Saturday, December 31, 2016

Roasted Persian Chicken and Cauliflower

PrimalIn this Persian-inspired recipe, chicken and cauliflower are perfumed with saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, black pepper and other spices, then roasted until crisp. The cauliflower is dotted with goji berries, pistachios and slivered almonds, and the chicken is finished with a dusting of parsley and mint. Combined, this is a fragrant, deeply flavorful meal.

This richly spiced dish isn’t just flavorful though. The spices also contribute antioxidants and protection against microbes. This recipe gives measurements for both whole and ground spices – you can choose which to use. Buying whole spices and grinding them (a coffee grinder works well) often means more potent flavor and health benefits. Pre-ground spices are more convenient. Just make sure they’re organic and less than a year old.

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

spices

Chicken

  • 6 to 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, or 1 tablespoon ground (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, or 1 tablespoon ground (15 ml)
  • 4 whole cardamom pods, or ¼ teaspoon ground (1.2 ml)
  • 1-inch/2.5 cm piece cinnamon stick, or 1 teaspoon ground (5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (1.2 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (5 ml)

Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled pepper (1.2 ml)
  • 1/2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (1.2 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or 1 teaspoon ground (5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (1.2 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 cup goji berries, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes and drained (30 g)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, raw or lightly toasted (50 g)
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios (40 g)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (60 ml)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint (60 ml)

Instructions

Cooking chix

Preheat oven to 425º F/218 C.

In a small bowl, mix together the ground spice blend for the chicken: cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, salt. *

*If using whole spices, first grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick in a coffee grinder until finely ground

Rub the spice blend into the chicken pieces.

In a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet, heat about a tablespoon of avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil over medium-high. When the oil is hot, brown the chicken in batches so the skillet isn’t too crowded. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until skin is starting to get crispy and golden brown.

Place all the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

To make the cauliflower, first warm the olive oil in a small pot. Pour the warm olive oil in a bowl and add the saffron. Let sit 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, pour the saffron oil over the cauliflower. Toss well.

In a small bowl, combine the spice blend for the cauliflower: cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, black pepper and salt. *

*If using whole spices, first grind the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds in a coffee grinder until finely ground.

Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower, tossing to evenly coat.

Spread the cauliflower out evenly in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet. If one baking sheet is crowding the cauliflower, then use two baking sheets so it can be spread out more.

Put the baking sheets of chicken and cauliflower in the oven. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165º F /74 C and the cauliflower is darkly browned around the edges.

Toss the cauliflower with the goji berries, almonds and pistachios. Spread out on a platter, and lay the chicken on top. Sprinkle parsley and mint over everything.

Primal

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3 Ways to Be Mindful in the Kitchen

The kitchen can be a very stressful place, especially when things get busy. Weeknights in particular can get hectic with running errands, completing homework and cooking a healthy dinner. Here are three ways you can be more mindful in the kitchen to help alleviate some stress.

  1. Create calm out of chaos.

Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, author of Body Kindness, recommends the following technique to help make rational choices in the kitchen: “First take a very deep breath and exhale to a slow count of 10. This simple exercise tells your body to relax and helps you make rational choices like actually cooking your meal instead of eating it cold from the fridge! (I know I’m not the only one.) Then do one quick thing that makes you happy. I like to play soothing or energizing music, depending on my mood. Even if you’re not excited to prepare your meal, find a benefit that does excite you — like ‘I’m happy to save money and take care of my body by cooking at home’ — and let that be your motivation to heat up the kitchen.”

  1. Cook simple and relax.

Instead of making your life difficult and more stressful, choose cooking methods that are simple with few ingredients. For example, use a dry rub or marinade for meat and poultry, then place the protein right in the oven or grill to cook. When your food is cooking, take a few minutes to sit in a chair, relax and enjoy the delicious smell of the food you’re about to eat.

  1. Choose convenience.

If buying some convenient foods helps you save time in the kitchen and thereby reduces your food prep stress, then go for it. Convenient foods that can fit into a healthy-eating plan include canned legumes and vegetables with low or no-added salt, frozen vegetables with no added butter or sauces, and precut vegetables and fruit. When writing your shopping list, be mindful to jot down these ingredients, and feel good that you’re helping yourself minimize stress.

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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Friday, December 30, 2016

I Feel Outstanding and Am in Control of My Relationship with Food

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

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Hi, I’m Sarah, and I am 39 years old. I’ve always been interested in science. I loved the experimentation, tweaking little things and the precision required. I studied biochemistry at university and started working in a lab diagnosing illnesses, and later doing cancer research. I moved away from it as a career, but I became interested in nutrition and exercise, trying different ways of eating and training to lose weight for my wedding. I found some that worked – but were really hard going and just not sustainable. As soon as I married I started to put weight on again.

We had two children in a year, which was amazing – but a huge challenge, and I had literally no time for myself. My health suffered, and I ate really poorly, literally living on chocolate spread sandwiches and other easy processed food. I binged on sweets and chocolate almost every day, feeling out of control of my cravings. Over a couple of years I added to the weight gain, topping out at 195 pounds. I was disgusted with myself.

I hit a low when I ordered a pair of 16 (US size 14) trousers online, and they didn’t fit. My legs rubbed together when I walked. I had a photo taken for my passport, and my face looked like a moon. I knew I had to act.

I started attending aerobic classes twice a week, and tried juicing. The weight did start to come off slowly, but it was hard going, and I felt really hungry and unstable on the juices. I looked for a better way.

Sarah_Before

I stumbled onto the 21-Day Total Body Transformation book on Amazon, and thought I would try it, although the “Primal” thing seemed fairly extreme at the time.

I felt pretty awful and had some really bad headaches the first week, detoxing all the sugar out of my system and becoming a “fat burning beast.” The food was completely different from what I had been used to eating.

After a few weeks I started to feel outstanding. More energy, more connected to my body, and the weight started to fall off without getting hungry at all. I started lifting weights, and walking all the time. We are fortunate living in Surrey (UK) – there are lots of forests and countryside on our doorstep. I would just find myself breaking into a sprint in the rain and feeling crazy and free – grinning like a loon.

My husband and I decided to completely revaluate our lives. He gave up his corporate job, and we set up a personal training company – I was his first client!

I lost four stone over two years, and have maintained at around 140 pounds. I have a condition called Endometriosis, which from me caused crippling period pain a couple of days of the month. I had no idea that sugar and refined carbs cause systemic inflammation – cutting these out mean I generally get by each month without even taking an ibuprofen. I also very rarely get sick – despite 2 children bringing bugs home from school. I don’t crave sugar anymore and feel in control of my relationship with food.

I find it hard not to preach to my friends about the lifestyle – but I want to pay it forward. So I studied Nutrition and Weight Management, and became a certified Primal Health Coach. I wanted to help people who were like me – busy, stressed, overweight, with nagging health issues, just feeling “blah” all the time.

I turn 40 this year, and am in better shape now than I have ever been in my life. Adopting the Primal lifestyle has made such a difference in my health, outlook and well-being that I am really thankful – and will try to help other people achieve the same.

Sarah

For more information on Primal Health Coaching with Sarah, visit her website.

Sarah_After

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Refresh Your Fitness Routine For the New Year

Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or a resolution-driven exercise newbie, there are always ways to freshen up your routine. If your New Year’s resolutions involve getting more exercise, use these strategies to set yourself up for success.

Gear

Instead of calorie-laden celebrations, reward your hard work with a little retail therapy. Set realistic exercise goals such as a personal record on the treadmill or increased daily steps for a week, and then reward yourself with some new threads. Target and Kohl’s have durable and fashionable exercise clothing and shoes. Under Armour, Athleta and Lululemon offer high-end options that fit beautifully and are on trend with latest fashions. No matter what your budget you can find some new gear to get excited about.

 

Fuel

In the wake of holiday gluttony, it’s likely time to freshen up your diet. This doesn’t mean slashing all calories as you need fuel for workouts, but giving some elements of your diet an upgrade can have a big impact.

Focus on healthy breakfasts to start your day. Whip up oatmeal spiked with a spoonful of peanut butter and sliced banana, a smoothie made with frozen fruit, Greek yogurt and coconut water, or an on-the-go egg sandwich stacked with baby spinach and Canadian bacon.

Reach for protein-rich snacks to close out a workout. Chocolate milk is always a good choice to give muscles what they need, as are choices like cottage cheese with fruit and honey, trail mix or a burrito with chicken breast and brown rice.

 

Cross Train

A change of season calls for different methods of exercise. Changing up the type of activity will help parts of your body get some rest while working other more neglected muscles groups. If you’re a runner take some yoga classes, if you’re into barre try spinning, and if you focus mostly on weight training up your cardio time. This switch will likely burn more calories and make you stronger overall.

 

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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2016 In Review

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2016 was a huge year of change for me. It was a year of learning, growing, and adapting. For those who might have missed parts, Matt and I separated early in the year, which pretty much rocked both of our worlds. I think, I hope, we are all happier now. Matt and I remain friendly, and Mazen seems to be doing fine.

I have lots of thoughts on divorce in general that I have thought about sharing, minus any specific details – things like reflecting on divorce with a child verses what I imagine it would be like without – but I am still pondering whether or not I want to jump into topics like that here. I guess I am waiting to see if it feels right. Perhaps with a little more time it might be. My goal with this space is to help others live their healthiest and best lives, so if sharing some of my thoughts helps others going through the same thing then it’s worth sharing.

Despite the changes, Mazen and I had quite a fun year together! And we welcomed some new friends into our lives as well <3 We traveled to the beach twice, started soccer and preK, and played many many games of Batman. And the snuggling was off the charts!!
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Thank you all for following and sharing our adventures!

xoxoxo

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Four Wishes for 2017

This post is brought to you by CJ Affiliate’s VIP Content Service. Thank you Lucky Brand for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Lucky Brand, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

With the new year arriving in just a couple of days, I wanted to take a minute to chat about my goals for 2017. Ok, wellllll, when I started to write this blog post, my usual goals for the year turned more into wishes. It’s funny because I use to put so much stock into my goals for the new year. I’d devote a whole blog post to them, sometimes revise and review them at mid-year, and then evaluate what I accomplished or didn’t accomplish at the end of the year. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this kind of goal-setting. I mean, it helped me achieve all sorts of great things over the past 8 years, but when I sat down to write a goals post for 2017, I didn’t have that same thought process as I did in previous years. But, it’s not like I don’t have any sort of drive for the new year. I actually think I’m more motivated that previous years, but I’m just taking a much more “relaxed” approach. (Maybe because things are so up-in-the-air/exciting?!) In the end, I came up with four simple wishes for 2017.

Good health

Wishing for good health is definitely my #1. Without good health, you truly have nothing… and, whoa, I’ve been there. Even thinking back to a year ago, I was in pretty rough shape. Remicade had stopped working and my immune system was so out of whack. I remember looking at my blood work after an appointment with my GI doctor and just crying big ol’ tears. I was so frustrated with my body and scared nothing would work. I really thought I would be sick forever. Thankfully, Entyvio kicked in and the second half of 2016 was a lot better. And, hopefully, it continues to work for me. I also hope that my family enjoys plenty of good health in 2017. We’ve dealt with so much in the past few years. I just want us all to stay healthy.

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Wearing: Lucky Brand Burnout Tank ($34.99) // Lolita Skinny Jean ($49.99) // Juliett Heel ($39.97)

And, obviously, good health makes me feel amazing both inside and out. I work from home, so I don’t always have the opportunity to dress up and look pretty, so I love when I’m feeling well enough to go out and enjoy myself. Lucky Brand totally fits my style in the sense that it’s fun, but casual at the same time with some serious style. I always feel more confident when I’m wearing something from Lucky Brand.

Good fortune

I’m also wishing for good luck and good fortune in the new year, especially with regard to Designed to Fit Nutrition. Kerrie and I have invested so much time, money, and energy into our business, and we have such great ideas and hopes for the future. (Seriously, the sky is the limit!!) We’re come such a long way already, and I only hope we continue to grow and develop DTFN.

I’ve heard that elephants are one of the most positive animal symbols and many cultures believe that they bring good fortune, so I’ve started to wear an Elephant Ring ($14.99) on the regular. I figured it couldn’t hurt in the luck department, and it’s just a fun piece to own. It definitely adds a bit of style to my wardrobe, and I love that it’s a constant reminder of my goals for the new year. Bring on 2017!

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Living more purposefully  

Not surprisingly, running two businesses and having only three days specifically devoted to work is a bit hectic. (Qman goes to daycare three days per week.) Most days, I’m up and running in the early hours and then working at night, on the weekends, and during nap times. Truthfully, I feel like I never stop working, and I almost always feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants/like a chicken with its head cut off. But, I firmly believe if there’s a will, there’s a way, and I’m determined to make my work-life balance, uh, work. For me, it’s living and working with purpose. Having more direction. Making a game plan/schedule for my work days (and not just a never-ending To Do list). Working in my office instead of “exploding” all over the kitchen table. Separating my work from my personal life and setting boundaries, like not working at night or on the weekends. I have so many ideas of how to live with purpose and focus… I just need to make it happen now!

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Above: Lucky Brand Burnout Tank ($34.99) // Beaded Tank ($37.49)

It was a tough choice between these two tops from Lucky Brand (thank you to those of you who weighed in on Instagram), but I eventually picked the top on the left. The beautiful needlepoint floral print immediately caught my attention and then the spaghetti straps and strappy back ultimately sold me. It was the perfect top for showing off my CrossFit shoulders and back! 🙂

Simplify

My final wish for the new year actually stems from a conversation that I had with Mal a few weeks ago. We were driving home from somewhere with Quinn asleep in the backseat and things were just… quiet. In that moment, the two of us realized just how hectic our lives had become and we hadn’t had a calm moment like that in quite awhile. Usually, we’re going from one thing to the next and planning every second of our lives. We like being social and doing fun things, but I think the holiday season just magnified how insane our life had gotten. We both agreed that we wanted to slow down a bit and simply life in the new year: Scale back on events and activities, say no to things, focus on our family, spend more time at home, and live more purposely. This even applies to my wardrobe with regard to selecting pieces that transition well between seasons and outfits, like the beaded tank below. It can be worn causally or easily dressed up. Love!!

lucky burnout tank

*** FYI: Lucky Brand is offering an AMAZING $20 OFF COUPON right now and you can save up to 75% on their end of season clearance until January 11, 2017! Guys, be sure to hop on it for the best prices, and please tell your elephant-loving friends about the ring! 🙂

Question of the Day

What are your wishes for 2017?



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My Favorite Moments From 2016 – See Which Food Companies Are Dropping The Toxins!

We’ve come a long way Food Babe Army! 2016 was full of surprises and a lot of turmoil – but there was so much good to reflect on, these are some of my favorite moments of 2016… At a recent … Continued

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Dietary Trends: Are Popular Interests Inching toward Ancestral Wisdom?

Food trends printed on an old typewriterAs the calendar draws toward the close of another year, I’m inclined to take stock of where the Primal vision stands. Are people slowly warming to the idea of Primal eating (and living), or are we merely seeing inconsequential, lateral shifts within the same old confines of conventional grain-based, saturated fat-averse, dietary “wisdom”?

All right, all right. It’s fair to say that, without examining the numbers, the majority of people are still stuck in their same detrimental ways. But are the cracks in CW I noted a few years ago deepening and expanding? If we look closely enough, could there be a bit of whole-food common sense shining in there? Or is it just some refracted marketing gloss that catches the right angle from time to time? Or just wishful, starry-eyed delusion?

All good questions with their own claim on truth. Still, are there any substantive takeaways from 2016? And how are things shaping up for the next year at that? Let’s take a brief look.

2016 in Review: Where did Grok fit in?

Last month, Google released its report on 2016 Food Trends. (PDF) With its window into public curiosity, it gives us a refreshing take on how the (Internet-connected) world views food, highlighting popular interests rather than dietitian recommendations. And while I’m always a little hesitant to jump into the brain of your average calorie-counting consumer, it’s useful to get an overall idea of what people are thinking with regards to food.

For one, it appears “gluten-free” is dropping in the charts. With Google reporting a decline in searches for “Gluten Free Cupcakes” and “Wheat Free Bread,” it appears that perhaps the average Joe/Jane has lost interest—at least in non-gluten bake goods. (Somehow I’m not too optimistic that they’re being replaced with the likes of Primal stew and Big A$$ salads.)

There was also a significant decline in interest for classic “healthy” examples of kale chips, quinoa, and agave nectar (sorry, there’s no such thing as guilt-free).

But enough of the “has-beens”…. What about the up-and-comings of the great Google food query?

It appears that the world’s love affair with pasta, bread and rice continues to flourish. Of the 7 Sustained Risers of the 2016 Google food search, 3 fit the pasta category (ramen, rigatoni and linguine), 2 relate to wheat and baked goods (empanadas, bundt cakes), and 1 was a rice-heavy (but admittedly delicious) Korean dish (bibimbap). I have to say that, minus the bibimbap, I’m a little disappointed.

Uncured bacon was a slightly promising trend. I wouldn’t have put that at the top of the concern list, but maybe beggars can’t be choosers.

Still, credit to Internet searchers everywhere, there were some genuine bright spots. According to Google, the new rising stars of the food world include turmeric, jackfruit and cauliflower rice. I’ve shared my thoughts on turmeric recently. I hear jackfruit is a superfood contender—and a sustainable food source to boot. Cauliflower rice has long been a staple for many in the Primal/paleo and low-carb crowds.

So, a few wins here, and a few losses there. I like to think that we all got something out of the trendy gluten-free stint though. While searches might be down, I don’t think there’s any going back to total denial at this point. And from where I’m sitting, the market has been changed by gluten-free “fadism”—for the better. (Just don’t fall for the gluten-free sugar.)

The “experts'” crystal ball…Hints for 2017?

Despite some of the aforementioned dietary pivoting, Americans will plunge into 2017 with a bit more food know-how under their belts. While the “gluten-free” movement may appear to be losing some steam, there’s undeniably a growing recognition of food as medicine.

Four of the top five “health benefits of”-type Google queries of 2016 related to apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and bone broth. Now we’re cooking with gas.

The final query in that grouping was “health food stores near me,” suggesting that more people are actively seeking out sources for nutrient-dense, minimally-processed foods. Who knows? Maybe a few of them stumbled on Thrive…or PRIMAL KITCHEN™ in the process.

This newfound food research fanaticism may or may not guide people towards a more Primal way of eating. To get a glimpse of the not too distant edible future, I’ve skimmed some of the more notable predictions for 2017 floating around the net. Here’s a small taste:

Plant-based protein will be all the rage.

Apparently 2016 was the International Year of Pulses. Who knew? It certainly did see a return of the legume back to the kitchen table—even among the Primal and paleo circles. Personally, I’ve got no beef with legumes. I’ll throw them in for taste and texture sometimes. That said, I wouldn’t ever depend on them for my protein base. Sure, there’s nutrition there, in some more than others, but let’s be honest, too—the carb count hasn’t changed.

Brace yourself for an onslaught of beans in the coming months, people.

(Good) fats may catch a welcome reprieve.

At last, a prediction to truly get excited about! After a casual 4-plus decades of hating on fat of any kind, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has grudgingly admitted that certain fatty foods may in fact not be the devil incarnate. Avocado, almonds and salmon all get the thumbs-up from these dietary sticklers, which may herald a new golden age for the fat-starved masses. Grok’s nodding in approval.

But don’t be fooled: most dietary bigwigs are still convinced that fat is the enemy. A skim (pun intended) through the 2015 Dietary Guidelines reveals  an immovability with regard to saturated fats, and I don’t think a year has done much to budge them. Note that we’re still getting the same old recommendations for “fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages.” Here I was thinking we’d finally hit a home run.

Progress: We’ll take it where we can get it.

Despite the apparent dietary see-sawing, maybe it’s not too much to suggest there’s less disagreement when it comes to what constitutes healthy eating. Those who are willing to do the research agree that low/moderate carbs and high fat are good, as long as it’s healthy fat. The rising stars of 2016 showed that nutrient density is quickly becoming a benchmark for healthy eating, along with the growing notion that maybe eating so much sugar isn’t the best decision ever.

If ancestral logic isn’t getting the credit, it’s perhaps because we remain uncomfortable looking to our uncivilized past for direction. As a tech-savvy consumer society, most people prefer to believe sources for dietary wisdom are situated in cutting edge science rather than innate sense. We’re more inclined to trust “progress” than history.

Still, if popular interests and, brace yourselves, conventional wisdom are indeed inching toward ancestral principles (even as they disown them by name), the overall direction perhaps creates new entry points for more folks to discover a larger picture of health in the Primal Blueprint or paleo models.

And, btw, let’s not overcomplicate things.

All said, it’s refreshing to see an increase in people actually showing some degree of consciousness regarding the ingredients in their food. Yet, it’s also frustrating to discover that most people still believe being healthy is hard. Among the commentary and observations offered with the report is the notion that “to eat healthy, you have to pay a lot of attention.” To me, we walk a fine line with these kinds of statements and may actually deter people from trying to get healthy in the first place.

People think that eating healthy is complicated, that the rules change all the time, and the mainstream media chronically perpetuates this misconception.

That’s the beauty of ancestral logic. The Primal Blueprint diet is, at its core, very simple. Healthy fats, fresh produce, high-quality meats. It’s not rocket science, and that’s why it works. Perhaps 2017 will see a continuing shift towards dietary simplicity. For the sake of public health, I certainly hope so. I’m ready to do my part.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Is there anything food-related that’s made a big difference to your life in 2016? What are your predictions for popular food trends in 2017?

Happy holidays, and I’ll see you in the new year!

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New Year Intentions

Can I jump into scrooge mode for just a minute and say that I am so ready for this tree to be out of my living room?! Sorry I just had to admit that out loud. I love the coziness of Christmas, but the decorations really make me a little crazy by the end, and I don’t even have that many!

Admittedly January is not one of my favorite months. It’s cold and dark and reallllly long. Sorry, January. This year, however, I am trying my hardest to look at January in a positive light. Let’s swap the negative words for positive ones:

Pure

Refreshing

Minimalist

Crisp

Blank slate

Potential

Time

{Breakfast: Two eggs and whole wheat blueberry muffins}

I was looking for some new year challenges and stumbled upon the “Screw Your Resolutions” challenge put on by the Healthy Habits, Happy Moms ladies. They are doing a free 30 day challenge from January 2-31 with daily prompts for quick home workouts, meal prep ideas, self-love and self-care activities that all focus on YOU in 20 minutes a day. The program’s philosophy of anti-diet, balance, and moderation all align with what I write about here on KERF, so I signed up to participate because it seems like a great way to get inspired by a community of others who are starting the year with similar intentions to me. Healthy Habits, Happy Moms also does a larger program called Balance 365 that is a year-long course to living your best life. If you get your snowball rolling, you can keep going with that! Of course they have moms at heart, but anyone can participate.

{Lunch: sardine salad, garlicky massaged kale, Red, Hot, Blues}

Instead of resolutions, I am setting intentions for the new year. If I were a crafty person I might cut out photos from magazines and make a mood board, but that would feel like a chore to me, so let’s just close our eyes and make a mental mood board. What are your intentions for 2017? How do you want it to feel?

I am still pondering mine for a post to come about my 2017 word of the year!

{Dinner: frittata, roasted potatoes, frozen parmesan peas}

Happy New Year!

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