Wednesday, January 31, 2018

10 Years: Top 10 Carrots ‘N’ Cake Blog Posts

Hi, guys!

We’re approaching Carrots ‘N’ Cake’s 10th birthday, so I wanted to take a little trip down memory lane and share some of the most visited blog posts (according to Google Analytics). Some of them are somewhat expected, but some of them are total surprises. It’s funny what the Internet likes (and doesn’t like)! 🙂 With that, here are the top 10 most viewed CNC posts to date!

10. How 3 Months of CrossFit Changed My Body – People love transformation story and this post was published during the height of CrossFit.

9. Paleo Pumpkin Walnut Muffins – I mean, who doesn’t love a “healthy” muffin recipe, am I right? This recipe hit the internet when Paleo was super popular.

8. 45-Minute Treadmill Workout – I can’t believe this post made the top 10, but it IS a really great treadmill workout!

7. 10 Tips for Balancing Exercise with a New Baby – Getting back to your fitness routine is definitely a struggle after having a baby. I like to think this post has helped a lot of new moms!

6. Low-Calorie Cocktails You Need to Try – This is an awesome round-up of tasty, but low-calorie cocktails. I love that it’s still a hit on the Internet!

5. No More Excuses: Motivational Quote to Get Your Butt in Gear – Thanks to the powers of Pinterest, this blog post exploded!

4. Sweet Potato Pizza Crust – I think I was one of the first bloggers to share a recipe for sweet potato pizza crust, so this post has done well over the years.

3. How I Beat My Sugar Addiction – Sugar was such a struggle for me, and I was really honest about my experience. I hope the tips have helped people!

2. Paleo Morning Glory Muffins – These muffins are damn delicious. And, once again, they’re healthy and Paleo!

1. Life Advice from Murphy – This post ended up on StumbleUpon and skyrocketed my traffic. In one month, CNC had nearly 1.3 million views! Who can resist a cute pug?

Question of the Day

What has been your favorite CNC blog post? 

The post 10 Years: Top 10 Carrots ‘N’ Cake Blog Posts appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

5 Suggestions for Becoming Less Civilized (and a Giveaway)

Primal Cooking Point: Italian Dressing, Anyone?

Inline_Antipasto_Skewers_blog-0001Everyone here knows how much I love my Big Ass Salads. So, the day we come out with a new dressing is a very good day in my mind. And this one might just be my new favorite…. I’m happy to introduce the new PRIMAL KITCHEN® Italian, and I think you’re going to love it.

It’s a light, perfectly seasoned dressing, dip and marinade for all of your Mediterranean inspired dishes that’s filled with organic ingredients including thyme, oregano, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and sea salt. High in healthy monounsaturated fats, it’s Keto, Whole30 and Paleo/Primal Approved as well as Non-GMO Project Verified.

And let me share one of the ways I’m enjoying our new Italian: Antipasto Skewers. There’s no exact science to follow here—just your own Antipasto favorites like nitrate-free shaved meats, mozzarella, basil leaves, and artichoke folded together and dipped (or doused, if you’re me) in PRIMAL KITCHEN Italian Dressing.

I know what I’m having for lunch. Thanks for reading this morning, everyone. I’ve got a post—and a giveaway—coming up, so be sure to stop back.





The post Primal Cooking Point: Italian Dressing, Anyone? appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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GIVEAWAY: 100 Copies of Dr. Mercola’s Effortless Healing Book

I’ve been a fan of Dr. Joseph Mercola’s work for quite some time, and he just came out with a new book that you can’t miss: Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself.


Dr. Mercola wrote this book because, statistically speaking, almost all of us are either affected with a chronic health issue or excess weight… and the outlook is not good! In America, the rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are all expected to rise. What I find particularly alarming is that over half of the U.S. population has an allergy now, and this has grown dramatically in the last few decades.

In Effortless Healing, Dr. Mercola organized years of expert information into a guide to help you avoid many of the pitfalls of the conventional approach to health. There’s a better way! Dr. Mercola walks you through 9 simple steps, leading you to small shifts in what you eat that can help you achieve your health goals. 

Dr. Mercola has generously agreed to give away 100 copies of his book to Food Babe readers!

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post below. I’d love to hear why you’re excited to read this book! All winners will be chosen at random and will receive an email notifying them that they’ve won. By entering this giveaway, you agree to the official rules below. GOOD LUCK!



Official Rules:

  • Eligibility: This giveaway is open only to U.S. citizens and legal residents of the continental U.S. (excluding Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. territories) who are at least 18 years of age or older at the time of entry (19 years of age or older if a resident of AL, DE or NE; 21 years of age or older if a resident of MS).
  • Giveaway is void outside the continental USA and where prohibited by law.
  • How to enter: Submit a comment in this post below. Include your email address in the “Email Address” field of the comment form so we know where to contact you if you’re a winner. (Do not include your email address in your comment).
  • Entries are limited to one per person.
  • Any comment containing vulgar or hateful language will not be considered an entry. Spamming will not be tolerated and those entries will be voided.
  • This giveaway begins on Monday, April 6, 2015. Entries must be submitted by DATE HERE at 12:00am (midnight) Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • Winners will be chosen at random.
  • One Hundred (100) Winners will receive an email notifying them that they’ve won.
  • Odds of winning are determined by the number of entries received.
  • A list of winners may be made available to anyone who inquires.
  • All chosen winners are subject to eligibility determination before prizes will be awarded. If it is determined that a winner was not eligible, their entry will be voided.
  • Approximate retail value of the prize:  Effortless Healing Book ($12).
  • Any federal, state or local tax or other fees or charges associated with the receipt or use of any prize is solely the responsibility of the winner.

Posts may contain affiliate links for products Food Babe has approved and researched herself. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same (or at a discount if a special code is offered) and Food Babe will automatically receive a small referral fee. Your support is crucial because it helps fund this blog and helps us continue to spread the word. Thank you.

from Food Babe

Home Neat Home: Three Closet Makeovers

You guys know I love a good closet post!! Our house is very tidy on the surface, but the closets always do get quite messy! It’s that lifestyle creep that happens when you “accidentally” buy a new set of flannel sheets on sale at Target, even though you didn’t need any more sheets, and suddenly all the sheets are competing for the closet real estate! <– (This may or may not be based on a true story.)

So, in the spirit of simplifying and decluttering in the new year, I tackled three of the four major storage closets in our house. (Mazen’s closet is in good shape and mine is also breathing well. Thomas’s closet is his territory and I don’t dare go in there to organize!)

So the three closets on topic today are:

  1. The guest room closet
  2. The spare room closet
  3. The office closet

Previously, I had things stored where they were used most frequently. I had sheets in the master bedroom, sheets in the office closet for Mazen’s bed, and all the rest of the sheets and spare linens in the guest room. In the guest room I also had cleaning supplies, luggage, and two wedding dresses – yikes! Games and kid activities were split between the office and spare room. Everything was spread out by frequency of use, and each closet didn’t have a job.

If that all sounds confusing, that’s because it was! Something clicked in my head, and I decided I wanted each closet to have its own clear job, so this became the new plan:

  1. The guest room closet = linens and a few extra cleaning supplies
  2. The spare room closet = games and toys
  3. The office closet = office storage and crafty activities

Just look at this mess!!!

We were also significantly missing out on efficient storage space in all three closets due to all of the open air. None of these closets needed clothing rods – what we needed were shelves!

Luckily I live with a super hot handyman who was able to install shelving in 2/3 of the closets in half a day. We went to Lowe’s and bought simple wire shelving systems for each space.

Sadly, I don’t have a before photo of the guest room closet because I was too eager to take everything out, but this little cart from IKEA was filled with cleaning supplies and we had a metal rack with linens folded on it.

Here’s my blank slate to fill with neatly folded sheets!

I bought the pretty herringbone boxes at Lowe’s on a whim.

She looks nice, doesn’t she?!

Next up was the spare room closet, which was filled with so many toys! Mazen agreed to donate a good portion of them, which left us with a lot of blank space for new Christmas gifts. Most of his favorite toys are in his bedroom, but this closet is a great place for thinigs like his train set, Legos, Hot Wheels, and other things we get out and eventually put away.

Luckily this closet already had shelves. I put that white cart on the right to eventually hold all the Hot Wheels parts.

And on the left side, we have the old linen shelf that holds all of our games! (There are twice as many after Christmas!)

Finally, the office closet, which was the messiest of the three (as the upstairs catch-all stash!)

We moved the white cube organizer to the basement utility room for a future organization project there, and T built more shelves.

Say ahhhhh.

I have a little more work to do here, as I haven’t officially thought out what I’m going to store in here, but I am enjoying having it half empty for now! I think it will end up being part office storage (my umbrella lights are up there on the top shelf) and part arts + craft supplies. (The grey box is filled with Play-Doh.)

The leaf duo to our dining room table fit nicely on the left, out of sight!

So, there you have it, my friends! Three closet makeovers in one long post! : )


The post Home Neat Home: Three Closet Makeovers appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food

The 5 Most Inflammatory Foods You Should be Avoiding in Your Diet

I’m so excited to have Kristin guest post on CNC today. If you missed yesterday’s blog post, I’m working with her over the next several months to improve some of my gut issues and reduce inflammation. Speaking of which, read on to see what she has to say about the top inflammatory foods and how removing them from your diet can jumpstart your recovery. 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The 5 Most Inflammatory Foods You Should be Avoiding in Your Diet

If you told me five years ago I would no longer be able to eat the very foods I loved most, I would have been utterly crushed. Think about how many diets today promise that you can “have your cake and eat it too”. Weight Watchers makes you give up more points, but ultimately still be able to eat whatever you want; “If It Fits Your Macros” or IIFYM has become a health trend with bodybuilders and weight lifters promising that a carb is a carb no matter what, giving the green light on donuts and white bread if that’s how you want to spend your precious carbohydrates. But what about when it’s not about calories, macronutrients, or restriction?

What about those of us whose bodies actually don’t have the right mechanisms we need to be able to indulge in our favorite things?

You are not alone.

A Brief Overview of My Digestive Health Journey

It’s been 10 years since I was first diagnosed with a “chronic” digestive issue, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS). Nine years since I found out I had acid reflux and became lactose intolerant, and eight years since I finally got the real underlying diagnosed — ulcerative colitis.

I vividly remember asking my doctors during what I could be avoiding food-wise to help my condition, and every time without fail, their answer was, “the food you eat has no impact on what you have.” It just didn’t add up to me. I wasn’t a functional nutrition specialist at the time, but even so, I knew deep down that a lot of the food I was eating wasn’t working for me (hello, bloating and abdominal pain!) yet some felt really good and healing.

And so, my investigative work began. I burned the midnight oil researching about the impacts of food on gut health, learning the most healing and also the most irritating foods, and finally came up with a plan. In this post, I’ll explain to you the five most inflammatory and irritating foods that can trigger or exacerbate digestive issues, and at the end will fuel you with my favorite healing foods.  

Recovery Starts by Removing These 5 Foods

  1. Dairy

First up, dairy. This one is usually a doozy and can be one of the hardest sacrifices to make, especially since many arguments can be made about the health benefits to natural fats and proteins. However, much research shows, as far back as the New York Times in 1982, that through evolution, our bodies have ceased to make the proper enzyme to break down dairy’s sugar particles once we reach a certain age. That’s because breastfeeding naturally ceases and we no longer require dairy to grow big and strong. The milk enzyme, called lactase, is designed to break down the components of dairy products so that they can be absorbed through the intestinal wall during digestion. So, if you have a lactase deficiency and consume large amounts of a lactose-containing items, like milk, cheese, or ice cream, much of the sugars pass through the stomach and into the intestines without being broken down. These large particles then absorb water and become food for intestinal bacteria that form gases and acids. This often results in abdominal bloating, flatulence, cramps, loose stools and diarrhea. Removing dairy can help to alleviate this.

Eat these foods instead

Here at Thrive by food, we are big fans of non-dairy milk like almond milk, preferably homemade. Here’s my recipe! For recipes with cheese in them, look for alternatives that use nutritional yeast which tastes remarkably similar to cheese.

  1. Gluten-Containing Grains

I believe that gluten sensitivity today is highly underrated because many don’t realize that how they feel is actually a result of consuming gluten. Gluten is the protein found in many grains that binds them together, but our bodies weren’t really built to digest it. Especially if gluten gets into your circulatory system, it can spread inflammation throughout the body.

Those who are sensitive often feel fatigued throughout the day, have trouble sleeping and have inflammation in the gut, joints, and thyroid as well as experience unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight. So, while you may not feel awful the moment you bite into a gluten-full burger, it doesn’t mean your body is tolerating it well, you just might not know.

To find out if this is the case, I often run a food sensitivity test, or a gluten-cross reactivity test, with my clients to find out if this sensitivity is present, how strong it is, and if there are any other food sensitivities present (99.9% of the time there are). In particular, gluten-containing grains to avoid are barley, bran, farro, kamut, oats, rye, seitan and spelt, as some examples.

Eat these foods instead:

Grains like amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, sorghum and tapioca or make spiralized veggies like cucumber, zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Every person is unique in the foods they can and can’t digest well, so running a food sensitivity test can be really insightful.

  1. Soy

Once touted as a healthy superfood protein, we now know that soy can in fact cause a great deal of health issues. Not only is the soybean one of the most difficult beans to digest, but the type of soy we consume today is highly processed in foods like commercial soy milk, soy meat, and soy ice cream. Soybeans are some of the most genetically engineered crops, so unless you’re buying from a trusted organic source, you may be eating a highly altered form of soy that your body simple doesn’t recognize and therefore cannot digest.

Another issue with soy is that it’s a phytoestrogen, which can cause estrogen levels to become elevated. This is concerning for both men women and can be highly symptomatic.

Eat these foods instead:

Generally speaking, gluten-free soy sauce and verified organic soy products like miso and tempeh are the best options, or to avoid soy altogether, you can have coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and meat, bean or legume-based proteins instead of tofu.

  1. Sugar

Did you know that sugar can be up to six times more addictive than cocaine? Not only that, but it’s actually even more lethal than this deadly drug. The biggest issue about sugar today is that it’s in everything — not just the obvious foods like ice cream and cookies, but condiments like ketchup, store-bought tea blends, spice rubs on meat, natural juices, and much more. The next time you are at the grocery store, look at a few ingredient labels and chances are you’ll find a form of sugar on there.

Sugar is problematic for a number of reasons. First off, when we consume sugar, dopamine levels in our brain surge, which creates a release of serotonin, the “happy hormone”, into our blood stream. This leads to a rise in insulin, which is supposed to bring blood sugar levels back in range, but also creates a sugar crash. To avoid the effects of this sugar crash, our brains convince us to have more to avoid that awful feeling. And so, the cycle continues.

When it comes to gut health, if you have dysbiotic (or bad) bacteria present, sugar is food to them, so this can proliferate gut issues and lead to serious infections if unaddressed. The fructose in sugar can also interfere with our appetite hormone, leptin, which causes us to over-eat sugar, eventually leading to obesity.

Eat these foods instead:

Make or buy products that use honey, date sugar, monkfruit or raw maple syrup instead of regular table sugar. You can also blend together 1 frozen banana with 1 cup of frozen berries and some full-fat coconut milk for a delicious, sugar-free, fruity ice cream bowel.

  1. Processed foods

Generally speaking, most processed foods (or foods that are store-bought in a box or can) contain one or more of the above foods, plus other offensive ingredients like canola oil, “natural flavors”, casein (similar to gluten), and more. While convenient, processed foods can cause a great deal of systemic inflammation as well as digestive issues.

Eat these foods instead:

As much as you can, opt for whole, natural foods. When grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter aisles by purchasing produce and organic, pasture-raised meats.

Beat the Inflammation with These Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Thankfully, there are a number of incredibly healing superfoods with anti-inflammatory properties. These include:

  • Bone broth
  • Aloe juice
  • Turmeric
  • Peppermint
  • Fermented foods

I go into detail on each of these in this article. As you work to remove the five food categories above and eat more clean and whole food options, be sure to consume one or more of these anti-inflammatory foods every day to bring down inflammation and help your body recover.

An Example Anti-Inflammatory Diet

If this post has you wondering what you can even eat anymore, I’ve got you covered! Below is a sampling of foods I eat on a regular basis which keeps inflammation at bay, nourishes my body inside and out, and gives me incredible energy, fantastic sleep, and an unmatched sense of well-being.

  • Breakfast: Chia pudding, a green smoothie, or grainless trail mix
  • Snacks: Green grapes, mixed berries, sliced cucumbers or carrots
  • Lunch: A big organic salad with as many veggies as I can fit, topped with some grilled, free-range chicken or wild-caught salmon.
  • Afternoon snack: A handful of macadamia nuts, almonds or plantain chips
  • Dinner: A meat dish such as chicken, pork or fish with a side of veggies like asparagus, broccoli or a seasonal squash.
  • After Dinner/Dessert: Semi-sweet teas like chamomile, licorice root (great for gut healing) or lavender.

I genuinely hope this guide is useful to you as you navigate your way toward a better you — inside and out. I’d love to hear about your journey in the comments below this post! For more about me, visit or find me on Instagram: @ThrivebyFood.

 As founder of Thrive by Food, a functional diagnostic nutrition and health coaching practice, Kristin Thomas spreads her message of natural digestive health through group programs, live international events, one-on-one coaching, blogs and podcast appearances. If you need a place to start, sign up for her FREE Gut Healing Recipe Guide and design a plan to begin healing your gut.

The post The 5 Most Inflammatory Foods You Should be Avoiding in Your Diet appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Primal Kitchen Efficiency: 13 Tips for Daily Organization and Smooth Cooking

Inline_Kitchen_EfficiencyGood cooking is art and science. You’re measuring, you’re tasting, you’re following recipes, you’re following intuition. You’re adding a dash of this, a level teaspoon of that. It’s clinical and sensual at once. For this kind of good cooking to occur, pleasurable cooking, the kitchen needs to disappear. It must get out of the way and become an extension of your body. You shouldn’t have to think about what to use or where to grab it; you just know it. A messy, disjointed lab or workspace is hell.

The ideal kitchen is just that, of course, an ideal. It’s probably not attainable or maintainable. Something will always come up to mar the optimality, like a toddler hanging on your ankle or the dirty dishes from last night or that damn spatula that always blocks the drawer from opening. But we can aim for it and get as close as possible.

These tips aren’t specific to Primal. They’re not specific at all; I won’t tell you which dishes to make. They are general guidelines that will increase the efficiency of any home cook.

First, Remove Clutter

Clutter gets in the way. The more stuff you have in your kitchen, the more likely something is going to end up on your counters when you’re trying to set up your mise en place, slow you down when grabbing that pot you need.

For Cookware, Quality Over Quantity

We’ve all stayed at that vacation rental whose description promises a “fully stocked kitchen” only to have cupboards and drawers stuffed with dozens of scratched teflon pans, aluminum skillets, rusty cast iron, and cheap stainless steel. Technically the description was accurate, but at what cost? You’re banging and clattering around just to get at the good stuff.

You want the cooking session to go smoothly, elegantly, with grace? Keep only high-quality cookware, and less of it, and you’ll glide through the kitchen. Buy fewer items of higher quality.

Stainless steel, not aluminum.

Cast iron and carbon steel, not nonstick.

Use Multi-Use Tools Whenever Possible

Single-use kitchen tools are fun to use when you need one—and that’s it. Otherwise, they collect dust and get in the way. How often do you need a garlic press? Do you really need that avocado slicer? Or that apple peeler—really?

Obviously, if you use the tool all the time, keep it around. If you’re running a crepery out of your kitchen, keep the crepe pan. But if you only bust out the single use contraption once or twice a year, give it up.

An Instant Pot is the perfect example of a complex kitchen tool that replaces many: your slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and stove top pressure cooker. A sharp chef’s knife is the perfect example of a simple kitchen tool that replaces many complex single-use tools.

Get Nesting Storage Containers

Glass storage containers are really hit or miss. They’re inert, thus far better than plastic, but too many of them stack rather than nest, creating precarious piles of glassware. They take up too much room in the drawers, they’re liable to fall over and break, and they always end up messy and disorganized.

When you nest, you save space, and your containers are more secure.

I like these nesting glass containers from Rubbermaid.

Throw Out Old Spices

Once exposed to air, spices degrade quickly. Go through your spice drawer/bin/shelf and inspect each spice with a sniff. If it has no discernible aroma, toss it. If there are duplicates, keep the one that’s fresher. There’s nothing more annoying than taking an extra ten minutes to scour your cluttered spice drawer for the last ingredient.

When you’re cooking, or getting ready to cook, keep these tips in mind.

Clean As You Go

If you’ve ever faced the chaos of a post-dinner party kitchen, you know the value of cleaning up as you cook. It takes a little more effort at first, but it makes the cooking experience flow more smoothly, and it reduces chaos and clutter. Few people manage to religiously adhere to this one. That’s okay. You don’t have to clean everything as you go. Cleaning even just a few items as you cook will lighten the load you face at the end and reduce clutter in your workspace. Everything helps.

Have A “Peel Bowl”

When you’re cutting onions, peeling shallots, smashing garlic, or doing any kind of vegetable prep, you end up with a ton of sticky waste material that gets everywhere and mixes in with the veggies you’re keeping. Keep a large bowl next to the work area for direct deposits of vegetable cuttings. Instead of accumulating on the cutting board, they go right into the bowl. If you compost, you could just have a small compost bin nearby to chuck everything directly in.

Keep Your Salt In a Wide-Mouthed Glass

I keep kosher salt in an open wide-mouthed glass about 2.5 inches in diameter. This allows me to grab pinches whenever I need it, and it gives me perfect control over the amount of salt I wish to apply. If I’m cooking something involved, I’ll usually use a separate glass with all the salt I’ll need for that cooking session. I can dip into the salt without washing my hands in between applications, because I’ll just wash the glass at the end.

Have Very Hot Water on Hand

Hot water can very quickly come to a boil. Eminently useful for cooking for obvious reasons.

Hot water can be used to clean dishes. Better to use a little near-boiling water than let your sink run.

You can bring a pot to boil, then cover it. It’ll stay warm for a long time. You can also keep water warm in your Instant Pot using the “warm” setting, which hits about 160°F.

Immediately Soak or Wipe Gelatinous Saucy Dishes

I love a good reduction using bone broth or added gelatin. You reduce until the collagenous viscosity coats the spoon. It’s the secret of many restaurant sauces—high quality bone broth reduced to a syrup.

However, if you leave that pan or those dishes for more than a few minutes without cleaning them, exposure to cooler air quickly hardens the sauce and makes cleaning it extremely difficult. Wipe those dishes clean right away, perhaps with your tongue.

For general kitchen efficiency, keep these tips in mind.

Keep an Overabundance Of Dish Towels

You can never have too many dish towels. They’re less wasteful than going through half a roll of paper towels, they seem to “mop up” spills and sticky fingers better than anything else, and they can double as pot holders. Get the cheapest ones you can find that still absorb liquids; nothing worse than those towels that just push the spill around.

Come Up With Some “Kitchen Rules,” and Stick To Them

One of mine is “keep the counters cleared at the end of the day.” This gives me a clean, fresh start every morning. I may not eat breakfast very often, but I don’t like coming out to a dirty, cluttered counter in the morning.

Another is “clean the coffee maker right away.” This also gives me a better start in the morning. My day goes much more smoothly when I can start out with a clean French press that’s ready to accept coffee and water. Cleaning it right away also means the grounds come out more easily. They have less time to adhere to the walls.

Purge Your Fridge Every Week and Your Pantry Every Month

You shouldn’t be embarrassed for guests to open your fridge. Check the back for old leftovers. Dig through the cheese drawer for mold that’s not supposed to be there. Discard slimy greens. A clean, organized fridge is a pleasure to encounter and will make cooking that much easier.

Same goes for your pantry. Pantry items won’t go bad so easily, but it’s really easy to just keep stacking stuff on top of stuff until you can’t find anything and the pantry door won’t even close.

Just be an adult about the state of your fridge and pantry. You know when it’s getting out of hand. Don’t ignore it.

That’s what I’ve got, folks. It keeps my kitchen running pretty smoothly. What about you? I’d love to hear tips and tricks from my intrepid readers, and so would my readers.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Don’t miss the final New Year giveaway with tomorrow’s feature. Take care.


The post Primal Kitchen Efficiency: 13 Tips for Daily Organization and Smooth Cooking appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Primal Knowledge Point: FODMAP

Inline_Food_Nutrition_Live-Awesome-645x445-01“Some people continue to suffer uncomfortable digestive problems despite omitting the foods they may be intolerant to. If there are no definite test results pointing at an allergy or intolerance, then you’ll most likely be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Scientists Peter Gibson and Susan Shepherd at Moash University in Australia researched the reasons behind the vicious cycle of bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and discomfort. They came upon some evidence proving that certain sugars could actually be the cause of many of these ailments: ‘Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols,’ thus founding the term FODMAP.

Fermentable: these types of sugar have the ability and tendency to ferment in our intestines, resulting in bloating and diarrhea.

Oligosaccharides: fructans (FOS), wheat, rye, onions, garlic, galactans (GOS) (legumes), chickpeas.

Disaccharide: sucrose, maltose, lactose.

Monosaccharide: fructose, glucose, and galactose.

Polyol: sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol (sugar substitutes).

It is not possible to completely avoid each and everyone one of these types of sugar, since they are found naturally in the food we eat. It would be wise to avoid eating foods containing large amounts of these sugars for a certain amount of time, simply to see if they could be the reasons behind the problems you may be experiencing.

Research has proven that there is a certain daily limit of FODMAPs that can be tolerated. If you’ve eaten your daily limit in lactose already, then it’s no wonder that when you eat the same berries that you ate the day before with no negative effects, all of a sudden they cause you discomfort. Try picturing your FODMAP limit, applying it throughout the day, distributed evenly in each meal. If you go over your limit, then you are bound to have negative reactions.

The pure food Paleo diet eliminates the consumption of fructose and galctan by eliminating grains. Legumes are also avoided with the occasional exception. You are able to test fruits after a grace period, using the guide to see which fruits are better tolerated than others. It all depends on moderation.”

—From Fruit Belly: A 4-Day Quick Fix To Relieve Bloating Caused by High Carb, High Fruit Diets by Romy DollĂ©


The post Primal Knowledge Point: FODMAP appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

Clean Eating Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipe

This clean eating Instant Pot chicken soup recipe is perfect for the chilly evenings we’ve been having lately. It’s also great when you have a sick kid at home and don’t have a ton of time to cook… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Diet I Said I Would Never Do Again

If you’re a long-time reader, you know that I struggled with ulcerative colitis for many years. If you’d like to read my story, you can check it out here, but the short of it is that I tried all sorts of diet and lifestyle changes with not one ounce of improvement in my symptoms – if anything, they just got worse and worse (probably because I was so darn stressed and obsessed with my illness). Included in those changes was a 4-month stint on the Autoimmune Paleo Diet. It was insanely restrictive, so, not surprisingly, for some who loves food, it made me pretty miserable. And, on top of that, I never got one bit better, so I vowed never to do the AIP diet again. (At the end of month 4 on the diet, I actually got pregnant and my immune system regulated itself, so I stopped the insansity.)

After reading that, I’m sure you’re wondering why now? Why the heck would I put myself though all of that misery again? Well, it’s pretty simple: I’m still a sick person, and I don’t want to be. Sure, Enytvio is doing a great job keeping me in remission (*knock on wood*), but by the time I get to the week right before my next infusion, things get a little wonky on the GI front. They’re not terrible by any means, but they’re a constant reminder that I need Entyvio to stay well, which, obviously, I know is a blessing, but also frustrating to think about at times.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

A few months ago, Kristin from Thrive by Food reach out to me about working together. We had a couple of phone calls and we realized we had quite a lot in common. She struggled with ulcerative colitis for many years to the point where certain drugs stopped working for her and surgery was her next option. She ultimately healed herself through food and lifestyle changes, and her approach was different from what I’ve done in the past with other practitioners, so I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to work with her. Kristin and I just started working together, so I’ll be sure to share updates about my progress over the next several months. But, so far, we’ve done some testing and created a protocol, so I’ll go more in depth about that all of that soon. The short story though is that I have some SERIOUS inflammation going on (I’m talking to my GI doctor about it on Thursday), and we found a parasite in my gut. Interesting, right? It’s hard to know if it caused the UC or is making it worse OR the UC made me more susceptible to getting a parasite, buttttttt we’re working to get rid of it over the next 4 months. I’m rambling, but I’ll share more once I make sense of everything.

I’m still waiting to receive some supplements in the mail to officially start the protocol, but I already started the AIP diet with (oh, yes) my LEAP food sensitivities in mind. I know that sounds insane, BUT I feel like I’m in a much better headspace now. When I first tried AIP, I was so sick and desperate to be better, my mental state made everything worse. Now that I’m in remission (*knock on wood*), it’s a good time to give it another whirl. Also, now that I have my LEAP results, I realize there were a number of foods that I frequently consumed during my first AIP trial that probably made my situation worse. Hopefully, avoiding them this time around will give me better results. Plus, I finally realize that not one single diet is going to make me better. I really need to figure it out for myself, so I’m combining the two and creating my own diet… and NOT stressing about it, which is definitely key!

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More updates to come!

Question of the Day

Have you ever tried the AIP diet? If so, any advice, resources, favorite recipes to share? 


from Carrots 'N' Cake

Dear Mark: Better Rest, and a Parent’s Nightmare: Tablets and Pickiness

Primal Action Point: The Mind-Body Connection & Thyroid Health

Inline_Live-Awesome-645x445-03“I became aware of the power of positive thinking after solving my first bout of hypothyroidism. So when a Reverse T3 problem showed up, I actively filled my life with audiobooks, podcast interviews, and films related to spiritual healing, the power of positive thinking, and the power of the subconscious mind.

Make a vision board to hang in your house, or make a smaller version that you can keep private if you don’t want others in the household to see it. Devote the entire vision board to health and healing; it can be a continual source of inspiration and hope while also imprinting your subconscious mind with positive health affirmations every time you see it.

If you are experiencing hypothyroidism for the first time, just know that it is fixable. You have the highest chance of success if you dedicate yourself to learning all that you can about hypothyroidism while adopting a paleo/primal eating and lifestyle strategy to support your goals.

— Excerpts from The Paleo Thyroid Solution by Elle Russ


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from Mark's Daily Apple

I’ve Got Peace Like A River

^^ Friday afternoon river romp with classmates! He was content sitting on a rock and just taking in nature for a while. <3

On Friday night we chilled out at home. I opened this bottle of Zin from Winc.

We had sausages from JM Stock over spaghetti. (You’ll be seeing spaghetti a lot more because it’s Mazen’s new found second favorite food! Pizza will always come first.) There were mushrooms in the sauce, and we had little kale salads on the side.

We had a super cozy night watching the finale of Stranger Things 2 in bed with hot tea!

Snuggle, snuggle.

This is how mornings usually begin: Coffee and an animal parade! I am totally into bootie slippers this winter and got these at Target. They are currently on clearance!

On Saturday morning Thomas made me a mini omelet with bacon and pear slices. (Lest you think that is the world’s largest slice of bacon, please note this is a tiny plate! Haha!)

We all went to the gym for a good workout before getting the day going. Mazen went home with Matt to spend the afternoon with him, and T and I went home to make turkey wraps for lunch.

I used our bacon press to squash them into the pan.

They were just still a wee bit too full to fully close, but we held them together like tacos and all was well.

It was a big day in our house because of the big Duke vs UVA basketball game! I grew up being a Duke fan and could never root against them, but I’ve been cheering for the Hoos since moving to Cville, so it was a tough game to watch! We went to a bar to watch the game with a handful of Thomas’s friends (one of them owns the bar) and we were surrounded by a million college students. It was a fun atmosphere! We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting game.

Back at home I found this kitty in our yard meowing at my feet. I had so much fun playing with her while I waited to see if anyone responded to my neighborhood alert. She had a collar but no tags. Have you ever seen such a fluffy cat?! I gave her water and some fancy smoked trout. She would not come inside and has not been here seen since, so I really hope she got home ok. I am still worried about her, but it’s clear she has a home somewhere around here.

Later that evening I put on my boots and went out with the country girls to Commonwealth for dinner and then to the Cole Swindell concert!

I had the biscuit trio (pimento cheese!) and a delicious bibb lettuce salad at Commonwealth.

I saw Cole Swindell in 2015 and the show was awesome, and this year’s was even better! He has so many great songs, and he played a handful of 90s country covers. Morgan Evans was the opener, and he was HOT as well! It was such a wonderful show.

Sunday was rainy, and we lounged around all day. We had Bodos for brunch, and Thomas made homemade popcorn while we watched Willy Wonka with Mazen! I love that movie.

For dinner we had more pasta – this time Giovanni Rana Cheese Lovers Tortelloni with zucchini and sauce. Yum!

Hope you guys had peaceful weekends! <3

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