Friday, November 30, 2018

IBD Famous: My First Magazine Cover

Happy December, friends!

Today marks the start of the Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness WeekAnd because December kicks off Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week, I had the opportunity to appear on the cover of Healthmonitor’s Guide to Living with IBD! Yep, that’s right – I’m IBD famous! 🙂

FYI: The magazine is available in doctor’s offices and you can read the full issue here!

All jokes aside, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my journey with Ulcerative Colitis, including the highs, the lows, and, ultimately, acceptance and healing with the disease.

I remember how confused, distraught, and desperate for information I was when I was first diagnosed, and how alone and “not normal” I felt during flares. I just wanted answers, and I didn’t feel like I had a ton of resources that I could turn to. That’s why I’m so glad that this magazine is being distributed in doctors’ offices – where those who are newly diagnosed are likely to pick it up and give it a read. If sharing my story can help even one person who is experiencing what I felt during those dark times, then it’s worth it.

I’m actually attending a conference this week in New York City related to Ulcerative Colitis, and I can’t wait to dive even deeper and make more connections in the community. Having IBD is not easy, and I’m more than happy to share my experience if it helps others in the same boat. I’ve SO been there, and when I was struggling, one of the things that gave me the most hope was hearing the positive outlooks and journeys of those who had tread this path before me. Now that I’m doing better (*knock on wood*), it’s an absolute privilege to give back and do the same for others! 

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Weekly Link Love—Edition 5

An Amazing Development For the Primal Movement…

An Amazing Development For the Primal Movement…

Smiles For Friday!

Baby News

Hi guys!! Guess who is over 10 pounds?! He’s up two whole pounds from his birth weight and is one ounce heavier than his big brother was at one month. We’ve had a few real smiles sneak out and that has been so fun!! Mazen can’t wait for him to laugh :mrgreen:

While Birch and I have been happy and healthy, we’ve been dealing with some minor but super annoying issues. The first was thrush, which plagued us for a good two weeks or so. I ended up getting Diflucan in addition to OTC topical cream, and we did two weeks of oral nystatin for B. At our appointment yesterday our pediatrician said it looked all cleared up. However, I am still having some major pain on the right side, and we determined it is latch related. Since the thrush is gone, I was given the go ahead to start pumping and introduce a bottle which has been really fun! I’m pumping the right side to let it heal a bit before latching him back on and working on our technique. So on the left side breastfeeding is going so well, and on the right it’s been a horribly painful few weeks. At least he is growing well, and I’ve been pushing through.

Thomas’s mom gave B his first bottle while I went for a power walk with Gussie! It was really fun to be out walking fast without a stroller or a pregnant waddle. I can’t wait to run soon! Thomas did the next two bottles last night, and those went well too. I’m so glad he can share the feeding bond now! I have a Motif pump I got free through insurance, and my gosh pumps have gotten SO much better in 6 years.


My children LOVE to poop, and so we have a pretty bad diaper rash related to wiping so frequently. I’m now using a peri bottle on B and patting him dry with my reusable cloth wipes. So that makes diaper changes (which we do ALL the time) extra time intensive. Sometimes he goes through 3-4 diapers in a 30 minute period. I would wait it out a bit more, but I want to change him right away because of the rash.

B also hasn’t really lengthened his sleep stretches at night beyond 2.5 hours. His little friends are all doing 4-6 hour stretches and we weren’t really sure why he hadn’t done the same, especially since his weight gain is great. After the pediatrician yesterday we made both bottle and diaper rash changes and he slept FIVE HOURS STRAIGHT last night!!! Nothing short of a miracle. I got a total of 9 hours of sleep – the most I’ve gotten in a month. Felt pretty awesome! He’s also transitioned out of the rock and play to the Halo Bassinet so that is a good change as well. Still using both the Woombie (which I LOVE) and the Ollie Swaddle.

Food News

Remember how I used to love to crumble muffins on things?! I picked up a bran muffin from Mudhouse and had it over yogurt with almond butter, banana, and the last of the cranberry sauce. YUM!

And the maple latte I had at Mudhouse was pretty darn good too! Not too sweet and perfectly spiced.

Another yogurt bowl with cranberry, candied pecans and granola. I am loving the Brown Cow full-fat plain yogurt these days. Tastes like cream!

We are also loving steel cut oats in the rice cooker. Mazen and Thomas eat theirs before school at 6:30 and I eat mine whenever I’m ready – 8, 9, 10?! And I make a ton so the next day we can just add milk and microwave the leftovers. This bowl had cottage cheese, chia, peanut butter, and Dang coconut chips.

Another day: scrambled eggs with pepperjack cheese and grapes!

For lunches I’ve been relying on a bit too much take-out, but that is ok! I discovered the Mayweather bowl at Roots, which is a hugeeeee kale salad with BBQ tofu. This was lunch two days in a row!

For dinners we have been winging it a bit. Pot pies from The Pie Chest I pulled out of the freezer with more leftover kale salad. (And my Mama place tag!)

And grilled steaks with a tortilla and carrots and peppers. Totally winging it meal! We were going to do mashed potatoes but the potatoes had turned a little too old. And we didn’t have any green veggies so we had raw crunchy veg instead.

Another night we had broccoli, mac and cheese, and leftover wings from the weekend.

Fitness News

I want to write a whole post on nutrition/fitness postpartum to tell you more about my health goals, but that will have to come in depth another day. The short story is that I’ve been trying to go for a long walk everyday (sometimes on the treadmill). My goal is 3 miles or 10,000 steps. That is a very soft goal that I don’t meet everyday if I have an appointment or it’s raining, but most days I am able to walk. I haven’t braved taking Gus with the stroller, but I did take him while B was in the Solly wrap and that went well! I actually love walking when it’s really cold out because my down coat keeps me warm and I don’t get all sweaty : )

Lifestyle News

We had a ton of appointments this week!

Monday was a facial with my friend Alyssa at her brand new home spa! She gives the BEST facials – seriously I have had them all over with her at ACAC, and she’s the best. Her new business is Blue Ridge Skin Therapy, and instead of spending money on print/radio advertising she is giving each new client a FREE first-time facial. So everyone in Cville needs to go get yours and see what I’m raving about! (It’s a legit hour-long facial, not a little preview.) I took B with me and actually nursed him reclined while Alyssa worked on my face. Total game changer!

On Tuesday I got my hair cut and highlighted, which was pretty challenging with a baby, but we made it work! I was able to feed him under my cape and relaxed with him on the couch while my highlights set.

On Wednesday Mazen and I had dentist appointments. I was nervous to go with both boys, and B cried in the waiting room a bit, but then he fell asleep in the wrap and I was able to get my teeth cleaned with him on my chest. Thankfully everyone has been very accommodating!

And Thursday we had our pediatrician appointment which went well too! Next week looks a lot less busy : )

Birch says “jingle bells Batman smells” in his holiday Kickee Pants outfit from Green Bean that I bought on small business Saturday!

Have a great weekend! We’re hoping to get our Christmas tree!

from Kath Eats Real Food

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Maple Almond Collagen Cookies

Hi, friends! Happy COOKIE FRIDAY!

I’m popping in real quick because I just HAD to share this super easy recipe that I whipped up last weekend. I can’t help but give in to my urge to bake during the holiday season, and I love simple cookie recipes. Well, I love ALL types of cookie recipes, but it’s nice to have all of the ingredients on hand when you want to bake up a fresh batch of cookies. Am I right? 🙂

As you guys know, I love incorporating collagen into my diet as a quick and easy source of protein. Additionally, this recipe takes into account a variety of common allergens, so just about everyone can enjoy this special holiday treat. (Be sure to add some holiday sprinkles to the batter!) These cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and, most importantly, insanely delicious! Please add these to your holiday baking list and let me know what you think. Enjoy!


Maple Almond Collagen Cookies

Makes 8 Cookies

  • Author: Tina


1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

2 scoops (24g) collagen peptides

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Portion batter in 8 balls and place on a prepared baking sheet or silicone mat.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges start to lightly brown.

Remove baking sheet from oven and then use the back of a fork to flatten cookies in a crisscross pattern.

Allow cookies to cool slightly before serving.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 113
  • Fat: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 16
  • Protein: 5

from Carrots 'N' Cake

The 2018 Primal Gift Guide (and One Awesome Book Deal)

Clean Eating Chicken Pot Pies Recipe

This clean eating chicken pot pie recipe is perfect for repurposing leftovers!

I have a secret to tell you.

I worked for Marie Callenders for several years. First as a waitress and then as a manager.… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What I’m Loving Lately 129

Hi, guys!

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a What I’m Loving Lately blog post, so this one is quite the round-up of goodies. I’ve been gathering fun/interesting links and favorite products for a few weeks now, and I’m especially excited to share them with you. Let’s get right to it, shall we? 🙂

Brooks Ugly Sweater Sneakers (aka Levitate 2) – You guys might remember these from my Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide, but they’re worth another mention because they are seriously THE BEST holiday sneakers I have ever seen! I honestly don’t think a sneaker has ever made me so happy, and I know just about any runner or walker on your shopping list will LOVE these!

The Silent Tragedy Affecting Today’s Children – This was a really eye-opening article.

Butcher Box on demand – No subscription needed! I love this new offering. You can get the same high-quality meat you love without the commitment. We’re eating less meat nowadays, so it’s perfect for getting a box every once it awhile instead of on a regular basis.

Latest Videos

These Women Didn’t Lose a Single Pound, but Their Transformations Will Amaze You – LOVE THIS! It’s my favorite type of “before and after” post, and one of the MANY reasons why I don’t like the scale and think it’s SUCH a joke and mindf*ck. Changing your body is all about composition and fat loss – NOT just the number on the scale. 

UA Pindot Open Back Women’s Long Sleeve Shirt

I shared my love for this open back long sleeve shirt in a previous post, but I find myself wearing it ALL the time. It’s so easy to throw on with a soft and cozy sports bra and actually feel like you’re semi put together! 🙂

BTFBM Women Long Sleeve Zipper Sherpa Pullover – One of my girlfriends just brought this pullover and loves how cozy it is. For just $26, I might just have to order one for myself! 

Women In Their 40’s Give Advice To Their 20-Something Selves, And It’s Worth The Read – I loved reading this post!

8 Sneaky Offenders that Cause Weight Fluctuations – As I mentioned above, you guys know that I’m not a fan of the scale, so just wanted to share this post about why you see frequent fluctuations. Just remember even though the scale might go up, it doesn’t mean you’re not making progress!

Unidear Women Casual Long Sleeve Top with Pockets – Another cute and cozy top that I might just need in my life! 🙂

Peanut Butter Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chips – These look absolutely delightful! Speaking of which, did you see that Health Warrior now has microwaveable protein muffins now? Each one is gluten-free, dairy-free and has 12g of plant-based protein. Their peanut butter chocolate chip is my favorite!

Question of the Day

What are your thoughts on the scale? What is THE NUMBER so important? 

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Why an “Ab Routine” Isn’t Necessary (and What I Do Instead)

One of the first things people do when they start working out is focus on their abs—crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts, bicycles, and the like. I mean, who doesn’t want a six-pack? Entire fitness schools have sprung up around the idea of targeting your abs with direct work. Take Pilates. In its purest iterations, it’s considered a “total body” philosophy, but the way most classes seem to go you end up spending all your time doing a bunch of complicated crunches and other targeted ab work (and grimacing every time you cough for the next week).

Let me make a radical proposal here. All this ab work isn’t necessary.

Don’t get me wrong. The “abs” are extremely important. Not only do they round out the physique and look great, but abdominal strength also provides stability, supports good posture, and improves movement. Strong abdominals allow and enhance the full expression of a person’s athleticism. Running, jumping, lifting, throwing (balls, spears, or punches), and basically any movement all require—and are improved by—strong abs (i.e. a strong “core”).

When you think about training the abs, consider what the abdominals’ purpose is: to provide a stable foundation for the rest of your body as it moves. They can move, but it’s not their primary function. As such, the way most people train abs is completely superfluous and ignores that essential function—maintaining stability and resisting movement. When you think about it that way, crunches and sit-ups don’t make a whole lot of sense.

What Kinds of Ab Work Make Sense?

  • Deadlifts make sense because your hips are designed to hinge to allow you to pick up objects.
  • Squats make sense because your knees are meant to flex and extend under load.
  • Pull-ups make sense because your lats and biceps are designed to pull your body’s weight upward.

But crunches? Abs are best at holding steady and supporting all the other tissues and limbs as they move through space. Using your abs to move heavy weight a few inches is just weird. It “works,” but is it ideal? No.

If you insist on direct ab work, focus on movements where the abs don’t actually move all that much.

  • Instead of crunches (abs moving), do bicycle crunches (abs stationary, legs moving).
  • Instead of sit-ups (abs moving), do hanging leg raises (abs stationary, legs moving).

In both cases, you’ll be blasting the hell out of your abdominals, but you won’t be flexing and extending your spine.

Okay, with all that out of the way…

What Do I Do For Ab Work?

I don’t do much direct ab work. You won’t find me doing crunches or bicycles. Instead, I’m using my abs all the time.

  • When I’m doing pushups, I’m tightening my abs. A strong, stable, cohesive abdominal complex makes my pushups better and stronger. Do a pushup without tight abs, and your hips will dip toward the ground. You’ll be sloppy and weak.
  • When I’m doing deadlifts, I’m tightening my abs. My abs are resisting the pull of the heavy bar. They’re preventing my spine from rounding and hurting itself.
  • When I’m doing pull-ups, I’m using my abs to maintain a cohesive frame. Try it. Instead of kicking your legs or flopping them around to propel yourself upward, keep them straight and tight. Tighten your abs. Think of your entire body, from top to bottom, as a single piece. Pull that piece up past the bar. Feeling it in the core, are you?
  • When I’m standup paddling, I’m using my obliques, my “outer abs.” They support the paddling motion. They’re my base of support. Go paddle for an hour as a beginner, then see how your sides feel the next day.
  • When I’m doing band pull-aparts (a great shoulder pre/rehab movement, by the way), I’m tightening my abs.

Heck, when I’m driving my car or carrying my groceries or walking the dogs, I’m tightening my abs.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. The abs figure prominently.

There’s probably one exercise I do specifically for my abs, and that’s the plank. But again, the planks work the abs by resisting movement, by keeping your body straight and solid against the pull of gravity. They aren’t moving.

I made a short video on how I work my abdominals without a specific abs routine. Take a look.

Finally, the single most important thing you can do for your abs in terms of looks, of course, is to become a better fat-burner. Hidden underneath even the most sedentary, flabby exterior is a rippling six pack. Simply possessing basic human anatomy means you have visible abdominals somewhere under there. Get lean enough and you’ll see them.

Thanks for stopping in today. Questions, thoughts? I’d love to hear them.


The post Why an “Ab Routine” Isn’t Necessary (and What I Do Instead) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Getting a Jumpstart on 24 Days of Togetherness

Hi, friends!

I can’t believe December is just around the corner… although, I’m more than ready for it! 🙂 I feel like December marks the “official” holiday season – at least with regard to our family’s traditions via “24 Days of Togetherness.” If you haven’t had a chance to download your PDF yet, be sure to print it out and cut it up today, so you’re ready for all of the holiday fun that starts on SATURDAY!

With Thanksgiving falling so early this year, we couldn’t help but get a jumpstart on our usual holiday activities. Typically, these are mixed in with our 24 Days of Togetherness bucket list, but, this year, we’ll just add new ones to chose from. There are so many options, we might as well complete as many as we can to fully embrace the season! 🙂

The first activity that we completed was get a Christmas tree. Quinn saw one on the top of someone’s car on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, and he just couldn’t get it out of his head, so we got our tree a couple of days later. He was so excited, we just couldn’t wait until December!

Like previous years, we went to our favorite go-to place to purchase this year’s Christmas tree.

I’m pretty sure we’ve gone to see Bernie since we moved to the area more than 10 years ago. He has the cutest little place, and the staff is so incredibly friendly!

It didn’t take us long to find the perfect Christmas tree!

Actually, Quinn picked out our tree, and it was quite the beauty – not too big (like the first year we moved into our new house) and not too small (like last year when we were afraid of getting a tree too big). His tree was the perfect size!

Annual photo! 🙂

I mean, how adorable is this place?

We counted the rings to see how old our Christmas tree was! 🙂

We also kept our Lime Leaf tradition alive and picked up takeout on the way home from getting our Christmas tree. Delicious!

After dinner, we broke out our ornaments, played John Denver’s Muppet Christmas, and started decorating the tree. (Yes, we have one million pug ornaments!)

In addition to pug ornaments, here are some other favorites…

Our hospital bracelets from when Quinn was born

(I just bought a plastic ornament on Amazon and put them inside.)

An eagle from the White House when I heard Michelle Obama speak

The new home ornament that my mom, sister, and I ALL bought for each other

The ornament that we bought after Mal and I were engaged in New York City

The ornament from Quinn’s first trip out of the country (when he was in my belly)

Decorating our tree was such a nice time together. If it’s any indiction of how the rest of the holiday season will go, we’re in for a treat! 🙂

The finishing touch was the star on top!

Question of the Day

Is your Christmas tree up already?

from Carrots 'N' Cake