Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Quinn’s 5th Birthday

This cool kid had quite the birthday weekend!

This is 5… silly, sweet, sensitive, kind, thoughtful, creative, curious, persistent, and PokĂ©mon-loving! 🙂

Quinn’s 5th birthday celebration started with a family breakfast at Lucky Finn Cafe.

His cousins from Seattle were visiting, so we wrangled the whole crew and headed down to Scituate to one of our favorite spots.

(Can we talk about their matching outfits?!)

Once Quinn finished eating his almond croissant, it was time to open all sorts of birthday presents, including his first set of Pokemon cards with tin and Pokemon book set. He was pumped!!

After that, we drove out to Funny Farm for a fun day by the pool. FYI: My rainbow hat is from the RUN PROUD line at Brooks. I lovvvveee it. It’s definitely going to become my go-to summer hat!

Our pool day also included a birthday pinata, which was a HUGE hit with the kids!!

It was quite the day and sweet Quinn was all tuckered out by the end!

Quinn falling asleep in the pool was beyond adorable, but probably not the safest. Plus, he really needed another application of sunscreen, so I wrapped him in a towel and brought him outside. Usually, he’d wake up and fight a nap, but he was donezo! He snoozed for almost 2 hours!

On Quinn’s actual birthday (June 9th), we started the day with a trip to Starbucks (just the three of us) where Quinn opened the rest of his presents. Skyrail Wall was definitely a favorite!

Mid-morning (we totally ate ice cream at 10:30 AM), we stopped by Kimball Farm, which is always a favorite destination when we’re in our hometown.

Later that afternoon, it was time for Papi’s wedding. We joked that Papi threw an epic 5th birthday party for Quinn! 🙂 We all had a great time celebrating the happy couple. Quinn really loved getting down on the dance floor! Papi and Lori actually got married at the same place where Mal and I did, so it was fun visiting after all of these years.

After such a full weekend of activities, it’s hard to believe Quinn still has a birthday pool party planned for this Saturday… and the celebration continues!!

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Dear Mark: Electrolytes and Keto Carbs

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering questions from the comment sections of the recent posts on daily keto carb limits, within-meal keto carb limits, and electrolytes. I’m addressing questions about alcohol, uniform carb allowances versus personalized, potassium supplementation, salt appetite, salt water, electrolytes after the transition, whether fruits fit in, and why I don’t count above-ground non-starchy vegetables.

Without further ado, let’s go:

How does alcohol count towards the 50g of carbs per day? Would that be measured proportionate to the caloric values (ratio 7 (a) : 4 (c) ) or is it easier to simply ignore alcohol along with the fiber … ?

Alcohol doesn’t “count” as a carb, but I wouldn’t ignore it.

The body stops burning other macronutrients in the presence of alcohol until the alcohol is metabolized. When you consume alcohol, the body suppresses oxidation of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The alcohol itself can’t really be stored as fat, but its inhibition of traditional fuel oxidation means you’re more likely to store rather than burn dietary fat.

If you’re keeping carbs low to improve body composition, you should definitely take alcohol calories into account.

Why is 50g of carbs set as the upper limit for everyone? Wouldn’t it make more sense to set the limit using macro percentage?

My BMR is roughly 1300 kcal, so 50g of carbs corresponds to a macro ratio of 15% (a bit above the suggested 5-10%).
Is it more important to follow the 50g upper limit or the macro percentage?

Ease of use. I want to make this as effortless as possible for as many people as possible.

And again, it’s total carbs, not net, and you’re eating whole foods, so a good number of those 50 grams will be fiber and thus indigestible (by you).

It all seems to balance out in the end and end up “lower carb” than one might assume by looking at “50 grams of carbs”—for most people.

If people try this and it doesn’t work, then they can come with follow-up questions and get the detailed guidance they need. They can get more specific and take the (admittedly small amount of) time to calculate their macros.

How about low-sodium salt for extra potassium?

Not a big fan. Potassium citrate powder seems to work a lot better than potassium chloride (low-sodium salt) in several areas:

Bone density.

Kidney stone formation.

It’s quite tasteless, whereas potassium chloride’s taste is quite distinct.

Just make sure you clear potassium supplementation with your doctor, especially if you have or suspect you have kidney health problems; the kidneys excrete excess potassium, and a bad kidney can make potassium supplementation dangerous.

I’ve struggled with postural hypotension since childhood, but it used to be caused mainly by excessive heat. Recently I made the connection that if I don’t drink caffeine, it goes away completely. Soon as I drink it I’m lightheaded again, *especially* if I’m also pregnant. I could probably benefit from increasing my salt intake dramatically. I find that if I add 1/4tsp sea salt to a cup of water it tastes amazing, so that probably indicates I need more salt. I heard an interview where someone recommended adding salt to water especially if you drink coffee, and they said it tastes gross like you’re drinking sweat, but I really think it tastes delicious.

This is a really important point. Your craving for salt appears to track closely with salt requirements.

The more sodium you need (and the more you’ve excreted), the better salt will taste if you’re eating a natural, whole foods diet without the skewing effect of processed food products. That’s probably why salt in your water “tastes amazing.” This jibes with my personal recommendation for salt:

“Salt food to taste. Don’t avoid added salt if your taste buds and intuition suggest you could and should have some extra.”

I hesitate to offer iron-clad numbers for potassium and magnesium (even though I gave some ranges in the last post). “Sisson says take 200 mg of this and 300 mg of that.” We don’t want that. We don’t know everyone’s needs. We don’t have a “potassium appetite” or a “magnesium appetite,” but potassium tracks largely with sodium and most people aren’t getting enough magnesium so I feel comfortable saying “eat more of them” and having people follow their salt appetite.

Still, I’ll also mention that some people are clinically salt-sensitive, and the effects can be significant, especially in terms of blood pressure. It’s always best to let you doctor know. It’s a definite must if you’re salt sensitive.

Does anyone make a “sole” by diluting pink Himalayan salt, Red Hawaiian Alaea, etc. into water?

Any success with that method?

I’ll sometimes put a few healthy pinches of Hawaiian red salt into a glass of water before bed. When I wake up, it’s totally dissolved and I throw it back. Tastes good for sure.

What I do often is have a couple of mugs of black coffee in the morning with the last one having butter and coconut oil in it.
Then walk 18 holes while drinking a couple of bottles of spring water each with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt.
Seems to work for me


I like it. If it seems to work, it’s working.

Thank you so much for this articles, Mark. You are the first keto expert I have read who says to add electrolytes “for the transition”! I am no longer in the transition period…but I still take all my electrolytes daily. Is a person who is fat-adapted supposed to wean themselves from supplemental electrolytes?? I’ve been keto for over 18 months, and I really do not think I have heard that particular advice before. Could you clarify? Thank you again!

While transition is the most important and full fat-adaptation means you won’t be shedding water/glycogen as often and all the electrolytes with it, you’re not out of the woods entirely because you’ll still be enjoying low insulin levels. And what doesn’t change post-transition is the inhibitory effects of low insulin on sodium retention. If you’re living a low-insulin lifestyle, you won’t retain as much sodium—you’ll expel more—and you should probably maintain higher levels in your diet long-term. Keep your doctor in the loop.

Since potassium loss is downstream of sodium loss (from the kidneys trying to balance out your potassium:sodium ratios), you’ll also need to keep potassium intake up.

And pretty much everyone could use more magnesium, so taking some extra there, too, is likely a good idea.

Question, so should the carbs be coming from below-ground vegetables like beets and onions and carrots, or if it falls under said carb amount per meal, does it matter if it comes from higher sugar fruits or from potatoes? My meals tend to be usually proteins and above ground vegetables, so I wouldn’t be counting any of those. For example I really like pink lady apples. The ones I buy state 16g carbs per apple. Having one of those with a meal would be fine? How about without a meal, would that be more likely to knock someone out of ketosis?

Below ground vegetables and potatoes and fruits all work and count. An apple counts, is completely fine to eat if it fits your personal carb allowance (and even if it doesn’t—it’s your choice!). If you have an apple by itself, there won’t be any fat or protein to slow down the assimilation of glucose, so you’ll get a “faster hit” that could “knock you out” of ketosis. But ultimately it’s about that meal in the context of your daily carb intake, your exercise levels, whether you’ve just trained or gone for a long walk, your fat-adaptation progress, and your goals.

I’m unclear as to why Mark says “don’t count above ground, non-starchy vegetables”. I mean, they have net carbs after you subtract the fiber. Surely a carb is a carb? I can easily eat 15 grams of carb per day in kale and broccoli alone; sometimes in a single meal..

It generally takes more glucose to digest the glucose in leafy greens, broccoli, and other non-starchy vegetables than they actually contain. The result is a net loss or a wash in terms of useable glucose.

You won’t ever find an athlete carbing up with kale before a race.

That’s it for today, folks. If you have any further questions or comments, let me know down below!



Granchi D, Caudarella R, Ripamonti C, et al. Potassium Citrate Supplementation Decreases the Biochemical Markers of Bone Loss in a Group of Osteopenic Women: The Results of a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. Nutrients. 2018;10(9)

Nicar MJ, Peterson R, Pak CY. Use of potassium citrate as potassium supplement during thiazide therapy of calcium nephrolithiasis. J Urol. 1984;131(3):430-3.

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Raspberry Lemon Yerba Mate Smoothie Bowl

This post is sponsored by Argentine Yerba Mate

raspberry lemon smoothie bowl

This smoothie bowl is as refreshing as a cold pool at noon on a mid-summer day. Made with just four ingredients, it’s a blend of frozen fruit and zesty lemon with energizing yerba mate iced tea. Crushed graham crackers add a crunchy topping! 

I cuddle mugs all winter long, but when summer comes ’round I’m all about the iced drinks. While ice water is great mid soccer game, I like to have something with a little flavor with my meals. Iced tea is a great staple beverage to have on hand because it’s BYO water. Meaning you don’t have to buy it by the gallon to drink gallons. Tea leaves are very efficient!

One Strong Tea

Yerba mate came to be a favorite last year as I worked with Argentine Yerba Mate on developing some tea-inspired recipes. It has a flavor profile similar to green tea with an earthy finish. I like it steeped with some honey for sweetness.

One cup of yerba mate contains 78 mg of caffeine, which is just a little less than the 85 mg that you get from a cup of coffee (if you stick to a small mug – who does that?!) and a bit higher than a cup of classic black tea. If you’re torn between tea and coffee because of their caffeine levels, yerba mate might be your answer!

If you’re wanting to swap your coffee for Yerba Mate, today through June 21 (the longest day of the year!) you can enter to win a $1000 Whole Foods gift card.

How To Brew It

I use a French press (32 ounces) with 1/4 cup tea leaves in the bottom. I pour over hot-but-not-boiling water and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Press the leaves down and store the whole press in your fridge or transfer to a pitcher.

A Zesty Smoothie Bowl, or Sorbet

Another ingredient I’ve been obsessed with lately is lemon zest! I’ve been loving it in sauces, salads, and more. So when I was dreaming up flavors to incorporate into this bowl, lemon zest was at the top of my list.

Call it a smoothie. Call it sorbet. The texture of this is silky-smooth and frozen.

I dressed her up with crushed graham crackers aka “graham crumb” to sound fancy and a few edible rose flowers! Plus lemons and more zest, naturally.


Raspberry Lemon Yerba Mate Smoothie Bowl

This refreshing smoothie is a blend of frozen fruit, iced yerba mate tea, and lemon zest.

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup iced Yerba mate tea
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Graham crumb for garnish
  1. Blend bananas, Yerba mate, raspberries, lemon and lemon zest in a high speed blender.
  2. Pour into bowls and garnish with additional lemon and graham crumbs.

Other yerba mate recipes you might like:

Thanks to Argentine Yerba Mate for sponsoring this post!

The post Raspberry Lemon Yerba Mate Smoothie Bowl appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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

Clean Eating Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Recipe

This Zucchini Noodles recipe with lemon and parmesan is a beautiful dish of simple pleasures.

I have been following Tiffany’s clean eating journey for a long time. So when she offered me the chance to write a guest post for her blog I was just plain thrilled. While I have a long way to go to catch up to Tiffany’s inspirational example of cooking with unprocessed ingredients, we have been talking more and more in our house about the importance of ingredients.

Hi there!  I’m Kate Morgan Jackson, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover.  I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and along the way my recipes have also been featured in places including Huff Post, the Today Show, BuzzFeed and Glamour.  My mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN!  My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too.  Let’s cook together!

A white bowl sits filled with this Clean Eating Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Noodles on a wooden table. A lemon slice sits on top of the zucchini noodles and everything is topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Not only does using the freshest, cleanest ingredients make your meal healthier, it also makes it more scrumptious as those pure flavors get a chance to shine. And if you are working towards cleaner eating the way we are, summer is the easiest time to start, because we are pretty much SURROUNDED by fresh local fruits and veggies.


This easy recipe came about during my ongoing effort to rein in our level of pasta consumption. And as it turns out, if you sauté zucchini noodles with a little olive oil and then dress them with fresh lemon juice and a little parmesan cheese, you are going to forget that regular pasta exists in the world. We use a simple hand-cranked spiralizer to make our noodles, and of course our local farm stand is exploding with fresh local zucchini just begging to be turned into tender noodles.

As for the parmesan cheese, steer clear of the pre-grated stuff in the pasta aisle and go for a hunk of real parmesan. It will keep forever in your fridge and you will find yourself pulling it out to grate over everything from tomato soup to fried eggs to these lemon parmesan zucchini noodles.

This recipe goes perfectly with anything coming off your grill this summer, and we also love it with shrimp on top – you can sautĂ© them in that same pan that you are using for the zucchini noodles so you only have one pan to clean up. Now that’s a clean eating supper in every way!


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Clean Eating Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Recipe

Fresh, simple flavors create the best dishes!

  • 1 large zucchini ((spiralized into noodles – about 3/4 lb. or so))
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon ((juice only – about 1 tbsp.))
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt (to taste)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add salt and pepper, stir, and then add zucchini noodles. Toss until just tender, about 5 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Toss. Add cheese and toss again.

  3. Serve at once, sprinkling with a little more cheese and pepper if you like!

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

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