Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Friday 5

And just like that, it’s February 1st!

Holy cow, was January the craziest month ever or what? I thought the holiday season was nuts, but January totally blew it out of the water. But, this year, unlike previous years, I was happy and not insanely stressed about it. Ok, sure, I felt overwhelmed at times, especially working at odd hours of the day (4:00 AM is honestly a nice time to work if you can get to bed at a reasonable hour), but running my own nutrition business is much more enjoyable this time around – and the hard work is finally starting to pay off! 🙂

In December and January, CNC Macro Plans + Coaching grew by 151 new clients. Incredible, right? I also hired a new coach (we’re now a team of 4) and added a few new nutrition offerings (with more to come). Needless to say, I was BUSY, but I’m so excited to continue the momentum throughout 2019 (and beyond)!

Anyway, since it’s Friday and all, I wanted to share my top 5 favorites from the week, so let’s get right to it!

Today is a good day of life – Quinn said this quote on New Year’s Day morning while eating a croissant. It made me so happy about the year ahead that I had it framed (via Etsy). It now hangs on the wall in my home office as a reminder that everyday is a good day.

Knit Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Tights – So, I’m a super creep and saw a woman at Goldfish wearing these tights as I watched Quinn’s swim lesson. They looked warm and cozy and like a hybrid leggings+pants that I’d wear a ton. The woman had a Lululemon bag hanging on the stroller that she was pushing, so I Googled “Lululemon knit leggings” on my phone and immediately found this pair. Success! I sent the link to Mal as an idea for Valentine’s Day, but he ended up surprising me with them over the weekend. (He was probably just excited that I cared enough about fashion to send him a link!) The tights are a little long, so I went to have them hemmed at Lululemon yesterday. I cannot wait to get them back and wear them!!

Thrive Market Organic Chicken Box – We eat a lot of chicken in our house, so I’m loving the Organic Chicken Box from Thrive Box lately. The quality is great, and it’s priced right at just $3.19/serving. Awesome, right? I also love having a stash of chicken in the freezer for whenever we need it. Did you know you can throw frozen chicken right into your instant pot?

Brandless diapers – Quinn’s been out of diapers for awhile now, but I love that Brandless is now selling them. They’re super affordable, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, certified organic, and delivered right to your house. I wish we had this option when we were in the diaper phase! We’ve placed 3 orders with Brandless now, and we’re definitely fans! The microwave steel cut oats, organic Vermont maple BBQ sauce, and salt & vinegar kettle chips are some of my favorites! 🙂

Super Bowl Macro “Game Plan” – I recently posted this image in the CNC Nutrition & Accountability group and thought it might be helpful to share it here too. I often receive questions from nutrition clients about how to track macros when you have a special occasion on your calendar. Since the Super Bowl (GO PATS!) is just days away, I wanted to share my macro “game plan” for the day.

Question of the Day

Who do you want to win the Super Bowl? 

P.S. Here’s a bonus favorite from the week: How to Overcome Mom Guilt as an Entrepreneur Parent.

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Busy Mom Marathon Training Plan

I always wanted to run the Boston Marathon, so when I was approached with a free bib, it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t refuse. At the time, I was only 3-months postpartum and running just a few miles at a time. I typically ran with Quinn in a jogging stroller, which often included lots of walking breaks, so I really didn’t think I could run 26.2 miles.

Obviously, physically, running a marathon was going to be a challenge, but, as a brand new mom, making time to properly train definitely wasn’t going to be easy either. I know busy moms and working moms train for marathons all the time, but I didn’t know how the heck I was going to do it myself. In the end, it took a village for me to run the Boston Marathon, but what ultimately helped me run a good race was my training plan (linked below).


This training plan is easy to follow whether you are a seasoned runner looking
to PR or a newbie runner hoping to just cross the finish line in one piece. It’s based on 3 days of running per week with some cross-training mixed in, and it can be adjusted based on your schedule. I hope you find it helpful!

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15 Easy One-Pot Keto Recipes

Thanks to Paleohacks for today’s awesome keto recipe roundup!

Following the keto diet is a snap with these easy, one-pot recipes!

Skip the complicated recipes and keep dirty dishes to a minimum with these nourishing and delicious keto meals that are anything but boring. Think egg roll in a bowl with ground pork and plenty of deliciously stir-fried veggies, or whip up a quick pesto chicken for a simple Italian-inspired dinner. You can even update the classics with ultra-creamy tuna zoodle casserole.

Whatever you choose, there will be no slaving over a pot. We promise.

#1 Peace, Love and Low Carb | Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl

In need of a simple, one-pot stir-fry? This recipe will do the trick. Rife with veggies like onions and cabbage, this stir-fry gets its sweet and savory flavor from ginger, coconut aminos and rice vinegar. Add some spice with diet-compliant Sriracha or garlic-chili sauce.

#2 Paleo Scaleo | Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Chicken, bacon and ranch are a winning combination, especially when prepared in a super-simple cauliflower rice-based casserole. Just be sure to use a diet-compliant ranch dressing!

#3 The Healthy Foodie | Creamy Cauliflower and Ground Beef Skillet

Ready for some soul food? Enjoy this hearty, creamy skillet packed with riced cauliflower, ground beef and eggs. The savory skillet works for any meal of the day, and gets its creamy texture from a blend of Paleo mayonnaise, sunflower seed butter, ghee and plenty of seasonings.

#4 That’s Low Carb?! | Low Carb Bacon Asparagus Breakfast Casserole

This eggy breakfast casserole is chock full of veggies like asparagus, celery and mushrooms. Simply mix everything together, pour into a casserole dish, and bake!

#5 The Nourished Caveman | Creamy Shrimp and Bacon Skillet

This bevy of seafood is made ultra-rich thanks to the addition of bacon, mushrooms and coconut cream. Feel free to serve this skillet as is or on a bed of zucchini noodles for a “shrimp scampi”-type dinner.

#6 PaleoHacks | Keto Turkey and Egg Breakfast Skillet

A hearty and sustaining breakfast is the best kind of breakfast, and this five-ingredient, super simple turkey and egg breakfast skillet fits the bill.

#7 Julia’s Album | One-Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies

Everyone needs a go-to chicken and veggie recipe that’s completely foolproof. This simple and quick meal coats tender morsels of chicken and bright vegetables like tomatoes and asparagus with zippy pesto. It all comes together in 20 minutes, give or take.

#8 Paleo Plan | Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Irresistibly hearty and rich shepherd’s pie is usually made with mashed potatoes, but that’s definitely not keto-friendly. This recipe channels the same starchy deliciousness using mashed parsnips instead, dolloped over a well-seasoned layer of ground turkey and veggies. Yum!

#9 Cotter Crunch | Jalapeño Shrimp Veggie Bake

This spicy, creamy shrimp and veggie bake is a flavor explosion. Succulent shrimp joins tender veggies like tomato, squash, onion and jalapeño in a creamy sauce. The addition of a gluten-free, grain-free flour option keeps things crispy and crunchy after a trip to the oven.

#10 Grass Fed Girl | Low Carb Hamburger Casserole

Ground beef and cauliflower are the base of this keto-friendly hamburger casserole. Spices like cumin, paprika and oregano add depth, while coconut milk (or cream) lends a silky mouthfeel. Finish with sliced almonds for crunch.

#11 PureWow | One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Carrots

Cheap, colorful, healthy, filling and flavorful, this meal ticks all the right boxes. Oven-roasted chicken thighs rest atop a bed of roasted rainbow carrots and garlic and seasoned with fresh rosemary.

#12 Paleo Scaleo | Paleo Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Get all the flavor of a Buffalo wing with none of the guilt in this one-pot, keto-friendly buffalo chicken casserole. Cauliflower, celery and carrots combine with shredded chicken, hot sauce and homemade mayonnaise for an ultra-rich but still good for you meal.

#13 PaleoHacks | Grain-Free Taco Casserole

Give taco night a keto makeover with this grain-free casserole. Spaghetti squash gets topped with ground beef and fresh veggies like tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and guacamole for all the fresh Mexican flavors you crave!

#14 Keto Karma | Keto Slow Cooker Chili

Slow cooker meals are the ultimate in one-pot recipes. This super simple beef and sausage chili simmers with peppers, onions and tomatoes for a rich dinner that requires only 15 minutes of prep.

#15 Cotter Crunch | Tuna Green Chile Zoodle Casserole

Do you love a good, classic tuna noodle casserole? Give it a keto makeover by nixing the grain-filled noodles for fresh, vibrant zucchini noodles. Pair it with sustainably caught, low-mercury canned tuna and you’re in for a real treat!

Thanks again to Paleohacks today. Do you have easy keto favorites to share—or questions about Primal/keto cooking? Share them below, and have a great week.


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Birch: The Fourth Trimester

Look who is 3 months old!! Birch’s three month birthday was also sort of his one year birthday here on Earth because I am fairly certain he was conceived on January 29. Born and conceived on the 29th – how’s that for some more number fun for ya!

Look at him sittin’ up all by himself!


I swear he is a little genius who can already talk. Often when he needs me in the bouncy seat he says “Mama” (I am not joking!) and Thomas got him to repeat “I love you” a few times. He says “NA” a lot when he’s tired (aka “nap”). He’s sort of like a parrot who can mimic sounds! We know he’s not actually talking, but his little noises are so similar to real words sometimes. He’s doing a ton of cooing now, and his little laughs are the cutest ever!


He is a very smiley little guy and greets new people with big grins. He smiles at me before and after naps. A few mornings ago I opened my eyes to find him looking at me through the mesh of the Halo Bassinet and he broke out in a big smile. Such a happy little guy!


He is really into actually playing with his toys these days. He gets this determined look on his face and jangles the rings or whatever I have hanging on the bar for 15-20 minutes or so. He also LOVES his soccer ball lovey and Gertie the Goose!

Drowsy But Awake

Every single time I put Birch down to sleep and he actually falls asleep a miracle occurs. One of the things no one tells you about parenting is that getting a baby to fall asleep is hard. They don’t like to sleep! (Some do, but most don’t.) Mazen needed all kinds of help to fall asleep, so whenever Birch falls asleep unassisted, I am amazed. Sometimes he does need patting, a paci, or several pick ups to settle down, but most of the time I can put him down “drowsy but awake” as the experts say and he drifts off. I try to put him down for a nap between 90 minutes and 2 hours of awake time, as that’s usually when he starts to get fussy. Sometimes he smiles his way to sleep and sometimes he cries a little and wants some help, but overall he’s not too hard to get to nap. I am especially amazed that he goes back to sleep on his own at night. Every time he does I let out the breath I’ve been holding and go back to sleep myself. He’s actually been so sleepy at night sometimes I can’t even get him to nurse on the other side.


Staying asleep is another story. Naps have been very hit or miss. He was miraculously doing 1.5-2 hour naps in the bassinet for a while and then suddenly those turned into 30-40 minutes. It’s been driving me a little nuts, but I knew we had it too good to be true. These short naps are what Mazen did his whole first 6 months, so I shouldn’t be so surprised they have returned. I’m wondering if I need to extend his awake time longer so he’s sleepier, but he’s fussy when I do that and seems to be tired at 2 hours, so I’m not sure!

Night Sleep

Night sleep is unpredictable as well. He has done some long stretches in the 7,8,9 hour range, but most nights have been ~5 hours + 3 hours or 5.5 + 2.5, with maybe an extra hour tagged on the end. On the worst nights I bring him in bed with me for that last stretch until the sun comes up and we snooze together. The nights we only have one wake-up are glorious! Thomas and I get in bed at his bedtime around 8:30 and I try to go to sleep by 9/10, so I’ve been getting pretty good sleep even with 1-2 nursing sessions. It’s been smooth sailing since we stepped out of that first month of every 2-3 hours. I’ve felt really well rested months 2 and 3. We will see what month four brings! (I’m looking at you four month sleep regression…!)


He’s been drooling like crazy, which several people have said is teething already. I find that hard to believe, however, his lower gums do seem to have a little white shape of teeth in there, so I think it’s possible he is getting those lower teeth sooner rather than later.


Right at 12 weeks old, he went from being a wiggly little baby to a very strong infant and almost rolled over! I immediately started to unswaddle one arm, and that has gone surprisingly well. Not swaddling is so much easier, so I’m hoping we will transition out soon. B does love his hands though, so I hope they aren’t too much of a distraction.

Milk, Etc.

Breastfeeding is going well, and has gotten a lot easier than the early days. He’s reached the age when he can latch himself on, which is such a great contrast to those newborn days when you have to work so hard on the latch. He’s eating well about every 3 hours or so during the day. I think he’s still in the 50/60th percentile. I love watching him nurse, especially when he puts his hands on me and just nuzzles in.

How do you know when to stop pumping extra? I’ve been doing the first-morning-nap pump for two months now and have a good stash in my freezer. Should I keep going?! I would be nice to stop and one less thing to do, but I do love having a little fresh milk in the fridge at all times. But I also have a decent freezer stash – more than I ever had with Mazen because I like my pump so much more this time around. Advice?


It is with bittersweet emotion that I tell you that I won’t be cloth diapering this time around. I had planned to wait until about the 2 month mark to transition over, but every time I thought about the cloth diapers I was filled with a little bit of doubt: the laundry, the fact that we use two different changing stations, the eventual mess. I kept hesitating to start.

And then I had a conversation with my friend Gwen about them and she was REALLY excited to cloth diaper. She asked me about my collection (Bum Genius Freetimes – they are the best) and if I would consider letting her borrow a few or sell them to her if I wasn’t going to use them yet. I thought the best thing I could do as a win-win was to gift her our whole collection, felt wipes, wet bags, liners and all. So I did. And she was more than thrilled. And that made me feel really happy and at peace with my decision. And that’s the end of that chapter.


And finally – I found a babysitter! I knew I needed one just for a few blocks of uninterrupted work time each week, but the weeks when Birch took good naps I kept procrastinating putting an ad out there. A friend of mine passed on the names of two UVA grad students who then referred me to our sitter who had two mornings a week free. I’m so excited to have some scheduled work time (or errand time or appointment time or gym time or me time!) especially because naps have shortened so much in the past two weeks that I was getting interrupted every single time I sat down to work.

Baby Kath

And finally, I found these pics of me! Everyone says B looks like Mazen and Thomas, but I can see him in these a lot too – especially the top left where I look like a boy!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Does Vegetarian Collagen Exist?

I’ll start with the bad news: There are no vegetarian collagen sources. Every collagen supplement you see on the shelf came from a living organism. Though somewhere down the line someone will probably grow legitimate collagen in a lab setting, it’s not available today or for the foreseeable future.

Now, some good news: Vegans and vegetarians probably need less dietary collagen than the average meat eater or Primal eater because a major reason omnivores need collagen is to balance out all the muscle meat we eat. When we metabolize methionine, an amino acid found abundantly in muscle meat, we burn through glycine, an amino acid found abundantly in collagen. If you’re not eating muscle meat, you don’t need as much glycine to balance out your diet, but it’s still a dietary necessity.

Collagen isn’t just about “balancing out meat intake.” It’s the best source of a conditionally essential amino acid known as glycine. We only make about 3 grams of glycine a day. That’s not nearly enough. The human body requires at least 10 grams per day for basic metabolic processes, so we’re looking at an average daily deficit of 7 grams that we need to make up for through diet. And in disease states that disrupt glycine synthesis, like rheumatoid arthritis, we need even more.

What About Marine Collagen?

Okay, but eating a product made from a cuddly cow or an intelligent pig is off limits for most vegetarians. What about marine collagen—collagen derived from fish bones, scales, and skin?

Back about twenty years ago, “vegetarians” often ate fish. A number of them still exist out in the wild, people who for one reason or another avoid eating land animals (including birds) but do regularly consume marine animals. If it jibes with your ethics, marine collagen is a legitimate source of collagen for vegetarians. The constituent amino acids are nearly identical to the amino acids of mammalian collagen with very similar proportions and properties.

It’s highly bioavailable, with the collagen peptides often showing up intact in the body and ready to work their magic—just like bovine or porcine collagen. In fact, if you ask many marine collagen purveyors, it’s even more bioavailable than mammalian collagen owing to its lower molecular weight.

I’m not sure that’s actually accurate, though.

According to some sources, marine collagen comes in smaller particles and is thus more bioavailable than mammalian collagen, but I haven’t seen solid evidence.

There’s this paper, which mentions increased bioavailability in a bullet point off-hand, almost as an assumption or common knowledge.

This analysis found low molecular weights in collagen derived from fish waste. Mammalian collagen generally has higher molecular weights, so that appears to be correct.

However, a very recent pro-marine collagen paper that makes a strong case for the use of marine collagen in wound repair, oral supplementation, and other medical applications does not mention increased bioavailability. It may be slightly more bioavailable—the lower the molecular weight, the more true that is—but I don’t think the effect is very meaningful. Mammalian collagen is plenty bioavailable (most efficacious studies use collagen from cows or pigs), even if it’s a few dozen kilodaltons heavier.

But even if marine collagen isn’t particularly superior to mammal collagen, it is equally beneficial.

For skin health: Fish collagen improves hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling in humans who eat it. And again.

For metabolism: Fish collagen improves glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetics. HDL and insulin sensitivity go up, triglycerides and LDL go down.

And although fish collagen hasn’t been studied in the treatment of joint pain, if it’s anything like other types of collagen, it will help there too.

What Are Strict Vegetarian Options?

What if you absolutely won’t eat collagen from marine sources? Is there anything you can do as a vegetarian to make up for it?

Make Your Own

You could cobble together your own facsimile of collagen by making an amino acid mixture. Glycine, proline, and arginine don’t cover all the amino acids present in collagen, but they’re widely available and hit the major ones.

Still, eating the amino acids that make up collagen separately doesn’t have the same effect on those collagenous tissues as eating them together in a collagenous matrix. One reason is that the collagen matrix can survive digestion more or less intact, giving it different biological properties and effects.

In one study, rats with osteoporosis ate collagen hydrolysate that scientists had marked with a radioactive signature to allow them to track its course through the body. It survived the digestive tract intact, made it into the blood, and accumulate in the kidneys. By day 14, the rats’ thigh bones had gotten stronger and denser with more organic matter and less water content.

Another study found similar results, this time for cartilage of the knee. Mice who ate radioactive collagen hydrolysate showed increased radioactivity in the knee joint.

In both cases, the collagen remained more or less intact. A blend of the isolated amino acids would not. The fact is that collagen is more than glycine. When you feed people collagen derived from pork skin, chicken feet, and cartilage, many different collagenous peptides appear in the blood. You don’t get any of those from isolated glycine.

That’s not to say it’s pointless. Pure glycine can be a helpful supplement, used in several studies to improve multiple markers of sleep quality. Just don’t expect it to have the same effect as full-blown collagen.

Get Adequate Vitamin C

Acute scurvy, caused by absolute vitamin C deficiency, triggers the dissolution of your connective tissue throughout the body. Teeth fall out, no longer held in by gums. Wounds don’t heal, your body unable to lay down new collagen.

Vegetarians usually don’t have any issues getting adequate vitamin C.

Get Adequate Copper

Copper is a necessary cofactor in the production of collagen. Studies show that you can control the production of collagen simply by providing or withholding copper.

The best vegetarian source of copper is probably dark chocolate, the darker and more bitter the better.

Get Adequate Lysine

Lysine is another amino acid that’s necessary for the production of collagen.

The best sources of lysine are in meat of all kinds, but vegetarian options include hard cheeses like parmesan and pecorino romano, as well as eggs.

True vegetarian collagen doesn’t exist. Strict vegetarians will balk. But if you can bend the rules a bit, realize that making marine collagen out of fins and scales and bones is far less wasteful than just throwing it away, and look at the benefits with an objective eye, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Even if you don’t end up using marine collagen, at least you have a few tools for getting many of the benefits with quick shortcuts and optimizing your own production of collagen.

Have you ever tried marine collagen? If you’re a vegetarian, would you consider it?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care and be well.


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10 & 2 Q: Does Dietary Cholesterol Affect Blood Cholesterol?

Whole textbooks have been written on the topic of cholesterol and lipoproteins, yet it’s not uncommon to see folks on the interwebz reduce this complex subject to something that appears simpler than a recipe for boiling water.

Few appreciate that there is a massive amount of information related to the biochemistry, metabolism, and immunology of these critical molecules. Should one desire to be just a bit conversant on the topic there is a lot of material to cover.

That said, there are still so many unanswered questions…this video is a very brief attempt to provide a bit of context and hopefully a sense that if folks are providing a sound bite and calling it a day, they have perhaps not put in much time understanding this topic.

from The Paleo Diet

Quick & Easy Mediterranean Salad Bowls

These colorful salad bowls with a Mediterranean twist have a satisfying combination of sweet and savory flavor as well as creamy and crunchy texture. The more flavor and texture boxes I check with each meal, the better! Best of all, these bowls call for ingredients you likely have on hand in your fridge and pantry.

When Emily (my dietetic intern) and I were dreaming up lunch, we asked ourselves what kind of formula bowl we could make that would look pretty and be packed with nutrients. We assembled these in about 10 minutes and ate them just as quickly! I love the texture of dried figs, and my pantry always has canned artichokes. The Cava brand hummus is one of the few store-bought kinds I really like.

You can swap as many ingredients as your mouth desires:

Dates for dried figs

Hearts of palm for artichokes

Romaine lettuce for kale

Fresh pita for pita chips

Cucumber for zucchini

Crumbled feta for hummus


Red peppers…

Sun dried tomatoes…

Grilled chicken or salmon…

and a lemon tahini dressing!

Almost too pretty to toss together : )

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

My Lowest Low Point as a Mother

I’ve partnered with the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) to bring you this blog post. Read on to learn more about a new resource that was just launched to help women navigate IBD and pregnancy.

At the end of my pregnancy, I started to have a few flare symptoms related to my ulcerative colitis diagnosis. They were fairly minor to start, but got worse and worse as the weeks progressed. My GI doctor put me on a steroid treatment, which my OB/GYN assured me was safe for my unborn baby. Of course, I was a little uneasy about this decision, but the last thing I wanted was a situation where I was battling a full-on flare during labor and delivery. I was only a few weeks from my due date, so I just hoped the both of us would be okay.

In the end, everything worked out just fine. I made it to my due date (+ 7 days) with only minor flare symptoms. Besides pushing for nearly 4 hours (I’m so glad that I wasn’t in a flare!), labor and delivery were pretty “uneventful” and our sweet baby boy, Quinn, was born without any issues. Looking back, the final weeks of my pregnancy couldn’t have gone any better.

But then things took a turn for the worse…

Following Quinn’s arrival, my minor flare symptoms turned into a full-on flare. It started as frequent trips to the bathroom (about a dozen a day) with cramping and diarrhea mixed with mucus and blood. I immediately contacted my GI doctor, who increased my dose of steroids. Unfortunately, the higher dose only slightly improved my symptoms. And, truthfully, their side effects made the sleepless nights with a newborn even worse. (A common side effect of steroids is restlessness, which made “sleeping when the baby sleeps” even more impossible.) I struggled through the next several weeks as a new mom and sick IBD patient.

My lowest low point as a mother happened during this time period. I was home alone with Quinn and he was having an epic crying fit like babies often do. I was holding him and doing my best to console him, but then I was hit with the urge to use the bathroom. I tried to fight it, but I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I was forced to put Quinn down in his bassinet.

I made it to the bathroom, but as soon as I was finished, I was right back on the toilet. Quinn continued to cry, but there was nothing I could do about it. I felt so helpless and like a huge failure as a mom. I couldn’t even take care of myself – let along a tiny baby. I ended up pulling Quinn’s bassinet into the bathroom with me, so I could at least be near him as he cried. It was truly heartbreaking for me, and easily the saddest moment of my motherhood to date.

I honestly believe that this whole experience could have been avoided if I had know more about my treatment options while breastfeeding. 

A big question for me – and many women with IBD – is whether or not their medications are safe to take during pregnancy and whether or not they can breastfeed while on them. My GI doctor (even before I got pregnant) encouraged me to start a biologic medication to manage my symptoms. I was really hesitant about starting an intravenous drug back then, so now that I was breastfeeding, I was even more resistant.

My flare wasn’t getting any better (if anything, the symptoms were getting worse), so I consulted my doctors, lactation consultants, and (*sigh*) Dr. Google. And, of course, the answers that I found were all over the place, and I didn’t know what to think. I wanted to be healthy enough to care for my son, but I wasn’t sure if I was risking his well-being by continuing to breastfeed him. At the time, there wasn’t a trusted resource to answer my questions and put my mind at ease. Thankfully, now there’s a place.

The IBD Parenthood Project is an incredible resource for women with IBD. Its goal is to address misperceptions and fears related to IBD throughout all phases of family planning – from conception to pregnancy and after delivery, including breastfeeding.



I learned more about this project at the launch event that I attended on January 17 in New York City. This initiative was truly a collaborative effort – among gastroenterologists, maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialists and patients – to ensure everyone’s concerns have been addressed – from not only the clinical side, but the patient side, too. On the site, you’ll find:

  • medical facts about IBD and pregnancy
  • a visual guide with illustrations, facts, and figures to help you through each stage of your pregnancy journey
  • downloadable patient toolkit
  • a list of key questions to ask your doctor if you’re thinking of becoming pregnant
  • a guide to postnatal care
  • and so much more!

I’m really excited about my partnership with AGA’s IBD Parenthood Project, and I know these resources will help so many women with IBD throughout all stages of family planning. I hope you decide to check it out, and please share with anyone who might benefit from the IBD Parenthood Project!

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Keto Masterclass Success Story: Strong Like Mommy

Testimonial by Julie C. @ketojulez 

About 7 years ago, I learned about Paleo when I started CrossFit at my brother’s gym, Vagabond CrossFit. I was overweight and I needed to get back into doing something. I have always been very athletic but my weight would tend to go up and down.

I started CrossFit slowly and my brother, Kevin O’Malley, introduced me to Paleo through Robb Wolf’s book, Paleo Solution. I got myself on track and was doing well in CrossFit and I really was trying to embrace the Paleo life. I figured out what worked for my body—discovering that just because something was “Paleo” it didn’t necessarily agree with me. 

Life happened and I got married and we were ready to start a family. That started my two year journey to try to get pregnant and with that came fertility treatments, depression, anxiety, and about 40 lbs of weight gain. I was not in a great place in my life as I was just so focused on wanting to be a mom.

Long story short, I lost about 20 lbs and then found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. I had a stressful pregnancy due to some issues with my daughter but in the end we made it through and I have a beautiful little girl!

So after pregnancy, I really had a hard time with hormone balance, sleep, stress, etc. I was a mess. I did not lose my baby weight and I was having a hard time finding time for myself.

I felt so ashamed of myself and I felt trapped in my own body.

Then I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter! I tried to stay active but I was already still carrying extra weight so my goal was just to not gain too much through my pregnancies and I kept thinking man this is going to be tough to lose all this weight after I have my daughter.

After the birth of my second daughter, I was really gaining weight. I was always picking at the kids snacks (which I now realize was just an insane amount of carbs) but never feeling satisfied. Honestly, I felt like I was never actually eating a meal! I was tired and not sleeping well. I hated the feeling of waking up and feeling exhausted. I was at an all time low in my life. I felt so ashamed of myself and I felt trapped in my own body.

I really love nutrition and fitness and I really love helping others on their journey but the irony is that I could not help myself! I was living with this daily anxiety of not being here for my girls. I work in a hospital and I think that setting didn’t help my anxiety, but my fear of not being around for my girls was taking up a lot of mental space in my head. I knew that I needed to make a major change in my life.

When I began, I was 75 lbs from my goal weight. I started by telling myself you can do anything for 20 minutes. We had the set up for a little gym in our one car garage so I started small. I would do some metabolic workouts and my mindset was “just keep moving.” I would row, push myself through burpees, push presses, box jumps, jump rope.

If I was going to learn about the keto diet I needed to learn from the best

I’d heard about this “keto” thing and started researching it. I wanted to understand the diet first. One day on my instagram feed I see Robb Wolf’s Instagram page and he had a post about keto and macros.

I couldn’t believe it! I knew if I was going to learn about the keto diet I needed to learn from the best and that Robb would break it down into a science that I understand what I was doing and why it would work. I didn’t want to just save pins on Pinterest on “what is keto”. I really wanted to understand the basis of the plan.

I was about 2 weeks into keto when I stumbled on Keto Masterclass—it was great because I had lots of questions and was hopeful that my questions would be answered in this program.

The Keto Masterclass was amazing. It helped me to fine tune some things and it gave me the knowledge I needed to continue on my journey. I also signed up for the Ketogains Bootcamp after I completed the class.

I love the non-scale victories

Currently, I’m down 50 lbs and I have never felt better! I love the non-scale victories that I have achieved on keto—fitting into clothes that have not fit in over 5 years, not hiding in baggy clothes, the energy I feel when I wake up each morning and that powers me through the day, the restful sleep at night, and the decreased anxiety.

I feel like I am taking more time for myself on this journey because in order to be the best version of me I need the time to prep my food or to even workout for 30 minutes a day. We only have one life and I don’t want to live it feeling bad about myself and worried about my health.

“Strong like mommy”

I want to be the best mom that I can be and show my girls how strong I am and that taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, is very important. I love that I have the energy to be on the go with them or to have a dance party in our living room.

They are my reason for everything and on this journey I have realized that I am the best version of me when I feel good and when I feel healthy. 

I love that my girls say “strong like mommy”. If that doesn’t make this all worth it then I don’t know what else would!  

Keto Masterclass

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


from The Paleo Diet

Dear Mark: Iron Followup

Postpartum Nutrition + Weight Loss

For the first six weeks after Birch was born I knew I needed to give myself grace in all ways. I put no pressure on myself to work on the blog, no pressure to exercise unless I felt the urge, and certainly no pressure to lose weight. My goal was just to do what felt good movement wise, to care for my baby, and to eat whatever and whenever I desired in the moment.

Exercise has always come easy to me. I crave a good sweat, and I found myself walking with other new mom friends and eventually doing some light workouts and jogging by the end of the six weeks. I couldn’t wait to do more when I was cleared by my doctor.

On the other hand, eating mindfully has always been a bigger challenge. As I have said before, it’s easier to add than subtract, so adding exercise was easier to me than subtracting delicious food. During those first six weeks, I wasn’t trying to subtract food. I ate 100% intuitively. I ate by my heart’s desires and by my hunger cues. Our sweet friends brought us meals that were very much appreciated. With those meals came whole pans of brownies, not one but TWO pies during one week, home-baked cookies, and more. Because my hunger levels were super high from sleep deprivation and breastfeeding, I enjoyed them all. Thomas and I finished BOTH of those pies within the week! I ate pie for breakfast dessert, lunch dessert, and dinner dessert 🙂

Eventually, though, I got a little tired of eating so many sweets (because they really don’t make you feel that great, amiright?) and started to crave nutrient-dense meals again – soups, salads, all the Roots bowls. I told myself after the six week mark, which coincided with Thanksgiving, that I’d cut back on the sugar and settle into a normal healthy eating pattern again.

I want to get back to the healthiest version of my body which does involve losing weight. I obviously don’t have any grand plans for a diet, cutting out food groups (even sugar), or extreme weight loss. That has never been me – life needs to be enjoyed! But I do want to get back to the place where I feel confident in my clothes and I think it’s important to acknowledge that. I love my body now, and I loved my body at 9+ months pregnant. Wanting to lose some weight doesn’t mean I don’t love my body. It also doesn’t mean I’m throwing intuitive or mindful eating out the window. It simply means I have intention to change my habits and tweak my diet in the direction towards a healthier me, more squiggle downs than ups.

I feel like it’s hard to talk about weight loss online now without people thinking you aren’t accepting your body as it is. But the truth is, it’s OK to want to change your body composition as long as you are doing it in a healthy, slow and steady, still-enjoying-your-life and respecting your body kinda way.

There isn’t one right way to parent, to manage your work flow, or to fold laundry. Nor is there a one-size-fits-all exercise regime. Everyone has to ‘know thyself’ and do what feels best for them. Similarly, there isn’t one formula for losing weight. The free spirits and the data nerds aren’t going to be happy with the same techniques. For some counting calories or food journaling sounds like an exhausting, restricting chore, and for others it’s a fun way to organize the day and the mind.

I know that I need some form of accountability. It seems that there is now a stigma against using any kind of tool other than intuitive eating to lose weight. I believe you can use a combination of intuitive eating and food journaling and/or calorie/point/macro counting and lose weight in an emotionally healthy way.

I am almost afraid to tell you that I’ve been tracking my meals in My Fitness Pal for a few weeks. But in the spirit of transparency and vulnerability, I want to share. I have been keeping a log to encourage that connection between what I’m putting in my mouth and its nutrient and energy density. For me and my personality, this technique really helps me be mindful of mindless snacking and consumption of empty calories. As I said above, I’m not on some hard-limit diet, and while I’ve been loosely journaling I’ve eaten donuts and pizza and wine and french fries plus lots of kale salads and veggies and oatmeal and superfoods. As much as I know about nutrition, it is really eye opening to reflect on the composition of food. It is that pause, that reflection, that is ultimately why food journaling is always a successful tool for me.

The post Postpartum Nutrition + Weight Loss appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food

Clean Eating Kale Salad Recipe

This clean eating kale salad is quick, simple and delicious!

Have you ever wondered what people are talking about when they say they “massage” their kale? Sounds like they bust out a whole massage… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry

Monday, January 28, 2019

Brain Bending Science + Color Chemistry Sets

Happy Monday, friends!

So, I’m a little behind on, well, everything lately, so I’m just now hitting publish on this blog post from last Friday. It was our typical “Quinn and Mumma” day, which included a gym+swim morning as well as lots and lots of experiments throughout the day. I’ve been sharing Quinn’s love for science (I always want to write it: SCIENCE!) on Instagram Stories and have received a ton of questions about them, so I wanted to share the details in a blog post.

Prior to Christmas, we had been doing little science experiments using common household ingredients – pretty much ones that Mal and I remembered from our childhoods + a couple of new ones we had heard about on the internet, like foam slime, and Quinn really loved them. FYI: The foam slime is still a favorite in our house. It’s super easy to make and (bonus) doesn’t make a huge mess!

When family members asked what Quinn wanted for Christmas, we told them that he was really into science experiments, so he ended up receiving two sets as gifts: Crayola Color Chemistry and Brain Bending Science. Both kits are great for different reasons. The Crayola Color Chemistry set has a lot more experiments, but you typically need a few household items to complete them. The Brain Bending Science has fewer experiments, but comes with pretty much everything you need to do them. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either one!

After a morning of experiments (and playing with Cozmo), we headed to CrossFit for a workout. The combo of bike + rope climbs was exhausting! I’m definitely out of CrossFit shape right now, but I’m recommitting to fitness this week. January was INSANE with work, travel, etc., so I really haven’t worked out much in the past month or so, but I’m getting it together starting TODAY. I actually went to the 5:30 AM class at Iron Way this morning!

After class, we popped into Whole Foods for a few groceries as well as some gluten-free donut holes! 🙂

Quinn opted for a poppyseed bagel as big as his head! 🙂

Then, it was off to Goldfish for swim lessons. Quinn continues to make progress every single week, and it’s incredible to see the changes. And, of course, I love that he loves swimming so much! (Tiny Eagle got a little wet and needed a quick blow dry!)

Back at home, we ate lunch and did some more science experiments. I also organized our spice cabinet to make way for some new ones from Flavor God!

Ranch broccoli in the air fryer? OH YES!!!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty low-key. It involved a mix of experiments and laundry! 🙂  The evening concluded with wine (for the adults) and MANY rounds of Go Fish, which is another favorite activity right now. This alphabet/baby animal set is fun, and it has really helped Quinn learn all of his letters!

Question of the Day

What activity is your kiddo loving lately? 

P.S. If you’re not yet on my email list, be sure to sign up. The FREE February meal plan will go out on Thursday and you don’t want to miss it!

The post Brain Bending Science + Color Chemistry Sets appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

13 Functional Exercises You Can Do At Work

Thank You Bonuses for Pre-Ordering Feeding You Lies!

It’s getting so real now. My latest book hits shelves in a few short weeks. And, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous but it’s too late to turn back now… and my gut tells me that you’ve got my back, which makes me so grateful.

Your support for my new book has been phenomenal. To see excitement building for Feeding You Lies makes me feel so happy. While we are all anxiously awaiting its release, I want to give you something NOW as a big THANK YOU!

I want to do this in a big way, and couldn’t think of anything better than to give you some FREE bonus goodies! I’m crazy excited about the first bonus because you will receive it regardless of how many books you buy:

Product Lie Detector Guide – $39.99 VALUE!

A step-by-step guide to help you navigate your way through any grocery store with ease. With over 70 pages of information, you’ll never be confused about what foods to buy again! I walk you through each category of the grocery store and put some of your favorite food brands through the Food Babe Product Lie Detector Test. Many brands market themselves as being healthy, but are actually misleading you with sketchy labels and claims on the package that don’t pass the test. I explain why certain products passed or failed the test, and map out exactly what labels to look for on a package to make sure you stop getting swindled by grocery product lies!

This is not all. The more books you pre-order, the more goodies you get!

Want my healthy meal plans? Want to try Truvani products for free? Want store credit from some amazing organic and sustainable brands? We’ve got you covered! My company, Truvani, is giving away free products and we also reached out to other incredible brands to extend store credit to you. I’m so grateful for the generosity of these companies and their support for this book!


Step 1: Determine the amount of books to buy based on what bonuses you want. Bonus levels are outlined below. If you’ve already pre-ordered and want to order more to gain bonuses, you can do so! 

Step 2: Pre-order hardcover copies of Feeding You Lies before February 19, 2019 from any major bookstore. Store links are provided below to make this easy for you.

Step 3: Visit this website and fill out the form to claim your bonuses.

Step 4: Check your email. We’ll email you the Product Lie Detector Guide instantly! And, if you qualify, we’ll email you access to your additional bonuses between 2/19/19 – 2/25/19.


Feeding You Lies

Available in stores everywhere February 19, 2019




Buy 1 Hardcover Book (Available to everyone) – $39.99 VALUE

Product Lie Detector Guide – $39.99 VALUE

  • Get INSTANT ACCESS when you claim your bonus. Don’t forget to check your email!
  • Step-by-step guide to navigating your way through any grocery store with ease.
  • See which food brands PASS and which ones FAIL the test.
  • Stop getting swindled by lies on the package! Know what to look for.
  • Over 70 pages of detailed product information!

Claim this bonus now! 

Buy 3 Hardcover Books (Limited to the first 1,000 people in the U.S.) – $371.84 VALUE

Buy a couple extra hardcover copies of Feeding You Lies for your friends, family, co-workers, gym pals, church members, etc, and you can get all of this! Ask an organization you work with to buy them and share the goods. Perhaps start your own healthy book club.

If you buy three or more books (copies are around $18 right now at Target!) you’ll get bonuses worth over $370! Yeah! That’s an incredible return on investment, right? Because these bonuses are so valuable, this bonus level is limited to the first 1,000 people who claim it. So, don’t delay!

Product Lie Detector Guide – $39.99 VALUE

  • Get INSTANT ACCESS when you claim your bonus. Check your email!
  • Step-by-step guide to navigating your way through any grocery store with ease.
  • See which food brands PASS and which ones FAIL the test.
  • Stop getting swindled by lies on the package! Know what to look for.
  • Over 70 pages of detailed product information!

Meal Plans for Health membership for one year – $119.88 VALUE

  • Get my monthly meal plans along with 19 new healthy recipes every month (breakfasts, lunches, family dinners, salad dressing, and green drinks)
  • Online Meal Planner Tool loaded with hundreds of Food Babe recipes
  • Comprehensive starter guide with the “Terrible 20” ingredients that keep you from losing weight, where to spot them and what to eat instead.
  • Existing members get 12 months added to their membership!

First month free of any new Truvani Protein subscription (can include BOTH Vanilla and Chocolate) – $99.98 VALUE

  • The cleanest and best tasting protein powder on the market
  • 100% organic and vegan
  • Want to try vanilla, or chocolate, or do you want to try both? It’s your choice! We’ll give you your first month free of either chocolate, vanilla, or BOTH. Total value of bonus is if you choose both flavors.
  • You can pause, skip, or cancel your subscription at any time.

Free full-size bag of Truvani Organic Chicken Bone Broth, excluding shipping – $62.99 VALUE

  • Easy to use powder mixes easily into hot water or your favorite recipes!
  • Certified organic, real food ingredients
  • Comes with the Truvani 2-Day Bone Broth Reset: A complete, low-maintenance plan to give your digestive system a break.

$34 store credit at ButcherBox + FREE shipping + FREE Uncured Bacon with your first box – $34+ VALUE

  • Grass-fed meats that are antibiotic and hormone free (and NEVER raised on a factory farm)
  • Shipped directly to your house!
  • Sourced from small family farms that hold quality and animal welfare as their core values.

$15 online gift card for 100% Pure – $15 VALUE

  • My favorite cosmetics, bath, and body products!
  • Made with safe, pure ingredients
  • No animal testing

Claim these bonuses now! 

Buy 1000 Hardcover Books (limited to the first 10 people in the U.S.)

If you can’t afford this option on your own, consider running a campaign in your local community or blog to sell 1000 books and you can qualify! 

Private speaking event with Vani Hari

  • Vani will fly out and come speak at your event or party, anywhere in the U.S.
  • Book signing and meet-and-greet with Vani
  • We’ll cover Vani’s travel costs and you cover the rest!
  • To claim this bonus – please email us at [email protected] so we can help plan your event


  • The book bonus levels (3 – 1000 copies) can only apply to pre-orders of the HARDCOVER copies shipped to U.S. addresses. Level 1 book bonuses are available for all hardcover copies purchased in any country.
  • You must pre-order before February 19, 2019 to qualify for any bonuses.
  • Besides the Product Lie Detector, the other book bonuses have limited quantity. Once they sell out, they will no longer be available. First come, first serve!
  • Copies of Feeding You Lies will all ship starting 2/19. The Product Lie Detector will be sent to your email instantly after submitting the claim form with your a picture of your receipt. All other bonuses will be delivered between 2/19-2/23.

If you don’t need all of the books you buy, I am happy to donate the remainder to an organization (library, school, company, event, your favorite processed food company, the FDA, etc.) on your behalf.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below! After you pre-order, make sure you follow all the steps above so you get your goodies. They won’t last long! 




Feeding You Lies - Book

Posts may contain affiliate, sponsorship and/or partnership links for products Food Babe has approved and researched herself. If you purchase a product through an affiliate, sponsorship or partnership link, your cost will be the same (or at a discount if a special code is offered) and Food Babe will benefit from the purchase. Your support is crucial because it helps fund this blog and helps us continue to spread the word. Thank you.

from Food Babe