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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