Tuesday, April 16, 2019
We had THE BEST time in New York City! It was our first family trip to the Big Apple. It was also Quinn’s first train ride, which was a huge hit (despite his expression below)! 🙂
On Saturday morning, we took the train from Westwood/Route 128 to Penn Station, so it was about 4 hours from station to station. We opted for the Northeast Regional instead of the Acela to save some money, but the trip actually flew by!
When we arrived at Penn Station, we hopped in a taxi to my friend’s apartment in the Village. We dropped off our bags and then headed out to City Vineyard for some lunch and drinks. It was a gorgeous day, so we took advantage of the weather and snagged a table outside, right on the water. It was quite lovely!
After that, we did some exploring, which included a visit to the Ghostbuster’s firehouse. Quinn was so psyched to see it. He loves the Ghostbuster movies!
Then, we stopped by Murray’s Cheese Bar to pick up some goodies for the evening. We got some seriously incredible cheeses – Romano, Gruyere, and Brie. Mmm! I actually don’t think I’ve eaten so much delicious cheese in one sitting!
The next morning, we were up and at ’em with the sunrise, so our first order of business was iced coffee. We stopped into Partners Coffee for coffee and a delicious dount that we all shared. (How cute are Quinn’s little hands in the photo below?)
After that, we headed back to our friend’s apartment to get ready for the day. Once we were good to go, we walked to breakfast at Cafe Cluny, which was an absolutely adorable restaurant.
The menu at Cafe Cluny was a little pricey, but the food, service, and atmosphere were all excellent! #worthit
After breakfast, we took at taxi to FAO Schwarz and did a little shopping. Quinn had such a fun time checking out all of the different toys and picking a “tiny prize” as a souvenir from New York City. We also stopped into the nearby LEGO store. It was cool, but there wasn’t all that much to it.
We were basically in and out of the LEGO store before taking a stroll up to Central Park.
We walked around the park and eventually found a really great playground where we stayed for quite awhile before getting hungry for lunch.
Before we got into a taxi to meet our friends, we stopped by The Doughnut Project. I heard they had the best doughnuts in the city, and the glazed doughnut was indeed amazing!
We met our friends at Upright Brew House for lunch and drinks. I drank a ton of wine, ate one million French fries, and then finished off the afternoon with some banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery. It was quite the epic afternoon! 🙂
We also did some shopping in the area and then stopped by the Sex and the City apartment, which was so cool to see. I was such a super fan when the series was on TV… and for many years afterward! 🙂
Sunday night was low-key. It included another amazing cheese plate and Game of Thrones at our friend’s apartment. I’m not currently a fan of the series, but Mal and our friends might have finally convinced me to watch it from the beginning. For the record, I fell asleep the first time I tried to watch the series and then fell asleep during the episode on Sunday night. Sooooo, we’ll see how things go. I know so many people love Game of Thrones, so I’m going to give it another chance.
On Monday, we grabbed a leisurely breakfast at Rosemary’s (another adorable restaurant) and then headed to Penn Station to take the train home. All in all, it was a wonderful trip to New York City. Quinn actually said he wants to visit again soon and stay for “10 days” next time!
Question of the Day
Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? If so, why do people like it so much?
from Carrots 'N' Cake http://bit.ly/2KIPPAA
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a round of questions drawn from the comment section of the “What Breaks a Fast” post. You folks had tons of follow-up questions about whether other types of foods or compounds break a fast. Does a teaspoon of honey? Does elevated insulin from BCAAs? Does coconut milk? Does pure prebiotic fiber? What about longer fasts—are they recommended? And how about unsweetened cocoa powder? What explains my ability to predict your questions? Do sausages break a fast? Does liquor? How should you exercise?
Let’s dig right in:
Hey, what about honey? 1 tsp in morning tea?
A teaspoon or less of honey is fine and won’t negate the benefits of fasting. I alternate between doing collagen coffee and coffee with cream and teaspoon of sugar (which was my typical morning coffee for over a decade). No reasonable person should fear a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
For what it’s worth, honey isn’t “just” sugar. It elicits a more beneficial (or less negative) metabolic response than other forms of sugar.
I’m shocked about the BCAA. I used to fast and take BCAA’s (yes, to continue dynamic exercise). I used to find it extremely difficult to fast compared to now when I fast without taking them. Does that mean that the insulin response made fastic more difficult?
It’s possible. Insulin impairs lipolysis—the release of stored body fat into circulation for energy usage—and the success of fasting depends on lipolysis. Without lipolysis, you can’t access all that stored energy.
Thank you very much for this info!! I am a butter-coffee-for-breakfast drinker, and I always worry about the ingredients breaking a fast. Could you please comment on coconut milk (in the can)? I love putting that in my coffee/breakfast.
Coconut milk is a less concentrated source of medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs (as in MCT oil). MCTs convert directly to ketones, making MCT oil and to a lesser extent coconut oil or coconut milk a potential “boost” for fasting. Still, energy is energy, and any energy you take in is energy you won’t be pulling from your body.
I find MCTs and coconut to be more useful when someone is just getting the hang of fasting or ketosis—as a nice boost to get things moving in the right direction.
Keep your coconut milk under a tablespoon and you’ll be fine.
Does prebiotic (resistant starch) fiber break a fast? Acacia senegal or potato starch? Thanks!
No. If you’re worried, test your postprandial blood sugar after eating the fiber.
Great input Mark as someone 3days into a 7day water fast with electrolytes of course what’s your view on longer fasts.
Check out the post I wrote on long fasts. Potentially beneficial but the risks accumulate the longer you go. You just have to be even more careful and methodical.
How about unsweetened cocoa?
A tablespoon runs just over 12 calories (depending on the brand; some cocoa powders contain more fat and thus more calories), with around a gram of net carbs and a gram of fat. Also a nice source of potassium and magnesium, along with a ton of polyphenols which can have fasting-mimicking effects on their own.
Eating enough unsweetened cocoa powder to knock you out of your fast would be incredibly repulsive. Probably impossible.
Cocoa is definitely a nice addition.
Okay it’s almost creepy the way Sisson answers my questions before I even ask them! I was wondering about this yesterday and then this post popped up in my inbox.
How does he do that…?
Kraft-Heinz has a strong relationship with Google and Amazon, and the Kraft acquisition gave me access to Alexa/Google Home datasets and the ability to predict what my readers are wondering about.
Just kidding, though it’s scarily not out of the realm of possibility anymore.
What about a small snack of paleo sausages, smoked or dried? So meat and fat (beef, pork or lamb), and some spices. Maybe 100g worth.
Well, that’s a legit snack bordering on a small meal. That will break the fast, but it’s not all for naught. There is the whole “fasting-mimicking diet,” where you eating very few calories for several days out of the week and retain many if not most of the benefits of full-on fasting.
Let’s just say if you ate a small snack of paleo sausages on your “fasting” days, you’d still be way ahead of 99% of people.
But do try a full-on fast at least once. You might surprise yourself.
Great post! What about alcohol? Specifically, a shot or 2 of liquor. I would assume beer and wine would break a fast, but what about whiskey or tequila?
When alcohol enters the system, utilization of all other energy sources is suspended until the alcohol is burned. Back in 1999, researchers did a study where they gave fasting adult men the equivalent of a couple shots of liquor. They stopped releasing stored body fat, stopped burning body fat, and began burning way more acetate (a product of ethanol metabolism). They didn’t exactly “break” the fast, but all the metabolic trajectories we love about fasting took a big pause.
Good morning Mark,
How does one exercise in the morning while fasting? When to eat?
You can exercise any way you like, but I change how I train based on when I’m going to break the fast with food.
If I’m going to break the fast with a meal right after, I train any way I like. I’ll do sprints, HIIT, weights, anything.
If I’m going to keep fasting after the workout, I like to stick to strength training and low-intensity movement (walking, hiking, standup paddling). The strength training is essential during a fast because it’s an anabolic signal to your muscles—move it or lose it. Simply lifting heavy things during a fast can stave off muscle loss.
That’s it for today, folks. Stay tuned later this week for “What Breaks a Fast: Supplements Edition.”
from Mark's Daily Apple http://bit.ly/2GrMamw
Think back to the last time you were grocery shopping for meat. What labels did you look for? Are those 100% natural, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and nitrate-free meats really the best choice or are you being SCAMMED?
Unfortunately a lot of people are getting totally scammed…
Food companies are legally allowed to put misleading labels on their products to fool customers. To see how screwed up regulations are when it comes to meat labels, look no further than a recent lawsuit against Hormel. They got sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund who alleged the advertising for Hormel’s Natural Choice Deli Meats was misleading consumers (1). They argued that Hormel advertises this deli meat as “100% Natural” but raises the meat in factory farms with risky drugs and antibiotics. That is FAR from natural, right? Hormel shouldn’t be allowed to advertise this meat as “natural”, right?
Actually they can. Last week, the court dropped the lawsuit (Hormel won!) because they found that the claims they are making about their deli meat, such as “100% Natural” are legally approved by the USDA (in other words, our government allows it) – so Hormel is free to use these terms in both their advertising and packaging even though this meat is raised on antibiotics and growth-promoting drugs in a factory farm (2).
The “100% Natural” label means basically nothing. It’s completely legal for food companies to lie to consumers. And that is not the worst part…
A big surprise in court filings revealed that the pork used to make Hormel’s Natural Choice Ham Deli Meat is the same pork they use to make SPAM (3). This pork is raised in inhumane large-scale factory farms where the pigs dine on GMO grains laced with growth-promoting drugs to bulk them up on less food (which bulks up Hormel’s profits too).
Insane, right? How could this be?
It’s shocking because of the way Hormel advertises this deli meat. They even call it the “NATURAL CHOICE” right there in the name! Products like this disgust me because they are preying on consumers who are trying to feed their families healthy food but don’t know that food companies are allowed to use labels that are not really truthful.
To see how Hormel has been able to scam so many people into believing their Natural Choice deli meat is a healthy choice, let’s look closely at the labels on this package…
“100% Natural”: Companies can call their meat “Natural” if it has no artificial ingredients and is minimally processed. Natural meat is often raised in the same horrible factory farm conditions that conventional meat is – with antibiotics, hormones, ractopamine, GMO feed, etc. This is why it’s perfectly legal for Hormel to call their meat natural – but that doesn’t mean it’s ethical for them to do so! Remember this applies to fresh meat too (not just deli meats).
“Pork Raised Without Added Hormones”: This label infuriates me. Why? Because pork farmers are not allowed to use hormones – it is prohibited (4). This means that all pork and ham are raised without added hormones (the same goes for chicken & turkey). So, why does Hormel add this label to their pork and turkey? It is 100% pure marketing B.S. They know that the average customer sees this as a sign that their meat is somehow raised better, but it literally means NOTHING. They do use hormones to raise their beef as regulations allow this, and this is why you won’t find this label on Hormel’s Natural Choice Deli Roast Beef.
The lawsuit revealed that some of Hormel’s pigs are raised with the growth-promoting drug ractopamine (5). This drug is BANNED in Europe, Russia, and China and causes pigs to suffer from “hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs, inability to walk and death” (6). Using ractopamine is just as bad, if not worse, than growth hormones… so don’t be fooled!
“No Nitrates or Nitrites Added”: This is misleading because technically nitrates are added. You see, Hormel doesn’t add synthetic sodium nitrate or nitrite like you’ll find in most deli meats – which is good because these additives are linked to cancer and heart disease (7). Instead they use cultured celery powder and cherry powder, which are both naturally high in nitrates (8). There is controversy surrounding whether naturally-derived nitrates are any safer for you when added processed meat, because they may still create cancerous nitrosamines (9). Some “natural” processed meat products with celery powder have been shown to contain very high levels of nitrates – even more than conventional varieties (10).
“No Preservatives”: Hormel does use cultured celery powder and cherry powder to preserve the meat, so I wouldn’t consider this preservative-free.
I don’t eat deli meats often, but when I do this is what I choose:
- 100% certified organic (preferably grass fed/pastured) – This ensures that the animals weren’t given antibiotics, ractopamine, or growth hormones, and weren’t fed Roundup-Ready GMOs. Organic is the most important label to look for on deli meats (not “natural”)
- I like to roast whole pieces of organic meat, and slice it myself. This way, I know exactly what’s in it and there’s no processing!
- Whole organic sliced deli meat without sodium nitrite or nitrate.
- No fillers or additives like carrageenan or maltodextrin.
Some brands to try: Kol Foods Oven Roasted Turkey, Organic Nuna, Organic Valley Turkey or Roast Beef, and True Story Organic Turkey.
Yes, these organic deli meats may cost more than conventional deli meats raised in factory farms. But rather than judge the value of food in terms of dollars, think of its value in terms of nutrition – and your health. The only way factory farm practices will change is when enough people refuse to buy meat that was raised this way.
If you know anyone who might be buying Hormel’s Natural Choice deli meats and blindly believing the lies on the package – please share this post with them.
P.S. This just scratches the surface of the type of info you’ll learn in my new book Feeding You Lies. I’ll show you what food products have lies on the package, who is doing the lying, why they are lying, and how you can protect yourself. It’s available in bookstores everywhere!
Feeding You Lies
Available in stores everywhere
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from Food Babe http://bit.ly/2VRJ5Sc
This post is sponsored by Quaker Oats
There is a new bev in town – Quaker’s new Oat Beverage! Oat milk has been trending as a great lactose-free, plant-based milk, and naturally, Quaker would be the one to make a delicious one. I’ve been using the three flavors in everything from cereal to smoothies to oatmeal itself.
There are three flavors to choose from – Original, Vanilla, and Original Unsweetened, which has no added sugar. My favorite flavor is the Vanilla (because I’m a vanilla girl!) The Original has plenty of great flavor – subtly grainy, very slightly sweet, smooth as can be. The texture is thick not watery, so you’ll be happy to use this for all of your milk-based recipes.
On the nutrition front, each 8 ounce serving of Oat Beverage is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, a good source of fiber from oat bran and chicory root, and clocks in at 30 (Unsweetened) to 50 (Vanilla, Original) calories. Quaker’s Oat Beverage is also specifically formulated with fiber from oat bran to qualify for an FDA heart health claim, with .75 grams of soluble fiber from oat bran per 8 ounce serving. [Studies show 3 grams or more of soluble fiber daily from oat bran, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.]
Snickerdoodle Smoothie Recipe
My number one use of Oat Beverage has been smoothie making, and I serendipitously created this snickerdoodle variation using the vanilla flavor. It combines oats, Oat Beverage, almond butter, and cinnamon into a smoothie that tastes like a blended cookie. The almond butter and cinnamon are key!
A Heart Healthy Diet
A heart healthy diet should include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, lean protein and legumes, and should limit fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and sodium. This recipe per 1 serving provides at least 1g soluble fiber. Experts recommend that to maintain good health, no more than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fat, and no more than 20-35% of daily calories should come from total fat.
This smoothie combines almond butter, oats, vanilla and cinnamon to create a cookie like flavor.
- 8 ounces Quaker Vanilla Oat Beverage
- 1/4 cup Quaker Rolled Oats
- 1/2 medium banana (frozen)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla almond butter
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Blend everything together in a high power blender. Top with additional cinnamon.
Thanks to Quaker Oats for sponsoring this post. For more information on Quaker’s Oat Beverage and where to buy it, click here.
from Kath Eats Real Food http://bit.ly/2v73YNd
These maple glazed carrots are perfect for your clean eating spring table!
Whether you are cooking for guests for Easter or just cooking a nice dinner for yourself, few side dishes are as yummy as… Read more →
from The Gracious Pantry http://bit.ly/2Gih8Mz