Monday, November 26, 2018

Cheesy Mashed Potato & Italian Sausage Dobladas

Hi, guys!

Here’s another edition of our “Quinn and Mumma” days. It was your pretty standard morning of adventures, but this post concludes with an easy and delicious weeknight recipe. It’s actually an old school CNC recipe that’s been revived since it’s such a simple, nutritious, and quick dinner to throw together on busy night – or, hey, just any night when you DO NOT feel like cooking. Basically, you should add this recipe to your regular quickie dinner rotation! 🙂

Our morning started like a lot of them: “Snugs” on the couch while watching TV and sipping iced coffee (for me) and milk (or an “animal smoothie” for Quinn), getting ourselves dressed and ready for the day, and then eating breakfast together. On the menu for me: Shredded Brussels sprouts with air fryer cauliflower gnocchi and shredded cheddar. I’m obsessed with this meal lately!

After breakfast, we got ourselves ready to leave the house, but not before checking the box for our weekly delivery. Inside was milk, eggnog (it’s finally time!), and eggs.

We put our goodies in the fridge and then headed to the YMCA. I did a 30-minute run-walk while Quinn played in the playroom. After the YMCA, we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items.

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On the way into the store, Quinn saw a car with reindeer antlers on it and thought it was the funniest thing ever – like he was hysterically, belly-laugh laughing! It was so darn cute! He even asked me to take a photo of him in front of the car. Haha! It totally made his (and my) day! 🙂

After that, we drove over to the library to return our books and checkout new ones. We also played some games on the kids’ computer for a little while. It’s really cool to see how much Quinn has progressed with his letter recognition and computer skills in just the past couple of months. My baby is getting so big!

Back at home, we ate lunch and then Quinn went right down for a nap. He was exhausted (growth spurt). Plus, we built a blanket fort in the living room, so he was ALL about napping inside!

When Quinn woke up from his nap, we took Murphy for a walk around the neighborhood and then headed inside to get started on dinner.

I recently partnered with Maria and Ricardo’s, who makes authentic, high-quality, and seriously delicious non-GMO tortillas, so I’m super excited to feature them in this blog post. Each tortilla is made with simple, wholesome ingredients, and they contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, and no artificial preservatives – only good stuff!

On the menu: Cheesy Mashed Potato & Italian Sausage Dobladas! I used the Original White Flour Tortillas along with mashed potatoes, ground Italian sausage, and shredded cheddar cheese – and dinner came together in no time!

The Original White Flour Tortillas are the perfect size for this recipe, and I love that they don’t crack or break like some other brands, so you can really fill them up with your favorite ingredients! Additionally, they hold up really well as leftovers. While making dinner, I packed up a bunch of dobladas for grab-and-go lunches later in the week!

And, of course, the pug wasn’t far from the dobladas action. Look at that creepy pug face!

I mean, there’s always the potential of food falling onto the floor!

In terms of where you can find Maria and Ricardo’s, they are found nationally in most Whole Foods Markets. You can also check out their online store locator, which is updated every few weeks with in-store availability. FYI: There is also a $1 off coupon on the store locator page! 🙂

We really love these Cheesy Mashed Potato & Italian Sausage Dobladas, and I hope your family does too! The original recipe calls for ground chorizo instead of ground Italian sausage, so be sure to give that flavor combination a try too. Additionally, I’ve tried this recipe with mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes, and it turns out pretty well. Mashed sweet potato works great too!

P.S. Over on CNC Instagram, you can enter to win an awesome prize pack from Maria & Ricardo’s. It includes a case of their tortillas and a $50 gift card to Whole Foods! 🙂 Hop on over to Instagram to enter – I’ll pick a winner on Friday!



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My Mind Is Still Catching Up With the Reality Of My Transformation

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Primal eating was not a reality for me for a very long time, I did not even hear the words until I was 27. But flash back to when I was 12-years-old, and had just found out that I was 203.2lbs. I remember that number so clearly because of how hard I sobbed that day on the scale at the doctor’s office. When my 8th grade self saw that I had crossed in to 200+lbs, I immediately I lost any self worth. Media in the 90s made it clear that being fat was social destruction and meant that you were “less than.” Living in this culture of perfectionism, I continued to eat and cope with my “imperfections” with sugar addiction and exuberant amounts of terribly processed foods.

Upon entering adulthood, the word “nutrition” alone made me uncomfortable as I did not have any real understanding of what it meant. I was taught and believed that all fat was bad and grains were healthy for my heart, that carbs were evil but these “magical” grains were somehow exempt. When I moved out at 17, I weighed 300lbs and felt miserable. My diet consisted of lunchmeat sandwiches, egg salad, coffee and fast food. I hated my body and avoided mirrors.

I decided that I wanted to make a change. Over the next several years I took the “beat my body in to submission” approach and paired it with diet plan after diet plan. I even took diet pills (now recalled) until the side effects were too much to for me to excuse. I ended up losing 60lbs of weight but at the cost of my adrenal health. I traded in the sugar for coffee and was not sleeping nearly enough for how hard I was working and training.

In 2011, I met and married my wonderful husband. He had previously been a physical trainer, and he helped teach me a lot of what he knew. It helped a lot to understand what he shared with me, but we both still had questions about the science of nutrition and biology. Over the next 6 years, together we sought out the answer for our health and wellness concerns. One of the first sources we came across (after watching ALL the food documentaries ever) was your website. That year, I attended Paleocon online and felt like I was drinking from a firehose. We almost immediately became as primal as possible in our eating and also in our lifestyle and exercise. We both experienced the amazing results. Aside from losing weight and feeling stronger, we noticed our skin and digestive issues were much improved. We were also thinking more clearly, and our sleep was much improved.

In 2015, I gave birth to my son, and over the next year I gained back all of the weight I had lost. Postpartum depression and anxiety encompassed my every day, and I began to spiral in to unhealthy eating once again. By 2016, I was nearing 300lbs again and felt so ashamed of myself. I began to go to therapy regularly and was diagnosed with CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I began working diligently with my therapist to unpack the trauma and my body responded with anorexia nervosa, which can be a side effect of addressing trauma.

I did not have a dysmorphic issue, however. At the time, I was averted by any food and my throat would restrict if I attempted to swallow. After some time, I wasn’t able to to eat meat due to digestion. However, sticking to a primal way of eating at the time is what kept me out of the hospital when it was difficult to eat. I chose soft foods, and the blender was my bestie. My ability to eat improved, and my diet since then has mainly consisted of all organic Coconut Oil, Ghee, Avocados, Eggs & Sweet Potatoes and other vegetables and some fruits.

I have continued therapy and have stayed dedicated to the same diet with the occasional deviation from my favorite bakery that offers paleo/keto options. Over the past year, have watched my weight plummet (with my Dr.’s supervision) very quickly. I stand here now today 158lbs, and my mind is still catching up with the reality of my transformation. I lost over 100lbs this year.

The combination of therapy and sticking to a primal lifestyle has led me to where I am today. I am still getting to know the woman in the mirror, but I am thankful for where I am every single day. Thank you, Mark, for providing us with a launching pad for our primal journey and for being a constant resource of information and encouragement. You are a part of my success story.

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

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(Holi)day at the Derby Street Shops

Hi, guys!

The Hauperts had quite the fun holiday weekend with all sorts of activities to kick off the most wonderful time of year! I really love that Thanksgiving fell so early this year because now we have an extra week of “Christmas holiday” to celebrate. (Quinn always says “Christmas holiday” when he’s talking about Christmas, and it’s the cutest thing ever. It’s also caught on with Mal and me, so now Christmas is “Christmas holiday” in our house!)

I woke up bright and early on Black Friday for a special fun run at the Derby Street Shops. I actually wanted to do a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, but it was SO COLD, I opted out. (Props to those of you local readers who ran on Thanksgiving morning. It was frigid!! I’m proud of you guys!) I was a little bummed to miss out, which is why I was especially excited for the Black Friday Run at Derby Street. The run kicked off at the BRAND NEW Lululemon location (right next to the Capital One Cafe), so I was psyched to see what it looked like. They have more space and way more awesome apparel! If you’re local and haven’t been over to the new Lulu yet, be sure to pop in!

And, of course, I wore my ugly sweater sneakers from Brooks for the race. I can’t tell you how many compliments I got on them. They’re seriously THE BEST holiday sneakers ever!

The race route was a loop around the Derby Street Shops and Hidden Pond, an adorable little area right behind Whole Foods.

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I had no idea Hidden Pond even existed until this run, but I’m glad I know about it now. It’s like a secret little oasis. There’s a walking path, picnic tables, play areas for kids, and even four exercise stations with instructions on how to use the equipment. And, rumor has it, there will be ice skating there this winter!

After the race, I just had to get a quick photo with the MERR(Y) sign outside the Paper Store! How fun is this?!

Run participants were treated to a complimentary yogurt bar and (iced) coffee at the Capital One Cafe.

And celebratory donuts and mimosas at Luxe Leisure!

After enjoying a bunch of snacks, I stuck around and did a little Black Friday shopping at Levitate. Mal loves their clothing, and the brand just opened a pop-up at Derby Street, so I had to see what they had to offer. Their selection of flannel shirts for men, women, and kids is phenomenal!

After that, I headed home for the rest of the morning and early afternoon. When Quinn woke up from his nap, we headed back to Derby Street for dinner and drinks at Rustic Kitchen with friends and more holiday fun, including meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus, a tree lighting, and listening to Cappella Christmas carols.

Our evening concluded with gingerbread decorating and a hot cocoa bar at the Capital One Cafe. Quinn absolutely loved it!

Clearly, Derby Street has all sorts of holiday activities going on with plenty more on the agenda this month. Next week, on Wednesday, Nov 28th, there’s a Performance from Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop about upcoming events and activities!



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Our Cyber Monday Deal (and 3 New Products)

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Happy One Month Day to Little Birch!! While this month has gone by fast, I can’t even remember what it was like to be pregnant – that feels like ages ago. Each day he gets a little more alert. He’s started cooing and I think we’ve gotten a few real smiles – the kind that involve the eyes and a wide open mouth!

We had Thanksgiving all over again on Friday night in the form of leftovers. Thomas made my plate and I think there was more on it than on actual Thanksgiving! I still managed to eat most of it though. Breastfeeding hunger makes my appetite XL.

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We had leftover turkey + cranberry + cheddar sandwiches twice over the weekend. I much prefer turkey on a leftover sandwich than on a plate with gravy!

Thomas grilled wings on Friday while we watched All. The. Sports. Tiger + Phil’s golf match, UVA football (so sad of a loss!) and UVA basketball. We had some friends over to keep good company : )

Their dad game is strong <3

Wings, salad, mac and cheese.

Doing some tummy time to prime those sports muscles!

I’ve been eating all the oatmeal for breakfast and even making steel cut in the rice cooker so that it’s ready when I am to eat. This bowl was mix with butter, brown sugar, banana, peanut butter and candied pecans.

And of course the cranberry sauce made a double appearance! Once with cottage cheese and almond butter:

And once with yogurt and almond butter. A triple oatmeal weekend. (I also find steel cut oats re-heat really well, so I cooked a large batch on Saturday and had them Sat + Sun + Mon for breakfast.)

Sunday lunch was turkey + cranberry sandwich #2 with pretzels and grapes.

My snacking game has been strong too, and Thomas and I recently rediscovered the deliciousness that is saltine and PB cracker sandwiches. (I’m craving peanut butter and almond butter like it’s my job these days. That’s definitely my strongest postpartum craving.)

Peanut butter pretzels (see the trend?)

And some chocolate pretzel sea salt Bark Thins for dessert. So good! Also: this “snacking chocolate” has made a great quick snack!

Healthy lunch plate! I am craving salads, but they are harder for me to make (or for Thomas to make me) than other lunch options. So I finally made a sesame oil massaged kale salad that we ate a few meals in a row. I love a good massaged kale because it holds up in the fridge well.

On Saturday we didn’t leave the house – it was cold and rainy and gross outside. Thomas and I watched The Greatest Showman (which we loved!) and Mazen came home from Durham to join us for dinner. Ribs + kale salad + the last of the sweet potato casserole.

On Sunday we had sunshine and 60 degree temps so we spent most of the day outside! We took a 3 mile family walk with Mazen on his bike, Gus on his leash, and Birch in the stroller. We were like a parade!

We took the long route through the neighborhood that went by a playground for a play stop for the boys.

B ended up being awake for a good portion of the walk, but he was happy!! I took off his car seat cover so he could look around at the sights and take in the fresh air. He really loves fresh air and it often calms him when he’s fussy if we step outside onto the deck.

The weekend ended with lots of brother snuggles…

And a tuckered out dog!



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