Monday, May 9, 2016

Day in the Life {Almost 2}

Good morning, friends!

Holy moly, the past month flew by. I feel like I was just writing Quinn’s 22-month Day in the Life post. What a whirlwind month that was. Whoa. Anyway, our little dude turned 23-months (aka “almost two”) yesterday, so here’s a recap of last Friday as a way to remember this time in Q-Man’s life.

6:11 AM: I hear Quinn on the baby monitor. I’m barely awake, but I really need to pee, so I get out of bed, use the bathroom, and then lay down in bed again and wait (and hope) that he falls back to sleep. Thankfully, he does, but I’m wide awake, so I get out of bed. Murphy jumps out too and “tap dances” in the hallway, so I carry him downstairs along with the baby monitor. Of course, he’s starving for breakfast, so I feed him.

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6:15 AM: I walk into the kitchen as Mal is finishing his breakfast. We say “good morning” to each other and chat a little bit. He heads upstairs to take a shower. (He’s all business.) I pour myself a glass of iced coffee and then take a couple of supplements (liquid vitamin K2 and liquid vitamin A) that Nicole recommended.

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6:17 AM: I break out my laptop and start tackling my inbox. Oy.

6:40 AM: I hear Quinn on the baby monitor. He’s babbling quite a lot, so I turn it on and see him standing in his crib. Once he’s standing up, he’s definitely not going back to sleep, so I head upstairs to get him. I say “good morning” and then give him some “wake up snake” tickles. He cracks up like crazy. We head downstairs and say “goodbye” to Dada, who is just about ready to leave for school.

6:43 AM: Quinn asks for Medjool dates for breakfast, so I chop up a few and put them in a snack cup for him. He plays with his tool kit while eating his dates, so I cook breakfast for the two of us.

6:49 AM: I whisk together a couple of eggs along with some cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese in a small mixing bowl and then pour the batter into my microwave omelet maker that I randomly bought from Williams-Sonoma just the other day while shopping for a wedding gift. It’s the bomb and makes perfect omelets in just 2 minutes and you can add any sort of ingredients you want. How awesome is that?!

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6:57 AM: Breakfast is served! For Quinn: Half of an English muffin with raspberry jam, fresh mango, milk (not pictured), and part of my omelet. For me: Tomato and cheese omelette with half of an English muffin with butter and iced coffee with cream and collagen. Quinn eats two pieces of mango, drinks most of his milk and then signs “all done.” Well… ok then. He wants to play in the living room, so I bring my breakfast along and eat it while hanging out with him.

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7:11 AM: I finish my breakfast while Quinn gives Murphy hugs next to me. (They’re so darn cute together.)

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7:24 AM: I clean up after breakfast and then head upstairs with Quinn to get us both ready for the day. I get him dressed first and then take him into the bathroom with me. He keeps himself entertained while I wash my face, brush my teeth, etc.

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7:33 AM: Quinn loses interest in my toiletries and really wants to go back downstairs, so I grab my things and bring him down. As we walk into the living room, we discover that a furry little someone decided to help himself to the rest of Quinn’s breakfast. *sigh* We don’t normally eat breakfast in the living room, but I thought maybe Quinn would change his mind about breakfast if he saw me eating, so I put his tray on the coffee table, only to forget it was there when we went upstairs. I’m sure Murphy thoroughly enjoyed Quinn’s English muffin, mango, and omelet.

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7:38 AM: I finish getting ready while Quinn plays and cruises around the house.

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8:01 AM: Now Quinn is hungry and asks for some “crackers.” I debate re-making his breakfast, but I have a feeling he probably won’t eat it since he wasn’t interested in it before and now has his mind set on crackers, so I give him some Cheddar Bunnies. #breakfastofchampions

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8:19 AM: Quinn points up at the kitchen counter and says “bubbles,” so I set him up to play with his “indoor bubbles.”

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8:21 AM: Quinn is happy as can be playing with bubbles, so I use the opportunity to fill up my water bottle and shaker with protein powder.

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8:25 AM: I also fill a reusable pouch with yogurt to pack in my gym bag just in case Quinn gets hungry (because he didn’t eat much of a breakfast).

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8:30 AM: Before I even get the pouch into my gym bag, Quinn grabs it out of my hand. (Well, I guess someone is hungry!) He eats it while I fill up another one to take to the gym… just in case.

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8:40 AM: We get ready to leave for CrossFit. Quinn is pumped!

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8:41 AM: On the way out of the house, I grab my CVS/pharmacy ExtraBucks since I plan to swing by on the way home from CrossFit. I also have a 25% off coupon that I sent to my ExtraCare card the day before for even more savings. There was no need to print out the coupon and it took just seconds to send the coupon to my card with just one click of my mouse. Easy-peasy!

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9:00 AM: We arrive at CrossFit. Quinn plays with the kids, and I work out.

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I loved this workout. It definitely got challenging on the final couple of rounds! Yowsahs.

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10:05 AM: I drink my protein shake while Quinn plays at the gym.

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10:25 AM: Quinn and I leave CrossFit and swing by Coffee Shack. I order a Pecan Sticky Bun iced coffee.

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Quinn drinks some milk from home and samples a piece of coconut donut. Mmm!

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10:45 AM: We swing by CVS/pharmacy to buy a few things– some necessities, some not. Necessities: Kid’s toothpaste, tampons, Cupholder Wipes, and snacks, including Gold Emblem Dark Chocolate Cashews (because I’m obsessed) and CVS Gold Emblem Abound Greek Yogurt Covered Raisins (because Quinn and Mal really love them).

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Non-necessities: Mr. Potato Head (because Quinn is really digging Toy Story lately).

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And a new key fob (because I am sick of my old one and it’s only $1.99).

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11:05 AM: We leave CVS and drive home. (I immediately put the cupholder wipes in their place!)

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11:20 AM: Quinn falls asleep on the drive home, so I bring him up to his crib and then unpack the car. As I walk back into the house, the FedEx man delivers a box of smoothies from Bolthouse Farms for a project that I am working on with the brand.

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11:30 AM: The project also requires some cooking, so I take a super fast shower and then get right to work before Q-Man wakes up from his nap.

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12:15 PM: I finish cooking and styling the food/smoothies. I am about to take some photos, but my camera batter dies. Whomp whomp.

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12:17 PM: While the battery charges, I eat a No-Bake Lemon Coconut Protein Ball and then start to clean up the kitchen.

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12:36 PM: I snap a bunch of photos and then edit them on my laptop before sending them over to Bolthouse for review. I also eat some leftovers (chicken, sweet potato, cauliflower rice mixed with white rice) from the fridge for lunch.

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2:00 PM: Quinn wakes up from his nap. We snuggle on the couch as long as possible/until he’s ready to continue his day.

2:15 PM: I make lunch for Quinn (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with grapes on the side) and then sit him at the kitchen counter to eat, but he isn’t interested at all. Instead, he grabs the Mr. Potato Head that we bought earlier and enthusiastically requests that I open the package. (He says “scissors, scissors, scissors” over and over again.) I attempt to bargain with him (i.e. if you eat your lunch, you can play with Mr. Potato Head), but he ends up getting his way since I’m a huge pushover and wanted to avoid a meltdown.

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2:20 PM: Quinn is having a grand old time with Mr. Potato Head, so I do a few quick chores around the house (i.e. clean up the kitchen, empty dishwasher, take recycling down to garage).

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2:40 PM: Quinn loses interest in Mr. Potato Head, so I offer him his lunch once again. It’s a no-go, so we get ready for an afternoon adventure to Hornstra Farms.

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3:00 PM: We visit the cows and then head inside to buy milk and Coffee Oreo ice cream.

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4:00 PM: We arrive home and see Dada about to take Murphy for a walk. It’s a beautiful afternoon, so we grab the stroller and join them.

4:55 PM: We return home and everyone is hungry, so we sit down for an early dinner. Of course, Mr. Potato Head joins us.

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5:35 PM: Mal and I roughhouse with Quinn on the couch for awhile.

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Side note: Quinn recently started working with a speech-language pathologist (through Early Intervention in Massachusetts) and she encourages “rough and tumble play” to help stimulate language.

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Quinn absolutely loves being silly with us and cracks up the entire time, so Mal and I “wrestle” with him at least a few times per day. We only recently increased the frequency of our roughhousing, but Quinn is talking more and more each day, so maybe it’s working already?! Just the other day, he said: “No, no, Murph” (instead of screaming) when he saw the pug (illegally) on the couch, so that’s definitely progress! Haha!

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6:00 PM: The three of us relax on the couch and watch Toy Story together. I pour myself a glass of wine.

7:00 PM: Quinn yawns, lays on the couch, and says “night night,” so Mal takes him upstairs to brush his teeth, read books, and go to bed. While they’re doing the bedtime routine, I pour myself another glass of wine and eat a KIND Bar.

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7:15 PM: Quinn is asleep, so Mal comes back downstairs. We watch a few episodes of Bloodline (<— wicked good) together.

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9:15 PM: We head upstairs and get ready for bed.

9:30 PM: Lights out.

The end.



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Dear Mark: Lead in Bone Broth, Cooked and Cooled Potatoes, and Stress Strategies

DM-Lead in Bone BrothFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First one concerns the lead content in bone broth. A 2013 study reported elevated levels of lead in chicken bone broth. And not the canned or boxed stuff, but the real thing: broth made from actual chicken bits. Should you worry? Second, do cooked and cooled potatoes really make the carbs less problematic for people who typically try to avoid them? How and why should people who otherwise avoid potatoes consider eating cooked and cooled ones? And finally, do I have any good, simple strategies for dealing with stress? Why yes, yes I do.

Let’s go:

Is anyone concerned about the amount of lead in bone broth? I love bone broth, but now wondering…

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I’m not too worried.

That study had some limitations, which the Weston A Price Foundation covered pretty well. Ignore the meandering quasi-conspiratorial tangents and focus on the relevant points.

It tested broth from just one group of chickens. There was no real control group. They tested broth made from bones, broth made from meat, broth made from skin and cartilage, and plain tap water, but everything came from the same farm using the same chickens raised under the same. Since lead comes from the environment, the feed, the water. We already know that lead accumulates in the bones. What matters is how much lead the animals you’re using to make broth are exposed to throughout their lives. I’d like to see a comparison between chicken broths made from animals from different farms and environments.

Most of the lead was in the skin of the chickens. Why? Even though lead accumulates primarily in the bones, not the skin and cartilage, the skin and cartilage broth had the most lead. This indicates something weird was going on with these chickens. Cartilage receives very little to no blood flow, so it probably didn’t contribute much if any lead. That leaves the skin. How would so much lead get into the skin when we know that most consumed/absorbed lead ends up in the bones? Well, chickens are suckers for a good dirt bath. If they have access to it, they’re constantly scrounging, rolling, and “dusting” around in the dirt. Dirt readily accumulates lead from car exhaust and lead-based paint. If a chicken’s rolling around in lead-contaminated soil, they’re getting lead all over their skin and that lead will end up in your broth.

The animals’ environments and upbringing are everything. The WAPF describes a follow-up study into two broths made from grass-fed beef bones and pasture-raised chicken bones that was unable to detect any lead in either. This despite the chickens having plenty of access to dirt and all the same dirt-dusting proclivities their kind is known for.

I wouldn’t worry too much, but I would be serious about where I get my bones and/or broth.

Dear mark,
I can’t find the answer to this question anywhere on your site, although I’ve tried for countless hours.  How much cooked and cooled potatoes can I safely eat and still stay within the weight loss/maintenance part of your carb curve?  In other words, how much RS potato salad CAN I have without a glucose spike?
Thanks for your help,
Jen

Cooking and cooling a potato doesn’t erase its digestible carb content, nor does it eliminate the glucose spike you get from eating it. It just makes it a little less glycemic and feeds your gut bugs. It’s a “lower” carb way to eat potatoes. You can get away with more of them.

A new study examined the effects of cooking and cooling a dozen or so varieties of potato.

Estimated glycemic response was reduced by 10-15% across the board after cooling the cooked potatoes. I say “estimated” because they didn’t actually feed the potatoes to anyone. They dissected and tested samples from each potato for resistant starch, fiber, and digestible starch after different cooking methods and found the more RS and fiber, the lower the estimated glucose response.

But I think actual cooled potatoes will help even more than the estimates in actual humans. For one, you’ve got the lower glycemic response due to reduced digestible carbohydrate. Fewer carbs to digest, less glucose to reach the blood.

Two, you’ve got the insulin-sensitizing effect of consuming resistant starch. RS improves insulin sensitivity, even in people with metabolic syndrome, and makes glucose less of a problem.

Three, resistant starch seems to induce satiety, thereby leading to less hunger and calorie intake. In a recent human study, a large dose of resistant starch increased satiety and decreased subsequent food intake. You eat less food, you’ll have a better glucose response.

Four, resistant starch even improves fasting blood glucose, an indication of extended—not just short term—benefits to glucose tolerance and control.

I don’t have any hard numbers for you because every potato is different. But it appears you can count on at the very least a 10-15% reduction in postprandial glucose (and likely more).

I have such a hard time managing my anxiety/stress. I am in counseling now, but I was wondering if anyone could share any personal techniques that they find soothing or calming. Really, anything you do that helps you de-stress would be great to hear! Thanks all. Stay well!

I’ve been in the same boat for most of my life. Handling stress just doesn’t come naturally to me. I have some more involved methods for dealing with stress, like paddle boarding or dropping everything for a day to just take a break, but physical movement is the simplest, easiest tool I have.

Movement is my go-to. It’s healthy—you’re not stuffing your face with something sweet and regretting it a minute later or lighting a cigarette or taking a shot of whiskey. It’s productive—you’re getting an essential aspect of a healthy day out of the way. It’s engaging—you can’t help but focus on how your body’s navigating through space.

If I’m stuck on a post or paragraph and I can’t quite seem to get over writer’s block, I’ll hop on the slackline out back and go for a few minutes. This demands my close attention to the moment, so I can’t think about the work I’m not doing. Then I head back in and suddenly words flow. With writer’s block, my main problem is that I’m thinking too much about the writing. I actually need to take a break and think about something else. You can’t brute force your way past.

For general stress, I’ll just go for a walk. Even if there’s resistance, I push through it. If I can make it through the first three minutes, everything falls into place and the stress melts away. I’ll even sometimes take those stressful business calls on a walk with me. Just say “hold on a sec,” head out the door, and continue the phone conversation as I walk.

One of my secret visions/hopes for the near future is the ability to write and edit content while walking, probably through some neural/eyewear/augmented reality interface. Like having a document projected into the world that you can edit with your mind. One day.

Okay, that’s it for today.

How do you guys deal with stress in the moment?

Do cooked and cooled potatoes feature in your diet?

What do you think about lead in broth?

Thanks for reading!

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