Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday In Meals + Why I Needed to Drink Wine

Good morning and happy Tuesday, friends!

Here’s the next edition of Monday In Meals, a new-ish blog series, where I document what I ate throughout the day on Monday. If you’re a long-time reader, you probably remember the blog’s early days when I used to document allllllll of my meals and snacks, food journal-style, sometimes blogging 3 (!!) times per day. CNC has since morphed into a fitness/lifestyle/family blog, but it’s still fun to return to my blog roots every once in awhile. And even though my diet has changed a bit over the years, I still enjoy a healthy mix of both nutritious and fun foods on a regular basis (i.e. carrots and cake). That said, here’s a recap of my Monday in meals!

7:00 AM Omelet + Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I like to start my day with a protein-packed breakfast since it typically holds off my hunger until lunchtime. Lately, I’m really digging eggs, so I whipped up a two-egg omelet with chopped green bell pepper and red onion and then reheated some roasted sweet potatoes on the side. And, of course, I enjoyed a glass of iced coffee with half & half and collagen.


I used my handy-dandy Lekue Microwave Omelet Maker to cook my omelet (in just 2 minutes). It’s so incredibly easy and the omelets turn out perfectly every time!


10:30 AM Protein Shake

I went to KFIT yesterday morning, so I drank a protein shake made with SFH coconut Fuel protein powder after class. This time, I mixed the protein powder with water, but I like to switch up the liquid depending on the workout and its duration. For longer workouts, I’ll mix in some orange juice or chocolate soy milk/almond milk. I also like how iced coffee tastes with protein powder, so I sometimes mix in what’s leftover from my morning glass.

SFH Coconut Fuel Protein Shake

12:30 PM Pesto Shrimp Zoodles + Pizza

There was some leftover pizza in the fridge from the previous night, so I reheated a piece and then made some zoodles and topped them with pesto, shrimp, tomatoes, and grated Parmesan. With the help of my handheld spiralizer, lunch came together in no time at all!


1:30 PM Kashi Go Lean Dark Chocolate Cashew Chia Bar

I wanted something sweet and carb-y and this bar from Kashi totally did the trick. Mmm! I love that it was made with all sorts of nutritious ingredients, but tasted like dessert at the same time.

Kashi Dark Chocolate Cashew Chia Bar

3:30 PM Smoothie

Quinn and I were both hungry for a snack, so I blended up a smoothie for the two of us made with banana, blueberries, spinach, Greek yogurt, and milk.


5:15 PM Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

I made an easy roasted chicken recipe for dinner, but, this time, I used potatoes, tomatoes, onion, and fresh thyme, and it turned out so well. In fact, I loved it so much, I went back for a second serving of everything.

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5:45 PM Dark Chocolate

I love a little sweet something after dinner, so I enjoyed a few squares of dark chocolate from Whole Food’s, which is truly one of my favorites.

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7:45 PM Wine

I got a new set of portion control wine glasses from a friend, and I just had to try them out. Plus, I had an open bottle of wine from the weekend, so why not, right? Each wine glass has etched lines that show 5-, 6-, and 8-ounce servings to help you keep an eye on your portions. I actually think they’re pretty wine glasses, and they are so much more discreet than some of the other portion control glasses out there!

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9:00 PM Greek Yogurt with Cereal

I ate dinner early, so, by 9:00 PM, my stomach was grumbling. And I can’t sleep when I’m hungry, so I had some Greek yogurt with Kashi Go Lean Vanilla Pepita Clusters mixed in. It definitely hit the spot!

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The end.

Question of the Day

What was the most indulgent food/drink you enjoyed yesterday? 

from Carrots 'N' Cake

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This Ingredient Isn’t Food, But Most Americans Eat It.

Although several large food corporations are reformulating their products to be more “natural”, there’s still a substance found in many conventional food items that isn’t suitable for human consumption – yet many people unknowingly eat it on a regular basis. It is in crackers, peanut butter, tortillas, chips, … Continued

The post This Ingredient Isn’t Food, But Most Americans Eat It. appeared first on Food Babe.

from Food Babe

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The FitFluential Guide to Juicing - PLUS - Video: How to Juice Vegetables via Healthy Juice Recipes


PINEAPPLE COOLER GREEN SMOOTHIE: pineapple, cucumber, basil spinach, coconut water via Juicing Recipes

Dear Mark: Higher BMI and Mortality Risk, Calories When Meal-Skipping, HIIT After Fasting

Dear Mark- BMI FinalFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a couple questions from you guys. First, there’s a new paper out claiming that the ideal BMI for overall mortality is an overweight one—27, to be exact. Is this really the case? Should we all pack on a few extra pounds to see us through into old age? Next, should you try to make up for all the “lost” calories when you eat in a compressed eating window? If you skip breakfast, should you try to eat more at lunch? And finally, how does one incorporate high intensity interval training on a low-carb diet that includes fasting?

Let’s go:

Hey Mark,

What do you make of this new study showing that the ideal BMI for mortality is 27, which is overweight? It seems like you hear this a lot, that the slimmer you are, the more you’re actually likely to die young.

Here’s an article about the study:


I don’t think much of it, to be honest.

It was a pretty broad study, the kind that’s been done before. They plotted BMI against mortality in a large cohort of Danes from 1976 to 2013, tracking how the “ideal” (lowest association with mortality) BMI had changed over the years. By 2013, the BMI associated with the lowest mortality had increased by 3.3 points to 27. That’s overweight.

So: start a mass gain protocol, stat?

Before you do that, let’s also look at another recent study on bodyweight and mortality. This one was a meta-analysis of 230 existing studies comprising 30.3 million people and 3.4 million deaths.

The researchers added an interesting and highly relevant wrinkle to their analysis: instead of pooling everyone together, they separated never-smokers and never-smokers without health problems. They also analyzed the effect of BMI on mortality risk in studies with long-term followups. Why do these differences matter?

Smokers tend to be leaner than non-smokers. They also tend to die earlier than non-smokers. Separating the never-smokers from the rest removes those people who are skinny because they smoke. Simply pooling everyone together and analyzing the effect of BMI wouldn’t distinguish between those who were skinny because of or carrying extra weight as a buffer against smoking-related disease.

Separating the never-smokers without health problems takes it a step further. Skinny people who die young are often skinny because of disease or the disease’s treatment. Skinny people who never smoke and have no health problems are a different breed.

Focusing on studies with longer followups gives researchers more data to work with. If you only check back in on your people for five years, you’re going to miss a lot of deaths. It’s not like people stop dying when the study ends. If you follow a cohort for 20 years, you’ll see more deaths—more data points—and get a more accurate picture of the relationship between BMI and mortality.

So, what’d they find?

Among people who’d never smoked, the ideal BMI was 23-24.

Among people who’d never smoked and had no health problems, the ideal BMI was even lower at 22-23.

And when you looked at studies of never-smokers with long followups (20+ years), the ideal BMI was even lower at 20-22.

That’s the polar opposite. Overweight isn’t healthier. If you still aren’t convinced, check out some of my other posts covering similar studies:

Is Weight Loss Impossible and Unhealthy?

Does Skinny Equal Healthy?


Love Primal! My question to you is this; When I am skipping breakfast in the morning am I trying to get all of my calories in that 7 hour window from 12 – 7 or am I supposed to cut out the calories from my breakfast that I skipped?

Part of the reason why intermittent fasting/restricted feeding windows works so well is that it leads to inadvertent calorie reduction. When you don’t eat an entire meal, it’s hard to make up for it.

Eat when hungry. Stop when full. Most studies find that breakfast skippers are hungrier at lunch than breakfast eaters, but they don’t actually eat enough to make up for the calories they missed at breakfast. This is good. This is why skipping the occasional meal tends to improve weight loss. It makes eating less easier.

Unless you’re trying to gain weight, you don’t need to force more calories down. It’s not like you’re running on empty just because you didn’t eat breakfast. You’re still burning energy, burning “calories.” And once you get fat-adapted, a process which fasting tends to accelerate, you tend to get that energy from your body fat. You aren’t missing any calories. You’re just getting them elsewhere.

Dear Mark,

I am a 52 year old menopausal woman. About 3 years ago, I lost 25 pounds with intermittent fasting and have kept it off. At 5’3″ tall, I currently weigh 125 pounds. Despite this, I have been diagnosed with insulin resistance and at the urging of my doctor, I began eating a very low carb diet about a year ago. Most days, my carb intake is easily under 40g with most of that coming from veggies and the occasional glass of red wine. I don’t eat sugar or grains and limit any artificial sweeteners.

So I recently heard about how great HIIT is for improving insulin sensitivity and I would like to incorporate it into my exercise routine (which now consists mostly of walking and some body weight exercises). I’ve done one session on my stationary bike that consisted of 20 seconds intense peddling and 2 minutes rest x 3. At the end of this, my legs were so shaky, I could hardly stand. This was after an overnight fast of about 16 hours. In your opinion, should I be eating before a session? Since I eat so few carbs, I don’t want to “carb up” before…is there any need to? Or is it completely normal to be that totally spent, given that I am just starting?

Also, after the session, my blood glucose level took a pretty big jump…probably about 30 points. Just trying to understand the physiology behind this.

Thank you for your time!

Congrats on your weight loss!

Did you ever read the post about “sleeping low“? It went up a couple months back and I’d recommend it.

In short, doing a big HIIT session after a long fast on low-carb is really tough. Your glycogen stores will be depleted (from lack of carbs in the diet and from not eating for the past 16 hours), so you won’t have a lot. That’s why your legs were shaky.

A better option is to eat a small dose of carbs before the HIIT workout. Remember that green veggies don’t really contribute to your carb intake. They provide fiber, micronutrients, phytonutrients, but very little usable glucose. You’re not gonna refill glycogen with broccoli and Swiss Chard, so instead eat a potato (maybe cooked and cooled for increased resistant starch), a banana, some mango, or maybe a bowl of berries. Something starchy and Primal to the tune of 30-40 grams of carbs.

After your HIIT session, eat low-carb until your next one. You’ll have depleted most of your glycogen during the workout, so you’ll be primed to burn fat. As long as you’re truly just walking and doing some body weight stuff, you can probably get by with just that small bolus of starchy carbs once a day or whenever you do something intense.

As for the blood glucose spike, that’s normal since sprinting is a particularly glucose-intensive activity. It burns right through muscle glycogen. Sensing this, the liver releases glucose to provide additional fuel for the body; in healthy people, type 2 diabetics, and type 1 diabetics alike, blood glucose spikes after most any exercise, but especially after sprinting. Long term, sprinting will improve glucose control.

That’s it for today, folks. Any follow up questions of your own? Let me hear them in the comments below.

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from Mark's Daily Apple

Good or Bad: Rice Pudding

This traditional dessert has been making a comeback on social media, but is it a good idea to eat this comfort food regularly? Find out if you want to get involved with the recent renaissance of this dessert.


The sweet, rich and creamy mixture is downright delish. You’ve got to love that it’s made from simple ingredients like rice, milk, sugar and eggs. While this is a dessert, it does offer some nutritional benefits, including almost 10 grams of protein and 15 percent of the daily recommendation for bone-building calcium per cup.

Most rice pudding recipes can be easily modified to be lower in fat and to remove common allergens like eggs and dairy; rice is also naturally gluten-free. If you choose to make it with whole-grain brown rice, it can add to your daily fiber intake. Boosting nutrition by adding fruit is also a tasty option. Add canned pumpkin to the custard and serve it topped with fresh seasonal fruit.

There’s also an advantage if you choose to buy your rice pudding instead of making it: Unlike many other types of store-bought puddings, most brands of rice pudding have an impressively simple ingredient list. Most contain nothing but low-fat milk, rice, sugar, eggs and salt.



The calories and fat in rice pudding can stack up quickly. Recipes made with whole milk, cream, egg yolks and gobs of sugar can create a dessert with an excessive amount of calories, fat and sugar. Many popular recipes will tip the scales at far over 300 calories per serving.


Bottom Line: A thumbs-up with a few stipulations. Most rice pudding recipes keep it super simple, making this dessert a good choice to satisfy a sweet craving. Choose a recipe that uses lower-fat ingredients to keep the calories conservative.

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.

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog

Gorgonzola Avocado Dip

Foodblog (4 of 8)

Many of my recipes come to me in a flash. One day I thought: “Blue cheese and avocado – they would work well together!” So I procured some avocados, purchased a block of high-quality Gorgonzola, and cracked open my 1,000th bag of Red, Hot and Blues for dipping.

Foodblog (1 of 8)

Foodblog (3 of 8)

This recipe is super easy, quick, and perfect for summer parties! Just put all of the ingredients into a food processor and whip together. Add a little more cheese on top as a garnish!

Foodblog (7 of 8)

Gorgonzola Avocado Dip


Ingredients (Makes 1.5-2 cups)

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Add ingredients to a food processor and blend.
  2. Serve with corn chips!
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Gorgonzola Avocado Dip

Now, someone please stop me from eating all.The.Chips…!

Foodblog (8 of 8)

from Kath Eats Real Food

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