Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Registration Open: Master Your Macros Challenge [May Group]

Back by popular demand! We’ve had well over 200 clients successfully complete our Master Your Macros Challenge, so we’re kicking off another group in May. Read on for all of the details! 🙂

The next Master Your Macros Challenge starts on Monday, May 6th. Summer is right around the corner, so if you’re ready to make a change to your diet, NOW is the time to make it happen! 🙂

If you’re unfamiliar with the Challenge, click over to this blog post and read all about, including details about which plan is right for you.

Ready to sign up? Just pick your program from below:

The deadline to sign up is Thursday, May 2nd, so make sure you’re on the list. In January, we had to start a waitlist! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

The post Registration Open: Master Your Macros Challenge [May Group] appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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Top 10 Fasting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Folks, you know I’m a long-time believer in intermittent fasting for longevity, autophagy, mental clarity, fitness performance, metabolic health, and more. I’m excited that Dr. Jason Fung has stopped by the blog today to share a bit about common fasting mistakes. Enjoy!

So, you’ve decided to add some fasting to your lifestyle. Excellent. No matter how much you have (or haven’t) read on the topic, you’re likely to find aspects of fasting to be challenging or even frustrating. It can be hard to stay on track when you’re feeling hungry, irritable and not really noticing any changes.

It’ll become tremendously easier once you begin to experience the health benefits of fasting, but we all know it takes a little while for that to happen. Benefits like mental clarity and improved energy will show up sooner than significant weight loss. Plus, the benefits you experience will depend on what kind of fast you’re doing and how well you stick to it.

But if you’re making fasting mistakes, you might never accomplish the benefits you were hoping for. . Before you throw in the towel, I want to help you identify some possible fasting pitfalls you might not be aware of and also help you avoid them. Plus, don’t miss the Number One reason fasts fail, shared at the end of this article.

1. You’re Snacking or “Grazing”

Look, the entire purpose of a fast is to contain your eating within certain windows of time. Snacking or “grazing” all day long is basically the opposite of fasting, so stop thinking that you can get away with it. Fasting is “on” or “off”—there is no gray area. Even having “just a bite,” no matter how healthy or how little, will almost invariably kick your body out of fasting mode and will interfere with the healing process responsible for fasting’s many benefits. It also creates a situation where your body is producing insulin all day long. Bad idea.

Avoid grazing by putting snacks and food out of sight. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” really applies here. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to bypass snacking when the food isn’t sitting right in front of you. If you snack out of habit, get creative and find new, non-food based habits. If your snacking comes from genuine hunger, you may need to re-evaluate the meals you eat during your eating window. Make sure you’re getting enough healthy, unsaturated fats with each meal as these will keep you satiated for longer.

2. You Aren’t Drinking Enough Water

This is not only a common fasting mistake, but a mistake most people make no matter what their diet is. Drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water daily is essential to staying hydrated and healthy. Some signs that you aren’t drinking enough water include dizziness and lightheadedness, feeling tired, or constipation.

Even worse, when you don’t drink enough water, your brain may try to trick you into thinking that you’re hungry, so you get the vitamins and minerals you’re lacking. Minerals like potassium and magnesium are essential to your brain health. So don’t be surprised next time you feel hungry but find that drinking a glass of water makes the appetite disappear. Various kinds of tea are also a satisfying way to hydrate, or try some bone broth if you’re truly struggling.

3. You Aren’t Consuming Enough Salts

Speaking of vitamins and minerals, appropriate salt intake is vital to your health. Now, when I say “salt,” I’m not talking about the kind you put in a shaker. I’m talking about electrolytes, which are essential to your diet. Sodium (Na), which is also commonly known as table salt, is one of these electrolytes, along with potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and chloride (Cl).

How can you tell if you’re low on electrolytes? Some symptoms of electrolyte deficiency are anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, muscle spasms, fatigue, digestive issues, and dizziness. If these are the kinds of symptoms you experience during your fast, lack of electrolytes could be the answer. Try taking some pink Himalayan rock salt and placing it under your tongue to dissolve. You can also try drinking some pickle juice — just make sure it’s from high-quality natural pickles and not the kind made with sugar.

4. You’re Eating Right Before You Go To Sleep

Your body needs time to digest all the food from your last meal before you go to sleep. If you’ve scheduled your eating window to happen right before bedtime, your body will be taking all the time you’ve allotted to rest to digest instead. That takes energy, and instead of waking up feeling restored and ready to take on the day, you’ll just feel tired.

When you’re following a fasting plan, a seven-hour window is an ideal amount of time to leave between your last meal and when you go to sleep. Even three or four hours is enough to make a difference. Unfortunately, with crazy work schedules and early mornings, a lot of people aren’t able to stick to that three- or four-hour window. It’s more like get home, eat dinner, and go straight to bed. If this is you, the next best thing is to eat a light meal, like salad, and avoid a meal filled with carbohydrates and protein.

5. You’re Eating Too Much of Some Food Groups

When we cut certain foods from our diet, especially carbs, it’s easy to rely on other food groups, like nuts and dairy. They’re readily available and a staple of most diets.

Nuts are a low-carb, healthy fat option, but only in small amounts. They’re great to add to fruit or veggie salads, and they’re easy to grab a handful of when you need a quick snack. But those quick snacks can add up, especially on top of eating full meals. Nuts are high in good fat, low in carbs, and are a good source of protein, but too much protein can be detrimental to your fast. Excess protein that your body doesn’t need is converted to glucose and stored as fat. If you’re fasting to lose weight, this is the exact opposite of what you want.

Dairy, the other easy food group that too many people defect to, can cause inflammation, upset stomach, bloating, gas, and other kinds of discomfort. If this is a pattern you’ve noticed with your own health and eating habits, try cutting out dairy for a few weeks and see if these symptoms improve. If you haven’t noticed these symptoms, be more mindful of your eating habits and track how you feel after eating dairy.

6. You Aren’t Eating Enough of Certain Food Groups

As easy as it is to eat too much of one food group, it’s equally easy to not get enough of another. Just because you can eat “whatever” you want during your eating window doesn’t mean you should. Empty calories and junk food are momentarily satisfying, but they don’t fuel your body. Eating the right foods provides your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive throughout the day; these foods will also keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Vegetables are one of the best food groups to keep you nourished and thriving. They’re low calorie and they provide different vitamins and minerals like potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Fruits are also healthy, but don’t overdo it, as most are high in sugar. Fruit juices typically have added sugar as well. Naturally flavored drinks and teas are the healthiest option. Nuts are high in fat and a good source of protein, as are eggs. Refined carbohydrates and sugars are highly unnecessary for your body and if you’re going to include them in your meals, there should be very little.

7. You’re Pushing Your Body Too Hard

Did you dive off the deep end and go from zero fasting to attempting 24-hr fasts every other day? Back up and take a more moderate approach first. Don’t expect fasting to be easy right away. Not only will your body need time to adjust, but your mind will, too. If you’ve been accustomed to three square meals a day, plus snacks and calorie-filled drinks, your body has gotten used to this routine.

Your body needs time to adapt. First it burns through stored sugar and then it will start burning body fat for energy. Start slow and get a feeling for this new practice. You can start with a twelve-hour fasting period and twelve-hour eating window. When eight hours of that fast are during your sleeping hours, this window is relatively easy. Once you’ve become accustomed to this schedule, you can reduce your eating window to ten hours. Continue decreasing your eating window by two hours every one to two weeks, until you’ve hit the fasting period you want.

8. You Have the Wrong Mindset

Fasting provides your body with everything it needs to thrive, but without the right mindset, you’re bound to fail. Focusing on the negative, like not being allowed to eat certain foods or at certain times, will easily spiral into other negative self-talk. The harder you are on yourself, the more difficult it is to achieve success.

Rather than thinking about how hard the fast is, focus on the positive that will come out of it. Fasting allows your body to heal. Fasting can help you lose weight. You’ll feel more energized and have a clearer mind. Whatever the reason you’ve chosen to fast, focus on that. Fasting with a friend, family member, partner, or online community is another way to hold yourself accountable and can be very helpful.

9. You’re Too Stressed

When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is problematic when fasting because it can prompt your body to break down muscle tissue instead of fat. When fasting, your body should tap into stored body fat and preserve your healthy muscle tissue.

If you’re stressed on occasion, this shouldn’t cause much of a problem. But if you’re chronically stressed, that constant release of cortisol can lead to a breakdown of muscle tissue.

Not sure if you’re stressed? Here are some symptoms:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Apathy
  • Anger
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating

Alleviate stress with deep breathing, positive visualization, an epsom salt bath, and stress-relieving teas. If you can, take some time off from work. If you’re an outdoorsy person, relax in nature.

10. You’re Inactive

Being inactive is one of the biggest mistakes people make during their fast. If you aren’t eating, you should rest and save your energy, right? Wrong. Exercise is a great way to improve your fasting. Activity increases fat burning and boosts circulation. Going outside and getting some sunlight and fresh air can improve your mood, making you more likely to stick to your fast. Movement generally makes people feel better than sitting on the couch inside all day; being inactive makes you cold, tired, and unfocused.

Since a lot of people work sedentary jobs that tie them to a desk all day, exercise isn’t a convenient way to stay active. But taking a short walk or stretching are two easy ways to get your blood flowing throughout the day.

Fasting shouldn’t be synonymous with suffering. If you’re feeling deprived during your fast, be sure that you aren’t making any of the above fasting mistakes. Ease yourself into your fast, stick with it, and enjoy the results when they come with time.

But there’s one more—in fact, the number one reason fasts fail….

Can you guess what it is?

***Giving Into Cravings

Which is why I want to tell you about my new favorite secret weapon for staying fasted longer and with less difficulty: Pique Fasting Teas. Why tea? The combination of catechins and caffeine gives you a higher chance of experiencing tangible benefits from fasting. It suppresses hunger cravings, boosts calorie burn and supports malabsorption of unhealthy fats and sugars.

These Fasting Teas include ingredients targeted at maximizing the fasting experience:

1) Organic highest ceremonial grade matcha, which increases levels of l-theanine to calm and tide you through your fasts with ease. 2) Organic peppermint, which is a natural appetite suppressant with calming properties. 3) Proprietary blend of high catechin green Tea Crystals, which regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase thermogenesis (burning fat for fuel). This helps you to stay fasted and see quicker results. 4) Additional plant ingredients including ginger and citrus peel to support digestion and enhance autophagy.

As with all of Pique’s teas, you can rest assured these are pure and Triple Toxin Screened for pesticides, heavy metals and toxic mold. For a limited time only, if you order through the Mark’s Daily Apple link, you can get up to 8% off and free shipping (U.S. only).

Thanks again to Dr. Jason Fung for today’s post. Have questions on fasting protocols or missteps? Share them below, everybody, and have a great day.


The post Top 10 Fasting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple http://bit.ly/2Pt0e2a

Fashion Week

^^ Mazen laid out this outfit the day before school. Note the pocket change and cell phone from 2010 he included – HAHA!

Our bushes are in full bloom – all dressed up for spring! You can find me wearing a baby a lot of the time. B and I went for a late afternoon walk to maximize our time outside. Those sunnies are by Kohv Eyewear – they sent them to me last year.


Breakfasts lately have been quite anticlimactic from the days of dressed-up oatmeal bowls. Because I’m often running at 9, I just can’t eat much! Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter is so darn good.

Power toast on a hungrier day!


Sometimes I have a post run snack, usually a leftover small smoothie or yogurt. And sometimes I jump into an early lunch.

Salad with leftover chicken, red peppers, Cava dill dressing, and pita chips for crunch.

Quiche is my Lunch of the Year! With Plenty’s grilled eggplant chopped salad and some pitas.

Last week’s quiche was roasted corn and squash, slightly sweet, and SO good! There’s more of that eggplant salad over greens with Cava dressing and pita chips on the side.


We LOVED this grilled pineapple chicken with rice and veggies from Plenty! So fun that Della is including some grilled foods in the menu.

Plenty is still the best thing that’s happened to my weeknights in years!

Baby Meals

Big boy has really taken off with solid foods. I tried mashed banana and mashed avocado and he was only so-so about them. He had some trouble with the texture and was gagging a lot, so I decided to switch to more pureed foods. We picked up a few organic purees from Whole Foods, and he LOVED those. He’s gotten so much more comfortable using his little tongue that I think we might be able to go back to mashes that I can make at home soon. He tried some baby oatmeal as well and was a fan!

Sometimes we stay in our jammies all day 🙂

Plastic bibs are the best. This one is by Bella Tunno and I love that there’s zero cloth on it. I love the silicone plates too for when it’s time for finger foods.

Shorts To Sweat In

I did some Instagram Stories last week about these shorts I got from Athleta. Ready for spring!

Printed Floral Hudsons (still on sale!) // Trekkie 4″ Shorts  // Cabo Beachside Shorties

Face #2

I have three layers of makeup that I rotate between:

  1. Around the house / to the gym (just the basics)
  2. Looking presentable / out of the house (basics + mascara, lips, more eyes)
  3. Dressed up for a party / social (everything in my kit, which for me is still not a ton)

This was level 2! I really like how the Beautycounter makeup is very fresh and natural looking at its start but you can layer it on for a more dressed-up look if you want. I rarely want to look/feel like I’m wearing a heavy face of makeup.

And lastly, I got a Stitch Fix box!

LOVED this top – style + colors! Keep: 41 Hawthorn – Ryley Lace Up Ruffle Detail Blouse.

Also kept this floral top: Pale Sky – Yuri Textured Top. It goes nicely with my Trekkie shorts!

Debated this dress for a while! Decided to keep. Market & Spruce – Meg Knit Dress. I just loved the colors too much. If it had been a solid color I would have sent it back.

This dress I loved from the chest down…

But I just cannot do strapless bras. This would be an item I would always choose something else over for the bra reason alone.

And finally, I sent back this cardigan, which just felt a little too big and slightly nerdy…or something!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done regular fixes but I do love how unique the items they send me are! Some of my very favorite wardrobe staples have come from Stitch Fix and nearly all of my dresses have! I usually request that my boxes have “dressy tops and dresses” because those are things I don’t always find when I’m shopping in person (which I rarely do) or at Athleta – lol.

My referral code gives you $25 off your first fix if it’s been a while since you’ve shopped!

The post Fashion Week appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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Clean Eating Green Goddess Dressing Recipe

This green goddess dressing recipe is fresh, delicious, a goes super well with any green salad you care to put it on.

If you’ve ever purchased the Greed Goddess dressing from Trader Joe’s, you’ll know exactly what this is. It’s pure, green deliciousness in a bottle. Made with lots of herbs and avocado, it’s a wonderful homemade dressing for many salads. Particularly in the warmer months of the year (although it’s yummy any time of year!)

A beautiful bowl of salad sits towards the back of the table with a full dressing bottle and a small, white pitcher sit filled with this clean eating green goddess dressing recipe.


According to American Food Roots:

This famous salad dressing was created in the kitchens of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. Chef Philip Roemer is said to have invented the dressing in 1923 to honor actor George Arliss, who stayed at the hotel while performing in William Archer’s hit play, “The Green Goddess.”


Greed Goddess Dressing is traditionally made with mayonnaise, sour cream, anchovy, fresh herbs and lemon juice along with some black pepper. But I wanted to remake what they sell at Trader Joe’s, so my ingredients do not include the mayo, sour cream or anchovy. The recipe below uses avocados, fresh herbs, lemon juice and pepper. It’s totally delicious and very, very close to the Trader Joe’s version.

And overhead view looking down into the bowl of salad with carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers. A clear glass bottle and small white pitcher both sit in front of the bowl filled with this clean eating green goddess dressing recipe.


You could certainly enjoy the traditional version in small portions and keep it somewhat on the healthier side. But I find that all that mayo and sour cream along with anchovies don’t really fit my definition of healthy these days.

I realize that goes against the current, fat-loving trend of the keto diet that is currently all the rage. But all I know is how much better I feel since giving up that way of eating. You can certainly add those things to this recipe if you prefer by switching out the avocados for equal portions of mayo and sour cream if that is your preference.


This recipe is vegan but it’s tough to tell the difference once it’s mixed into a salad. This dressing delivers all the flavor without the high fat or cholesterol. Give it a try!


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Clean Eating Green Goddess Dressing

A delicious salad dressing made with fresh herbs, onions, lemon juice and black pepper.

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 medium haas avocados ((pitted and skins removed))
  • 3/4 cup chopped, fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (+ 1 tbsp.)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions ((whites and green parts))
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh, chopped basil
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt ((+ more to taste as needed))
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  1. Place all ingredient in a high-speed blander and blend until smooth.

  2. Transfer to a food-safe container and store in the fridge up to 5 days.

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

The post Clean Eating Green Goddess Dressing Recipe appeared first on The Gracious Pantry.

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