Monday, April 29, 2019

Euro Party Night

Yesterday was such a fun day for our little family, who, for the record, has some really great ideas for our Sunday afternoon. Mal had a random craving for a charcuteri board, and Quinn suggested a party, specifically a “party night.” We decided to combine their ideas for a “Euro Party Night” since stopping by our local Euro Mart was key to the evening.

If you’re local, you definitely need to check out this place. The imported cured meats are absolutely incredible. I actually didn’t know I liked salami until yesterday! It was so flavorful and not fake-tasting like a lot of grocery story salamis often are. The guy behind the counter actually said if he wants to impress someone, he’ll offer them a sample of the salami, and I definitely know why now. We were immediately sold! 🙂

The Euro Mart also sells Kinder Eggs, which are SO FUN, it’s hard to wait until you get home to open them!

Back at home, Quinn was in full on party mode. He was totally into it and took charge with the decorations and what needed to be done. Mal and I loved watching his “take charge” attitude and asked him if he wanted to moonlight as a party planner someday. His reply: an enthusiastic “YES!” FYI: Quinn’s dream (full-time) job is becoming an EMT with some party planning on the side.

Decoration highlights: A paper fan napkin holder for the Batman napkins, place settings that included a stripped straw + toothpick, and sparkly Thanksgiving centerpieces. I helped Quinn with the food, but he set the table and did such a great job!

The bug beach chair at the head of the table was also Quinn’s idea! 🙂

Cheers to our first Euro Party Night!!

Our party attire included scratch-and-sniff pizza stickers because who doesn’t love to smell like pizza!?

And, of course, Murphy was invited to our party. We gave him a bite of brie cheese, and he must have licked his lips 50 times. I mean, it was a delicious brie!

P.S. Totally unrelated, but I saw this New York Times Custom Birthday Book in an Uncommon Goods catalog and just had to share in case you’re in the market for a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift. (I’m pretty sure this is what Grandma and Papi are getting!) It’s a book of front pages from the New York Times from each year since the recipient’s birthday. Isn’t that a fun and unique gift idea? FYI: If you want to gift one for Mother’s Day, the deadline to order is tomorrow (4/30)!

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Fasting Gave Me a Better Approach To Maintain My Weight Without Restrictions

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 name is Garland Niblett and I am a nutritional consultant and co-owner of Fit & Faithful Wellness. This is my story.

In 2011 I was admitted to the Veterans Affairs hospital and diagnosed with PTSD. From there, I basically gave up on myself, both mentally and physically. I was once a 195 lbs., 3% body fat natural bodybuilder; and then, while I was in the VA hospital, I became a 301 lbs. “unrecognizable” individual. I had become overweight and was even classified as morbidly obese.

Benztropine, diazepam, cholecalciferol, Etodolac, methocarbamol, mirtazapine, amlodipine, aripiprazole, prazosin, quetiapine, and simvastatin. These were all prescribed to me while I was in the hospital. I had plenty of psychiatrists and psychologists but ultimately, I connected with a holistic therapist who helped me accept what happened to me in my past and how to manage my PTSD. Since 2016, I have managed to use only quetiapine for sleep.

By accepting my PTSD, I was able to move forward with my life. My therapist taught me how to be mindful about what was around me, emotionally, mentally and of course, nutritionally. I was more conscious of what I was putting in my body. In 246 days, I was able to lose 105 lbs. I felt great, but I fluctuated with my weight and wanted to find a better approach to maintaining my weight without restrictions. I was used to consuming over 5,000 calories, spread out during the day, eating most of my calories in the morning. During this time, I wasn’t overweight, but I still had chronic pain throughout my body. My stomach was constantly upset, bloated and felt sore from my workouts and daily movement.

Looking into the research on Intermittent Fasting, I became fascinated and wondered if this would work for me. And so, the journey of fasting began.

I started with the basic 16/8, giving up my 2,000-caloric breakfast. I struggled and was a bit hungry and moody but was persistent and did not give into my cravings. Soon thereafter, I was doing 18/6, 20/4 and now, 24-48 hours fasting. I noticed a momentous change with my body composition but most importantly, I felt great. I had more energy, an incredible amount of endurance and basically no soreness or inflammation. I had become Fat Adapted. No hunger cravings, stable mood and plenty of energy. My average blood sugar levels are 64 ml/dl, with mental clarity, balanced hormones, low inflammatory levels and a healthy stress response. My current weight is 195 lbs. and I have maintained this weight for the past two years.

Intermittent Fasting has been part of life now for over two years. Before intermittent fasting, my weight fluctuated from 220-240 lbs. I would have never thought it would be possible for me to run 8-10 miles in the morning and not desire food until later in the evening. No muscle loss but plenty of body fat reduction. I truly believe that fasting may be an alternative for individuals that are seeking healthier lifestyle options, weight loss, better mood and mental awareness.

I recommend intermittent fasting to my clients that struggle with weight loss, type 2 diabetes, and if they have chronic inflammation. I also recommend to my clients that they read The Primal Blueprint and The Keto Reset Diet, which talk about fasting and being mindful of the nutrients you choose to put in your body.

Intermittent fasting is amazing and since the beginning of this year I no longer have to rely on Quetiapine to help me sleep. I am now 100% medication free, thanks to intermittent fasting.

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.


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How Grand

We had some visitors this weekend who made things extra fun around here! My parents tried to visit us not once but twice this winter and both times they had to cancel the trip because of winter colds. With a little baby at home, we just didn’t want to risk him getting sick. Especially since snuggling him was one of the main reasons they were coming!

But this time they made it. Birch was excited to see his Grammie!


On Friday Thomas and I had an early quiche dinner and then headed to ACAC for a rooftop party.

It was Chris’s annual birthday bash! Unfortunately the wind was strong and temps quite cold up there, but we still had a good time.

The man, the myth, the legend.

I brought a cake from Foods Of All Nations!! The 26 is because my birthday is his half birthday and vice versa so we share a love for the number 26. I think some people were confused by his age, but he got the joke. I didn’t even think about age when I requested it!


Saturday morning was gorgeous!! Thomas was up bright and early cutting our grass.

We had a big breakfast of eggs, muffins, and grapes.

I went for a run on the greenway during B’s nap.

And then had a strawberry banana smoothie and carrots/celery for lunch.

Grammie and Pea arrived just after lunch and we spent the afternoon playing and getting ready for a cookout.

Grammie hitting a home run!

Nona (Thomas’s mom), Clay and Nash joined us for dinner, and we had a grand ole time playing sports in the yard and eating cake (more cake!) for dessert.

Nash is smitten with his little cousin!

He even did the big job of feeding Birch some prunes for dinner. B was really into them!

We had burgers and brats for dinner with pesto kale salad and Nona’s mac and cheese.

I had half and half.

That cake tho!

Thomas and I watched episode 2 of GOT after dinner. ‘Twas a good one! (But not as good as episode 1)


We had a light breakfast on Sunday in anticipation of brunch later on. I had a yogurt plus a little Cville Cluster Granola.

Grammie helped me put B down for nap with his stories. He LOVES books <3

After showers and B’s nap, we raced out the door for brunch. We walked downtown and landed at The Fitzroy for their brunch buffet. Luckily we got a table outside!

The buffet was great, and they had tons of brunch specialities.

Birchie was so happy during brunch! He decided to eat his foot for dessert.

But just as predicted, at the 1:45 wake time he got super fussy and was ready for his next nap. So I (literally) ran home to put him in his crib!

Meanwhile, the crew took Mazey to Chaps, as promised.

After some quiet time on Sunday afternoon, I left for my soccer game and everyone came to watch for a bit.

Mom and Dad babysat the kids for us to head out for an early date night. We are sad for them to go home!

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