Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday In Meals + Dangerous Kid Toys

Good morning, friends! Happy Tuesday!

Here’s the next edition of Monday In Meals where I recap what I ate throughout the day on Monday.

Monday In Meals_November 28

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with broccoli rabe and a toasted Barely Bread bagel with butter + iced coffee with a splash of eggnog and collagen.
  • Mid-morning snack: A mug of eggnog tea + Quinn’s leftover muffin from Whole Foods
  • Lunch: Cauliflower Stuffing with chicken breast and roasted butternut squash
  • Afternoon snack: Peanut Butter Mighty Muffin with banana slices
  • Dinner: Crockpot chicken with Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce and Fire-Roasted Peppers & Onions over cauliflower rice
  • DessertSea Salt Caramel Cashews with dark chocolate chunks x 3

Ok, now onto the “dangerous kid toys” part of this blog post…

So, yesterday morning began like many others… breakfast, building forts, chasing Murphy (he’s still a sock monster), and, uh, playing with glitter. Hey, our couch is quite festive now!

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We also spent a good portion of the morning building with Legos. They were actually Mal’s when he was a kid and we found them in his parents’ barn on Thanksgiving, so we brought them home for Quinn. Anyway, when Quinn plays with them now, one of us is always close by supervising since there are so many tiny pieces– not that Qman is putting them in his mouth, but you never know.

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We played with Quinn’s Legos during his Early Intervention appointment yesterday morning. The specialist and I riffled through them together, and I half-jokingly mentioned all of the small, choking hazard-size pieces. She smiled and agreed (like no big deal), so we continued to play with Quinn. Not 30 seconds later, I spied a bunch of Legos stuck together, but in a weird sort of way. I picked up the clump to get a better look and realized that it was a bunch of tiny magnets stuck to a RUSTY NAIL. Guys, there was literally a rusty nail in Quinn’s “new” set of Legos.

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OMG. Whaaattttt? I was actually kind of embarrassed and said to the specialist, something like: “It’s a good thing that I found it before he did.” Umm. I honestly don’t think she cared, but it was awkward for me. #motheroftheyear

After Quinn’s session ended, I sent a WhatsApp message to a couple of my mom friends to recount what happened. I basically sent them the photo above along with a short caption: “Lego safety score: -76.” Then, I explained what happened in a voice message and our conversation moved toward some of the dangerous toys we played with as kids: Lawn darts, Clackers, Snap Bracelets, and Steel Sleds/Saucers (my step-sister actually broke her collarbone on one). Things have definitely changed with regard to toy safety, but I’m pretty sure rusty nails are always considered dangerous, especially to 2 year olds!

Question of the Day

Do you remember any dangerous toys from your childhood?


from Carrots 'N' Cake

Instant Pot pressure cookers on deep sale today

I've written twice before about the Instant Pot, an electronic pressure cooker that helps make healthy food in a time-efficient manner (1, 2).  At some point, I'll write another review of my Instant Pot, but the gist is that it still works flawlessly and looks sharp after more than four years of frequent use.  Here are a few of the reasons why I like it so much:

  • It increases my efficiency in the kitchen, especially with beans, beets, artichokes, and bone broth.  It's automatic, so you can do something else while it works.
  • It's durable.  The inner pot is stainless steel without a nonstick liner, and the gaskets are silicone.  The whole thing has a solid, quality feel.
  • It replaces multiple bulky kitchen items.  It isn't just a pressure cooker, but also a steamer, slow cooker, and rice maker.  The latest version is also a yogurt maker.
Today only, Amazon is offering the Instant Pot on deep discount.  If you're considering getting one, today is the day.  The older version (LUX50) is only $49, and the newer version (DUO60) is only $69.  That's an incredible value for what this thing does.  

If you purchase through the following links, you'll be benefiting my work at no additional cost to yourself:

This post was written by Stephan Guyenet for Whole Health Source.

from Whole Health Source

Dear Mark: Hyperthyroidism; Wim Hof and Placebo

inline_hyperthyroidismFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. The first is a really good one I’m kicking myself for never having considered before: what to do about hyperthyroidism. As the reader notes, everyone’s always talking about hypothyroidism—lack of thyroid function. What about too much thyroid activity? Then, I discuss what Wim Hof means for the placebo effect.

Let’s go:

All the information out there seems to be geared towards hypothyroidism, what about hyperthyroidism? Hard to find anything on treating it with a Primal diet. Lol, maybe I’m just unlucky.

Great question. Hyperthyroidism really does get the short end of the sick, doesn’t it?

What can you do?

There’s apparently an epidemic of hyperthyroidism among cats because I found tons of hyperthyroid cat studies. Luckily, cat hyperthyroidism is similar enough to human hyperthyroidism that we can make some smart inferences.

Reduce iodine: In a recent study, feeding hyperthyroid cats a low-iodine diet reduced thyroid hormones and improved some—but not all—symptoms. Another study had similar results, finding that just 4 weeks on a low-iodine diet were enough to improve fur quality, vomiting, weight loss, and other symptoms.

While I wouldn’t necessarily worry about iodine in common foods like eggs or dairy, don’t go out of your way to increase it. Don’t add seaweed to everything, don’t take iodine drops.

Get adequate selenium: Pregnant women with hyperthyroidism tend to have lower selenium levels than healthy pregnant women, and patients with Graves’ disease (a type of hyperthyroidism) who took selenium alongside their medication saw better results than those only taking medication. However in a later study whose subjects began with adequate selenium levels, extra selenium had no effect.

Reduce BPA and other plasticizers: One of the most consistent associations with cat hyperthyroidism is canned food consumption. Cat food cans are usually lined with BPA or some other plasticizing agent, and these have been shown to disrupt the thyroid. In humans, plastics are associated with lower thyroid levels, while there are different effects in other animals. Either way, it’s likely doing something to your thyroid. I certainly wouldn’t rely on BPA as a thyroid modulator.

Eat crucifers: Broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens—compounds that inhibit thyroid function. We normally seek to increase thyroid function, but in the case of hyperthyroid a slight depression could help.

Eat your cruciferous vegetables lightly cooked to maximize goitrogenic activity.

Give up gluten: You’re probably already doing this, but be strict. Gluten intolerance and celiac often present with Graves’ disease.

Hope it helps you.

Have you heard about Wim Hof – the Iceman? He harnesses the placebo effect consciously.

Oh, yeah. Wim Hof is an incredible story. From what I can gather, he provides a perfect example of the power of the placebo.

First, if you haven’t heard of Wim Hof, check out this Vice documentary. It’s 30 minutes or so and completely worth watching. Long story short, stricken with grief and the monumental responsibility of caring for his children after the death of his wife, Wim Hof found refuge and new life in nature—by submerging his body in icy rivers. Since then, he’s set 26 world records.

He ran a half marathon in the Arctic circle wearing only a pair of shorts and shoes.

He climbed most of the way up Mt. Everest in shorts and shoes.

He ran a full marathon in the Namib desert without any water.

He swam for almost 60 meters meters under Arctic ice.

More importantly, he trained others to do the same things. In 2014, after just a few days of instruction, 12 of his students were able to successfully counter the inflammatory effect of E. coli endotoxin administration. Both the 12 trainees and a control group were injected with 2 ng of endotoxin, a large enough dose to reliably cause headaches, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. The trainees blocked the inflammatory response by consciously increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines and neutrophils, experiencing fewer symptoms and normalizing cortisol at an accelerated rate.

Skeptics would look at the clinical validation of Hof’s claims and go, “Well, that’s not the placebo effect. That’s real!” But that’s exactly the point.

The placebo refers to the body’s ability to tap into the subconscious power within. Whether it’s mimicking a painkiller’s analgesia or reducing the dosage of the active drug, the placebo effect is very real, but you don’t control it consciously. 

Hof has figured out how to consciously control certain aspects of the autonomous nervous system. He can keep his body temperature within a healthy range and maintain a normal heart rate despite sitting in ice water. He can send blood to tissues on command to keep circulation going. He can bring down the inflammatory response to injected endotoxin, preventing fever and headache and all the other symptoms that normally accompany a healthy dose of e. coli. What I wonder is if Hof and his trainees are actually fighting the infection—sending in immune cells to destroy it—or merely stemming the inflammatory response to it. Time will tell.

I’ve listened to a few podcasts with the guy, and he’s supposed to be embarking on several new avenues of research, including using his methods to fight mental health issues like depression and PTSD. If there’s anything that “placebo” can help, it’s those conditions.

To sum up, I like Wim Hof a lot, and I think he’s a remarkable example of the placebo effect’s potential.

That’s it for today, folks. What about you? What’s your take on hyperthyroidism and Primal? Have you looked into Wim Hof’s exploits?

Thanks for reading!


The post Dear Mark: Hyperthyroidism; Wim Hof and Placebo appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Tips for Exercising in Cold Weather

Just because the temperature dips doesn’t mean your exercise routine needs to take a dive. Keep these four rules in mind to exercise safely all winter long.

Rule #1: Warm Up

Pun intended! Get blood flowing to muscles, and increase your heart rate before heading out into the cold. The increased circulation will help prime muscles for activity and may help reduce the risk of injury.

Rule #2: Keep On Hydrating

This may be more obvious during warmer months, but you still need to drink plenty of fluids when exercising in the cold; you’re still sweating, and you need to replenish fluids lost. Both warm and cold fluids will help contribute to hydration, so reach for whichever you prefer. A little caffeine will help boost performance, but too much can have a negative effect on digestion, so keep your intake conservative.

Rule #3: Seek Shelter

Even die-hard outdoor enthusiasts need to know when to take the workout indoors. Bitter-cold and icy conditions can lead to treacherous surfaces, injuries and even frostbite. It’s also beneficial for everyone to cross-train, so hit up a yoga class or take a swim in the local indoor pool a couple of days a week when outdoor conditions become an issue. 

Rule #4: Bundle Up

Keep skin protected by reducing exposure to the elements. An insulated hat will retain body heat and help wick away sweat. It’s also important to keep fingers and toes toasty, as blood flow tends to dissipate in these areas when the air is chilly. And who wants to exercise with numb fingers and toes?

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...

Thanksgiving Weekend 2017

{Biggest. Leaf. Ever.}


Hi friends!! I hope you all had plenty of time to relax over the long weekend. I did!


Mazen and I traveled to Williamsburg with our new friend and his pilgrim dog.


We spent the holiday with his large family, who welcomed us with loving arms.


New traditions were made: oysters!


And old favorites were served:


I kept the photography to a minimum but I can assure you I enjoyed plenty of cheese, ham biscuits, wine, and pumpkin pie. I went to bed that night satisfied yet not stuffed, so mission accomplished!

We had croissants with leftover ham and coffee for breakfast the next day.


And then explored colonial Williamsburg on foot.


Stopping for sandwiches from The Cheese Shop for lunch, of course.


Mazey and I had a great time, especially since there was another four-year-old who is also into Batman with us ; ) {Shirt is from GAP Kids last year.}


Back in Cville, we made this pumpkin ravioli from Plated, which we’ve been subscribing to after a friend gave us a discount code. Going to do some Blue Apron next!


I had pumpkin oatmeal with melted almond butter for Saturday breakfast.


On Saturday I went to a friend’s house for dinner and we had panko turbot, brussels sprouts, focaccia, and a homemade tartar sauce. Homemade pumpkin cheesecake for dessert!


And finally, Sunday morning waffles using 100 Days of Real Food’s recipe. Very very good!!


Let the holiday season begin!

from Kath Eats Real Food

Clean Eating Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Recipe

Clean Eating Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Recipe

I haven’t had dairy in a really long time, but my little guy is another story. He loves flavored yogurts at the moment (this could change on a whim), but I hate the ingredients found in most… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry