Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

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Bacon can be a controversial topic when it comes to the nutrition community. I personally feel that bacon has gotten a very bad name and is unrightfully associated with many health problems like heart disease. The true culprits are refined sugar, processed food, trans fats, and lack of activity. That being said, bacon is still more processed than if you purchased fresh, grassfed steaks or pastured pork chops. For this reason, I think it should be eaten in moderation (2-4 slices),  no more than 2-3 times a week. Another controversy around bacon is the discussion of how harmful nitrites and nitrates are for our bodies. Many people do not know this but we get more nitrites from vegetables than cured meats like bacon. Chris Kresser, an integrative medicine doctor, has a great article on nitrates and nitrites on his website here:  http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon.

One fun fact from his article:

“It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs.”

Most bacon that says “nitrate free” does in fact contain nitrates, however, they are from celery root or beets and usually have even more nitrates and nitrites than regularly cured bacon. This is why whenever you are buying bacon the main concern should be to get organic, pastured bacon rather than only worrying about whether or not it has nitrates and nitrites because all types will.

Overall, I think bacon has a place in a healthy diet, like most foods, when not eaten in excess. These are a really great appetizer to have at a party or family get together and are very low maintenance  to make. Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1lb bacon, cut strips in half
  • tooth picks to keep bacon in place
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While oven is preheating, cut sweet potatoes into small cubes about 1.5-2 inches. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each sweet potato cube with half a bacon strip. Use tooth picks to keep bacon in place.
  3. Cover baking sheet with foil and place bacon wrapped sweet potatoes on there spread out evenly.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes soft and bacon cooked to your liking.
  5. Be careful of tooth picks when eating this delicious treat!

Maple Pepper Salmon

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You can never get enough Omega-3 fatty acids and there is no more delicious way than to cook up some wild caught salmon! Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health but we cannot make them in our bodies so we have to get them from the foods we eat. Omega-3s are important for numerous normal bodily functions such as blood clotting and building new cell membranes in the brain. We can also see a lot of benefits from eating enough Omega-3 fatty acids such as softer hair, nails, and clearer skin. Getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids can also mean a more supported immune system and better overall health. Try out this recipe that only has five ingredients and is super simple but still very tasty.

Here is a list of good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • anchovies
  • bluefish
  • herring
  • mackerel
  • salmon (wild has more omega-3s than farmed)
  • sardines
  • sturgeon
  • lake trout
  • tuna

This recipe was inspired by my amazing acrobatics instructor, Melissa Basch who always pushes me past my limits. Thank you for being you and for sharing your delicious recipe!

Maple Pepper Salmon
 
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Recipe type: Fish
Ingredients
  • 1lb Wild Caught Salmon
  • 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine maple syrup, coconut aminos, garlic powder, and black peppers in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Place fish skin side down then drizzle the maple syrup mixture evenly over all pieces.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn broiler on and flip fish over and broil for 2-3 minutes. I like the skin kind of crispy so I always broil it. This part is optional.

Lemon Garlic and Herb Crockpot Chicken

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Here is another low maintenance and delicious meal! I had chicken breasts in the freezer and lemons in the fridge so I decided to make lemon chicken. I did not want to put a lot of energy into baking it or sautéing anything so I just threw it in the crock pot. It came out moist and full of flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised. I will definitely be making this again! I enjoyed it on a salad with some black beans and avocado. Enjoy!

 

Lemon Garlic and Herb Crockpot Chicken
 
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Ingredients
  • 6 Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Lemon, thinly slices
  • 4 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½c water
  • Mrs. Dash Original Blend
  • Oregano
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Place half of lemons and all of the garlic on the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Place chicken breasts on top of the lemon and garlic. Cover in oregano and seasoning then turn over and add salt and pepper.
  3. Add ½c of water to protect crock pot.
  4. Heat on low for 7 hours.
Notes
4oz of chicken breasts= 1 Protein

PN Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite comfort foods. I grew up eating my Mom’s amazing stuffed peppers that to do this day, I still cannot replicate. This recipe is pretty close though! Not only is it delicious but it is also simple. Enjoy!

 

PN Stuffed Peppers
 
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Ingredients
  • 2lb Organic Ground Beef (Grassfed if possible)
  • 6 Peppers (I did red and yellow)
  • 1 cup of Fresh Salsa
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • ½ Tbsp Gluten Free Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in ground beef and chopped onion. Cook until brown.
  3. While meat is cooking, cut the tops off of the peppers and clean out the insides quickly. (Tip: I cut as close to the top of the pepper as I can--less mess with seeds)
  4. Once meat is brown, add salsa, sriracha, and seasonings. Mix well.
  5. Get a large, glass baking dish. Stuff peppers full with meat mixture and place in glass baking dish. I put the tops back on mine and eat them!
  6. Bake stuffed peppers for 30 minutes.
Notes
¾ cup of meat mixture: 3-4 fats depending on leanness of ground beef, 2.5 proteins

*The stuffed peppers freeze and reheat really well! I usually make 3lb at once then freeze them and reheat them later.

Maple Walnut Granola

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Granola is a delicious, convenient, and healthy snack when you get the right kind/make your own and eat it in the right amounts. I often look at different brands of granola when I’m at the grocery store in the hopes of finding one without a ton of added sugar and canola oil. I found one I liked but it is pretty expensive and didn’t have enough fat for my liking. So of course, I made my own and now I’m sharing it with all of you :) This was my first batch and I plan on trying other flavors but WOW was it good! It does have maple syrup in it so if you are doing one of our purifications I would wait to make this until you are done. It makes a lot so it will last you a while too!

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I like to eat with with some unsweetened almond milk like cereal!

Maple Walnut Granola
 
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Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 5.5 cups dry Bob's Red Mill Whole Rolled Gluten Free Oats
  • 1 cup Raw Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 cups Shelled Walnuts
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Carob Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix with hands until combined.
  3. Heat a small pot over medium heat and add in coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Heat until coconut oil melted.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture in large bowl and use your hands to make sure everything gets coated with the coconut oil and maple syrup. This way it will come out crunchy!
  5. Place granola on a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. Bake for 25 minutes then move granola around and bake for another 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool then mix in the carob chips.
  7. Store in a glass, airtight container in a cool, dry space.
Notes
PN Rx of ¼ cup:
1 Carb, 2.5 Fats, .25 Protein

 

Practical Nutrition Attends Misfit Toys Throwdown

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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!

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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
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sports Drink
Ingredients
  • 1 Liter of Water
  • Juice of 2 Whole, Fresh Lemons
  • 3 TBLS. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ⅛ tsp. Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Baking Soda
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients until well combined. For add refreshment, add ice and mint leaves as desired!

Black Friday Nutrition Deals!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 

HS pikThere is always so much to give thanks for! Thanksgiving offers nourishment on all levels- body, mind, heart, and spirit.  I feel blessed on a daily basis to be surrounded by loving family, friends, clients, and coworkers. I hope this Thanksgiving brings you joy, rest, and of course tasty (and maybe even healthy!) food choices.

We wanted to be a part of ushering in the exciting holiday season by offering HALF OFF of our main nutrition services for yourself or as a great gift for loved ones in your life. The services in this offer are the programs we suggest to anyone looking for a fresh start to the new year, wanting to lose weight, reduce cholesterol/triglycerides, and/or lower blood glucose levels naturally. The services of this offer include the following: 

21 Day Detox (click here for more information on this program): 21 days worth of whole food supplements, recipe book, shopping list, guide book, meal plan, and (3) one on one consults with a Practical Nutrition Dietitian

10 Day Detox: 10 days worth of whole food supplements, recipe book, shopping list, guide book, meal plan and (2) one on one consults with a Practical Nutrition Dietitian

1.5 Hour Introduction Consult: Includes nutrient analysis of current diet, individualized Practical Nutrition “prescription”, nutrition implications of biochemistry data (blood work), meal plan, recipe book, shopping list, and 10% off first supplement order

Gift Cards: These are an amazing deal as they can be used towards supplement purchases, follow up plan memberships, introduction consults, and any other services you currently use or are interested in through Practical Nutrition


Black Friday Specials



This offer will be going until midnight on Monday December 2nd. Once 20 of each service has been sold the promotion will no longer be available. Once purchased, you may request a gift certificate for your item if you are using it as a gift. Simply request this in the note section of your purchase.

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving and joyful start to an exciting holiday season!

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

Ana and the rest of the Practical Nutrition Team!