Monday, October 31, 2016

Cranberry & Cacao Nib Protein Muffins

Heyyyyy, muffin fans, I have an incredible recipe that you are guaranteed to love and bake again and again. This recipe combines naturally sweet dried cranberries and cocoa nibs with an all-star cast of nutritious and delicious ingredients for a fluffy, yet protein-packed muffin. They’re truly the best of both worlds and, basically, you need to have a stash of these babies in your kitchen at all times. Thank you to for partnering with me on this blog post!

Oh, how I love a good muffin. I honestly love all muffins, but I especially appreciate a muffin that is at least at little bit healthy. I mean, most are essentially cupcakes disguised as muffins since they’re typically loaded with refined carbs, tons of sugar, icky fats… yada yada. Long story short, they’re not super healthy.


At the same time though, the truly healthy muffins are, well, kind of gross. You know what I’m talking about, right? They’re usually dry, much too dense, and somewhat flavorless without an ounce of sweetness. C’mon now. If I’m going to eat a muffin, I want it to taste like a muffin, which is why I am so excited to share this recipe for Cranberry & Cacao Nib Protein Muffins.

cranberry cacao nib muffins

Guys, these muffins are LEGIT. They’re semi-healthy, satisfying (each with 6 grams of protein), and they taste so amazing. The dried cranberries add a perfect amount of sweetness while the cacao nibs contribute a tasty little crunch with each bite. They’re light and fluffy like traditional muffins, but they have some serious staying power, too.


Since I developed this recipe a few weeks ago, I’ve made sure to have a batch on hand or in the freezer for a quick treat. They’re an awesome grab-and-go snack both before or after a workout as well as a portion-controlled dessert at the end of the night. Clearly, these muffins have the potential to become a go-to recipe! 🙂

Cranberry & Cacao Nib Protein Muffins

If you haven’t heard of before, they’re a family-owned company that is committed to re-stocking healthy pantries with the highest-quality nuts, dried fruit, snacks, and pantry essentials. They offer more than 3,000 products, including artisan and hard-to-find products as well as hundreds of certified gluten-free and organic items. They really do have something for everyone! Some personal favorites: NY Espresso Mix (a variety of chocolate-covered espresso beans), Raw Almond Cranberry Granola Bites, Coconut Hawaiian Coffee (just as amazing, but cheaper than Marylou’s), Vegan “Cheese” Kale Chips, and a whole bunch of protein-packed snacks, which I plan to share on CNC next week!


Get FOUR FREE GIFTS from when you order $25 or more! Choose from Ultimate Malted Milk Balls, Turkish Figs, Roasted Pistachios, Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cacao Nibs (Raw), Veggie Chips, Organic Raw Cacao Goji Energy Squares, Organic Hemp Protein Powder, and so much more! 

Cranberry & Cacao Nib Protein Muffins




Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine above ingredients in a large mixing bowl.


Coat a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or fill with paper liners. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.


Bake for 20 minutes or until tops of muffins are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.


Makes 12 muffins

Macros: P 6 C 31 F 5

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Dear Mark: Social Contact and Neuroplasticity; Extra Protein and Muscle Gain

The Haunted House


Happy Halloween!!! The scariest day of the year has always been one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because I love October and fall, but I also love costume parties! This year I hosted a small costumed gathering at my haunted house.


Double double toil and trouble
fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Calling all spirits with costumes made
to my little masquerade!

I’ll have tricks and just a few treats,
there will be spiders and a rockin’ beat.
Join me in fun, but be aware
that terror and fright will also be there.


Mazen’s school project was the centerpiece of the living room ; )

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Sarah made her famous vomiting guacamole pumpkin!


I dressed up as the Statue of Liberty! The bridesmaid dress I wore in my sister’s wedding made the perfect costume. I made my crown using this template. So if you don’t have a costume ready for tonight, wear aqua and print the crown on cardstock!



My friends surprised me with this birthday cake and song. <3

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We partied into the night, but I rallied for Mazen’s soccer practice the next morning.


Look at this sweet boy!


Saturday we went for a bike ride on the greenway…..


And opened Halloween cards and packages from grandparents!


And that afternoon we went to a pumpkin carving party in our neighborhood!


I think ours is a skeleton or ghost? You tell me!

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We didn’t compare to the talents of this pumpkin carver!


Pot-luck dinner! YUM!


Sunday = all day sports. Soccer x2. Keeping up with my fantasy football team that evening!

What are you Halloween plans?! I can’t wait to help Mazen put on his ghost costume.

from Kath Eats Real Food

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Top 10 from the Weekend

Good morning and HAPPY HALLOWEEN to you!

How was your weekend? Ours was BUSY, but a whole lot of fun, too. I got home from Austin late on Thursday night (well, technically, really early on Friday morning) and then 6 hours later drove back into Boston for all-day appointments at MGH. I know, I probably should have just stayed at a hotel overnight. Oh, well. Anyway, it was a whirlwind few days for sure, but it was mostly all FUN stuff, so I really have no complaints. With that, here’s a top 10 list—in chronological order—from the weekend!

1. Qman’s Halloween costume. Oh my gosh, it kills me, and he loves scaring people, so it’s the cutest thing ever. The kids at CrossFit planned to dress up on Friday, so Quinn wore his too. (FYI: Mal took Quinn to CrossFit since I was at the hospital, but he snapped this photo to send to me.)

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2. Finding Dory night. On Friday night, we all got in our jammies and cuddled on the couch while watching Finding Dory. It was such the perfect way to end the week. I missed my boys!!

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3. Road trip to Maine to visit Dave and Marie! (Remember them??)

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4. Qman’s obsession with the gear magnets on Dave and Marie’s fridge. He played with them almost the entire time we were at their house. He seriously loved them. But, hey, I know we’re getting him for Christmas!

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5. Girl talk with Marie. The guys were at a brewery, the kids were napping, and Marie and I had a chance to catch up and drink wine together. It really was so nice. I missed her!

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6. A toddler throwing contest. Kidding! Totally kidding. Qman had such a blast playing inside the bounce house!

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7. Pizza night! 

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8. And using Portland Pie Pumpkinhead Pizza Dough. OMG, it was so friggin’ good!

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9. Teaming up with some friends to participate in the spin4 crohn’s & colitis cures event. Full recap coming soon!

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10. Eating Crock-Pot Black & White Pumpkin Chili for dinner on Sunday night. I didn’t have time to food prep like I normally do, so I was especially happy to have pumpkin chili in the freezer for a quick and healthy meal. Mmm!


Questions of the Day

How was your weekend? Was it busy or low-key? What’d you do?

Any fun plans for Halloween?

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Weekend Link Love– Edition 424

weekend_linklove in-lineResearch of the Week

High-protein diet causes remission from pre-diabetes to normal glucose tolerance; isocaloric high-carbohydrate diet does not.

Fasted morning exercise reduces 24-hour food intake and increases fat burning.

Natural birth prepares a newborn’s liver to metabolize fats.

Our understanding of ancient human history is still in flux.

Formula spiked with L. reuteri DSM 17938 makes the gut biomes of C-section babies resemble those of vaginally-born babies.

Converting cropland to intensively-grazed (by evil livestock, no less) pastureland “rapidly” increases soil carbon.

Men who work in the sun get less prostate cancer. Women who work in the sun get none.

How genes can predict optimal rep range.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts


Episode 140: Gary Foresman, MD: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Foresman about general breast health.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Interesting Blog Posts

A good guide to keto rash.

Why movement isn’t enough.

Media, Schmedia

Earlier this month, Soylent had to recall their new food bars because they were making people sick. Now, Soylent’s pulling their flagship powder for the same reason.

Framing healthy eating as “rebellion” makes teens more likely to do it.

Everything Else

A bookstore in Cairo has a “scream room” where customers can vent their frustration at life, the universe, and everything.

Australian wine researchers are exploring ancient Aboriginal fermented beverages.

I’d love to see the nutrient profile of seaweed-fed meat and dairy.

Can consumer demand for camel milk revitalize India’s semi-nomadic camel herders?

I know what I’m eating for lunch today.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Video I’m watching: “Why We Get Sad: How Evolution Makes Sense of Emotional Disorders.” 

Product I’m excited about: Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing is finally real, and it’s spectacular. The team and I have been sucking down the various iterations of this stuff for the better part of a year, and now you can join the fun!

Tweet I’m pondering: “At Netflix, we are competing for our customers’ time, so our competitors include Snapchat, YouTube, sleep, etc.”

Podcast I can’t wait to listen to: Joe Rogan chats with Wim Hof, the Iceman. 

Turn of phrase I enjoyed: “Test-marketing new fears.”

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 30 – Nov 5)

Comment of the Week

“My amygdala (lizard brain) makes me crave insets. No crickets around my house.”  

– There’s one way to avoid insecticides. Thanks, Nocona.


The post Weekend Link Love– Edition 424 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

A Michelin-Starred Veggie Stock

The truth is that lots of the world’s top Michelin-starred chefs turn up their noses at the idea of cooking for vegetarians. “Some chefs don’t see the fun in working with vegetables. But I really enjoy the challenge of creating a vegetarian dish, especially when it wins over meat lovers,” says Heiko Nieder, the head chef at The Restaurant in Zurich’s Dolder Grand Hotel, and the founder of its annual Epicure Food Festival for fellow Michelin-starred chefs (over the course of his career, he’s been awarded four stars). A fan of getting creative with veggies, he also designed an entire vegetarian tasting menu at The Restaurant, something that is extremely rare for ultra-fine dining.

One of Chef Nieder’s favorite healthy, vegetarian options on the menu is a “high-end-version of your grandmother’s vegetable soup.” To kick up the flavor without adding any fat, he uses herbs — parsley, bay leaves and thyme — and two types of mushrooms, his favorite veggie to cook with. “They make vegetable stock taste special and give it an unbelievable depth,” he says. Here, he topped the ultra-flavorful broth with tomato, basil, celery and parsley. “It’s not necessary, but it makes for a beautiful presentation and adds to your vegetable intake,” says Chef Nieder.

Make it all fall and winter, and prepare to win over vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Vegetable Stock

Courtesy of Chef Heiko Nieder at The Restaurant

2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound button mushrooms
2/3 pound celery
2/3 pound onions
2/3 pound celeriac
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs thyme
5 bay leaves
12 cups water
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Finely chop vegetables and saute in a large stock pot for 15 minutes.

Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool 30 minutes, then pass through a sieve. Top with additional vegetables and herbs, if desired.

Photos courtesy of Fabian Haefeli

Sarah Z. Wexler is a freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon. She has written for Food Network Magazine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, O, The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, Esquire, and Glamour, among others. 

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Meatball Chili Recipe

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Meatball Chili Recipe

It’s officially fall!! My favorite time of year!!! The sweaters have come out of their summer storage, the leaves are turning into a million shades of brown and crimson, and the nights are cool and… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 8

Another week of training is in the books and, whoa, we are getting close to race day. It’s a week from TODAY! I still need to figure out my plan of attack as far as workouts go for this upcoming week, but I’ll likely front-load it with harder workouts (i.e. CrossFit and mid-distance runs) and then taper off and rest as I get closer to the big day. I can’t believe my fall half marathon is almost here!!


SUNDAY: 10 miles

MONDAY: CrossFit


TUESDAY: 5 miles

WEDNESDAY: 1 hour kayaking 




Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 7

Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 6

Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 5

Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 4

Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 3

Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 2

Fall Half Marathon Training: Week 1

from Carrots 'N' Cake