Monday, March 18, 2019

Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants on the South Shore

Good morning!

I’m still running a bit behind on blog recaps, but, hey, better late then never, right? 😉 Here are some highlights from our weekend as well as a list of our favorite kid-friendly restaurants on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I actually get this question about our favorite restaurants quite a bit, and we frequently dine out with Quinn, so I’m more than happy to share our go-to eating establishments that we all enjoy visiting!


Quinn was awake bright and early at 4:45 AM on Saturday morning, but I managed to get him back to sleep in our bed. The snuggles were excellent. Around 6:00 AM, he told me that he was hungry (because he refused to eat dinner), so we started our day before the sunrise with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Mid-morning (well, it was like 9:00 AM, but it felt like mid-morning), Mal and Quinn headed to CrossFit while I went to Iron Way for a nutrition talk. The owner and I partnered for a spring “shape up” challenge, so I chatted with participants about macro tracking. Even a year ago, I would have been absolutely petrified to speak in front of a group – actually, I probably would have turned down the opportunity – but I wasn’t nervous at all. I actually really enjoyed sharing what I know about macros! 🙂 I’ve come a long way since the early days of CNC and public speaking!

Saturday afternoon included a trip to the arcade at Starland. That night, Mal and I got a babysitter and enjoyed dinner (and lots of laughs) with our friends at Solstice.


Quinn and I were up and at ’em bright and early again on Sunday morning, but, thankfully, not as early as Saturday morning. When Mal was awake, we made a big ol’ pancake breakfast – complete with shamrock pancakes! 🙂

After breakfast, we headed to our friends’ house for a play/hair date. The boys (little and big) hung out while my girlfriend colored and cut my hair. We finished around lunchtime and everyone was hungry, so we drove down to Cask ‘n Flagon for lunch, which is definitely one of our go-to restaurants when we’re dining out with Quinn.

Other kid-friendly restaurants that we love:

  • Cask ‘n Flagon (Marshfield)
  • The Range (Higham)
  • Rivershed (Scituate)
  • Hingham Beer Works (Hingham)
  • Little Carmen’s (Norwell)
  • CAVA (Hingham)

Our impromptu St. Patrick’s Day lunch included wings, wine, and a big ol’ piece of Atlantic salmon served over beets, parsnips, and carrots for me. The salad was actually quite awesome!

Usually, the food at Cask ‘n Flagon is pretty standard, but this salad was REALLY good. I highly recommend it! 🙂

Quinn totally passed out on the drive home, so I’d say it was a successful St. Patty’s Day!

Question of the Day

Local readers: What are your favorite kid-friendly restaurants in the area? 

P.S. This post might be of interest if you’re dining out with little ones: Best Toys To Entertain Your Kid At A Restaurant.

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Living a Life Like This Is Amazing

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

My Primal story starts in 2014. I had a one-year-old baby. I was healthy. I was taking vitamins and supplements and I did exercise. I jogged and lifted weights. I only gained 10 pounds during my pregnancy because of my exercise routine.

The problem was my diet. But I didn’t know that. It all started with my skin and my teeth. I had eczema, red inflamed skin on my face, neck, knees, etc. and I always had cavities every time I went to the dentist. And I had THE best, the Absolute BEST Dental hygiene. I flossed after every meal. I water picked at night. I brushed my teeth 3 times a day. And without fail, every time I went to the dentist there would be a new cavity.

So. I am at the dentist. It’s 2014. He tells me that I have a cavity and he was going to fill it. I was very upset. I said “NO.” I told him not to fill the cavity. I told him I was going to heal it. The dentist is taken aback. He laughed at me.

I went home and Googled “How to heal a Cavity”. And it took me to this oil pulling sight. And it was a domino effect from there. I bought a book called Heal Cavities and Cure Tooth Decay, and I read that book cover to cover. And that book mentioned another book called The Paleo Manifesto, and it also talked about diet and how cavities start from the INSIDE out. So I immediately went out and bought The Paleo Manifesto and read that cover to cover. And that book took me to (you guessed it) The Primal Blueprint. I read that book cover to cover.

I already had a good exercise routine. But those books helped me to clean up my diet which led me to clean up my makeup routine, soap, shampoo, dental routine. It was a complete 180. I went totally green. Also the Primal Blueprint helped me to raise my exercise game and take it from good to Great.

And from there, I gained lean muscle mass. I STOPPED having and getting cavities. My skin cleared up and my eczema completely went away.

After I read Cure Tooth Decay and Heal Cavities, The Paleo Manifesto, and The Primal Blueprint, I STOPPED brushing my teeth so often and so hard. Everything in moderation. I started oil pulling in the morning. I started brushing and flossing my teeth ONLY at night before bed. And I started using mineralized tooth powder. From Primal Life Organics or Raw Dakota Tallow. And just by doing these 2 things, my tooth sensitivity went away immediately. And I started to notice that I could eat hot and cold foods again without any pain. I did this same routine for 6 months and now this is my normal routine. Since I started taking care of my teeth like this, I have NO sensitivity. My enamel that I spent my entire life eroding has come back. I have NOT had a cavity since 2014 and my gums are beautiful and healthy. I no longer dread going to the dentist.

My skin care changed a lot. After reading those books and going Primal/Paleo. I stopped immediately using conventional skin care. I started ONLY using castile soap from head to toe. I started using an acidic toner on my face to bring back the acid mantle that I spent my entire life eroding. I mix up equal parts (1 to 1 ratio) of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother and water. And I spray that on my face at night after I wash my face with the castile soap. And I use tallow as my face cream. From Raw Dakota Tallow or Vintage Traditions. And I do use conventional makeup. I have tried healthy, green makeup, but that is expensive and doesn’t do the same job as the regular conventional makeup. But since I started taking care of my skin this way ALL of the redness and eczema went away completely.

So in these pictures you can see me without makeup and the top picture is my clear, healthy skin now and the bottom is the red, inflamed skin from before. And you can see the lean muscle mass in the gray dress as opposed to the portly me on the Ducati before I went Paleo/Primal.

I do lift weights every other day and I do cardio every other day. My cardio is walking with alternating sprints. And I never miss a workout. But I never train super hard. I stand at work all day and I do a lot of slow movement throughout the day.

I do eat organic when I can. But that is not always possible. So I do eat conventional produce and meats. But I eat nose to tail. And I eat a lot of colorful veggies. I stopped eating sugar entirely. Cold turkey. I STOPPED eating all carbs and sugar. I did that for 6 months and then started slowly bringing back carbs, but healthy carbs like sprouted and fermented sourdough breads with European butter. I follow and maintain a Paleo/Mediterranean diet. My family is from Spain so I do eat a lot of ancestral food and I do drink wine. I was always a steak girl but now I eat lots of healthy vegetables with the steak. I eat lots of dark chocolate. But my treat is white chocolate.

Since I went Paleo/Primal (and I ONLY did this to heal a cavity) I am the healthiest I have ever been. I am 41 and I look like I am 26, and I feel like I am 26. This lifestyle, this way of life is really a lifesaver. Looking back now, I can see how the Standard American Diet and health care and personal care (dental and skin) are slowly poisoning the American people and were slowly eroding my health. This journey is NOT easy for some people. It was easy for me. In order to do this you have to be comfortable doing your own research and you have to be comfortable questioning what you have been taught, conditioned to think and you have to be comfortable questioning what you have been told.

I always took a multivitamin. But after reading these books and doing my research I started talking Fermented Cod Liver Oil, and High Vitamin Butter Oil. I take collagen. I take Iodine (Triodine) I take a really good multimineral (Concentrace minerals) I take a good multivitamin, I take Fermented Skate Liver Oil. But NOT all at once and NOT everyday. Every other day. I take a combination of these.

Do what works for you. I am NOT orthodox paleo/primal/Mediterranean. Living a life like this is amazing.

I would NOT recommend this but, it in my experience it can be done. After having appendicitis, and routine (best case scenario) appendectomy you can snow blow your driveway. I had appendicitis and the appendectomy on Tuesday. I went home from the hospital on Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. I slept till noon on Wednesday and then I got up and started walking around. I had a good high fat, high protein lunch. And then I snow blowed my driveway (I live in Layton, Utah and we get a ton of snow where I live and it had snowed for 2 days straight). I did that because I figured that Grok did NOT have the luxury of being injured and then laying on the couch all day long and watching T.V. I figured that Grok would be up and walking around. At least foraging for food, for his tribe.

I am healthier than I have ever been in my life, and I have the energy to play with my 5-year-old and keep up with him.

I will Never, Ever go back to what I did and thought and believed before going Primal/Paleo. And it really is a domino effect. Once you start down this journey it will simply but take over every aspect of your life.

I want to thank MDA, The Primal Blueprint, Raw Dakota Tallow, The Paleo Manifesto and Cure Cavities and Heal Tooth Decay, as well as myself for my Amazing transformation. I was always skinny, but I am in PERFECT health because of this journey.



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Frozen Yogurt + Other Pregnancy Favorites

Hi, friends! Happy Monday to you! 🙂

I’m a little behind with “day in the life” blogging, but I’m planning to catch up today and tomorrow – starting with a wonderful Quinn and Mumma day last Friday.

The fun kicked off at Goldfish for Quinn’s weekly swimming lesson. His usual instructor wasn’t there (and he lovvvveess her), so he was pretty nervous swimming with someone new. The staff at Goldfish were so sweet to him and eventually convinced him to climb in the pool for his lesson.

Once Quinn was in the pool, he had a great time! He even got a special ribbon for his “pulling paddle,” which he was especially proud of. He’s been working on using his arms more for swimming, and his hard work is paying off. Quinn is getting so much faster! 🙂

After swim lessons, we headed home briefly for lunch because frozen yogurt was on the agenda for the afternoon, and Quinn was super excited! 🙂 We actually visited the yogurt shop near our old house in Weymouth. The Yogurt Bar was “on the way home” from CrossFit when I was pregnant, so we stopped there quite a lot. I craved cold, creamy foods during my pregnancy, so I ate frozen yogurt like it was my job. I was Paleo prior to getting pregnant and not eating dairy, so I’m pretty sure my body wanted ALL OF THE DAIRY to make a tiny Quinn skeleton.

While we ate, I told Quinn just how much fro-yo I consumed when he was in my belly. He opened his eyes wide and just smiled between bites. He was definitely in the zone! 🙂 Other foods that I dominated when I was pregnant: Fresh fruit, saltines with Teddie peanut butter, and yogurt smoothies, which just happen to be some of Quinn’s very favorite foods (now that’s he’s out of my belly). Coincidence?

After our yogurt date, we headed home and played outside for quite awhile. We broke out the water table and bath toys for some fun. Even though it was a balmy 58 degrees, Quinn requested “warm water from the sink, not the hose” for playing. Smart kid! 🙂

Question of the Day

I’m curious… Mamas out there: Do your kids like a lot of the same foods that you ate when you were pregnant?

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Wine On The Weekends

{I love my wine club, Winc! On the days that I do enjoy a glass, that is 🙂 }

I’ve written before about my internal struggle between wanting to enjoy a reasonable glass of wine with dinner each night (my heart) and my belief that having alcohol every single day is not the best choice of habit (my mind.) This is not a new topic, but it’s one I’m revisiting after going through a year off of alcohol to have a baby and then starting habitual drinking again. I want to catch you all up on a change in my weekly consumption that is working well for me (for now!)

Truth: I feel my best when I don’t drink.

Even just one glass of wine leaves me a little bit dehydrated, and I don’t sleep as well at night.

I love the taste and culture around wine and have no intention of giving up drinking entirely. I also don’t have a problem with overdrinking and rarely over consume, but it is easy to turn one glass into two with a heavy pour or few extra splashes.

Research says that women should have no more than seven drinks per week for optimal health.

A daily drink plus a little more at social events equals a lot more than seven. (Those lucky men have a lot more wiggle room with their recommendation at less than 14 drinks per week.)

I highly recommend listening to Brooke Castillo’s program Stop Overdrinking, which I have written about before. I was in agreement with every single point she makes about all the reasons people get conditioned to drink alcohol habitually (which is different from alcoholism). While I haven’t been a program participant, I have listened to her free videos on the topic and she does an amazing job explaining the science behind why we reach for that habitual glass. You don’t have to be drinking a bottle a night to want to cut back – her program is for anyone who just wants to drink less than they currently are. 

Reasons To Have A Drink

Brooke talks a lot about classical conditioning and all the reasons people pop open a bottle:

a happy day

a sunshine day

a cold winter day

a difficult parenting day

a good parenting day

Because you’re a grown up

Because it’s delicious

There are so many “good” reasons to drink that it is easy to talk myself into a glass. It’s not as easy to talk myself out of it.

Reasons Not To Drink*

Because there are a host of negative health effects associated with alcohol, including inflammation, hormone interference, possible weight loss resistance in women my age, empty calories   

Because I don’t sleep as well.

Because wine costs money.

The list of reasons not to drink is a lot shorter than the reasons to have a drink, thus I find that I often can talk myself into having one.

*There are other important reasons not to drink, but I’m writing in the context of my general daily life and not including reasons such as having to drive, sickness, etc.

The Change: Weekdays Are Alcohol Free

All of that to say: I decided I wanted to drink less. Like most goals, just admitting I wanted to drink less to myself probably wasn’t going to create any real change. See above. So I created some structure to my change: no alcohol Monday through Thursdays. 

I’ve been doing this since January with great success. The first week it was hard, and I found myself thinking about pouring some wine at 5:00 nearly every day. But the second week it was easier, and by the third week (don’t they say it takes 21 days to break a habit?) I wasn’t even thinking about it during the week. Telling Thomas about my new goal and having him support me with some accountability was also a huge help. 

I give myself the option to drink during the week if we go on a date or I have a social event (I’m not trying to deprive myself socially!) but truthfully that hasn’t happened yet in two months. Our weeknights are pretty boring these days!

Is Taking Weeknights Off Making You Drink More On The Weekend?

One might think so, but actually no. Because I’m not telling myself that I can’t have it at all aka restricting – I just have to delay the pleasure to the weekend. It does make the weekends more special, and I do look forward to Fridays a little bit more because of the fun of having a drink, but I don’t find myself going crazy on the weekends. Like I said, I haven’t had a problem with drinking too much because there’s nothing worse than a hangover!

Is This A Long Term Plan?

I honestly don’t know if I’ll stay on this schedule forever. I have considered switching to every other day or swapping Sunday for Wednesday or something like that, but because I wouldn’t want to open a fresh bottle of wine on a Wednesday, I think it makes the most sense to keep the weeknights in a row alcohol free. I also wonder if summertime will make me want to drink more. Because it’s “it’s summertime!” a good reason to drink? (See above again!) Ideally though, I think this weekday/weekend schedule makes the most sense fun-wise and health-wise so I do hope to stick to it.

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