Saturday, June 30, 2018

Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake: Tips from Health & Fitness Influencers

I am so excited to share these super helpful tips on how to include more protein in your diet from some amazing food and fitness influencers around the Interwebs. (There are even a couple of Registered Dietitians in the mix!) I’m always looking for new ideas to get a balance of various sources of protein into my diet, so I personally loved reading their ideas. Additionally, one of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from nutrition clients is how to increase protein intake. It’s not always easy! If you’re in the same boat and looking for fresh ideas, I hope these tips and tricks from influencers will help you hit your protein goals!

Wondering why protein is so important? Protein plays a major role in our bodies – and since prioritizing it in my own diet, I’ve seen some serious benefits. Here’s a short-ish list of why protein is so great: It stabilizes blood sugar, supports muscle and bone repair, maintains healthy skin and cartilage, and helps in maintaining a healthy weight by providing satiety. Once I started giving my body the protein it needed to keep up with my activity, I noticed that I was recovering much better from my workouts. I also found when I ate enough protein at each meal, I didn’t get hungry 2 hours later. Protein power!

Tips to Increase Your Protein Intake

“Batch cooking is my secret for making sure I have easy protein options on hand for my meals. Each Sunday I prep a few things like hardboiled eggs, grilled chicken, turkey meatballs and cooked beans. With these fully cooked and ready I can easily toss together a protein-packed meal in no time. I also always keep protein powder in the pantry and a container of egg whites in the fridge for times when I need a super quick protein option.”

– Brittany Mullins, Eating Bird Food

“One way I add extra protein into my diet is by using collagen peptides! It’s great for your nails, digestion, bones, and joints! While it’s not a complete source of protein, it’s a great bonus, especially added to your morning coffee or tea (it’s flavorless)! Collagen peptides are a great source of bioavailable protein with 18 grams per 2 scoop serving, and a great addition to any diet!”

– Lexi Davidson, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

“Protein is one of the hardest things for people to get enough of in their diets, myself included. To up my protein intake, I keep greek yogurt (plain) around to add to my smoothies, tuna/chicken salads, rice cake or just eat straight out of the container.”

– Laura Ligos, The Sassy Dietitian

“I recommend using Greek yogurt as a great versatile way to increase protein. From having a yogurt bowl with berries or a yogurt-based smoothie for breakfast to topping meals and soups with yogurt at lunch and dinner, to enjoy a cup of yogurt for a snack or dessert, it’s so easy to incorporate any time of day! Just be sure to look for natural or plain varieties made with real food ingredients.”

– Kath Younger, Kath Eats Real Food

“It’s no secret that one of the simplest (and cost effective) ways to add more protein to your diet is with a protein powder. The problem is, not everyone wants to drink the resulting mixture of water and powder… ew, gross! Instead, I like adding a scoop (or two) of protein powder into my morning smoothie, along with frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, almond milk and some kale. It’s a win-win-win!”

– Max Weber, Max Weber Fitness

“My favorite way to add protein to my meals is by adding legumes! Black or Pinto beans, and chickpeas are my favorite. I add them to my salads, bowls, and I even use the chickpeas as ‘tuna’ for sandwiches. Super easy and yum! Plus tons of fiber in it.”

– Ana Alarcon, Ana Goes Fit

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite easy way to add protein to your diet? 

The post Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake: Tips from Health & Fitness Influencers appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.



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Grilled Italian Chicken Salad

Friday, June 29, 2018

My Confidence Is Returning, and I’m Re-engaging in Life

Three Effortless Health Hacks Everyone Can Do

Living your healthiest life can be a lot of work. There is a good amount of planning and effort that goes into the classic healthy living advice: hours of exercise, meal planning, going to yoga, cooking, meditating. It’s a lifestyle! One that many of us choose because health is important to us, but it’s not effortless. Here are three health hacks to add to your routine that you can sit (or nap!) through to reap the benefits with almost no effort.

  1. Lie down for a power nap. Not getting enough sleep can have a negative trickle down effect on the rest of your day. Taking a quick power nap can work magic on your energy levels. Ten minutes of shut eye or even just focusing on yoga breathing for a few minutes will leave you rejuvenated. (Of course getting enough sleep at night is the best way to achieve optimal rest.)
  2. Take a probiotic. You simply take a pill and those billions of good bacteria do all the heavy lifting for you in your gut to support your healthiest digestive tract and immune system.
  3. Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine! Laughing helps you destress, triggers the release of endorphins, and can even helps you live longer. Mazen and I giggle all day long – especially when we play “see how long you can stand it” before bed!

Let’s zoom in a bit on probiotics. You have heard me talk about them before because I am a big fan. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in your GI tract and create the ideal conditions for digestion, helping to absorb nutrients. There are literally trillions of good bacteria that are living inside of you right now! Your GI tract also acts as a defense barrier between the outside world (aka germs) and your bloodstream. The more good bacteria it has, the harder it is for germs to get inside. If your microbiome is off kilter, you might have symptoms ranging from minor gas and bloating to more chronic stress and mood swings. Your microbiome can even affect your skin and dental health! 

MY OTHER RECIPES

Good bacteria are naturally found in fermented foods like yogurt with active cultures, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Ideally, you’d eat these every day and have a flourishing GI gut. Yogurt is the most popular of the probiotic foods, but many of us don’t eat the rest of them enough. Therefore, taking a probiotic supplement is a simple and convenient way to help your GI tract thrive, just like a multivitamin can fill the gaps in your diet.

We take probiotic supplements and (knock on wood) no one got sick this winter with more than a sniffle. When you add an optimized gut to the other pillars of good health (sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress relief) then you’re using every defense you can against getting sick. This is even more important if you’re going through a stressful time like a move or a job change or if you’re traveling somewhere that might have different bacteria in the food than you’re used to. When one pillar of health is compromised, the rest must pick up the slack, so keep them all as strong as you can when you’re well!

I need to laugh today – tell me your best joke!!

This is Mazen’s favorite joke:

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Orange.

Orange who?

Orange ya glad I didn’t say banana?!?!?!



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Thursday, June 28, 2018

What I’m Loving Lately 113

Hi, guys!

I’m hitting publish on this post a little earlier than usual with the holiday WEEK upon us. I mean, how great is it that July 4th falls smack in the middle of the week!? Are a lot of you on vacation for the entire week? I sure hope so! 🙂

I’m actually off to Seattle tomorrow for our annual trip with Brooks Running as part of their blogger ambassador program. Brooks has a full weekend planned for us, including volunteering at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, and I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it when I get back. In the meantime, be sure to follow along on Instagram Stories! 🙂 After that, I’m off to Black Butte Ranch and Bend, Oregon for the holiday week, and I seriously cannot wait. Woohoo, vacation!

Ok, so let’s do this… here’s the next edition of What I’m Loving Lately! It’s quite the mix of goodies and awesomeness, so let’s get right to it. And I hope you guys enjoy the weekend and July 4th week!

Nantucket – Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Nantucket for the very first time with Shop Nantucket. I’ve lived in Massachusetts all my life, but had never been, so it was such a fun opportunity for me. Even though I experience just a small taste, I can tell that the island is a really incredible place. I can’t wait to visit again someday!

Latest Videos

Follian – Guys. Seriously. Follian is the great place on earth. I recently visited the location on Nantucket, and I’m so obsessed now. Follian carries only natural/safer beauty products, but ALL different kinds of brands in ONE place. My gosh, I was in heaven! They have a few locations in Massachusetts and around the country, but they’re also online too. I WILL BE SHOPPING HERE VERY SOON!

Healthy in Real Life – My long-time blogger friend Gina recently launched a podcast, and it’s so good! I can’t wait for more episodes! If you’re a podcast lover, definitely check it out. She talks about all things related to health, fitness, beauty, nutrition, and wellness.

Fitnessista Podcast Cover

What is Mastalgia (aka sore boobs) + What to Do About It – This post was super interesting with lots of helpful ideas!

Brooks Summer Sale – Have you been thinking about upgrading your running gear? NOW is the time! There are so many great deals, so hop on it for the best selection!

Justin’s Maple Cashew Butter – Justin’s sent me some of their new nut butters to try, and I’m lovvvvving the Maple Cashew Butter. So much, in fact, when I went to take a photo of the box, I realized I had already eaten them all! So darn delicious! 🙂

8 Women Share Exactly What It Took To Sculpt Six-Pack Abs – This is exciting: Women’s Health magazine included me in this piece! It’s an honor to be featured among such great company! And I especially love that my fledgling macro plan company got a shout out too!

Question of the Day

What are your plans for July 4th week? 

Any fun summer vacations coming up? 



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Video: “I Know What A Pickle Is!”

How To Steam Vegetables And Not Have Them Taste Bland

Even wonder how to steam food and not have it taste bland when it’s done?

We all have those nightmarish, childhood memories of being forced to eat overcooked, mushy vegetables. Yuck! No wonder some… Read more →



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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Find Your Tribe, Find Your Health?

Humans are a tribal species. We form alliances, align ourselves along ethnic, familial, religious, and cultural lines. Still, for the vast majority of people, “tribal” carries a negative connotation. Bitter partisan politics, ethnic genocides, religious wars, and the long history of bigotry make that connotation almost unavoidable. But I don’t think tribal in its true essence is all bad. The basic instinct to form and belong to groups is a simple fact of human physiology. It’s how we work, so we’d better make it work for us.

Remember, I err on the side of evolution. If human evolution has produced and maintained a characteristic or behavior, there’s probably a reason for it. And maybe that reason doesn’t make sense in the modern world. It gets distorted or magnified. Tribalism certainly can. But it can be equally detrimental to ignore that characteristic, to brush it off and discard it. We don’t have to perform hard physical labor to procure food anymore—but exercise is still vital for our health. My guess is the same holds true for our predilection toward tribalism. And it doesn’t have to look like you think it might….

Research shows that one kind of tribe—diehard sports fans— see physiological benefits when their teams compete, such as boosts to testosterone and increased empathy. Sports fans even have a higher-than-average sense of meaning in their lives, something many modern humans lack. Sure, you might say “pro sports don’t matter in the long run,” but who cares? The point is that sports fandom is a healthy, safe, and decidedly non-genocidal mode of tribalism that appears to confer health benefits to those who participate.

Imagine the potential benefits of leveraging your tribal leanings toward a truly healthy, meaningful endeavor?

CrossFit is the perfect example.

It doesn’t have to be CrossFit exactly, but one of those special kinds of gyms whose inhabitants aren’t headphone-wearing individuals doing their own thing, in their own world. CrossFit struck such a chord not only because it offered a great workout, but because it offered a tribe.

You didn’t just show up to a CrossFit box and “train back and biceps” with your headphones on. You and your tribe battled the clock, the iron, yourselves. You entered a place where motivation drips from the ceiling. Where a lot of the stuff I talked about in this article—having rules that remove decision-making from the equation, competing against others (and yourself), achieving intrinsic rewards—comes baked into the experience. Where you don’t have to muster the willpower to start and complete a workout because your tribe is there doing it and ushering you on to join in and give it your all. You get swept away by the pull of your CrossFit tribe—and you’re better off for it.

There’s actual research to back this up, not just conjecture.

A recent study found that CrossFit participants experience more intrinsic motivation related to group affiliation, personal challenge, and outright enjoyment of the activity—and that this experience can increase adherence compared to other types of resistance training.

In perhaps the only systematic review and meta-analysis of CrossFit research to date, researchers concluded that “CrossFit practice is associated with higher levels of community, satisfaction, and motivation.” They have a tribe and don’t want to let them down.

Fitness, in general, benefits from the tribal effect.

The solitary yogi doing impossible stretches with serene countenance as the sun rises is a romantic ideal, but who actually does that? Yoga isn’t exactly pleasant. It’s hard. It can hurt. It’s tough to get yourself motivated to do a full session at home. Get yourself in a legit yoga studio and suddenly you’re on the mat and it’s 98° and before you know it you’re downward dogging your way to nirvana.

Or the Tough Mudder/Mud Run/Spartan Race genre of extreme athletic event. Running barefoot across electrified barbed wire, plunging headfirst into a trough of mud and urine, getting frostbite, ruining your clothes, and paying a couple hundred bucks for the opportunity doesn’t sound very appealing on paper. But allow participants to form teams with their friends and compete against other teams, and the event sells out.

Don’t forget that some of the most traditional forms of fitness practice around—team sports—are entirely based on tribalism. You have a “team.” You’re competing against another group of individuals who’ve also coalesced around a similar concept of organization. You have uniforms, team colors, team slogans, special chants and cheers. You run plays, tactical maneuvers designed to overcome the defenses your opponents have laid out. You function as a unit. For the 60 minutes or so of game time, the tribe takes precedence over the individual. Joining an adult sports league might be a great way to add value, meaning, and fitness to your life.

Dietary affiliations are tribal, too. Primal is absolutely a tribe. Keto is a tribe. Vegetarianism and veganism are absolutely tribes.

This can easily go awry. If you get locked into the dogma of your particular dietary tribe, you may tune out dissenting evidence from other tribes, however valuable and applicable. That’s why I’ve always emphasized open mindedness and the importance of reading outside sources and maintaining the willingness to change your mind in the face of new information. That quality comes baked into the Primal way of living, eating, and thinking. It’s part of our “dogma.”

Whatever dietary tribe you belong to, consider incorporating that feature into your ideology. I highly recommend it.

And if you’re interested specifically in becoming closer to the Primal tribe, there are plenty of ways.

The Facebook Groups

Facebook can be the place where you argue with friends and family about things that don’t even matter, or it can be the place where you find your Primal tribe.

In all these groups, the beauty is that each member is a real person with a real name, and everyone is supportive. So rather than bother all the other people in your life with chatter about ideal sun exposure times and cauliflower carb counts and “180 minus age,” you can connect with people who get it, and get you.

Come To an Event

If you haven’t made it to a Paleo f(x), you have to do it. First of all, it’s in Austin, one of the best (and most paleo/Primal-friendly) cities in the country. The BBQ is out of this world, if nothing else. Second, it’s a meeting of the top thought leaders in ancestral health, both established and upcoming. Great place to hear about new ideas and new angles on old ones. Third, you’ll be with your people. Your tribe.

If you do go, come say hi, cause I’ll definitely be there.

Become a Primal Health Coach

The ultimate way to find a tribe is to become the leader of one and create your own. There’s no better path to leadership in the Primal arena than becoming a legitimate expert, someone who can help others build better lifestyles and construct diets and training regimens. It’s amazing how little most people understand about health, diet, and fitness. If you know what you’re talking about and throw yourself into the business of health and fitness, you’d be surprised at the incredible changes you can effect in your clients—and how close you’ll become with them.

How a tribe helped your quest for better health? Or are you looking for one? (Post-challenge is the perfect time to tap into supports that keep you going….) What does the perfect health tribe look like to you?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

paleobootcampcourse_640x80

The post Find Your Tribe, Find Your Health? appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Spot The Dog

Summatime is in full swing ’round here!

Me: “Mazen let’s take a photo of us eating our cones”

Mazen: eats MY cone!!

I picked up some sugar cones from the store and it’s been hard not to eat ice cream every night. Breyers Vanilla is the BEST though, and it’s not as dense and rich as a lot of the other kinds (I’m looking at you Half Baked!!)

Can you spot the puppy dog?! I love how Gus makes it in the background of so many of my photos. [Banana-chia oats in an almond butter jar!!]

MY OTHER RECIPES

Gus also made an appearance on pizza night:

Look at that Big Green Egg masterpiece!

Served with a salad on the side.

And the same for lunch the next day!

Thomas brought Mazen and me bagels from Bodos one morning for breakfast. Fun treat! They are generous with their cream cheese. Mango for the family to share on the side.

Like Where’s Waldo, my little watch dog is always somewhere nearby.



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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Staff Pick Tuesdays: Relaxation Routine

New Finds aka Things Worth Sharing

Episode 399 – Robb and Nicki Q&A #6


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We’re back with Q&A #6 with Robb and Nicki for Episode 399 of the podcast.

And don’t forget to submit your own questions for the podcast here: https://robbwolf.com/contact/submit-a-question-for-the-podcast/

Show Notes:

1. [3:24] Book recommendations for us nutrition nerds.

Sarang says:
Hey Robb,
You have been successful in making me and thousands of guys like me to become total “nutrition nerds”. We have all been listening to your podcasts from months/years and reading all kinds of books and blogs we can find to quench the thirst for more knowledge. For some reason, its a highly addictive subject and I’m thinking and reading about it most of the time.
It would be great if you could list out some books that are knees deep in the science and not just superficial advice. The whole paleo/nutrition community would be thankful for that.
Thanks in advance!

Notes

1-Kung San: Men Women and work in a foraging Society- https://www.amazon.com/Kung-San-Women-Foraging-Society/dp/0521295610

2-African Exodus: The origins of Modern Humanity- https://www.amazon.com/Kung-San-Women-Foraging-Society/dp/0521295610

3-The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves- https://www.amazon.com/Rational-Optimist-Prosperity-Evolves-P-s/dp/0061452068/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1529600750&sr=1-1

4- The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World-

https://www.amazon.com/Ascent-Money-Financial-History-World/dp/0143116177

5-Lecture Notes on human metabolism- http://watcut.uwaterloo.ca/webnotes/Metabolism/

2. [13:03] Liver Stress

Maryann says:
First, thank you and Nikki for all you have done and sacrificed to spread the message of clean eating and sustainability.

Do you know of or have your read any research on possible liver stress associated with consuming the amounts of protein recommended in the keto gains calculator for a 57 year old female athlete?

I will elaborate if you need more background information.

Sincerely,
Listener #7

3. [16:38] Protein needs Bodybuilding Keto – Muscle Gain

James says:
For an intermediate to advanced ketogenic bodybuilder/powerlifter looking to maintain muscle mass during a cut; what would be your initial recommendation on protein consumption?

Same question for building muscle.

Also: much research seems to have been done on fat loss. Are there any studies showing the performance of the ketogenic diet when t comes to muscle gain versus a higher carb approach? Maybe less muscle gain but fat free?

4. [21:33] Keto and true HIIT

Greg says:
Hi,
I eat a Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) and do Crossfit.  I primarily consume more significant amounts of carbohydrates (max 20g for 195lb male) before doing classic CrossFit workouts where HIIT is part of the workout.  I do this because:

1.  I perform better than without the carbs.
2. I feel and recover better afterwards.
3.  I am afraid of my body going catabolic because it can’t get energy fast enough during workouts.

A lot of what I’ve read about Keto and exercise deals with endurance workout and weightlifting.  What is the best approach specifically for Keto and HIIT for optimizing performance and/or safety (avoid going catabolic)?

Thank you!
Greg

5. [27:12] A question about having carb withdrawal symptoms despite very high blood ketones.

Rob says:
Hi there,

I was wondering if you could shed some light on my usual response to being in ketosis.

I’ve been on a very strict ketogenic diet for about 6 months now. I’ve tested my blood ketones hundreds of times using an Abbot Freestyle meter and I’m almost always in the 1mmol to 3mmol range. I have experienced some of the commonly talked about keto symptoms such as occasional feelings of euphoria, appetite suppression (sometimes to the point of nausea if I’ve consumed a lot of fat), trouble sleeping due to that buzzing ketosis feeling in the body some speak of.

The trouble is I don’t seem to do well when my ketones are derived from my own body fat, or at least it appears that way. I say this because I still often feel classic “carb-starved” feelings if I haven’t eaten (irritable, trouble concentrating, etc). Eating lunch solves that, but this seems strange given that my ketones could still be at 3 yet I experience those symptoms. Perhaps those very few carbs in the lunch are what my body wants or perhaps my body prefers ketones from other sources than my own body fat.

What has pushed me to a breaking point is a water fast I attempted this weekend. I began my fast after lunch on Friday (extremely low carb high fat) and during the fast felt exactly the same as I have on any fast I’ve ever done pre-keto. It was really difficult. I was irritable, had headaches, trouble concentrating the exact same feeling as a carb withdrawal. I was testing my ketones frequently in the days leading up to the fast so it should have been a breeze, in theory. And yes, I took plenty of sodium, potassium and magnesium – it doesn’t change it at all.

To thicken the plot further, I tested my ketones regularly throughout the whole fast. On Friday night they were about 3mmol and by Saturday lunchtime they were up around 4. By Sunday lunchtime they were up at 5-6 mmol yet I still felt like I was in serious carb withdrawal! Is it possible that ketosis is just not for me? I’ve heard Dom D’agostino mention that a minority of people don’t thrive in ketosis.

Any help would be appreciated!

Rob

6. [35:30] Keto and Picking a Primary Care Doctor

Kilson says:
Hey guys! Huge fan of the show! I just read through “Wired to Eat” and really enjoyed it. I think it is a really good “catalyst” for getting started in the right foot. I’ve been messing around with Keto for a while now. Almost 3 years ago I was walking around at 357lbs and found out about keto, started boxing and lifting and made it down to as low as 250lbs! After some injuries and some life struggles I flew back up too 300lbs. For the last few months I’m back on the grind and trying to make it back down to a weight I feel good at. Big part is thanks to podcast like yours! So thank you very much! Oh right!… The question…
I haven’t gotten a physical or seen a doctor in a while now. Maybe close to two years. I’m having some trouble picking a Primary Care Provider. What are some things you look for in a Doc? Do you use some sort of platform to find a doctor who is in the know about stuff like Paleo and keto? I really want to get on top of this and find a doctor. Im from New York which is flooded with doctors but not sure who to go with. Any suggestions on how to narrow the choices? THANKS!

Notes:

SteadyMD.com

http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/

Keto Masterclass

The keto diet is one of the most effective ways to shed fat and improve your health. Keto Masterclass helps you start keto right, step-by-step, so that you can be successful long-term.

Learn More

 

Wired-to-Eat-RenderDon’t forget, Wired to Eat is now available!

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks



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Clean Eating Brownie Waffles Recipe

OMG! I swear I had brownies for breakfast! These clean eating brownie waffles taste just like the real thing!

But first of all, I should mention that as much as I’d like to say that these also have… Read more →



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Monday, June 25, 2018

Ask the Coach: Primal Health Coaches Answer Your Questions

Top 5 mistakes with elimination diets: how most people are doing them the wrong way

Goin’ On A Bear Hike

Happy Monday! I just love these summer weekends. There is so much more to do than in the winter! But also: more bugs and snakes to look out for!

On Thursday night Thomas and I went to the Alison Krauss concert at the Pavilion. Her voice was beautiful, and she played some classics!

On Friday I picked Mazen up from summer camp, and we got dressed in our out-to-dinner clothes and headed to Zinburger, which hosted our family for dinner.

MY OTHER RECIPES

All summer long kids eat for just $3, and they have a very kid friendly atmosphere and menu.

In fact there was a tiny newborn in the booth next to us that Thomas and I enjoyed watching!

T and I each ordered the Napa salad to start, and we shared both sweet potato waffle fries and hand-cut regular fries for the table 🙂

I had the special summer burger topped with heirloom tomato, balsamic glaze, and burrata cheese!

We had so much food on the table we brought about half of it home for lunch the next day because we wanted to save room for shakes!

Mazen had cookies n cream (which was actually my favorite of the three!), I had the salted caramel, and Thomas ordered a double chocolate. Sooo delicious!

Lauren was hosting a party at her house, and we stopped by on our way home to say hello.

We’ve been watching World Cup soccer at night – I forget which game we watched after putting Mazen to bed but the most memorable goal from the weekend was Germany’s winning goal in the last few minutes.

Saturday morning breakfast – cheesy eggs, toast, and cherries.

We packed up the crew mid-morning and headed to Thomas’s parents’ house to feed their cat and take Mazen on a little trek up to the ridge.

Mazen and Gus LOVED the hike, and M collected rocks and sticks along the way. We counted 13 centipedes. (Thankfully no snakes or bears were spotted!)

I, however, was not too keen on hiking without a path. There was so much summertime brush, and I was sure I was going to step on a snake at any minute! We were covered in bug spray, and if I’d known the brush would be so high I would have worn pants too. Thomas grew up in these woods, but I prefer sidewalks and trails!!

I noticed we were heading the wrong direction on our way back and prevented us from going down in a valley! Good thing I have a good sense of direction and am very observant (“These white plants were not here on our way out”)

Back at home, showered, and praying for no poison ivy, we heated up our leftovers for lunch.

And watched more soccer…some of us.

We’ve been eating out a lot lately, so although Matt came to pick up Mazen for the night, we decided to do a date night in and cook something delicious.

Mocktail hour on the deck.

We baked potatoes and broccoli and grilled beef tenderloin.

Shout out to this great meat thermometer Thomas got for Christmas. It’s wireless and bluetooth enabled so you just stick in in your meat and the app keeps you informed of the temperature.

I hadn’t had a loaded baked potato in ages – so delicious!

We ended the night with The Crown on the couch – the coronation episode! Also – the most recent Handmaid’s Tale – OMG! If you guys aren’t watching Handmaid’s you need to asap.

Have a great week!



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