Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Legoland Boston + Lunch at Earls [Assembly Row]

Hey friends!

It snowed on Sunday night, so we woke up to about a half foot of snow yesterday morning. It was nice and fluffy and perfect for making snow balls. Quinn got a snowball-maker for Christmas, so he was psyched to finally use it! (It worked great!) He was wearing his snowsuit and Cubbies shirt and out the door in no time!

Playing in the snow only lasted about an hour before we needed to hit the road to drive up to Legoland. We had purchased tickets a few days prior, but Mal and I hadn’t yet told Quinn, so it was a fun surprise for him – and us! 🙂 Quinn lovvvveees Legoland!

Just a few quick notes about the tickets for Legoland Boston (Somerville)…

How do you buy Legoland Boston tickets?

We actually looked for Legoland Boston coupons online, but we didn’t have much luck. The ones I found on Groupon were the exact same price as the Legoland Boston tickets online (Online Saver Ticket), so I bought those instead. When we arrived, I had the tickets queued up and ready to go on my iPhone, which I thought would get us right in since there were people waiting in line for walk-up and will call tickets. Unfortunately, even though we had already bought tickets we still had to wait in (a long) line. If we had printed our pre-purchased tickets, we could have gotten in faster, which seemed a little backwards since the printed tickets could be scanned but not the electronic ones. Obviously, none of this is a big deal; I just wanted to give you the heads up if you decide to visit. Be sure to purchase your tickets online and then print them for the most affordable option and shortest wait in line.

Quinn had an absolute blast at Legoland, and we were excited to see some new exhibits and activities, including a Starbucks inside. You guys know how much Mal and I love our iced coffee! 🙂

What restaurants are near Legoland Boston?

After Legoland, we headed straight out the front door and stumbled upon Earls, which was a short 5 minute walk away. We had lunch there, and it was quite the awesome dining experience. We had never visited before, but we’ll definitely dine there again in the future. According to Quinn, Earls is “a little bit fancy,” but totally kid-friendly at the same time. The kid’s menu didn’t have a ton of options, but the food was great – and, hey, the French fries were A+! 🙂

Cheers to National Drink Wine Day! Obviously, I had to celebrate! 🙂

I ordered the chicken burger with a side of truffle fries for lunch – it was so delicious!!

And we shared Sticky Toffee Chocolate Pudding for dessert, which was, of course, incredible! Holy yum!

We ended up having a great time (with lots of laughs!!) at lunch! 🙂

These two were laughing at a hamburger AR sticker, which was apparently right next to me!

Question of the Day

Have you ever been to a Legoland or an Earls restaurant?

The post Legoland Boston + Lunch at Earls [Assembly Row] appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake http://bit.ly/2NgWOOA

Dear Mark: How Does LDL Even Penetrate the Arteries, New Zealand Farmed Salmon, Elevated Ferritin

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First, can LDL actually infiltrate the arteries, or is there more to the story? Malcolm Kendrick says there’s more to the story, so I dig into some literature to see if they corroborate his position. Second, is New Zealand farmed salmon good to eat? And finally, what should you do about elevated ferritin levels—and why else might they be elevated if not because of your iron?

Let’s go:

My reading of this post by Malcolm Kendrick MD is that LDL particles cannot infiltrate the endothelial lining of our arteries:

Great read. Malcolm Kendrick is consistently fascinating, insightful, and enlightening.

He’s basically suggesting that LDL particles can’t manhandle their way into the artery wall, which are equipped with tight junctions—the same kind that regulate passage through our gut lining. Something has to “allow” them in. The something he finds most plausible is injury, trauma, or insult to the endothelial lining (artery wall, for lack of a better phrase).

A free public textbook available on PubMed since last month called The Role of Lipids and Lipoproteins in Atherosclerosis tackles the topic head on. In the abstract, they say:

Population studies have demonstrated that elevated levels of LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (apoB) 100 [note: ApoB is a stand-in for LDL particle number, as each LDL-P has an ApoB attached to it], the main structural protein of LDL, are directly associated with risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular events (ASCVE). Indeed, infiltration and retention of apoB containing lipoproteins in the artery wall is a critical initiating event that sparks an inflammatory response and promotes the development of atherosclerosis.

This seems to posit that infiltration of the LDL particle into the artery wall is a critical initiating event. But is it the critical initiating event? Does something come before it? How does the infiltration happen, exactly? Moving on:

Arterial injury causes endothelial dysfunction promoting modification of apoB containing lipoproteins and infiltration of monocytes into the subendothelial space. Internalization of the apoB containing lipoproteins by macrophages promotes foam cell formation, which is the hallmark of the fatty streak phase of atherosclerosis. Macrophage inflammation results in enhanced oxidative stress and cytokine/chemokine secretion, causing more LDL/remnant oxidation, endothelial cell activation, monocyte recruitment, and foam cell formation.

If I’m reading this correctly, they’re saying that “arterial injury” is another critical initiating event—perhaps the critical initiating event, since the injury causes “endothelial dysfunction,” which in turn modifies (or oxidizes) the LDL particles. But wait: so they’re saying the LDL particles are already there when the arterial injury occurs. They’ve already made it into the endothelial walls, and they’re just…waiting around until the arteries get injured. Okay, okay, but, just like Malcolm Kendrick points out, nowhere in the abstract have the authors actually identified how the LDL particles enter the endothelial lining. Maybe it’s “common knowledge,” but I’d like to see it explained in full.

Moving on:

In atherosclerosis susceptible regions, reduced expression of eNOS and SOD leads to compromised endothelial barrier integrity (Figure 1), leading to increased accumulation and retention of subendothelial atherogenic apolipoprotein B (apoB)-containing lipoproteins (low-density lipoproteins (LDL)) and remnants of very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) and chylomicrons)

Ah ha! So, in regions of the arteries that are prone to atherosclerosis, low levels of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)—the method our bodies use to make nitric oxide, a compound that improves endothelial function and makes our blood flow better—and superoxide dismutase—an important antioxidant our bodies make—compromise the integrity of the arterial lining. The compromised arterial lining allows more LDL particles to gain entry and stick around. So, are low levels of nitric oxide and impaired antioxidant activity the critical initiators? That’s pretty much what Malcolm Kendrick said in his blog post.

Still—high LDL particle numbers are a strong predictor of heart disease risk, at least in the studies we have. They clearly have something to do with the whole process. They’re necessary, but are they sufficient? And how necessary are they? And how might that necessariness (yes, a word) be modified by diet?

I’ll explore this more in the future.

In regards to the oily fish article (and more indirectly given the omega 6 concern- the Israeli Paradox) What do you think of NZ farmed salmon? I’m in Australia, & occasionally like a fresh piece of salmon- there are no wild caught available here sadly, but I am wondering how it measures up as an alternative?

Last year, I explored the health effects of eating farmed salmon and found that it’s actually a pretty decent alternative to wild-caught salmon, at least from a personal health standpoint—the environmental impact may be a different story.

I wasn’t able to pull up any nutrition data for New Zealand farmed salmon, called King or Chinook salmon. Next time you’re at the store, check out the nutritional facts on a NZ farmed salmon product, like smoked salmon. The producer will have actually had to run tests on their products to determine the omega-3 content, so it should be pretty accurate. Fresh is great but won’t have the nutritional facts available. I don’t see why NZ salmon would be any worse than the farmed salmon I discussed last year.

According to the NZ salmon folks, they don’t use any pesticides or antibiotics. That’s fantastic if true.

I used to eat a lot of King salmon over in California, and it’s fantastic stuff. Very fatty, full of omega-3s. If your farmed King salmon comes from similar stock, go for it.

ok can someone tell me how to reduce ferritin? Is is just by giving blood?

Giving blood is a reliable method for reducing ferritin. It’s quick, effective, simple, and you’re helping out another person in need. Multiple wins.

Someone in the comment board recommended avoiding cast iron pans in addition to giving blood. While using cast iron pans can increase iron intake and even change iron status in severe deficiency, most don’t have to go that far. Giving blood will cover you.

Ferritin is also an acute phase reactant, a marker of inflammation—it goes up in response to infections (bacterial or viral) and intense exercise (an Ironman will increase ferritin). In fact, in obese and overweight Pakistani adults, elevated ferritin seems to be a reliable indicator of inflammatory status rather than iron status.

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



Birgegård G, Hällgren R, Killander A, Strömberg A, Venge P, Wide L. Serum ferritin during infection. A longitudinal study. Scand J Haematol. 1978;21(4):333-40.

Comassi M, Vitolo E, Pratali L, et al. Acute effects of different degrees of ultra-endurance exercise on systemic inflammatory responses. Intern Med J. 2015;45(1):74-9.

The post Dear Mark: How Does LDL Even Penetrate the Arteries, New Zealand Farmed Salmon, Elevated Ferritin appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple http://bit.ly/2DT5DtZ

My New Book – Feeding You Lies Is In Bookstores Everywhere.

Today’s the day! Feeding You Lies officially hit stores everywhere. You can now find it at these stores in your town:

I wrote this book because the food industry is deceiving people. Even the so-called “health food” companies are guilty of this…

Packaged products are not what they seem, labels don’t mean what they should, and food that you’re told is healthy really isn’t. They manipulate us to buy their products and they use dirty tactics just like what the tobacco industry has done. Some food brands are so sneaky, that even I get duped.

Feeding You Lies will open up your eyes to the lies of the food industry, so that you’ll stop spending money on products that are doing nothing to serve your health. You will be able to quickly spot deceptions on product packages, in advertisements, and in the media.

This book is not something that has ever been written before. 

I give you action steps that protect you from cheap, processed, unhealthy foods. My 48-Hour Toxin Takedown at the end of the book will help you rid your pantry of foods that are weighing you down. You’ll end your sugar and processed food addictions, lose pound after pound, never diet again, and rejuvenate your energy levels.

And, I’ve got great news!

We received feedback from several people who wanted to wait until they could buy the book in their local stores, so I’m extending the offer to get the free 77-page Product Lie Detector eBook when you buy a copy of Feeding You Lies through Saturday 2/23. I don’t want you to miss out on this incredible eBook.


Feeding You Lies

Available in stores everywhere

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting this book, asking your local bookstores to carry it, and for sharing it with your friends.

You are courageously helping me stand up to the Big Food industry that always puts their profits over people.

It needs to stop.



Feeding You Lies - Book

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from Food Babe http://bit.ly/2In6d8H

Best Toys to Entertain Your Kid at a Restaurant

Hi, guys! Happy Monday Tuesday!

Mal is on school vacation this week, so I have NO IDEA what day it is. Ha! Anyway, I’m a little behind on recapping our weekend – and we’re doing our taxes today (uggghhhh) – so, hopefully, I’ll be all up-to-date soon. That said, here’s a recap from Saturday as well as some of our favorite toys for keeping Quinn entertained at restaurants!

Saturday morning started bright and early, so, by the time the sun came up, Quinn and I were MORE than ready for breakfast. He suggested pancakes (and we’re always excited when he wants to eat), so we got right to work in the kitchen. I love that he enjoys helping me cook! 🙂

On the menu: Our favorite pancakes, bacon, and fresh strawberries. Mmm! I’m actually not eating much gluten nowadays (well, ok, I will when special occasions pop up), so I whipped up a mix from Enjoy Life, which was actually really good – and it didn’t call for any eggs. I also added some collagen for an extra protein boost!

After breakfast, we headed to the YMCA for a workout and then to Dedham to get Mal’s phone fix. He had dropped it at the gym the other day and the screen died. Whomp whomp. While we waited for it to get fixed, we had lunch at the Yard House at Legacy Place.

Lunch was delicious – I opted for buffalo cauliflower and a shrimp street taco, which was a delicious combo. I mean, most of it was fried, but there were veggies and fish in the mix, so it was a little healthy, right? 🙂

We brought along a dinosaur sticker book to keep Quinn occupied, and it ended up being SUCH a big hit. I received questions all the time about Quinn’s favorite toys and activities, so I wanted to share some of the ones that we often bring with us to restaurants.

After lunch, we picked up Mal’s phone and then headed to Home Depot to pick up some supplies for some electrical experiments. We checked out Awesome Experiments from the library, so we had big plans for Saturday night!

Experiments and cheese crackers (from Brandless) FTW! 🙂

The rest of the evening involved watching Wall-E (such a cute movie) and snuggling on the couch.

Question of the Day

What are your favorite toys/activities for keeping your little ones entertained at restaurants?

The post Best Toys to Entertain Your Kid at a Restaurant appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake http://bit.ly/2T2kls4

10 & 2 Qs: Does Dairy Affect My Hormones?

Dairy is quite the contentious topic. Prohibited in paleo but lauded in keto… what do you do?

Well, like most things, it’s highly nuanced and depends on YOU.

Check out this short video to hear my thoughts on dairy:

Some think grass-fed butter is the drink of gods. Even more keto people are loading up on buttered coffee, cheese-laden meals, and heavy whipping cream… but does that help you reach your goals? What does all this dairy do to your hormones and IGF? Listen to learn!

Want to go keto even though dairy is problematic for you? Check out my post on How to Keto If you don’t do dairy.

Full Transcript: 

Nicki: Okay, Robb. We have a question about dairy, in particular, cream. Beyond the full fat, grass-fed, organic, non-GMO, non-homogenized beautifulness, but more specifically about the hormonal properties and health implications.

Robb: Oh, man. Cream is awesome, tastes great. It’s very calorically dense. We’ve seen a lot of people get themselves in the deep end of the pool by just overconsuming cream.

The goal is a low carb or ketogenic diet for fat loss and body composition. The person is struggling, we get in, poke around, look at their meal plan, and they’re doing a quarter cup of cream four or five times throughout the day, putting some coffee in it.

There are some cool elements to grass-fed butter and cream. There is some Vitamin K in it, a little bit of carotenoids. But at the end of the day, it’s just a really dense calorie source, and you don’t really get anything else. There’s not many vitamins, not much in the way of minerals.

Nicki: Are there any problems, hormonally with IGF and stuff like that?

Robb: Not really because the bulk of the driver from IGF response around dairy, is from the protein. That’s a whole interesting story.

Pedro Bastos is an absolute expert in that scene. If folks don’t follow him, they should definitely check him out.

But traditional cultures typically cultured their dairy. By doing that, it modifies the proteins in such a way that you don’t get as potent of an IGF response. Even then, it’s all kind of context driven. People freak out about that and they freak out about mTOR.

If you are overlaying elevated IGF levels, plus an overfed environment, plus poor sleep, plus a hyperinflammatory response, then you’ve got problems.

I guess one of the common bugaboos around whole cream and butter in particular with regard to dairy is, that there are people who happen to be … One of these people …

I have a FOXO mutation that the saturated fat, in general, will drive up my lipoproteins. There is all kinds of pissing matches and contention around whether or not the elevated lipoproteins in cholesterol matters in the context of a low carb diet. It’s not entirely clear what the story is with that.

There’s a reality that if I shift out butter and cream, and I do more nuts and mono and saturated fats from an olive oil, my lipoproteins and cholesterol just plummet. It could be the difference between 1,100 on the mono base deal or 2,800 with regard to LDL-P count on the higher saturated fat levels.

The hormonal responses, I’m not really concerned about that on any level. Good pick up on the IGF. But I am concerned about butter and cream from the caloric load, from the lack of nutrient density, and then also there are some people that definitely get an elevation in lipoproteins.

I suspect again that cholesterol lipoprotein story is going to be somewhat individual, as to whether or not it increases cardiovascular disease risk. But it’s one of those things to at least be aware of, and you can make an informed decision then about what you’re doing.

Nicki: And so, if you’re not one of these people that responds like you to saturated fat, and if you’re not doing a quarter cup three times a day, having a little splash in your coffee in the morning is not the end of the world.

Robb: Yeah, yeah. I mean, again a little bit of portion control, no big deal. Yeah.

from The Paleo Diet http://bit.ly/2GvQK4B

Jazzed-Up Bran Muffins

I have been on a bran muffin kick since my taste buds were turned on by the Albemarle Baking Company box of treats our neighbors brought us when Birch was born.

Exhibit A:

During my research of consuming one half a giant muffin at a time, I discovered that the Mudhouse Coffee bran muffins are amazing as well!

Exhibit B:

As a result, exhibit C was born: a healthier, properly portioned, semi-homemade bran muffin I can pull out of my freezer and enjoy anytime.

These are semi-homemade because I found a bran muffin mix at Whole Foods and #hadtohaveit. But bran alone seemed a bit boring, so I added dried cherries, flaked coconut, and some shredded carrots from the fridge to give this muffin a nutritional edge. (Hmm, dark chocolate would be good in these too!)

Served warm with butter, this muffin can run with the best of ’em.

I froze most of my batch and pull them out when a craving hits to heat up in the toaster oven.

Jazzed-Up Bran Muffins

Fancy up your favorite bran muffin mix with cherries, coconut, and carrot for increased texture and nutrition! 

  • 1 Box of Organics Oat Bran Muffin Mix
  • Mix ingredients as needed (egg, etc)
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  1. Prepare muffin mix as package directs.

    Stir in cherries, coconut, and carrots. 

    Bake per package directs and enjoy. 

And if you know me well (and many of you do!) you’ll know that I crumble muffins on top of anything! Yogurt is a favorite. Oatmeal too!

If the thought of warm muffins has you feeling cozy, perhaps you’ll want to spend your afternoon like so:

(Look at his ruffled sleeves!) 

The post Jazzed-Up Bran Muffins appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food http://bit.ly/2SZWQjr

Clean Eating Creamed Corn Recipe

This clean eating creamed corn is so much better then the canned stuff!!

It’s been many years, but I do remember eating creamed corn when I was a little girl. It was tasty, to be sure. But nothing as… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry http://bit.ly/2Eh5nq2