you put on your plate is a choice? And, just maybe, your choice can change the world? Well, this article can help you save the world.We know that our food choices are affecting our health, but not just that, they have a huge effect on our planet, too.

Our diets place huge pressure on our planet. Every step of the food provision chain, from farm to fork (including agriculture, storage, processing, transportation, distribution, etc), uses our natural resources, such as land, freshwater, and even fossil fuels that cause greenhouse gas emissions. For example, agriculture that provides us food uses 70% of freshwater.

healthy diet

Moreover, our food system is responsible for up to 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all emissions from transport, heating, lighting, and air conditioning combined. Even worse, these greenhouse gas emissions are contributors to climate change, and climate change poses risks to our future of food.

Meat is the most significant emission-intensive food we consume. A FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) report tells us that “the livestock sector is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale from local to global.’’ If you are going to quote the report, a more specific citation is needed… which FAO report? What is FAO? When was it released?

Researchers found that the livestock sector on its own accounted for about half of that 30% of greenhouse gas emissions total, or 14.5%. That’s a huge number. You may wonder why. The answer is that livestock animals are pretty gassy creatures (frankly, cow farts and sheep burps contribute to climate change), but they also require large amounts of land, water, and feed. Over 61 gallons of water is used for 5 ¼ oz of steak. Also, today 1/3 of Earth’s land is used to produce meat.

Well, now you know that the food on your plate contributes to climate change, but you can do something about it. Food is the solution. We can each help save the planet just by eating more plants and less meat.
For example, research says (what research? Citation needed here, or it is just a claim) you can reduce your carbon footprint (The Carbon Footprint is the calculation of the impact – expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (kg CO2 eq) – associated with the production of a commodity or a service throughout its entire life cycle) by half just by limiting your meat consumption to twice a week.

sustainable diet

In short, for a healthier you, and for a better planet, you need to eat sustainably! Our diets should immediately become sustainable! If you are curious about what sustainable diets looks like, FAO describes it as follows: ‘’Sustainable Diets are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security, and to a healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable, nutritionally adequate, and safe and healthy while optimizing natural and human resources.’’

As you can see, it’s a very inclusive concept. You can find some tips that are easy to follow so you can start now. Let’s start!

sustainable food

1- Eat more plant-based: Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good for your health and also lower your carbon footprint. Plant-based diets contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Also, plant-based foods are really emission-efficient. For example, it takes about 50 onions to produce a kilogram of greenhouse gas, but only 44 grams of beef to produce the same amount. It’s a win-win approach.

2- When you eat, think about the variety: Every food group is unique and has a different effect on your health and the health of the planet. The interaction brings out the best in these food groups. For example, legumes and whole grains are more beneficial together, because when they are combined, their protein quality becomes higher. Also, legumes and vegetables are a good combination, you can absorb iron more efficiently in this way. The easiest way to be sure about your food variety is by looking at the colors on your plate. Colorful plates are the best!

3- Make sure you eat 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day: Fruits and vegetables are the most delicious and healthiest gifts of nature to us. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which are essential to our body. Fruits and vegetables are protective against chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. You can eat fruits as snacks or as your side dish. Also, don’t forget to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Lastly, you know every fruit and vegetable grows in a different season, so try to buy fruits and vegetables while they are in season. You can also freeze your veggies so you can eat them out of season, too.

4- Choose seasonal, local and sustainable local products: Foods on our plate travel over many miles to reach us. Make sure your meals are locally produced so you can lower your carbon footprint. In addition, when you prefer local products in local shops, you support the local farmers. When you buy your products in season, you buy the tastiest and the freshest food at lower prices.


5- Respect your food and don’t waste: Did you know that globally 1/3 of all food produced goes to waste? That equals 1.3 million tonnes of food. Food waste alone accounts for around 6.7% of global greenhouse emissions.
You can do something about it. A great recommendation is creating a weekly meal plan, so you can shop according to your plan. Also, love your leftovers. For example, you can consider your leftover dinner as your lunch meal.

6- Cook from scratch, choose fresh ingredients: Fresh and unprocessed foods do not contain extra ingredients or preservatives for longer shelf life. Also, processed foods are being served to us in plastic packages. So, if you cook from scratch, that means you cook healthy and lower your plastic waste.

7- Avoid ultra-processed foods: Packaged, ultra-processed foods like chips, chocolate, and cookies are especially high in sugar, sodium, and trans fat. They are a big cause of obesity and chronic diseases. Moreover, these packages are plastic, and that means plastic waste. Avoid these foods and cook your own meals as much as possible.

8- Increase your intake of whole wheat grains: Worldwide, there’s just not enough consumption of whole wheat grains. Whole wheat grains are great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, the carbon footprint of grains is lower compared to other food groups.

9- Avoid sugary drinks like sodas and fruit juices: To reduce your sugar intake, you should consider your entire day’s routines, like how you take your coffee and tea. Do you add extra sauces or cream in your meal? Which snacks do you prefer? Do you read the sugar content on labels during grocery shopping? I know it’s hard to avoid all sugars at all times, but do your best!

10- Increase your intake of legumes and beans: Legumes and beans are “superfoods” because of their nutritional profile and low carbon footprint. Beans and legumes are the most important sources of plant protein and amino acid. Vegetarians and vegans especially can get the adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals they need. Legumes are mostly known for their protein content, but they also contain high fiber, phytochemicals, calcium, iron, folate, and have a low glycemic index and low saturated fat. Also, they are gluten-free, so gluten intolerant people can consume them easily. In addition, legumes are so versatile that you can use them in every meal.

11- Reduce your red meat consumption and avoid processed meat: Did you know that if the world reduced meat consumption by 15% (by doing Meatless Monday, for example), it would have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as taking 240 million cars off the road each year? As I mentioned above, meat is the most greenhouse-intensive food we eat. We should limit our meat intake, it’s clear. You don’t need to be a vegetarian, but you can choose to be a weekday vegetarian, or you can plan some days as meatless days. You can try vegetarian options, like a bean burger.

12- Buy sustainable and eco-friendly products: Don’t forget consumer choices are meaningful and have an effect on our ecosystem. So, next time look for sustainable, eco-friendly, fair trade products.

5 Easy Ketogenic Salad Recipes

These simple but totally delicious and freshly made salads make the perfect meals for lunch or dinner.


  1. Smoked Salmon and Avocado Salad

smoked salmon


  • 1 cup of smoked salmon
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced or diced
  • 2 cup of mixed greens
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper



  1. In a large bowl, mix the greens and baby spinach with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Slice the avocado and add it on top of the greens.
  3. Top with the smoked salmon.


  1. Egg and Tuna Salad

tuna ketogenic


  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup of tuna
  • 2 cup of iceberg lettuce
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Boil the egg for 8 minutes, then shell and halve.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Add the tuna, boiled eggs, tomatoes and olives on top.


  1. Soy Souced Grilled Chicken with Sesame and Ginger

chicken keto salad


  • 2 cups of chicken thighs, grilled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 2 cup of romaine lettuce
  • ½ in piece chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Marinate the chicken thighs in reduced-sodium soy sauce, chopped garlic and fresh ginger.
  2. Grill the chicken in a non-stick pan.
  3. Flavor the chicken with fresh thyme and sesame seeds on top.
  4. Mix the romaine lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice, and add the grilled chicken and raw cashews on top.


  1. Shrimp and Avocado Salad

shrimp and avocado keto salad


  • 2 cups of shrimp
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1 cup of mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup of rainbow chard
  • 1/2 of a medium cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder



  1. In a large bowl, mix the greens and rainbow chard with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Add the sliced avocado and cucumber to the mix.
  3. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  4. Mix together salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir in shrimp to coat with spices.
  5. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook shrimp 2 minutes per side or until cooked through.
  6. Transfer the cooked shrimp on the top of your salad.


  1. Beef Salad with Asparagus and Almonds

beef keto salad


  • 5 ounces of beef
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 cup of mesclun mix
  • 1/2 cup of arugula
  • 1 tablespoon of raw chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper



  1. In a large bowl, mix the mesclun mix and arugula with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Heat a non-sticking pan and saute the beef.
  3. In another pan, saut the asparagus with a pinch of salt and a little oil.
  4. Put the asparagus, beef and chopped almonds on top of your salad.


if you are looking for some sweet treats, don’t forget to check out 4 Ketogenic Dessert Recipes.

10 Christmas Gifts Under $30

Christmas is the time for going home, no matter how far it is. Do you find yourself searching for perfect Christmas gifts for all ages? Going back home with thoughtful gifts for all family is on everyone’s mind. Here are 10 ideas for every budget.


Syma Helicopter ($19.99)

Nothing is cuter than a kid’s excitement while opening gifts on Christmas Day. After they open this gift, they can’t wait even a minute to fly the Syma helicopter. Also, dads that are kids at heart will be happy to try it with kids.


Homesick Candles ($29.95)

These candles smell like pleasant scents from different states. Homesick candles will make your family remember all of the memories of your home state.


Vivoo ($24.90)

Do you care about your loved one’s wellness all the time? Here is a special gift for them. Vivoo is a personalized wellness application that gives you nutrition and lifestyle advice based on your urine. Sounds crazy, right? Use holiday code “LOVE50” to get 50% off and start sharing the love today!

christmas gift


ThinkGeek Executive Knight Pen Holder ($30)

There must be someone who loves writing in your family. Support their hobby and sharpen up their writing with a devoted knight! This pen holder is the perfect choice as a gift for the family member who uses a pen frequently. 


Cards Against Humanity ($25)

Cards Against Humanity is a party game. The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. Christmas is a time to have fun with family. Make it funnier with a game!



Personalized Wood Bottle Opener ($14)

Do you have a family member who enjoys drinking adult beverages? This personalized bottle opener is a handy and thoughtful gift.

christmas gift


Off the Beaten Path Travel Guide ($20.83)

It’s the perfect time to give this book as a gift when the whole family together! Explore new destinations all around the US on Christmas!


Bonsai Trio Kit ($28.88)

New year, new hobbies! Gardening helps with relaxation and is also a perfect choice as a new hobby.  Give your family some good times with this gift.


Gummy Bear Light ($29.99)

Children and adults both love these pretty sleeping lights. These lovely lights will help children to overcome their fear of darkness.

christmas gift


California Delicious Starbucks Daybreak Gourmet Coffee Gift Basket 

The best smelling coffees make everyone’s morning better. This basket includes a variety of coffee with different aromas. A coffee gift basket always works for coffee lovers!

christmas gift

Vivoo‌ ‌Energy‌ ‌Box ‌

‌Vivoo’s‌ ‌Energy‌ ‌box‌ ‌shows‌ ‌the‌ ‌energy‌ ‌level‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌presence‌ ‌of‌ ‌ketones in the urine.‌ ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌following‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌ketogenic‌ ‌diet,‌ ‌‌this‌ ‌box‌ ‌changes‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌Ketone ‌box,‌ which‌ ‌shows‌ ‌and‌ ‌tracks‌ ‌your‌ ‌ketosis ‌state.‌ 

What‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌Ketone?‌ 

When‌ ‌your‌ ‌cells‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌get‌ ‌the‌ ‌glucose‌ ‌they‌ ‌need‌ ‌for‌ ‌energy,‌ ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌begins‌ ‌to‌ ‌burn‌ ‌fat‌ ‌instead,‌ ‌which‌ ‌produces‌ ‌ketones.‌ ‌Ketones‌ ‌are‌ ‌chemicals‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌body‌ ‌creates‌ ‌when‌ ‌it‌ ‌breaks‌ ‌down‌ ‌fat‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌for‌ ‌energy.‌ ‌The‌ ‌body‌ ‌does‌ ‌this‌ ‌when‌ ‌it‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌have‌ ‌enough‌ ‌insulin‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌glucose,‌ ‌the‌ ‌body’s‌ ‌normal‌ ‌source‌ ‌of‌ ‌energy.‌ ‌Ketone‌ ‌bodies‌come‌ ‌in‌ ‌two‌ ‌main‌ ‌forms:‌ ‌BHB‌ ‌and‌ ‌AcAc.‌ ‌BHB‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌dominant‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌and‌ ‌increases‌ ‌relative‌ ‌to‌ ‌AcAc‌ ‌during‌ ‌ketosis.‌  

What Does My Result Mean?

Ketones‌ ‌which‌ ‌are‌ ‌not‌ ‌used‌ ‌for‌ ‌energy‌ ‌spill‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine.‌ ‌Starvation,‌ low-carbohydrate‌ ‌diets,‌ ‌certain‌ ‌diseases,‌ ‌and‌ ‌problems‌ ‌in‌ ‌carbohydrate‌ ‌metabolism‌ ‌may‌ ‌cause‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌production.‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌test‌ ‌strips‌ ‌measure‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine’s‌ acetoacetate (AcAc)‌ ‌level.‌ ‌‌Vivoo‌ ‌predicts‌ ‌your‌ ‌energy‌ ‌level‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌presence‌ ‌of‌ ‌ketones‌ ‌in‌ the‌ ‌urine.‌ ‌When‌ ‌you‌ ‌start‌ ‌to‌ ‌produce‌  ketones, ‌you‌ ‌may‌ ‌feel‌ ‌weak‌ ‌and‌ ‌fatigued.‌ ‌For‌ ‌a‌ person‌ ‌without‌ ‌diabetes,‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌production‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌become‌ ‌an‌ ‌issue.‌ ‌But‌ ‌when‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌diabetes,‌ ‌things‌ ‌can‌ ‌run‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌control‌ ‌and‌ ‌too‌ ‌many‌ ‌ketones‌ ‌can‌ ‌build‌ ‌up‌ ‌in‌ 

your‌ ‌blood.‌‌ ‌‌High‌ ‌levels‌ ‌of‌  ketones increase‌ ‌acidity‌ ‌and‌ ‌may‌ ‌be‌ ‌dangerous‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌‌body.‌ ‌‌Urine‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌testing‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌advantageous‌ ‌for‌ ‌early-diagnosis‌ ‌in‌ ‌diabetes.‌‌

How Does Vivoo Measure Ketosis?

ketones in your urine

The‌ ‌ketogenic,‌ ‌or‌ ‌simply‌ ‌keto,‌ ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌low-carb,‌ ‌high-fat‌ ‌and‌ ‌moderate-protein‌ ‌diet.‌ 
A‌ ‌common‌ ‌goal‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌keto‌ ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌ketosis,‌ ‌a‌ ‌natural‌ ‌state‌ ‌in‌ ‌which‌ ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌burns‌ ‌fat‌ ‌for‌ ‌fuel.‌ ‌However,‌ ‌it‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌difficult‌ ‌to‌ ‌determine‌ ‌whether‌ your‌ ‌diet‌ ‌needs‌ ‌adjusting‌ ‌to‌ ‌reach‌ ‌and‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌ketosis.‌ ‌‌Ketone‌ ‌strips‌‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌used‌‌ to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌your‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌level.‌ ‌Using‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌fast,‌ ‌cheap,‌ ‌and‌ ‌convenient‌ ‌method‌‌
compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌blood-testing‌ ‌when‌ ‌following‌ ‌a‌ ‌ketogenic‌ ‌diet.‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌gives‌ ‌you‌‌ personalized‌ ‌advice‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌into‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌and‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌it‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone‌‌

‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌check‌ ‌your‌ ‌day-to-day‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone ‌levels,‌ ‌the‌ ‌‌best‌ ‌times‌ ‌to‌‌check‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌‌ ‌the‌ ‌early‌ ‌morning‌ ‌and/or‌ ‌the‌ ‌late‌ ‌evening‌ ‌after‌ ‌dinner.‌ ‌Vivoo’s‌ ‌urinalysis‌‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌good‌ ‌tool‌ ‌to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌few‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌of‌ ‌going‌ ‌keto.‌ ‌During‌ ‌this‌ ‌time,‌ ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌use‌ ketones ‌efficiently‌ ‌for‌ ‌energy‌ ‌so‌‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌passes‌ ‌them‌ ‌out‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine.‌ ‌But‌ ‌as‌ ‌you‌ ‌get‌ ‌deeper‌ ‌into‌ ‌ketosis,‌‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌adapts‌ ‌to‌ ‌using‌ ‌them‌ ‌for‌ ‌fuel‌ ‌and‌ ‌becomes‌ ‌more‌ ‌optimized‌ ‌in‌ ‌producing‌‌them,‌ ‌leaving‌ ‌fewer‌ ‌ketones‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌excreted‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine.‌ ‌As‌ ‌a‌ ‌result,‌ ‌if‌ ‌you’ve‌ ‌been‌ ‌in‌‌ a‌ ‌keto-adapted‌ ‌state‌ ‌for‌ ‌many‌ ‌months,‌ ‌you‌ ‌may‌ ‌get‌ ‌a‌ ‌negative‌ ‌or‌ ‌trace‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌to result‌‌ in‌ ‌your‌ ‌urinalysis.‌‌

Protein Supplements: Everything You Should Know

Is a Protein Supplement Necessary For Everyone?

One of the most commonly used nutritional supplements today is protein supplements. It has become the staple of not only professional athletes, but also many other people who are interested in sports. With the increase of those interested in fitness, curiosity and consumption of protein powders have gone up. However, question marks in people’s heads about protein supplementation are also increasing. What are protein powders? Is it really needed? Can protein intake be increased without protein powder? You may have questions like these in your mind. Let’s look at the protein powders together.

What is Protein?

Proteins are macronutrients that we need to take in sufficient amounts in our daily diet. Proteins are essential for the body’s growth and development, cell renewal, the immune system, certain hormones, and enzymes. Proteins are also involved in the construction and repair of tissues. Therefore, it is important for wound healing, hair, skin health, and the development of organs. 

protein supplements

How Much Protein Should We Take in Our Daily Nutrition?

Proteins must meet 10-20% of daily energy intake. However, the absolute protein requirement varies according to the level of physical activity of the person. The daily protein requirement of sedentary individuals is 0.8-1 g per kg per day. When an individual weighs an average of 70 kg, their protein requirement is 56-70 g. This amount can be easily met with food.

Athletes need more protein than sedentary individuals. Their protein requirement increases to 1.2-2 g per kilogram per day according to the activity level. Ingesting 20-40g of protein after training helps to increase muscle mass by reducing muscle damage and promoting protein synthesis. The International Society of Sports Nutrition remarks that focusing on protein quality and amino-acid content is the most crucial point about protein requirement. Besides, the protein requirement should be met mostly with whole foods. However, if your physical activity level is high, safe and convenient supplements may be used where needed.

What are Protein Supplements?

Protein supplements are ergogenic aids that support muscle building. Protein supplementation promotes greater gains in lean mass and muscle strength for both trained and untrained individuals as the duration and frequency of resistance training increases. Athletes and recreationally active adults may also benefit from protein supplements for strength and to improve physical performance. While limited, quality experimental data shows that protein supplements improve aerobic and anaerobic power in athletes during their routine training programs.

protein supplements

Protein supplements can be obtained from different food sources. Generally, animal proteins (meat, milk, eggs) are higher quality proteins than plant-based proteins. Let’s look at the protein sources in more detail:

  1. Milk Protein: Cow’s milk consists of water, protein, fat and some sugar and minerals.  There are two types of protein in milk: casein and whey. 
    1. Whey protein constitutes 20% of milk protein. It contains plenty of BCAA that provides energy for muscles. Whey protein consumption is thought to be more appropriate post-exercise because its absorption is faster. Whey protein can be found in different forms. When the liquid portion of the milk is removed, the resulting dry product forms a concentrated whey protein. It contains 30-90% protein with various amounts of cholesterol and lactose (naturally occurring carbohydrates in milk). Isolated whey protein powders are free of fat and lactose. However, isolated whey contains higher amounts (over 90%) of protein with rapid absorption. On the other hand, hydrolysates are pre-digested whey proteins that are absorbed by the body much faster.
    2. Casein protein constitutes 80% of milk protein. Its absorption is slower than whey protein.
  2. Egg and Meat Protein: There are other animal protein sources, like egg protein and meat protein. These animal sources of protein are usually high in essential amino acids. 
  3. Plant Protein Sources: Protein powders are obtained from plants such as soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp. As vegetarians rely on plant-based proteins, soy is the most common one because it is a relatively high-quality protein and can be found in many food products, including sports nutrition products.

Well! Who Should Get  Protein Supplements?

Sedentary individuals and recreational athletes can meet the protein they need with food during the day. Therefore, they do not need protein supplements. However, the need for protein is higher in athletes who perform at a high-intensity level. In this case, it may be difficult for the athlete to meet the protein requirement by food alone. When it is needed, proper protein supplements can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet.

Are Protein Supplements Harmful?

With protein supplementation, people may get more protein than they need. There are many negative effects for excessive protein intake: increased risk of dehydration due to increased urea production, increased risk of insulin resistance due to increased insulin secretion, and increased risk of kidney stones. 

Protein supplements may also be contaminated with unwanted substances. And there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains those substances because protein powders are a dietary supplement and the FDA does not control the content of protein powders. In one study, researchers stated that many protein supplements contain heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA used to make plastics), insecticide, or other contaminants(*). Therefore, it is important to do critical research about a supplement product before using it.

How Can I Increase Protein Content in My Daily Nutrition Without Protein Supplements?

We talked about taking 20-40 g of protein after training can help increase muscle mass by reducing muscle damage and supporting protein synthesis. Now we want to offer you several alternatives where you can consume 20g of protein without taking protein supplements.

  • Grilled Meat/Chicken/Fish

Protein is the richest in animal-derived foods. Eating 3-4 oz of chicken, red meat, or fish after exercise will provide enough protein. However, the fat and cholesterol content of red meat is higher, so it should be consumed more rarely. Cooking these foods on the grill, in a pan, or in the oven will keep the energy and fat values in balance.

  • Salad with Lentils and Buckwheat

Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, dried beans, mung beans, red beans, and Mexican beans are protein-rich vegetable foods. 3 oz of lentils contains 9 g of protein. However, legumes lack certain amino acid groups. Therefore, consuming legumes with cereals improves protein quality. When you make yourself a lot of greens, use 3 oz of boiled lentils, 3 tbsp of boiled buckwheat, and add 1 cup of yogurt to make sure you take enough protein. If you do not want to consume food of animal origin, you can increase the number of legumes.

  • Cheese Omelette

Other protein-rich foods of animal origin are eggs and cheese. If you do exercise in the morning or do not want to consume meat/chicken/fish after exercise, you can make yourself a nice omelette. An omelette made from two eggs and 2 slices (2 oz) of cheese will provide you with enough protein.

  • Shake

Milk is also a protein-rich food. You can increase the protein quality by adding peanut butter. Peanuts contain the most protein among the nuts. There are 25 g of protein per ½ cup. If you do not have time to eat after exercising, you can prepare yourself a shake. 1 cup of milk + 1 tbsp peanut butter + 5 tbsp oatmeal shake will give you enough protein.

  • Sandwich with Tuna 

Another meal you can easily eat outside can be a tuna sandwich. Tuna contains 22 g of protein per ½ cup. You can prepare sandwiches with 2 slices of whole-grain bread and 3 oz of tuna.

Kombucha Tea

Lately, kombucha tea has become very popular. Now you can see it everywhere: from supermarket shelves to third-generation coffee shops and even in organic markets.

But do we know what kombucha is good for? What is it made of? Was it discovered recently?

Let’s explore more about kombucha!

Kombucha tea is a carbonated drink discovered in China about 2000 years ago. It is also called ‘The Elixir of Life’. The name of the tea comes from Dr. Kombu who took tea fungus from Korea to Japan. And ‘cha’ means ‘tea’ in Chinese.

fermentation of kombucha tea

Kombucha is made from sugar and tea with a tea fungus called ‘scoby’. Scoby is the starter culture and it is the result of the symbiotic relationship between yeast and bacteria. As you may have noticed, sugar is used when fermenting the kombucha. However, according to research, most of the sugar that is used during the process is eaten by the bacteria and yeast. At the beginning of fermentation, kombucha has 30 calories and 2-3 grams of sugar. But these figures change during the process. The longer the fermentation period, the lower the sugar content.

Kombucha is a slightly sweet, slightly carbonated, fizzy and acidic beverage. Black, green or white tea is used in its making. It can be flavored with lemon, mint, jasmine, lavender or rose to give a different flavor and make it easier to drink.

The daily recommended allowance for kombucha to avoid toxicity and side effects is 100-300 ml. All healthy individuals and children over 3 years of age can drink it. Pregnant and lactating women, people who have chronic illnesses, and those who are receiving chemotherapy should consult their doctors before partaking.


How to make kombucha tea?

To make kombucha, you need tea (black, green or white), scoby (starter culture), sugar, water, a sterile glass bottle, and some cloth. Allow the kombucha to ferment for 7-30 days. The ideal temperature for fermentation is 79-81° F. As the kombucha ferments, the amount of sugar decreases and the taste of vinegar becomes more prominent. You can control this process at home but, if you are buying your kombucha from a store, you should read the label to see if sugar was added.

Once your kombucha is ready, be sure to store it in a cool, dark place, such as a refrigerator.

kombucha tea drinking

What are the health benefits of kombucha tea?

  • Potential source of pre and probiotics
  • Good for intestinal health
  • Regulates digestion system
  • Boosts immune system
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Helps to regulate blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes
  • Supports heart health
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Rich in B complex vitamins, such as thiamin and niacin
  • Helps remove toxins from the body
  • Helps in the treatment of skin diseases
  • Effective in losing water weight and burning fat
  • May help protect against cancer

Kombucha is beneficial for your body’s gut microbiome because of its probiotics, but more research is needed. Still, kombucha is a better option than all other sugar-added beverages.

Intermittent Fasting: A Fast and Feast Diet

Many people think about the term “intermittent fasting (IF)” as a different eating pattern. Yes, intermittent fasting (IF) is different, but it is not new. In fact, it’s been practiced in different ways by people for millennia.

Intermittent fasting is a briefly varied diet which is related to avoiding consuming foods or beverages that contain calories while in the fasting process, though it has different variations which need further study. There are 3 different types of intermittent fasting that are hypothesized to influence health outcomes in humans in general: alternate day fasting, modified fasting, and time-restricted feeding.

If you are curious about the details, here they are!

Switch the Days: Alternate-Day Fasting

Alternate-day fasting is defined as one fasting day (full energy restriction, zero calories, or sometimes a maximum allowance of 25% of your daily caloric intake on your fasting day) and one feeding day (ad libitum food consumption) and its continuous periods. Ideally, it allows you to eat at least one meal a day. For instance, your daily caloric intake requirement is 1200 calories; on fasting days, it is only 300 calories, maximum, you can consume! 

Let’s check out what you can eat with that many calories on fasting days:

On Mondays, you finish eating at 8 pm and begin fasting for 24 hours until the next day’s (Tuesday’s) dinner at 8 pm. In this fasting period (including sleeping), you can eat a maximum of 300 calories all fasting day:

–  1 egg + 1 slice (1 ounce) of cheese + 2 thin slices of bread
– 1 portion of fresh fruit (eg: 1/2 banana, 2 slices of pineapple, etc) + 2/3 milk + 2-3 tbs of rolled oats + 5-6 raw almonds or hazelnuts
– 1 thin slice of bread + omelette with 1 egg, 1 slice (1 ounce) of cheese + 3 thin slices (1 ounce) smoked turkey, 1/4 cup milk

Studies with normal weight adults shows overall mean weight loss, improvement in glucoregulatory markers (such as fasting insulin levels), and improvements in high density lipoprotein (HDL) which is basically good for human health and triglyceride levels, but increased low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is basically bad for human health. A full fasting day may not be proper for beginners because alternate-day fasting is extreme and probably unsustainable in the long-term.

Make a Difference: Modified Fasting 

Modified fasting is based on restricted daily caloric intake (20 to 25% energy on fasting days). It’s best known method is the “5:2 method”, which involves standard eating for 5 days and energy restriction for 2 non-sequential days of the week.

For example, you fast on Tuesdays and Fridays, but eat on the rest of the days of the week. According to a daily 1200 calorie need, you are allowed to eat 240-300 calories in your fasting period. Let’s see some different options:

– 1+1/4 cup of lentil soup + 1 thin slice of bread
– 3 portions of fruit + 2/3 cup of yogurt + cinnamon (if desired)
– Coffee with 2/3 cup milk + 10-12 hazelnuts or almonds + 1 portion of fruit

Results from a modified fasting diet with some groups of overweight or obese people show significant weight loss, decreases in fasting insulin (but not in fasting glucose), and improvements in some inflammatory markers. However, it also reported negative effects in some people, like feeling cold, hunger, irritability, etc. So, if compared with standard energy restriction diets, it has little evidence to suggest that type of feeding pattern concluded better weight loss or metabolic changes. The “5:2 method” is more suitable if we compare with the alternate day fasting. 

Body Clock: Time-Restricted Feeding

According to time-restricted feeding, daily fasting intervals range from 12 to 20 hours. The most popular one is the “16:8 method.” It involves fasting for 16 hours, and eating during an 8 hour period. Two or three meals can fit in this 8 hour period. The simplest way is this: you eat your first meal at noon and finish at 8 pm. During the rest of the day, including sleeping, you fast! Basically, it looks like skipping breakfast, but having lunch, dinner and mid-meals, if you desire.

Regular fasting and eating intervals may be important for maintaining optimal metabolic functions in accordance to normal daily circadian rhythms. So, the 16:8 method is much better and easier to apply if you want to explore IF diet types.


What Are the Pros and Cons with Intermittent Fasting?

It’s time to see it clearer!


In total, the studies showed that results between IF and restricted energy diets provide weight loss or prevention weight gain in those who are obese and overweight, but it should be remembered that there were no major differences among these two diet types.

If you are healthy, and within normal weight standards, and want to lose a bit of fat, you can try these diets. When you fast for an extended period, the body starts to use its own deposits, first glycogen (of course, if you are not a ketogenic-eating person), then excess fat mass.

Intermittent fasting may also help people who have mindless snacking habits, especially at night. It can help with discipline, and may help you to reduce and drop this behaviour.


Do you think that social media influences you? Decide this first. IF is trendy lately, but it’s also hard to sustain. Focus, job performance, daily activity, helping with your food cravings, etc, are way too important. 

Medical concerns? Well, if you are diabetic, you need to think twice and consult your doctor! Many studies showed no change in fasting glucose levels, though some of them reported a decrease in fasting circulating insulin concentrations in people who don’t have diabetes. But, generally, long-term fasting affects people who have diabetes by reducing fasting blood glucose, in addition to post-prandial blood glucose. So, in short, if you have frequent hypoglycemic attacks, IF is not your thing. 

Plus, a study showed that LDL cholesterol had increased significantly after 12 months among the alternate-day fasting group. It might be a red flag for your heart health.

Finally, people may lead themselves to eat unhealthy, processed, or high-calorie food on the feeding days. You may lose weight by restricting your total caloric intake, but you will not take good care of your body.

Who Should Avoid Applying IF?

Let’s be honest! Each nutritional plan is specific for every single person. IF is getting trendier day by day, however it still needs to be examined its results in detail. In general, people who have eating disorders, children and adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women, post-op patients who are in their healing period, people who cannot regulate their blood sugar, etc, need to apply their own specific diets. Or people who crave sugar/dessert, people who cannot control their appetite, or if IF leads them to eat more, IF is not suitable for them! For more details about food cravings, read this


As mentioned above, IF has no advantaged ‘weight loss’ difference if compared with normal restricted calorie diets, therefore don’t expect a miracle. 

Briefly, if you want to experience this type of diet, you need to see and consult your doctor and registered dietitian. If they both decide that you can ‘give it a go’, and, of course, if the IF rules fit for you, it can be tried!

Why Do Specific Diets Fail?

Everybody wants to look good and thin, but we are eating more than we need. As the obesity rate in the world increases, the weight loss market develops new products every day, like diet books, frozen meals, pills, powders and many more. Despite all of these, a large number of people who try to lose weight gain it back. Why are many of us still dieting? Why do specific diets fail? Every year a diet becomes popular. There are books that are published and there are products that are made for these specific diets.

spesific diet

For instance, the ketogenic diet, which is the original Atkins diet, claims that cutting carbohydrates will help you lose weight. But when you stop eating fruits, milk and milk products, grains, and some vegetables and legumes, you start to consume less fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

The results of low carb diets are not sustainable. Cutting a specific type of food from your diet is unhealthy and will make you crave that food after a certain time, and you end up eating more than you need. The Paleo diet is a type of diet that embraces what our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic era. But as you all know, we are living in a different kind of period, the modern world, which is way more different than our ancestors. So this diet does not suit our genes, our requirements or our habits.

Another specific diet is the blood type diet, which is a diet dictated according to your blood type. However, there is no scientific evidence to this. Science has rejected the concept of detoxing as well, because detoxes help you lose water weight, which is easily gained back in a day. Also, they shouldn’t be done more than 2-3 days. Pills, supplements, and powers are barely regulated and they are also not a miracle for weight loss and maintenance.

And then there are low fat diets and low fat products. Just because the product is low fat label does not mean it is healthy. It may be high in sugar and calories. Finally, the most common diets are very low calorie diets. These diets will help you lose weight, but after losing a large amount of weight in an unhealthy way, many people tend to gain some weight back. As a result, your metabolism slows down. That’s why very low calorie diets are not healthy or sustainable.

Eating healthy should last a lifetime. These types of diets may help you lose weight in a short time, but if you want to maintain the weight you lost, you have to change your habits. There are no miracle diets that will help you lose all the extra weight and help maintain the weight you lost.

Secondly, don’t forget that one size doesn’t fit all! Perhaps you have tried a diet that your friend lost 5 pounds with, but it didn’t quite work on you. The reason is we are not the same. We all have different genetics, bodies, metabolisms, and habits. Diets can work, but there is no one magic diet that helps everybody to lose weight. You just have to know your body and listen to what it wants. The key is to eat every kind of healthy food, but be careful with the portions. In addition, try to increase physical activity.