Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend + Strawberry Milk Brings Me Back

Hey, hey! I hope you guys had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

We actually started with no real plans for the long weekend, but then ended up being pretty busy – lots of friends, family, and barbecues!

Friday

Our local Orangetheory added a 3:00 PM class to their Friday schedule for the summer, so Mal and I popped in for a fitness “happy hour” before picking Qman up from daycare. It was an awesome workout and, holy cow, were we sweaty by the end. Check out my leggings! Haha!

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Saturday

On Saturday, Mal and Quinn were invited to a “boys only” adventure at the zoo.

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So, I spent the morning with my favorite pug!

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We had such a nice time exploring Forge Pond Park. Murphy loved all of the sights, sounds, and smells, and I got to listen to my favorite podcast.

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After our long walk at the park, I dropped Murphy off at home and then headed to downtown Hingham to wander around and pop into some of the adorable little shops. I always drive through on my way to Orangetheory, but never have time to stop, so I made it a point to stroll around.

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It was lunchtime, and I was starting to get hungry, so I stopped by Square Cafe for lunch. So many people have said good things about it, so I just had to see what it was all about – and it did not disappoint! It’s super cute inside and the food was so fresh and flavorful!

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After that, I headed home to meet my boys. Qman went down for a nap and then we all headed over to our friends’ house for a barbecue.

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The boys (both big and little) had such a great time together! 🙂

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Sunday

The next morning, Mal, Quinn, and I went to Lucky Finn Cafe for breakfast. It’s the cutest little coffee shop right on the ocean, and it’s most definitely a family favorite!

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The coffee was excellent as well as the breakfast sandwiches and croissants.

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Qman was definitely a fan! 🙂

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After our visit to Lucky Finn, we stopped by Hornstra Farms to see the cows.

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And buy a few treats for a barbecue later that afternoon. We also bought a couple of apple cider donuts to share because the ones at Hornstra are to die for!

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We also purchased a bottle of strawberry milk to share, which brought me right back to my childhood. We always had Nesquik strawberry in the house, so I drank it like it was my job! Qman actually wanted a sugary, red 40-filled fruit punch drink from Hornstra, so we steered him in the direction of strawberry milk (beet juice for color), and he ended up loving it! 🙂

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After our morning adventures, we headed home for nap time. When Qman woke up, we went to our friends’ barbecue where we enjoyed lots of delicious food, including coffee cookie and cookie dough ice cream from Hornstra. I’m not a huge ice cream person (I’d much rather eat a piece of cake or a cookie), but Hornstra’s ice cream is something else. Holy yum!

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Saturday actually ended up being a late night – Qman didn’t get to bed until 9:00 PM – so we made it an early night on Sunday. We were ALL in bed by 8:30 pm or so.

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Monday

Monday started bright and early with Memorial Day “Murph,” a CrossFit hero workout in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. It’s a tough workout, and I was actually feeling kind of blah about it since I don’t go to CrossFit all that much anymore and feel like my fitness level has declined quite a bit. But I surprised myself and shaved off 3 minutes from my first (and only) Murph time. Not too shabby!

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After CrossFit, we (of course) headed to Coffee Shack for donuts and iced coffee.

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Back at home, we quickly showered and then hopped in the car to drive to my Grammie’s house for her 85th birthday party!

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Her great-grandchildren had a blast playing with her birthday balloons! They were entertained for hours!

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After dinner and cake, we said goodbye to Grammie and headed home.

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What a wonderful weekend!

Question of the Day

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

Anyone else grow up on strawberry milk? 

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Clean Eating Sheet Pan Salmon Florentine Recipe

Clean Eating Baked Salmon Florentine Recipe

In my ongoing quest to demonstrate that meal prep doesn’t have to take hours of your weekend, I’m doing a series on seafood. This dish is quick to prep for the freezer and cooks up easily on a sheet … Read more →



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6 Primal-Minded Reasons to Hit the Farmers Market This Weekend

Fresh organic produce on sale at the local farmers market.With Memorial Day come and gone, we’re rounding the corner to summer. Even in the northern-most regions of the country, farmers markets are back (if they ever closed where you live). Ten years ago when I started MDA, they were still a rarity in most parts of the country, but times have changed.

Farmers markets aren’t just about local, seasonal produce. Sure, that’s a great reason to show up every week, but I’d argue also for some of the less noted (in some cases even less tangible) benefits of hitting these markets.

Socialize with Others Who Care about Health

I hear from a lot of folks who No, it won’t be a exclusive gathering of Primal Blueprinters, but it will likely be a pleasant collection of folks who have health-related visions and values. They want to support local farmers and economies. They care about agricultural methods and sourcing. They enjoy knowing their food providers and feeling a connection with the farms it came from. You’ll find many who prefer organic fare. There are those who are more adventurous eaters, willing to experiment with new veggies, meat cuts, and international flavors. Maybe some just enjoy the more social vibe of a farmers market.

When was the last time you had a friendly conversation with a perfect stranger in the aisle of a grocery store? At farmers markets, impromptu conversations happen all the time between shoppers, and between shoppers and farmers. The mood is convivial and leisurely. There might be a band playing, or tables set up for communal eating. People often go to farmers markets to hang out, not just to get groceries. It’s an outing, even an event in the weekend—not just a chore. Something tells me the sun is more welcoming than the florescent lighting, too….

All of this is good for mental health. Socializing increases secretion of oxytocin, and oxytocin is an antidote to feeling depressed and isolated.  Think of it this way: the healthy food you buy at a farmers market feeds your body, and simply being at a farmers market feeds your soul. The slow food movement gets it, and I like that. Appreciation of food is a full cycle experience if you’re open to that.

Learn New Cooking Tips and Recipes

When you’re having one of those impromptu conversations with a farmer, ask what their favorite recipe is for purple cauliflower, or kale, or whatever’s in season at their stand. The farmers often know simple recipes that bring out the best flavor in their produce. (You may even find handouts at their tables.) Many of the farmers also talk to chefs who shop at the market, and can share their cooking tips.

If you see a fruit or vegetable you’ve never cooked before, don’t be shy. Ask what it is, and what to do with it. Chances are, if things aren’t too bustling, you’ll get more info and suggestions than you expect.

Make Good on Your Goal toward Experimentation

Sure, the bigger the market, the easier and more relevant this is. Hit a larger city’s farmers market, and you just may be able to stay all day without seeing everything. It still amazes me to think about the immensity of these pop-up food villages.

Make a point of taking in all the options you’ve never considered in your eating. Check out the unfamiliar produce items, yes, but look for those stands that offer more in the way of international flavor. You may find greens, teas, spices, and other ingredients that open up new possibilities.

And then there are the kids… Most kids I know hate the grocery store. Farmers markets are a different story. Not a bad family outing for a weekend. Let your kids bring their own bag and choose a new fruit or vegetable to try each week. Put them in charge of cooking their purchase, too.

Get More (of Everything) for Your Investment

Sometimes farmers markets have lower prices than supermarkets; other times certain prices are higher. If you end up paying more, you can feel good about the fact that you’re also getting more. Perhaps not in quantity, but definitely in nutrient density, variety, and flavor.

Freshly harvested, local produce that’s grown using organic methods and picked and sold at peak ripeness can have increased micronutrient density and taste a lot better. There are studies that tell us this, and intuitively it just makes sense. Which do you think is going to taste better—a hard, pale tomato shipped across the country in a refrigerated truck, or a ripe, juicy tomato that’s picked at a local farm a few hours before it’s sold?

Grab the Uglies and Heirlooms

Most grocery stores now offer organic produce. Some even sell local produce. Still, that produce is decidedly more perfect and uniform than the misshapen fruits and vegetables you see at farmers markets. Grocery stores often have cosmetic standards; looks matter more than flavor. At farmers markets, vendors sell “ugly” tomatoes and tiny, wild-looking strawberries with pride, as they should. Those uglies taste pretty awesome. Many are heirloom varieties, which naturally grow in a less predictable fashion.

It’s easier to find heirloom fruits and vegetables at farmers markets than it is at grocery stores. Heirloom fruits and vegetables are grown from the seeds of plant varieties that have been around for at least 50 years (before plant breeders introduced hybrid seeds). Heirlooms are also open-pollinated, meaning that insects or wind do the work, without human intervention. That’s all background information though. What you really need to remember is that more often than not, heirlooms taste really, really good.

Stock Your Protein and Pantry Needs

In addition to reusable bags, bring a cooler to your local farmers market. It can be a great place to stock up on meat, seafood, eggs, and even pastured (or in some places raw) dairy.

Most of us can’t raise our own animals to butcher, so buying directly from a local farmer is the next best thing. You know exactly where the meat came from, and how the animal was raised. Some farmers markets also sell locally caught seafood, and most sell fresh eggs from happy chickens.

Pantry items such as olive oil, fermented foods, nuts, and local honey (those with allergies, take note) can also be found, making it possible to put together entire meals made solely from your market foraging.

Thanks for reading today. Do you hit the farmers market in your area? Make a day trip of it ever? What have you found there that’s changed or enhanced your Primal eating? Share your thoughts, and enjoy the week, everyone.

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5 Foods to Help Your Respiratory Health

Did you know that what you eat can benefit how your lungs function, and how well you can breathe? Give these five foods a try for improved respiratory health.

 

Pears

Eating more fresh fruit like pears may decrease production of phlegm, found a Scottish study in the European Respiratory Journal. In the study, adults regularly eating fresh fruit had a 30 to 40 percent reduced prevalence of phlegm for three or more months per year and in the morning in winter. “Pears are portable and can easily be found nationwide,” says Shaw. “Not only are they bursting with fiber, which helps keep you fuller for longer, they’ve also got vitamin C, an important antioxidant that can boost your immunity.” Pair pears with almond butter, or add thin slices to a grilled cheese sandwich.

 

Matcha

This green tea boasts caffeine, which may improve lung function in people with asthma for up to four hours, per a Cochrane review study. “Matcha green tea also offers a healthy boost of polyphenols and L-theanine, which may help keep you focused and calm while also alert,” says Maggie Moon, MS, RDN, author of The MIND Diet.  

 

Sweet Potatoes

Here’s a veggie that tops the charts for vitamin A and is also an excellent source of vitamin C. “These two antioxidants protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in people with asthma,” says Moon. She suggests topping a baked sweet potato with toasted almonds, which are vitamin E superstars.

 

Black Cumin

This spice may fight inflammation and help lower resistance in the respiratory airway — potentially helping get more air to the lungs. People with partially controlled asthma who supplemented with black cumin saw improvements in both inflammation and pulmonary function, per a small study in Annals of Saudi Medicine.

 

Fish

Eating fish like salmon and sardines may help your respiratory health: Kids who ate less fish were more likely to report poor respiratory health, especially more coughing and wheezing, in a European study. It’s possible that the omega-3s in fish may provide protective respiratory benefits. Grill salmon with veggies, or add sardines to a Greek salad.

 

Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ. She’s a regular contributor to many publications, including ReadersDigest.com, Shape.com, FitnessMagazine.com, Dr. Oz the Good Life, Runner’s World, and more—as well as WeightWatchers.com, where she was a longtime editor. She also pens a recipe-focused blog, Amy’s Eat List.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.



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Back To You, Bob, or My Media Day with Swanson

I can’t wait to tell you all about our weekend at the Outer Banks (and our news!) but I want to wrap up sharing my Swanson media tour first. I’ll be back soon with all the details : )

Thanks to Swanson Health Products for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

I’m back today to share part II of my Swanson media trip! We had a day off in between our two big interview sets, and I took the time to work by the pool and relax a bit. These past two weeks have been super exciting but also very exhausting, and while I was very tempted to go to Universal to see Harry Potter World, I knew what my mind and body needed most was just a little time to unwind.

I also spent an hour working out in the gym (much needed!) and had this breakfast parfait by the pool for breakfast.

We had a mid-day lunch at an amazing little Mediterranean restaurant. My companions looking cool in their sunglasses! They look kind of like Snap filters don’t they!?

This warm feta dip with green peppers was SO epic! And I loved the cucumber salad.

I ordered falafel for lunch, which was a huge delicious portion covered in wonderful spices, herbs, and yogurt sauce. This was one of those times when I wish I just had a bigger stomach because it all tasted so good!

That afternoon we went to the studio to do a rehearsal and prep for the interviews, which were scheduled to start at 3 a.m. the following morning.

It was very neat to be in such a cool space, and I found it hilarious that my face was on 100 different TVs!

We went for an early dinner at Katsu-ya, a great little sushi spot that Mallory loved when she lived in L.A. We had an array of awesome dishes, but those popcorn shrimp were my favorite!!

We also tried crab cones – like a sushi ice cream cone!!

But the best part was the mochi ice cream! I had never had it before, and I just loved the doughy coating on the outside of the little balls!

I really wanted to watch the Survivor finale, but I knew I had to get some rest for our early call time, so I was asleep by 8:30 (not terribly hard to do since my body is still sort of on Eastern Time).

Bright and early the next morning we showed up at the studio for the media interviews to announce Swanson’s new line of probiotics. They had a lovely spread of breakfast foods in the green room…

…. including green room green juice!

I had yogurt and berries, juice, and a hard boiled egg throughout the morning.

And I’m not gonna lie – I had a few bites of these yummy donuts too!

While I got my hair and makeup, I was able to watch the Survivor finale! I won’t say more in case you guys haven’t watched it yet 😉

More of those great long lashes! It sure would be nice to have a makeup artist get me ready for all of my home events 😉 

Best face forward and ready to go!

For our interviews, I was set up in a kitchen, and we had a schedule of about 15 different media outlets to connect with. Imagine them saying “Today we have Kath Younger here to tell us all about Swanson probiotics and tips for healthy living this summer!” and cutting to the video of me in the studio where I said “Waaaaakkkke up San Francisco” a la Aunt Becky on Full House.

Just kidding : ) I went over the basics of probiotics, emphasizing the convenience, guaranteed freshness, and customized benefits of the Swanson line, and shared several tips for healthy living. I shared how I have been taking the Probiotics + Vitamin D, how Mazen loves the kids chewables, and how there are 14 different options across the three categories, so you can choose the one that’s best for you. For my healthy living tips, I talked about stocking your fridge with your favorite healthy foods, making green smoothies and eating vegetables throughout the day, getting plenty of sleep, and finding a workout routine you love (like an adult soccer team!)

Overall the interviews went really well, and I hope to have some links to share in the coming week or so! As promised in my last post, you can see my Access Hollywood Live interview HERE!

After the last interview I felt a huge relief though – so much pressure lifted off my shoulders! Looking back, like most challenging experiences we go through, I had a good time and felt proud for having the guts to do something that put me way out of my comfort zone.

Thanks to Swanson for sponsoring this post

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