Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday In Meals + Boston Launch 4 (aka Brooks Lobster Sneakers)

Good morning, friends!

Exciting news: The Boston Launch 4 (aka lobster sneakers) from Brooks Running are available for purchase today!! Aren’t they the most amazing sneakers ever!? If you or someone you know want to purchase a pair, be sure to hop on it. These babies typically sell out!

2017 Boston Launch Lobster Sneakers Boston Marathon

And here’s this week’s TUESDAY In Meals because I couldn’t quite get my act together on Monday after a red-eye home from San Diego. I hoped to sleep on the flight and power-through the day once I landed in Boston, buttttttttttttt that didn’t happen. I succumbed to a 1.5-hour nap and then ate crap most of the day. Ugh, when I’m sleep-deprived (or stressed-out), I make THE WORST decisions when it comes to food. I did, however, get my act together yesterday with regard to food prep and healthy eating, so Tuesday was a much better day!

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with roasted sweet potatoes and hot sauce
  • Snack: Vietnamese cold brew mixed with decaf cold brew (50/50) + a homemade protein muffin (the recipe bombed, but it was still edible) heated in the microwave with a scoop of sunflower butter
  • Lunch: A “mixing bowl salad” with arugula, chicken breast, a hard-boiled egg, provolone cheese, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar + a Beauty Burst
  • Snack: Honey Nut Cheerios with sliced banana and almond milk
  • Dinner: Taco Cauliflower Rice Bowl (recipe on CNC Instagram)
  • Dessert: Siggis coconut yogurt with chocolate chips

Questions of the Day

Do you know anyone running the Boston Marathon this year?

Sleeping a plane: Yay, nay, or hell no?

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The Empathy Effect: How Befriending Your Future Self Can Impact Your Health Today

Inline_Empathy_Future_SelfYou are not the person you were fifteen years ago. The cells that compose your tissues and deliver oxygen have been recycled many times over. Your face has changed. You move differently. You’re probably slower and weaker, or, depending on your daily habits, faster and stronger. As it becomes available, you incorporate new information into your belief system. Even the neat narrative we imagine we’re orchestrating unbroken in our heads has nightly intermissions lasting hours during which we have no real clue what happens.

Is this all just philosophical navel-gazing better suited for 2 AM in a dorm room covered with Bob Marley posters? Not exactly. Accepting the idea that past and future selves are different people can have real benefits today—and tomorrow.

A study from late last year found that disrupting the temporo-parietal junction—a part of the brain that studies reveal is consistently involved in empathy, essentially our ability to overcome self-centeredness and put ourselves in another’s shoes—led human subjects to choose smaller, immediate rewards over larger, long-term rewards. It had no effect on people’s ability to perceive time, space, or numbers. They understood that the reward would be bigger if they just waited. They just didn’t care. In other words, when people were no longer able to empathize with their future selves, they made choices that benefited their present selves while shortchanging their future ones.

We already subconsciously envision our future selves as different people. Today I’m going to argue that we should be doing it consciously, too, and that doing so can help improve our lives in the present and future.

As I go back through my time as a coach and, now, a health author privy to the trials and tribulations of people trying to get healthier, happier, and more productive, I’m realizing that the biggest successes almost always included some reckoning of the future self. They’d “write 5 year plans.” They’d see how their parents ended up and resolve not to do the same. In almost every instance, they were imagining some version of themselves in the future. Now that I’ve come across this “empathy for future self” research, I’m convinced that these people were inadvertently treating the person they’d eventually become as another person worthy of empathy.

I’m wondering if we can make this work on a conscious level. How can we leverage this “future self as being worthy of empathy” phenomenon?

I’ve got a few ideas.

Write a back blurb for the novelization of your dystopian future.

Dystopian futures are huge these days. From zombie wastelands and father-and-son duos trudging through ruined Americas to shiny high-tech societies where every whim is satisfied but the soul’s, popular culture assumes the future is bleak and horrifying. Imagine, for the purposes of this exercise, that your future is also bleak and horrifying, that someone’s writing a book about it, and that you have to write the back blurb that lays out the basics: the setting, the protagonist, the main conflict.

We all have fears about our future. We all wonder about the worst case scenario. Just how bad could it get? It’s frightening to think about the subject with any sort of depth, so we end up pulling back before it gets too visceral and realistic. With your blurb, get visceral. Imagine in excruciating detail what you don’t want to happen, and write it down. Paint the most miserable—yet conceivable—future for yourself.

Make it so bad that you feel deep empathy for that miserable wretch. And, hopefully, do everything in your power to avoid becoming them.

If you’ve got it in you, write a full-page synopsis.

Write a letter.

A common exercise among life coaches is to have the client write a letter from their future selves telling the present self how awesome their life will be. It’s supposed to help folks believe in the power of change and to see beyond their present circumstances to the glory that lies just around the bend. I’ve put a spin on it: Have your future self write you a letter requesting help with specific tasks.

It could be a positive or negative future. If it’s a positive one, your future self will make requests that ensure things go well and turn out right. If it’s a negative one, the requests will help you avoid the mistakes “you” made.

Daydream with focus.

People often think of daydreaming as reverie: a conscious float through the subconscious. And most of the time, you really do drift from thought to thought to fantasy to thought to imagery. It’s a pleasant way to de-stress, relax your racing mind, and potentially stumble upon an interesting revelation or insight.

To increase empathy for your future self, go into your daydream session with a purpose. Imagine yourself a year, two years, ten years in the future. Imagine you’re living the best life possible. What kind of shape are you in in the future? What’s in your refrigerator? How much can you squat? Don’t steer things too much in one direction or another. Just see what “you” are up to in the future, investigate the details, ask questions, and then return to waking life. Debrief yourself. How’d it look? Did you like what you saw? How do you feel about your future self? What can you do differently today to realize (or avoid) the future you witnessed?

Think of it as a mini vision quest that occurs entirely inside your head. Hallucinogenic toad secretions and 5-day-long fast in the desert are optional.

Ask “How does this affect my future self?”

I don’t suggest you ask this question before every action. You’d end up paralyzed if you had to figure out the long term ramifications of wearing the jeans or the slacks. But the ones with clear impact? The “should I get up and go to the gym or squander another hour staring at my phone in bed?” The “oh man, the salt and vinegar kettle chips are on sale” moment? Ask the question.

We probably already kinda do this on some level. And I bet those who ponder this question on a subconscious level most often are the ones who have the most success and make the right decisions. Some people might never consider doing so on their own but will after reading this. So consider this post a nudge. Ask the question.

Oh, and be sure to answer it to the best of your ability.

Try “Self-Authoring.”

I heard Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan’s podcast a few months back, and he really resonated with me. A clinical psychiatrist and psychology professor at the University of Toronto, Peterson studies myth, meaning, truth, personality, and self-improvement. His lectures, which he posts to Youtube, get rave reviews. He’s got an extremely unique take on religion, tradition, and how it all relates to scientific facts. Peterson also has a product called the Self-Authoring Suite.

It has three components—Past, Present, and Future. For each, you complete a series of writing exercises designed to help you identify, understand, and eventually realize what you want out of life. There appears to be a good deal on the whole shebang right now, but you can also buy the components separately.

It seems to work. Ethnic minority students in Holland who tried the self-authoring program ended up erasing the academic gap that usually separates minority students from native Dutch students. Think about how it might help you push beyond current obstacles or old stories.

Try a guided meditation to meet your future self.

You probably know that I’m not big on sitting meditation. It just doesn’t work for me. So I do other things that get me into similar mind states. One of them is the guided meditation. Although I don’t listen to guided meditations very often, I’ve really enjoyed the ones I have. They seem to “do the trick” and allow me to reach that place fans of sitting meditation are always gushing over.

Turns out they have guided meditations designed to help you meet your future self. You can go long—this one clocks in around an hour long. You can go shorter—this one from Tara Brach is just over 7 minutes long. If you’re a fan of meditation and find you’re able to achieve those mind states, using a meditation to meet your future self could be extremely convincing.

When you do these exercises, do them for real. Fully inhabit the future self. Take them seriously. If you just half-ass your way through it, your temporo-parietal junction will know it. If this is going to work, you have to commit. You have to really meet and extend empathy for the future self.

That’s it for today, folks. I urge you to give some or all of these exercises a try and report back. Did it help? Do you have any other tips for achieving the same effect?

Thanks for reading and take care!

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Super C Beauty Smoothie

When people tell me they don’t have time to eat healthy, I yell the word – SMOOTHIE at them! Smoothies are the ultimate fast food and they are a superb way to add more veggies to your diet. I’ve found, too, that they alleviate bad food cravings because they provide a burst of nutrition – one that’s not usually present in the typical American diet. When your body doesn’t get what it needs nutritionally speaking, cravings kick in. And if you give in to those cravings, you’re on the road to gaining weight. Once you start to pump your body with greens, you’ll start craving them instead!

Just in time for spring, I’ve got a fresh new smoothie recipe here for ya! 

I love all of the beautiful ingredients in this Super C Beauty Smoothie – strawberries, red bell pepper, cauliflower, spinach – not only do they make a delicious tasting smoothie, but all these superfoods are PACKED with vitamin C! 

This amazing vitamin fights cell damage and chronic inflammation, strengthens your immune defenses, and accelerates wound healing. Eating foods rich in vitamin C has helped keep me from catching a cold or the flu and has kept me going strong. It’s also excellent for your skin because vitamin C helps the body create collagen and rejuvenates aged skin, helping you look younger! 

Ready to make this quick Super-C Beauty Smoothie? Here’s all you need to do…

First, you’ll want to remove the leaves from your strawberries and wash up all of your ingredients. Roughly chop up half a cup each of red bell pepper and cauliflower and add them to a high-powered blender along with one cup of strawberries.

Add one cup of spinach (or any leafy green), a banana, and two tablespoons of chia seeds to the blender. Then, pour in up to a cup of almond or coconut milk. If you like a thinner smoothie, add more milk…

You can also add in a few cubes of ice if you want your smoothie colder and thicker. Blend all ingredients on high until it’s smooth and creamy… pour into two tall glasses and enjoy with a friend! 

Food Babe's Super C Beauty Smoothie

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½-1 cup almond or coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Notes

**Please use all organic ingredients if possible.**

3.4.3177

 

I include recipes just like this in my Monthly Meal Plans, which are part of the Food Babe Eating Guide Program. When you sign up, you’ll get hundreds of pages of my tested tricks and tips to make healthy eating mindless, and a monthly meal plan full of Food Babe approved recipes and guidelines to help you detox naturally every day. I hope to see you in the private member forum! Sign up and download your guides here.

Share this smoothie recipe with all of your friends who need quick breakfast ideas that don’t involve a drive-thru window!

Encouraging everyone to choose healthier food options is changing the world.

Xo,

Vani

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Want to Join the Primal Kitchen Team? Become a Brand Ambassador!

brand ambassadorCalling all Primal Kitchen enthusiasts! Do you love our products? Does the idea of educating others on the benefits of wholesome, healthy, delicious ingredients pique your interest? Looking for some fun, flexible, part-time work? Then today is your lucky day! We’re expanding our Brand Ambassador teams in multiple cities across the United States. If you (or someone you know) meet the requirements from the list below, and you’re looking for work with lots of control over your schedule, please apply by filling out the application and emailing your resume to brittany.young@primalkitchen.com.

Go over our Brand Ambassador checklist and see if you’re a match. If you are, then you might be snagging one of the hottest positions in town.

Requirements:

  • You love hanging out in Whole Foods or your local natural grocery store
  • You have an outgoing personality and can talk with anyone
  • You live a Primal lifestyle
  • You love to share your passion for health and nutrition with others
  • You live in or near San Francisco, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Austin, NYC, Miami, or Washington, D.C (or another major city)
  • You have reliable transportation and a smartphone

Click here to submit your application to become a Primal Kitchen® Brand Ambassador today!

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Update: Coffee & Wine

I promised you guys a follow-up on this post from a few weeks ago. Here’s a spoiler: one of these is going well and the other isn’t. Can you guess which is which?

Coffee

The coffee change is actually not going as planned, and I’m back on one mug of regular a day for the time being. Let’s rewind. The reason I wanted to make this change in the first place was because I was waking up feeling really foggy, dehydrated, and not-so-great in general, so I gradually reduced the size of my cups and then switched to decaf for a few days. No headaches, no problems.

But then I decided to have a mug of regular on a Sunday morning before soccer. I was totally jittery and buzzed and felt like a cartoon running around the house! Cutting back for a week or two definitely reset my tolerance for regular coffee to zero again.

So here’s where the problem began: I thought I could go right back to decaf the next day since I thought I was no longer dependent, but I got a raging headache! And had head and shoulder aches on and off for the next two days. I chugged some cold coffee at 3pm in the afternoon that to try to make the headache go away (which it did – about an hour later), and then I was up all night tossing and turning!! Ahhhhh caffeine, I hate you but love you in delicious coffee beans.

I don’t know what I’m going to to next. I think that my foggy, bad feeling is gone, so since that was my main motivation for cutting back, then I guess that’s what’s most important. I just have to remember to stick to less than one mug a day and not teeter into the 2-cup range like I had been before.

Vino

The wine side of things has been going really well! It took me about 3-4 days of thinking about wine at dinnertime, feeling the desire for a glass, and knowing it was a habitual craving to make it fade away. Just like with coffee, my goal isn’t to completely cut wine from my life, but just to cut back on the frequency I consume it at home. My word of the year is intentional, and I want to be more intentional with my wine consumption. I’ve been successful so far, so cheers to that!

You know what we all need to chug today? Good ole H20!!

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Wired to Eat Interviews

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Hey Folks! So we don’t have a new podcast this week, but I thought I would give you a big list of all the podcasts I’ve been a guest on recently for the new book Wired to Eat. Thanks to all of the podcast hosts that have had me on. Enjoy!

The Gym Laird show: http://ift.tt/2obY0G8

The Healthy Moms Podcast: http://ift.tt/2mHNYum

Fitfluential podcast: http://ift.tt/2obZeBw

Becoming Superhuman: http://ift.tt/2nvdlDy

The Gracie Jiu Jitsu Rocks! Podcast: http://ift.tt/2oc2Fbk

Beyond Your Wildest Genes Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nvinA1

Born Primal: http://ift.tt/2obWWCo

Take Back Your Health Now: http://ift.tt/2nvfTkT

Low Carb Paleo Show: http://ift.tt/2obZgt8

Harder to Kill Radio: http://ift.tt/2mt167m

The Athletic Fitness and Nutrition Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obQnzG

Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb:
Part1: http://ift.tt/2nGi9ap
Part 2: http://ift.tt/2mUZnYU

MeatCast (EPIC): http://ift.tt/2nv8GBi

Simply Human Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obXYOw

figureFIT! Lifestyle Coaching Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nv6Hgo

Primal Blueprint Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nFUBPR

Eva T. S&C Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nvcl27

The Empowering Neurologist (Dr. Perlmutter): http://ift.tt/2obRjE3

Nourish Balance Thrive: http://ift.tt/2nvfVcv

Primal Diet – Modern Health: http://ift.tt/2njmdtE

Corporate Warrior Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nv8F0c

Wellness Force Radio: http://ift.tt/2obQpri

Balanced Bites: http://ift.tt/2nv686l

Ancestral RDs Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obWYu0

Elite HRV: http://ift.tt/2mQf3MW

Paleo Magazine Radio: http://ift.tt/2mpCvEt

Doc and Jock Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nvdk2s

Real World Wellness Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obQKKj

Sustainable Dish Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nvblLG

Ultimate Health Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obUNqb

Revolution Health Radio: http://ift.tt/2oalbzT

Dr. Bubbs Performance Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obVK1N

Unbeatable Mind Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nvaoD1

The Chiropractic Philanthropist Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obRlMb

AltShift Podcast: http://ift.tt/2nvrZuv

Ultimate Health Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obUNqb

Kid’s Health Revolution Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obZgJE

Super Human Radio: http://ift.tt/2nvaqL9

Heatlh Geeks Radio: http://ift.tt/2obL1V4

Peak Prosperity Podcast: http://ift.tt/2obL1V4

The Joe Rogan Experience: http://ift.tt/2nit60s

 

 

If you haven’t already, check out the new book Wired to Eat.

 

30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet

Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.

Buy the book

 

Wired-to-Eat-RenderDon’t forget, Wired to Eat is available for pre-order now!

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks



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The Very Best Kitchen Tools for Easy Meal Prep

This post is sponsored by Overstock.com.

Hey, hey! You guys know how much I love meal prep… oooh, baby, good times! 🙂

Devoting some time on the weekend is most definitely a necessity for our family because it helps us stay on track and eat healthy throughout the week. Of course, the thought of spending hours in the kitchen prepping multiple recipes is quite daunting, but with the right kitchen tools and little bit of practice, it just gets easier and easier.

Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of gadgets to make meal prep more efficient, so I created a round-up of the very best of the bunch. These kitchen tools are tried-and-true and ones that I rely on week after week to help me meal prep and set us up for success with regard to our eating habits.

Mixing Bowl, Food Prep, and Measuring Set

The first tool is most definitely an essential, and I’m sharing it first because it’s truly THE BEST. I love this all-in-one mixing bowl set with measuring cups and spoons because everything is neatly stacked together (the measuring cups snap together) and easy to find when it’s meal prep time. The small mixing bowl includes measurements inside for added convenience (milliliters/fluid ounces) and a spout for accurate pouring. There’s even a stainless steel mesh sieve and large colander in the set. How’s that for the greatest food prep collection ever?!

Silicone Non-Stick Baking Mat

Next up is a new favorite, but I still wonder how I lived without them for so long. I actually mentioned these silicone non-stick baking mats last week because, after my first use, I was instantly in love. I honestly don’t know why I waited to long to get them?! No more non-stick cooking spray. No more parchment paper. These babies save time, money, and calories! Just throw one on a baking sheet and cook/bake/roast away! It doesn’t get easier than that.

Silicone Muffin Pan

Also in the silicone cooking family: This muffin pan! It’s awesome for whipping up a quick batch of protein muffins or egg muffins. It’s made from high-quality, food-grade silicone, so it cooks foods evening without burning and NOTHING sticks inside, so you don’t need to use non-stick spray or add paper liners. Just pour in your batter, cook in the oven, and done! The muffins pop right out! Related: I need this Silicone Muffin Top Pan in my life. I think it would make some really cool egg patties for on-the-go breakfast sandwiches! 

Set of Ramekins

I use Ramekins for everything. Every. Thing. Obviously, they’re perfect for portion control, but they’re awesome for all sorts of meal prep tasks, including making individual dips, sauces, and storing small amounts of leftovers. My favorite use, though, is pouring a little bit of oil inside and then using a silicone brush to quickly apply to veggies, meat, etc. before cooking. Easy-peasy!  I also love our oil mister for quickly spritzing foods for prep as well as salads. And it works great with vinegar and dressings, too!

Mini Crock Pot

I assume a lot of you guys love your crock pot for meal prep, but do you own a mini crock pot? I love mine and use it just about every week for smaller batches of food, especially the ones I know that Mal and Quinn probably won’t eat. I reserve our regular crock pot for bigger batches of food and typically have both going at the same time, which, of course, makes prep day come together even faster!

Cuisinart Food Processor 

Guys, I went years without owning a food processor, which is CRAZY considering how much I use it nowadays! Making protein balls, sauces, soups, and finely chop veggies for our favorite Hash Brown Breakfast Bake is the easiest thing ever now!

Handheld Spiralizer

If you don’t already own a spiralizer, you NEED one in your life ASAP! Quinn and I use ours all the time to make veggie noodles for salads, “pasta” noodles, and our favorite everyday hash.

Glass Storage Containers

And, finally, once you prep and cook all that food, you need somewhere to store it! This set of glass storage containers is easily the best we’ve owned. Each one has a snap-lock lid with air-tight silicone seals for storing leftovers and meals-on-the-go. They’re also freezer, microwave, dishwasher, and oven- safe, so they’re a must-have for your kitchen! And, of course, I’m glad that we finally got rid of our scuzzy plastic containers!

Question of the Day

What’s your #1 favorite tool for quick and easy meal prep?

P.S. I don’t own this particular food scale, but I thought it was cool, especially if you’re short on counter space!

Just a quick note: I am sometimes compensated through my affiliate links in this post, but, as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting CNC!

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