Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s been a long time since we posted some of Shou-Ching’s photo art. As a reminder, she likes to pair interesting photos with apposite quotations; a collection of her art can be found on this page.

For today, we have a special Mother’s Day edition — two pieces of art, one for children, one for moms:

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!

from Perfect Health Diet

Weekend Link Love – Edition 452

weekend_linklove in-lineRESEARCH OF THE WEEK

If you believe organic or local foods taste better, they will.

Exercise reduces aging at the cellular level.

Coffee and wine appear to be good for gut biome diversity.

Meniscus surgery increases the risk of knee replacement.

Compared to a high-fiber diet, a MUFA-rich diet reduced liver fat and increased liver insulin sensitivity.

Noisy knees could presage arthritis.

Salt still isn’t bad for us.

Neither is cheese.

Low dose cannabis reverses brain aging in mice.

Forcing attendance harms the students it most purports to help (PDF).

Relationships between disease, mortality, and protein source.


Episode 168: Devyn Sisson: Host Elle Russ chats with my daughter, Devyn, about the launch of her new book.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.


How a “dash of autism” may have helped spur human evolution.

Why you should eat glutathione.


Extreme sports enthusiasts aren’t actually thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies looking for the the next hit. Their primary motivation is to feel closer to nature, more self-aware, at peace and even transcendent. They’re chasing—and in many respects attaining—meaning.

Those millennials sure are annoying, but man are they improving the food industry.

France bans extremely skinny models.

You’ll never guess what happened when this writer tried to debunk the benefits of ice baths by trying them.


Tai chi vs MMA.

Inside the movement to make cities and suburbs more walkable.

The rise of natural wines.

The Incan corded writing system is just fascinating.

Just what we need: a new tick-borne disease that’s worse than lyme.

Cows are using glucose monitors.

Descartes had a unique brain.


Interesting article I’m pondering: The invention of happiness.

Now I’ll have to revise the Primal food pyramid: Boogers are good for your health.

Neanderthal depiction I liked (and found quite unique): This one.

I suppose it’s only fair: Deer eats human.

I was inspired: Wow.



One year ago (May 14– May 20)


“My grandfather ate Crisco sandwiches for lunch as a kid:/ Crisco was invented in 1911. Sugar was a big issue too, Coke, Pepsi have been around forever. Not to mention she and others had plenty of time to consume bad foods through the 50’s (Cheese Whiz invented) 60’s (Lay’s chips founded) , 70’s (when high fructose corn syrup was marketed for consumers) and beyond. We didn’t invent the ‘baddies,’ we just perfected them.”

– Good perspective, TBar….


The post Weekend Link Love – Edition 452 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Our Experience With Early Intervention

I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA for this post in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting CNC! 

At the beginning of April, a year after working with a Speech-Language Pathologist on a regular basis, Quinn graduated Early Intervention (EI) with flying colors. The little guy made incredible progress in a short amount of time, and we couldn’t be happier with and more appreciative of the free services available to us here in Massachusetts. I’ll share more details of our experience, but, first, let’s rewind to how and why we decided to look into EI in the first place.

When Quinn was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with his 10th ear infection. The poor kid had one ear infection after the next. Basically, as soon as he got better (and took a round of antibiotics), he’d get another one. He also had sleep apnea (heaving breathing and snoring, often associated with pauses and gasps) and trouble sleeping at times. Quinn’s pediatrician eventually (after some persistence on our part) referred us to a specialist (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) at Children’s Hospital. This doctor suggested that Quinn have a Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy, and the surgery made a huge difference in his overall health. He hasn’t had a single ear infection since, sleeps so much better, and is simply a happier kid!

While Quinn was feeling much better after his surgery, he still wasn’t talking all that much. He maybe had 6-8 words that he used regularly, and he was easily frustrated when he couldn’t communicate with us.

Quinn’s tantrums were epic and lasted pretty much all day long. Some days, he’d have one tantrum after the next without much of a break in between. We asked family and friends for advice. Some of them told us to “ignore the tantrum,” which, whoa, did not work for Qman. The one time we tried this tactic, he tantrumed for an hour before we decided to intervene. Mal and I felt awful. We also felt really alone and helpless during this time. Everyone in our immediate circle had happy, laid-back kids and just couldn’t relate to our struggles. We knew our child was unhappy, but we didn’t know what to do about it.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long before a friend at CrossFit mentioned Early Intervention to me. Her daughter went through something similar, so she knew exactly what we were going through. As soon as I got home, I immediately Googled Early Intervention to see what it was all about. I learned that it was a statewide service available to families of children between birth and three years of age and services were totally free. In fact, EI makes it so easy for families. The initial assessment and meetings (if your child qualifies for services) are all done in-home. We really didn’t have anything to lose and we knew we needed to support Qman’s language acquisition and development since this foundation would definitely impact his future learning.

Image result for carrotsncake quinn books

Education is really important to both Mal and I (he’s a teacher and my Master’s degree is in higher education administration), and the last thing we want is for him to get frustrated with his communication skills and learning process. It’s important to us that Quinn is able to utilize all of the resources needed to help him excel – now and in the future. Even though college is still many years away, it’s never too early to foster his excitement for learning.

I’m excited to partner once again with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour to continue furthering our family’s knowledge about the steps we need to take today in order to plan for Quinn’s future. I know college will be here before we know it, so I’m glad that we’re making finances and plans a priority now for Quinn’s future. We have a few investment/savings accounts already set up for Qman and contribute to them on a regular basis. I know that we have plenty of time (many years!!) to save, but our little guy turns 3 years old in just a few weeks – time is flying! Additionally, our financial representative has been instrumental in developing our finance goals. Fidelity representatives will be available to answer questions for parents at events during the U.Fund Dreams Tour, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about this program. It really does help you learn more about the resources and services available to you when planning for college and saving for your little one’s future. As parents, Mal and I are so appreciative that we were made aware of (free) programs like this one and Early Intervention. 

Once I contacted our local Early Intervention office, things moved fairly quickly. The next week, we had Quinn’s initial assessment at our home, which was essentially four EI professionals playing with him while evaluating him. They used lots of toys and tasks to create his developmental profile, which focused on five main areas: Social Emotional/Personal Social/Interaction, Cognition, Motor Development, Adaptive/Self Care, and Communication. Quinn earned average scores in most areas, but scored quite low in Communication, which meant he qualified for a year of EI services.

After the initial testing was complete, we were matched with a Speech-Language Pathologist (no comma) who came to our house at a scheduled time once per week to work with Qman on his communication skills. She would often utilize toys to encourage words. She brought a big bag of them with her, and Quinn was always excited to see what was inside. For instance, she’d place toys “above” and “below” and “in” and “out” of a car garage and then ask Quinn to repeat her or ask him their position. We also incorporated his own toys into our sessions and even played outside a few times. The simplest toys (even from the Dollar Spot at Target) often made for the best learning opportunities (i.e. bubbles, plastic eggs, light-up bracelets, wind-up cars). We also spent quite a bit of time working on ways to encourage Quinn to follow directions and respond to requests. This was actually something he was not able to do at his initial assessment. A year later, he responds and follows multiple requests at once, which just goes to show you how far he’s come.

Today, on the language-front, Quinn is talking up a storm! He’s using more and more words every day and constantly surprises us with new ones. He mostly speaks in 3-4 word phrases, but often breaks out full sentences (with all sorts of interesting and funny thoughts)! Qman actually talks so much nowadays, it’s not unusual for him to chat the entire way to and from school. He’s turned into quite the Chatty Cathy! We’re so glad that he’s made such great strides through EI and setting up Quinn for a lifetime of learning through college and beyond.

Early Intervention has truly been a blessing for our family. Quinn is such a happy and engaged kid. He’s even come out of his shell quite a bit and will often walk up to complete strangers– both young and old– to show them one of his toys or say something to them. It’s amazing to see how far our little guy has come since this time last year. He’s made such great strides and we couldn’t be more thankful to Early Intervention, their services, and wonderful professionals on staff.

The post Our Experience With Early Intervention appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Clean Eating Pesto Tomato Pita Pizza Recipe

Clean Eating Pesto Tomato Pita Pizza Recipe

As may of you know, I’ve been working on filling out my Weekend Prep Meals section. My aim with this is to help you see that meal prep is both fast and easy if you do it right. I know there are a lot of sites out there with elaborate shopping lists that belong to hours worth of weekend meal prep. But it simple doesn’t have to be that way. I mean, if you WANT to go that route, more power to you! Go for it! But so many of you have told me that time and meal prep are your two big issues with clean eating, that I thought I’d work on helping you see just how easy it can be!

I also have another section on this site called Simple Meals. These meals are “recipes” that don’t really require any measurements because they are so simple and easy to make. You can add the ingredients in any amounts you prefer.

I thought with this series of pita pizza recipes, I would combine the two so you can see that you don’t even really need to measure with some thing. You can’t get much easier or faster than that!

Clean Eating Pesto Tomato Pita Pizza Recipe

The nice thing about this pizza and the three that will follow are that they freeze really well. So you will also find these in my Freezer Meals section because these are so crazy easy to prep for the freezer!

In fact, if you’d like to see just how easy this is, click play on this video to see the recipe in action!



Try this pre-cut parchment paper (affiliate link). (Don’t use wax paper for these recipes!!)4 Clean Eating Meal Prep Pita Pizzas You Can Prep In Minutes!


Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Pesto Tomato Pita Pizza Recipe



Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 whole grain pita
  • Basil pesto (store bought or homemade - see link above)
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Shredded Mozzarella


  1. Layer all ingredients in order listed (or any order you prefer).
  2. Top with a piece of parchment and store in a quart-size, zipper-top, plastic bag.
  3. Freeze up to 2 months.
  4. To eat, either cook in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes (until the cheese melts) or bake in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350F. for about 10-20 minutes (until the cheese melts).


Clean Eating Pesto Tomato Pita Pizza Recipe

from The Gracious Pantry