Birthday & Christmas Cheer – Kath Eats Real Food
Here's a recap of our weekend in search of the perfect Christmas tree at Market At Grelen and to celebrate Thomas's birthday! Happy 38th birthday weekend to my man! Bagels + gifts for Thomas' birthday breakfast! We started the day slowly and warmly with breakfast and gifts. Tree hunt at Grelen market And after breakfast […]

Here's a recap of our weekend in search of the perfect Christmas tree at Market At Grelen and to celebrate Thomas's birthday!

Kath at the market at Grelen Christmas Tree Farm

Happy 38th birthday weekend to my man!

kath and thomas tree hunting at grelen market

Bagels + gifts for Thomas' birthday breakfast!

We started the day slowly and warmly with breakfast and gifts.

bagels on a table with white plates and coffee

Tree hunt at Grelen market

And after breakfast we headed to Grelen market, a "European garden shop" about 30 minutes from Cville. I had heard great things in Grelen Market but had never been there before! My friend says their crown making classes are great.

Thomas and the boys at Grelen market

I would have loved to browse the little gift shop for longer. They also had tons of patio space - next spring we'll have to drive for lunch!

Tree hunting

We started the day by scouring the Christmas tree “mountain” in search of a tree to fell.

Thomas, Mazen and I rushed through the trees saying, "I love this one!" and "And this one" and soon enough Birch did the same! He ran up to a tree, put his nose to the side and was screaming “I love this one.” It was pretty cute.

Luckily we brought our electric saw

Once we picked the perfect tree (we almost couldn't agree!) Thomas did the dirty work of cutting it down. The hand saw they gave us didn't cut her (ha!). Fortunately, he brought a small electric hand-held one. Get the job done quickly!

Warm up with hot chocolate

It was the best hot chocolate with peppermint and a homemade marshmallow !!

Santa Claus was there!

We heard another family whisper that Santa Claus was “in the tent” and to our delight he was !!!!

Both children were quite nervous. I will say that talking to Santa Claus through two masks + plexiglass was a bit difficult to do! I told Mazen to scream so Santa can hear him, especially since Mazen mumbles when he's shy!

Thanks to The Market at Grelen for such a fun vacation experience! We were so happy that we didn't just pick up a tree at Whole Foods like we have in the past. It was much more exciting!

Shaft size

We are also lucky to have a truck in the family - bringing it home was so easy! I remember always having to vacuum the trunk in the past 🙂

We spent some time putting on the lights and adornments before relaxing during Birch's nap.

I made myself comfortable on the couch with a big salad full of Catch Sitka and Bachelorette salmon!

Look at this cozy boy!

Thomas Royalty Day

We had a little party for Thomas in the afternoon, who was actually just his parents and nephew coming for a cake on the patio, social distanced style.

Birch was happy to show her cousin her favorite shovel!

The joke "royalty" was born because Thomas asked for the famous princess cake to Albemarle Baking Co. We call it the 'Prince' cake in our house, so this is what I had put on writing : Mr. green:

Here is their description: "Our version of this traditional Swedish dessert includes a vanilla sponge cake topped with Bavarian cream and topped with a thin sheet of marzipan."

It's so light and fluffy and like a cloud of cream!

T's mom brought him balloons - one of which was perfect for the party!

We had a fireplace and played a few garden games with the kids.

Middle Jane + Blue apron

We had this special bottle of wine for dinner - it's my VERY FAVORITE of the Scout + Cellar labels I've tried: Midfielder Jane Zinfandel. It's juicy and complex and not expensive either, but you can find it on sale every now and then! The next time I buy a case.

It's also a special label because my grandmother's middle name was Jane, and the description on the back of the bottle reminds me of her. If I had a baby girl, I wanted her middle name to be Jane <3>

“Four generations ago, there was the first Jane in our family: our great-great-grandmother. Jane was strong. She swore only when needed. She worked hard, she did it right, and she always wore lipstick. The unofficial matriarch of our family. Jane was the woman we all aspire to be.

For dinner I made Thomas a special Blue apron Feast of pork chops and corn cakes with kale and braised apples and spicy sauce. He played with the boys while I was cooking. This one was a winner !!

On Sunday morning we had Albemarle Baking Co bran muffins which I had with the cake, as well as eggs and orange.

And we played all day!

Sunday night we had Blue Apron again. Look who sat at the table with us!



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It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and alimentation. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions. Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research. Here are 27 health and nutrition tips that are actually based on good science.

These 8 practical tips cover the basics of saine eating and can help you make healthier choices.

The key to a saine diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.

If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.

You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It’s recommended that men have around 2, 500 calories a day ( 10, 500 kilojoules ). Women should have around 2, 000 calories a day ( 8, 400 kilojoules ). Most adults in the UK are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer kcal.

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals. Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.

They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer. Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the kcal of fat.

Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy condiments on pasta.

It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit ?

A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit ( which should be kept to mealtimes ) is 30g. A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.

You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some types of fish.

You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating. There are 2 main types of fat : saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.

Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados. For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.

When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. All variétés of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.

Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy ( measured in kilojoules or calories ), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies. This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.

Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.

More than 22. 5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.

About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and condiments. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1. 5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt ( about a teaspoonful ) a day. Younger children should have even less.

As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and wellbeing.

Read more about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.

Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer kcal. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a saine weight.

Check whether you’re a saine weight by using the BMI saine weight calculator. Start the NHS weight loss plan, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. If you’re underweight, see underweight adults. If you’re worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.

You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they’re high in calories. They’re also bad for your teeth.

Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass. Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather or while exercising.

Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight. But a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.

A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast. Further informationThe Eatwell Guide can help you get the right balance of the 5 main food groups. The guide shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. Read more about eating a balanced diet and understanding calories.


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