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“Party Perfect” Hemp Hummus

It’s getting to be that time of year where you’re asked to “bring something” to a get together. Whenever I’m asked this question, I always make sure that it’s something that will be a “safety” food for me- meaning that if there aren’t a lot of other healthy options at the party, I know I can eat what I bring. This hemp hummus is huge hit at parties and get togethers. The hemp seeds add some Omega 3’s, provides fiber and healthy fat to reduce sugar cravings, and adds a delicious nutty flavor to the hummus. We love this hummus because of it’s unique flavor profile, simple instructions, and health promoting ingredients. Check out the recipe below- and be sure to make some extra because this tasty, fiber packed snack keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days!

To learn more about hemp seeds, click here! 


“Party Perfect” Hemp Hummus
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 1 ½ Cup Garbanzo Beans
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/3 and 3 Tbsp Cup Lemon Juice
  • 4 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp oregano
  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor or blender and process/blend at high speed until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached.
  2. Add more lemon juice or tahini if hummus is not combining well. Add more garlic and sea salt to taste.
  3. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve with fresh sliced veggies, whole grain or rice crackers, or use as a spread in a wrap or sandwich.
PN Rx= .5 protein, 1 fat and .5 carb per serving

Join Our Wellness Retreat to Hawaii This Winter!

“Clean Getaway Retreat”

on the 

Big Island of Hawaii


Heal and Rejuvenate Your Mind and Body

On an All Inclusive 5 Night/6 Day

Wellness Retreat 

  • Enjoy delicious, fresh and organic cuisine through creative and mindful cooking classes
  • Professional nutrition guidance from Holistic Registered Dietitians Julie Connor, RD, PhD, and Ana Zeller, RD
  • Charming bungalow accommodations 1/4 mile from Pacific Ocean
  • Thermal Salt Water Therapy 1/4 mile from site of retreat 
  • Daily Morning Hikes, Yoga Classes and Lava Viewing 
  • Optional Massage Therapy and Whole Body Detox available 

Plumeria 1


Dates: Saturday, February 28th-Thursday, March 5th 2015

Package Price: $1999* (50% deposit due on November 1st, 2014)

For More Information Contact Us At: 

Phone: (203) 775-1819

Email: practicalnutritionct@gmail.com

* Flight booking assistance for cheap flight to Hilo, HI available upon request 


Clean Getaway Retreat Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What does the All Inclusive Clean Getaway package price include?

A: This All Inclusive package price includes delicious, fresh and organic cuisine starting with dinner Saturday evening, February 28, 2015 until breakfast Thursday morning, March 5, 2015. It also includes comfortable bungalow accommodations with housekeeping, mindful cooking and nutrition classes throughout the retreat as well as other activities associated with the retreat such as Salt Water Therapy, Yoga classes, Guided Walks and Hikes, and Lava Viewing . The package price also includes transportation to and from Hilo International Airport on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 between 5 pm -10 pm and Thursday March 5, 2015 between 11 am-4 pm. Transportation during any other times is not included.


Q: Can I stay at the retreat center longer than the actual retreat?

A: Absolutely; we encourage this! Arriving earlier and/or staying later is an option. The retreat center costs $50 per night, not including food, transportation, or activities. We are happy to provide you with a travel consultation so you can make the most of your trip to the Hawaiian Islands.

Q: What kind of results can I expect from the Clean Getaway wellness retreat?

A: We encourage each guest to set personal goals before the retreat. Your results will be based on the goals you have, such as learning how to incorporate “cleaner” eating habits into your life, getting creative with your food routine,  weight loss, full body detoxification, improving your energy levels and sleep habits, reestablishing your relationship with food, or simply a feeling of rejuvenation to get you through the rest of winter.

Q: Where is the retreat center located? 

A: The retreat center is on the southeastern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, located about 40 minutes from Hilo International airport. The center is on over 10 acres of land, set right off of a mango grove overlooking the Pacific Ocean amidst natural vegetation and plenty of “pick and eat” produce!

Q: When are the rest of the deposit’s due? 

A: The first deposit of $1000 is due on November 1, 2014. We require the final deposit of $999 by December 1st. The sooner your purchase your flight the better the deal you will get!


Q: Who is leading the retreat? 

A: Ana Zeller, RD, founder of Practical Nutrition, LLC and Julie Conner, RD, PhD, founder of Healthy Weighs Wellness Center have partnered together to create this amazing clean getaway. Julie has been in private nutrition practice for over 30 years and Ana founded her private practice after she had a life changing snowboarding accident six years ago that jump started her passion for health and wellness. They have combined their unique experiences, educational background, and zest for life to put together this restful and life changing wellness retreat.

Q: What will a typical day on the retreat look like?

A: We will encourage everyone to start out with some gentle activity such as yoga or an ocean walk before breakfast. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served which will combine local foods with some more “mainland” options which will ensure the skills you learn will be sustainable for you to take home with you. Throughout the day guests will participate in various health and nutrition workshops such as mindful snacking, food preparation, smoothie making, restaurant dining, and Staying Healthy at the Workplace. We will also offer options of massage therapy, additional fitness options, and extra yoga classes for optimal refreshment. You will have plenty of time throughout the retreat to enjoy the Bali House mediation center for private yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, quiet time, and lots of rest.

Q: Do you provide travel insurance in case I have to cancel my trip?

A: We recommend you purchase travel insurance through Allianz Insurance for approximately $114. This will ensure you receive a refund on the retreat fees and the cost of your flight. We will ask that guests who deny travel insurance through Allianz Insurance do sign a form that they denied the insurance when they register through the retreat.


Some Pictures from the Clean Getaway retreat center and surrounding areas: 

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Surf Lessons in “Hot Tub” Temperature Water Will Be Available! Photo by Tam Hunt and Aramis Photography

surf spot

A Beautiful Rainbow Over Pohoiki Bay

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 2.05.26 PM

Lava Viewing Within Driving Distance of Retreat Center…Don’t Get Too Close!

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A Delicious Clean Getaway Breakfast


Fresh Lilikoi…A Sweet Treat Picked Right Off the Retreat Center Property

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Local Bananas…Great Any Time of the Day!

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Walk to the Shores of Beautiful 2nd Bay to Watch the Surfers or Spot a Dolphin or Sea Turtle! Photo by Tam Hunt and Aramis Photography

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Relax Outside of Your Bungalow and Feel the Warm Hawaiian Air

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Enjoy Refreshing Organic Juices and Smoothies and Try Local Hot and Iced Teas


A Breathtaking Sunset











** Center Picture on Top of Page By Tam Hunt and Aramis Photography 

Practical Nutrition “Clean Getaway” To Hawaii

Get On a Practical Nutrition “Clean Getaway”! 


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!


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! 


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.


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


Practical Nutrition Attends Misfit Toys Throwdown

ananda PN

This past weekend PN attended the Misfit Toys Throwdown hosted by Yankee Crossfit and Crossfit Revelation in Enfield, CT. The throwdown was put together by these two gyms to collect toys for less fortunate children during the holidays. It is a great cause that raised a lot of money and was able to donate a lot of toys since there were 220 competitors and each of them brought a toy, along with a lot of spectators.

We set up an awesome booth with a lot of goodies for everyone. It was such a great day. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about their goals and how nutrition would help them get there. I actually competed in the competition with my partner, Laura, and ended up finishing in fourth place. Yay!

 laura amanda

Are you wondering what goodies we had at our booth???

Well, one of them was an herbal energy tonic! The tonic was made with Licorice and Cinnamon Quills. Why these two herbs? Licorice is great for your adrenal glands, which are the little glands that produce all of your stress hormones. It is also helps our bodies deal with environmental stressors and aids in lung function (helps us breathe better). It is a natural energy booster! We added in the Cinnamon Quills to improve flavor, but cinnamon is also beneficial for blood circulation, digestion, and blood sugar levels. The herbal energy shots were a real hit!

pn shots

We also had a raffle where we raffled off a free introductory consult and we gave away some PN recipes. One of the recipes was for a Homemade Sports Drink that we made and were giving to the athletes and anyone that wanted to try it.  It is a very simple recipe with 5 ingredients, one of which is just water. It replenishes important electrolytes like Sodium, Potassium  Phosphorus and Chloride without the added sugar, chemicals, artificial colors, and processing that “over the counter” sports drinks contain (we won’t mention names but the two most popular ones start with G and P!) Everyone really liked it and I definitely drank a lot while I was competing all day. It was the perfect beverage! Here is the recipe!

PN Homemade Sports Drink
Recipe Type: Sports Drink
Author: Amanda
  • 1 Liter of Water
  • Juice of 2 Whole, Fresh Lemons
  • 3 TBLS. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Baking Soda
  1. Blend all ingredients until well combined. For add refreshment, add ice and mint leaves as desired!

RD’s at the Big E: Fair Food Frenzy!

Child like joy at the Big E!

Child like joy at the Big E!

This past weekend a couple of the Practical Nutrition Associate Dietitians attended the Big Eastern States Exposition…aka Big E! I personally haven’t been to the big E since childhood, so getting into the spirit of the fair was lots of fun. The experience was full of childhood memories, excitement over the 100’s of vendors lining the streets, over crowded conditions (if you like to people watch this is the place to be!), but most of all…“FOOD!” (I have that in quotations because the nutrient depleted, over heated, battered, inorganic, synthetically derived, grossly portioned “food” offered at the fair goes against my every definition of food…but thats not the point of this post!) There were amazingly over 140 locations offering food and beverages ranging from from fried butter balls, to pulled pork parfaits, “Craz-E-Burgers” (bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between two glazed doughnuts), and types of meats and sweets in every shape, form, and flavor. I never thought I could see the word “fried” in front of so many foods- from oreos, cheesecake, kool aid, cream puffs, and jelly beans, to clams, vegetables, and kangaroo!

I went into the day only focusing on the positives…how could I not, its the BIg E! We all know the food choices at fairs are disastrous- and part of me wishes I could have handed out “day after nutrition recovery” cards to reverse some of the damage people were doing to their body all day long. But that’s not why I went. The neat thing about the Big E for me was the variety of “classes” of food available. The craziest food options were found scattered throughout the fair in between tents selling things that were fun to look at but otherwise completely useless. The  interesting and real food options were found on the Avenue of the States.  Each state in New England was designated their own building and featured food and beverage options traditional to their state- of course Vermont had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and every possible grade of real maple syrup, New Hampshire featured fresh culinary herbs and homemade fudge, Connecticut had local J Foster ice cream and Rose’s Berry Farm, and Maine offered fresh lobster rolls, wild blueberry crisp, and what seemed to have the longest line of them all: Maine Baked Potatoes! These bad boys were the biggest baked potatoes I’d ever seen, loaded with every type of topping imaginable! When I went onto the Maine Potato Board’s website I was amazed at some of the ideas they have for baked potatoes-  breakfast baked potatoes, Maine crab baked potato, and even a sloppy joe baked potato! No one thinks quite like a native of Maine!

Ana: "When in Rome!" Brendan: "Someone get me out of here!"

Ana: “When in Rome!”
Brendan: “Someone get me out of here!”

After a few laps of strolling around the fair observing  the most popular “foods” consumed, we had to try a few! The items of choice for the Practical Nutrition team were as follows: Vermont apple pie with vanilla ice cream, giant turkey leg, home cooked kettle corn, and yep, I’m admitting it…fried butter balls (had to do it!)!

A day at the fair was definitely a bonding and eye opening experience for the Practical Nutrition team. As fun as it was trying a few out of the box foods, we were excited to stop at a local health food store on the way home and pick up a bottle of Kombucha (a cleansing, fermented tea beverage!), some fresh vegetables, and lots of water. The night was finished off with a huge salad, loaded with protein and some more water to wash help regain hydration in our body after all of the offending treats.

Here are my three takeaways from our field trip to the Big E: 

1. Make time to enjoy the simple joys in life…enjoy a ride at a fair… even in the rain…be a kid again!

2. Don’t let a fear of “bad food choices” get in the way of enjoying an event with family and friends-  include detox foods (beets, greens, bright vegetables at most meals, lean protein, healthy fats, lots of water) on a daily basis so your body can handle the once a year you eat a fried butter ball

3. Have a plan after a splurge day to get you back on track with your nutrition maintenance plan. A solid “recovery nutrition plan” includes a meal heavy in greens, vegetables, and a protein the night after, lots of water, a cup of Yogi Detox tea, 2 Cleanse Smoothies the day after, 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise, and being conscious of limiting refined sugars/grains, sugary drinks, alcohol, and excess caffeine 3 days after the splurge to make sure you don’t get caught in what I call a “sugar cycle”- which can dangerously turn a one afternoon splurge into a week long, unintentional spiral of eating fair food!

Keep in mind making healthy choices is something you have to do for yourself, and can’t be influenced by the choices of those around you. Make sure your decisions to splurge are your own. If you’re feeling a treat outside of your usual plan, go for it! If not, hold back even if those around you are indulging…slowing down and taking time before you enter a social situation to identify what’s best for you is the easiest way to succeed in staying on track with your health.

Stay disciplined and treat your body right with real food as much as you can. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do what you have to do to get back on track when you get off…don’t make excuses. Enjoy life, family, and friends. Its a good life!

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

Ana Elisabeth

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