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5 Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Adults with Recipes

When was the last time you made yourself a nice lunch for a work day? If you’re like most people, lunch is a bit of a scramble. That’s why we came up with 5 bento box lunch ideas for adults, so you can take a breather in the middle of the day with a meal that’s enjoyable and satisfying. We hear it a lot here at Mark’s Daily Apple: Breakfast is easy, and I make dinner for my family so that’s automatic. But lunch? Most days, I just wing it. I’ll skip it sometimes just because my day is underway, or I’ll eat something that’s quick – which isn’t always the best choice. Sound familiar? We hear you. Making yourself a nice meal smack in the middle of the day just isn’t tenable for most people. Prep for lunches doesn’t have to be an elaborate chore thanks to these adult lunch options. Perfect for on-the-go, these lunches utilize leftovers, basic ingredients, and quick-cooking items. When paired together, they create the perfect balanced Primal lunch. The best part? Most of these options can be made ahead and enjoyed throughout the week. Easy Italian Bento Lunch Ingredients Sausage of choice Mozzarella Roasted squash Italian dressing Cherry tomatoes Basil Roast and slice your favorite sausage, using a little avocado oil spray (optional) to prevent sticking. Slice up roasted zucchini and summer squash (or your favorite veggies), toss them in Italian dressing and roast on a sheet pan until golden. Assemble your lunch with the sliced sausages, mozzarella, the roasted squash, sliced tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil. Easy Burger Lunch Ingredients Burger of choice Roasted sweet potato rounds Avocado oil mayo Spicy mustard Raw veggies Whip up some burgers on the grill or stovetop (or better yet, use leftovers) for this lunch. Slice your favorite potato or sweet potato (or for a lower carb option, you can use rutabagas or turnips) and toss them in avocado oil. Roast them on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip them over and roast until they’re golden. Make burgers by using the sweet potato slices as “buns” and top your burgers with sliced tomato and red onion. Use your favorite Primal Kitchen condiments like Pesto Mayo, Dijon Mustard, and Spicy Ketchup to put on top. Serve with your favorite raw veggies. BIG Mason Jar Salads   Ingredients Romaine lettuce Tomato Carrot Cucumber Nuts or seeds of choice Chicken breast or thighs Dressing of choice No tiny salads here! Use a 32oz or half gallon mason jar and fill with your favorite salad items. To prepare this salad, we marinated chicken (you can use breast or thigh) in your favorite dressing for a few hours. Roast the chicken on a sheet pan at 375 degrees until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Shred or chop the chicken, then layer it in your mason jars. For very large jars like this, we recommend pouring the salad into a large bowl before … Continue reading “5 Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Adults with Recipes”

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Weekly Link Love — Edition 99

Research of the Week
Fatigue makes time fly.

Researchers are exploring the “entities” people meet on DMT.

Hominids were cooking food in hydrothermal vents millions of years ago.

Plastic-degrading bacteria are rapidly evolving in the ocean.

Probiotics help obese children lose weight.

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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation, How to Get Going When You Don’t Feel Like It

“I should work out today.” “I should eat better.” “I should stop shoving food in my face.” How many times a day do you find yourself using the word should? Most of my clients know what they should be doing to improve their health, but can’t seem to motivate themselves to actually do it. That’s why they come to me. Here’s the thing though. I can’t give you motivation, I can only give you the tools to motivate yourself. So, if you’ve been feeling like you should be working out more or eating better or refraining from cutting yourself another sliver of pie, keep reading. I’ll be unpacking what motivation is, the reasons you get stuck, and how to finally get off your butt and take action. What is Motivation, Anyway? In its simplest terms, motivation is used to describe why you do what you do.That why is the driving force behind your actions, whether it’s taking a swig from your water bottle because you feel thirsty, going for a run because you paid money to hire a trainer, or smashing the alarm clock because you stayed up too late binge-watching Netflix. Your why will likely be influenced by a variety of intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivators. Examples of intrinsic motivators: Running because it’s a stress reliever or feels fun Eating a protein-forward breakfast because it keeps you satiated all morning Doing yoga because it helps you clear your head Filling your fridge with healthy foods because it saves you time and money Organizing your space because it helps you feel calm Examples of extrinsic motivators: Losing weight to win a fitness challenge at work Cleaning the house so your spouse doesn’t get irritated with your mess Avoiding processed foods because your doctor or health coach told you to Sprinting because that’s what the people in your FB feed are doing Eating organic because you want others to perceive you as healthy Let me make it really clear though that your motivation (and your why) are entirely internal processes, meaning it’s your own perception of a situation that makes you more or less motivated to do something. That’s why it’s important to discover your own deep-down reason for staying committed to the path you’re on — or choosing an entirely different path. The Reasons You Get Stuck Clearly, motivation involves more than just wanting something or doing it because you should. That said, even with the best laid plans and a handful of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, why is it still so damn hard to actually do it? In my private practice and with my students and graduates in the Primal Health Coach Institute, I talk a lot about Toward Motivation and Away from Motivation. While the former is designed to ignite a positive, transformative emotion, pulling you closer to the things you want (having more energy, feeling great in your clothes, boosting your confidence), the latter usually more negative, acting as a reminder of all the things you … Continue reading “Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation, How to Get Going When You Don’t Feel Like It”

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Does Your Digestion Need a Tune-up?

Well, does it?

We’re all going to be putting food in our bodies just about every day for the rest of our lives. Most of us will do it several times a day. We’ll chew it, send it down the esophagus into our stomach, and expose it to gastric juices and digestive enzymes. We’ll strip it of nutrients and send the excess down to the colon for dismissal, feeding resident gut bacteria along the way. The whole process should go smoothly. There shouldn’t be any pain or discomfort, bloating or constipation. Oh sure, nobody’s perfect, and there will be slow-downs or speed-ups from time to time, but in general a vital, fundamental process like digestion shouldn’t even register in our waking, conscious lives.

But sometimes it does.

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The Pandemic’s Toll on Mental Health and Relationships: What Can We Learn?

When Mark asked me to write a post about the toll the pandemic is taking on mental health and relationships, I didn’t want simply to detail the ways it’s hard to live through a pandemic. Nor did I want to throw a bunch of statistics at you about how many people are having a difficult time. You know that it’s like living in the world’s least entertaining Groundhog-Day-meets-dystopian-thriller film.

If you’re like me, you’re sick of kvetching about 2020. The fact is, though, that I don’t know anyone, myself included, who isn’t struggling in one way or another right now.

After a lot of reflection, I’ve concluded that a big reason why 2020 is so draining is that our usual coping strategies don’t work like we want or expect. Most are aimed at reducing the source of our distress or dealing with the emotional aftermath. This pandemic is ongoing. We’re stuck in the middle of it, with no end in sight, and no way to speed the process along.

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Why We Should All Be Eating Organ Meats

Today we welcome a post by guest author Ashleigh VanHouten, health and nutrition journalist, public speaker, certified health coach, and host of the Muscle Maven Radio podcast. Here, she explains why we’re missing out if we’re only eating boring boneless cuts of meat from the grocery store, and makes the case for eating nose-to-tail, for both our health and for our enjoyment. Her new cookbook, It Takes Guts, is available for preorder and hits the shelves in late October. “It’s good for you and for the planet – and it’s easier and tastier than you think!” – Ashleigh VanHouten Modified excerpt from It Takes Guts, shared with publisher permission. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “I just can’t get my head around eating [insert type of organ meat here] because I didn’t grow up eating it,” I could retire now and live out the rest of my days eating animal hearts on a beach somewhere — but I have a secret for you. I didn’t grow up eating organ meat, either; I grew up eating cereal and bread and chicken breast, and while I always gravitated toward animal products, I certainly wasn’t eating liver or sweetbreads. But as someone who has dedicated their career to researching, studying, and experimenting with nutrition, I believe strongly that one bite of something new won’t hurt you, and it just might open up a whole new world of pleasure and health. It’s a fact that organs are generally the most nutrient-dense parts of an animal, so if we can find fun and creative and even subtle ways to enjoy them, we’re winning. And by eating the whole animal, we’re also honoring and respecting the beings who sacrificed for our dinner plates by ensuring none of it is wasted. I wrote my nose-to-tail cookbook It Takes Guts because I am passionate about honoring the animals we’re eating, and enjoying the full bounty of delicious and healthy options available to us. As the saying goes, the way you do anything is the way you do everything, and I believe we should all be approaching our plates, and our lives, with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the reasons why eating organ meats is a good idea: It’s Sustainable It would be wasteful to buy a huge house and use only one or two rooms, right? Adopting a whole-animal approach reduces waste, and buying from local farms and butchers helps decrease the carbon footprint created when meat is brought to you from far-flung places. In the process of breaking down an animal, less than half of it will usually end up as boneless cuts, or the type of meat you normally pick up at a grocery store. Much of the rest is bone, hide, blood, and organs – the latter being the most nutrient-dense part of the animal, which we are essentially giving away to then eat the less nutrient-dense muscle meat! If you’re reading … Continue reading “Why We Should All Be Eating Organ Meats”

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