Thursday, June 23, 2016

Get in your daily wa

Get in your daily water quota with this Fruit-Infused Water - 6 ways! From berries, to citrus, to cucumber and herbs, we've got you covered for refreshing drink recipes all summer long! via

Start your day on th

Start your day on the right foot with a healthy, filling breakfast. This Spinach Banana Protein Smoothie recipe will keep you going until lunch! ~ www.garnishwithle... via

This two layer Hawai

This two layer Hawaiian Berry Smoothie has an orange mango layer and a berry layer! Top the smoothie with a skewer filled with fresh fruit! via

Smoothies are a grea

Smoothies are a great snack. Get creative! via

Healthy smoothie rec

Healthy smoothie recipes for weight loss via .reshapeyourlife via

Perfect way to start

Perfect way to start your day! Banana, apple, cherries and black currants blended to perfection with orange juice. Yum! via

Beet & Berry Liver C

Beet & Berry Liver Cleanse JuiceYields: 4 c. juice 2 medium beets 2 c. blueberries 1 apple 2 large carrots 1/2 c. raw broccoli 1 whole lemon 2" knob ginger, skin removed 1/2-1 c. pure coconut water via

What I’m Loving Lately 68

Hey, hey! Happy Friday, friends!!

It’s that’s time again! Time for another edition of What I’m Loving Lately… and it’s quite the round-up this week. Enjoy!!

Quinn’s Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike – We bought it for his birthday and he cannot get enough of it. We take it out for walks at least once a day and, more often than not, 2-3 times a day, everyday. He seriously loves it so much and wants to ride it allllll the time!

IMG_8124 (1) (1280x1280)

I actually wish we bought it sooner for him since it converts from an infant trike right up to a “big kid” one and he’s already starting to peddle on his own. Q-man is going to be riding it solo before we know it!

IMG_8115 (1280x1280)

Another birthday present that Quinn is really loving lately…

Paw Patrol Air Patroller Plane – Oh my gosh, our boy loves this thing so much! And he takes it with him everywhere!

IMG_8191 (1280x1280)

He loves playing with all of the different Paw Patrol figurines and putting them in and taking them out. Even a couple of weeks after getting it for his birthday, it’s still his favorite toy!

IMG_8204 (960x1280)

Speaking of our sweet boy and his recent birthday, I’m loving…

This side-by-side photo of Quinn at one year and then two years old – He’s growing up so fast!

The sweetest boy

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF 30 – I was in the market for a quality tinted moisturizer with SPF, and I lovvveee this one from NARS Cosmetics. (It was recommended to me by a sales associate at Sephora.) It’s light-weight, but it has great, natural-looking coverage at the same time. I’m not super into makeup (and even less so in the summertime), so this tinted moisturizer with SPF is perfect for a quick, fuss-free application. Just blend and go! Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about it! FYI: The woman at Sephora used a special machine to figure out what shade I should buy, but, if you’re curious and have a similar skin tone, it’s the Groenland, Light 3.

IMG_8534 (1280x1280)

Mediterranean Chicken Bake – This looks delicious and easy to make. Sign me up!

Peanut Butter Protein Balls – I made a big batch of these on Sunday, and they’ve helped me tame my sweet tooth all week. Pro tip: Store them in the refrigerator = SO GOOD!


Homemade Citrus Energy Drink – Love this idea! Need to try it.

My new Nanos – Have I mentioned how much I love my new Nano 6.0!?! I’m obsessed. They are SO GREAT for CrossFit workouts, and I’ve worn them non-stop lately. FYI: The official release date of the Nano 6.0 is July 7th, but you can buy them custom online right now. I highly recommend them! Love, love, love!

IMG_7999 (1280x1280)

An Open Letter To Perfect Parents: Put Down Your Pitchforks – Seriously. I am so over the perfect parents and keyboard warriors. Enough already.

ENJOYING summer – Last summer was absolutely insane (with moving, traveling, etc.), so I am really loving the chance to enjoy the warm weather and all things related to summer fun, especially our backyard… playing with Quinn, entertaining friends, relaxing with a cocktail… hooray for summer!

IMG_8321 (750x1089)

Masa Harina “English muffins” – Another awesome idea from Nicole! She actually sent me a recipe for Masa Pancakes, but I’ve been playing around with it to create English muffins for my beloved egg sandwiches. Masa Harina is the traditional flour used to make tortillas, tamales, and other Mexican dishes, but it’s processed in a way that makes it really easy on the digestive system. I’ll share my English muffin recipe on CNC soon! FYI: I buy Masa Harina from Amazon (super affordable), but I believe some Whole Foods sell it too.

IMG_7993 (1280x1280)

Renewing my license at my local AAA – I wasn’t able to renew my license online, and I really didn’t want to wait in line at the DMV, but I heard a rumor you could renew at your local AAA if you are a member. Well, I made a quick call to confirm, drove to AAA, waited for, oh, 60 seconds, and then just like that, my license was valid for another 5 years. Yay! It was seriously so quick and easy!

IMG_8227 (1280x1280)

Strength + Plyometic Workout – Looks like a good one!

To the Man Diagnosed With Ulcerative Colitis, Who No Longer Has Control of His Body – This part particularly resonated with me: “As the stoic Epictetus wrote, ‘Disease is an impediment to the body, but not the will, unless the will itself chooses.’ So when things get hard, I want you to realize you have a choice in how the next 10 years will go. You can use this disease as an excuse to pull back from life and blame everyone and everything around you including yourself for what is happening to you. Or you can realize that having this disease is an opportunity and a blessing. With everything you will go through, you will gain experience in understanding how much the mind matters through difficult times. This will force you to become mentally stronger and more resilient after a few hang-ups. And having this disease will lead you to your life’s work: inspiring and educating others on how to get through difficult times.”

Almond Croissants from Trader Joe’s – We love buying these croissants for special/celebratory breakfasts. So yum. FYI: You can find them in the freezer section with the other breakfast items. We’ve also tried the chocolate flavor, but we like the almond better.

IMG_8398 (720x1280)

12 Things You’ll Only Know If You Have Ulcerative Colitis – Some of these made me smile.

Question of the Day

Parents: What is your kid loving lately? 

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being really bad), how bad is the picture on your license? 

from Carrots 'N' Cake

8 Staple Smoothies T

8 Staple Smoothies That You Should Know How to Make if you want to DETOX after the Holidays!! These are all simple, quick and easy, healthy recipes. Back To Her Roots via

Start your day on th

Start your day on the right foot with a healthy, filling breakfast. This Spinach Banana Protein Smoothie recipe will keep you going until lunch! ~ www.garnishwithle... via

Cucumber Juice Recip

Cucumber Juice Recipe Perfect amount of sweet and sour. So delicious!! We will definitely be making this one again! via

Simplify your mornin

Simplify your morning routine by keeping a freezer full of smoothie packs on hand so you can wake, shake and be on your way! via

Our Definitive Healthy-Burger List

Try as we might to limit our caloric intake during the warm-weather months, there’s no getting around it: Summer feels incomplete if you don’t have a hearty burger in hand from time to time. But what if we told you there was a burger that is just as satisfying as the one you’ve had at your favorite barbecue or fast-food joint but won’t sabotage your summer health goals? Luckily, there is. Not just one, in fact, but 10 — in various permutations of smoky, grilled perfection. You aren’t dreaming. From savory beef and poultry burgers to hearty fish and vegetable patties, here’s a rundown of our favorites that cater to various tastes, dietary restrictions and nutritional goals.

Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers
If you think you need to skip beef entirely in order to reduce calories, think again. Food Network Kitchen’s Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers take the guilt out of this summertime staple and weigh in at just under 400 calories per serving — roughly half of what you could expect from most fast-food options.

Chicken Burgers
These golden chicken burgers are unbelievably juicy but surprisingly low in fat. To keep the calorie count low, use ground white chicken meat and low-fat milk when preparing the burger patties.

Asian Chicken Burgers
Lighten up these burgers by cutting back on the meat and adding some texture with bulgur. Add great Asian flavors with a quick pickling of cucumbers and onions, plus a spicy yogurt sauce to tie everything together.

Turkey Burgers
“I always like to offer a turkey burger at my outdoor barbecue for friends who no longer eat red meat,” says Bobby Flay. “Luckily poultry is a perfect canvas for many big flavors, and this combination of tart goat cheese, sweet Meyer lemon-honey mustard and peppery arugula makes for one outstanding burger.”

Stuffed Turkey Burgers
The trick to stuffing Ellie Krieger’s burgers perfectly with gooey cheese is to start by making eight half patties. After putting cheese on half the burgers, stack another patty on top of each and seal around the edges. Voila!

Asian Turkey Burgers
Lighten up these burgers by cutting back on the meat and adding some texture with bulgur. Add great Asian flavors with a quick pickling of cucumbers and onions, plus a spicy yogurt sauce to tie everything together.

Perfect Salmon Burgers
“Perfect” is a tough name to live up to, but this recipe delivers on its promise. The secret? Hand-formed patties made with a combination of pureed salmon, which includes mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cayenne, and small-diced pieces of center-cut salmon. Incorporating the hearty pieces of diced fish will ensure that the burgers retain the soft, buttery texture of a salmon fillet.

Vegan Lentil Burgers
These burgers are packed with flavor, fiber and protein while still being low in fat. We love them grilled, but you can also pan-fry them: Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and fry patties until well browned, about 2 minutes per side. (Remember: The extra oil will alter the calorie and fat totals.)

Edamame Veggie Burger
Edamame are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in fiber and protein but low in fat and cholesterol, and they lend a hearty texture and a buttery flavor to any meal. The best part of this recipe is the contrast between the melt-in-your-mouth center and the crisp, brown crust, reminiscent of falafel, which you can achieve by cooking the burgers under the broiler.

Healthy Chili Bean and Bulgur Burgers
Don’t let these veggie burgers fool you: They may look like fried-chicken sandwiches, but they’re actually packed with plant protein and fiber — and flavor! We love the simple broiler method for cooking the patties. A light coating of cooking spray makes the outside come out nice and crunchy.

For more mouthwatering burgers, check out these recipes from our friends:

Feed Me Phoebe: Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers with Sriracha Aioli (Vegetarian Paleo)
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Six Hamburger Recipes To Get You Through Summer (Two Are Vegetarian!)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Stuffed Cheeseburgers
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Beet and Oats Vegan Burger
Creative Culinary: Beef Burger with Homemade Guinness Irish Stout Ketchup
Taste with the Eyes: Open-Faced Swiss Burger with Flower Salad
FN Dish: 7 Surprising Ways to Better Your Burger Game This Summer

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

From Float Tanks to Silent Retreats: Why Are People Looking for More Extreme Forms of Sensory Deprivation?

quiet finalI’m thinking about a Philip K. Dick story, never published, perhaps never put down on paper or even imagined. In this story, which might only exist in my mind, the world is awash in sensory stimuli. Bright lights, flashing signs, an endless cacophony. A world of quick jump cuts. It’s like the Khaosan Road at 11 PM, standing on a Los Angeles overpass at rush hour, or living inside a Youtube video. Imagine your first night in the Amazon, only instead of insects and birds and other creatures, it’s horns and conversations and alarms and drunks and car doors and rattling manhole covers and ringtones. In the world of this story, silence is a premium. To escape from your senses, you need to pay up.

$1000 gets you three days in a retreat center staffed by robed monks who prepare vegetarian meals and confiscate your smartphone and other noisemakers. No one talks, no one demands answers. The floor and walls are padded, limiting the noisy reverberations of human locomotion.

$100 gets you an hour in an isolation tank filled with lukewarm saltwater attuned to your body temperature. For that single hour, you won’t hear, see, or feel anything. When the hour’s up, you return to the sensory soup.

At work, “mindfulness experts” lead mandatory classes training you to be at peace in your head and company memos urge you to utilize the “quiet room” at least twice a week.

Sounds a little crazy, right? Like something out of a dystopian novel?

But it’s real.

And everywhere you look, people are trying to get away from it all. Sensory deprivation, or “float” tanks, are springing up all over the world. Meditation retreats are exploding, and pretty much everyone has a meditation app on their phone (even if they don’t use it much). Google searches for terms like “float tank,” “silent retreat,” “mindfulness,” and “sensory deprivation” have been trending upward for the last few years. Silence is in.


One reason is Joe Rogan. For many years, he’s championed the use of float tanks to counterbalance the sensory onslaught of normal life. To eliminate the exogenous chatter and be alone with your own head to confront the self-talk we all engage in—and hopefully come to terms with your problems.

Another reason is the drive for productivity. In the tech community, mindfulness retreats, meditation rooms, and float tanks are productivity tools. They don’t care so much about enlightenment, or knowing oneself as they do the increase in productivity and focus silent mindfulness retreats promise. That you might improve your ability to be a functional human being is a nice side effect.

Although my description of the dystopian Dick-esque world is exaggerated, it’s not that far off from reality.

People need an outlet. They don’t have much time to be alone with their thoughts. They don’t know what to do with themselves when they are finally alone in a quiet place. You get that little glimmer of boredom, or self-talk, or “what the hell do I do now?” and must choose. Do you shy away from the quiet and check your email? Or do you embrace it, revel in it, plumb the depths?

Above all, the growing trend of float tanks and zen retreats and meditation apps and completely booked camping reservations and everything else indicates that we know, at least implicitly, that we need to get away from the noise. We don’t really know how to do it without help and we may not even be fully aware of the problem, but we know that something isn’t working.

What are people avoiding? What’s all the noise doing to us?

It’s a cardiovascular disease risk factor. Noise has emerged as a legit risk factor for heart attacks. Some research even finds that it directly worsens endothelial function

It’s annoying. Life doesn’t sleep. Planes are always taking off and landing. Traffic is getting worse and worse. Horns are honking, alarms are going off. “Annoying” sounds trivial but it’s a real detriment to one’s quality of life. Imagine living in a constant state of annoyance. Awful, just terrible. Plus, annoyance mediates the relationship between traffic noise and heart disease; if it’s annoying you, it’s probably bad for you.

It reduces sleep quality. The closer you are to an airport, the worse you sleep. Loud noises during the day may affect our sleep at night. Even if we can’t consciously hear it (as during sleep), the cochlea in our ears are affected by the soundwaves. Quiet time reduces stress in nurses, Quiet time in the hospital improves outcomes and sleep in ICU patients.

It increases stress.

Although epidemiology is mixed, experimental evidence shows that individuals exposed to loud noises have increased levels of stress hormones in their saliva, urine, and plasma. This may indicate a difference between acute noise and chronic noise; at least in fish, repeated exposure to a loud noise increases tolerance.

It reduces productivity.

In a more recent study, exposing workers to low-level “office noise” increased the perceived exertion required to complete a task. Older studies have found that office noise decreases the number of attempts a worker is willing to give to complete a task or solve a problem. Chronic industrial noise exposure is even worse, increasing fatigue, cortisol, and post-work irritability. In anesthesiologists, intraoperational noise (sounds playing in the midst of an operation) increases the perceived difficulty of a procedure.

Many of the benefits of silent retreats, float tanks, and other interventions stem from removal of the stimulus causing these health effects. If your world is quieter, you’ll sleep better, have a lower risk of heart disease, improve your productivity, feel less stressed, and less annoyed. These are all pretty basic, and I think they probably form the majority of the measurable effects. Industrial, office, and traffic noises are evolutionarily novel. Our genes “expect” a more silent world, so avoiding noise pollution and instilling periods of quiet is simply restoring what was lost.

In one study, a music researcher was looking at the effects of different types of music on physiological markers in healthy people. He found typical results that you’d expect. Techno and rap getting people amped up, Indian sitar and classical chilling them out. But the most striking changes were found where he wasn’t even looking: in between songs. Every time a song changed, there was a 2 minute lull of full silence, during which subjects would show signs of complete relaxation. They were more relaxed during the silent intermissions between songs than during a relaxing song or the big length of silence before the experiment began. What mattered was the contrast—the shift from sound to silence.

This is the crucial piece of the issue.

The world is bigger and somehow smaller than ever. The avenues for entertainment and information and communication are unparalleled. It’s an incredible time to be alive. But how often do we really, actually appreciate that fact? It’s only through its absence that we appreciate anything. Recall Louis CK’s “everything is amazing” bit. Everything is amazing. Turning everything off helps us realize it. Silence is a break from the madness.

Just as we must rest to get the benefits of strength training, we need silence to enjoy the noise. Otherwise, it’s a din.

People need an outlet. They don’t have much time to be alone with their thoughts. They don’t know what to do with themselves when they are finally alone in a quiet place. I fully support the commodification of silence and sensory deprivation if that’s what it takes to help people stay sane. An hour in the tank is easier to squeeze in than a long hike in the mountains an hour and a half out of town. Silence and sitting meditation is easier to maintain when you’ve dropped 1000 bucks and everyone else is in the same boat. So this post isn’t meant to rail against these trends. I’m more concerned with why they exist and what they’re offering.

What do I do to grab a respite from noise? Well, I’m no good at meditating—I’ve tried, believe me—so I have to cheat at it.

So instead I’ll go hiking whenever I can. I’ll watch the sunset when I remember to. I’ll go paddling and lose myself in the rhythm of the waves. I’m not much for float tanks or silent retreats, but they serve much the same purpose.

Now, I want to hear from you. You get that little glimmer of boredom, or self-talk, or “what the hell do I do now?” and must choose. Do you shy away from the quiet and check your email to escape it? Or do you embrace it, revel in it, plumb the depths?

How do you deal with an overabundance of noise? What’s your outlet?

Shop Now

from Mark's Daily Apple

Banana Mango Smooth

Banana Mango Smooth is the perfect way to start your morning! The kids LOVE this smoothie recipe. via