Friday, September 1, 2017

Free Beautycounter+ Facial Oil with Purchase

Hi, guys! Just popping in real quick to share this awesome Labor Day weekend deal!

Now through Monday, receive a complimentary Beautycounter Facial Oil ($68 value) of your choice with any purchase of $150 or more!!!

The Brightening Facial Oil is one of my favorite products from Beautycounter. Even though it’s an oil, it’s lightweight, silky, and blends right into your skin for some serious moisture. I randomly get dry patches on my forehead from time-to-time and this stuff works wonders! It also has vitamin C in it, so it helps to brighten and even skin tone, which is especially important to me now that summer is over and have a bunch of weird pigmentation on my face that I want to get rid of.

Other products that I’m especially loving right now: Nourishing Cream Exfoliator (my daily face wash), everything in the Brightening Collection (aka “Project: Get rid of pigmentation”), and the Volume & Shape Volumizing Mist.

If you have any questions or you’re looking for specific product recommendations, just let me know! My goal is to support you on your journey to cleaner living, starting with skincare products, and, as always, I truly appreciate your support!

The post Free Beautycounter+ Facial Oil with Purchase appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

My Journey to Primal

Inline_Success_Story_09.01.17Growing up I could never have described myself as a healthy person. Thin, yes. Athletic, yes. But as a student I was always missing classes because I would fall ill, and even when I was older I would constantly have the sniffles from allergies and could easily use up a pack of tissues a day. I had a really twisted notion of fitness: as long as I had the energy and endurance for my dancing and my workouts, and as long as I could fit into my old college jeans, then it meant I was on track with my wellness goals.

The event that changed all that was a disturbing result that came back from my Executive Checkup in 2012: a tiny, suspicious growth that eventually was ruled out as benign and quickly removed. It scared the hell out of me. It was then that I swore to avoid consuming or using anything unnatural or toxic to my body, and I set off on a mission to learn about what would help me to achieve true health and never have to go through a scare like that again.

My own Primal Journey was a series of hits and misses over 7 years, which I spent doing self-study and experimenting with my diet and activity to find what would work for me. It was following the Primal Blueprint that finally brought me to a point where I am comfortable and confident with the state of my health. This is why I was driven to be a Primal Health Coach: because I want to help others to cut through the clutter by sharing my own knowledge and experience, and provide guidance based on established research and the latest studies by leading-edge health experts who are part of the ancestral health community.

A Frustrating Start

Like many people, 30 was the age when I started to feel that my metabolism was slowing down. No longer could I eat, drink and party as much as I wanted and still wake up with a flat stomach and unlimited energy. I took to more frequent workouts and calorie restriction so I could maintain my weight.

After finishing my very first full marathon in 2010, my 4-year running career quickly slowed down and sputtered to a stop. I got bored. So I started trying out other things like yoga, Barre and whatever group class was happening at the gym. In 2012 I discovered Bodyrock, a site that provided free, fun and engaging High Intensity Interval Training (HiiT) videos. After just a few weeks of Bodyrocking I noticed how my arms had less jiggle, and an officemate randomly asked me if I was training for something. That, plus the fact that it was so easy to fit the short 12-minute workouts into my early morning routine before work, got me hooked.

After 3 or 4 months of logging my workout scores, seeing my progress (more reps in the same amount of time) and feeling stronger, it was disappointing that my waistline was not budging. Plus, to my dismay, I was gaining weight, I felt bloated almost everyday, and I would get incredibly sleepy after lunch. I couldn’t understand why. I wasn’t on a diet, but I didn’t think it was a problem because I never ate a lot anyway, stayed away from fatty food, never drank sodas, ate burgers only occasionally, and all that. My average calorie intake must have been less than 1400 a day. Someone once joked about my appetite and said that if I ever got into an eating contest with a pigeon, the pigeon would win. And yet stubborn fat remained around my middle, and I hated it.

Clean Eating

One of the guest coaches on Bodyrock said that if Bodyrocking wasn’t working for you, it had to be one of two things: either you weren’t consistently working out, or you weren’t eating right. I was working out almost everyday, so I took a look at their diet tips and discovered Clean Eating, which involves avoiding processed food, trying to get more veggies into every meal and shifting from my usual white rice and bread to complex carbs.

I have to credit Clean Eating for my helping me build my kitchen skills. (Embarrassing as it is to admit, I had always relied on the help to do the cooking all these years, and my husband Dex knew his way around the kitchen much more than I did!) I started preparing more meals at home, and my family found themselves eating all kinds of grains they never knew existed: couscous, bulgur and quinoa. We were buying more fruit and greens and actually consuming them instead of throwing them out because they had gone bad after being ignored in the refrigerator.

I felt great about this change and it was so empowering to know exactly what ingredients were going into every meal. I would often find myself comparing our homemade meals with restaurant dishes and thinking hey, I could do a better job than this!

About four months into Clean Eating I felt healthier, and I wasn’t getting sick as much. Even when there were nasty bugs going around the office I was always left standing, so I knew I was doing something right. And yet the bloating remained, and so did the stubborn fat around my middle. One day I went to the gym and weighed myself, and was so upset to find that I was at my heaviest in the last 13 years! What was going on?

The Paleo Diet

Enter the Paleo diet, based on the premise that human physiology has not changed much since the caveman days, and hence a diet similar to those of early humans is the optimal one. A friend of mine swore by Paleo, and she was looking great, so I found myself reading up a lot on the subject. I geeked out on Charles Poliquin, Mark’s Daily Apple, Robb Wolf and all kinds of health and nutrition sites, and finally gave it a try.

On the Paleo diet, I was eating a lot of meat, healthy fats and veggies. I suffered through a few days of carb withdrawal (which was awful), but the results were very encouraging. My bloating disappeared almost immediately after I cut down on carbs, and my tummy got flatter week after week.

I was so excited with the idea that I could eat as much as I wanted as long as it was on the Paleo- approved list, and so I started cooking up all kinds of Paleo treats: cupcakes, cookies, energy bars and whatnot. So what if they were sweet? They were made with wild honey and pure maple syrup!
And so the weight came back. More than ever before. And once again I was stumped: I was following the diet, so why wasn’t I getting the results I wanted?

Going Primal

I revisited Mark’s Daily Apple and decided to do a reset and listen more to my body and follow its signals. Instead of strictly adhering to a set of diet restrictions, I now focus on making good meal choices. Instead of tiring myself everyday with grueling strength and cardio workouts, I do strength/HiiT only 3 times a week, do active rest days (mostly with short yoga or pilates sessions) for the other 3, and a weekly sprint session but only when I feel like it. For the most part I just try to make sure I move around as much as I can throughout the day and don’t force myself to work out when my muscles are sore. Sleep and stress management round up the picture.

What is Primal health to me? More than following the guidelines of the Primal Blueprint, it’s about making smart, informed choices about food, movement, and lifestyle, and being mindful of your body, your energy levels and moods. So far so good, and so the journey continues….

Issa Aviles, Primal Health Coach



The post My Journey to Primal appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

5 Ways to Up Your Protein at Breakfast

For years dinner was considered the “meat-heavy” meal, while breakfast was associated with foods like oatmeal, cereal, pancakes and muffins. Instead, each meal of the day should be balanced with both whole grains and protein. Whole grains include fiber, which helps fill you up and has numerous health benefits. Protein also has numerous benefits including satiety, which may be lacking at breakfast meals. Here are 5 ways you can include more protein at breakfast so you can less hungry in the morning.

New Research on Protein

A new landmark systematic review recently published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that consuming protein above current recommended levels helps prevent age-related bone loss, a condition known as osteoporosis.  “Current protein guidelines focus on preventing muscle loss as we age, but our study suggests we need substantially more to keep our bones strong,” says Dr. Taylor Wallace leading food science and nutrition researcher on the study and professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University. “The study showed a 16% reduced risk of hip fractures with higher protein intakes (we found no difference in animal vs. plant proteins).”  That’s a large dose of prevention for over 2 million osteoporotic fractures that occur annually in the United States.  That is why Wallace recommends forgoing low fat or low carb breakfasts, and rather focusing on eating more protein at breakfast to stay healthy and energized.

Chicken and steak may not be what you’re craving at breakfast, but don’t count it out. Here are five ways you can up your protein in the morning.

Add Beans

Eggs are a great source of protein in the morning, but adding beans to an omelet or burrito can up your protein and fiber even more.

Recipe to try: Breakfast Burrito (pictured above)

Try Quinoa

Whether it’s hot quinoa cereal or a bowl of quinoa and beans, this whole grain adds a healthy dose of protein at breakfast.

Recipe to try: Mexican Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Play with Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt provides double the protein compared to traditional yogurt due to the straining process it goes through. Add it to smoothies, spoon it over pancakes and waffles, and use it to make overnight oats. The possibilities are endless.

Recipe to try: Papaya Banana Smoothie

Welcome Sardines

This underappreciated omega-3 filled protein is a delicious addition to any breakfast repertoire. Add to omelets or enjoy with toast.

Recipe to try:  Sherried Sardine Toast

Top with Peanut Butter

Two tablespoons of peanut butter provides 8 grams of protein and about 188 calories. Swirl a spoonful into oatmeal, smear over toast, add to smoothies, or use it in a batter for pancakes, muffins or breakfast cookies.

Recipe to try: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies


Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

The Time Murphy Was Attacked By A Pit Bull

Hi, guys! Happy Friday! Boy, do I have a story for you. I’m still feeling pretty shaken-up and helpless after it. Ughhh, story below…

So, our morning started out like most days. I woke up, fed Murphy, and ate my breakfast, which was overnight oats made with ground pumpkin seeds, SFH Churro protein powder, banana slices, collagen, unsweetened almond milk, and a big old scoop of sunflower butter.

After breakfast, Murphy and I went out for our morning walk together. On our way home (we were actually in our driveway), I heard our neighbor yell something. I turned around, and I immediately saw her pit bull running towards Murphy of me. This dog is known for attacking other dogs in the neighborhood (yes, this has happened multiple times before), so I quickly picked up Murphy to protect him. As soon as I got him in my arms, the pit bull lunged at us, grabbed Murphy in his mouth, and pulled him to the ground. I immediately went into “Mama bear mode” and started to fight off the pit bull the best I could. The dog was so strong and had quite the grip on Murphy. I just kept yelling “no, no, no” and tried to break them apart. It was quite the scuffle, and I honestly thought Murphy was going to be ripped to shreds. The pit bull was so rough with him! It was so scary. Thankfully, my neighbor was able to get her dog off Murphy before it really hurt him, but, holy cow, it was a stressful situation. And the poor dog had surgery the day before! I felt so horrible for him. And, of course, I was PISSED at my neighbor. Let me explain…

Like I mentioned above, this is not the first incident with her pit bull. In fact, multiple people in our neighborhood have reported her and her family for being irresponsible dog owners. We have a leash law in our town, and their dogs (they have three) are constantly off-leash roaming the neighborhood. The other two dogs (non-Pitbull) mostly keep to themselves and just poop in our yard, which obviously makes us mental, but they got into a fight with a different dog (being walked by its owner) right after Murphy was attacked. WTF, right? Apparently, our neighbors don’t think the laws apply to them. And, truthfully, letting their dogs out, off-leash, an hour after Murphy being attacked is so obnoxious and just goes to show you what type of people live next door to us.


So, after everything happened, I came inside and told Mal. He immediately called the police, so I could file a report. The policeman, who arrived to our home, was really nice, but it didn’t seem like there was much he could do. He said a “crime hadn’t been committed.” Apparently, if the dog bit a person, we’d have a case. He did, though, put me in touch with the animal control officer in our town, who, again, was very nice, but there wasn’t all that much he could do. The animal control officer said he could give the family a fine of $25, which seems kind of silly, considering it’s not a lot of money, and I doubt they’d pay it. He also said he would put in a request to require that the pit bull be muzzled whenever it’s outside. But, unfortunately, like the leash law, it’s hard to enforce. Plus, like what happen yesterday, the dog escaped from the house, so I’m not sure the requirement would even work.

Obviously, Mal and I are not comfortable with these options, considering we live right next-door and have a three-year-old that often plays outside. We ended up calling the town manager, who said we could write a letter to request a hearing with the town selectmen. At the hearing, if we had a strong enough case, the town could potentially require that the dog be removed from the house. It’s a long shot, but it doesn’t seem like we have a ton of options. Has anyone gone through a similar situation? Anyone know what our other options we might be? I’m not usually someone who makes a big deal about things, but I’m truly scared to be outside with Murphy (and, obviously, Quinn). I’m thinking about carrying mace for my walks with Murphy and when Quinn plays outside, which is horrible to think about. I can’t believe how unsafe I feel in my own neighborhood and yard. So, yea, that’s how Thursday started.

Just as I finished giving my statement to the police officer, Kerrie arrived at my house to pick me up to drive down to the Cape for a video shoot. She brought me Starbucks!

About an hour later, we arrived at the Cape to make some promo videos for our Post-Summer Slim Down and other meal plans we’re launching this fall. If you don’t already follow Designed to Fit Nutrition on Facebook, be sure to like us, so you can see our videos! (I’m laughing so hard because the stool that I’m sitting on is super wiggly!)

Once we wrapped up the videos, we stopped at Subway for lunch and to make the next edition of “Best Shitty Choice.” FYI: These videos are on our Facebook page as well as our YouTube channel. We visit eating establishments that typically don’t offer the healthiest choices and share our top picks.

When I got home, I immediately gave Murphy all sorts of pug love. He’s had a rough couple of days.

Then, Mal and I headed out together to take Murphy for a walk and protect him from aggressive pit bulls.

Wearing: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew // Align Crops (I want these in every color!) // Brooks Revel Sneakers

After our walk, I made myself a little snack – guacamole with carrot sticks and the most amazing BBQ Quinoa Chia Chips from CVS. Seriously, keep an eye out for these babies and try them if you see them!

After that, Mal and I headed to Whole Foods to buy a few things for dinner at our friends’ house. They just had a new baby, so we didn’t want to show up empty-handed.

Then, we picked up Qman from preschool and drove to their house. We had drinks and apps and got to meet their new baby girl! 🙂

I love pub cheese in a weird way and ate a bunch of it!

For dinner, I had Caesar salad with grilled chicken and bacon ranch potato salad on the side. (Sorry for the sub-par photo. I had already started eating when I thought to take a pic.)

We spent a few hours at our friends’ house and then headed home. Mal had his Fantasy Football Draft, so he went out with friends and I put Quinn to bed. When Qman was in bed, I put on a face mask (working on my post-summer pigmentation) and enjoyed a bowl of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.

After that, Murphy and I headed upstairs to snuggle in bed. I worked for a couple of hours before hitting the hay. What a day.

The end.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

10 Year Anniversary!

Guess what today is?!** 10 years – a whole entire decade – of blogging. That breaks down into 6,844 posts, over 365,000 comments, and a gazillon photos.

Girl Kath from 2008!

I think at most I have missed a handful of days of posts all these years. Some of you guys have been reading since the very beginning, and some of you remember more details about my own life than I do! Some of you might be new! If you are, this is how it all began:

I started blogging in March of 2006 at Calorie King as I set out to lose 30 pounds. A year and a half later, at the request of family and friends, I decided to start a photo blog of my recipes and meals. I began writing at Blogspot in September 2007 under the title Sweat, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, which then was rebranded and moved to WordPress less than a year later, and finally to my own domain, You can visit the original blog, which is still live in all its blurry, dark photo glory.

After working in public relations for a few years, I went back to school to become a Registered Dietitian in 2008. Read some of my nutrition-focused posts on this page! For five years, I blogged three times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can see highlights of years of blogging this page. In addition to food, recipes and life recaps, I have pages on oatmealblogger eventstravel across the worldraceshome organizationphotographyblogging and groceries.

After my son was born, I slipped back to blogging once a day, and then in January 2013 I switched my format from diary style to topics with slices of life here and there.

A lot has changed over the past decade, and in many ways I feel like a totally different person. I look back at old posts and barely remember what it felt like to be the girl behind the screen. When I read old posts it’s almost as if I’m reading about someone else’s life. You can read a post I wrote about comparing old and new me here.

I thought in honor of 10 years, I would pick 10 posts that were notable, memorable or otherwise favorites of mine throughout the years. When I set out to choose 10, many more posts came to mind, but a narrowed them down to 13 – half of 26 – which if you have been a follower for a hot minute you know is very significant. I have all but one year covered too, which seems fitting!

My first brand trip with Quaker // November 2008

This trip was the first time I brand had invited me to travel – expenses paid – to learn more about them. How fitting that it was Quaker?! Jokingly known as the Queen of Oatmeal on those days, I was thrilled to get to go behind the scenes of my favorite food. I still love partnering with Quaker 10 years later!

A trip to Kenya with Lipton Tea // March 2009

I think this trip remains “the coolest opportunity I have ever gotten” through KERF. I spent six days traveling during my spring break to Kericho, Kenya to tour some of Lipton’s tea estates. I was chosen by Foodbuzz for the trip and had three weeks to prepare. It was an incredible experience that I will never forgot! While there, I planted a tree. I wonder what it’s doing now!? Other notable travel posts are on this page : ) I always think about how much I loved this day in wine country with blogger friends, and our trip to St. Lucia was one of my favorites to share!

The Healthy Living Summit // August 2009

Way back when, a group of fellow blog friends and I started talking about how cool it would be to gather in person. And what if we had 100 blog readers join us for a fun weekend in a big city? The Healthy Living Summit was born, and we spent hours and hours planning a fun weekend for 100 digital friends. We did a second annual summit the following year and then passed the torch on to another group. Those were the days!

My One And Only Half Marathon // April 2010

This was definitely my favorite race of the dozen or so I did back in the early days, mostly because it was the longest and took the most training and planning! I had hoped to run a marathon next, but my foot issues had me benched for the weeks to come and I realized that 26.2 was just not ever going to be in my cards. So I switched to other forms of foot torture – like soccer ; )

Passing the RD Exam // August 2010

Obviously this was a big moment in time for me!! I spent the 2.5 years prior working towards passing this test. Funny how none of my nutrition school posts made it on as favorites ; ) That internship was grueling, and I was SO HAPPY to have reached my goal! My life as an RD looks a lot different than I thought it would when I set out to go back to school in 2008, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Being published in Oprah Magazine // February 2011

While there is nothing particularly dramatic about that post, this accomplishment always comes to mind when people ask me about the cool opportunities I’ve gotten through the blog. While going ON the Oprah Show would certainly have been a lot more exciting, the show had already gone off the air, so I was very happy to have my oatmeal recipe published in Oprah’s magazine. It was my favorite freelance project to date!

Great Harvest Opening Day // June 2011

I remember what an exciting day it was to actually have an open bakery store front! We had lines out the door, and we sold out of most of our products that day. It was an exhausting, emotional time, but also one filled with celebration because our bakery had been such a long time coming.

Mazen’s Birth Announcement + Birth Story // September 2012

This ranks as the most exciting post I have ever put up! Of course my life dramatically changed when he was born, and I couldn’t wait to share the news with you all. Mazen’s birth month marked my highest ever pageviews and traffic. I think many of you were refreshing the blog every minute for a week to see if he had been born! Those newborn days are some of the most precious posts I have too because I wrote them as much for me to re-read as I did to share with you all.

The Squiggly Line Effect // March 2013

While this wasn’t the first time I had brought up this concept, when I think back on all of my nutrition posts this one comes to mind as the most memorable. It’s my nutrition catch phrase! I should have it on a t-shirt. What goes up must come down!

Crate and Barrel Brunch // December 2015

I wanted to include a brand partnership in the bunch, and when I think back on all of my sponsored posts, this one with Crate and Barrel always comes to mind as the one I am most proud of because of the the time and planning that went into creating the whole post, including the video. Videos are HARD, and while it’s by no means professional looking, I thought it turned out really cute. Also: a Crate and Barrel shopping spree was involved, and that was just plain fun!

Visiting the White House // March 2016

I almost forgot about this but I think it deserves a spot in this list! Getting a personal invitation to the White House alone was exciting, but to hear Michelle Obama speak was something I’ll never forget.

Things I’m Afraid To Tell You // January 2017

This post comes to mind as one that was particularly memorable to me because I was in such a vulnerable state when I write it. I loved the prompt from The Lively Show, and when I listened to her podcast I knew I had to be more open with you guys. Thomas and I had been dating for a while, but I didn’t feel comfortable writing about him for the longest time. I was starting to feel like I was hiding such a big part of my life, and I knew I had to share more. The post received so many lovely comments, and I was so glad to have written it! It was one of my most emotional posts to date. Announcing our engagement was also a really noteworthy post for me, and I hope sharing some wedding pics will be too!

I want to say thank you to all of you, because without you there would be no KERF! I am humbled that anyone is still reading this blog a decade later, but also so very, very thankful. Here’s to 10 more years!

**You made it to the end! Actually my real blogiversary is August 29, but I decided in this post to make it September 1 for the future! 

The post 10 Year Anniversary! appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food

Clean Eating Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Enchiladas are a fabulous dish. And while they are a little time-consuming to make (about an hour for assembly on this recipe), they are not complicated at all! Think of them as baking burritos in a… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry