Grain Free Breakfast Cereal!

Protein is the best fuel you can put into your body first thing in the morning! Without enough protein in the morning, most people find they have a harder time “getting going”, crave more sugar and carbs, and have a harder time focusing throughout the day. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a hot breakfast cereal in the morning, so I came up with this high protein hot breakfast cereal that leaves me full of high quality protein and fiber, keeping me full for hours! Other sources of protein in the morning could include:

  • Scrambled or hardboiled eggs (I make them in advance each week for an easy breakfast or snack!)
  • Smoothie with  whey protein powder (click here for one of my favorite smoothie recipes!)
  • Oatmeal mixed with whey protein powder
  • Plain Greek Yogurt with raw honey and/or fresh fruit
  • Kefir, a cultured, creamy yogurt like product with amazing probiotic contents
  • Organic cottage cheese with fresh berries
Grain Free Breakfast Cereal!
 
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Author:
Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • ½ ripe banana
  • 2 TBLS coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 scoops (apx. 15 grams) whey protein powder (optional if you are looking to boost protein)
  • ⅛ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • pinch ea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 packet organic stevia (optional if you like more sweetness)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • Fresh/frozen berries and cinnamon for topping
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender until just barely combined. Do not over blend- the consistency of the batter should be thick but not dry (add more almond milk if too dry, and more almond milk if too thick). Heat up a pan with 2 tsp. coconut oil. Pour batter into pan and scramble like eggs for about 3-4 minutes, or until batter appears well cooked throughout. Transfer unto bowl and top with fresh or frozen berries, coconut flakes, cinnamon, or any other of your favorite oatmeal/breakfast cereal topping! Enjoy!
  2. PN RX: 2 fats, 2 proteins, 1 fruit per serving

Green Tea Ice Cubes!

green tea cubes

Green Tea Ice Cubes…Can’t Wait Until They’re Frozen!

Tea is a something I don’t drink enough of! It’s full of flavor, antioxidants, and offers the body a mellow but effective boost of energy that won’t leave your head on the desk a few hours later like coffee often times does.  I have decided that this summer I’m determined to always have a batch of iced tea in the fridge to use as a base of my smoothies or to enjoy instead of coffee. While I can’t always find 100% organic tea, I do look for brands that use minimal pesticides, “natural”/artificial flavorings, and have integrity in the way their tea is grown and packaged. Here are some brands of tea that Practical Nutrition likes:

  • Yogi (love the inspirational quotes on the tea bags!)
  • Numi
  • Choice
  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Rishi
  • Any organic, fair traded brand of tea you can find

When it gets warmer out I love having different flavors of ice cubes to throw in my smoothies or glasses of water to keep me hydrated without the boredom of plain water all the time. Also, I find when I use a green tea ice cube in my smoothies, I get an extra burst of energy from the antioxidants and caffeine in the tea. Making these nutrient dense, tasty ice cubes is super easy and can incorporate a new panel of flavors into your every day beverages!

Here’s what you do to make the iced tea ice cubes:

1. Brew a strong batch of iced tea (I use 1 bag per 4 ounces, and then when it cools I add 4 more ounces of cold water per tea bag). While still hot, add your sweetener of choice (optional). I use 1 tsp. of honey per bag of tea. Other options for sweetness include stevia, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.

To ensure the best flavor of your tea, here’s a guide for how long to steep different kinds of tea: 

  • Plain Green Tea : 1 minute
  • Flavored Green Tea: 2 minutes
  • White Tea: 4-5 minutes
  • Oolong Tea: 4-7 minutes
  • Herbal Tea: 5-6 minutes
  • Black Tea: 2-3 minutes

2. Pour the iced tea into ice cube trays and enjoy in a variety of ways: 

  • Use in smoothies to give you extra energy in the morning or before a workout
  • Put in seltzer water with some stevia for added sweetness
  • Put in a glass of water or sparkling water with some fresh berries to make a refreshing beverage
  • Enjoy them by themselves as a treat an alternative to ice cream

Enjoy the blessings of summer, take care of you, and have fun…

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

The PN Team :) 

Springtime Super Food (and yummy spring rolls!)

Happy Spring everyone!

For those of you reading this from the East coast, I hope you all have gotten a few moments of solar therapy this past week after a long winter! Seeing the sun shine makes me want to be more active, and it also gets me craving fresher, creative new foods. That’s why I decided to demonstrate how to make Superfood Spring Rolls on Better CT yesterday.

The foods I chose as this year’s “Spring Super Foods” offer your body a broad spectrum of health benefits. To name a few, they are full of nutrients that boost your immune system, help to ward off seasonal allergies, detoxify your body after a long winter, and help slim the waist line to help you get ready for summer! Watch the video below to learn how to incorporate these superfoods into your everyday life by making a simple and tasty Superfood Spring Roll!

  • Citrus: Grapefruits, lemons, or oranges any time of day! Enjoy lemon in your water, grapefruit as a side to your breakfast, or a juice orange for a dessert on a warm day. 
  • Quinoa: Use for cold or hot side dishes, on a salad, or in a Spring Roll!
  • Dandelion Greens: Throw these peppery greens into a salad, in a soup, or in a lunch wrap for an added zing to your meal!
  • Raw Local Honey/Local Bee Pollen: Put in tea, yogurt, smoothies, or enjoy a spoonful raw!
  • Walnut Oil: Use for cold foods only (not for cooking); enjoy its nutty flavor in a dressing or on top of a favorite grain dish such as brown rice or quinoa
  • Asparagus: Grilled, sautéed in a stir-fry, or put in a Spring Roll, asparagus are a hearty spring vegetable full of nutrition that will keep you feeling full for hours!

 

Springtime Superfood Spring Rolls
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • The Rolls:
  • 6 large rice wrappers (found in international section at grocery store)
  • ½ Cup (cooked) quinoa (any variety)
  • 6 grilled asparagus (grilled or roasted with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper)
  • 1 handful of dandelion greens, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 handful of mixed, Asian, or other type of greens (for "base" of spring roll)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 TBLS fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 TBLS walnut oil
  • 4 TSP local honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • Grilled chicken or shrimp (optional addition for extra protein)
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 TBLS Braggs liquid aminos or Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 2 TBLS water
  • 2 TBLS honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Juice of ½ orange
Instructions
  1. The Rolls:
  2. Combine the quinoa, carrots, and dandelion greens into a small bowl. In a separate bowl combine the walnut oil, orange juice, chili flakes, sea salt, and honey into a dressing. Whisk briefly and pour over the quinoa salad, tossing gently. Take a spring roll and gently submerge in a shallow bowl of water for 8-10 seconds. Place on a non-stick surface (parchment paper or cutting board) and line with a thin layer of mixed greens, 1 asparagus, and a thin line of the quinoa salad. Gently fold the top half in, followed by the sides, and gently roll until mixture is tight within the spring roll. Cut in half and serve with the sweet chili sauce as a side dip.
  3. Sweet Chili Sauce:
  4. Combine all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Serve as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, or use as a marinade for grilled chicken or shrimp.
Notes
PN RX (may vary depending on ingredients)
For 3 rolls (with ingredients indicated in recipe above): 2 free veggies, 1 carb, 1 fat

 

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Ana

Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Smoothie!

Sometimes I like to have dessert for breakfast! I came up with the Cookie Dough Smoothie the morning after I made “PN Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies” (recipe coming soon!). I woke up wanting to have one of the cookies I made for breakfast. Although they taste good and have very clean ingredients, they don’t have enough protein to be considered a healthy breakfast. So, I decided to make the ingredients into a smoothie to satisfy my craving and give my body the protein it needed to start my day right.

This smoothie contains one of my favorite ingredients: raw cacao nibs (found in the health food section of most grocery stores). Cacao can be found in a powder or solid form, and is an amazing food for your body. Raw cacao is chocolate in its original, minimally processed state. If you’re used to sweetened chocolate, like most of us are, it will be a bitter at first, once you are accustomed to its unique flavor profile, just a small handful seems to do the trick in satisfying a chocolate craving. What’s in the raw cacao bean that we love so much?

 

raw cacaoScreen shot 2014-05-16 at 7.10.41 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The combination of important minerals such as Magnesium and Iron, fiber, healthy fat, and antioxidants have countless health benefits:

  • By providing minerals that most people are deficient in, raw cacao may help decrease sugar/carbohydrate cravings
  • Raw cacao promotes a healthy digestive system with all the fiber it adds to the diet
  • Contains “theombromine”, a protein that stimulates the central nervous system, which relaxes smooth muscles and gives the body a gentle boost of energy and feeling of “bliss” we often get from eating chocolate (without the added sugar and ingredients from processed chocolate!)
  • Improves overall mood and may help fight depression due to its ability increase the bioavailability of Serotonin to the brain

Have we convinced you to try out some Raw Cacao yet?! Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Smoothie!
 
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Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 packet "stevia in the raw" or other natural sweetener (honey or maple syrup)
  • 2 TBLS (15 grams worth) unflavored whey protein (we use Standard Process)
  • 2 TBLS raw cacao nibs
  • 2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 TBLS coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 ice cubes (more if you like it icier)
  • ¼ cup water, or more to desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender. Blend until the smoothie has reached your desired consistency. Enjoy!
  2. Note: I usually add spinach and/or another leafy green to my smoothies. Since this is more of a "dessert" smoothies, I decided to leave it out. When I don't get greens in at breakfast, I make sure to be extra conscious of getting them in later in the day!
Notes
PN RX:
1 Protein, 1 Fat, ½ Carb

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Ana and Amanda :)

Avocado Dream Salad

avocado salad

My younger sister, Amy, recently got back from Hawaii and brought this delicious recipe with her! The Avocado Dream Salad is similar to a tuna or chicken salad. Chop up a bunch of vegetables into little cubes then use the mashed avocado to mix in like a mayonnaise. You can even add some chopped up grilled chicken or fish in there to complete the meal. This also tastes great with some goat cheese or nuts crumbled on top. It is the perfect, refreshing recipe for the warm weather coming our way. Enjoy!

 

 

Avocado Dream Salad
 
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Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 avocado, scooped out and mashed
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped up into small pieces
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Chop up all of your vegetables into small pieces and put in a large bowl.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lemon on top and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the crushed garlic.
  3. With clean hands, pour avocado on top and mix into the vegetables with your hands. Keep mixing until you get everything covered with the avocado, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  4. You can top with some nuts and/or goat cheese.

Teriyaki Sesame Bison Balls

 

 

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Trying different types of foods is not only fun and adventurous but it is also important for our health. At Practical Nutrition we believe in varying the foods in your diet as often as possible in order to allow yourself to get as many different nutrients as you can. If you are accustomed to eating beef, chicken, and fish you can try expanding your nutritional horizons with eating bison.

Bison is a great source of nutrients, it has the basics: zinc, niacin, iron, vitamin B6 and selenium.  A quick review of some important functions these nutrients have:

Selenium – helps prevent cellular damage from free radicals

Zinc- does a lot- helps immune system, hair and skin health and overall cell function

Niacin helps convert food into energy for the body – all at the cellular level

Iron- carries oxygen through the body

B6- tons of value of for physical and even mental health

Bison is also extremely tasty so I recommend giving this recipe a try! Enjoy!

Teriyaki Sesame Bison Balls
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6-7
Ingredients
  • 2lb Organic Ground Bison
  • ½ cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Gluten Free Sriracha Sauce
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place foil on top of a baking sheet.
  2. Add all ingredients except for the ground bison to a large bowl and mix.
  3. Add in ground bison and mix with your hands until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  4. Make 12 bison balls out of the mix and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes then flip and bake for another 12-14 minutes.

Herb Vinaigrette Baked Salmon

herb salmon

I am obsessed with making new salmon recipes lately. I wrote about all of the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids not too long ago in this post. If you aren’t sure if you like fish I would definitely give the recipe below a try or this one here. They both have a nice blend of flavors that you can add to any meal. I baked some asparagus and sautéed a plantain in coconut oil to complete my meal. You can also add some salmon to a salad or eat it with a nice side of quinoa and brussel sprouts.

In this recipe I marinated the salmon in my Zesty Herb Dressing recipe I posted a while back. I make a bunch of this dressing at once and store it in old pasta sauce jars to have for recipes and to add to salads. It is very convenient having your own dressing already made and it only takes 5 minutes!

Give this recipe a try and let us know how you like it!

Herb Vinaigrette Baked Salmon
 
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Recipe type: Fish
Ingredients
  • 1.5 to 2lb of Wild-caught Salmon
  • 6 Tbsp Zesty Herb Dressing*
  • Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Dill
  • Oregano
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place salmon fillets in a large glass baking dish.
  2. Take seasonings and cover each fillet and rub in with fingers. Pour zesty herb dressing over each fillet. Flip fillets over a couple times to make sure they are fully coated with the dressing.
  3. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake in oven for 12 minutes then flip over and broil skin for 3-4 minutes. If you do not want to broil skin then bake for 18 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4oz Calories: 288 Fat: 18 Protein: 33

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (Purification/Cleanse Friendly)

pudding

I began another 21 day purification journey this past Tuesday, which means tasty, new cleanse-friendly recipes! Most of our recipes on the blog are cleanse-friendly but it can be tricky to make a dessert that doesn’t have any offending ingredients and still tastes like a treat. I have  seen a lot of chia seed pudding recipes online and decided to make a super simple version and see how it tastes. It came out really good! This recipe not only has just five ingredients but it also contains chia seeds, which have many health benefits.

chia-seeds

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds are most commonly known as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber but have many other health benefits.

A one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber, which helps us stay fuller longer, avoid food cravings, and slows the absorption of of sugar into the blood
  • 5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and heart health
  • 18% of the recommended daily intake for Calcium and 27% of the daily intake for Phosphorus, which helps to maintain healthy bones
  • 30% of the recommended daily intake for Manganese, which is important for bones and allows our body to properly use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin
  • 4.4 grams of protein

You can add chia seeds to any food since they don’t have any flavor. My favorite way to incorporate them into my diet is in smoothies. Add one tablespoon to your meal and you will be set!

 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (Purification/Cleanse Friendly)
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ¼ cup Organic Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Raw Honey
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a glass dish and mix until everything is incorporated. Cover so that the dish is air tight.
  2. Place in fridge for 3 hours and stir every hour or store in fridge over night.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 156 Fat: 7.5 Carbohydrates: 15.5 Protein: 7

Quick and Tasty Wheat Free Pasta with Veggie Marinara

Sometimes I crave a good old pasta and marinara sauce dinner! It’s hard to find a recipe that is tasty AND health promoting. Having a bit of high quality protein, veggies, and healthy fat is the best way to make sure you leave a meal feeling energized and satisfied. Amanda and I  have been loving this Gluten Free Black Bean/Mung Bean Pasta lately (like most of our suggestions, you can find this pasta in the Gluten Free section at most major grocery stores). This pasta, combined with this clean and simple homemade high protein marinara sauce, is the perfect alternative to the typical “refined” white pasta you grew up on- and will taste better too! Enjoy!

Quick and Tasty Wheat Free Pasta with Veggie Marinara
 
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Try this quick and easy pasta dish when you're craving pasta or something with an Italian feel! Feel amazing and light after you eat it as it's full of fiber, B Vitamins, and protein!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ Bag Black Bean Spaghetti*
  • Sauce:
  • ½ Bag Ming Bean Spaghetti*
  • 6 and ¼ cup water
  • 1 Jar Organic, No Sugar Added Tomato Sauce (made with olive oil)
  • 1 Small Can (6 oz.) Organic Tomato Paste
  • 4 TBLS Italian Seasoning (We like the brand Frontier Organics)
  • ⅛ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Handfuls Organic Spinach
  • 1 Cup Raw Mushrooms
  • 2 TBLS Chopped Garlic (fresh or from the jar)
  • 1 Avocado (for garnish) and Pint Organic Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Pound Baked Free Range Chicken, Chunked
  • Any Other Vegetable You Love!
  • * Find Gluten Free Black Bean or Mung Bean Pasta at most major grocery stores or local health food store!
Instructions
  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in medium pot. In the mean time, combine olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, and mushrooms in a medium sized skillet on the stove top at medium heat. Allow to sit on stove for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are slightly browned and softened. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, Italian seasoning, and spinach to the skillet. Once water is boiling, add dry Black Bean/Mung Bean pasta to the water and allow to boil for about 7-10 minutes until soft, "pasta like" consistency is reached. Drain the pasta when finished and set aside. Allow your sauce ingredients to simmer for about 10 more minutes or until mixture has come to a slow boil, and the spinach has cooked down/is well combined into sauce. Add chicken chunks (or other desired protein) to the sauce until they are warm throughout, and serve over the Black Bean/Mung Bean pasta. Top with chunks of avocado and cherry tomatoes- enjoy!
Notes
PN RX for ¼ of the sauce and 1 Cup Pasta: 2 Carbs, 2 Fat, 1 Veggies, 1 Protein

Practical Nutrition “Clean Getaway” To Hawaii

Get On a Practical Nutrition “Clean Getaway”! 

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I recently spent 2 weeks on the Big Island of Hawaii. Ever since I spent a summer house sitting for a couple of friends there 4 years ago, it has become a second home to me. My trips over there are now called my “Clean Getaways”. My time away there sends me back to the mainland recharged from the inside out. The connection I have there with the local people, high quality food, land, and of course the ocean can best be described as “life giving”. The place I retreat to on my Clean Getaways  is a special town tucked away on the east coast of the island, outside the “city” of Hilo, called Pahoa. I wanted to share with you a few pictures from my trip,  and talk about some of the ways I was inspired towards a deeper level of overall wellness. Also, I wanted to inspire and encourage you to take time daily to refresh your mind, body and spirit…whether it’s a healthy meal you prepare for yourself or your family, an evening routine of shutting down electronics at a certain time to have “you time”, or a simple stretching routine in the morning, find a way to have a daily vacation that keeps you feeling energized and healthy, and living the life you deserve. Also, keep in mind that Practical Nutrition does offer “Clean Getaway” retreats for individuals and small groups to the Big Island of Hawaii. If you feel you need a concentrated time away to reestablish your daily habits, and get yourself into a healthy routine to help you meet and maintain your health goals a Clean Getaway would be something for you to consider. Contact us through the “Contact Us” form on the site to learn more about being part of a 2014 Clean Getaway Retreat!

NOURISH YOUR BODY

Bananas, papayas, avocados, freshly harvested macadamia nuts, coconuts, organic kale, and fresh Ahi are just some of the foods we enjoyed daily! Eating food right off the land is the theme…every meal and snack was effortlessly balanced with complex carbs, healthy fat, and omega rich, lean protein. The combination of these foods left us feeling satisfied after we ate. The food is simple yet tasty, and offers our body life giving nutrients that fight inflammation, boost the immune system, promote muscle building, and speed up our metabolism. On the Clean Getaway Retreat, you learn what your bodies individual nutritional needs are, experience preparing these foods yourself, but also learn what foods you can eat when you return home to get the ongoing benefits of the Clean Getaway food plan! 

RECHARGE YOUR SOUL

Most of these pictures were taken at Pohoiki Bay/Issac Hale Beach Park. This untouched, uncrowded spot has become a  “soul home”  for me for so many reasons. First off, the locals who surf and exercise here daily are some of the most fun, hilarious, and loving people to be around. Secondly, the water itself is heated by geothermal energy. This beach area is one of the closest to the volcano, and heat generated deep within the earth warms the groundwater creating the water that is pleasant to soak and surf in.  The combination of its warmth and high salinity makes soaking in this water extremely therapeutic for reducing painful inflammation of the joints.  You don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy this beach park or outdoor activities! There’s a footpath around the shoreline that leads to a natural hot spring that’s just perfect to relax the joints and muscles. Warm salt water therapy is a daily part of our Clean Getaways. The hot pools are 1/4 mile from where we stay is a crucial part of the rejuvenation process.

REST YOUR MIND

Being in touch with all of our 5 senses is a key part of achieving optimal wellness. The Big Island is the perfect place to reset your mind and body  into a state of rest. The smells, sights, tastes, sounds, and feeling of nature in its untouched state brings on healing from the inside out. From the time you wake up to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean to the time you fall asleep to the sound of the Kokee frogs in your cabin, being on this Clean Getaway retreat had me feeling more alive and energized on many levels by day 1. Feeling “alive”  is a balance of being energized from a place of rest. Learning how to take a step back and know what your body needs to feel its best is so important. This trip to the Big Island reminded me of the importance of being “present” in whatever situation I am in. Being present doesn’t mean ignoring the past or the future, but instead being mindful of how our current routine and habits may be affecting every area of our life.  If our daily habits and routine aren’t reevaluated, they may become detrimental to our health. Being guided through a therapeutic time  away from distractions is the best way to pick up a new set of health related habits which leads to reaching and maintaining our goals.

All in all, I hope this debrief from my trip encouraged you to enjoy the moment, be a conscious consumer of food, move your body, and rest when needed to feel your best. Let us know if you are interested in joining our Practical Nutrition Clean Getaway summer or winter 2014 to get you out of your rut and into a place of increased energy for life.

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Ana and Amanda