Monday, October 7, 2019

Life Lately + October Stitch Fix Try-On

Hi, guys! Good morning!

If you caught me on Instagram Stories yesterday, I shared a brief anti-candida diet update. I was actually kind of nervous to talk about my experience so far because it had only been 5 days, and I didn’t want to jinx myself. But I’m happy to report that my GI symptoms have improved immensely.

This is definitely TMI, but my ulcerative colitis symptoms included tons of cramping, multiple trips to the bathroom per day, and seeing lots of blood and mucus in my stool. Basically, I was in a full-on flare in recent weeks. Just 5 days into the diet, my symptoms have done a complete 180, which is absolutely incredible. I know it’s only been a couple of days and anything can happen (nothing is ever straight-forward with an autoimmune disease), but I really, really hope things continue to improve!

When trying to eliminate candida, you can experience all kinds of “die-off” and “detox” symptoms. I had a couple of headaches over the weekend, which really could be from anything, including the LDN that I’m taking. But then on Sunday night, my stomach broke out in a rash, which is most definitely a symptoms of the body struggling with candida. Crazy, right? It went away overnight, but I’m definitely a believer in this candida stuff!

Mr. Murphy was feeling so much better, but then he had a “fun” weekend at our dog sitter’s house, and he’s back on pain meds. Whomp whomp. The poor dog. I hate seeing him in pain. 🙁

I got my latest Stitch Fix in the mail last week (perfect timing with the start of the Fall season), and I wanted to share it with you as you guys seem to dig these try-on videos. Plus, they’re fun for me to make! I linked up each item I received in this fix – either the original Stitch Fix item or a more affordable version.



RAILS Hunter Plaid Shirt, $158

I’m kind of obsessed with this flannel. I looove the dark red color, and it’s super soft – but it’s $158 which is kind of crazy for a flannel shirt in my opinion. I found something similar at Gap for $48, so I may go that route. What do ya think? Is $158 a little absurd for a flannel top?

Threads 4 Thought Women’s Solid High Waisted Legging

I am also obsessed with these leggings (pictured above)! Threads for Thought uses recycled plastic to make some of their products, which is awesome. Plus, these are only $24 (!) which are a lot more affordable than I thought they’d be. They have a nice high waist and are super soft. You can find them on Amazon! If you buy anything from this post, buy these leggings. You will not be disappointed!

AFKOXKi Women’s Utility Military Jacket Vest with Pockets

This lightweight unity vest is seriously the perfect item for all things Fall! I love it a whole lot and can see myself layering it with sweaters. The one I received in my fix is the Stitch Fix brand for $78, but I found a similar version on Amazon, of course, linked above.

Blooming Jelly Womens Long Sleeve T Shirts Striped Crew Neck Elbow Patch Casual Tee Tops

I have a thing for stripes (seriously, I have so many striped pieces in my closet), so this sweater is totally my style. I love that it has cute elbow patches, and it would be versatile to use for several different outfits. I found a nearly identical top on Amazon for much cheaper, linked above!

Cowl Neck Tulip Hem Long Sleeve Pullover Top

I love this cowl neck pullover with the tulip hem. What sold me on it is the beautiful Fall color. I think it looks good with my hair and skin tone, and I can see myself wearing this with leggings while I’m working from home/running errands/doing the mom thing!

New to Stitch Fix? Get $25 off your first fix using my link

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The Health Scare That Changed My Life

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!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

As a lifelong martial artist and owner-operator of a martial arts school for 8 years, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life training or in the gym. I have always worked to have a healthy, active lifestyle, attempting to manage weight and conditioning through high intensity training while following the Standard American Diet (SAD).

For many years, I supplemented my martial arts training with running or cycling long distances at high intensity. I remember feeling that if I didn’t work hard there would be no benefits. I worked out so I could eat whatever I wanted without the concern of gaining weight. I was oblivious to any related health risks.

This produced a highly stressful, chronic cardio lifestyle with poor dietary and lifestyle practices. Not to mention, as I aged, the weight gain came regardless of the amount of exercise I did. My weight gain was not excessive by most conventional standards, but I could never recapture my previous results, and the training became progressively harder as I aged.

During that time, I witnessed my high blood pressure increase, and to my ultimate surprise, learned I had cancer.

I was diagnosed in August 2013 with bladder cancer, and was devastated to find I had a tumor. I truly believed my lifestyle was healthy. Being a father of two young daughters, I wanted to be a good role model for them and be there throughout their lives. I could not get my head around the fact that, although I was doing what I’d always been taught was healthy, I actually wasn’t. At that time, I had no idea the impact my stressful eating and training regimen was having on my body.

The cancer was successfully treated through surgery, but I wanted to ensure it didn’t come back. I also wanted to finally deal with the blood pressure concern that had been with me for years.

I started to “eat healthier” with a renewed focus on eating throughout the day, consuming plenty of fruits and whole grain foods, reduced fats, and replacing animal fats with recommended processed vegetable oils. I even took supplements I thought would help my general health. Regardless of my best efforts, my weight continued to increase and my energy plummeted. I remember routinely coming home after work, planning to train but needing to nap first.

I was frustrated that the dietary and exercise advice I was following was not helping.

While I had stopped running when I found out I had cancer, I began again in 2015—this time with much less intensity regarding pace and distance. I intuitively felt it would be better to follow a moderate training schedule, but did not have the information or education to help me at that time.

For over a year, I ran almost every day at a lower intensity and generally for a shorter distance. I felt pretty good during that phase, however my weight started creeping up again. I had settled into a pattern of keeping “fit,” but my efforts to manage my weight—and my overall health—were failing.

My Introduction to Primal Health

In February 2017, a college friend suggested that I listen to the Primal Endurance podcast featuring the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) system of cardio training.

I listened, and listened and listened. From that point forward, I started learning as much as I could about Primal living. In fact, I’ve listened to Brad Kearns so much that his voice and Mark Sisson’s message have become imprinted in my DNA…lol.

I immediately reduced carbs by eliminating all sugars and grains, and quickly worked to eliminate refined oils—helping me become fat- and keto-adapted.

I also modified my training to stay within my maximum aerobic function heart rate for almost all of my runs, and reduced my training to allow for more rest and recovery.

In August 2017, I went to my doctor for my annual physical and full blood work. I had lost 30 pounds since I saw him last. My blood markers were excellent, too, and I did not need to continue blood pressure medication.

I continued to devote as much time as I could to learning about primal living and ancestral health, and in February 2018, I enrolled in the Primal Health Coach Institute program—earning my certification in just 6 months!

I entered into my primal journey to overcome my own health concerns, and to better understand what I need to do to improve my overall health and longevity. And all of my expectations have been exceeded!

What I’ve Done Since Getting Certified…

I have been building my health coaching business organically, while continuing on with my current career. My enthusiasm grows as I work through the processes of building and maintaining my coaching business website and blog, having an active social media presence, and working with my employer to promote health and wellness for our employees.

As I move toward my retirement years, I reflect on a time when I was excited about reducing my responsibilities and taking it easy. But now that I am “aging backwards,” I am excited about something totally different—filling those years working as a Primal Health Coach.

Since starting my Primal Health Coach journey, my intent has always been to be a resource for lifelong positive health changes for my clients, family, friends, and colleagues. I hope to inspire, encourage, and educate as many people as possible, regardless of age or perceived limitations.

I am an example that you can take charge of your health and longevity and win!

— Vern Gorman


Primal Health Coach Institute Directory listing


Have a story to share? Email me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.


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2019 Newport Weekend

Another Newport weekend is in the books, and it might just be one of my favorites yet! 🙂

It was our 11th year visiting and Quinn’s 7th (feel free to do the math on that one), and it’s still one of our favorite weekends of the entire year. It just never gets old, and I truly cherish the moments we spend together there as a family. That said, here’s a recap of our Newport weekend!


We headed down to Newport as soon as Mal and Quinn were out of school. We hit a little traffic on the way, but it was a quick trip and we arrived just before dinner time. We checked in, unpacked and then headed out for an early dinner at Midtown Oyster. Quinn requested oysters for dinner, so, of course, Mal and I were ALL about it!

On the walk back from dinner, we stopped by Ben & Jerry’s for dessert. The boys shared a strawberry ice cream cone with sprinkles. While they enjoyed it, we took a break to enjoy the incredible sunset over the ocean.

If you look closely in the photo below, you’ll see Quinn’s funny face! 🙂

Back at the condo, we went for a night swim in the indoor pool before getting ready for bed.


The next morning, Quinn and I were up and at ’em! After some morning snuggles, we headed to Empire Tea & Coffee to get iced coffees for Dada and me. We all got ready for the day and then headed to breakfast at Gary’s Handy Lunch, which is one of Mal’s favorite diners ever for breakfast.

After breakfast, we visited the magic shop where Quinn learned a new trick. He got a money maker to turn paper into dollar bills! 🙂 Then, we headed to the Cliff Walk for some exercise. It was a beautiful day, so we walked and talked and enjoyed the experience together.

What I’m wearing: Long-sleeve striped color block shirt, burgundy skinny jeans, Dr. Scholl’s Madison

After our walk, we grabbed lunch at 22 Bowen’s and then did a little shopping around the waterfront. We stopped by our condo and then drove to Castle Hill Inn for a cocktail on the lawn.

What I’m wearing: Mountain Pile Fleece Jacket

How cute are these two?

Annual family photo! 🙂

Quinn Mary 2!

The afternoon totally flew by. We took a quick dip in the pool and then got ready for dinner at Scales & Shells, a long-time favorite of ours. Quinn, of course, wanted oysters again, so we knew just the spot. He also wanted to eat “snacks in bed,” so after dinner, we snuggled up and watched TV with some snacks before heading to bed.


Sunday morning kicked off with breakfast at Stoneacre Brasserie. A number of followers recommended it – and, my goodness, it was awesome! I’m so glad we decided to try it out!

Both the decor and menu were French-inspired and absolutely incredible. We were the first customers in the restaurant and scored a cozy booth in the corner of the restaurant. We sipped cold brew, ate delicious meals, and laughed a lot. It was such a great way to spend our final morning in Newport.

I ordered the seasonal vegetable hash with breakfast sausage. Mmm!

After breakfast, we did a bit of exploring and then hit the arcade for some fun and games!

Then, we rented bikes and went for a ride along the water. It was so cool riding bikes with our big kid! 🙂

All in all, it was a wonderful Newport weekend. I can’t believe it’s already over, and we have to wait another whole year to visit again. Hopefully, we’ll be back before we know it! 🙂

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