Sunday, October 20, 2019

Penne Alla Vodka

These days you can find a wide array of grain-free pastas with genuinely delicious flavor and texture. If you like the taste of pasta but want to limit the pasta carbs, add meat and veggies so less pasta goes further in the dish. Chicken thighs are a great choice to this end. Experiment with adding in veggies like spinach, baby broccoli, mushrooms or bell peppers, and create a variety of versions to your own taste.

For the sauce, use a full-fat coconut milk for the richest flavor, or use traditional full-fat dairy milk or your favorite milk substitute along with our new Primal Kitchen® No-Dairy Vodka Sauce.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil or Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1.25 cups chopped Yellow Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic, grated
  • ½ cup Full Fat Coconut Milk (or other dairy/non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 1.5 cups Primal Kitchen No-Dairy Vodka Sauce
  • 1 box Chickapea Penne Pasta
  • 2-4 Tbsp. Reserved Pasta Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Shredded Basil
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the boneless chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and add them to the pan once it is hot. Sear for 2 minutes on each side, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the thighs from the pan and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or cutting into chunks.

In the same pan (or another, whatever you prefer) add the remaining oil and heat it over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion. Stir with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is browned and soft. Add in the grated garlic and heat until the garlic is fragrant. Add in the Vodka Sauce and coconut milk and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and come together.

Prepare the Chickapea pasta according to the directions on the box, but boil the pasta to be slightly undercooked. Drain the pasta, reserving about ¼ cup of pasta liquid. Pour the drained pasta into the pan with the vodka sauce and stir over medium-low heat until the pasta reaches your desired doneness. Add in the chicken and stir. Add the reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce reaches the thickness of your liking. Top the pasta with a pinch of red pepper flakes, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the shredded basil. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information per serving (1/4 of recipe):

  • Calories: 547
  • Total Carbs: 50 grams
  • Net Carbs: 40 grams
  • Fat: 21 grams
  • Protein: 40 grams

collagenfuel_640x80

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How Mal Supports My Health Issues, Developing a Thicker Skin, Cutting Out Sugar & Sleep Issues

Hey guys!

Welcome to the next edition of CNC Instagram Live! As always, I’m so glad to be able to jump on here and answer some of your questions and as usual, I have another awesome list of questions from you guys. Let’s get started!

 

How does Mal respond/support all of your health issues?

Great question! I’m going to preface my response by saying that Mal is absolutely my #1 supporter. He’s the nicest guy ever, and he really does want the best for me. That being said, he’s also somebody that’s not going to take my crap. He’s a straight-shooter and doesn’t sugar coat anything and that applies to my health as well. He wants me to be happy and healthy, so there definitely comes a point where he wants me to stop beating around the bush and just focus on getting better. He doesn’t have a problem giving me some tough love… and sometimes I need it! It’s easy for me to get wrapped up and overwhelmed by my disease, especially during a flare, and he knows that I don’t need to work myself up by going down a Google rabbit hole. He always reminds me to appreciate my health and to be grateful. 

That being said, I have done everything I can to get better and will continue to do so. Whenever I throw something new into the mix, Mal is up for trying it. So, he does always support me in doing what I believe will help (despite the few times where he thinks I’m a little nuts, too). When you’ve had a chronic disease for so long, you will try anything to get better, including drinking celery juice for four months straight! (For the record, I still drink celery juice 1-2 times per week. I really think it helps keep my skin clear!) 

How did you develop a thicker skin? Lots of strong opinions about your candida post!

If you read the post on CNC about my anti-candida diet, you will see that I received quite the mix of comments. Included were people saying that it’s “pseudoscience,” and that I’m an irresponsible blogger to even talk about it. On one hand, there is research out there about how candida related to autoimmune diseases like IBD. On the other, I’m sure you will find many studies and results that say candida is just a bunch of hoopla. Needless to say, there were a lot of not so very nice comments. Honestly, I’ve been blogging for almost twelve years, so I’ve gotten my fair share of Internet hate and trolls. It used to bother me a lot, and while I’ve come a long way, it still bothers me sometimes. I’m human, after all! 

Unfortunately, some people just really know how to hit you where it hurts, and I truly believe “hurt people hurt people.” I heard this quote a few years back, and it really stuck with me. I completely believe that if you’re happy and enjoying your life, you don’t have the time to leave nasty comments online. I’m not saying this to call out anyone, but I did come across a really good example of this. Someone left a really mean comment on my post, and she left her email address in the comment so I could see who it was. I remembered her as a “friend” from the early days of blogging. I had gotten to know her, and she struggled with depression, an eating disorder, chronic pain, an autoimmune disease… so it was clear to me that her comment was less about me and probably more about her. Maybe it was related to her own fears and insecurities, or just not feeling great about her life in general. Regardless, it was really helpful to understand where she might be coming from.

Comments like these aren’t always about negativity or hatred directed towards me; more often than not, the person leaving them has issues in their own life. I’ve talked to friends and family about what can happen when you put your life out there on the Internet, and they’ve all said that even if they don’t agree with something, they’re not going to take the time to leave a comment, especially something mean. They just move on with their busy, fulfilled life, and I totally understand and relate to this point of view. 

I’ve come a long way with Internet meanies, and it’s not always easy. I’m a real person with real feelings, and I get hurt sometimes. But having the ability to understand where people might be coming from and knowing that it’s not always about me, really helps! And, hey, not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay! 

How easy/hard was it to cut out sweets and desserts on an anti-candida diet?

Surprisingly, this diet hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be! I really love sweets, and I usually have dessert every single day. Toning it down really hasn’t been all that bad, and I think it is because I stay prepared. I keep prepped food in the fridge, like protein sources, veggies, and other diet-friendly snacks, so when I do get a sugar craving, I have something ready to curb it. Eating protein first thing in the morning( before I go to the gym) also helps, like Teechino with collagen and some chicken sausage. Holding off on carbs until lunchtime keeps my blood sugar steady.

Protein sources have included chicken breast, ground chicken, deli turkey, and shrimp. Veggies are usually roasted and include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and kale. The practitioner I’m working with said I could have some fruits and complex carbs; they just need to be in small portions. I’ve been eating bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. Daily Harvest also makes these lemon coconut bites that you can keep in the freezer, so I’ve been cutting those in half for when I’m really in need of something sugary. They are mostly coconut, lemon, and a little bit of honey with only 3-4 grams of sugar, so not too bad!

I also think that keeping the ultimate goal in mind is helpful. I know that if I cheat and have a bunch of sugar, I’m not helping the situation. For example, the other day, the boys had pancakes for breakfast and though I was tempted, I kept reminding myself that I wanted to get better. I only have to stick with this diet for 3 to 4 months, and I’m already well into it, so cheating is just going to bring me right back to the beginning – not worth it! 

Have you ever had sleep issues?

Yes! I wrote a whole post about it. After I had Quinn, I flared really bad, had a baby waking up multiple times a night, and was dealing with new mom anxiety. I felt like I went weeks without sleeping and was a freaking zombie during that time. A few years later while I was working on Designed to Fit Nutrition, I felt like I had 8 million jobs and was super stressed out, so I definitely had trouble sleeping then.

What changed everything for me was a book called 10% Happier (I’ve talked about this before, so I apologize if this feels a little bit redundant!). It’s by Dan Harris, a correspondent for ABC news. He had a panic attack on TV and the book chronicles his journey with anxiety and how meditation changed his life. I’m not super into meditation, but there are a few tactics in the book that have helped me sleep better. I call them “Jedi Mind Tricks,” and I use them every night when I get into bed to help me fall and stay asleep. They’ve proven to have a 100% success rate for me! 🙂

CBD oil has also been a huge help, and I’ve noticed an immediate difference after I started taking it. I also take Natural Calm, a magnesium powder, maybe not every night, but definitely every other night or so to help with my sleep. Knock on wood, I haven’t had many sleep problems lately! Of course, there are nights where I’m tossing and turning a bit, but I’ve come a long way from those days of being up all night!

Halloween costumes for the family?

This is a fun one! Last year we went as the PJ Masks trio – Quinn was Catboy, I was Owlette, and Mal was Gekko. Quinn wants to be Catboy again, so the PJ Mask trio might be making a return. However, I found a banana costume from a million years ago and now he wants me to be a banana, so the Haupert family might just be Catboy, Gekko, and a banana this year!

I hope you guys found this helpful! Thanks again for all your awesome questions and I’ll see you on the next CNC Instagram Live!

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Flourless Brownies (Diary Free Too!)

These flourless brownies are also dairy free and stuffed with fiber!

Made with sweet potatoes, these brownies are soft, mildly sweetened and actually quite filling! They are excellent with a glass of… Read more →



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Friday, October 18, 2019

Weekly Link Love — Edition 51

Research of the Week

Manure from cows given antibiotics makes for substandard soil.

Bonobos are bigger meat eaters than we thought.

The Neolithic revolution was more about private property than productivity.

Night owls have worse blood lipids.

For psychiatric symptoms of dementia, non-pharmacologic therapies work better.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 382: Dr. Robert Zembroski: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Robert Zembroski, a world-renowned expert in functional medicine and chiropractic neurology and creator of a unique way to enhance conventional cancer treatments.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 30: Laura and Erin chat with Emily Schromm, a serial fitness entrepreneur with a lot of things going on—brick and mortar gym, online courses, and physical products.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

Dutch farmers take to the streets.

Baby food, now with lead and arsenic!

Interesting Blog Posts

Why ketogenic diets as clinically practiced are unhelpful for mitochondrial diseases.

Are Nike’s superfast running shoes a problem?

Social Notes

I recently participated in Dr. Bill Schindler’s Modern Stone Age Diet online summit and had a great time. Check out talks from me, Robb Wolf, and dozens more.

Gorgeous and majestic.

Everything Else

Why does flu peak in winter?

The rush to harvest organs is affecting death investigations.

Even though some residents left city limits to buy cheaper soda, a soda tax in Philadelphia reduced overall soda consumption.

Pigs are using tools.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Video I enjoyed: Sioux chef.

Another video I enjoyed (well, sorta): Why seed oils are so harmful.

I’d try it: Bog butter.

I’m not surprised: Persistent low-grade inflammation is a common feature of depression.

Ancient humans didn’t mess around: Not only were we utilizing brain tissue and bone marrow, we were processing and consuming “dental pulp.”

Question I’m Asking

With Google stopping development of its glucose-monitoring lens and all the other failures and dubious advancements, tech is realizing that biology’s a hard nut to crack. Do you think technology will ever figure out human biology and vault us into sci-fi territory?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 12 – Oct 18)

Comment of the Week

“Hey Mark,
You’re usually way out in front but my 13-year-old son actually beat you to it this time. He, like most his age, is an avid Youtube watcher and has recently gotten into watching the ways of searing the perfect steak.

He’s been hammering me to get a cast iron skillet. Lol.
If it were up to him we’d eat steak every night.

Gotta say, of the obsessions I’d want my 13-year-old son to have, the perfect sear on a Steak works for me!”

– Now that’s awesome, Joel.

BBQ_Sauces_640x80

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Weekly Happenings

News this week:

  • Thomas pretended he went fishing
  • Mazen had his worst sickness to date
  • We had our first sweatshirt weather
  • Birch and I missed our babysitter and spent a lot of time hanging out together

Reel Em In, Thomas

He came home from Whole Foods with a whole Spanish mackerel! I think Gus was really the most excited.

He grilled it on the Big Green Egg, and we had homemade mashed potatoes and asparagus to go with it – both Sunday + Monday night’s dinners.

Mr. Mazen Was Sick

He came down with a mild fever over the weekend that seemed to ramp up and up until it peaked on Monday and then he was better. I gave him is precious iPad in bed and he wasn’t even interested. I’ve never seen him nap during the day before either. Poor guy was the sickest I’ve seen him. He got a strep test at the doctor that was negative, so we still don’t really know what he had. But you know they’re better when they are asking to go back to school!

Tuesday At Home

We kept him home from school on Tuesday to recuperate a bit, and so we did some crafts and low-key activities. (Hoping since symptoms were gone his germs were too because he played hard with little bro!)

My mom sent this puppet making craft that was very well done.

And it was great for both ages!

Daily Harvest Blueberry Hemp

And the last of our summer tomatoes! It’s so weird how we didn’t have tomatoes until July and they lasted through October!

Lunch Salad with Bacon + Sweet Potatoes

and marcona almonds and sharp cheddar and rosemary crackers!

Farro Bowl from Plenty

Plenty makes my life so easy. It was great to have this ready to go when I got hungry on Tuesday.

And a lovely bean soup!

On a chilly, rainy day.

Walk-a-Thon

My past few Sundays have been so hard on my body with long soccer games that I’ve taken two full rest days with only walking. Birch and I have enjoyed a few great walks.

BLT From Thomas

One for him, one for me. So delish!

Basketball Tryouts

Mazen is adding bball as his winter sport this year. He did surprisingly well at tryouts! I actually think he shot more baskets than I could have….  We came home and had an All American spaghetti dinner with T + B.

Birch Loves Cars!

He only knows how to say “ca!” but we’re working on truck, bus, and motorcycle! Mom sent him this cute book that he will grow into as he learns colors and counting.

Best part of my week

This pumpkin ginger snap dessert from Plenty. I have commanded Della to share her recipe with me!

And happy birthday to Larbs, Clay, Meg, and Baby Russell!!

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Friday 5

Hi and happy Friday!

So, it was quite the (work) week here in Hanover. No school on Monday because of the holiday. No school on Tuesday because of professional development at Quinn’s school. And no school yesterday because half of the South Shore lost power. Whomp whomp. I’m definitely scrambling to get things done this week, but, hey, the work will always be there, right? Oy. Thankfully, we still have cell service, and I could communicate with my nutrition clients over WhatsApp, and I popped by Capital One Cafe yesterday for a couple of hours to finish what absolutely needed to be done. Quinn came with me and played on his tablet, and it all worked out!

If you haven’t entered yet… WIN A CHARCOAL DEODORANT FROM PRIMALLY PURE! I’m going to pick a winner this afternoon! 🙂

This week’s edition of The Friday 5 includes a little something from some of my favorite things: safer beauty, healthy treats, cozy Fall fashion, and Amazon (it gives me life!). I hope you enjoy your weekend!

1. Beautycounter Holiday Collection

Beautycounter‘s 2019 Holiday Collection is here, and OMG, it’s uh-mazing! So many beautiful sets – 19 in fact – to gift (or gift to yourself!). I am obsessed with many of the new sets already (there are several new products and many new shades and scents), but I’m particularly in love with the Jellies, Rosewood Lip Trio, and Counter+ Skin Care Favorites.

2. Daily Harvest Coconut + Lemon Macaroon Bites

These Coconut + Lemon Macaroon Bites from Daily Harvest have been the perfect sweet treat lately since I’m trying to avoid added sugar on the Candida Diet. They’re made with only 6 ingredients –  coconut, dates, lemon, ginger, cinnamon, and galangal – and each bite has just 130 calories and 7 grams of sugar (0g added sugar). I love eating them right from the freezer!

Get $25 off your first order with code carrotsncake.

Daily Harvest Coconut + Lemon Macaroon Bites

3. Fitness Gypsy Tank Top

But, seriously – how cute is this Fitness Gypsy tank top? I mean, it’s perfect for me! Whether I’m working out in my driveway, crushing WODs at CrossFit, sweating it out at Orangetheory, or running with my fellow Brooks ambassadors in Seattle, I am a fitness gypsy by nature.

4. Amazon Prime Now

So by now you probably know I’m a tad obsessed with Amazon Prime and Subscribe & Save, but now I’m in love in with Prime Now, too. It’s seriously the best for groceries! If we’re away for the weekend and don’t have time to do our normal grocery shopping, it’s the biggest stress relief to have your groceries delivered to your front door in a matter of a couple hours for FREE! I haven’t been to a grocery store in weeks, and I kind of love it. Thank you, Amazon – you’re a lifesaver!

5. Gap Flannel Shirt

I recently got a super cute flannel in my Stitch Fix box that I loved, but it was a little out of my price range ($158!) for a flannel. Luckily, I’ve found several others that I like that are much more affordable including this cozy emerald green plaid one from Gap. It’s currently on sale $36 – now that’s more like it!

Flashback Favorites

Around the Internet

Sales of the Week

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission from the company if you decide to purchase the product linked to. This compensation helps with expenses to keep CNC up and running. Thank you for your support!

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The Power of Red Light Therapy (and a Giveaway…)

Today’s post is offered up by the good people at Joovv, a company devoted to researching and harnessing the science of red light therapy. I’ve gotten to know (and love) their technology over the last year, and my family has, too—especially my daughter and son-in-law. Today I’ve invited Scott Nelson and his team to share some of their research into red light therapy, a topic I’ve written about now and then over the last few years. It’s an area of ancestral health I find fascinating—and one where modern science can help us recreate or even enhance natural ancestral inputs to foster better well-being today. Enjoy—and be sure to check out the giveaway below.

Diet and fitness are the pillars of a healthy life built on ancestral principles. But food, water, and exercise aren’t the only factors that affect your health and function on a day-to-day basis. Natural light is also a major pillar of a healthy, ancestral lifestyle, and unfortunately, many people don’t get nearly enough of it.

You can complement your diligence in the kitchen and your hard work in the gym with the “nutrients” that come from natural light. This post gives an overview of photobiomodulation (aka “red light therapy”), a natural health intervention that’s helping people get the light their bodies need for optimal health and fitness.

The Problem With Modern Light Exposure

Our Ancestors Lived with an Abundance of Natural Light. We Don’t Get Nearly Enough.

One of the biggest differences between our modern lives and those of our ancestors is the amount of time we spend outside and how much natural light we experience every day. Even if you’re eating well on a Paleo or Keto diet and exercising every day, odds are you spend most of your days indoors. In fact, the average American spends more than 90% of their time inside. [1] That’s not nearly enough natural light for our bodies, and it’s a far cry from our ancestors’ lifestyles.

In the past, people were outdoors every day out of necessity. The human body and our biology evolved in the presence of lots of sunlight, and light is still essential to our health. It helps regulate our sleep cycle, powers our cells and energy production, which allows our bodies to function as they were intended.

To make matters worse, we’re currently faced with a modern light problem as well. All of our overhead lighting, plus the bright blue light from our phones, TVs, and computer screens, is negatively affecting our health. Many of our sleep problems can be traced back to the abundance of bright, artificial light we take in at all hours of the day. [2]

Similar to how our diets have grown to include more grains and processed foods, and our physical activity has dwindled as we became more sedentary, the negative effects of artificial light combined with a lack of natural light have separated us even further from the roots of good health.

Using Red Light Therapy to Get the Natural Light You Need

Jobs, school, busy schedules, and changing seasons prevent many of us from getting outside every day, even if we want to. That’s where red light therapy comes into play: it’s a natural, noninvasive health intervention you can use in your home to get a full day’s worth of natural light, even if you can’t get out in the sun.

Light therapy is a non-invasive, convenient treatment that powers your cellular function with concentrated, natural light. This natural light stimulates the mitochondria in your cells, which helps you produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is used by your body for muscle and skin healing, pain relief, and clearer skin. We’ll get into detailed health benefits later, but check out Joovv’s learn library now if you want to dig in now.

Many people are still in the dark when it comes to red light therapy. There’s a lot to know and a lot of misleading information out there. Let’s explore what red light therapy is, how it works, and how it can help maximize your health and Paleo goals.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

A quality red light therapy device—like a Joovv— delivers concentrated wavelengths of natural red and near infrared light directly to your skin and cells. All you really have to do is sit or stand in front of the light for a few minutes every day. In other words, red light therapy is very easy to do, but it produces some pretty incredible health results that have been demonstrated across hundreds of peer-reviewed clinical studies.

On top of ATP production, red light therapy increases circulation and reduces oxidative stress associated with cell injury and things like muscle fatigue, joint pain, and inflammation. A treatment only takes 10-15 minutes with a professional-grade device. Because red light therapy is natural and non-invasive, there are virtually no side effects or risks either.

Red light therapy is backed up by a large base of clinical research, originally driven by NASA’s involvement in the 1990s. After that, red light therapy devices could only be found in expensive and exclusive spas. With advancements in LED technology, combined with more awareness of the therapy, there are now many light therapy devices on the market. We’ll break down some of the most important factors to consider in a light therapy device towards the end of this post.

Natural Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy

The benefits of red light therapy are backed up by a large base of clinical research. Here are some of the most studied and well-documented health benefits, complete with links to the published and peer-reviewed studies:

More Restful Sleep and a Healthy Circadian Rhythm with Red Light Therapy

Light exposure is one of the biggest factors in our sleep quality, and it also has a major impact on our sleep cycles, a.k.a. our Circadian Rhythm. Our bodies and brains take cues from the light we’re receiving at any given time. For example, when we get way too much bright, artificial light in the evenings, our bodies get the signal that it’s time to be awake. [3]

Light therapy helps your body produce more natural melatonin, unlike artificial blue light, which hinders your body’s melatonin production. Many people will take supplements and sleep aids to boost melatonin, but it’s much healthier and more effective for your body to make its own melatonin. [4]

Light therapy has also been found to improve sleep quality and duration for people suffering from severe sleep disorders due to migraines as well as traumatic brain injuries. [5,6]

For a full overview of how red light therapy helps you sleep, check out this post.

Improving Physical Performance and Muscle Recovery with Natural Light

Muscle cells require a lot of energy, and show significant improvements with natural light treatments. In study after study, red light therapy has been found to enhance physical performance when paired with exercise. [7] That’s a big reason why so many pro athletes and personal trainers have incorporated red light therapy systems into their training facilities.

Red light therapy improves speed, strength, and endurance for women and men, and people at every level of fitness. [8,9] Researchers looking at red light’s effects specifically on middle-aged and older women of all fitness levels saw the same performance enhancing qualities. [10] And after an intense workout, red light therapy reduces post-exercise muscle fatigue and has also been found to help people recover more quickly after exertion. [11,12]

It only makes sense that when you give your body and muscles the fuel they need, they’re going to perform better, and heal and recover faster. Check out this article for a rundown of all the ways red light therapy enhances physical performance and muscle recovery.

Red Light Therapy for Joint Pain and Inflammation

Light therapy has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. [13] Natural light treatments increase circulation and helps clear out the swelling that keeps us feeling sluggish. This anti-inflammatory effect is what helps people recover from surgery while reducing their pain. [14] Reducing inflammation has a big effect on joints and pain too. Researchers have also found red light therapy to be a helpful natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, hand osteoarthritis, and knee osteoarthritis. [15,16,17]

Here’s an informational article to learn more about joint pain relief with red light therapy. And here’s another helpful article about reducing inflammation.

Better Cognitive Function with Natural Light

The most important muscle of all—your brain—also performs better when your body is exposed to healthy, natural light. In one of the first human studies to test cognitive performance and red light therapy, researchers found the light treatments improved reactions times, increased memory, and boosted positive moods. [18] Light therapy has even been found to help treat Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia symptoms in some very encouraging preliminary research. [19,20]

Check out this article to learn more about red light therapy’s positive effect on brain health and cognitive functions.

More Collagen and Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin with Natural Light

Collagen is essential to your physical function. Red and near infrared light has been found to naturally increase collagen production, which is critical for skin health too. [21] Thanks to the collagen increasing properties of light therapy, treatments have been found to reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as other signs of aging, leading to all-around clearer, younger-looking skin. [22] Researchers have found specifically that light therapy is beneficial in helping children recover from scars and helping middle-aged women look younger. [23,24]

These collagen and skin benefits are why you’re seeing more skincare professionals like estheticians and dermatologists offer red light therapy treatments in their practices. Here’s an informational article you can check out to get the full picture on the rejuvenating benefits of red light therapy.

What to Look For in a Red Light Therapy Device

There are numerous red light therapy options out there. So where do you start? What should you look for in a red light therapy device? The basics are size & coverage, power, and design quality. Let’s look at these major factors to help you pick the best device for your health needs.

Bigger Devices for More Coverage

The most important and simplest thing to remember when it comes to red light therapy devices is that bigger is better. Medical professionals and independent diagnostic testing labs agree that bigger devices that offer full-body coverage are more effective than smaller devices that only treat targeted areas.

A larger coverage area translates to more of your body that is able to take in the energy in natural light. And the more your body can take in, the more your cells can use that energy and the more positive health effects you’re going to see. Don’t fall for a cheap, small device that advertises big power and benefits.

With a larger device, you’re getting more total light energy, which takes irradiance and surface area coverage into account. Harvard Medical School photomedicine researcher Dr. Michael Hamblin, a member of Joovv’s scientific advisory board, explains why total delivered energy is needed:

“Total light energy is the most accurate and comprehensive way to measure the power of light therapy devices and treatments,” says Dr. Hamblin. “If you only account for irradiance—versus how much total energy a device delivers—you miss the larger picture of how light therapy positively benefits the person using it.”*

Power Matters, and So Does Independent Verification

Beyond size, the main spec you’ll want to look for is total energy, or how much clinical power the device can deliver to your skin and cells. One issue you might run into with power stats is how easy it is for a company to throw out a big number without much behind it. You’re going to see a lot of red light therapy companies make claims about the power of their devices. One quick way to see through their claims is to make sure they have had these power specs verified by an independent testing lab.

Joovv contracted ITL (Independent Testing Laboratory) to conduct a series of radiometry tests on our devices and the devices are other light therapy brands to verify the claims made by different companies. Those independent results showed that Joovv offered the most powerful light therapy available.

So many of the small and cheap devices you’ll find haven’t been tested independently. There’s no way to know if the numbers they throw around are valid or not. What’s worse is that a lot of these devices aren’t registered with the FDA either, nor do they follow GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), which makes sure products are up to the industry-regulated quality standards.

Design Quality and Versatility

There are a wide variety of red light therapy devices on the market right now. Some look like space-age showerheads, some look like orbs you hold in your hands and move around your body. There are even some that you wear like a belt or a shirt.

Most companies offer a single device that is meant to be your only purchase, a one-and-done approach that amounts to “you get what you get.” Joovv’s patented modular design is unique in the light therapy world, and allows you to start with a smaller device and build it into a larger one over time by adding more lights for more power and coverage, as needed. Joovv’s devices work together and can pair up to form larger, full-body systems like the pros use.

Joovv is known for its larger, full-body devices, but we also make a portable handheld model called the Joovv Go that’s ideal for clinical-grade light therapy away from home.

Better Health and Fitness with Red Light Therapy

Our ancestors thrived on lots of natural light, and our bodies are still designed to function that way. We’ve gotten away from these principles and surrounded ourselves with unhealthy artificial light almost 24/7. With red light therapy, it’s possible to still get the natural light your body needs every day, in the comfort of your home.

Red light therapy is backed by hundreds of peer-reviewed, clinical studies and analyses that show significant improvements in sleep quality, skin health, muscle performance and recovery, joint pain relief, inflammation relief, and improved cognitive function. A common theme across these studies is that natural light treatments from a medical-grade device like a Joovv have virtually no side effects or risks.

If you’re looking for a natural health intervention that fits the paleo or keto lifestyle, consider getting more natural light every day with a quality light therapy device.

Now, For the Giveaway…

Intrigued? Interested to learn more or give it a go? Why not enter to win a Joovv device?

I’ll be choosing two random winners to receive a Joovv Go, plus $100 in Primal Kitchen® products.

Enter to Win:
1. Follow @marksdailyapple + @joovvsocial on Instagram
2. Tag your buddies in the giveaway announcement IG post.

The winners will be announced and contacted via direct message on Instagram on October 22, 2019. Good luck, folks!

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Sources and References:

[1] Klepeis NE, Nelson WC, Ott WR, et al. The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2001 May-Jun.

[2] Lunn RM, Blask DE, et al. Health consequences of electric lighting practices in the modern world: A report on the National Toxicology Program’s workshop on shift work at night, artificial light at night, and circadian disruption. The Science of the Total Environment. 2017 Dec 31

[3] Moore, R. “Suprachiasmatic nucleus in sleep-wake regulation” Sleep Med. 2007, Dec 8

[4] Morita T., Tokura H. “ Effects of lights of different color temperature on the nocturnal changes in core temperature and melatonin in humans” Journal of Physiological Anthropology. 1996, September

[5] Loeb LM, Amorim RP, et al. “Botulinum toxin A (BT-A) versus low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in chronic migraine treatment: a comparison.” Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria. 2018 Oct

[6] Naeser MA, Zafonte R, et al. “Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study.” Journal of Neurotrauma. 2014 Jun

[7] Leal-Junior EC, Vanin AA, et al. Effect of phototherapy (low-level laser therapy and light-emitting diode therapy) on exercise performance and markers of exercise recovery: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Lasers in Medical Science. 2015 Feb

[8] dos Santos Maciel T, Muñoz I, et al. Phototherapy effect on the muscular activity of regular physical activity practitioners. Lasers in Medical Science. 2014 May

[9] Dellagrana RA, Rossato M, et al. Photobiomodulation Therapy on Physiological and Performance Parameters During Running Tests: Dose-Response Effects. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2018 Oct

[10] Paolillo FR, Corazza AV, et al. Phototherapy during treadmill training improves quadriceps performance in postmenopausal women. Climacteric. 2014 Jun.

[11] Leal Junior EC, Lopes-Martins RA, Dalan F, et al. Effect of 655-nm low-level laser therapy on exercise-induced skeletal muscle fatigue in humans. Photomed Laser Surg. 2008 Oct

[12] Borges LS, et al. Light-emitting diode phototherapy improves muscle recovery after a damaging exercise. Lasers in Medical Science. 2014 May

[13] Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation”. AIMS Biophys. 2017

[14] Langella L., Casalechi H., Tomazoni S., Johnson D., Albertini R., Pallotta R., Marcos R., de Carvalho P., Leal-Junior E., “Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) on acute pain and inflammation in patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty-a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial”. Lasers Med Sci. 2018 Jun.

[15] Brosseau L, Welch V, et al. Low level laser therapy for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis. The Journal of Rheumatology. Aug 2000

[16] Paolillo AR, Paolillo FR, et al. Synergic effects of ultrasound and laser on the pain relief in women with hand osteoarthritis. Lasers in Medical Science. Jan 2015

[17] de Paula Gomes CAF, et al. Incorporation of photobiomodulation therapy into a therapeutic exercise program for knee osteoarthritis: A placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical trial. 2018 Oct

[18] Barrett DW, et al. Transcranial infrared laser stimulation produces beneficial cognitive and emotional effects in humans. 2013 Jan.

[19] Berman MH, Halper JP, et al. Photobiomodulation with Near Infrared Light Helmet in a Pilot, Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial in Dementia Patients Testing Memory and Cognition. Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience. J Neurol Neurosci. 2017 feb.

[20] Saltmarche AE, Naeser MA, et al. Significant Improvement in Cognition in Mild to Moderately Severe Dementia Cases Treated with Transcranial Plus Intranasal Photobiomodulation: Case Series Report. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2017 Aug.

[21] Barolet D, Roberge CJ, et al. Regulation of skin collagen metabolism in vitro using a pulsed 660 nm LED light source: clinical correlation with a single-blinded study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2009 Dec.

[22] Wunsch A and Matuschka K. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2014 feb.

[23] Alsharnoubi J, Shoukry K, et al. Evaluation of scars in children after treatment with low-level laser. Lasers in Medical Science.

[24] Kim HK, Choi JH. Effects of radiofrequency, electroacupuncture, and low-level laser therapy on the wrinkles and moisture content of the forehead, eyes, and cheek. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017 Feb.

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Turning Our Deck Into A Porch

I’ve hinted at the big project that’s underway on the back of our house. Here’s the halfway update! I’m planning to share the finishing touches once it’s done, hopefully before it’s freezing outside.

We’re turning the back deck into a screened-in porch.

(Note the scary guard dog in many of these photos!) 

Here’s a look at the before

Before: a super tall, rickety deck. This deck was actually new in 2014 but the wood was already splintering, the railings a bit too loose for this mom’s liking, and the zig zag screw lines drove Thomas nuts. (Also I think this spring photo was the only time in history the backyard hill had green grass. That’s another big yard problem Thomas is still trying to fix!)

Why a screened-in porch?

To keep cozy furniture clean and dry

  • When I first moved into this house I put our nice couches on the deck. I would wake up in the morning after rain and find nails and gunk and leaves that had fallen off the roof all over them. They started to get stained, and of course the cushions were always sopping wet.
  • After putting in a patio in 2016 I moved the couch down there and keep the cushions inside.
  • Since moving the comfy seating off, we have used the deck for eating and grilling – that’s about it.

I know the joy of a roof overhead from my last house

If you recall back to my previous house, the porch we built off the back transformed the main level of the house. It was a three-season room, and we lived out there. We knew the deck inn this house could be so much more. And of course, Thomas (who is a builder) could do a lot of the work.

What we’re adding:

  • 3 new posts underneath to carry the roof load
  • 1 foot additional depth
  • A small grill deck to the side that won’t be covered so the grills can blow smoke up
  • A roof (!)
  • Composite flooring
  • Metal railings
  • Screens
  • Uplighting in the rafters
  • 2 sun shades
  • 2 fans
  • A heater (we think…)
  • A TV for watching football while grilling (you can guess whose wish list that was on!)
  • A round dining table
  • Our comfy seating, possibly with the addition of a corner piece

The roof line is 9′ tall to try to preserve the view from our main floor. When you stand at the front door, you can’t see the roof, which was important to me. We were also going to do skylights, but after the roof was filled in, we decided we had enough light and didn’t need them.

I’m dating our builder 😉

Thomas is managing the project through his company, Sun Structures, and had some help from his carpentry crew for a week when they were between bigger projects. Thomas is doing a lot of the detail carpentry himself, when he has time. It’s been so cool to see his company in action, and we’ve had fun communication as if I’m the homeowner and he’s the builder.

Ms. Younger,

I’ll have your estimate to you on Thursday. Could you please review so we can go over the contract by Friday?

Thanks, Thomas


While Thomas doing a ton of the work and managing the project himself is saving us a lot of money, it’s also taking longer than usual because he’s trying to fit work in the late afternoon and weekends. I have no idea when it will be done, but I’m really hoping in time for Thanksgiving! (Hint hint T!)

Doesn’t he look hot in his tool belt?!

Here’s how it looks today

Getting so much closer, but still a lot to do! (Roof shingles, shiplap upper wall, electrical, lots of trim work, flooring, railings, screens, paint.)

Other Home Projects

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