Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Birthday Party at Goldfish Swim School

Quinn had quite the birthday celebration this year. Holy cow, it was non-stop festivities! They started more than a week ago and continued through last weekend with a birthday party at Goldfish Swim School. His pool party was his “official” birthday celebration, so I guess the others were just… practice for the big day? 😉 Let’s just say, he’s one lucky boy! 🙂

Our birthday party at Goldfish Swim School was included in a recent partnership via the Rockland location. After a few months of weekly swim lessons, the nice folks there reached out about some promotion in exchange for complimentary lessons and a Goldfish swim party. Quinn lovvvveesss swimming at Goldfish, so we were more than happy to collaborate and share our experience.

Birthday Party at Goldfish Swim School

Even before our partnership began, we were huge fans of Goldfish Swim School. It’s truly a special place for kids, and their method for teaching them to swim is incredible. After only swimming with the help of a Puddle Jumper or lifejacket, Quinn was swimming without any sort of assistance in about 8 weeks. I’m still so impressed with how quickly he was able to learn at Goldfish.

Birthday Party at Goldfish Swim School

The best part about our swim party at Goldfish was everything was done for us – right down to the decorations, paper products, and juice boxes. We literally just showed up and our party was ready to go!

Birthday Party at Goldfish Swim School

Also included: Cupcakes from Montilio’s Bakery. They had Swedish Fish on top (so cute), and we had the choice of chocolate or vanilla. We had to pay extra for pizza (also from Montilio’s), and we made our own goodie bags for our guests, but, other than that, everything was taken care of for us.

The birthday party at Goldfish Swim School included two lifeguards as well as Puddle Jumpers for the kids who couldn’t swim. Bigger kids or ones that can swim just needed to pass a “swim test” that involved swimming across the pool unassisted. Parents were not required to get into the pool, but lots of them did. I mean, the pool water is 90 degrees F. It’s basically like bath water! 🙂

We had the whole place to ourselves for 2 hours, and it was such a great time. I can’t tell you how many parents and kids said they had a blast at Quinn’s birthday party at Goldfish Swim School!

Birthday Party at Goldfish Swim School

It was seriously so nice having a stress-free birthday party. I hope you enjoyed this Goldfish Swim School party review. We definitely recommend it as an awesome place to throw a party! 🙂

birthday party at goldfish swim school

I received so many inquires on Instagram about our experience, so if I didn’t answer your question, please send me a message. I’m more than happy to help! Thank you, Goldfish!!

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8 Comebacks For Keto Criticisms

It’s easy to forget how weird we all are.

You spend your days reading this and other health blogs, communing with Primal and keto folks on social media, staying abreast of the nutrition literature, arguing about arcane metabolic minutiae on forums, counting your linoleic acid intake, and you forget that most people don’t know 2% of what you know about diet.

So, when you hear people criticize keto, don’t get exasperated (even if the criticisms are silly). Be ready to respond. And hey, not all criticisms are unfounded. In many cases, wrangling with them will only make you more honest and informed about your diet. Let’s look at some of the more astute keto critiques….

1) Your Brain Needs Glucose, How Do You Even Think?

This isn’t so much wrong as incomplete. Yes, the brain famously needs glucose—but not as much as we’re lead to believe. Once you’re keto-adapted, ketones can provide most of the brain’s energy needs. At max ketone production and adaptation, you’ll still need about 30 grams of glucose for your brain.

Your liver can make about 150 grams of carbohydrates a day from gluconeogenesis, so even if you don’t eat any carbs at all (and you can definitely eat carbs on keto) you’ll still be able to manufacture the requisite 30 grams of glucose.

2) Don’t You Need Carbs for Energy?

The beauty of keto (and low-carb eating in general) is that it leads to low insulin—both fasting and post-prandial (after meals). When your insulin is low, you’re able to access your stored body fat and liberate it to be burned for energy. Since even the leanest among us carry pounds of body fat, that means you have tens of thousands of calories of clean-burning energy available for liberation at any time.

Once you’re keto-adapted, you’ll most likely find that you have steadier energy than before.

3) How Do You Get Fiber?

Actually, there are plenty of ways to obtain fiber on a ketogenic diet. Many of the best sources of prebiotic fiber—the kind that feed and nourish the good gut bacteria living in your digestive tract—are fairly low in digestible carbohydrates and mesh well with keto. For example:

  • Berries
  • Jicama
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Dandelion greens
  • Green bananas (Yes, a green banana is mostly resistant starch, which your body cannot digest.)
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Dark chocolate
  • Almonds and pistachios
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocados

Plenty of fiber in those.

4) How Do You Exercise Without Carbs?

Quite nicely.

There are two primary energy systems used during exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic energy relies on fat; anaerobic relies on glucose. The better you are at burning fat, the more work you can do while remaining aerobic. This preserves stored glucose (glycogen) for more intense efforts, increasing your overall energy efficiency. Particularly for endurance training, being keto-adapted allows you to utilize greater amounts of stored body fat for energy and reserve glycogen for when you really need it.

And besides, if you do engage in glycolytic, glucose-intensive training, you can always cycle carbs in and around your workout sessions. Your insulin-sensitive muscles will suck up any glucose you consume as glycogen without affecting your insulin levels or your ability to generate ketones and burn fat.

5) Doesn’t All That Fat Give You Heart Disease?

The vast majority of studies placing people on low-carb, high-fat or ketogenic diets find that markers of heart health improve rather than decline.

In obese adults with type 2 diabetes, a ketogenic diet improved blood lipids and boosted fat loss compared to a low-calorie diet.

In lean, healthy adults without any weight to lose (and who didn’t lose any weight during the course of the diet), total cholesterol went up from 159 to 208 mg/dL and triglycerides fell from 107 to 79 mg/dL. A lipophobic doc might freak out at the rise in TC, but given that the triglycerides dropped, I bet the change reflects a rise in HDL and an overall positive, at worst-neutral effect.

Now, do some people see classically-deleterious changes to their blood lipids? Sure. Anything can happen. We’re all different. I talk more about keto and cholesterol effects here. But the weight of evidence shows that becoming fat-adapted through a keto diet is better for your heart health than not.

6) You’re Just Losing Water Weight, Not Fat

Here’s the truth:

Yes, when you go keto and start shedding glycogen from your liver and your muscles, you lose a lot of water. That’s because every gram of glycogen is stored with 3-4 grams of water. Burn the glycogen and you lose the water along with it.

But this glycogen-and-water loss is a prerequisite for losing “real” weight. It’s a harbinger for fat loss. Once the glycogen runs low, that’s when you start getting into deep ketosis and developing the ability to burn massive amounts of body fat for energy.

7) I Heard the Keto Diet Kills Your Gut Bacteria

Ah, yes, I remember that study. They either fed people a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and other foods—or a diet of lunch meat and cheese. Turns out the lunch meat and cheese “keto diet” was bad for the gut biome, increasing gut bacteria linked to obesity and metabolic problems and decreasing gut bacteria linked to health. Of course it was.

A keto diet doesn’t have to consist of bologna and American cheese slices. In fact, it shouldn’t. As I explained in the fiber section, a well-formulated ketogenic diet is full of prebiotic fiber, non-starchy vegetables, and even low-sugar fruit that provide plenty of nourishment for your healthy gut bacteria. What these studies and media stories attack is a caricature of keto, a diet full of processed meat and low quality cheese. They aren’t relevant for someone following a Primal keto diet.

8) Keto Isn’t Sustainable

Well, what do you mean by sustainable?

If you’re talking about the “restrictiveness” of the diet at a personal level, that depends. Sure, you can’t go keto and continue eating Pop Tarts and donuts for breakfast, heaping bowls of pasta for lunch, and fast food burgers (with the bun, at least) and fries with a shake for dinner. But you can eat eggs, bacon, and blackberries for breakfast. You can eat a Big Ass Salad full of a dozen different species of vegetables for lunch. And you can have a ribeye with buttered broccoli for dinner with a glass of wine. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty damn sustainable way to eat in my book.

If you’re talking about the environment, and worrying about farting cows or whatever, the evidence is quickly accumulating that properly-raised and managed grazing livestock can sequester more carbon than they emit, revitalize (and even de-desertify) grasslands, and produce more calories-per-unit-of-input than conventional pasture-raising. A large portion of the world’s surface isn’t even suitable for growing crops and is better used for grazing animals. The environmental sustainability of meat-eating is still an open question, but the popular conception of “meat bad, grains good” is completely incorrect and incomplete.

What other keto criticisms have you encountered in the wild? Leave them down below, and thanks for stopping in today, everyone.

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References:

Hussain TA, Mathew TC, Dashti AA, Asfar S, Al-zaid N, Dashti HM. Effect of low-calorie versus low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet in type 2 diabetes. Nutrition. 2012;28(10):1016-21.

Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Wolfe RR, Blackburn GL. The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: physical and biochemical adaptation. Metab Clin Exp. 1983;32(8):757-68.

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Thought Download

I would gladly trade a dinner date for a soccer field date!

Update: Wine On The Weekends

Remember when I wrote this post about getting a little too habitual with a daily drink and cutting back to just the weekends? I am happy to say that it has gone REALLY well! I’ve been on the “plan” since January and have bent the rules about five times. I’m calling that a huge success! My intention was never to create hard rules that felt like restriction. Instead I wanted some structure to my week that would help me break the habit and give me a reason to say no. The few times I have had a drink during the week I’ve usually had some underlying reason – a leftover open bottle of wine I really didn’t want to dump out so I finished the last glass or a good reason to celebrate. I also changed the rules a bit so that I can choose between Thursday OR Sunday as my third day but either way I’m still doing 3 days on and 4 days off. I’m feeling really good about the change!

Swig Wine Tumbler

Speaking of drinking (on the weekends!) I bought this Swig Wine Tumbler at a local gift shop and it’s so great for summer sips! A few of those reasons include: no glass to break, stays chilled, lid keeps kids and dog tails from knocking over, easy to pack, etc. I only wish I’d seen the marble one!

Summersalt

I am in search of a bathing suit that I can really mom-it-up in. I’m talking RUN across the beach without thought. Have you seen the Summersalt one-shoulder one piece bathing suit all over the internet? I bought one (actually two, in sizes 4 and 6) with very very high hopes. While it was one of the best one pieces I have ever tried on, what ultimately pushed me to return both sizes was that there was zero bust support on the inside. No shelf bra, no cups (even thin ones), and no way to keep the girls in position other than the snugness of the suit itself. If you are smaller chested, you will probably love this suit. It felt great in all other areas!

Plant Based Juniors

Remember this post that I published last fall about tips for feeding a baby real food? I have a copy of the Plant Based Juniors e-book and I’ve been referencing it for tips on finger foods and recipes. Definitely recommend if you have a baby about the same age as Birch!

He would eat mum mums all day if we let him!

Themed Wines

Thou shall not choose a book by its cover, but wine should definitely be selected for its label! Tasting Room has Lord of the Rings themed wines in the bottle shop! Frodo is an Old Vine Zin that is delish. They also have a Walking Dead collection! These are my “take to party” wines 🙂

Erry Day I’m Side Hustlin’

KERF started as a tiny side hustle while I was working in public relations. Well, really KERF started as a hobby with no intention of creating any money. I remember about six months in my dad said to me “Why don’t you have ads on this blog of yours?” and that got the ball rolling. The next month I made a few hundred dollars through the BlogHer network and it grew from there. It was the perfect side job while I was in nutrition school. Many years later, my goal is to continue to diversify my income so that if one stream shrinks another takes its place. Beautycounter has been the most fun new side hustle I have started! It’s very similar to owning a franchise, and you get to do your own thing without having to reinvent the wheel. I created a KERF-themed PDF with all kinds of info for anyone interested. Just email if you’d like to hear more! (Katheats at Gmail dot com).

Beach Bound

We are heading to Bald Head on Saturday for our annual family beach trip! I’m planning to be in low power mode, but I’m sure I’ll publish some posts live from the island!

Serious concern:

We do not know how we are going to pack the car now that we have two carseats, a stroller, travel crib, golf clubs (!) and more. Any tips!?

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