Thursday, November 10, 2016

Friday Morning Iced Coffee Date (11/11)

Good morning and very HAPPY Friday to you!

What a week. So much happened! Both good and bad. The bad is probably obvious, but the GOOD is that Designed to Fit Nutrition is quickly growing and we’re going along for the ride. It sure is exciting, but, whoa, start-up life is crazy and nerve-wracking, too. We’re definitely in for an adventure! It’s been a week, and I am soooo ready for my PJs, couch, and a big ol’ glass of wine. I’m also really looking forward to our coffee date this morning. I feel like we haven’t chatted in ages!

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Speaking of wine… I recently discovered Mussel Bay, which is an affordable ($10) and very tasty New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I bought it at a local store, but, apparently, Wegmans sells it! Keep a look out for it Marlborough lovers!

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Speaking of wine….

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Oooh, so true, right? Gatorade is permanently ruined for me. Every time I drink it, it reminds me of college. And hangovers. Ha!

I’m totally in love with these ripped, black skinny jeans, and I need them in my life. I’m also 8,000% obsessed with this ‘Frosty’ Asymmetrical Zip Pullover. I saw it on Juli Bauer’s Instagram feed, liked it, and immediately sent the info to Mal. Hint hint. #christmasiscoming


I did the workout below at CrossFit earlier this week, and it totally crushed me. It took me 11 minutes, and I was almost the last person in class to finish. I was feeling kinda blah about my performance until it hit me: When the heck did I start doing 95-pound Front Squats in a workout!?! That’s some heavy stuff! When I realized how far I’ve come in my CrossFit journey, it actually made me feel pretty good about myself. 🙂

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Remember when I had cellulitis in my knee and then broke out in a horrible rash ALL OVER MY BODY from the antibiotics I was prescribed? Well, after that whole ridiculous ordeal, my GI doctor recommended that I have an allergy test for penicillin. As a kid, I broke out in a terrible rash, so I haven’t taken it since. Well, apparently, if you’re not exposed to penicillin for 5+ years, you likely won’t have a reaction to it. Who knew? So, in a lot of cases, especially for adults, they’ve often outgrown their penicillin allergy. My doctor thought this was probably the case for me, so I went into MGH a couple of weeks ago for testing. Verdict: NOT allergic to penicillin! 🙂

If you’re a fan of Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, you NEED to try these kettle chips from Trader Joe’s. They sound kind of weird, but I promise they are delicious!

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Speaking of delicious…

I am totally, 100% in love with the organic cold brew coffee from Bramo. You guys know I won’t steer you wrong when it comes to cold brew– definitely keep a look out for this one! Why it’s so amazing: It’s just strong/flavorful/awesome cold brew. No funny stuff added. Even the flavored ones are just cold brew + organic whole bean vanilla or organic raw cocoa nibs. I’m a huge fan, and Bramo is most definitely my go-to, ready-to-drink cold brew nowadays! FYI: Right now, Bramo is mostly sold locally (Whole Foods in South Weymouth has it), but, hopefully, they’ll expand their distribution soon!

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A little more info about what’s happening in DTFN world: We’re hiring staff, including an RD or two, we’re investing in software, so we can build meal plans more efficiently, and we’re gearing up for the New Year because we know it’s going to be busy! Hooray for New Years resolutions and getting healthy!! We’re so pumped! Speaking of which, we now offer GIFT CARDS, so you can literally purchase the gift of health for someone special in your life (or add a custom meal plan on your own wish list)!

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Questions of the Day

Ever started your own company or worked for a start-up? Any advice/tips? 

Turkey stuffing potato chips… want to try them? Yay or nay? 


from Carrots 'N' Cake

Small Batch Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Hi, friends! Boy, do I have a delicious, protein-packed treat for you! I hope you’re ready for a new go-to recipe! 🙂

I love a good protein ball, but, man, sometimes I have zero control around them. I often make a big batch on Sundays and they usually last me all week, but there are definitely times that they only make it until Tuesday or Wednesday. They’re so delicious, I just can’t stay away!

Last week, I had a major craving for cookie dough (heyyy, PMS), and I knew if I made a big ol’ batch of protein balls for the week, I’d probably eat them all in like 24 hours. Yup. It happens to the best of us. Long story short, I whipped up a small batch of Cookie Dough Protein Balls for some added portion control and, whoa, they hit the spot. I hope you guys enjoy these babies as much as I do! 🙂



  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla (or coconut) protein powder (I used SFH)
  • 1 tbsp oat flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla cake batter coconut butter <– regular coconut butter would work, but vanilla cake batter flavored would be more delicious! 🙂
  • 1 tbsp creamy almond butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions: Combine ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Batter will likely seem dry at first, but just keep mixing. Roll batter into 4 balls. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Makes 4 balls

Macros: P 6 C 10 F 8

from Carrots 'N' Cake

7 Healthy Ways to Turn Carrots Into Cake

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means our opportunities for sampling fresh baked goods are about to quadruple. If you’re choosing between a mammoth slice of cake festooned with buttery frosting and a modest piece of carrot cake, the carrot cake is clearly the better choice. Carrots are in peak season right now, and when used in baking, this vivid orange vegetable offers wonderful texture and natural sweetness. Still, the usual embellishments — chopped nuts, dried fruit, cream cheese frosting — all present opportunities for refined sugar and added fat to sneak in. So whether you prefer your carrots in cake, cupcake or muffin form, follow these six tips for turning your favorite carrot desserts into health-minded fall treats.

Use Whole-Wheat Flour
Whole-wheat pastry flour and pumpkin pie spice add great nutty flavor to Food Network Kitchen’s rustic Carrot Cake, while buttermilk and grated carrots keep the batter extra moist. Confectioners’ sugar and reduced-fat cream cheese yield a still-sweet, still-tangy frosting for very few extra calories.

Miniaturize Your Cupcakes
Giada De Laurentiis’ Mini Carrot-Apple Cupcakes are scaled down in size for portion control — but in every other way, they’re classic carrot cupcakes topped with just a touch of cream cheese frosting. Giada uses dark brown sugar, which has a lot of molasses flavor and adds depth to the sweet apples and carrots.

Refined Sugar? Hard Pass
Refined white sugar’s heyday is over. Besides, coconut sugar makes for the most-glorious, creamy meringue frosting. You’ll see for yourself when you try these Coconut Sugar Carrot-Banana Cupcakes with Coconut Sugar Meringue. It gives the topping a hint of salted caramel flavor, without requiring you to actually make any caramel.

Go Bare
Eliminate the frosting from the top of your carrot cupcake and you’re left with a tasty, fiber-packed muffin that would be perfect for a fall brunch. Food Network Kitchen’s Healthy Carrot Muffins are made with a mix of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. You won’t need much added sugar; the grated carrots and crushed pineapple add naturally sweet flavor.

Go Gluten-Free
Nut meals, like the almond and ground coconut in these Gluten-Free Carrot Coconut Muffins, are always a safe bet for getting a moist texture and plenty of body without the batter becoming heavy. Here, soaked chia seeds and bananas also help produce a moist, cakelike muffin with a lovely, nutty flavor that’s perfect for breakfast.

Use Greek Yogurt for Texture & Tang
Whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt keep these Mini Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese Glaze flavorful and moist while adding fiber and protein. Each cake gets one teaspoon of sweet cream cheese glaze — with far fewer calories than the multiple tablespoons of frosting piled onto your typical cupcake.

Swap Butter for Applesauce
Ellie Krieger’s Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are incredibly moist, thanks to the applesauce hidden in the batter. The applesauce also eliminates the need for a lot of oil. Here, there’s only a quarter-cup.

For more ways to enjoy carrots this season, check out these recipes from our friends:

The Lemon Bowl: Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
Creative Culinary: Carrot and Zucchini Quick Bread with Toasted Walnuts and a Cinnamon Nutmeg Glaze
Devour: 5 Gorgeous Carrot Recipes That Will Make You Eat With Your Eyes
Hey Grill Hey: Bacon Wrapped Maple Glazed Carrots
The Mediterranean Dish: Turmeric Roasted Carrots
The Fed Up Foodie: Carrot Cucumber Asian Slaw
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Carrot Peas Pilaf
A Mind “Full” Mom: Vegan Carrot Soup with Spiced Peanuts
Pinch My Salt: Carrot Tomato Chipotle Soup
The Mom 100: Carrot, Cabbage and Kohlrabi Slaw with Miso Dressing
Taste with the Eyes: Baby Rainbow Carrots with Hazelnuts, Truffle, and Hollandaise
FN Dish: 6 Carrot Treats That Deserve a Spot in Your Thanksgiving Dessert Spread

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

7 Ways to Harness the Self-Enhancement Bias (and Claim a Bigger Life)

Inline_How_to_Harness_the_Self-Enhancement_Bias_11.10.16In yesterday’s post, “My 7 Favorite Practices for Engineering the Good Life,” I included a curveball of sorts—right at the end. Chase down fear.

While all seven have been game changers, that one claims the pinnacle. The fact is, it’s the hardest one to embrace time and again, but it’s never ceased to move my life forward in very clear, tangible ways. Still, every time I have to talk myself through the same process.… How can I possibly take on something this substantial? What am I thinking? That one’s just too big, too complicated, too ambitious. This time, surely, you’ve overstretched, Sisson.

But in that moment I remind myself that those feelings don’t drive the bus for me. They won’t be the ones doing the work to make a vision happen (they never are). A stronger, bolder, more adept self-concept will be leading the charge. Because that’s what formidable challenges call for. If I want something big, resisting fear will keep me from it every time. If I can tell fear, “You’ve met your match,” suddenly the game looks much different.

When we take on a significant health goal, when we’re staring down what it can take to lose 100 pounds or run a half marathon or beat back an autoimmune disorder or start what will be a new life or lifestyle, it can seem like meeting the impossible. A stronger person, a better person, a more disciplined person might do this, we think.

But not a different person, I’d add. It’s simply time to tap a dimension of self that already exists, listening to the inner voice that says with all the daring of an 8-year-old on a dirt bike, it’s go time.

In the moment of gazing down a long, steep trail from those handlebars, you have a choice about how to see yourself. It’s much the same as when you face any challenge—a snarling predator or life and limb emergency, but the choice might feel more automatic then…and for good reason.

Researchers have identified something called the “self-enhancement bias,” a pattern in the human psyche that naturally moves the needle of our self valuation toward the positive. It describes a range of behaviors that sway our confidence contrary to what an empirical assessment might suggest about our present abilities or willingness.

And its evolutionary logic moves us. We feel emboldened to take a bigger risk, a greater chance than we might otherwise take if we sat in front of a pro and con list. Greater risk could mean greater danger, but it could also mean greater benefit. Audacity only had to help just enough to be adaptive, and the social (and mating) status advantage would’ve been an undeniably powerful factor in the cost-benefit analysis—not necessarily to the individual in the moment but to the overall evolutionary picture. (PDF)

Of course, the ethics of small band society and the ultimate threat of death or dismemberment likely kept this instinct in check. Bravado is different than confidence, and bravery looks decidedly different than foolhardiness. I’ll admit it’s an urge we need to use carefully and consciously.

Still, I think there’s something essential here that often gets missed. It’s easy to spend so much time focused on the negative self-talk—the social, cultural and familial layers of baggage some of us carry—that we lose sight of what’s innate in us, the power that exists untapped.

What if we could get quiet enough to let that old, gutsy instinct rise to the surface? What if we could learn to listen to its message, feel its energy? Trust that it courses through us, too? What if we could imagine that this instinct can move us beyond the limitations of what has been true for us in the past? What if we could get out of the way and let it do the work of enhancing our own self-efficacy? What if we could retrieve the emboldened self, believe it, and put it in the driver’s seat toward our goals?

I’m not saying that substantial change doesn’t depend on the regular practice of sensical tactics, scientifically rooted strategy. We want a new life, we have to live new details. But as I mentioned above, we may also need to live out of a new belief and a lot more nerve.

Can we harness that peripheral primal tendency? If we feel too distanced from it by the sediment of experience, can we reconnect with it—to see ourselves in a bigger way, a broader story? It may just be that reclaiming this drive will be what cracks the parameters that have unnecessarily defined us and what we feel is possible.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Have a good end to the week.


The post 7 Ways to Harness the Self-Enhancement Bias (and Claim a Bigger Life) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Could Leaky Gut be the Hidden Cause of Your Health Problems? 4 Causes and 4 Solutions

Mediterranean Tasting Plate


Earlier this year I had the most delicious lunch: a Mediterranean tasting plate. I have always loved dishes that give you a little of this and a little of that, and this one had such a great variety!

Olives, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, carrots and celery (loved the veggie touch!), toasted pita, big beans with sun-dried tomatoes, and a huge hunk of feta. It was absolutely delicious, and I knew I wanted to re-create it at home!


My version would be great for a lunch for two (mine is a little large for one, but maybe you have a large appetite!) or perfect as a party dish. I took mine to a fall party and it was a big hit.


I love that this platter requires barely any prep – just assembly. All you need to do is gather ingredients, chop the veggies, and toast the pita. And make hummus, if you’d like to. I used a local brand that I love!


I found the grape leaves (a.k.a. dolmas) at Whole Foods in a nice little tin. So easy!


I also added grapes to mine, which I thought was an excellent touch for something sweet to cleanse the palate. The big beans and olives came from the salad bar in my grocery store.


Shopping list:

  1. Whole wheat pita (plus olive oil and Italian herbs for toasting)
  2. 2 big carrots
  3. 2 big celery stalks
  4. 1 tin of stuffed grape leaves (dolmas)
  5. A block of feta, cubed
  6. Seasoned big beans
  7. Olives
  8. Hummus
  9. Grapes



from Kath Eats Real Food