Friday, January 20, 2017

Vote for Mark’s Daily Apple in Paleo Magazine’s “Best of 2016”!

mda_paleoawards320x240Perhaps it’s the competitive spirit left over from my marathon and triathlon days, but I love a good contest. And it’s that time of year again when Mark’s Daily Apple and all things Primal compete for the title of Best in Paleo Magazine’s Best of 2016 issue.

Here’s a little bit of backstory if this is your first year taking MDA to the finish line. Paleo Magazine is the premiere print and online subscription publication for all things paleo, primal, and ancestral health. Every year, Paleo Magazine accepts nominations and holds an open vote for the world of paleo/primal aficionados to pick their favorite examples of companies, products, forms of education, and entertainment that are the most cutting edge, relevant, and noteworthy representations of the community. Being on this list means you’re recognized as the cream of the ancestral health crop. And we want Mark’s Daily Apple and the subsequent resources it provides to be recognized for what they are: the leading examples in the ancestral health community!

In the past, we’ve taken home awards for Best Lifestyle/Fitness Site (MDA), Best Supplement Product (Primal Fuel) and Best Paleo eBook and Book (Primal Blueprint Fitness and The Primal Connection respectively), among others.

Once again, I need your help to beat our record. Paleo Magazine has expanded the “Best of” categories this year, and we have some good ideas for how to fill them!

Here are some of the many categories—and some Primal Blueprint sites, programs and products you can nominate.

 

  • Best Blog (General Health/Wellness) – Mark’s Daily Apple
  • Best Blog (Fitness) – Mark’s Daily Apple
  • Best Podcast (General Health/Wellness) – Primal Blueprint Podcast
  • Best Book (General Health/Wellness) – The New Primal Blueprint
  • Best Book (Science) – The Paleo Thyroid Solution
  • Best New Cookbook – The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping
  • Best Online Program – Primal Health Coach
  • Best Online Shop – Primal Blueprint.com
  • Best Paleo Company (Food) – PRIMAL KITCHEN™
  • Best New Idea – PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Ranch Dressing
  • Best New Packaged Product – PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Ranch Dressing
  • Best Paleo-On-The-Go Product – PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Collagen Bars
  • Best Paleo Drink – Primal Fuel
  • Best Paleo Supplement – Primal Probiotics
  • Best Paleo Bar (Nut Based) -PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Macadamia Seal Salt
  • Best Paleo Hiking Grub -PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Collagen Bars

So click here to head on over to the Paleo Magazine voting portal and submit your nominations for Mark’s Daily Apple, PRIMAL KITCHEN™, and your other favorite Primal and paleo resources.

Thanks for the support. I’ll keep you posted about the results!

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I Was Amazed You Could Fix So Many Health Problems with A Change in Diet!

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

realifestories in lineI have always tried to be ‘healthy.’ From the age of 14 (really!) I worked as an Aerobics Instructor and Personal Trainer. I taught the message I was trained in ‘eat less move more’ & ‘calories in versus calories out.’ If you were overweight, it was simply because you were a pig and you were lazy. Fat was the enemy and from the age of 14 I refused to eat it. I even refused avocados based on the fat content. I suffered pretty bad acne as a teenager and a visit to the Doctors saw me on a course of Oxytetracycline with endless repeat prescriptions. Oxytetracycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic, which works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to produce essential proteins. Great news for my pizza face, nuclear bomb to my gut.

Fast forward a couple of decades—I spent ten years in the health & fitness industry and a decade as a Business Manager for a recruiting firm in the city (think 10 hour days chained to a desk and headset, if you took a break or left at 5 p.m., you were a slacker) and the past decade as a Mum to two kids age 10 & 7. I had to ditch my corporate job as it didn’t fit in with motherhood…good move! Health continued to be a priority for not only me now but my husband and kids too, and finding a decent income that fit around my children proved difficult.

I had always been up and down mood wise, with definite spells of depression. I didn’t take medication for it and never linked food with mood. Where I am from in Yorkshire, UK, you are taught to ‘pull yourself together’. Easier said than done.

Things sort of crept up on me. I continued with my low-fat, high-carb diet and my chronic exercising pattern (3-5 hours of classes at the gym per week). By age 38, my life looked like this: insomniac, constipated, libido-less, overweight, anxious, chronic heartburn (chowed down on Zantac whilst pregnant), chronic nausea (think hungover with a side of morning sickness), headaches (popped NSAIDs like candy), sore feet (plantar fasciitis), full body aches and pains, dizzy, flat, disconnected and I developed really weird phobias! Even though I had spent my 20s travelling the world I now was terrified of flying, which causes problems when you are English with a New Zealander husband and live in Australia!! I also developed crushing fears around the kids getting sick, I couldn’t stop my mind from going down this dark hole of worries. Although I was still functioning—groceries had to be bought and kids taken to school, I was utterly overwhelmed and certain I was dying of some awful disease, the outcome of which seemed like welcome relief.

At a really low point a voice inside me said “go gluten free!” I had always viewed people with dietary restrictions as ‘fuss pots’ (there’s that Yorkshire in me again), but I decided this could be worth a go, anything to stop feeling so sick. So on Easter 2013 I posted my GF plan on Facebook, seeking advice, and a dear friend said to me the magic words “why don’t you try paleo?” I had never heard of paleo and when I realised it included cutting out grains, legumes, alcohol, sugar and dairy I thought it was totally INSANE! I also couldn’t believe where I found gluten—what was gluten doing in my fat free ice cream??!! Anyway, in a desperate attempt to reset my health I did a Whole30—well more of a Whole45 and found a great naturopath who diagnosed me as having Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) plus a leaky gut. Grateful not to be dying of some awful disease and now empowered to make changes. Why was this the first time I was finding out the truth about food?

The turnaround in my health was nothing short of a miracle. After an initial mean detox from going gluten free (they say the worse the detox the more you needed it, right!) I found relief from my nausea. ‘Strangely’ about two weeks in to my Primal life I jumped out of bed and my feet didn’t hurt!! Wow—this was amazing!! I became amazed that you could ‘fix’ so many niggling health problems ‘just’ by changing what you ate!! I became a bit evangelical!! EVERYBODY needed to know this!! Wow! I became a Primal geek and listened to podcasts round the clock and my bedtime reading included books like Grain Brain, It Starts with Food and of course The Primal Blueprint & The Primal Connection—a real fave of mine!

One day my friend Caz said to me “Jeez, H, it’s like you’ve found God.” Point taken. I was compelled to spread the Primal word, so I started a blog and called it “Primal Soapbox.” People read it! I got emails and people stopping me in the street, telling me they felt the same as I had done, asking me “what should I eat.”

I started to share recipes, and the feedback I got was “how do you have the time!” So I offered to make it for them! My food line was born! I had also found a way to supplement our family income, just by cooking with my Thermomix in my kitchen!! Council (health dept) approved five items that they deem ‘low risk’ enough to be baked from home, for sale to the public. I started to sell my homemade Paleo Fruit Toast, Seasonal Paleo Bread, Gluten & Grain Free Cookies, Paleo Pizza Bases and gut nourishing Gellies at our local community markets, health shops, gourmet pizza shops, delis and cafes.

The feedback I got was AMAZING! My Primal Alternatives were life changing! It’s fine having plants and animals, plants and animals, plants and animals, but sometimes you want a slice of hot toast…and oh! Pizza night!!! I found my products helped people to ‘stay on the wagon,’ and it made going Primal way more sustainable and doable.

Meanwhile – to satisfy my thirst for my Primal knowledge and to gain credibility I graduated as Primal Health Coach, such an amazing course! I could listen to the course work whilst I was creating and then sit the tests! I now have a successful Primal Health Coaching business, and I work with women across the world empowering them to get their health back.

Meanwhile, my health continues to improve. My sleep is AH MAZING I thought this level of sleep was only reserved for husbands! Everything is just working like it should be—for the first time in my life. My mood is default happy and positive, and my resilience is off the charts! Yes, life is still up and down, but it no longer overwhelms me. I barely think about the kids getting sick, and if they do I can handle it, plus I have done a flight to the UK and have a flight to NZ planned for 2017.

Not to put you off with any hocus pocus, but the one thing that has been most transformational for me is my connection to the universe. I feel so connected. I feel like the universe ‘downloads’ my purpose to me. My inner guide is honed. I am living ‘on purpose.’ I know my reason. Part of my transformation has been personal growth, I have been drawn to light workers and realised I am one too. When I received guidance to franchise Primal Alternative so that other Mums like me, with a passion for Primal could also work from home and align their passion for income, I did it. I am so proud to now have http://ift.tt/2iTvG7y and invite you to take a look. There was so much work involved in there that I would never have had the courage, focus or energy to do pre-Primal.

I feel like my previous life as a Personal Trainer and then Recruiter has primed me for a life as a great coach. I take great pleasure in educating women that their health issues are not their fault and they are not alone. I delight in watching women transform ‘just’ from getting back to the foods and lifestyle that we thrive on as a species.

I choose Primal over paleo because Primal is about becoming an expert in you. I think that a blanket approach to health is quite negligent and find Primal to be more empowering, flexible, and therefore sustainable and doable. Primal is all about the joy of life.

Much gratitude to Mark Sisson for leading this tribe and being an inspiration to us all. Thanks for reading!

H

You can find more about me and my work here or on my Facebook page.
Watch out for my upcoming interview on the Primal Blueprint Podcast!! Woooo!!

Helen_Success_Story

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Win Whole30® Approved Goodness from U.S. Wellness and PRIMAL KITCHEN™!

whole30_igThe Prize:

A $100 Whole30® approved variety package from U.S. Wellness Meats. U.S. Wellness now carries over 30 Whole30 approved items including: Beef Breakfast Polish Sausage Sliders, Bison Chorizo Sausage, Pork Breakfast Sausage, Hickory Smoked Sliced Beef Brisket, Garlic Beef Franks, Pork Bacon Slices, Slow Roasted Shredded Beef, and my personal favorite, Beef Braunschweiger.

PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Whole30® Kit: In the world of real food eating, it’s often what you put on your food that keeps it interesting. The PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Whole30® Kit includes my California Extra Virgin Avocado Oil, Classic Mayonnaise, Chipotle Lime Mayonnaise, Greek Vinaigrette, and dairy-free Ranch Dressing.

BONUS: Get a FREE extra bottle of Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing when you order the PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Whole30® Kit by January 31st.

Unfamiliar with Whole30®? The Whole30® program, developed by celebrity nutritionists Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, is a 30-day short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system

As I laid out in my bestselling book The Primal Blueprint, an ideal diet should focus on quality sources of protein (all forms of meat, fowl, fish), lots of colorful vegetables, fruit (mostly berries for their antioxidant properties) and healthy fats (nuts, avocado, coconut, olive oil). The Whole30® builds on these principles with a 30-day diet of eliminating certain foods (sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol, unhealthy oils and legumes) to discover how those foods may impact health, fitness, and quality of life.

The Contest:

Today’s contest is so easy a caveman could…well, it’s super easy. Follow @USWellnessMeats, @PrimalKitchenFoods, & @MarksDailyApple on Instagram, then tag a friend on the contest post here, and we’ll gift a SECOND prize package to the winner’s buddy! More tags = more chances to win.

While there can only be two official winners, you can still acquire some of your own top quality meats by visiting U.S. Wellness online. And don’t forget to check out U.S. Wellness on Facebook and YouTube. Grok on!

Eligibility:

Only U.S. residents are eligible.

The Contest End Time:

January 22 at 11:59 PM, PDT.

How the Winner Will Be Determined:

A winner will be chosen at random and emailed to arrange for delivery.

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A Look Inside Healthy Grain Bowls

Grain bowls are trending, and there’s an art to making these one-dish creations. I called on the expertise of Carolynn Carreño, author of Bowl of Plenty: Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole-Grain Meals on how to make bowls that are as beautiful and balanced as they are delicious.

  1. What inspired you to write an entire cookbook on one-dish whole grain meals?

Eating bowls filled with grains and topped with smaller amounts of deliciousness has been my way of keeping myself healthy and feeling good for years. I had some pretty serious, chronic issues with my health, and the way I got better was by restricting a lot of foods from my diet. But there was no way that was going to last forever. Eating and cooking in a non-restrictive, “gourmet” way is a major part of my life. I test recipes for cookbook collaborations. I travel to other countries, such as Italy and Mexico, and I want to experience the foods of those places. I go to food events and I go out to eat about every other night in New York City. Plus, I just love good food.

I didn’t want to deprive myself, so as I started to feel better, I kept myself introducing small portions of what I call “the good stuff”—flavorful proteins and dairy and condiments—onto piles of steamed brown rice (quinoa came later, and then farro and the rest) and Brussels sprouts or broccoli.  I’d put a tiny portion of shredded Mexican pork on a big bowl of brown rice with some black beans and broccoli for good measure. It was a middle ground between healthy and delicious that allowed me to have everything I wanted, without feeling like I got ran over by a truck the next day. When grain bowls went mainstream, I wanted to show the world that there can be so much more to a grain bowl than pink hummus and watermelon radishes.

 

  1. How can grain bowls become a healthy meal on its own?

Grain bowls are, at their essence, healthy meals. They are basically the same concept as a TV Dinner, but in a bowl, and with the current standards of a healthy diet in mind. They contain all the components — the healthy carbs, protein, and vegetables.

 

  1. Does the type of bowl you serve in matter? Which type of bowl do you recommend using?

Everything matters. I have every size and shape bowl known to man, and I use them all. I love small (and I mean tiny, almost like Japanese tea cup-size) bowls. I eat out of bowls like this all day long. But for main dish bowls with many components, I like a large, wide-mouth bowl, something probably meant to mound mashed potatoes in on Thanksgiving. It’s really fun to sit down with a giant bowl like that in front of you and just dig in.

 

  1. What three tips would you give a home cook who wants to make grain bowls for the first time?

Do people have fear of the grain bowl the way that I have fear of croissant making?  It’s just food in a bowl. Here are my three recommendations:

1) Learn how to cook rice, or get yourself a rice cooker. People are intimidated by the idea of making rice and I admit, you might have to screw it up a half dozen times before you get the feel for it, but even imperfect grains do the trick. This is dinner, not Top Chef.

2) Get yourself a couple of big bowls — probably meant as serving dishes — that you love. It’s life altering in a sort of nonessential way, like having a pair of rain boots on a rainy day.

3) Make my Vietnamese Bowl (found in my cookbook), which has options for the carnivore, pescatarian and vegetarian. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like that bowl. Plus, I believe it’s The Original Grain Bowl.

 

  1. What are 5 to 7 must-have ingredients if you want to whip up one of your whole-grains bowls?

1) Grains: Brown rice, quinoa, and farro make a good grain bowl starter kit, but millet has also won me over most recently.

2) Vegetables: Whatever you like, and ideally whatever’s in season. You’ll find a bowl in my book to use them in.

3)  Eggs: Farm-fresh eggs are worth their weight for the golden-color of the yolks alone. And then there’s how they taste.

4) Frozen shrimp: I keep a bag of frozen shrimp on hand when I want to make a quick, flavorful meal. I use them all the time to make the Baja BBQ Shrimp Bowl, one of my all-time favorite quick-and-easy grain bowls.

5) Nuts and seeds: Roasted and salted cashews, sunflower seeds, and peanuts can add just the salt and crunch and richness you need to take a bowl next level.

6) Leftovers: That little bit of salmon or steak that you were almost too embarrassed to ask for a to-go-bag, can be the start of a beautiful, last-minute burrito bowl.

 

  1. Could you share a whole grain bowl recipe from your new cookbook Bowls of Plenty?

Coconut Curry Rice Bowl with Green Vegetables and Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Coconut oil (or canola oil)

¼ cup Thai green curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen or Mae Ploy brand)

1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk, shaken

1 cup chicken stock, homemade or sodium-free or low-sodium store-bought or water

1 lemongrass stalk, smashed with the flat side of a large knife (optional)

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons raw, granulated, or coconut sugar

1 medium purple or yellow sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds

6 ounces Brussels sprouts (or broccoli florets, or a combination)

2 heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise, or 1 head bok choy, quartered lengthwise

1 bunch kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

2 serrano, Fresno, or jalapeño chiles, very thinly sliced into rounds

Small handful of fresh basil (preferably Thai basil)

1 cup long-grain brown rice, cooked (about 3½ cups cooked rice)

 

Method:

Coat a large saucepan or straight-sided skillet with oil. Add the curry paste and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously, to release the flavors.

Stir in the coconut milk, stock, lemongrass (if you’re using it), fish sauce, and sugar and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes and Brussels sprouts are tender. Add the bok choy and kale and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more to wilt them. Turn off the heat, remove and discard the lemongrass, if you used it. Throw in the chiles and basil, and serve the curry over the rice.

Excerpted from the book BOWLS OF PLENTY by Carolynn Carreño. Copyright © 2017 by Carolynn Carreño. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

Carolynn Carreño is a James Beard award-winning food writer. She has coauthored many acclaimed cookbooks, including Nancy Silverton’s Mozza at Home and Pat LaFrieda’s Meat: Everything There is to Know. Carreño lives in San Diego, CA and New York City.

 

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.



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Things I’m Digging

I’ve been making a list and checking it twice….oops wrong season. It’s time for a new round of Kath’s Favorites!

This lip balm is INSANE! A friend brought it over to my house and dared me to try it. She actually likes it, but it kind of feels like you have poprocks inside your lips. They tingle and jump. Try it!

Indoor soccer has started! It’s so much fun because it’s so intense with the small space. The ball can bounce off all of the walls, and a goal is scored by smacking the ball on a mat on the wall. It’s higher scoring than regular field soccer, and we scored two goals in each of our first two games, so it makes you feel cool even though it’s easier to score. Score!

This song!! On repeat over here. Love it! It’s the new “Love Me Like You Do.” Can’t wait for the movie!

//Sponsored//

7 Charming Sisters sent me two pieces of jewelry to feature! The seven sisters each have a different personality, and you can take a quiz to get recommendations on pieces that are tailored to your style. My quiz revealed I am: “The Life of the Party!” Woo hoo! The site recommended several flirty, glittery pieces for me, and I love the sparkle they sent. Above is the Supernova necklace, and below I am wearing the Golden Gathering necklace.

I recently bought this Stowe Hoodie on sale from Athleta with some rewards I had from using my Athleta card. The inside is super soft – almost like microfleece? – and of course I love the zip pocket. I have my eye on the Luxe Stronger Hoodie when it comes back in stock or hopefully goes on sale at the end of the season! And from Target, these leggings are so pretty with the wrap ankles. I’m going to look for them the next time I’m up at Target.

Vanilla Chex! General Mills sent me a box in the mail, and they are delish. Served with pumpkin yogurt, banana, and sunflower butter.

I bought this ottoman from Wayfair for my downstairs family room. The trunk I had in there as a coffee table was just not cutting it as a foot rest. This ottoman wasn’t too expensive (compared to the Pottery Barn options at least!), and it’s a great height for making the middle seat as comfy as the corners for Survivor night. It’s lightweight enough to push into that corner and make the couch almost a bed! The color – a warm gray – is prettier in person.

Karen sent these swim trunks to Mazen for an upcoming trip they are taking. I just love the neon orange with the blue and white – and he loves the sharks!

Mazen has learned how to use my Facebook Messenger app on his tablet to “Facetime” with his friends (via my friends’ accounts). Super cute that he calls Sylvia all by himself and they have a conversation! #foreshadowingtoteenagerhood But what’s funny is when he calls out-of-town friends of mine who think I am trying to Facetime with them – especially ones I haven’t seen in ages!

And here is your gratuitous rose gold candle!

***Affiliate links included in this post!***

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