Thursday, August 4, 2016

What I’m Loving Lately 72

Hi, friends!

It’s Friday and you know what that means: It’s time for another edition of What I’m Loving Lately! Ok, here we go… here’s what I’m loving lately!

2016 Summer Bucket List – It includes 100 things to do on the South Shore (and a bit beyond) this summer. It’s a really great round-up with tons of fun ideas!

Ramen Broccoli Slaw – Oh, yes! A healthier version of Ramen Noodles! Recipe coming to CNC soon! 🙂

ramen broccoli slaw

17 Ways to Get Out of Your Coffee Rut – Awesome ideas, but I especially love 7, 8, and 17!

Lemon Avocado Hummus – Yummmm! This looks SO GOOD!

lemon-avocado-hummus_thumb

15 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout – Holy hell, this post spoke to me in so many ways.

Finally setting up appointments to get estimates to re-do our master closet – Finally! Our summer project most likely turned into a fall project, but it’s finally happening!

closets closets closets

Honey Nut Cheerios – Truthfully, I never understood the obsession with Honey Nut Cheerios until recently, but now I can’t get enough of them in my life. I like them with milk and banana slices, mixed with dark chocolate as an evening treat, or covered in Vanilla Cake Batter Coconut Butter.

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Spring Roll Chicken Salad – This looks so healthy and delicious!

spring-roll-chicken-salad-3

The kindness of strangers – Ok, this is such a small thing, but it really made my day. Earlier this week, I was leaving The Coffee Shack with Quinn, got distracted, and left my iced coffee on the top on my car. As I started to drive away, two men jumped out of their truck and started waving their hands at me. At first, I was kind of freaked out, thinking I was about to hit something as I backed up, but then one of them pointed to the iced coffee on the top of my car. Ahh, yes, then I remembered. I got out of my car, grabbed my coffee, and thanked them for letting me know. One of the guys replied: “I didn’t want losing it (the iced coffee) to ruin your day.” It was so nice and definitely made me smile.

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17 Pictures Of Bill Clinton Realizing That Balloons Exist – So funny!

The never-ending concealer – Guys, this is the SAME tube of concealer that I blogged about in December 2012. I know it’s gross, but this stuff just lasts forever and ever. And it’s seriously THE BEST concealer. I actually bought a new tube a few months ago, thinking I was about to run out, but this one is still kicking! FYI: I use the “light” shade.

miracle skin concealer

Candied Pecan Chex Mix – I made this recipe a few times over the holidays, and it was always a big hit. I have a family reunion tomorrow, so I’m going to make a huge batch to bring with me. I mean, everyone loves Chex Mix, right!?!

candied pecan chex mix

CVS/pharmacy send offers to card – Any one else take advantage of CVS/pharmacy’s “send offers to card” coupons? I get them in my email inbox, but you can also download the CVS Pharmacy app to send coupons and deals right to your ExtraCare card. For instance, just the other day, I had a discount offer for 25% off a purchase that I sent right to my ExtraCare card. I ended up going to CVS a couple of days later and kind of forgetting about the coupon, but the employee ringing me up received a register prompt and asked me if I wanted to use my coupon. Sweet! I saved 25% off my entire order and it was so easy!

cvs_send_to_card

The Very Best Sardine Salad  I keep saying that I am going to eat sardines and this salad might just be the catalyst. My plan: Make this salad for happy hour later today and eat it along side of a glass of wine! 🙂

Trader Joe’s Microwavable Mac & Cheese  Qman loves this stuff and we love it because the ingredients aren’t scary and we don’t waste food since the small portions are perfect for a toddler. We used to make Quinn regular sized boxes of mac & cheese, but he’d only eat a small part of it and we’d usually end up wasting some of it, so these smaller packages are great.

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Why I’m voting for Trump and you should too – This made me laugh!

Question of the Day

What’s up for the weekend? Any fun and exciting plans? 

What are YOU loving lately? 



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As the weather gets


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7 Summer Dishes That Aren’t Complete Without Basil

It’s that time of year when basil is abundant everywhere we turn, from our own herb gardens to top restaurants’ menus. We’re finding the fragrant green leaves torn and mixed with salad greens, muddled at the bottom of highball glasses, blended into ice cream and pulsed with garlic, Parmesan and pine nuts until a fragrant pesto sauce comes into being. Part of the beauty of this leafy summer herb is its approachability; in other words, you don’t need to be a trained chef in order to dream up some creative takes on it. If you’re like us and keep a fresh bundle in a vase on your countertop all season long, waiting for the perfect excuse to snip off a few leaves, then you just found a reason to celebrate. Here are seven in-season (and healthy!) dishes that just won’t suffice without basil.

Bruschetta
In its purest form, this rustic summer appetizer consists of toasted baguette slices topped with an ample scoop of chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions and basil. A snack this simple is only as good as its ingredients, so splurge on the freshest produce you can find — especially the basil, which makes a gorgeous leafy topper for each neatly portioned bite in Giada De Laurentiis’ Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta recipe.

Caprese Salad
If you’ve been treating basil as an optional element when preparing Caprese Salad, then you’ve been depriving yourself. This classic Italian starter of fresh mozzarella and juicy tomato slices begs for fresh-torn basil leaves — and don’t forget the olive oil.

Strawberry Desserts
It may seem like an unlikely combination, but we’re hard-pressed to find a better companion for sweet ricotta and balsamic-soaked strawberries than a sprinkle of fragrant basil, cut into ribbons. Not yet convinced? Try Ellie Krieger’s Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream and we promise you’ll see the light.

Meatballs
A meatball without sauce is like a cake without frosting, so don’t even thinking about skipping the pesto when preparing these hearty Vegetarian Meatballs. For added nutrients, use a combination of basil and fresh spinach when making the earthy sauce in your food processor.

Grilled Fish
Swordfish is prized for its thickness and incredibly steaklike texture, but unfortunately, it runs the risk of coming out dry, even after a brief sear on the grill. Earthy basil and bright, tangy lemon do wonders to perk up swordfish’s meaty flavor and revitalize the steaks with moisture. It’s a flavor pairing Giada takes full advantage of in her Grilled Swordfish with Lemon, Mint and Basil recipe.

Potato Salad
If you’ve been leaving basil out of your picnic salads, you’ve been making a huge mistake. Take a leaf out of Dave Lieberman’a book and give this Potato, Corn and Basil Salad a try. Few dishes capture summer like this hyper-seasonal mixture of fresh produce topped off with fresh basil leaves.

Fruit Salad
Yes, even a summer fruit salad can benefit from the addition of basil. The chefs in Food Network Kitchen took things one step further with this Tomato-Peach Salad with Basil, a dish of fresh summer peach and tomato slices over a smooth and refreshing basil puree. It comes together easily in a food processor; plus, the water from the leaves allows you to use less oil.

For more ways to use fresh basil, check out these recipes from our friends:

Devour: Pesto, Change-o: 6 Recipes to Use Up Leftover Basil
Feed Me Phoebe: Brazilian-Style Moqueca Fish Packets with Coconut Milk, Tomatoes and Herbs
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Peach & Basil Panzanella
The Lemon Bowl: Thai Basil Shrimp
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Basil Seeds Limeade
Creative Culinary: Ricotta, Lemon and Basil Pasta Salad
TasteBook: Frozen Basil Daiquiri
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Tomatoes with Basil
The Mom 100: Shrimp and Corn Salad with Basil Dressing
Swing Eats: Gluten-Free Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce And Basil
Taste with the Eyes: Mandilli di Seta al Pesto (Handkerchief Pasta) #glutenfree
FN Dish: 7 Ways to Take Fresh Basil Beyond Pesto



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Beneficial Juicing f


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Bliss Out Green Juic


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Enjoy homemade blueb


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The Shady Lady drink


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Goodbye sliced water


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Pumpkin Juice Recipe


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Peanut Butter Espres


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Get in a delicious d


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Frozen Rose.


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Skinny Vanilla Prote


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Fresh Grapefruit Jui


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The Primal Competitive Instinct: What Is It Good for?

Competitive Instinct FinalThese days we have a mixed relationship with competition, and maybe rightfully so. As a culture, we struggle with the joys of simple play, the meaning of good sportsmanship, and the lightheartedness of a game well played. Life as we live it today can feel too serious, and the prospect of competition against that backdrop can feel like yet another layer of harshness, judgment or evaluation. To boot, those who have too much of a competitive spirit often demonstrate the least exemplary attitudes. I’d argue, however, that we throw the baby out with the bathwater when we push competition away instead of cultivating a healthy relationship with it. Trust me,  I should know. As a recovered competitive endurance athlete,  I’ve been on both sides of the tracks. It’s a big reason why I wrote Primal Endurance. As is often the case with Primal instincts, we can vilify competition with a one-dimensional assessment, or we can strategically harness it for our personal advantage. Now, with lots of experience under my belt, I always make a point to strive for the latter.

Sure, some of us are inevitably more drawn to competition than others, and we all gather energy from a unique mix of internal and external motivation. Nonetheless, we’re all born with the basic wiring. Competition is part of the human story after all. As a species, we’ve been propelled forward by the competitive edge time and again. Survival of the fittest may not mean as much in today’s world, but it was the principle that governed humanity’s evolution through the ages.

Although Grok’s time wasn’t necessarily characterized by the rampant violence conventional assumptions might lead us to believe, competition undoubtedly played out with random injustices, personal rivalries and mate competition. Yet, the egalitarian nature of social organization likely kept competition seated mostly in the realm of play rather than power. Even though band members might have enjoyed accolades or recognition for their hunting talents or inventive creativity, their status or well-being wouldn’t have changed much (except maybe being more attractive to potential love interests). On the individual level, competition, then, thrived more as a means of appeal rather than conflict.

But where competition mattered most perhaps was the larger context with group selection. The selfish gene, after all, wasn’t just about the individual in question. It was about group selection—oneself and one’s kin. How collaborative Grok could be (and even how altruistic at times), not only enhanced his appeal but also his and his band’s survival. It’s a different take than we often think of when we’re looking around the gym wondering whether we’ll ever be able to bench press what that other guy/gal can.

So, what should this mean for us today? What role can/should competition play in living a healthy life and propelling us forward? While not every health goal itself necessarily benefits from competition (e.g. the unhealthy conditions and long-term failure of The Biggest Loser approach to weight loss), competition can change how we apply ourselves to our goals. When viewed through the lens of play, it can be a boon for our growing sense of competence and self-discipline. We’re charged by more than the “shoulds” in our health aims and can engage on the level of game.

Let me throw out a few ideas for infusing your process with a competitive Primal spirit, and I hope you’ll add yours to the mix in the comment board.

Channel the group dynamic

Harness that “group survival” mentality, and get inspired to pull your weight in the tribe by joining a team sport like a hockey, Ultimate, a basketball league, or a group activity such as dancing, rowing, or mountaineering. Being in competitive group dynamics can be cathartic. It let’s you flex those proverbial (and literal) muscles without anyone getting hurt (usually). You get to contribute to a common goal along with your teammates while vying for victory. And if you have good sportsmanship, you can look forward to some deep social bonds; something which is good for longevity and overall happiness.

Engage in a little healthy comparison

Yes, comparison can be “the thief of joy” in some cases, but it can also spur us toward greater visions. Instead of indulging in jealousy, ask the person whose skill or strength you admire if they’d be interested in offering some advice on how he/she achieved success. Heck, if you both hit it off, you might have a new mentor as a result, which can be invaluable.

Challenge yourself to specific self-improvements

All athletes know they’re in constant competition with their previous performance first and foremost. Track your fitness numbers (e.g. pull-ups, push-ups, squats, plank time, reps, etc.), meditation minutes, sleep hours, pre-bedtime technology shutdown, or any other goal you have for yourself, and set short-term goals that push you to improve those markers. Engage your social networks by announcing and updating your intentions (humor will garner you enthusiastic support) on Facebook or Instagram. Nothing like group accountability to reinforce your commitment to personal progress.

Organize win-win scenarios

Trying to get yourself motivated to enhance your Primal way of eating? Host a Primal potluck and vow to bring your best cooking game to the event. Alternatively, channel your efforts for the greater good. Sign up for athletic charity events like walkathons and races, and push yourself to perform better all the while knowing your efforts are already benefiting a bigger cause. If you’re going to be competitive about something, you might as well have a positive byproduct to show for it. That’s something I’ve done all my life. I challenge myself to do big things, but only if they have demonstrable value to others. That’s been the guiding force behind everything I’ve done in the Primal sphere, from The Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple to PRIMAL KITCHEN™.

Put play before outcome

When tracking numbers gets old, challenge yourself to variety. Compete with yourself or a friend to see how many new workout activities you can try in a month. Zumba, check. Slacklining, check. Helping a rural neighbor bale hay, check. If you have friends or family helping cheer on or oversee the competition, agree to assign extra points for creativity.

Here’s the takeaway. Be competitive, but in the right ways. Let that instinct guide you to greatness, not resentment or disappointment. Used wisely and constructively, a competitive instinct can be a deep source of motivation. So get out there and be competitive (for the greater good)!

Thanks for reading today, everybody. Share how you harness the competitive instinct for your Primal lifestyle, and have good end to your week.

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