Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup – Winter Family Dinners

Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup - Winter Family Dinners

I’m getting a little bit of an early start on this, but the month of December is going to be all about family dinners here at The Gracious Pantry.

I’ve done a lot of holiday dessert recipes in the… Read more →



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Full-Body 21-15-9 Dumbbell Workout

Good morning and a very happy December 1st to you!

Let’s kick-off the month with a full-body workout that only requires a pair of dumbbells. The rep scheme is the classic 21-15-9 from CrossFit, which begins with 21 reps of each exercise (Thrusters, Plank Rows, Russian Twists) and then decreases the reps to 15 of each and then 9 reps of each. So, you’ll perform 21 Thrusters followed by 21 Plank Rows and 21 Russian Twists. After that, you’ll immediately move on to 15 reps of Thursters, Plank Rows, and Russian Twists and then 9 reps of each to finish the workout.

It may not seem like the toughest workout ever, but I’m telling ya: If you challenge yourself and keep up the intensity, you will definitely feel the burn! Happy sweating!

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Wearing: Women’s Pick-Up Running Tank (on sale for $21) // Women’s Chaser 3″ Shorts (on sale for $29) // Juno Sports Bra // Women’s Adrenaline GTS 16 Sneakers (on sale for $90)

For movement demonstrations, please consult this blog post.

Note: Please speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. 



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My 8 Favorite International Dishes to Expand Your Primal Palate

Host a Healthy Holiday Open House

The holiday season has become so hectic and overscheduled that finding a night to throw a dinner party or cocktail soiree has become nearly impossible. One solution is hosting a laid-back holiday open house, which allows guests to come and go as they please after crossing some holiday shopping off their lists. These shindigs run for about four hours during a weekend afternoon, and the flexibility can help minimize holiday stress for the host and guests alike. Plus, typical open-house fare is cocktails and light bites, which means you won’t bust a pant button on your way out. Use these tips and recipes to help you host a tasty and healthy open house this holiday season. Cheers!

Keeping Things Light

Delicious and healthy can go hand in hand if you follow these tips.

Minimize fried goodies: There are many finger foods and apps to choose that don’t need to be fried.

Add color: Select recipes with seasonal fruits and veggies for gorgeous eye appeal. Fruits and veggies also tend to be light in calories.

Go for lean protein: Choose lean cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and turkey to help keep foods healthier, or opt for fish like salmon or tuna (to boost Omega-3s) and shellfish like shrimp and crab.

Offer small plates: Eating off smaller-sized plates means less food (or at least more trips to the buffet table to get the same amount of food). Instead of 9-inch dinner plates, offer smaller sized dishes.

Use a jigger: To keep calories from alcohol under control and prevent guests from getting overserved, use a jigger to measure alcohol instead of “eyeballing it” when making cocktails.

Offer low- and no-calorie beverages: Serve unsweetened iced tea, hot tea and coffee, and sparkling water with a twist of fruit as low-cal options.

 

Cocktails

Cucumber Cocktail

White Sangria

Cider Jack Cocktails

 

Virgin Bevvies

Cranberry Spritzer

Gina’s Raspberry Mint Tea

Mulled Cider

 

Bites

Homemade Hummus

Crisp Crab Cakes

Mini Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Mini Meatballs

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.



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How To Make Homemade Broth That Is Delicious & Healthy

One of the things I love to do every week is make a big pot of soup. It’s easy, inexpensive, and a great way to use up some of the leftover veggies and meat you might have that you didn’t … Continued

The post How To Make Homemade Broth That Is Delicious & Healthy appeared first on Food Babe.



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Vegalicious Chopped Avocado Tuna Salad

Hi, guys!

I made this super simple Vegalicious Chopped Avocado Tuna Salad for lunch the other day, and I just had to share the recipe. It only requires four ingredients, so you can whip it up in a matter of minutes. It’s also really healthy and really delicious, so it’s definitely a recipe that you’ll want to make again and again! It’s perfect as a quick lunch, dinner, or snack!

Vegalicious Chopped Avocado Tuna Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix or chopped veggies of your choice
  • 1 can (5 ounces) albacore tuna in water
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp guacamole
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Directions: Combine ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately. Eat alone, inside a sandwich or wrap, on top of a green salad, with crackers, cucumber slices… the options are endless! Enjoy!

Makes 2 servings

Macros: P: 17 C: 16 F: 2

 



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Oatmeal Breakfast Pie

This post is sponsored by the Quaker Oats Company 

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Pie for breakfast? Serve me a slice!!! These Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars are one of my most popular recipes (and also one of my oldest!). I decided to tweak an old favorite, and turned the bars into a delicious breakfast pie. A few of the comments on my original recipe said the bars were a bit too gummy, so this version uses oat flour and a little less milk to make the texture a bit less like a baked oatmeal, and more like a granola bar. Who doesn’t love things in pie shape?!

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Oat flour is super easy to make. Just take one cup of Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats and send them through a food processor for about 10-15 seconds.

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The result is a coarse whole grain flour you can use for baking or creamy porridges.

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This recipe couldn’t be easier to assemble. It’s one of those “mix dry, mix wet, mix together” combos.

So, mix your dry ingredients together. I chose pecans, sunflower seeds, raisins, and dark chocolate and cinnamon chips for my mix-ins this time, to pack the bars with healthy fats and a bit of sweet. You can use whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruit you have on hand – just follow the proportions in the recipe : )

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Next whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla.

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And then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together.

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Grease a nine-inch pie dish with butter or cooking spray.

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And then pour the mixture into the dish. You’ll want to press it down with a spatula to ensure it all sticks together.

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Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and the middle is set.

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This pie makes a great breakfast, brunch dish, snack, or even a dessert with a little ice cream on the side.

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And if your tastebuds are anything like mine, you’ll want to add some SunButter “frosting!” (Coconut whipped cream would also be divine.)

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Oatmeal Breakfast Pie

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Ingredients (8 slices)

  • 2 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup pecan bits
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse 1 cup of the Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats in a food processor for 10 seconds until you have a coarse flour.
  3. Mix dry ingredients.
  4. Mix wet ingredients.
  5. Pour wet into dry. Stir to combine.
  6. Pour into a 9” pie dish greased with butter or cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool, and then cut into 8 slices.
Powered by Recipage

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Thanks to the Quaker Oats Company for sponsoring this post! 



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Squats Twice in One Day?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to Feed, Train, and Care For Cartilage

Illustrated Memories

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A few weeks ago I received a message from illustrator Bruna Mebs, who is a KERF follower. Her work ranges from food, animals, fashion, costume, beauty, and botanical illustrations, to portraits.

Bruna offered to do a portrait of Mazen in exchange for a shoutout on the blog. I could not be more appreciative of the beautiful job she did in capturing my little boy’s spirit!

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This was the photo she used as a model:

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I put the portrait in a Pottery Barn frame I had on hand, and it’s now on display in the living room <3 Bruna is offering KERF readers 30% off a baby portrait if you order from her website with the code KERF. Portraits cost $100, so 30% is quite a generous saving.

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Yesterday was back at ’em after such a long break. Back to school. Back to the gym. Back to work.

And the cold weather is back too. (Or at least it was yesterday! We are still seeing lots of ups and downs here.) So oatmeal was on the breakfast menu! With almond butter and banana.

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I hit up a strength class mid-morning for a nice little workout. With all of my soccer on Sundays, I have been taking Mondays off from the gym, which reduced my strength class time to once per week. I have definitely gotten weaker because of this, and I hurt something under my collarbone a few weeks ago. I’ve been modifying all overhead exercises, and it’s been a little frustrating. I do a lot just on my right side, so I’m probably going to be crooked soon! It’s slowly getting better, but it’s also a bit unpredictable.

Lunch back at home was a quesadilla, leftover asparagus, and grapes. Love grapes at this time of year!

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Mazen and I played “movie theater” in the afternoon and snuggled on the couch to watch The Lion King (again!).

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You should have seen his face when I pulled out two mini bags of M&Ms for us to share. It’s his favorite theater snack. Mine too!

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For dinner we had Cook Smarts Maple Dijon Panko fish with peas and sweet potatoes. A great combination!!

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Episode 345 – Elle Russ – The Paleo Thyroid Solution

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday In Meals + Dangerous Kid Toys

Good morning, friends! Happy Tuesday!

Here’s the next edition of Monday In Meals where I recap what I ate throughout the day on Monday.

Monday In Meals_November 28

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with broccoli rabe and a toasted Barely Bread bagel with butter + iced coffee with a splash of eggnog and collagen.
  • Mid-morning snack: A mug of eggnog tea + Quinn’s leftover muffin from Whole Foods
  • Lunch: Cauliflower Stuffing with chicken breast and roasted butternut squash
  • Afternoon snack: Peanut Butter Mighty Muffin with banana slices
  • Dinner: Crockpot chicken with Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce and Fire-Roasted Peppers & Onions over cauliflower rice
  • DessertSea Salt Caramel Cashews with dark chocolate chunks x 3

Ok, now onto the “dangerous kid toys” part of this blog post…

So, yesterday morning began like many others… breakfast, building forts, chasing Murphy (he’s still a sock monster), and, uh, playing with glitter. Hey, our couch is quite festive now!

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We also spent a good portion of the morning building with Legos. They were actually Mal’s when he was a kid and we found them in his parents’ barn on Thanksgiving, so we brought them home for Quinn. Anyway, when Quinn plays with them now, one of us is always close by supervising since there are so many tiny pieces– not that Qman is putting them in his mouth, but you never know.

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We played with Quinn’s Legos during his Early Intervention appointment yesterday morning. The specialist and I riffled through them together, and I half-jokingly mentioned all of the small, choking hazard-size pieces. She smiled and agreed (like no big deal), so we continued to play with Quinn. Not 30 seconds later, I spied a bunch of Legos stuck together, but in a weird sort of way. I picked up the clump to get a better look and realized that it was a bunch of tiny magnets stuck to a RUSTY NAIL. Guys, there was literally a rusty nail in Quinn’s “new” set of Legos.

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OMG. Whaaattttt? I was actually kind of embarrassed and said to the specialist, something like: “It’s a good thing that I found it before he did.” Umm. I honestly don’t think she cared, but it was awkward for me. #motheroftheyear

After Quinn’s session ended, I sent a WhatsApp message to a couple of my mom friends to recount what happened. I basically sent them the photo above along with a short caption: “Lego safety score: -76.” Then, I explained what happened in a voice message and our conversation moved toward some of the dangerous toys we played with as kids: Lawn darts, Clackers, Snap Bracelets, and Steel Sleds/Saucers (my step-sister actually broke her collarbone on one). Things have definitely changed with regard to toy safety, but I’m pretty sure rusty nails are always considered dangerous, especially to 2 year olds!

Question of the Day

Do you remember any dangerous toys from your childhood?

 



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Instant Pot pressure cookers on deep sale today

I've written twice before about the Instant Pot, an electronic pressure cooker that helps make healthy food in a time-efficient manner (1, 2).  At some point, I'll write another review of my Instant Pot, but the gist is that it still works flawlessly and looks sharp after more than four years of frequent use.  Here are a few of the reasons why I like it so much:

  • It increases my efficiency in the kitchen, especially with beans, beets, artichokes, and bone broth.  It's automatic, so you can do something else while it works.
  • It's durable.  The inner pot is stainless steel without a nonstick liner, and the gaskets are silicone.  The whole thing has a solid, quality feel.
  • It replaces multiple bulky kitchen items.  It isn't just a pressure cooker, but also a steamer, slow cooker, and rice maker.  The latest version is also a yogurt maker.
Today only, Amazon is offering the Instant Pot on deep discount.  If you're considering getting one, today is the day.  The older version (LUX50) is only $49, and the newer version (DUO60) is only $69.  That's an incredible value for what this thing does.  

If you purchase through the following links, you'll be benefiting my work at no additional cost to yourself:



This post was written by Stephan Guyenet for Whole Health Source.


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Dear Mark: Hyperthyroidism; Wim Hof and Placebo

inline_hyperthyroidismFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. The first is a really good one I’m kicking myself for never having considered before: what to do about hyperthyroidism. As the reader notes, everyone’s always talking about hypothyroidism—lack of thyroid function. What about too much thyroid activity? Then, I discuss what Wim Hof means for the placebo effect.

Let’s go:

All the information out there seems to be geared towards hypothyroidism, what about hyperthyroidism? Hard to find anything on treating it with a Primal diet. Lol, maybe I’m just unlucky.

Great question. Hyperthyroidism really does get the short end of the sick, doesn’t it?

What can you do?

There’s apparently an epidemic of hyperthyroidism among cats because I found tons of hyperthyroid cat studies. Luckily, cat hyperthyroidism is similar enough to human hyperthyroidism that we can make some smart inferences.

Reduce iodine: In a recent study, feeding hyperthyroid cats a low-iodine diet reduced thyroid hormones and improved some—but not all—symptoms. Another study had similar results, finding that just 4 weeks on a low-iodine diet were enough to improve fur quality, vomiting, weight loss, and other symptoms.

While I wouldn’t necessarily worry about iodine in common foods like eggs or dairy, don’t go out of your way to increase it. Don’t add seaweed to everything, don’t take iodine drops.

Get adequate selenium: Pregnant women with hyperthyroidism tend to have lower selenium levels than healthy pregnant women, and patients with Graves’ disease (a type of hyperthyroidism) who took selenium alongside their medication saw better results than those only taking medication. However in a later study whose subjects began with adequate selenium levels, extra selenium had no effect.

Reduce BPA and other plasticizers: One of the most consistent associations with cat hyperthyroidism is canned food consumption. Cat food cans are usually lined with BPA or some other plasticizing agent, and these have been shown to disrupt the thyroid. In humans, plastics are associated with lower thyroid levels, while there are different effects in other animals. Either way, it’s likely doing something to your thyroid. I certainly wouldn’t rely on BPA as a thyroid modulator.

Eat crucifers: Broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens—compounds that inhibit thyroid function. We normally seek to increase thyroid function, but in the case of hyperthyroid a slight depression could help.

Eat your cruciferous vegetables lightly cooked to maximize goitrogenic activity.

Give up gluten: You’re probably already doing this, but be strict. Gluten intolerance and celiac often present with Graves’ disease.

Hope it helps you.

Have you heard about Wim Hof – the Iceman? He harnesses the placebo effect consciously.

Oh, yeah. Wim Hof is an incredible story. From what I can gather, he provides a perfect example of the power of the placebo.

First, if you haven’t heard of Wim Hof, check out this Vice documentary. It’s 30 minutes or so and completely worth watching. Long story short, stricken with grief and the monumental responsibility of caring for his children after the death of his wife, Wim Hof found refuge and new life in nature—by submerging his body in icy rivers. Since then, he’s set 26 world records.

He ran a half marathon in the Arctic circle wearing only a pair of shorts and shoes.

He climbed most of the way up Mt. Everest in shorts and shoes.

He ran a full marathon in the Namib desert without any water.

He swam for almost 60 meters meters under Arctic ice.

More importantly, he trained others to do the same things. In 2014, after just a few days of instruction, 12 of his students were able to successfully counter the inflammatory effect of E. coli endotoxin administration. Both the 12 trainees and a control group were injected with 2 ng of endotoxin, a large enough dose to reliably cause headaches, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. The trainees blocked the inflammatory response by consciously increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines and neutrophils, experiencing fewer symptoms and normalizing cortisol at an accelerated rate.

Skeptics would look at the clinical validation of Hof’s claims and go, “Well, that’s not the placebo effect. That’s real!” But that’s exactly the point.

The placebo refers to the body’s ability to tap into the subconscious power within. Whether it’s mimicking a painkiller’s analgesia or reducing the dosage of the active drug, the placebo effect is very real, but you don’t control it consciously. 

Hof has figured out how to consciously control certain aspects of the autonomous nervous system. He can keep his body temperature within a healthy range and maintain a normal heart rate despite sitting in ice water. He can send blood to tissues on command to keep circulation going. He can bring down the inflammatory response to injected endotoxin, preventing fever and headache and all the other symptoms that normally accompany a healthy dose of e. coli. What I wonder is if Hof and his trainees are actually fighting the infection—sending in immune cells to destroy it—or merely stemming the inflammatory response to it. Time will tell.

I’ve listened to a few podcasts with the guy, and he’s supposed to be embarking on several new avenues of research, including using his methods to fight mental health issues like depression and PTSD. If there’s anything that “placebo” can help, it’s those conditions.

To sum up, I like Wim Hof a lot, and I think he’s a remarkable example of the placebo effect’s potential.

That’s it for today, folks. What about you? What’s your take on hyperthyroidism and Primal? Have you looked into Wim Hof’s exploits?

Thanks for reading!

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The post Dear Mark: Hyperthyroidism; Wim Hof and Placebo appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Tips for Exercising in Cold Weather

Just because the temperature dips doesn’t mean your exercise routine needs to take a dive. Keep these four rules in mind to exercise safely all winter long.

Rule #1: Warm Up

Pun intended! Get blood flowing to muscles, and increase your heart rate before heading out into the cold. The increased circulation will help prime muscles for activity and may help reduce the risk of injury.

Rule #2: Keep On Hydrating

This may be more obvious during warmer months, but you still need to drink plenty of fluids when exercising in the cold; you’re still sweating, and you need to replenish fluids lost. Both warm and cold fluids will help contribute to hydration, so reach for whichever you prefer. A little caffeine will help boost performance, but too much can have a negative effect on digestion, so keep your intake conservative.

Rule #3: Seek Shelter

Even die-hard outdoor enthusiasts need to know when to take the workout indoors. Bitter-cold and icy conditions can lead to treacherous surfaces, injuries and even frostbite. It’s also beneficial for everyone to cross-train, so hit up a yoga class or take a swim in the local indoor pool a couple of days a week when outdoor conditions become an issue. 

Rule #4: Bundle Up

Keep skin protected by reducing exposure to the elements. An insulated hat will retain body heat and help wick away sweat. It’s also important to keep fingers and toes toasty, as blood flow tends to dissipate in these areas when the air is chilly. And who wants to exercise with numb fingers and toes?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

 

 



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Thanksgiving Weekend 2017

{Biggest. Leaf. Ever.}

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Hi friends!! I hope you all had plenty of time to relax over the long weekend. I did!

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Mazen and I traveled to Williamsburg with our new friend and his pilgrim dog.

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We spent the holiday with his large family, who welcomed us with loving arms.

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New traditions were made: oysters!

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And old favorites were served:

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I kept the photography to a minimum but I can assure you I enjoyed plenty of cheese, ham biscuits, wine, and pumpkin pie. I went to bed that night satisfied yet not stuffed, so mission accomplished!

We had croissants with leftover ham and coffee for breakfast the next day.

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And then explored colonial Williamsburg on foot.

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Stopping for sandwiches from The Cheese Shop for lunch, of course.

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Mazey and I had a great time, especially since there was another four-year-old who is also into Batman with us ; ) {Shirt is from GAP Kids last year.}

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Back in Cville, we made this pumpkin ravioli from Plated, which we’ve been subscribing to after a friend gave us a discount code. Going to do some Blue Apron next!

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I had pumpkin oatmeal with melted almond butter for Saturday breakfast.

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On Saturday I went to a friend’s house for dinner and we had panko turbot, brussels sprouts, focaccia, and a homemade tartar sauce. Homemade pumpkin cheesecake for dessert!

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And finally, Sunday morning waffles using 100 Days of Real Food’s recipe. Very very good!!

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Let the holiday season begin!



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