Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Birthday Party + Father’s Day Weekend

Hi, guys!

Thank you for all of the awesome birthday wishes yesterday. It means so much to me! And I had such a wonderful day… and a wonderful weekend! It’s been quite the birthday celebration to say the least. Here’s a little recap from the weekend! 🙂


Saturday kicked off with the “Filthy Fifty” at CrossFit. I hadn’t done this workout in years, so I was excited to see how I’d do, especially since I rarely CrossFit nowadays. Thankfully, I had my friend Marisa to keep me motivated and moving along, and I actually beat my old time by nearly 5 minutes – and I used the women’s prescribed weights this time. Not too shabby!

After class, we, of course, headed to Coffee Shack for donuts and iced coffee.

Maple chocolate-frosted? Yes, please! 🙂

Back at home, we got ready for a small birthday get-together at our house. (I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, but I’m not a fan of making a big deal about my own.) Unfortunately/fortunately, I was having such a great time, I barely took any photos! #bloggerfail

We ordered pizzas from Bertucci’s.

And enjoyed the most amazing peanut butter cup birthday cake.

Holy yum!

And there was a Moana dance party at the end of the night. Good times! 🙂


The next morning, Quinn and I let Dada sleep in for Father’s Day.

As soon as he woke up, it was time for presents.

Father’s Day Chatbook for the win!

FYI: If you have an Instagram account, Chatbooks make THE BEST gifts! You don’t need to upload a bunch of photos or take hours to design your photo book. Chatbook does it all for you – just select the photos that you want to use from your IG feed and you’re done in a matter of minutes! Not sponsored – I actually don’t have any affiliation with the company, but I did use an affiliate link when I mentioned Chatbooks. If you purchase a Chatbook, I just get credit to purchase more Chatbooks! I’m telling ya… best.gift.ever!

After that, we ate breakfast and then went outside to play.

Then, Papi (Mal’s dad) came over to spend the afternoon with us, which included opening Quinn’s birthday present. Of course, Murphy thought it was for him.

Oh, pugs.

We had lunch on the back porch, caught up, and opened Father’s Day presents with Papi.

It was just too much excitement for Murphy.

After lunch, we said goodbye to Papi and then played outside some more. This time, we had fun with Corn Hole!

Qman eventually lost interest in Bean Bag Toss, so we went for a walk around the neighborhood.

Qman took his motorcycle!

Our walk ended up being much longer than expected, so we were all pretty hungry when we got home. I whipped up a quick dinner and we ate together on the back porch. It was such a nice evening!

The end!

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6 Healthy Eating Tips for First Trimester Pregnant Mamas

Pregnant woman on light backgroundToday’s post is served by good friend to Mark’s Daily Apple, Stephanie Greunke. Stephanie has teamed up with Melissa Hartwig of Whole30® to create the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program.

Food aversions and nausea plague up to 80% of women during the first trimester of pregnancy, which can be really frustrating for the mama who is trying to eat a healthy, nourishing diet. While there is no one specific cause of food aversions and nausea, some of the proposed factors include increased hormone levels (specifically estrogen, progesterone, and hCG), hypoglycemia, thyroid dysfunction (specifically increased serum free T4 and decreased serum TSH), a woman’s enhance sense of smell, stress, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, and physiological changes of pregnancy such as delayed gastric emptying and constipation.

One of the largest studies to date of pregnant women, the Collaborative Perinatal Project, found nausea and vomiting in pregnancy to be more common in younger women (the incidence is highest among women younger than 20 years old and drops significantly after age 35), women pregnant for the first time (primigravida), women with less than 12 years of education, women with multiple gestation, women carrying female infants, and women who are obese. Also, women whose mothers experienced nausea and vomiting with pregnancy are more likely to experience it.

If your “morning sickness” progresses to severe and persistent vomiting with substantial weight loss, you may be experiencing a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is a much more severe form of this common pregnancy concern and requires management and follow-up with your provider. Please, don’t try to tough it out on your own!

At Whole30 Healthy Mama, Happy Baby, we understand that morning sickness can put a halt on your dedicated efforts to eat healthy! The good news is that most women find the worst morning sickness symptoms usually end around 12-16 weeks, and typically nausea is a good sign that the pregnancy is progressing well. Researchers have found that the presence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is correlated with lower rates of miscarriage. Hopefully, that fact makes you feel just a little better!

So, keep your head up, mama. Today I have six tips to help you eat healthy despite aversions and nausea.

Bring the whole darn grocery store home with you.

This tip comes from Whole30 Headmistress and HMHB co-creator Melissa Hartwig. She experienced lots of food aversions during her pregnancy and used this strategy. That’s why we love Primal Kitchens products–you can stock your pantry and fridge with them, so you’ll always have flavorful and delicious options to make meals based on what sounds good to you in the moment. The more stocked your fridge and pantry are, the better chances you’ll have that you’ll be able to find something you can stomach. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner or a friend to run out and grab something for you when the mood strikes. You might be at the grocery store a bit more often during this time, but it usually only lasts a few weeks.

Capitalize on what and when you can eat.

Are there certain times of day when you feel better or have more of an appetite? Try to think outside of the box. Maybe you can’t imagine eating an egg immediately upon waking, but perhaps it sounds a little more appetizing as an early lunch? Some women notice that their nausea is worse in the morning but better by evening. I recommend trying to have lots of options in the fridge that could work for easy-to-prepare dinners. That way you can still make dinner based on what sounds good to you in the moment.

Avoid your major problem foods.

For example, if you know that you don’t tolerate dairy well normally, then try to avoid it throughout pregnancy. If ice cream sounds really good, but typically diary messes with your digestive system, then it’s probably going to do more harm than good. Instead of ice cream, see if a frozen, non-dairy smoothie would do. You might even be able to sneak some veggies in that way!

Balance your meals/snacks with a combination of fat/protein/and carbs.

Low blood sugar can be a trigger for nausea as well, so as best you can, try to eat throughout the day, even if you’re feeling sick. It’s commonly known that pregnant women crave carbs, and that’s okay! However, any time you can, try to combine fat, protein, and carbs, to give your body more nutrients to work with and help keep your blood sugar regulated throughout the day. Dying for a bagel? Try to have it with almond butter on top. Gluten free crackers? Stack them with a little rotisserie chicken and Primal Kitchen mayo.

Stay hydrated.

Becoming dehydrated can actually aggravate symptoms of morning sickness, so try to sip on a variety of beverages throughout the day. Plain water is great, but if you find that it’s difficult to tolerate, you can try sipping on chamomile, ginger, or peppermint tea (hot or iced!). You could also try sparkling water, as some mamas say it helps settle their stomach. A small amount of ginger kombucha could be a good option, as well.

Focus on key nutrients.

You don’t need to choke down an organic kale salad with wild-caught salmon to optimize your nutrition during this time. Give yourself grace and just focus on a few key nutrients for you and your growing baby during this hard time.

  • Folate (B9) is involved in making and repairing DNA as well as preventing neural tube defects, which is really important during the early weeks. Outside of liver, the best source of folate is dark leafy green vegetables (such as kale, collard greens, spinach, and dandelion leaves). You just need 2.5-3 cups of steamed spinach to meet your daily prenatal requirements. With that being said, leafy greens and liver are probably “off the menu” for most of your meals right now. You can include other sources of folate, such as chickpeas, pinto beans, lentils, avocado, and beets (if they work well for you); however, this is where a prenatal vitamin comes in handy. I like to recommend prenatal vitamins that contain a methylated version of folate (versus folic acid) for optimal absorption and utilization.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your baby’s brain and visual development and higher intakes have been associated with improved memory, cognition, and IQ. Since the amount of these essential fatty acids baby receives depends on mom’s dietary intake, it’s important to make sure they’re included in sufficient amounts through food and/or supplements. Because of the potential for mercury contamination, it’s important to choose fish low in mercury, such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, and herring. For mamas who can’t stand the thought of fish during the first trimester (which is most), I recommend talking to your provider about adding a fish oil supplement to your regimen.
  • Vitamin B6 helps your body metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, helps form new red blood cells, and supports brain and nervous system development. It’s also well-known that vitamin B6 can help alleviate nausea and vomiting, which sets it apart as an important player in your prenatal diet during the first few months. Food sources of B6 include fish, liver, chickpeas, poultry, beef, bananas, potatoes, and pistachios. If none of these options sound good or you’re really suffering, you can talk to your provider about using a B6 supplement.
  • Choline, like folate, is important for preventing neural tube defects. It’s also important for healthy brain development and can have long-term effects on your baby’s cognitive abilities, memory, and mood regulation. According to new research from Cornell University, pregnant women who increase choline intake during their third trimester of pregnancy (930 mg/day vs. 480 mg/day), may reduce the risk of their baby developing metabolic and chronic stress-related diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes later in life. While the need for choline increases during pregnancy (and even more while breastfeeding), there aren’t many foods rich in this nutrient outside of eggs and liver. You’d need to eat about four eggs a day to reach your prenatal daily requirements. Since eggs and liver may not work for you during these tough weeks, make sure your prenatal vitamin contains choline. I like Innate Response’s Baby & Me Multivitamin.

At the end of the day, just do your best. You won’t be able to eat perfectly during this time, and that’s okay. Make sure you’re taking a good prenatal supplement (gummy versions are fine during this time!), and know that your body is relying on the stores that you had built up before you became pregnant. You’ll be able to eat your piles of green, leafy veggies again soon! Hang in there mama–and for more information and friendly advice, check out our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby blog.

Want to take your pregnancy, pre- or post-natal nutrition to the next level? Join the Whole30 Healthy Mama / Happy Baby program. Mark’s Daily Apple & Primal Kitchen customers can use code HMHBLOVESPK to receive $40 OFF your registration!

StephanieStephanie Greunke is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition who specializes in women’s health. She is a certified personal trainer and prenatal and postnatal corrective exercise specialist. Stephanie guides and supports women locally and globally through her web-based private practice.

Thanks for stopping by today, everybody. Thoughts, questions, experience to offer on either food aversions or pregnancy health? Share them on the comment board, and have a great week!



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 Trend Alert: the Urban Farm-to-Table Movement

Vertical aeroponic gardening at Tower Gardens.


Farms aren’t just in the country anymore. Rooftop gardens supply dozens of Chicago restaurants with just-picked veggies. In the lobby of Vin de Set restaurant in St. Louis, diners are greeted by tall white towers growing kale for salads that night. At New York’s Bell Book & Candle, the menu is set by herbs like chervil, Opal basil and sage, all grown several stories above the dining room. Today, chefs and consumers are tasting veggies picked mere hours beforehand from restaurant rooftops, and from the abandoned parking lot turned urban farm next door.


Aeroponic Farming

Jeff Seibel’s official title is Farm Manager, but his unofficial title is “Urban Farmer” in St. Louis. He oversees a commercial greenhouse that supplies all of the Bibb lettuce, Romaine, kale, arugula, kohlrabi, fennel, mustard and other greens for five Hamilton Hospitality restaurants. From March to December, restaurant owners Paul and Wendy Hamilton do not order a single green leaf for their growing restaurants. “We’ve even switched up our menus to add more greens to our dishes, including green-topped pizzas, braised greens pastas and creative salads. It’s a good dilemma, to have so much just-picked produce,” said Wendy.

To make the most of crowded city spaces, Seibel grows produce for the Hamilton’s restaurants in white vertical Tower Gardens. Last year over 10,000 pounds of produce was grown in just a ¼ acre plot of land. The Tower system is known as aeroponic farming and according to some calculations, farmers can grow 30% more food up to three times faster than traditional farming methods, using 98% less water and 90% less space.


Hydroponic Gardens

In New York City, students at the Food and Finance High School (FFHS) in collaboration with NYC Cornell University Coop Extension (CUCE) tend hydroponic gardens —soil-free plots that grow plants in nutrient-rich water. Students learn that the liquid nutrient solution requirements needed for young plants is different from that needed for mature plants, and that a controlled environment is needed to produce healthy vegetables and herbs.

Once harvested, produce like kale and Chinese cabbages are prepared by students in the school’s cafeteria, and in the culinary arts and catering programs. “Graduates of our programs are skilled in every aspect of growing plants hydroponically to marketing the mature vegetables in retail settings,” explains Professor Philson Warner, Founding Director of CUCE Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics, Sustainable Agriculture Applied Research Teaching Labs.


Rooftop gardens

Over 10 million heads of leafy greens and herbs are grown year-round on the south side of Chicago at the Gotham Greens 75,000 square foot rooftop farm. It claims to be the world’s largest and most productive greenhouse. Not only can chefs get bok choy and Windy City Crunch lettuce blend, but consumers can find these greens at their local Jewel supermarket. Gotham Greens also partners with the Greater Chicago Food Depository food bank.

Baseball fans seated on the third base side of Fenway Park in Boston can view the Fenway Farms garden from which the kale on their Kale Caesar was harvested. Tomatoes, peppers, Brussels sprouts and other veggies grown in the rooftop garden are served at Red Sox EMC Club restaurant, for special events, and in concession stand favorites.


Tips for Finding Urban Farms in your City

Keep your eyes peeled for greens grown right in your own city above restaurants, at schools, in stadiums. Or search online for: urban farm, hydroponic, rooftop garden. Here are a few specific examples:



University of Southern California

Lindsey Pine, a Registered Dietitian at USC Hospitality, notes: “Students may see the lettuce they will have for lunch as they walk to class.” With 88 Tower Gardens, there’s a good chance if you eat at a restaurant, catered event, or dining hall on campus, you’re eating greens that are only a few hours old.

Bowdoin University

Even in Maine’s short growing season, vegetables, fruits and herbs from the Bowdoin Organic Garden are served in the school’s cafeteria.


Community Programs

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

This organization in Columbia, Missouri, is like gardening training wheels. Chefs, pharmacists and wannabe home gardeners can learn skills in gardens around the city.

Little Free Garden Project

In Moorhead, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota, you and your neighbors can share the fun of gardening together.


Supermarkets and Farmers Markets

Gotham Greens

Originating in New York City, their greens are in hundreds of NYC restaurants and at grocery stores around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Rising Pheasant Farms

Farmers market shoppers in Detroit can pick up asparagus, sage and sunflower shoots grown on the East Side.


Serena Ball, MS, RD is a food writer and registered dietitian nutritionist. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com sharing tips and tricks to help families find healthy living shortcuts. Follow her @TspCurry on Twitter and Snapchat.

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

Photo courtesy of Tower Gardens

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The Hairy Truth About Motherhood

This post is sponsored by 2-Minute Club Pura D’or

Remember how Mazen affectionally called my ponytail “Big Hair”? He has always loved my hair, and for years it was a character in our house. “Good morning, Big Hair!” “Hug for Big Hair!” I think it was a comfort to him going back to breastfeeding when he would tangle his little fingers it in while he nursed.

Pura D’or recently sent me their hair loss prevention shampoo and conditioner. When I spoke with them on the phone, we went on a long tangent conversation about all of the hair changes that come with having a baby.

I remember shortly after having Mazen I got my hair highlighted for the first time. I had no idea it would take MANY HOURS (including waiting in the salon and a haircut). But once I was there I was stuck in the chair, and I remember how badly I needed to nurse Mazen when I got home.

I also remember how much hair I lost those first 9 months after he was born. My hormones were changing and every shower I had, so much hair fall out. So much so that I had to have my tub drain snaked. It was gross, and it wasn’t something I was prepared for!

Following that period of hair loss was a period of hair growth! I had constant fly-aways and tufts of new hair growth coming out of my head, looking like I’d stuck my finger in a socket.

But then there are super sweet hair moments too, like when Mazen played with it when he was a baby. And when Big Hair became his BFF. Even our neighbor started saying hello to Big Hair!

Pura D’or’s hair products work with your body to promote hair growth and reduce breakage. There are 15 key active ingredients that work together to make hair stronger, shinier, thicker and healthier. These include Biotin, Pumpkin Seed, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Nettle, and other plant-based ingredients.

I loved seeing each ingredient named and explained on the 2-Minute Club website:

Key Ingredients

Amla Oil – A fruit known as the ‘wonder berry’ in its native India for thousands of years. It is concentrated in L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C 160 times more potent than in an apple) it naturally strengthens the hair follicle to support hair health.

Black Cumin Seed Oil – Comprised of more than 80% polyunsaturated fatty acids, this powerful ancient oil is rich in Omega-6 gamma linolenic acid, a super-antioxidant that helps prevent thinning and dryness.

Cedarwood Oil – An essential oil extracted from the Himalayan cedar tree that stimulates and strengthens hair follicles to promote hair health while calming and soothing the scalp.

Hibiscus Flower Oil – A vibrant floral oil with potent scalp stimulating properties to allow for better absorption of nutrients into hair follicle and a thickening effect.

Green Tea Leaf Extract – Extracted from the leaves of this popular tea that are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E as well as zinc and selenium. These are known essential components to naturally prevent hair thinning and encourage hair regrowth.

Stinging Nettle Root Extract – Helps to support hair health topically due to the high content of silica and sulfur in the leaves. Hair is shinier and healthier. Works synergistically with Pygeum to boost benefits of both.
Rosemary Oil – An herbal essential oil that feeds and nourishes the hair and scalp to prevent thinning and breakage. Contains proteins that repair damaged hair cuticles and prevent further damage so hair is smoother and stronger.

Clary Sage Oil – A fragrant, herbal essential oil known for its anti-stress and calming properties that naturally helps prevent hair thinning and dandruff while enhancing overall shine and condition.

He Shou Wu Root Extract – Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, this medicinal root boosts SOD (superoxide dismutase) activity to slow the effects of aging, including hair thinning by neutralizing free radicals and stimulating hair follicles.

Saw Palmetto Extract – A medicinal Native American plant with small berries used as an herbal remedy for hundreds of years. Shown to strengthen weak hair follicles to help prevent hair thinning while boosting volume.

Soy Isoflavones – Supports the production of hyaluronic acid, “nature’s moisturizer” for the scalp providing nourishment to the deep layers to promote healthy hair. The hyaluronic acid also forms a protective barrier on hair follicles.

– Known as Vitamin B3 is essential for a healthy, nourished scalp and hair. It promotes stronger and thicker hair while enhancing overall hair texture and volume.
Beta-Sitosterol – A powerful plant sterol extracted from soybeans that promotes a healthy scalp with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits to prevent hair thinning. Works in tandem with saw palmetto to boost benefits to hair and scalp.
Biotin – Vitamin H or B7, is part of the super B-Complex vitamins that deeply moisturizers, conditions, and fortifies hair when applied to the hair and scalp. It also boosts shine and strengthens from root to tip.
Tea Tree Oil – A powerful essential oil native to Australia that is well known for its antiseptic properties. On the scalp it eliminates any harmful bacteria to promote a healthy scalp for new hair follicles to grow and thrive in resulting in fuller, softer and shinier hair. It is also excellent in treating and soothing dandruff and itchy scalp to help prevent hair thinning.

So then the question is, does it work? I’ve been using them for about a month, and I definitely have some of those tufts of new hair growth popping out. See here:

I also had been using it up to my TV appearances last month, and I had someone come up to me from the set and ask what I did to get my hair so shiny. I told her healthy fats and this shampoo might be the key! The products come highly rated, so there are thousands of people who have reaped the benefits of them.

If you’d like to try these out yourself, you can get a $20 off discount and free shipping on your first purchase with the code katheats on the 2-Minute Club website which is the official membership site for Pura D’or. The blue line that I tried is $40, so you receive 50% off of that and free shipping. Please note that you will be signing up for a subscription but if for any reason you don’t like the product, you can cancel at any time without any penalties.

Happy showers, happy hair!

Thanks to 2-Minute Club and Pura D’or for sponsoring this post! 

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Episode 367 – Dr. Ruscio – Gut Microbiome, Pro and Prebiotics, and Thyroid Disease

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This week we have my good friend Dr. Michael Ruscio back on the podcast. Listen in as we discuss the gut microbiome, research, treatment, prebiotics and probiotics, gut microbiome variation around the world, and thyroid disease.

Download Episode Here (MP3)

Website: https://drruscio.com/




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 now available!

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks

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