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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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