Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Yesterday Was A Good Day

Hi, guys!

So, yesterday was a good day. When looking back on how the beginning of 2017 started for me, life has come a long way. Yesterday was a nice mix of work and life, and, well… I guess things just felt balanced for once, which, for the record, is not how my life typically feels. Not even exaggerating, I apologize to at least one person every week for being a “hot mess.” I’m usually running around like a chicken with its head cut off (aka hot mess mode), but yesterday was a good day. Here’s a little recap…

I set my alarm for 5:31 AM, planning to work at home before Mal and Quinn woke up for the day. Unfortunately, I woke up Murphy, who is the loudest creature ever when the potential for food is involved. He (Murphy) ended up waking up Quinn, who I tried to put back to bed with no luck. My attempt eventually turned into him (Quinn) climbing into our bed and then Murphy repeatedly laying on him… and then Quinn not liking it. *sigh* After that, we all went downstairs and it was pretty obvious no work was getting done. Whomp whomp. But at least I had a delicious breakfast to enjoy!

After breakfast, I got Quinn ready for the day, woke up Mal (he wanted to go to CrossFit), and took Murphy for a walk.

A hot second later, we all got into the car to drive Qman to daycare and Mal and me to CrossFit.

It was a fun workout – I managed 8 HSPUs in a row and then died for the rest. HSPUs are not my thing.

Post-workout protein shake!

Then, French Toast iced coffee. (I drank half and left half in the fridge at home for later. With all of this hormonal stuff going on, I’m trying to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum.)

I also had a few bites of Mal’s honey dip donut – post-workout carbs for the win! 🙂

Back at home, I showered and got myself ready for the day. I also threw together a quickie lunch of ground chicken, sweet potato ribbons, and cowboy caviar.

Then, I ran a few errands. My goal for this week/weekend is to organize our kitchen cabinets. They’re scary. These plastic woven baskets are the perfect size and on sale this week!

I also stumbled upon some almond butter with protein – genius! I bought a packet, and it’s delicious. Now I want a whole jar! 🙂

After running my errands, I headed to the Capital One Cafe to meet Kerrie and tackle our To Do list. While there, I snacked on Peanut Butter + Banana + Rice Cake in a Jar (PBBRCIAJ). It was quite delicious and a much more travel-friendly way to eat my favorite snack!

I packed up around 5:30 PM and headed to Whole Foods to buy dinner and apple juice for Qman (he’s getting new tubes put into his ears tomorrow, and he can only drink apple juice or water in the morning. I figured apple juice might distract him from his hunger since he can’t eat in the morning before his surgery).

I finished off dinner with a Mini Oatwich, which was heavenly and worth every calorie! (I think the calorie counts at Whole Foods are new, right? I hadn’t seen them before.)

After that, I treated myself to a little beauty night. First, I got a manicure at MiniLuxe.

And then I headed next door for a blow-out from Lynne (she did an awesome job!) at Toni & Guy. It was quite the nice way to end Hump Day! 🙂

Question of the Day

How was your hump day? Was it a good day or something else? 

The post Yesterday Was A Good Day appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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Bottle Water Is Not What You Think

Last week on Facebook I asked whether you drink soda, and if not, what you drink instead. I was overwhelmed with all the awesome responses!… and am sooooo happy to see how many of you have broken up with soda forever and are mostly drinking water, homemade tea, and kombucha instead. Yeah!!!

Bottled water sales have FINALLY surpassed soda sales in the U.S. as more people ditch drinks like Diet Coke and Pepsi. While I’m happy to see people make better choices – bottled water is crazy expensive. Depending on how many bottles you buy for yourself and your family every week, the cost adds up quickly. The average person who buys bottled water is spending over $400 a year for a family of four – and that’s being conservative. Drinking filtered tap water is so much cheaper… bottled water costs almost 2000x more!

A large percentage of bottled water is just glorified tap water anyway – so what are you really paying for?

While you might think that your bottled water is from a pristine mountain spring full of minerals, that’s almost never the case… Popular brands like Aquafina (by PepsiCo) and Dasani (by Coca-Cola) are just straight up purified tap water. They take their water from city water systems, run it through more filtering, bottle it, and sell it at a huge markup. Look for the terms “public water”, “municipal source”, or “community water” on bottles, which indicates it’s filtered tap water – but brands aren’t required to disclose this. Those that say “artesian” or “spring” water are typically not from the tap, but are typically MORE expensive and still packaged in plastic that is horrible for our environment. Plastic water bottles create an estimated 1.5 million tons of trash per year!

So, if you want to save yourself a ton of money AND protect our environment, stop buying bottled water. Getting a good water filter for your home is the way to go.

As I’m sure you’re aware, most tap water that isn’t properly filtered is tainted with contaminants like…

  • Pesticides
  • Fluoride
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Aluminum
  • Chromium 6
  • Radioactive materials
  • Arsenic
  • Prescription drugs
  • Chlorine
  • Parasites
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Lead
  • and a host of other substances known to cause diseases after long term exposure

You don’t want to be drinking any of those substances… or using tainted water to make coffee and tea at home. That’s why a good home water filter is so important, and will save you literally hundreds of dollars in bottled water costs every single year.

I’ve partnered up with the brand Aquasana because I know how crucial clean water is to my health. I’ve been so impressed with the many inexpensive filter options they offer – their water always tastes great, the NSF certified filters last a long time, and are easy to replace.

All Aquasana drinking water filters are certified to remove and reduce…

  • Chlorine and chloramines
  • Heavy metals like lead and mercury
  • Chlorine resistant cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium
  • Herbicides, pesticides
  • VOCs
  • Pharmaceuticals like estrone and ibuprofen
  • and more…

If you’re on a tight budget you can start out with their Countertop Water Filter. This is perfect if you are living in a rental too!

A step up are their under the counter models, which install easily under your sink…  

If you’d like to make sure to filter out fluoride, they have a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system that is certified to filter all the above contaminants + fluoride.

For the most complete solution, you can get a Whole House Filter. This gives you the peace of mind that the water from every tap in your home is filtered for up to 10 years. I personally love knowing that I can get clean water from every tap in the house, including the bathroom for brushing my teeth and showering.

(Simply click on each filter option to learn about its features and compare here)

Best of all, most of their filters are 50% off right now (expires soon) and they have a 90 day return policy if for any reason you don’t like the filter…which is perfect, so you have enough time to see how much money you are saving when you quit buying bottles. Your purchase also supports the work we do here at Food Babe, so thank you! I only partner with the best companies I personally have used and trust.

If you know anyone buying bottled water, please share this post with them and let them know how much money they can save! I’m sure they will thank you! Here’s to healthy clean water for everyone – and to saving big bucks on this healthy habit too.



P.S. If you already have a water filter, make sure that you replace your filter cartridges regularly and on schedule! I recently tested the water in my home and found pesticides – which I found very surprising at first – until I realized that the filter cartridges needed to be replaced in my system. As soon as I replaced the cartridges and tested my water, the pesticides were gone. See the water testing kit I used here.


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7 Healthy Coffee Ideas for Every Primal Taste

Primal AviaryNormally, I’m deep in the thick of nutritional research or other heady topics midweek. Today, not so much. I have coffee on the brain after trying a few new concoctions recently. As I’ve noted in the past, coffee is a welcome part of the Primal Blueprint. Unlike traditional paleo, there’s no conflict here. While living healthily and sleeping well mean I don’t depend on coffee for energy, I consider it a positive staple in my diet, not to mention a pleasant ritual in my day.

I’ve gone into extensive detail about the copious benefits—to overall health, to disease prevention, to cognitive function, even to fitness performance—in the past. Today, I’m all about the actual intake. There’s plenty to the why, but this post covers several Primal ways to enjoy it right now. Let’s dig in….


Cacao nibs are loaded with polyphenols, and a great source of saturated and monounsaturated fat. Add coconut milk (or whole cream), plus a drizzle of coconut oil to smooth out the chocolate emulsion, and this dark chocolate mocha is brimming with healthy fats.


  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1 cup coconut milk or whole cream
  • 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil

Primal aviary


Bring coconut milk or whole cream to a simmer in a small pot. Turn off heat and add cacao nibs. Let steep 5 minutes.

Blend the cacao mixture and coconut oil in a blender on high speed until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing down on the solids to release the liquid. Add a sweetener if desired. Pour the cacao milk into hot coffee, or chill it before adding to iced coffee. The cacao milk will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

Macadamia Cream

Macadamia nuts are sweet and buttery fat bombs. Blend ‘em up into smooth cream for a rich and fatty cup of coffee that also has delicious macadamia flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons macadamia butter*
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

Primal Aviary


Whisk together macadamia butter and hot water until smooth. Pour into a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Press down with a spoon to release the smooth and creamy liquid into the bowl and separate it from any grainy solids. Whisk the macadamia cream from the bowl into your hot coffee.

*To make macadamia butter, simply blend raw or toasted unsalted macadamia nuts in a food processor until very smooth

Tahini Coffee

The high-fat sesame paste called tahini turns into a surprisingly delicious keto-friendly dessert cream when whisked with molasses and whole cream. Eat it alone, or stir the cream into your coffee.


  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons whole cream



Whisk together tahini, molasses and cream until completely smooth. Whisk the tahini cream into your hot coffee (or, just eat it for dessert with a spoon).

Chai Golden Milk Coffee

This spiced coffee is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich. Chai Golden Milk (named after the Indian tea and the addition of turmeric) is delicious in hot or cold coffee. It’s also delicious without coffee when you want an uplifting caffeine-free beverage.


  • 1 cup coconut milk or whole cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

chai golden milk


Whisk milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and coconut oil in a small saucepan or pot and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes. Strain though a fine mesh strainer to remove the grit. Add a sweetener if desired. Pour as much as you like into your hot coffee, or chill the spiced milk for iced coffee.

Egg Frappe

A frothy, iced coffee drink with a boost from whole eggs and antioxidant- rich spices.


  • 5 ounces coffee, double strength* (use twice the amount of ground coffee you would normally use for 5 oz water) (150 ml)
  • 3 pastured eggs, whole
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (1.25 ml)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom (a pinch)
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (a pinch)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar** (a pinch)
  • 2 ounces coconut milk (60 ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups ice (a large handful)

*The coffee is brewed at double strength so the flavor isn’t diluted when blended with ice.

**Cream of tartar is optional. It helps stabilize the egg whites and make the drink frothier.

Coffee Frappe


Let the coffee cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs. Cool in freezer for 10 minutes.

While the coffee is chilling, combine honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cream of tartar, coconut milk and ice in the blender.
Blend briefly, so the ice cubes are broken into small pieces.

Pour the chilled Primal egg coffee into the blender. Blend again for 30 seconds or so, until the ice is slushy and the top is frothy.

Egg Coffee

A delicious alternative to Bulletproof coffee, this smooth and creamy coffee drink is brimming with micronutrients.


  • 1 cup (240 ml) coffee
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt


eggcoffeeBeating the eggs together, whole, as if you were making scrambled eggs (or blend them). For a 1-cup dose of coffee, use two whole eggs. Once the eggs are beaten or blended, slowly drizzle in the coffee. You don’t want to cook the eggs. You want them to stay creamy. If you’re concerned about the avidin in the raw white, dump the coffee in to ensure maximal heat exposure. Otherwise, just drizzle.

A higher egg:coffee ratio (using a large shot of espresso, for example) for a stronger coffee flavor works well, too.

Add a little sweetener plus some salt to make the coffee taste like a liquified custard.

Vanilla Collagen Fuel Coffee

The sweet vanilla flavor and healing collagen found in Primal Kitchen® Collagen Fuel are a superior alternative to sugary, flavored coffee drinks.


  • 5-8 ounces of brewed coffee
  • 1 scoop of Vanilla Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel


Fill your mug about 1/4 the way with brewed coffee. Mix one scoop of Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel well enough to make a paste. (I use Vanilla, but Chocolate would work well for a mocha flavor if you prefer.) Then fill the remainder of your mug with coffee. Stir well, and enjoy!

How to Make Cold Brew

Cold brew is all the rage and for good reason; it’s less acidic and has a bolder flavor than iced coffee, which can taste watered down or bitter. As opposed to iced coffee, which is brewed hot then chilled, cold brew is brewed in cold water. Buying cold brew from a coffee shop can be spendy. Luckily, it’s easy to make at home. Here’s how to make cold brew:

A ratio of 1 cup whole coffee beans to 4 1/2 cups water will give you a strong brew.

Don’t grind the beans too finely or they’ll cloud up the coffee. A coarse grind is better for cold brew.

Put the coarsely ground coffee beans in a glass pitcher, tall container, or coffee press. If using a pitcher or container, you’ll need cheesecloth to strain the grounds later.

Slowly pour in the 4 ½ cups cold water, gently stirring as you pour to moisten all the coffee grounds.

Lightly cover the container, or put the lid on the French press (don’t press it down). Let stand in the refrigerator 12 hours.

If using cheesecloth, line a fine mesh sieve with the cheesecloth and set the sieve over a large pitcher or deep container. Pour the coffee into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and give the water a few minutes to filter through the grounds.

If using a French press, simply press down the plunger and push the grounds to the bottom.

Once the grounds are separated from the coffee, your cold brew is done!

Cold brew keeps well for a week or more in the refrigerator.

Tip: Don’t want to dilute your cold brew at all? Make coffee ice cubes to float in your cup of cold brew.

That’s all for me, folks. I’ll wager many of you have your own creations to share. Offer your ideas and any questions on the board, and take care.


The post 7 Healthy Coffee Ideas for Every Primal Taste appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

life, love, and the pursuit of happiness

On Sunday, I spent the day with a dozen of my girlfriends having an absolute blast. Sarah organized a bachelorette day, and I felt so loved just to get to spend time with my BFFs!

I had a general sense of what we would be doing, but Sarah didn’t share any of the details. We began the day at Keswick Vineyards with a wine tasting and a lovely picnic.

All my favorites, from pimento cheese to pesto kale salad!

Our next destination was The Clifton Inn! It’s just minutes outside of town and feels like a beautiful country escape. Plus they have a great pool!!

Sarah booked a suite for us to use for changing (and a few of us spent the night too).

We put on our suits and headed for the pool. The Clifton was so accommodating to our group, and while we were not the quietest bunch of ladies, we kept the noise level to a minimum.


That pool!! There was also a hot tub which we spent a lot of time in as well. The pool was freezing!

After our swim, we went back to the room to get dressed for dinner. Sarah organized everyone to wear a black dress so I stood out from the bunch in black and white. Very cute idea!

Love these ladies! Our group got bigger and bigger as the day went on.

For dinner, we had a three-course menu, which we enjoyed out on the terrace. We had a choice of any of the apps, entrees and desserts on the menu but our price was set, which made it easier on everyone. I bought a few bottles of wine for the table!

Burrata cheese!! All the heart eyes.

Marshamallowy scallops with charred cauliflower and foam! Everyone raved about this dish.

And finally, Sticky Toffee!

It was such an amazing day from start to finish. We talked about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful, supportive, and caring group of friends <3

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