Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Food Industry Needs To Stop Treating Us Like A Bunch Of Idiots

There’s a war going on inside the food industry right now and I’m sitting on the edge of my seat… watching each play… and seeing who makes the right moves. 

Some of the changes we are seeing are good and some are bad. The food industry is responding at rapid pace – Papa John’s in getting into organic food, Kraft created organic Lunchables, General Mills removed BHT from most of their cereals, Frito Lay is selling Organic Doritos and Amazon bought Whole Foods!

After decades of using the cheapest and easiest ways to create products to maximize profits, brands now have to face the thousands of Americans (including the Food Babe Army!) who are more aware of the crazy additives they are sticking in our food and are demanding change. There are a growing number of us who are no longer willing to buy pickles with yellow #5… almond milk with carrageenan, chips with MSG… or drinks colored with caramel coloring.

But some players in the food industry are making all the wrong moves and our trust is going to continue to decline – unless they wake up and realize that there is a new generation of smart, savvy, health conscious, and educated people out there to hold them accountable. Basically, they need to stop acting like we are a bunch of idiots.

The food industry is reinventing itself faster than ever.

How Kraft, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Campbells, etc. are reacting to the “clean food” revolution and changing marketplace is very telling. They can either choose to side with consumers who overwhelming want to buy real food without unnecessary and risky additives… or they can continue locking arms with the big chemical companies in how they will formulate and label their products. 

There’s a “mounting distrust of so-called Big Food, the large food companies and legacy brands on which millions of consumers have relied on for so long” ~ Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell’s

Campbell’s just announced they’re dropping out of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), not for financial reasons, but rather “driven by purpose and principles” as they want to become “the leading health and well-being food company.” The GMA is a top industry trade group with a shady history who lobbies for policies that support junk food brands and has spent millions fighting against GMO labeling. Could it be that Campbell’s wants to rise above the fray and base their brand on ethics and trust? Or, are they trying to pull a quick one on us? It’s too early to tell, but you can bet I’m keeping a close eye on their next move.

The latest food industry inventions… 

I sent a member of my team to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo last year, which is essentially where major chemical companies and scientists converge to discuss their latest inventions in the food industry and present them to food companies. Many of the food additives I’ve campaigned against… artificial food dyes, Class IV caramel color, BHT, TBHQ, artificial and natural flavors are all showcased here. They also discuss the growing organic and “clean food” movement (including the Food Babe Army) and what they need to do to continue profiting off of chemical food additives and GMOs. 

DOW Chemical’s French Fries? Don’t worry, we didn’t eat them 😉 

New food additives being presented by Tate & Lyle at the IFT Expo

New “Clean-Label” additives seen on the IFT Expo floor.

The food industry is having an identity crisis…

While many of the biggest food additive manufacturers were showcasing their new “natural”, “non-GMO”, and “clean-label” additives designed to replace synthetic colors, flavors, and preservatives, the word on the street focused on how they want to change customer perception so that Americans would come to accept food chemicals and GMOs in their food. They don’t like the sweeping changes that food brands are making to remove chemical additives from their food, as this is costing them a lot of money and possibly more. If consumers stop buying packaged foods full of additives, their market will disappear.

They’re pleading with their members to curtail our movement by recruiting more “science communicators” to gain the public’s trust in their food technologies. Their mindset is that consumers “fear what they don’t understand” and that if they could only explain their food chemicals in a warm and fuzzy way, we would accept them.

But, they’re way off target. We don’t trust the brands who use these chemical additives for good reason, and there may be no coming back. Last week I asked on social media if you trust the Big Food brands like Kraft, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and Coca-Cola, and the overwhelming consensus was NO. And, I don’t blame you. Here are five reasons why these brands have lost our trust…

Reason #1: They Have No Ethics

Many brands reformulate their products with healthier ingredients in other countries and also don’t use GMOs overseas where labeling is required. I’ve written about this many times before and exposed the shocking double-standard of how many brands serve one set of ingredients here in the U.S. and remove controversial additives in other countries that have stronger regulations. The examples are seemingly endless…

  • Pepsico uses natural colors like black carrot juice concentrate and beta carotene in Gatorade in other countries, while they use artificial dyes derived from petroleum (red 40, yellow 5) in the U.S.
  • Although some major brands will start labeling GMOs under new laws in the U.S., they will not follow suit in Canada. Why not just label them in every country where they sell GMO food?!?

Reason #2: They Fight Transparency

Over the years we’ve watched Kraft, Pepsico, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Nestle, Kellogg’s, and ConAgra give millions to fight GMO labeling laws, even resorting to money laundering to hide their contributions to anti-labeling campaigns. They have spent insane amounts of money to hide the GMOs in their food, despite the fact that poll after poll shows that roughly 90% of consumers want to see GMO labels on packages. As I wrote about in The Food Babe Way, Pepsico spent over $8 million, Coca-cola spent nearly $6 million, Kraft spent nearly $4 million, and ConAgra, General Mills, and Nestle each spent over $2.5 million to fight GMO labeling initiatives. Why spend this much money to fight something that consumers overwhelmingly want? It really has felt like a stab in the back.

The new nationwide “labeling” law that passed in 2016 is giving these companies a way out. They can simply use a QR Code instead of the words “Produced With Genetic Engineering” on the package (and they won’t even need to do that for several years). Since this law passed, some brands who had begun labeling their productslike Kellogg’s – are now removing them. It’s so outrageous, and just goes to show they never did this with their customer’s best interests in mind in the first place!

Photo Credit: GMO Free USA

The same goes for restaurants who refuse to disclose their ingredients like In-N-Out Burger. Everyone deserves to know what is in the food they are buying, and there is NO REASON for restaurants to withhold ingredient lists and claim that it is “Proprietary” just because there are no regulations requiring them to disclose. We all know that is a load of you know what…

Reason #3: They Break Promises

Back in 2014, Pepsico announced they would remove Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) from Mountain Dew following a successful petition by activist Sarah Kavanagh. However, they still have not removed it THREE years later. And before you believe they’re still working on the formula – they already sell BVO-free Mountain Dew in the U.K. What’s the holdup?

Likewise, over TWO years ago Kellogg’s told the media they were looking for an alternative to BHT in their cereals, but they sell cereals overseas without BHT already! Why not just sell us the exact same cereal? This is not rocket science.

The same goes for companies like In-N-Out and Bojangles that have publicly vowed to remove antibiotics from their animal feed – but haven’t given a time to the public and have continued their horrendous factory farming practices. 

Reason 4: They Don’t Tell The Truth

The Co-CEO of Whole Foods once asked me what I thought the new trends in food packaging would be considering the food revolution we are in. I told him we’d start seeing ingredient labels on the front of packaging because consumers care about ingredients. Well, one company – RX Bars – started doing that and when I saw their protein bars in stores I thought my prediction had come true. However, when I examined the bars closer and read the ingredient list on the back of the package, I saw natural flavors listed. The front of the package is not the whole truth and it’s misleading consumers.

This is what angers me about new food companies trying to give us more real food. If you want to gain consumers trust – tell the truth. As you can see from my recent interview with Mark Schatzker of The Dorito Effect, “natural blueberry flavor” is a way for the food industry to use fewer real blueberries and trick consumers into thinking they are getting more nutrition and flavor that isn’t there. The pop of taste from added flavors is made in a laboratory and makes food that we wouldn’t otherwise eat taste like something good.  Is that why RX Bar chooses not to put the ingredient on the front of their package like the rest of their ingredients? 

When Kraft removed the artificial dyes from their Mac n’ Cheese they came out with a marketing campaign which made it sound as if they came up with the decision all on their own – instead of just saying THE TRUTH: You asked for it and we delivered. They make no mention of the countless concerned parents who have been asking them to remove these unnecessary dyes for years. They make no mention of the adverse health effects that have been attributed to these dyes and as to why they don’t use them overseas. They make no mention of the over 365,000 of you who signed a petition asking them to make this change. They make no mention of the meeting they had with me in 2013 when they told me that we’d just have to “agree to disagree” and that Kraft was going to keep Mac & Cheese just the way it was. We all know the truth, but they are not owning up to it, which is quite simply ridiculous. I received the following email from a reader, which expresses my sentiments! 

“Have you seen the new Kraft Mac and cheese commercial? I’m just wondering if you are as offended as I am. They make it seem like all the crap they were adding before the change would somehow affect the quality or taste and that people didn’t even notice the change. I haven’t eaten Kraft Mac and cheese in years but am thankful for your work on getting them to change the way they make it. It’s just sad they think it’s appropriate to make a commercial that makes the consumer feel as if they’re “missing out” instead of apologizing for all the poison they had put in their food previously.” – Jaime

My visit to Kraft HQ delivering petition signatures in 2013.

Some of brands try to pull the wool over our eyes by announcing they’re cleaning up their food, while they are really just swapping one poison for another. McDonald’s was quoted all over the media saying how they removed the artificial flavors in their ice cream as if this was a major step towards improving their food, but all they did was replace it with natural flavors. Anyone who’s been reading this blog for awhile knows that natural and artificial flavors are essentially the same thing (and their ice cream still contains lots of nasty ingredients like carrageenanmono and diglycerides, and cellulose gum!)

Reason 5: They Try To Fool Us

Food brands have bankrolled scientists and created front groups to attack organic food and defend the continued use of food produced with synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, and chemical food additives. Groups like the “American Council on Science & Health” and the “Center For Consumer Freedom” sure sound like independent and scientific organizations, but they are funded heavily by food companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. 

These groups and scientists they work with are often quoted in the media without any mention of their ties to the industry and are given a free pass because they present themselves as independent experts.

“Joseph Perrone, chief science officer at the Center for Accountability in Science — part of a larger tax-exempt group run by the Berman and Co. public relations firm — said industry needed to mount a coordinated effort to paint the risks of common chemicals as acceptable to the public and boost trust in federal regulatory agencies that evaluate them… Perrone’s message is that customers don’t trust chemical companies, and they need “a good PR plan, which is external to the company, which is a third party. Because, quite frankly, whether we like it or not, they don’t believe you.” ~ E&E News

Presentation by the front group The Center For Food Integrity at IFT Expo.

This is highly unethical. How can we be expected to trust brands that have a history of doing this? We really can’t.

Trust is really important and after it’s been broken, it can be hard to come back from. We have wised up to the dirty tactics they use. If food brands want us to buy their products they really should listen to us – their prospective customers – and stop hiding behind antiquated regulations and paid-off “experts” to justify selling us chemicals instead of food. I truly believe the only way they can gain our trust is by siding with consumers who overwhelmingly want them to sell real food that is healthy and sustainably grown. 

The BIG FOOD companies need to wake up if they want to remain in today’s marketplace.

We are fed up with the chemical additives they use.

We are fed up with the double standards.

We are fed up with their misleading marketing and deceptive front groups.

We are fed up with their lack of transparency.

We are fed up with their support for factory farms.

We are fed up with the great lengths they go to hide GMOs in their products.

We are fed up with how they continue to hide behind our government’s lax standards and claim the additives they use are “safe”… We’ve heard it a million times and know the truth!

We have the power. Don’t let the food industry control your health. 

I want you to be the smartest consumers out there. I want you to change your life, and the lives of your families. Be in charge of your destiny. The first step is to stop being hijacked by all the processed foods out there that look better – but really arn’t. And to eat whole, real foods that will give you the most amazing health of your dreams. You’ll get a chance next week to join a special group of people, along with the support of myself and my entire team, that will help you do just that! Make sure you are subscribed to my email newsletter, so you get your invite! 

The industry has done some things that have demolished my trust and I’m sure you feel the same… but they have made some changes that give me hope that maybe they can turn it around and do the right thing. 

What do you think? Is there anything the food industry can do to gain your trust? Is it too late for them? Are they forever on the wrong side of history? I’d love for you to chime in! Share your thoughts in the comments.




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from Food Babe

Murphy Gets His Teeth Cleaned + We Finally Made It To Rye Tavern

Hi, friends!

Our sweet Murphy had his teeth cleaned yesterday. He’s never had it done (in 8 years), so it was about time. Plus, with his hollow jaw (yes, he’s quite the “special” dog), a couple of his teeth were starting to, well, rot, so they needed to be removed. Everything worked out just fine with his cleaning, but the morning before he left for the vet was especially hard – for both pug and humans. Murphy couldn’t eat before his surgery, so it has the saddest thing ever, watching him follow us around the house and going to the closet where his food is kept over and over again. Poor guy. So hungry.

Murphy’s surgery was one of the first of the day, so we distracted him by talking up a “ride in the car.” And, of course, we gave him lots of love before dropping him off at the vet.

After I dropped Murphy off at the vet, I headed to CrossFit for a workout. We started with some rowing conditioning (EMOM 10 with a partner, 200 meters each round), worked on Snatch Balances, and then finished with a quickie WOD.

After CrossFit, I popped in next door for a manicure at Gel Polish Bar. I love this place – they always do such a good job!

Then, of course, I needed to swing by Coffee Shack for an iced coffee. I mean, it was “on the way home” after all. 🙂

While at Coffee Shack, I enjoyed a tasty sample of one of their coconut donuts – my fav. Yummm! FYI: My nail polish color (gel) is OPI Do You Take Lei-Away? from the Hawaii Collection.

Back at home, I mixed half of my iced coffee (I’m still trying to limit caffeine to help balance my hormones) with SFH Churro protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, and water in my favorite tumbler.

With protein shake in hand (please note the photo below – I mean, who brings a protein shake into the bathroom with them?), I headed upstairs for a shower and to get myself ready for the day. We had dinner plans with friends and a bunch of videos planned for DTFN on Thursday, so I figured I should probably blow dry my hair, which, unfortunately, is one of my least favorite things to do. It’s even worse than putting away laundry! Ha! Anyway, I tried a new product from Beautycounter and it truly made the experience more enjoyable.

The Volume & Shape Volumizing Mist is made from a blend of quinoa, apple, and hibiscus plant proteins (how cool is that?), which gives your hair a boost and fullness. It also smells really good! 🙂 I’m a fan!

Then, it was time for lunch (aka leftovers from dinner). In the mix: Zucchini noodles, ground chicken, and Cowboy Caviar from Trader Joe’s.

After lunch, I finally got down to work. I only did a couple of hours before I had a serious craving for chocolate. In fact, I’ve had the craving for days now – perhaps hormones? Long story short, I whipped up a batch of cookies! 🙂

Need Chocolate Like Whoa Cookies

Makes 5 cookies


  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy nut butter
  • 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a spoon to portion mixture into 5 disks on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

After enjoying my cookies, I hit the road to the Capital One Cafe to meet Kerrie. We’re hosting a webinar for anyone interested in our software (Wednesday, September 20th at 7:00 PM EST), so we’re starting to get our ducks in a row. If you’re a RD, health coach, nutritionist, trainer, or anyone who would benefit from awesome meal planning software, drop me an email at to get our on email list so we can keep you updated!

We spent a few hours working on our webinar before I needed to leave for Murphy’s discharge appointment. Everything went well with his procedure at the vet, and the pug was more than ready to go home and eat soft food!

When we got home, Murphy and I were both pretty hungry. I immediately added water to his food to soften it and let it sit for a few minutes before I gave it to him. I whipped up some guacamole and veggies for me to snack on.

After that, I quickly got ready for a double date night with Mal and friends at Rye Tavern. We had heard such great things about it, we were really excited to dine there – and it definitely lived up to its hype! 

Mal and I arrived about 15 minutes early, so we grabbed a drink at the outside bar, which was heated and wonderful!

Our friends grab a drink when they arrived, so we spent quite a while outside before heading in for dinner. We started with oysters, which were just OK. They had a cranberry flavor to them, and I just wasn’t a fan.

But, the lobster tail and risotto that I ordered for my entrée, was really amazing!

When we arrived home after a night out, we were really excited to see Murphy and give him all the pug love. 

The end.  

The post Murphy Gets His Teeth Cleaned + We Finally Made It To Rye Tavern appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

How to Find Mental Strength When Dealing With Illness and Injury

Home » Personal Improvement

August 31, 2017

How to Find Mental Strength When Dealing With Illness and Injury

By Mark Sisson


Inline_Mental_Strength_Illness_Injury_08.31.17However tough, rugged, and badass we might consider ourselves, the fact is none of us is indestructible.

The human body, for the miracle that it is, is vulnerable as well as mortal. Even those of us in perfect health may at some point become injured—with or without the possibility of full recovery. Most of us are down for the count (or moving more slowly) a couple times a year with this or that virus. But even with the best Primal efforts, there are those among us who will go through medical crises. For all of us, age will inevitably diminish some of our faculties (although not how the culture tells us it must).

How we mentally move through these experiences will certainly have a hand in our prognoses, but more importantly it has the power to cultivate a more unconditional resilience.

The history of life itself revolves around the struggle to survive, to fend off, to recover. Remains of our prehistoric ancestors reveal their struggle with broken bones, episodic pestilence, and even (in some cases) long-term disability. Our lot has always been up against the pitfalls of physical existence. Recent generations, I think, had an easier time accepting this truth than we might.

Today we enjoy remarkable medical advancements. We know more about nutrition, fitness, and health than ever (although we’re still waiting for CW to catch up on that front). Although more of the population contends with chronic disease than ever, our perceptions of health have also undergone a curious shift that can isolate disease, injury, or even common illness.

After all, we’re supposed to be too busy, too ambitious, too invincible for a standard sick day.

In a society that jokes, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” and aggrandizes overworking, what does that mean for those who need to spend months if not years (or the rest of their lives) downshifting into a lifestyle that requires them to center life around self-care?

Blame it perhaps on culture and media forces that favor the shiny, happy and distracted over the complex, nuanced, and messy. Troubles aren’t fit for public display. We go away for help. Give us the inspiring comeback story, but the gritty process is best left behind the white curtain, thanks.

It’s a far cry from our ancestral imprint.

While we can and should be grateful for our sophisticated care systems, state-of-the-art facilities, and corrective treatments, they have to some degree resulted in disease being more marginalized and people feeling more medicalized. There are exceptions of course—developments that thoughtfully speak back to this trend, that seek to reinstate community, ritual and even spirituality within health treatment and wellness care. Human story and connection, after all, can be profoundly healing forces on their own after all.

I see many people come to the Primal lifestyle with various kinds of illnesses, injuries and disabilities. Some have chronic conditions they’re looking to overcome through lifestyle changes. Others are more interested in a measure of relief or alternative means for enhancing their lives beyond certain personal incapacities (temporary or long-term). A Primal lifestyle has something powerful to offer for all of these intentions.

Regardless of their particular goals, however, many of these folks navigate extra emotional or mental hurdles—short-term or long-term—in moving their health and lives forward. The journey may be more nuanced and profoundly meaningful, as we all witness in MDA success stories. The Blueprint’s promise is just as solid, just as bold in these circumstances: you can make progress in a Primal lifestyle—no matter what your current medical status or physical hardship.

Chronic (but Reversible) Conditions

Whether it’s type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, “high” cholesterol, or a digestive or autoimmune disorder, you may have been told it was a life sentence—and perhaps one that will ultimately take your life. Perhaps you’ve lived with that story, that expectation for years—even decades. Maybe with a standard American diet, reduced activity, psychological stress, or the side effects of multiple prescriptions, your symptoms have worsened over time, and it’s only appeared to confirm the initial prognosis.

But there’s plenty of reason to reclaim hope.

Many of the people in the MDA Success Stories section began their Primal endeavors with exactly the same diagnosis—and prognosis. They were told they would be on medication their entire lives. They heard that their conditions would inevitably worsen with time and perhaps even result in growing complication, illness, and incapacity. Their reality, however, ended up looking much different, thanks to their Primal efforts.

Countless readers have overcome or significantly decreased the burden of these types of conditions with the right changes. And here’s an important point… Reclaiming vitality isn’t a black or white affair. Perfect ideals shouldn’t discourage us from valuing progress. 

Success doesn’t come overnight. It might take some additional care in shaping the Primal eating or fitness ideals to certain immediate needs or limitations. It’s imperative to take your time. Use your intuition and self-attunement to discern what’s a manageable step forward. Get support from those who have been through the process and those who know your story.

Talk to your doctor about your Primal changes, but know you may not get resounding encouragement if he/she thinks in conventional terms. Nonetheless, keep up on your lab testing, learn what additional markers may give you better or more precise information. Consider taking advantage of a consultation with a Primal-friendly physician or a Primal Health Coach, particularly if your condition is advanced.

Bring compassion to the beliefs you once held about your condition even as you leave them behind. All of us know and do the best we can with the information we have available to us at any given time. Make feasible but encouraging short-term goals you feel good about, and keep making them as you surpass each milestone. Actively rewrite your story through journaling, talk therapy, photo albums or other means to follow and demonstrate the efforts and achievements you never believed would be possible again.

Physical Injury, Limitation, or Chronic Pain

It’s probably safe to say that thousands of Primal adherents came to the Primal Blueprint with a history of physical limitation related to injury or disease. For some, physical limitation might be a relatively recent occurrence. For others, it’s been something they’ve lived with for years. This may go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway—because there may be issues of substantive damage, muscle imbalance, decreased flexibility or structural misalignment, get support with an appropriate medical professional, physical therapy provider, or appropriately trained coach.

Remember, even if you can’t do all of the Primal Essential Movements, you will find ways to make your current and developing abilities work for you. Be creative with substitutions and adaptations. Bringing certain exercises to the pool rather than unpaved trails may open up your program and limit strain on joints for example.

Be patient, and work with a series of short-term goals without an over-attachment to a final outcome. Work with the idea of evolving acceptance. Those who live long-term with chronic pain, for example, often share that a certain dimension of surrender relieves the psychological struggle they experience, which can free up energy for physical effort. If nothing else, you aren’t working against yourself. Frustration, especially when we direct it against ourselves, is draining.

Naturally Shifting Abilities

As I’ve written many times in the past, among the boons of a Primal lifestyle is its ability to roll back the common effects we tend to assume are inevitable results of aging. It’s unfortunate that we accept poor health as an inescapable outcome of moving into later decades.

Many of us here offer proof that aging doesn’t have to equate with limited opportunities. Nonetheless, I think some changes are natural to experience. As I say regularly, see what feels fine and what doesn’t. Use your own instinct to target/revise exercise. If your body responds better to more recovery time, let yourself take it. If alternatives to running sprints feel more effective, do those.

You may find that you’re just choosing a slower or more mindful rhythm, and (in keeping with that) different exercises or lifestyle practices appeal that didn’t before. Perhaps you want more time between heavier exercise bouts. The next day you might feel a day’s hike through some area hills more than you used to, or you might take longer to make the same trek. You might not have the same patience for a frenetic schedule or social drama. (Personally, I consider this one of the gifts of later decade living.) You recognize the choice to be more selective in what you give your time and energy to.

In keeping with that, it’s critical to recognize the abilities and capacities we have now that our younger years didn’t offer. We’ve likely grown in self-attunement, in equanimity, in compassion, in gratitude. We’re more comfortable saying no to what doesn’t serve us. We’re more cognizant of the elements and practices of life that do.

Primal health isn’t about looking a certain way or meeting any given set of criteria. No matter where we’re at in physical health or capacity, the Primal lifestyle offers us a means to enhance the life we have—not to feel we fall short of an ideal.

The ancestral story reminds us that we’re meant to move and progress through life, not feel fixed in place. The Primal story is our story. It’s dynamic, fluid, fluctuating just as we are—each of us from a unique and promising space.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the comment board. Have a good end to the week.

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from Mark's Daily Apple

105 Kid-Tasted-and-Approved Healthy School Lunch Ideas- (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo Options Included)

Written by: Lauren Lax

Move over Cheetohs and Fruit Roll-ups!

“Kid food” and school lunches are getting a makeover with these updated (healthy, gut-friendly and brain-friendly) spins on some of our old childhood favorite food “classics.”

Below is all-you (and the kids) need to survive School Lunches with a “Wired to Eat” approach—eating foods you and your kids were intended to thrive upon—no added sugar, additives or hydrogenated oils included.



Growing up, what did you like to pack in your lunchbox for school?

Every year, I always had a new kick.

  • In kindergarten, I was all about crustless PB & J sandwiches on Iron Kids Bread with a side of Lay’s Potato Chips, Grapes and Oreos.
  • In 1st grade, my taste buds matured on to turkey and Kraft cheese singles, or Oscar Meyer’s bologna and cheese, on my Iron Kids Bread alongside some Doritos and Fruit Gushers.
  • Come 2nd grade, I reached “cool kid” status when my mom bought me turkey and cheese Lunchables, and on special occasions, Pizza or Nacho Lunchables.
  • And by 3rd and 4th grade, I expanded once more to turkey sandwiches on honey wheat bread, other types of fruit and pretzel sticks, and on special occasions, Bagel Bites or Ham & Cheese Hot Pockets with a Capri Sun.

Oh, sigh. The good ol’ days…

As a kid of the Processed Food Generation, I somehow lived to tell about it  (although, I KNOW my gut health in future years suffered tremendously).  And, chances are, if you have kids (or you eat like a kid yourself), they are somehow living to tell about eating these “kid classic” foods and snacks too.

Unfortunately,  in a society where 80% of the foods on grocery store shelves are Man-Made-Food-Like-Products, we’ve raised our kids (and ourselves) to believe that kids ONLY eat “kid food.”

We tell them (and ourselves) that kids are “picky,” and we’ve trained them (and ourselves) to believe that anything outside of the packaged, processed or sugar-filled version of a food is “yucky.”

In order to get them to eat anything “real” (an apple, broccoli, chicken, sweet potato), we have to dress it up in a sugar-filled peanut butter, fake cheese sauce, breaded coating or ketchup.

And we wonder WHY

Is there something in the water?

Our brains and bodies eat what our mouths eat.

While Goldfish, Gushers and Lunchables are definitely tasty “kid-friendly” foods, we are no longer living in the 80’s and 90’s—when processed foods were way cool.

Knowledge is power, and today, we have the knowledge (and awareness) that what we eat (and what our kids eat) matters for our brain health (1 , 2 gut health (1, 2 and quality of life overall.


Maybe you DO recognize that “food matters” and you are onboard for feeding your kids “healthy food”—however…pop question:

What IS healthy food anyway?

Is it whole grains? Organic boxed mac and cheese? Sugar-free pudding and Jell-O? 100% real fruit juice? Low-fat cheese?

Or is it something else….

A comparison between the Standard American Diet to the original human diet—real food (before processed foods and Twinkies happened), reveals two completely different versions of health.

On the left, we have:

Standard American Diet
Pretzel Sticks
Whole Wheat Bread
Low-fat Baby Bella Cheese
Watermelon Juice
High-Protein Chocolate Milk
Low-Sugar Cheerios Cereal

On the right, we have:

Original Human Diet
Meats, Fish, Eggs
Leafy greens, starchy tubers and fibrous veggies
Fresh Fruits
Plant Fats (Avocados, Olives, Coconut)
Animal Fats (Butter/Ghee, Tallow, Lard,
Nuts and seeds
—Foods our bodies (and our kids’ bodies) recognize as real food.

If “health” is being the most optimized version of a human being we can be (brain health and gut health included), you cannot go wrong with real food.


Never say never…


The good news?

“Healthier” foods don’t have to equal cardboard rice cakes, dry salads or grainy wheat bread.

Your kids (and you) CAN have your cake and eat it too with

105 Kid-Tasted-and-Approved Healthy Lunch Ideas (Real Food Included).

The best part?

You (and your kids) get to choose your adventure!

The following Real-Food School Lunch Cheat Sheet included categories with each of the food groups that make up a “balanced” meal—proteins, healthy fats, carbs (namely veggies and fruits) and of course, some healthy treats.

All you (and the kids) have to do?

Simply choose your adventure—mixing and matching different options at lunch time for TONS of flavor and variety for the year ahead!

Here’s to real food, healthy brains and loved guts.

All you need?

  • A Cool Insulated Lunchbox

(Bonus: You may, just may, notice a difference in your own kiddo’s behavior, demeanor and health the more you feed him or her real food options).

  • Dr. Lauryn’s 105 Kid-Tasted-and-Approved Healthy Lunch Ideas (Real Food Included).


“Grown up and kid friendly lunches…No boring dry salads recommended….”



Pick and choose one option from each group. (Or see Meal Combo Ideas below for inspiration on how to put together a mean, lean lunch that puts the Hot Pockets to shame)

    • Burger Patties
    • Rotisserie chicken meat
    • Grass-fed burger sliders
    • Ground turkey patties
    • Hard-boiled Eggs
    • Canned or packet of wild tuna/salmon
    • Grilled salmon
    • Homemade egg/tuna/chicken salad (made with Dijon or Primal Mayo)
    • Taco Meat
    • Pulled Pork
    • Homemade Chicken Nuggets (made with almond flour, arrowroot or coconut flour)
    • Fish Sticks (made with almond flour or coconut flour)
    • Turkey/Bison Meatball Bites
    • Homemade Chili or Chicken Soup
    • Organic Chicken Thighs
    • Salmon Burger Patties
    • Chicken Drumsticks
    • Meat & Veggie skewers
    • Egg Muffins or Omelets
    • Omelets
    • Nitrate-free Prepared Meats
      • Bacon
      • Hot Dogs
      • Jerky
      • Sausages
    • Nitrate-free Deli Meats
      • Chicken
      • Ham
      • Pepperoni
      • Salami
      • Turkey
      • Prosciutto


    • Plain Grass-fed Yogurt
    • Olives
    • Avocado/Guacamole
    • Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, or Sunbutter
    • Coconut Butter & Coconut Oil Packets
    • Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing
    • Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard
    • Grass-fed Butter
    • Ghee
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (drizzle on salad greens or veggies)
    • Olives
    • Paleo Mayo (avocado oil)
    • Raw, Grass-fed, Full-fat Cheese (cheddar, goat cheese, feta)
    • Full-fat, Plain Coconut Yogurt
    • Raw, Grass-fed, Full-fat Yogurt (Strauss Family Creamery or Wallaby’s plain, no-sugar added)
    • Goat’s Milk Yogurt & Kefir
    • Nuts (opt for raw; Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Macadamias, Pistachios, Walnuts)
    • Seeds (Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds)


    • Asparagus (wrapped in turkey bacon)
    • Beets, Steamed
    • Bell Peppers
    • Broccoli
    • Butternut Squash (diced) or “Mac & Cheese” version (see above)
    • Cabbage/Slaw
    • Carrots/Carrot Fries
    • Cauliflower/ “Cauliflower Popcorn”)
    • Cauliflower Mash/Rice
    • Celery Sticks
    • Cucumber (with mayo dip)
    • Crispy Brussels Sprouts
    • Green Beans
    • Kale/Kale Chips
    • Kimichi (or sauerkraut)
    • Lettuce/Salad
    • Pickles
    • Spinach
    • Snap Peas
    • Spaghetti Squash
    • Sweet Peppers
    • Sweet Potatoes/Sweet Potato Chips/Fries
    • Tomatoes (Baby)
    • Zucchini Chips (Baked)
    • Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)


  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon
  • Dried Fruit (eat sparingly; opt for no added sugar/high-fructose corn syrup)
    • Apple Chips
    • Banana Chips
    • Cranberries
    • Dried Dates
    • Fruit Leather (no sugar added)
    • Plantain Chips
    • Prunes
    • Raisins


  • Simple Mills Crackers (grain-free crackers, like these:
  • Siete Coconut Flour Tortillas
  • Siete Tortilla Chips
  • Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potatoes
  • Grain-free Granola (Like Paleonola
  • Small Square of Dark Chocolate
  • Evolved Chocolate Patty
  • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Homemade Larabars (fruit included)
  • Homemade Banana Bread (made with almond/coconut flour)
  • Homemade Muffins (peach, strawberry, blueberry, banana)
  • Avocado-Cacao Pudding
  • Chia pudding made with coconut milk
  • “Powerballs” (made with 1 TBSP nutbutter, 1 TBSP coconut flakes and 1 TBSP Enjoy Life chocolate chips per ball; store in freezer then move to fridge once hardened)
  • Homemade Energy Bar (fruit included)

“Balance: Teach kids to fuel their bodies with REAL food MOST of the time. The other 20-percent? Let life happen.”


  • THE MENU: 10 KID-FRIENDLY LUNCH IDEAS (includes proteins, veggies and fats in one)

            • “Cheesy” Spaghetti. (Spaghetti Squash* + Ground Turkey Meat* + Shredded Grass-fed Cheddar or Dairy Free Cheese Sauce* ). Side of Broccoli Fritters.*
            • AB & J. Natural Raw Almond Butter (Other options: Sun-butter, Peanut Butter, or Turkey & Cheese) + Coconut Flour Bread* or Coconut Flour Tortilla + 100% Natural Fruit Preserves (Other option: Sliced Bananas or Apples) + Baby Carrots + Goat’s Milk Yogurt (Redwood Hills)
            • Mini Pizzas. Coconut Flour Crust (Other option: Capello’s Pizza Crust + Organic Ham + Pineapple +Roasted Broccoli + Dairy-Free Shredded Cheese*
            • Quesadillas. Coconut Flour Tortillas + Grass-fed Cheese + Organic Turkey + Bell-Peppers + Primal Kitchen Ranch Dip
            • Meatballs. Turkey Meatballs + Honey Mustard* + Carrot Fries
            • Chic-Fil-A Chicken Tenders* + Sweet Potato Fries* + Zucchini Chips*
            • Chicken Sausage Link + Celery Sticks with Sun-butter + Berries + Dark Chocolate Square
            • Tuna Salad* (Optional: Chicken) with Cucumbers + Diced Grapes + Simple Mills Cheddar Crackers
            • Egg Muffins* + Turkey Bacon Wrapped Asparagus + Cantaloupe
            • Grown Up Lunchable  Organic Turkey & Ham Roll-ups + Simple Mills Crackers or Homemade Plantain Crackers* + Grass-fed Cheese or Coconut Butter + Apple Slices



    Want help getting started, meal planning, transitioning your kiddo to real food or “food chaining” (introducing new foods)?

    Contact Dr. Lauryn or Book a session at Thrive Wellness & Recovery to learn more about her Family Fuel Program and her 1-on-1 work with kids and their families to improve their health, from the inside out.

from The Paleo Diet

Healthy Panzanella

This recipe is a healthier take on the classic panzanella, which means “bread salad” in Italian! It brings whole wheat bread, kale, squash, green beans, tomatoes and goat cheese together into a colorful, hearty salad. The goat cheese makes it!

I used whole wheat Cville Crunch bread from Great Harvest for optimal nutrition and fiber, but you can use either a healthy whole grain bread or a lighter Italian loaf if you prefer.

Rather than using plain lettuce, I used a medley of vegetables to create a rainbow of color, so this is a great salad to serve in your favorite big platter or bowl. This salad is fairly hearty, but you could always add your favorite protein on top to make it more of a complete meal.

Start by cutting the squash into half inch rounds, then place flat and cut into quarters.

Since I’ve been a bit down on all raw salads, I cooked the green beans and squash to soften them up.

Add the kale to wilt it a bit too!

Toast your pine nuts in a separate dry pan until they are fragrant and begin to brown. Don’t look away or they will burn! 

Meanwhile, toast the bread in a toaster oven and cut into squares. And make the simple dressing in a jar on the side.

Assemble the veggies in a big bowl or platter, toss with dressing, and top with toasted bread cubes, goat cheese, pine nuts and basil.

One thing to note: if you intend to have leftovers, you might want to keep the bread separate and add as you enjoy the salad. It will lose its crunch if it sits in the dressing too long. The rest of the salad should be fine a day later though!

Mama Mia!

Healthy Panzanella

Yield 4-6 servings



  • 2 cups of bread cubes (about 4-6 slices, depending on your bread size)
  • 1 green squash
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1 heriloom tomato
  • 2 cups kale, torn off the stems
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup white balsamic
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Dice yellow and green squash.
  2. Remove ends and discard ends of green beans, then cut in half. 
  3. Tear kale into bite sized pieces.
  4. Add veggies to a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil and saute until tender.
  5. Cut bread into cubes and toast until crispy.
  6. Toast pine nuts in a dry pan until fragrant and brown. 
  7. Combine cooked veggies with tomatoes in a serving bowl.
  8. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and mix well.
  9. Toss veggies with dressing.
  10. Add bread cubes, goat cheese, pine nuts and fresh basil on top.

The post Healthy Panzanella appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Get Ready to Reset and Go Keto! Incredible Pre-Order Bonus Offer

inline_ketoreset_mda645As you probably already know, the ketogenic diet has become an extremely popular health trend as well as a personal passion of mine. Google data indicates that “keto” has now surpassed “paleo” as the most popular diet-related search term. Both mounting science and user experiences are validating keto as highly effective for reducing excess body fat quickly, improving cognitive function, minimizing disease risk factors, improving athletic performance, and promoting longevity. I sincerely believe that a ketogenic eating plan could represent the greatest breakthrough in the history of nutritional science—and the history of dieting (finally!)—to promote successful long-term fat loss and weight management.

Unfortunately, the booming popularity of keto has also made it the latest fad diet, replete with marketing hype, oversimplification, misinformation, and promoters misinterpreting the foundational science and proven strategies. Through my own personal keto journey and extensive consultation with the world’s most respected scientific experts, I’ve discovered that there’s a right way and a wrong way to go keto—and knowing the right way can make all the difference in the results you achieve.

I’ve been really focused on sustaining nutritional ketosis this year and monitoring my blood ketone and glucose levels in response to eating patterns. I’ve cranked out some meaty recent posts on the subject with the The Definitive Guide to Keto and Is Keto For Everyone?, among others.

My Primal Kitchen® product line is keto-friendly, many recipes in my new Primal Kitchen Cookbook contain a special icon denoting them as keto-friendly, and we have plenty of keto offerings on the menu at Primal Kitchen Restaurants. Everything is moving so fast in the keto scene!

Consequently, my writing partner, Brad Kearns, and I essentially dropped everything at the start of 2017 to do a total immersion into keto and quickly produce what we believe to be the first truly comprehensive book on the subject.

There are plenty of keto recipe books out there already, and a bunch of quick-fix keto blast offerings of the print and digital variety, but my new book, The Keto Reset Diet (that I first mentioned in the Definitive Guide to Keto post in June) delivers a complete presentation of all aspects of keto.

You’ll follow a thoughtful, proven approach that is flexible, highly customizable, effective, and intuitive instead of regimented. With The Keto Reset Diet, you’ll proceed at a sensible pace and never have to struggle, suffer, or backslide like so many ill-prepared and misinformed enthusiasts. I’m confident the book and your full embracing of a keto lifestyle will change your life!

Pre-Order Bonus Package of Digital Treasures!

With just a short time left before the book’s official release date of October 3rd, I’ve created an attractive bonus package to entice you to order the book and get started on your keto journey as soon as you finish reading this post. Just pre-order the book from your favorite retailer (online or physical store), then complete our simple online pre-order bonus form. You’ll be able to immediately download the following free gift items….

Exclusive Author Talk Show

I detail the scientific particulars of keto-adaptation, the complementary lifestyle elements necessary to succeed, the athletic performance benefits of keto, and the way you can conquer the challenge of fat reduction once and for all by going keto. My co-author, Brad Kearns, and I go deep and unplugged in this never-before-released hour-long discussion!

$10 Gift Certificate

Enjoy your shopping experience at with a $10 Gift Certificate that you can use on ANY products (good for any purchase $20 or above). Check out the Primal Kitchen line of healthy salad dressings and mayonnaise—they’re 100% keto-approved and a delicious addition to many meals.


Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings, and Toppings eBook

Enjoy dozens of low-carb, grain-free preparations that can add variety and pizazz to your primal meat and veggie dishes. Learn about the primal-approved base ingredients, and then it’s off to the races to create your dips, rubs, dessert toppings, marinades, seasonings, salsa, pesto, flavored butter, tapenade, gravy, and much more!

The Keto Reset Diet Recipes eBook

A sneak preview of some of my favorite recipes in the book—conveniently formatted for printout and pasting on the fridge door. These delicious meals will help you realize how easy, fun, and satisfying going keto can be!


Why Consider Keto?

While enthusiasts are vigorously debating the best long-term keto strategy, or whether keto is even appropriate for certain individuals, we must acknowledge that fat- and keto-adapted was the default factory setting of our ancestors.

It’s likely that over the last 2.5 million years, most of our ancestors were in ketosis for a great portion of their lives. Consequently, we retain this hard-wired genetic predisposition to function with fat as our primary fuel source. Acknowledging this, Robb Wolf further speculates that going keto may deliver a reset effect at the genetic level, such that it can help you recover from leaky gut and autoimmune-related health conditions, metabolic damage caused by yo-yo dieting, and even exposure to environmental toxins.

There is no failure associated with keto. Any time spent pursuing keto improves metabolic flexibility and helps release you from the debilitating bonds of hunger, cravings, and frustration with reducing excess body fat.


While most primal enthusiasts have made the adjustments necessary to escape extreme carbohydrate dependency and wildly excessive insulin production, a great many poor souls still linger in the gray twilight that’s shy of being fully fat- and keto-adapted. (If you don’t know the epic Teddy Roosevelt quote I’m honoring, check it out). This perhaps results in falling a bit shy of reaching and maintaining ideal body composition long-term.

This is why I firmly believe that completing at least one complete Keto Reset journey (The initial 21-Day Metabolism Reset, fine-tuning with morning fasting, then six weeks of focused nutritional ketosis) is a bucket list item for every single one of us. Even if you decide over the long term to consume carbohydrates in a pattern that doesn’t promote nutritional ketosis, you’ll have developed an outstanding level of metabolic flexibility. This is the ability burn a variety of fuel sources, be free from dependency on regular meals, rarely be hungry or stressed about food, and be able to reduce excess body fat once and for all and not worry about it anymore—even if you take occasional departures from your typical ancestral-aligned eating patterns.

The Keto Campfire

A great way to understand how fat and ketones burn more cleanly than glucose is to use the analogy of a campfire.


A carbohydrate dependency diet is analagous to a crappy campfire built with twigs and wadded up newspaper. You produce a lot of smoke (free radicals caused by burning glucose without the protective effects of mitochondria) and have to constantly stoke the fire with quick and dirty-burning fuels (high-carbohydrate meals and snacks) to stay warm. In contrast, the keto campfire represents a state of fat- and keto-adaptation. You have taken the time to warm up your big logs (stored body fat and ketones) that will burn cleanly and for a long duration.

Speaking of building a proper campfire and becoming metabolically efficient, I want to give you some clarity on something that has recently become my pet peeve: confusing the metabolic state of ketosis (literally, accumulating ketones in the bloodstream faster than you are burning then) with being fat- and keto-adapted (adept at burning stored energy, and free from dependency on regular doses of dietary carbohydrates as your main energy source).

Details are in the book but for now, own this: Just because you’re making ketones doesn’t mean you’re adapted to burn them efficiently. Conversely, you may be producing a minimal amount of ketones (and delivering low blood values) but be highly fat- and keto-adapted so you’re able to reap the benefits of a low-carbohydrate eating pattern.

While the prevailing mindset in the keto community seems to be higher is better with blood readings, I’m feeling increasingly like good old-fashioned subjective evaluation is far more relevant than biometrics. Can you skip a meal and still function well physically and cognitively? Are your appetite, mood, and energy level stable all day long? These are the hallmarks of being a fat-burning beast. I’m preparing an entire follow-up post on these concepts, so stay tuned!

Let’s Go Keto!

I am hopeful that you’ll join me on this journey to fat- and keto-adaptation by ordering a copy of your book today and getting the killer bonus package. Of course I celebrate selling more books, but of deeper significance is the truth that a huge portion of the population is still adhering to conventional wisdom recommendations that we primal folks acknowledge to be harmful and unsupported by real science, leaving many unknowingly trapped in carbohydrate dependency and lifelong insidious weight gain despite careful attention to diet and exercise.

For example, I recently encountered a bestselling author in the health and diet realm who had never heard of ketones! Yes, we are fighting a battle, and we need all hands on deck to spread the word. I want this revolution that started in 2006 at MarksDailyApple to continue to grow and impact more people, and keto represents the highest expression of the benefits of ancestral eating.

I imagine many of you might have a lot to say about keto already, and I look forward to checking out all of your comments from this post. Also, be sure to head over to Facebook and sign up for our burgeoning Keto Reset discussion group. Just submit a request to be added. We’ll keep the dialog going!


The post Get Ready to Reset and Go Keto! Incredible Pre-Order Bonus Offer appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple